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Old 07-15-2009
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keep it clean!

Last I looked an atomic 4 was a gas engine but who cares? IMHO it is important to use C series oils in a diesel, Rotella being one of the better ones. 5 or 10 viscosity will leak thru a bad seal faster than 40, 40 will be harder to start, especially in cold weather. Within the same engine, temperature changes will determine the optimum viscosity, and as the engine ages and wears, a higher viscosity my become better because things don't fit as snug as they used to. Best place to start is from the owner's manual, but you will almost never hurt a diesel as long as you use a c series oil and change it regularly to keep it clean. Never go over 12 months on oil and filter, if you use it a lot change about 100 operating hours. Look at your dipstick daily, and don't panic if you just got your first diesel and see the oil is black! That's normal! Don't overfill, that is worse than running a pint low! Change it hot to get as much of that black gunk out as possible. An air leak or a clogged fuel filter will shut you down a lot sooner than oil. (I just spent the last two days cleaning a 30 year old diesel fuel tank)
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1980 Endeavour 37 sloop, currently in the Mississippi near St Louis
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