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Very first oil change (312-8)

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Hi guys,

Forgive me for starting another engine oil thread. Going into winter it's time to change the oil in my '92 312-8 and I have never done it before. I'm positive I could go out and manage just fine, but I've gained so much knowledge from here after asking a question ahead of time.

I have downloaded the manual for the tractor and it looks pretty straightforward. My question is, would someone itemize exactly how they change the oil on their 312-8. Are there any tips or tricks you've learned over the years? Any tools that will make the job go smoother?

I live in Vermont where the weather is about to get cold and nasty fir the next 5 months. If it's a good winter I'll snowblow with the machine at least 5 times or more a month. Is regular store bought 5w30 going to be fine?

Any insight would be helpful.

Thanks!

Jesse

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Jesse:

 

  • Warm up the engine for a minimum of 15 minutes, get the engine oil nice and warm.
  • Park the tractor and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the oil to drain down into the oil pan.
  • Pull out the dipstick to allow air into the engine which creates a better flow.
  • Put some sort of container under the drain plug to catch the old oil.
  • Remove drain plug on engine and let oil drain into container.
  • Let oil completely drain out - take your time!
  • Install drain plug once oil has completely drained.
  • Replace old oil with new 10w/30 oil (usually two quarts) - Pour into dipstick tube.
  • Don't over fill - put about 1 3/4 quarts in and check level with dipstick
  • Once complete, start engine. That's it...

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If you were changing your oil in your 312-8, heading into a cold winter, is there a weight and brand you would only use? Any to stay away from?

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Heading into a Northern New England winter I would use 10w-30 like MaineDad mentioned. Just buy a good name brand oil and you'll be fine (dont buy your oil from the dollar store :eusa-doh: ).

Mike..........

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Make sure you have you tractor parked on a level service before draining.

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If plowing, a 5w-30 checked more often will be better.  If snow blowing a 10w-30 may hold up a little better.  You want an oil that will flow well when cold.  Not be like honey........

 

Synthetic would be best as it flows better.

 

When running a multigrade oil, the engine will consume some.  So check oil each time you are planning on using it.

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The only thing I can add to the fine instruction already given you is to set the front and rear tires (opposite the side of the oil pan drain plug) on a 2x4 laying flatside down to give a 1&1/2 inch slope for all the old oil to run out the oil pan. If time is not a factor for you, let the oid oil drain overnight. After all the old oil is out and sitting in your collection pan, install the drain plug, remove the 2X4's and then refill the engine with the proper amount of oil.

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Many thanks for all the replies and solid advice. Again a confirmation as to why this is the best forum I belong to. (Timely, honest answers for other good guys).

 

It really is appreciated,

 

Jesse

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One thing to remember is - if you have a Kohler Command engine in your tractor, you are going to use multi-viscosity oil vs straight 30w oil as these engine have hydraulic lifters.  Double check your manual for this info.

 

Good luck,

Bill

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Thank you Bill. I don't have the actual tractor manual, just the closest match from the manual section. How can I identify which power plant is in the tractor. I do know from the ID that the 312-8 was manufactured in 1992 if that does help.

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Only thing I would add is once you feel all the old oil is fully drained, I usually keep the plug out and pour just a little new oil in and let that drain out as well. That typically pushes out the little bit of old oil left in there. I just changed the oil on three of mine (all Onan's).

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If it is a 92 it should have a Magnum in it. If you bought is used someone may have put a different motor in it.  Look for a ID decal on the motor with model number and spec. number. If your tractor is the one on your avatar. It looks to have a command in it plus the tractor in the picture is newer than a 92. The one in the avatar looks to be around a 96 somewhere.

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Here is a picture of the tractor, I can get a closer shot of the engine tomorrow if this is not revealing enough.

ADC7DCA3.jpg

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Ok, that is very good to know. How could tell just from the photo?

And, I would be safe to run straight 30w or a synthetic 30w in this engine?

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Look at the flywheel side of the engine. It should say "MAGNUM" in bold white letters.

Straight 30w is the best till it gets super cold. Best to refer to your owners manual for that information.

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A command has a angle part in the air shield, it looks more like your avatar pic. 

 

In your magnum SAE30 for summer, and 5w-30 or 10w-30 in the winter.

 

Being there is no oil filter, you cannot buy syntetic and think it can be run longer.  It cannot.  But synthetic is better for the winter as it flows better.

 

A healthy air cooled engine may not consume SAE30 at all, however that engine may consume a mutligrade oil, so it is very important to check the level each time. 

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Looks like a Magnum engine to me too.  Any major name brand of 30w oil will suffice, be it synthetic or not.  However, you should download  the engine manual and tractor manuals.  They have all of the info on oils for reference too.  If it is cold where you live this time of the year, I'd go 10w-30.

 

Not sure on the 12 hp, but the 14 hp Magnum takes exactly 2 qts of oil and makes for a great even number of qts when filling the engine.

 

BTW - very nice looking tractor.

Edited by leeave96

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The 312-8 has taken 2-1/2 quarts to fill since the low oil switch was added in 1986. They started out at 2 quarts in 1986 and changed it and the dipstick.

 

 

Garry

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