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Author Topic: What brand/type of oil do you use? What do you think about Synthetics?  (Read 3799 times)
Garymci5
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« on: October 18, 2009, 11:24:05 PM »

Anyone notice any differences, such as MPG, oil temp, changes in oil analysis results, less wear, etc?

Just curious, with such a wide range of coaches and people on this forum.
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 07:07:11 AM »

I haven't felt the need to pay 20+ a gallon for synthetic oil so far.  I already pay something like $15 a gallon for dino oil when I get my oil changed.  Mine is a four stroke.

Do they even make a 40W synthetic oil suitable for two strokes?  Amsoil has a 30W that claims to meet both CF-2 and CI-4+.  I am not sure I would use it if I had a two stroke, especially not at $32 a gallon.
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 07:26:09 AM »

Royal Purple has a 40wt synthetic meeting the DD specs, I have run it in one of my 4104s.

John
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 08:26:01 AM »

I run synthetic in the diff and transmission.  I'm not sure why.  Originally it was recommended by a guy whose opinion I respect - same guy who lets me use his truck shop when I'm in Nipawin.  This spring I changed the oil in both and I stayed with synthetic.  The cost difference is minimal in the big scheme of things.  (and the performance difference is likely equally minimal under our usage)   Grin
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 08:40:41 AM »

I agree with synthetics in the tranny and differential.  I don't see the need in the engine unless one is going to use oil analysis to determine oil change intervals instead of going by time or mileage.  I change my engine oil once a year even though my yearly mileage has maxed out at most to 10,000 miles. 
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 09:51:45 AM »

I haven't felt the need to pay 20+ a gallon for synthetic oil so far.  I already pay something like $15 a gallon for dino oil when I get my oil changed.  Mine is a four stroke.

Do they even make a 40W synthetic oil suitable for two strokes?  Amsoil has a 30W that claims to meet both CF-2 and CI-4+.  I am not sure I would use it if I had a two stroke, especially not at $32 a gallon.

While it's true, that using either oil is still expensive, I'd wonder if the long term 'cost effectiveness' is a consideration?  Or other benefits: cold weather starting, increased MPG and better protection. Again, it's true that nearly all synthetics don't offer 'extended drain' capability.  One major oil co. now offers a 15K/mile gas engine oil, surely the industry will follow suite for diesel and heavy duty rigs.  However, AMSOIL has a 35K mile oil for years now.

Extended drain is currently being pioneered by AMSOIL. Their basic diesel oil goes for 25K miles, longer with oil analysis. AMSOIL doesn't offer a 40W oil, probably because it doesn't apply anymore since synthetics are so much better.  If a given oil meets the required specs, that company is willing to back their product and has proven it in ASTM testing methods. Everyone does this otherwise it won't meet API certification (as I understand it).

You could always call Amsoil and discuss the finer points of their oil and how/why it meets the specs despite not being a 40wt.

The Amsoil 15-40 diesel oil is also CF-2 rated. I chose this over the 30 weight because of technical differences, and also having used it years ago in our Eagle. At $32 a gallon it wasn't cheap to fill up on 11 gallons. But i bought it at wholesale and saved a lot (you can too). I like Amsoil because of the very high TBN, which combats crank acids, especially a problem -- in my opinion-- while sitting for periods of time.  This saves engine seals and bearings. We don't drive enough every year to even use up regular oil, sure I could change it all the time, but that's wasteful-- and it doesn't protect as well or increase MPG among other benefits.

The idea is to spend $20 a year on oil analysis and see how far we get. I'm aiming for 5 years, which will make it HALF the cost of dino/fossil oil. With how clean the oil is staying even after running up the Cascade mountains a couple times, it's off to a good start. And the engine starts GREAT.

Now I gotta get that 5 gallon bucket of gear oil into the trans for better shifting next season.

If anyone wants to buy at wholesale I can show you how I did it.  I feel that after using AMSOIL for 10 years in just about everything has proved its value to me. Kinda feel like I can't afford NOT to use it  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 10:00:55 AM »

My recent foray into DD two stroke oil led me to believe that many modern synthetic oils can meet the viscosity range for multi-grade without viscosity improvers that can break down.  So from that point of view it's probably fine.  What I found was that the other thing that concerns two strokes is detergent additives, which are reflected as ash content.  We all know that DD two strokes like low ash content.  The reason appears to be the piston rings getting gummed up in some way that I don't quite understand.  So as far as I'm concerned the ash content is still a valid point to be aware of.

