Ok, I'm going to go with popular opinion & go from 30wt non detergent to multi-vis, I'm figuring 5-30. Question is, regular or synthetic?
Synthetic won't hurt anything but in a Model T it is a waste of cash because you need to change the oil every 1000 miles or less due to the fact that there is no oil filter.
If you want to quadruple the price of an oil change then go synthetic.
Thanks, you gave me the answer I was looking for, Money talks.
I know this is a very opinionated topic. However, I use mobile 1 in our 13 touring which has been on the road for over 8 yrs since I rebuilt the engine. The engine is stock except for dippers on the rods and balancing. After 5 years and problems with a leaky head gasket I finally checked the block for flatness and found the block was .005" out. I had previously paid the machine shop that bored the block to also check for flatness and deck the block if necessary. They screwed up and I did not catch the error until after 5 years of hard use...Lots of hills in southern Calif. and other Model T and HCCA tours. In order to deck the block required complete dis-assembly. The bearings were not seated in and the hone marks were still in the block! I wish you and other skeptics on the benefits of synthetic oil were there to see this. After what i observed and the lack of wear and knowing that I have not babyed our T is convincing enough. I think most of us can agree that the stock T oiling system is somewhat primitive for the bearings. Using an oil that has greater lubrisity, higher break down temperature vice non-synthetic is a definite benefit. We should all change our oil at least once yearly. Considering how few miles we drive it should not break the bank to spend $30.00 on an oil change. Wal-Mart has mobel 1 in a 5 qt. container for approx. $25.00. Compare that cost to what it now costs to fill up your T today at $3.50 a gal. Yes, using synthetic is more expensive than standard oil...however, from what I have experienced it is worth it. If the engine is old, uses oil, smokes and is in need of a re-build...I would not start using synthetic at this time. Also, Wal-Mart now carries a "Who Knows Brand" of synthetic oil in 5 qt. container for $17.00 which may fit in your budget. "Les"
I had an interesting experience over the last few months. I'm ch, I mean frugal, about car maintenance, so I usually shop around for the best deal I can possibly get, and I always have subscribed to the theory that ANY oil made today is better than the oils they had when a Model T was new. Anyway, the last best deal I got was from one of the local parts stores that was running a $8.99 filter-and-five-quarts special. They offered me some Motorcraft semi-synthetic 10W30, and I (obviously) chose it over a conventional oil for the same price. I used the filter for another car.
A couple of weeks ago, I got the Model T out and changed the oil in preparation for touring season. My latest, greatest find was Coastal 10W30 for free (long story).
I like to drive on the very fringes of acceptable weather, so I'd been driving the car so long as the temperature was above freezing for the last couple of weeks. My starter doesn't work, and I didn't really believe in using it when it did work, anyway. All I can say is - wow. That conventional 10W30 makes cranking MUCH harder at 35 degrees. In fact, I fought it for almost a half an hour the other morning because the engine could barely overcome the internal friction with the spark retarded. With the semi-synthetic, it would reliably start on two pulls (one choked) no matter how cold it was.
For my next deal, I'm going to start looking harder for a semi or full synthetic.
Les; I agree with you. Any oil today is better than any oil they had 90 years ago, but I believe we need all the help we can get. A few years ago when a Nascar Winston cup car lost the oil cooler at the Calif race before the halfway point and they had to bypass it.The car still won the race with the oil temp over 450º.
I'm going to stick with Mobil 1.
I switched to synthetic this last year, after rebuilding our 13. In the past, I had to jack up the rear end, and allow the car to free wheel when cranking below freezing.
This year, even with an engine rebuild, I am able to crank much more easily even down to zero, without jacking up the rear wheel.
I am assuming this is due in large part to the reduced friction from synthetic oil.
Confused now and wish you hadn't ask the question?
IMO, all these answers are good ones.
If you are a polar bear like Rob and must hand-crank your car in freezing weather, then synthetics will give you an advantage. The advantage is due to the fact that they thicken far less at low temperatures.
