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Old 10-21-2014, 09:18 AM   #1
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Slight mixing of diesel and hydraulic oil

I have two 20 liter jerry cans I use when I have to work with either diesel for the engines or the hydraulic oil for the stabilizer system. When I switch between the two fuels/oil I have been rinsing the jerry cans out with a a half liter of the new fuel/oil and then proceeding. Not a great rinsing but it should get rid of the bulk of the residue lining the jerry cans.


Can't imagine my Lehman or the Westerbeke being sensitive to a slight amount of hydraulic oil, but what about the stabilizer system, would traces of diesel affect the stabilizer cooling system/pump.

Any thoughts.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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No.

In fact Tony Athens, the diesel guru over on boatdiesel, sometimes recommends diluting hydraulic oil with diesel to reduce the viscosity and improve turning forces in hydraulic steering systems- about 3 parts hydraulic fluid to 1 part diesel. So you are never going to come close even if you don't rinse the jugs.

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Old 10-21-2014, 10:51 AM   #3
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I have been guilty of sloppy container handling with lube oil and fuel oil. As long as the lube oil ends up no more than a few percent of the fuel, I never worry about it. I don't let fuel get into engine lube oil, but no worries in hydraulic oil.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:28 AM   #4
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Diesels will happily burn a bit of most any oil. Some folks are using old fry oil so don't sweat a little clean hydraulic oil.

There was a system, from Cummins IIRC ,that burned used lube oil for trucks.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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Marty

Do you routinely have to add oil to your stabilizer system?
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
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Marty

Do you routinely have to add oil to your stabilizer system?
No. I did have a leak in the pump seals for a few months, but not now.

However, I have had to drain the 10 gallon hydraulic oil tank a couple of times in order to work on the hydraulic oil heat exchanger, as well as to fix the seals on the hydraulic pump.

Thanks to all for the replies.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:37 PM   #7
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Why not just buy another set of jugs?
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:15 PM   #8
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Why not just buy another set of jugs?

Indeed, that has become quite popular lately.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:25 PM   #9
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Indeed, that has become quite popular lately.
Expensive, and can be a lot to carry around. Hard on the back, so I'm told. Not a problem I'm likely to have, though.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:34 PM   #10
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No.

In fact Tony Athens, the diesel guru over on boatdiesel, sometimes recommends diluting hydraulic oil with diesel to reduce the viscosity and improve turning forces in hydraulic steering systems- about 3 parts hydraulic fluid to 1 part diesel. So you are never going to come close even if you don't rinse the jugs.

David
That's VERY interesting David. I have a system that requires a bit more effort than I'd like to steer the boat. Three turns L to L though and "lock" is 45 degrees from center line. So movement of helm to rudder is like 2 turns L to L. This is one of the reasons Willy does well in following seas .. a fast rudder. I just filled and bled my steering system but I'll definitely remember that in the future.

Do others do that and what would be the first negative side effects? Foaming at the pump? Seal failure ......... .
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
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Job opportunities would increase.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:55 PM   #12
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No.

In fact Tony Athens, the diesel guru over on boatdiesel, sometimes recommends diluting hydraulic oil with diesel to reduce the viscosity and improve turning forces in hydraulic steering systems- about 3 parts hydraulic fluid to 1 part diesel. So you are never going to come close even if you don't rinse the jugs.

David
Before I take advice from some guy on the Internet I would check with the manufacturer of the equipment. My system has some pretty specific requirements for hydraulic fluid.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:21 PM   #13
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Bayview,
I worked on multi fuel engine's in Rolls Royce R&D and we tried used lube oil in various configurations for military diesels and there was always a problem with a reaction to Paraffin/Diesel/Petrol/Veg with the used engine oil we tried, a lot of the used engine oil turned to a heavy viscous sludge in each case after some months use which resulted in thorough tank cleaning.
I would strongly advise against it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #14
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Thanks Irish. IIRC the Cummins system only allowed 5% used lube oil.

Edit here it is:
https://quickserve.cummins.com/info/.../centinel.html
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:29 PM   #15
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Hyd. in the diesel is not much of a problem. Diesel in the Hydraulics can be no matter what your diesel guru states. Typically you will have problems with your pump and cylinder seals.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:32 PM   #16
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I'm with Ron, I'd check with your stabilizer manufacturer. I know Naiad is a stickler about the purity of the oil, wanting it run through a filter (I used a coffee filter) if possible when adding. I certainly wouldn't apply some idea for a steering system to a much more expensive and complex stabilizer system.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:50 PM   #17
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A common problem at a sawmill I used to work as was that the forklift drivers would add hydraulic fluid in the wrong hole. It being the diesel fuel tank! Forklift would start riding rough when it starting burning the hydraulic fluid. The diesel mechanic told them tough luck and go away and burn it off. No damage to the engines
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:11 PM   #18
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Hyd. in the diesel is not much of a problem. Diesel in the Hydraulics can be no matter what your diesel guru states. Typically you will have problems with your pump and cylinder seals.
My experience too. Seal failure and contaminated hydraulic fluid is a very common problem in the marine industry. Mixing different fluids in multi-use containers is risky.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:44 AM   #19
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I When I switch between the two fuels/oil I have been rinsing the jerry cans out with a a half liter of the new fuel/oil and then proceeding.
Any thoughts.
Doing as you describe would be just fine. A trip in a large earth moving fleet's fuel and lube truck would convince most that your "contamination" is pretty insignificant in comparison.

At least this isn't a thread asking if marvel mystery oil should be added to a TX.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:56 AM   #20
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Primarily what it comes down to is the type of "O" rings and seals that may be in the hydraulic system. If you have the common EPDM (Ethylene-Propylene) they are very sensitive to aromatic hydrocarbons (diesel fuel is an aromatic hydrocarbon). They will get overly spongy then dry out and fail. Neoprene is similar. I do own a fleet of earth moving equipment and have experienced this first hand. Also in laying ductile iron water pipe we were required to wrap the pipe in plastic to protect the neoprene gaskets when digging through soil that was contaminated with old leaking and often long removed gas station tanks.
I would suggest checking with the mfg. on the type of O rings and seal material.
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