I haven't seen any synthetics that I know don't have viscosity improvers and that I have been able verify ash content except racing oils that cost upwards of $$50 a gallon, so I didn't bother to look any further.  I just put a pail and a half of Super Tech SAE40 in the beast, at a cost of $39 a pail.  I'll change it in less than 5,000 miles probably, just to make sure any condensation from the winter is out of there.

Brian
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2009, 03:38:01 PM »

Gary -

After we had this go-round the last time you were posting about synthetics, and Amsoil in particular, I sent the company a letter, with a copy of the DD Lubrication Specs specifically for the two-strokes included, asking them if, in fact, any of their oils meet the specifications.

I'm still waiting to hear from them. . .

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2009, 05:14:41 PM »

How bout the Royal Purple Huh
http://www.ro-quip.com/Technical_Docs/Royal%20Purple/Industrial%20fluids/RP%20Motor%20Oil_ps.pdf

Says "Royal Purple 40 DD is recommended for operation with Detroit Diesel
Series 149 Two-Stroke Cycle Engines running with the percentage of fuel
sulfur less than 0.5 percent mass."    Mine is only a series 71,  Anybody running a series 149 in their bus?  Smiley


They do claim CF-2 on their 40w
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2009, 05:16:13 PM »

Send a letter to Royal Purple , they will answer you.
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Garymci5
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 10:35:28 AM »

RJ-

Please pardon my seasonal approach to the topic of oil, however the question posted is straight forward.

Because a company doesn't get back to someone, concerning a question that is already answered, years ago, mind you, including tested and certified via ASTM, does not imply, as you elude to, they are hiding from anything or that it devalues any testing by Amsoil, or any other company for that matter.

Awhile back i talked with another boutique oil manufacturer and found out that their oil does not meet some standards, not because it's not good enough. But that they would have to spend tons of money to retest their oil. That's not the punch line, this is: That they would have to reforumlate the oil, detracting from it's protection, to meet the API spec-- basically down grade it, which they would not do. Call it what you will, but after using their products for 20 years, and knowing racers that do, find them to be credible.

If it will make you feel any better anyone can call the Amsoil tech line and/or email. They do have it. Try it.

I have and have always gotten answers.


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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2009, 10:46:11 AM »

Gary, what is the ash content of the Amsoil you like to use? 

Brian
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2009, 11:01:40 AM »

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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2009, 11:07:32 AM »

Here's my opinion -
If you sleep better using expensive oils (because you spent more, believed the hype, own stock, are a distributor, etc.), go for it.

However, for most of us here, we won't put enough miles on our rigs to see any difference no matter what oil we use as long as it meets the manufacturer's specification.

QUOTE: "That they would have to reforumlate the oil, detracting from it's protection, to meet the API spec. . ."    That sounds like marketing/ sales hot air to me. What ever happened to 'meets or exceeds' ?

If a DD 2stroke can last 400,000+ miles with the minimum required care & feeding. . . . .

Your driving habits will make a bigger impact on maintenance costs than using a "better than required" oil will.

Chemical contamination from combustion is a big factor in determining the oil change intervals, not just viscosity breakdown. . . . . even amsoil can not fight off the contamination for any longer than other quality oils.

To blatantly disregard the manufacturers requirements with a simple blanket statement of 'ours is better' should be a warning that 'they know not of what they speak".


But, as I said, this is only my opinion.
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2009, 11:12:48 AM »

We use Rottella 10W 40. Works for us Grin.

Somehow I don't think that applies Grin Cheesy Grin

Transmission is Transynd. So far so good Cool

God bless,

John
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Garymci5
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2009, 09:12:53 PM »


How bout the Royal Purple Huh
http://www.ro-quip.com/Technical_Docs/Royal%20Purple/Industrial%20fluids/RP%20Motor%20Oil_ps.pdf

Says "Royal Purple 40 DD is recommended for operation with Detroit Diesel
Series 149 Two-Stroke Cycle Engines running with the percentage of fuel
sulfur less than 0.5 percent mass."    Mine is only a series 71,  Any body running a series 149 in their bus?


They do claim CF-2 on their 40w



A 16V149 would sure make for great hill climbing, might even lay rubber  Grin

I check the link and noticed a very low TBN (at least the spec if published). Add to that a TBN of only 8 compared to 12 for Amsoil. Eight might be okay for gas engines, but won't find it's way into my diesel. I want crankcase acides neutralized and don't want to change oil all the time. Do they guarantee extended drain? If not then it's not very cost effective, which Amsoil certainly is, no matter what angle it's looked at.

Now this is not to say RP isn't a good quality oil. But considering the many aspect of oil, cost and durability, I've yet to find anything better than Amsoil. If that ever happens, I will take a good hard look and seriously consider a change.
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« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2009, 05:01:22 AM »

In a huge FWIW moment...

