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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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  #21  
Old 07-15-2009
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Don-
" Last I looked an atomic 4 was a gas engine but who cares?"
You missed the part about a VOLVO engine when I mentioned C-ratings, huh?

What, you've never seen the Volvo MD11 Atomic Engine? That's not surprising, they're usually painted all white and they're hard to spot in the average engine compartment.

(WEG)
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  #22  
Old 07-17-2009
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Most engine oil seals are NBR or HNBR. Viton is much more expensive than the NBR/ HNBR compounds NBR can go colder before it stiffens up (cold gahman temp) but will heat age much faster than HNBR. HNBR is a more stable compound with higher heat exposures to 300F but typically can only go to -40C/F. Both compounds typically will have waxes (steric compounds)for oxone protection and plasticizers (oils) to assist in flexability and mold flow. Exposure to hot oil causes the elastomer to seek equalibrium, where the hot oil will displace a portion or all of the plasticizer. Changing from parafinitic to synthetic will cause the seal to again try to reach a new equalibrium and may alter the % swell as a result. The seal could gain volume or loose volume. If it shrinks, most probable, the % interferance of the lip to shaft can be reduced encouraging weapage/ leak.
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Old 09-12-2009
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I have a Volvo Penta MD7A on my 81 Islander 30. I have spent hours trying to figure out what oil to use. I have had the boat for a year and have not changed the oil (was changed just before I bought it). The book calls for 20 weight above 50F and 10 below that. I have talked to two authorized Volvo dealers in the area and two independant mechanics. No one, including volvo, make a straight 10 or 20 weight oil any more. They all say to use 30 weight. Volvo has some kind of online program to determine accessories, parts, oils, etc. but it is doesn't seem reliable - it said to use their 30 weight gas synthetic oil. All the mechanics I talked to recommended against a milti weight oil. I'll be using the straight 30 wt. for diesels.
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Old 09-12-2009
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I have heard it is not a good idea to switch to synthetic oil in older diesels. You can develop leaks. My new diesel car however came with synthetic from the factory and it specifies it in the manual. In my own experience when I switched to synthetic in an older generator it developed an oil leak. I like to use it for winters in my equipment but it seems to "evaporate" out of my older trucks v8motor as well.
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  #25  
Old 09-12-2009
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I've been using the Shell Rotella-T 15-40 on the recommendation of several distributes for Yanmar Engines. Their alternate recommendation was straight 30 wt. With the CF-4 ratings it provides for improved control of piston deposits and oil consumption.
Be careful of using non diesel oils due to a lack of anti scuff additives like Zinc Dialkyl Dithio Phosphate. They took it out, large reduction of the stuff, due to being hard on the catalytic converter.
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  #26  
Old 09-13-2009
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Yes, any good detergent oil (and "normal" oils today are all detergent oils) might eat away the crud that is masking leaking gaskets and seals in any old engine. And synthetic oil even more so, because it is simply more slippery than dino oil.

But this isn't the sixties, and oils have come a long way. If Volvo says "Use SAE10...use SAE20...you have to ask yourself what does that mean. The SAE numbers just mean how thick the oil is, and how long it will take--literally--to pour through a SAE standard test funnel. THAT'S ALL. It means nothing about lubrication properties, just "how thick is this goop?"

At low temperatures you want SAE10 or less because it will allow the camshaft to rotate sooner. When a cold engine starts, and there is no oil film built up around the shaft, the shaft literally slams from side to side (like a bowling ball in a clothes drier) in the bearings and they chew each other up.

Synthetic oils generally have better "thin film lubrication" properties than dino oil, meaning that even though there is only a thin film of yesterday's oil on the bearings, it still lubricates better than dino oil would. And in fact, the oil film can "get hard" when it is slammed, so it isn't displaced during startup as easily.

So they are saying, you need 10W oil or a lower rating in order for it to be thin enough to allow start-up lubrication in the cold. Today you can get 5W and even 0W rated oils for the same price as 15W50, and get even better protection during startups with no drawback. Thirty years ago, the drawback was that the additives and the sino oil broke down way faster when they pushed the specs that far, so the old oils wre not reliable or durable.

The new oils are.

The other side of the spec they are giving you is the 20-weight oil for normal temperature operation. That's pretty thin for a modern engine, it won't give much protection at high temps or speeds, but let's assume they want it for a reason. That would mean a 0W20 or 5W20 or 10W20 oil would be perfect for you, but I don't think you'll find it. Modern oils usually run to a #W-30 rating as the lowest.

What would that do to your engine? Well, again, a modern 30 will lubricate better than an old 20 would. It will be a little thicker, so if your engine has tight tolerances it might steal a little more power at speed. It might also need an oil pressure (pump) adjustment if it turned out the thicker oil pumped through slower. But given the way these are usually not critical parameters, and the other lube properties of modern oil...I think I'd trust it.

Of course you can always call a couple of pros, Shell, Mobil, Castrol, QuakerPenn, all have toll-free tech support and they will not tell you to put something wrong in your engine, because they generally warranty the engine against oil failure when you are using the product they recommend in it!

Obviously you need a diesel-rated oil, not a "spark" oil. Make sure to remind them of that. But I'll bet there are at least a half dozen suitable products out there, and unless your gaskets and seals are just waiting to fail anyway, synthetic oil shouldn't hurt them. If the makers say not to use them, that's something else again.

But Volvo? These days, who is Volvo? Ford? Tata Motors? An engineer, or a guy reading from a Customer Service Script Binder?

Check for the API and SAE web sites, and their explanation of just what their ratings do and don't mean. I think you'll find a huge fog (and burden) get lifted, and they do it very quickly.
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Old 09-15-2009
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All i can say is ...WOW....
Ok, i am in this field and have worked with EG&G who are the people who build mutable engines and run them for very very long periods of time .. then dismantle them to figure out what works the best whether its fuel, oil etc..

