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Old 02-13-2020, 09:47 PM   #1
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Used engine oil mixed with diesel fuel.

I am planning to change oil in main engines and baffled that getting rid o the used oil can be an issue while doing the loop. If I was home I would just bring used oil to a parts store or Wall Mart. But here as a transient at a marina, without a car it starts to be an issue. Uber drivers would probably freak out if I showed up with 12 gallons of used oil.
So I wondered what the consensus is for filtering the oil with a paint filter and pouring it into fuel tank and burning it. I googled it and discovered this can be done, but wondering if anyone has tried it and with what results.
The recommendation is to add less than 10% oil to fuel to start.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:52 PM   #2
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It has a similar energy density and the engine will run on it, but it does not burn as cleanly and can dirty things up. I wouldn't do it.

Id be surprised if a marina with an oil tank wouldn't let you dump oil, even as a transient. The ones I know do. Heck, you pay more per day than home tenants!
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:34 PM   #3
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It's not that hard to find places to take the old oil in my experience. And it's not like carrying a few gallons aboard until you find a place to properly dispose of it is a big deal...
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:44 AM   #4
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Between Toronto and Bahamas I've carried the stuff for weeks to find a legit place to get rid of it. I'd rather carry it than burn it in my engine.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:01 AM   #5
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For many years I burned my waste oil. Now I centrifuge and have no waste oil. The waste oil mix was usually 10 gallons of oil to 100 gallons of fuel or more. I run clean oil and before I used the centrifuge I used a bypass filter that filtered to 1 micron (that usually left particles smaller than 5 microns). If I was going to burn waste oil from an engine with full flow filters, usually 30 micron, I'd filter it through a 1 micron before adding to the oil.
The injector pump has tight clearances and too much debris in the fuel will wear it out faster.

I've probably burned thousands of gallons of waste oil without problems. Usually in ship engines or Detroits.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:23 PM   #6
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Along the loop most marinas that do repairs have disposal of oil available - free with overnight dockage usually and u may stay more than 1 night to do the oil change anyway. Lots of marinas have a courtesy car to go to auto parts store as an alternative. If the containers are clean, donít see why Uber/Lyft would complain. If all else fails, tip well!
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:28 PM   #7
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Absolutely not IMO.
There’s additives in lube oil that you don’t want in your fuel oil.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:08 PM   #8
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Carbon soot is abrasive. Old lube oil has lots of it. What doesn't clog up your fuel filters will pass through your injection pump, injectors, and cylinders. Plus what settles out in the bottom of your fuel tanks adds to the other crud in there.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:09 PM   #9
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Old Detroits are famous for burning about anything. But in their shop manual they specifically warn against this practice.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:04 AM   #10
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At a minimum, it's an old-school trick for old-school engines. Not that either is bad, but fewer and fewer engines are old-school.


I would never even consider the practice for a common rail or other high pressure injection system. That rules out any engine built after maybe 2000-2005, but it will vary by brand and HP range.


I doubt there is any engine manufacturer (for a small craft), at any time in history, anywhere in the world, who would condone such a practice.


But I suppose it's an approach that could work for garbage disposal too? You could mix a little bit of your garbage in with your food, and might not notice it. Just think of the saved trips to the dump.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
But I suppose it's an approach that could work for garbage disposal too? You could mix a little bit of your garbage in with your food, and might not notice it. Just think of the saved trips to the dump.
I just did a Danny Thomas reading that. Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:09 AM   #12
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Injectors run at such high pressure that even specs of carbon less than a half a micron would eventually be abrasive enough to do injector damage. I wouldn't do it.

Living in Wisconsin there are lots of home mechanics using drain oil to heat garages and shops so disposal around here isn't a problem. I have never, yet, boated the east Coast so I can't help you there.

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Old 02-15-2020, 10:26 AM   #13
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As an expert in engine lubricants I would NEVER recommend putting a modern engine oil in diesel fuel. A typical API CJ-4 or CK-4 engine oil has anywhere from 14-18% of additives plus viscosity modifier, which is a olefin copolymer (like a rubber). All engine oils have a metallic additives (zinc dithiophosphate, Ca and Mg detergents) which contribute about 1% of sulfated ash. Sulfated ash is what's left when you burn off everything else. I actually wouldn't worry much about the wear metals (they're in the parts per million level) but the additives will contribute to deposits on the pistons and can eventually increase the risk of ring sticking over the long term. You might get away with it occasionally but its like smoking, how much do you want to increase your risk?
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Racor makes filters with various filtration
efficiencies, but its standards for non-OEM (Original
Equipment Manufacturer) are 2, 10, and 30 micron
filter elements. The actual efficiency ratings for these
are 98%, 95%, and 90% respectively. Racor also
makes use of a 7 and 20 micron filter medium which
are used to meet certain engine manufacturer’s
requirements for a final filter and a primary filter.
Why do you filter diesel? The obvious answer is to prevent particles greater than a certain micron from getting into the engine fuel delivery systems.
If the filter is good enough to filter diesel then why is it not good enough to filter used oil.
The opposition to burn used oil has not explained the simple concept that whatever goes through the filter will be filtered the same. So where is the perceived danger of damage engine parts come from. Why do so many think oil will carry more larger microns through a filter than diesel.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:14 AM   #15
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The last marina we were at charged $2/gallon to have someone pick it up.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soo-Valley View Post
Why do you filter diesel? The obvious answer is to prevent particles greater than a certain micron from getting into the engine fuel delivery systems.
If the filter is good enough to filter diesel then why is it not good enough to filter used oil.
The opposition to burn used oil has not explained the simple concept that whatever goes through the filter will be filtered the same. So where is the perceived danger of damage engine parts come from. Why do so many think oil will carry more larger microns through a filter than diesel.
Read post #13.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:30 PM   #17
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The issue with burning compounded oil (used or fresh) has nothing to do with particle size. You could filter to 10um and additives are not removed, in fact we (additive suppliers) often filter to that level as to the lubricant blenders. It is the chemical nature of the lubricant additives that are a concern. This is why as engines begin to burn more oil they often encounter ring sticking. Additives used for fuels are different from those used in oils. First thing is that they are ashless (don't contain metallic components). In short, they're designed to be combusted. Lubricant additives are designed to operate at temperatures below 150C. As you exceed that they begin to thermally decompose (doesn't matter whether its a synthetic or mineral oil).
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:32 PM   #18
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SKI from the Wilmington, NC area is an experienced engineer with his latest experience in diesels, particularly gensets.

He tried some oil in his fuel on a landslide genset he used for emergency backup andif I remember correctly, he said it trashed his genset motor.

May want to wait for his comments if he see this thread.

Hard to imagine that with Slowmo's input and a little research....... one hasn't figured out that while it is done by some....probably in certain situations....for most of us it's a bad gamble.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:16 PM   #19
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For a couple of years put about five gallons of used oil in my 190-gallon tanks for the FL120s to eat, but then stopped in favor of disposal ashore. I would not do it for this Yanmar. AND when I installed the Floscan, the directions specifically mentioned the detrimental effect the practice could have on the FS sensors.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:54 PM   #20
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A suggestion for getting rid of old engine oil:

Google to find a "Steamboat Club" or "Hobby Steamboats" or "Hobby Locomotives" (the kind large enough to ride on).

Offer to donate your oil free to any member close to you, to pick up. They'll burn it in their steam boiler. It beats paying for diesel at the pump.
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