QUOTE: "That they would have to reforumlate the oil, detracting from it's protection, to meet the API spec. . ."    That sounds like marketing/ sales hot air to me. What ever happened to 'meets or exceeds' ?

this is probably true.  In order to meet the new CJ-4 spec most oils had to have levels of detergent and friction modifiers like ZDDP reduced to meet the sulphated ash content requirement of 1.0   In most engines, high detergent and additive package level were something to boast about.  They contribute mightily to Amsoil's ability to recommend extended drain intervals.  Part of what I read is that oil manufacturers of CJ-4 who used to recommend extended intervals with earlier formulations now recommend sticking to the engine manufacturers drain intervals, until a testing routine can be established.

I'm going to stick to CF-2 as long as I can find it in my DD.  But - I run flat tappet race engines for myself and for customers, and have been recommending diesel oils for break in due to the higher levels of ZDDP, hence my fascination with oil formulations.  We all missed when the car oils were reformulated to reduce additives, ZDDP dropped to about half of what we needed.  We lost a brand new cam in a brand new $15K race engine, and no one was happy, and I got very paranoid...

brian
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« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2009, 07:03:14 AM »

I have read this subject everytime it has hit the boards for the past few years. Still don't know what to use. I know my friend runs 12 new Kenworth supertrains and swears by all synthetics due to fuel mileage and extended drain savings. He has been using all syns for the past 5 years and has his own research numbers to back it up. I don't personally know anyone who has used synthetics in a two stroke, but I wish I did. I believe the cold weather starting and extended sitting times are big issues but I also asked Williams Detroit Diesel in Dearborn, MI (about 5 years ago) and was told to NOT use synthetic oils in my 8v92ta.  HuhHuhHuh?
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2009, 07:20:43 AM »

Wayne, you can use synthetics in a 8v92 it is in the DD book I have a friend that has used RP oil for over 10 years in his 8v92 but to me he waste money because DD does not extend the oil changes with synthetic oil he loves the stuff and never had a engine problem but again he changes it every 12,000 miles



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« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2009, 03:36:20 PM »

Brian,

In the day we had engine "break in oil" in the crankcase of new cars.  That was code for "non-detergent" motor oil.  You were supposed to have it changed to detergent after only 500 miles. My 57 Plymouth maint book called for non detergent oil for the engine.  I used a change of detergent and it smoked really really bad.  Took a few hundred miles for it to quit after i put non D oil back in.

John
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« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2009, 03:49:01 PM »

I think the argument over Syn vs Dino should be over now.  Synthetic won hands down....in terms of performance.  No contest!  Those BIG trucks have temp gauges for both of the differentials and some have oil coolers that come on line automatically. Those guys told me that their differential oil temperatures went down 20 degrees on a specific hill pulling the same weight.  They also got a bump in MPG.  The lubrication speck data showed Syn a clear winner over Dino.  Syn also didn't generate as much acid so the change interval was longer.  Syn didn't thicken as much as Dino so starts were easier and the diffs didn't need to warm for half an hour so they could get in high gear.

CRAP! Angry  Now what is this about the speck changing in 2010 Huh Huh Huh Shocked  And just why would they do that if the stuff still meets the spec.?  Lips Sealed Undecided Angry  Is this another Bush gift to the starving oil industry?  Oops!  Strike that. Tongue  Those boys did surely relieve a lot of burdensome requirements for public info so don't call that a political comment.

John
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« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2009, 04:58:41 PM »

CRAP! Angry  Now what is this about the speck changing in 2010 Huh Huh Huh Shocked  And just why would they do that if the stuff still meets the spec.?  Lips Sealed Undecided Angry  Is this another Bush gift to the starving oil industry?  Oops!  Strike that. Tongue  Those boys did surely relieve a lot of burdensome requirements for public info so don't call that a political comment.

The letter from the API says something about not being able to do a 6V92 test anymore.  I assume they had a 6V92 engine rigged for testing and the engine died.  Probably not financially feasible for them to fix it.
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« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2009, 07:01:51 PM »

Brian,

Thanks for the info.  I guess the 2 stroke is dieing a slow death as far as products are concerned.  Still think it is the best sounding engine ever, for my money.

Thanks again,

John
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« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2009, 05:07:20 AM »

i think a large part of the message is that even if and when CF-2 oils specifically aimed at the DD 2 stroke no longer have an API rating, they will probably still be available.  And that newer formulations are coming into the good range for our engines so that people will still have choice and be able to pick up oil without searching or special ordering.  The ash issue is resolved with the CJ-4 spec, and the multi-grade issue has largely been resolved with improvements in formulation and manufacturing.  Synthetics in particular don't reduce in viscosity as much as multigrades of 20 years ago did.