15w-40 Rotella T is the only "presently on the market" oil that all of the major engine manufactures will warranty their engine under.. All of the Dello 30-40-50
will all be going bye bye soon because they can NOT be run in modern Diesel engines due to the amount of soot they produce. New Diesels 2009 and up will have to comply to the new EPA standard which means regenerative exhaust and egr systems.. " egr systems are now in use 2007 and up.
A re-gen is a muffler that has a cat built in it and self cleans... yes self cleans!!! to much soot 5k muffler goes bye bye..

Now, a Modern Direct injected Diesel turbo or not does require a good high detergent oil and a multi viscosity for millage and epa reasons.

A heavy weight oil is terrible on a diesel engine because its so thick it takes forever to reach every component during start up which is the most destructive time in the life of a diesel engine.. The longer it takes the more wear occurs! Also a heavy weight oil when cold will open oil filters by pass valves causing un filtered oil to be fed to an engine! Stop with the 50wt already...
An engine with heavy oil may kill its own oil pump the load is so great and most are gear pumps that the oil is large and sticky and puts lots of load on the pump which slow's down everything..

The concept is it is better to have thin coat of oil fast than a heavy oil much later..
A diesel engine at 200' on 15w-40 Rotella T almost stops wearing which is why " you may have noticed" all new Diesel run at much higher temps than they used to...
Now, i know i will get hate mail over this but this is what i do, i study,i live Diesel.. I have a Bachelors for A&M in M.E but i choose to work closely with Heavy Diesel whether its on land or in the sea. Yes i get dirty for a living and love every min of it.
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  #28  
Old 09-15-2009
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It is always good to hear from an engineer, but how many of our diesel sailboat engines are such modern technology? Or could pass EPA requirements for vehicle use?

And then there are older engines, like the classic Mercedes diesels that wre intentionally built to consumer 1 liter of oil every 1000 miles in automobile use. Mercedes felt that it made more sense to consume oil than to put wear on rings--so they built engines that US customers would not accept. (I expect that's long changed by now, too.)

Different engineers, different solutions. So what do you recommend to the guy looking for staright SAE20 diesel oil today? Rotella 15w40???
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  #29  
Old 09-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
It is always good to hear from an engineer, but how many of our diesel sailboat engines are such modern technology? Or could pass EPA requirements for vehicle use?

And then there are older engines, like the classic Mercedes diesels that wre intentionally built to consumer 1 liter of oil every 1000 miles in automobile use. Mercedes felt that it made more sense to consume oil than to put wear on rings--so they built engines that US customers would not accept. (I expect that's long changed by now, too.)

Different engineers, different solutions. So what do you recommend to the guy looking for staright SAE20 diesel oil today? Rotella 15w40???
Modern Mercedes are some of the cleanest engines on the road today " baring the old 300d converted to veggie or so.. Those waste as much as they burn lol.
Modern oil is so well refined its actually cleaner that the fuel we burn " which is sad'. I would move to Rotella T it is a damn good oil with the least side effects.. Now people with older 6v,8v 71's and so are going to be the ones to pay the price.. Those engine's if they have lots of wear can run away on the new thinner oils which makes it dangerous for them. I have even seen them run backwards!!! sucking in air through the exhaust and blowing out the air filter..

A word on the synthetics out there.
While there is little in the way of "good third party information that was not paid for" I do know of a company running Royal Purple 15-40 in a Nation wide fleet.
Here are the spec's.. One oil change per year! its a cool grand to do it in an on the road truck that gets 100-160k a year in millage! filter changes are the same and the wear is incredibly low. Now for the bad... an engine with rubber anything will leak!!! with no petroleum in the the seals shrink and crack as if dipped in gas. Most modern seals are neoprene or some form of synthetic which are not affected.

If and when you switch be prepared to change oil filters for a while. See rotella will clean out any thing in that engine and boat engines don't get many hours and cold run for way to long . So, in short it will begin to clean it all out and some will settle in the pan but most will be found in your filters.
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Old 09-15-2009
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As an example most of you are missing the point ........
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
If Volvo says "Use SAE10...use SAE20...you have to ask yourself what does that mean. The SAE numbers just mean how thick the oil is, and how long it will take--literally--to pour through a SAE standard test funnel. THAT'S ALL. It means nothing about lubrication properties, just "how thick is this goop?"
Engine oil is for more than just 'frictional lubrication'. The OIL is what maintains the clearance in the main and other HYDRODYNAMIC bearings in the engine. That SAE number is a correlation the viscosity of the oil; and the PROPER operating viscosity to develop the proper oil pressure IN the bearing journal is what supports the journals from crashing into the BEARINGS. If the original engine designer was clever enough to realize that the film strength of a certain viscosity oil was needed to support the bearing clearances under the maximum piston loads .... so why in hell would anyone think they are somehow (perhaps due to slick marketeering) smarter than the person who designed the clearances, load bearing ability of the bearings and then selected the VISCOSITY to keep the journals from crashing into the bearings ??????

The answer is stunningly and unbelievably simple: use the SAE viscosity and "Cx" rating that the engine manufacturer specified for the temperature (and rpm) ranges for that engine. All the rest is 'politics' and extreme hyperbole.

Next question: If my boats propeller is over-pitched (cant reach max rpm when under load) causing extreme combustion chamber pressure loads on the piston wrist pins and journal bearings should I increase the SAE number of the oil????? Answ.: Yes, one step higher is in order to keep the proper clearances when the engine is forced to 'lug' under extreme combustion chamber pressures.

Last edited by RichH; 09-15-2009 at 02:56 AM.
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