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MalMac

Another oil question again.

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MalMac

Ok, I am not asking the age old question of conventional oil VS Synthetic. Both are good oils, both have their place. I use both. 
Now for the question at hand. Can you put Synthetic oil in a older air cooled motor that had used conventional oil all of its life, I don’t want to take a motor that has been running just fine and start causing lubrication or  heat problems.  The reason I ask this is because I am getting tired of running all over trying to find conventional oil,  mainly straight 30w. Even the mulitgrades are being cut way back and all your finding now is blended oils or full synthetic oils on the shelves. At least that is happening around me. Stores are dropping to only certain brands are getting more and more limited in what they carry. Even auto stores are starting to get limited. At this rate where I live it won’t be much longer and you probably won’t see conventional oils at all. It’s getting harder and harder to operate and maintain 30-40 year old equipment in this new era of high tech. I am not knocking Synthetic, it’s good stuff and I use it in other applications. I am just not familiar with say putting it in a 30 year old good running Kohler or Onan, etc, etc. Why goof up a good thing. “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” there is some truth to that old saying. 

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ebinmaine

I am definitely interested in what others have to say about this subject, but...

 

Instead of answering the oil question I'm going to make a suggestion...

 

Buy online.

 

You can get pretty much whatever you want shipped right to your door for prices that are less than you can find it on 99% of the shelves in a brick-and-mortar.

 

Takes a little getting used to. I'll give you that.

Trina and I purchase many many things online because we don't have the convenience of proximity to stores with the best prices or the items that we want to purchase.

 

 

You'll save money. You'll save time. You'll have what you want.

 

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Achto

Synthetics are not an issue in older engines as far as lubrication and heat are concerned. What I have noticed is that synthetic's do not always get along with the seals on older engines. When I have tried synthetic oil in older engines I found that I developed leaks that were not present before. 

Edited by Achto
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The Tool Crib

Shell Rotella 30 w is a good choice . 

Do you have a tractor supply near you? 

 

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tom2p

I used Mobil 1 for years in an old 704 7hp Kohler before I sat it 

 

been running synthetic (Mobil 1 and QS) in 312 Kohler and 416 Onan for decades ... my guess both used conventional motor oil for their first years of service 

 

There are still many very good available conventional motor oils - recently spotted some at area auto parts stores (O Reilly and Auto Zone), Walmart and Pep Boys


 

many synthetic motor oils are actually semi-synthetic - including standard Mobil 1 

 

At one time (years ago) Mobil 1 was full synthetic - but now the standard Mobil 1 is actually semi synthetic (although can be marketed as 'synthetic' ).  The more expensive Mobil 1 motor oils including Extended Protection and Annual Protection are full synthetic 

 

I still prefer regular / standard Mobil 1 over Extended and Annual (the extended change intervals are ridiculous) - but recently moved to QS Ultimate Durability 

 

Edited by tom2p
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MrOiluj52

Well here ya go..... my two and 1/2 cents. Made a pretty good living managing maintenance and a good bit of time was looking at the "life blood" of machinery.

I have used synthetic oil in my older engines with no issues for the last 10 years.

These are a few things that I think are important.

     I believe any internal combustion engine that does not have an oil filler can not have the oil interval extended. There is just two much dirt made by combustion and floating around in the oil. Drain is essential for removal of the dirt.

     Synthetic oil transfers heat much better and will increase the life of components dramatically.

     As far as the seal issues and synthetics goes, those seals are probably bad anyway. The detergents in the oil will shine up the seal causing a path for seepage. Synthetic oil is not, viscosity wise, any thinner   than conventional oils. VIS is VIS

    There are "high mileage" synthetics. I figure there may be some kind of seal conditioner in those but have no experience with those oils.   

    Brand seems to have little to do with quality. I use the RK brand that is manufactured by Citgo. You must, at all cost, avoid the "lack of" brand!

    Specifications are the most important. i.e. the GM spec. In the case of these old air cooled engines, There are no super speed components, just general lubrication is necessary. The bang for the buck is the heat reduction.

    In the Wheel Horse fleet, I try to consolidate my oils and use 10w-30 synthetic in most all the engines and hydro transmissions.

 

It is real hard to determine if what we are doing will improve anything. In the tractor world, there are little hard maintenance and load records. Some people change oil when they should, some don't. Some run them hard and some don't. You know how it is when you go and look at some of the machines for sale. Things can be deceiving.

Though my work, we kept meticulous maintenance records. We also graph the heat and load on the major crankcases and gearboxes. Sampled and analyzed the oils. Major components were changed out on a cyclic basis, disassembled, examined and restored to specification. The one thing that influenced the out come of these analysis the most was..... the oil.

I was skeptical......but those findings through the years made me a believer.

 

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bds1984

I have been running Shell Rotella and Wolf's Head 15W40 in all of my air cooled engines for the last twenty years with zero issues of oil consumption or leaks.  I do know that in the Kohler manuals it states to use 30wt oil above certain temperatures but that was written at a time when oil technology for multi-viscosity oil wasn't as great as it is today.  In a pinch I have used Mobil 1 10W30 because it was readily available and wouldn't hesitate to use that or 10W40 if I cannot find my flavor of Rotella or Wolf's Head.  I really feel that if one sticks with a proper grade of oil (30wt, 10w30, 10w40, 15w40) that is rated by the API, and changes it accordingly, there shouldn't be issues unless the engine is tired or has brittle gaskets/seats.  Synthetic oil will not cause a gasket or seal to leak, it'll just clean up any sediment that is around it and expose a leak as listed in the post above.  I am the type of person where I have sent out oil samples to labs for my own sake, and had them analyzed, and all have said that viscosity and detergent/elemental additive are not the issue, it is frequency of maintenance that is the most important (Just in general, I DO change oil in an acceptable amount of time). 
If all else fails, then you can go the Amazon or ebay route and have your preferred flavor of oil shipped to you.

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