So from this I take away that support and lubrication for our old two strokes is now assured in future, rather than the opposite!

Brian

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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2009, 05:14:07 AM »

Any oil approved for the MTU engines are going to work for your DD 


good luck   
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2009, 12:28:52 PM »

In a huge FWIW moment...

QUOTE: "That they would have to reforumlate the oil, detracting from it's protection, to meet the API spec. . ."    That sounds like marketing/ sales hot air to me. What ever happened to 'meets or exceeds' ?

****Okay, here goes: It could sound like a lot of things.....IF it meets a spec THEN it COULD exceed it. Basically the message as explained to me: If it does NOT meet the spec, because of a certain additive(s) required to qualify for an API classification, does not mean an oil cannot or does not still protect the engine, perhaps even better than the API spec itself calls for.......Get it?  Other than that, I can't say with any certainty one way or the other.....this info wasn't from Amsoil, however (Redline).....think it comes down to the vast differences in fossil vs syn oil, all the various standards that are needed for fossil oil, that don't seem to quite so apply to syn oil, such as the way viscosity and flow characteristics are to vastly different at extreme temperatures, and how fossil oil heavily relies on additives to perform. I am no scientist, but do grasp what was explained to me, and knowing how big business works am not surprised there is more than one layer to dig thru to find real information. No doubt we'll all be chasing valid and true data until finally giving up in our final days.  Cheesy

this is probably true.  In order to meet the new CJ-4 spec most oils had to have levels of detergent and friction modifiers like ZDDP reduced to meet the sulphated ash content requirement of 1.0   In most engines, high detergent and additive package level were something to boast about.  They contribute mightily to Amsoil's ability to recommend extended drain intervals. 

**** That's a BIG assumption that relies on propaganda from 20+ years ago: that Amsoil uses high levels of "high detergent and additive package level" and that "contribute mightily to Amsoil's ability to recommend extended drain intervals."  That is a big statement to make, can you support this in ANY way? From what I understand Amsoil uses very low levels of any additives especially VI (Viscosity Index) improvers. Their base oil is good enough (type 4 and 5) that high concentrations of additives are not needed, and detract from it's performance. Often what makes oil break down is the additives themselves. Why not "nip it in the bud" and just use better base-stocks? Well, it COSTS more and most people don't understand why and therefore buy the cheapest products. The sad thing is that it the long run it'll just cost more....


 Part of what I read is that oil manufacturers of CJ-4 who used to recommend extended intervals with earlier formulations now recommend sticking to the engine manufacturers drain intervals, until a testing routine can be established.

**** If that is the case, it appears  Amsoil is an exception. There are some engines that are prone to problems, and occasionally drain intervals are adjusted. Amsoil has a list on line, but did not see anything for diesel engines, just gas. Correct me if wrong.

I'm going to stick to CF-2 as long as I can find it in my DD. 

**** Good call in my book, me two: Amsoil 15-40 CF-2 Diesel Oil. All 11 gallons, plus another 5 gal pail of gear oil for the diff and manual trans that will go in this spring (will probably need 8+ G but will start with the trans).


But - I run flat tappet race engines for myself and for customers, and have been recommending diesel oils for break in due to the higher levels of ZDDP, hence my fascination with oil formulations.  We all missed when the car oils were reformulated to reduce additives, ZDDP dropped to about half of what we needed.  We lost a brand new cam in a brand new $15K race engine, and no one was happy, and I got very paranoid...

**** Might be worth considering what base stocks are used in the oil, more so than an additive, which in essence just helps support engine parts when the oil can't  Shocked  I've had oil problems too over the last 20yrs, including with the best know brands of fossil oil available-- such as TOTAL viscosity breakdown in just 1800 miles in a low mileage bone stock daily driver car; ZERO PSI on the oil pressure gauge; an oil change solved that. The high zinc content seemed to have protected the bearings just fine (engine was not taken apart, but oil pressure was still good), even though it was driven over 300 miles with no oil pressure. That episode converted me to a believer of synthetic oil, not to mention everyone I knew that raced at Sears Point (now Infineon) raceway used synthetics, most of them Redline products, another brand I highly respect, trust, and have used for 20 years.

Best of luck, but please, myself included, let's stick with current and valid information, to avoid the throw net sized asumptions that are often wrong and confuse people even more. If we guess then let's make it known, if told by someone else, then mention it.

