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Old 10-08-2019, 09:45 PM   #1
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Synthetic Oil in Older Engines (Tested)

Found this on YouTube. Seems like a comprehensive and compelling dispute of the popular notion that you canít use modern synthetic oil in older diesel engines.

https://youtu.be/Pa4RwsiZUmI
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:47 PM   #2
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I have been using synthetic oil on my 36 year-old Lehmans for five years. No leaks.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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Heck my Lehman leaks oil even after I have taken out the oil for a change...
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:18 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. A. Thanks. I've watched a number of this fellow's videos and quite enjoy them. As he said, his test had a data base of one so synthetic seems to work for him.

We run Lehman 120's and I've always used Rotella (T-?). I really can't see the advantage(s) of switching to synthetic given our engines do not seem to be running in "extreme" conditions and the oil is changed every 100 hrs. Not worried about leakage as Mr. ps notes, they DO leak/seep.

I suppose the bottom line is; is a recreational boater getting his/her money's worth with the extra cost for the synthetic? Can one extend oil changes to say...200hrs. or 300hrs? What about the injector pump? Any potential damage if one uses synthetic?
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:25 PM   #5
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If you aren't planning to run long changes and the engines don't run super high oil temps or have other conditions known for being hard on oil, then synth probably isn't worth it.

But if you're going to do oil analysis to see how long you can run, a good synth will usually last longer. And if you have engines that are hard on oil, it can make a bigger difference.

The other factor is cold weather. Personally, my gas engines get Rotella 15W-40 (non synth), as they don't get started in particularly cold weather (under 50* F is very rare), they're not hard on oil and I usually don't put enough hours on in a season to benefit from synth. However, if I were boating in the winter and starting them in colder conditions regularly, I'd go to a synth 5W-40 for better cold start flow (without having to sacrifice hot viscosity to get it).
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream345 View Post
Found this on YouTube. Seems like a comprehensive and compelling dispute of the popular notion that you canít use modern synthetic oil in older diesel engines.

https://youtu.be/Pa4RwsiZUmI

I've gone back and forth from synthetic to dino oil and back on various engines for various reasons and have never had a problem. (or a sudden oil leak)

IMO the biggest benefit of synthetic is you can theoretically (at least) run it longer and its better at the performance extremes. Not an issue in my Lehmans so I run 15-40 and don't worry about it.

Ken
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:14 PM   #7
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Take a look at the Cox Eng Article on Oil for marine applications.
https://dkloeber.wixsite.com/bacchus/links
It's one of the few I've seen that specifically address marine diesels vs OTR applications.
Many mfg caution that change intervals should NOT be extended with Syn oils.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:24 PM   #8
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Take a look at the Cox Eng Article on Oil for marine applications.
https://dkloeber.wixsite.com/bacchus/links
It's one of the few I've seen that specifically address marine diesels vs OTR applications.
Many mfg caution that change intervals should NOT be extended with Syn oils.

Blindly extending change intervals with any oil carries some risk, so of course they warn against it. But it's possible to do used oil analysis to determine how used up the oil is and pick an appropriate change interval from there.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:41 PM   #9
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Blindly extending change intervals with any oil carries some risk, so of course they warn against it. But it's possible to do used oil analysis to determine how used up the oil is and pick an appropriate change interval from there.
Good point however the same holds true for dyno oils that will frequently test OK at recommended interval.
I guess the break even point depends on how long an extension one is comfortable with?
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:56 PM   #10
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Good point however the same holds true for dyno oils that will frequently test OK at recommended interval.
I guess the break even point depends on how long an extension one is comfortable with?

Pretty much. And how much benefit you'll see from synthetic will depend on your engines as well. Some are just harder on oil than others and correspondingly see better oil life with better oil, while some are easy on oil and can run pretty long intervals on just about anything.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:35 PM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. A. Thanks. I've watched a number of this fellow's videos and quite enjoy them. As he said, his test had a data base of one so synthetic seems to work for him.