Thanks for listening (everyone), and sorry it took so long to reply. I've been busy working on cars, and hopefully will even have time to build my own little turbo charged quasi-race-engine-wonder (over bored, forged crank, forged pistons, forged rods, all ARP fasteners),  that likes to eat up muscle-bound push-rod wonders (it'll pick on big 4cam/4valver's too with excellent results, it's just fun stuff, then there's the corners....how's 1.3G's? )  Grin

Best,
Gary


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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2009, 12:32:30 PM »


[/quote]

The letter from the API says something about not being able to do a 6V92 test anymore.  I assume they had a 6V92 engine rigged for testing and the engine died.  Probably not financially feasible for them to fix it.
[/quote]

My understanding is that since the 2 cycle engines are no longer made there was no reason to keep supporting the test methods. I'm sure the API organization could afford to fix it, pretty sure they're not a back yard DIY'er digging for coins under the couch..... Grin
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« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2009, 12:39:01 PM »

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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2009, 01:15:51 PM »

Many people on the board have more insight than I can give. I firmly believe that the person that designed the engine knows more than I do. Therefore I will use the oil he reccomended. Oil and filters are much cheaper than an engine.
  Big John
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Big John  Tyler Tx PD 4903-188 & 4107
871 dd, 4 spd Fuller.
LOVE MY BUS!!!!
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rusty
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« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2009, 05:17:17 PM »

Gary, In your reply you talk about fossil oil and synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is fossil oil. Synthetic oil has been rerefined a couple of more times.  If I can use a construction analysis, fossil oil is like roadbase all different sizes of material. Synthetic is like 3/8 round rock all the same size

Wayne
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Garymci5
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« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2009, 12:19:03 PM »

Rusty,

Thanks for the input.  In short synthetic oils are not reclassified due to extra refining of fossil oil. That is a MYTH, plain and simple, folks.

Please read: http://www.amsoil.com/frequent.aspx

Cut and pasted-

Q: What types of synthetic base oil fluids does AMSOIL use?

Answer: As the developer of the world's first API qualified synthetic motor oil in 1972, AMSOIL has gained more experience than any other oil company in formulating automotive synthetic lubricants. It is this extensive experience that provides the ability to maximize product performance through use of a full range of high-performance synthetic base oils, most notably polyalphaolefin (PAO).  AMSOIL views synthetic base oils the same as it views additives, with each having its own set of unique properties.  AMSOIL engineers its lubricants with the synthetic base oil or combination of base oils best suited to a specific lubricant’s application demands (gasoline, diesel, racing, transmission, gear, extended drain, extreme temperature, etc.). 

AMSOIL INC. maintains an unwavering commitment to provide products that outperform the competition and deliver maximum benefits to all AMSOIL customers. Performance is the bottom line.

Anecdote:
Again, there are tons of misconceptions about oil, I am NOT the end-all in answers, but do know a fair bit, and when I don't, do spend the time to find out. I do not rely only on Amsoil as a source of information, however they are very forthcoming with tech info and do not appear to play smoke and mirrors like most conglomerate oil co's do.

Luckily one does not need to know much about oil, just use what the factory recommends, pretty easy, eh? Sure that works...for awhile.

It may not meet the needs of your engine for your operation conditions-- extended storage, low annual mileage, extreme temperatures, extended idling, proper turbo lubrication (and prevention of 'coke' deposits), changes in oil and fuel formulations over the decades, excessive oil changes and waste, extra cost and time.  I'm in no position, nor want to be forced to deal with mechanical problems. I've seen enough in gas engines over the years, including my own, to know that not all oil is created equal, not even close. Poor quality oil causes excessive sludge buildup, excessive crank case acids, which in turn attacks seals, allows more blow-by which in turn wears seals faster due to carbon buildup, that accelerates oil leaks-- and more work/expense than it's worth.

From what I understand the DD engine was engineered in 1938, with varying changes in manufacturing and metalurgy over the decades. I've been told by several old timers and bus nuts that our engines are very tempermental and survive best when run hard and not to idle them to avoid excessive temperature drop that will cause more carbon soot, which is bad for the rings and oil. 

I'm happy to report that my 8V-71N still has clean oil even after using it this summer (unlike my first DD with fossil oil, completely black after minutes; good engine: started at 38F on its own), climbing the Cascade Mountains and using the Jake Brake most of the way down. The bus started up one cool day last week, after near freezing temperatures during the nights, with nary a sound of it turning over. Push button, engine starts and runs, faster than you can read those four words. I like that  Smiley
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Cheers,
Gary

Buy your oil at true wholesale prices!:
http://www.synthetic-motor-oilsite.com/1688537
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