We run Lehman 120's and I've always used Rotella (T-?). I really can't see the advantage(s) of switching to synthetic given our engines do not seem to be running in "extreme" conditions and the oil is changed every 100 hrs. Not worried about leakage as Mr. ps notes, they DO leak/seep.

I suppose the bottom line is; is a recreational boater getting his/her money's worth with the extra cost for the synthetic? Can one extend oil changes to say...200hrs. or 300hrs? What about the injector pump? Any potential damage if one uses synthetic?
As Mr RTF pointed out, one question to ask yourself is what added value do you expect from using synthetic oil and does it worth it?
My old venerable engine is running fine with standard old heavy duty sae 30 oil use that cost at most 20$ a gallon, would I get any benefit to use synthetic oil, really not sure about that.

L
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:15 PM   #12
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I would change the oil each year anyway so no way I would pay the extra to use synthetic oil. I just did a quick check on Amazon and synthetic Rotella is about $63 per gallon. Regular Rotella is $16. So for 4.5 gallons that is an extra 211 per engine, not worth it. Maybe if I was doing 1000 hours per year.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Airstream345 View Post
.. notion that you canít use modern synthetic oil in older diesel engines...
There are lots of things you can do but the real question is,"should you?" or "is there a benefit in doing it".
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:14 AM   #14
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Our sump holds 10 gallons.
That'd make a semi synthetic change near $400 vs $200, ($160 on sale) for Castrol RX which is the oil the Cummins and Gardner spanners in these parts suggest.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:22 AM   #15
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I would change the oil each year anyway so no way I would pay the extra to use synthetic oil. I just did a quick check on Amazon and synthetic Rotella is about $63 per gallon. Regular Rotella is $16. So for 4.5 gallons that is an extra 211 per engine, not worth it. Maybe if I was doing 1000 hours per year.
$63 per gallon seemed a bit much to me. A quick googly and I found both Walmart and a local Advance Auto Parts selling T6 for $20. Compared to $14 for T4, extending a 100 hour drain interval to just 150 hours reaches the break even point. Any more than 150 and you are saving money.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:33 AM   #16
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The big truck folks like syn s the extended run time allows fewer expensive oil filters to be needed , and properly disposed of.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:24 AM   #17
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Most OTR trucks and RV's use Dino and most I think use Rotella at $12 a gal from Walmart


If you add the cost and time to test syn it's is questionable ROI





In gas powered cars that drive over 10K it makes more sense to go Mobil One


changing at 10-12,000 rather than 3-5,000 on Dino
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:56 PM   #18
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Interesting thread. I watched a few videos from same person. Seems straight-up. He did this one on Engine Restorer to boost compression. Seems to work on his old tractor.

https://youtu.be/Hr8jIwVyIFE
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:02 PM   #19
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Our boat has become pretty much a dock condo in recent years. I had been leaving the dino oil in the crank case over one winter. Last Spring I switched to Rotellla T6 synthetic because I believe it is the perfect solution for extended "down" periods. Judging from the look of the oil after one season, I might go for two winter storage periods (I'll do an oil analysis before launch this Spring. If I'm comfortable with two storage seasons...I'm making money over dino oil. Further, I swear the engines are running more cleanly with the synthetic. I'm sold on the stuff. $4 a gallon difference...please. T-6 is going in my E-type Jaguar at the next change.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:15 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. mv. "...Seems to work on his old tractor."

My first car was a 1959 VW beetle I bought for $50. I had to spend ANOTHER $50 putting on a new muffler complete with resonator tail pipes. At some point I removed the resonators and installed...gasp! straight pipes (1 1/4" in diameter and about 10" long. The engine sounded "throatier" and I swear the car was a LOT faster. (It wasn't, just louder).

My point is the power of suggestion works. NOT saying the synthetic is the same as the dino and it may be better but for my use, it just isn't worth the extra expense.
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