At high temperatures the synthetics will thin less - an advantage if you tour in the hot summertime.
But, if your two cars are fitted with electric starters and you don't operate your car in these extremes of temperature, then I imagine that you will find that switching from non-detergent 30 to 5W-30 petroleum oil will be a quantum leap in engine performance for you - especially when the engine is warming up when you take your grandson to get gelato.
Just remember that switching to detergent oil likely means that your oil is going to get dirty very fast. My recommendation would be to change it every 300 miles until you think that a sample taken at that mileage looks fairly clean.
Happy T'ing in southern California!
I think I have my answer, I figured the oil would need to be changed a few times till the gunk was cleared out. One thing I was worried about was the Myth that switching to detergent would loosen all the crap that was holding the engine together (I think the old timers used to call them "dirt seals").
Weather here has been wierd, had to scrape ice off the windshield a couple of weeks ago & by the afternoon you're taking off your sweater.
As soon as I can I'll post a photo with both grandsons.
LOL! Weather here right weird also. Today it is supposed to reach 78F but will be very windy. Tomorrow morning "severe storms" are predicted with mid-40s by afternoon. Though it looks like Spring has sprung, we certainly aren't out of the woods yet since I've seen both ice storms and snowfall in early April!
Have no fear about all the "crap loosening". IMO, that is pure-D myth and my bet is that your engines will live happier and longer lives on the 5W-30 with extra performance as a side benefit. Win - Win!
Have a fine day, my friend!
Seth; What is a gelato?
Gelato is Italian ice cream, it's beaten slowly to the point where there is no air in it & therefore thick & needs to be eaten fresh. Bad Gelato is frozen, flavored glue, fresh gelato is heaven on a spoon.
It's some kind of Italian "confection" I gather. I've heard Alex mention it many times so I figured I'd throw it in there for just a little fun. :-)
I hope you are doing well AND that you can get Ray Elkins and Mack Cole to come visit you long before Ray retires. You'll be 80 on something like December 23rd if my memory serves me well and since Ray is 43 and still has a houseful, you might have to live to be over 100 before he takes you up on that beans and sirloin offer.
If they do take you up on your offer, I'd think that the conversations should be recorded on video since they may make the YouTube best-seller's list!
A fine Sunday to you, as well, my friend!
HI guys I've heard not to use synthetic oil on a fresh rebuild as it does not allow the ring to seat and it will use oil. break in with regular oil then switch to synthetic. Just what I've heard.Ross from Canada
I've heard that too, Ross. If that is the case, I wonder how the rings ever seal up in Corvettes, Porsches, and other cars that are factory-filled with Mobil 1.
Maybe they run the snot out of them at the factory with petroleum oil to seat the rings, then drain it, change the filter, and refill with Mobil 1? Sounds to me like a royal pain.
I think cars now are broken in at the factory, I remember my father with new cars, they came with "break in" oil maybe 10wt, you had to drive about 500 miles & not at a constant speed some freeway & some in town. We used to go up Pacific Coast Highway, where you'd cruise at 60 & slow down through the towns. When it was drained it came out like water. Pop always breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.
That's probably true, Alex. The one and only brand-new car I ever owned was a '79 model Audi Fox and though I babied it, that may not have been necessary even that long ago.
Since that time, I let others take the depreciation beating, so they are most definitely broken-in when I get them. That "new car smell" is a bit expensive in my opinion.
You got that straight, When I bought the Benz it was a year old, they showed me the original invoice & it had taken a $20,000 hit, you can always buy new car smell spray.
Seth & Alex,
I put in conventional oil 10/30 and ran it approx. 150 miles before changing over to Synthetic. No matter how clean we try to be when assembling an engine, some abrasive material allway's gets in. I also had cam lube on all the cam lobes and thought it would be best to drain the oil much sooner than normal. I have not had any problems with the rings seating in. In fact, after the block was decked I re-used my original rings.....no problems so far and that was 3 yrs ago. I also use synthetic gear oil in the rear end. The main reason for doing this is because synthetic gear oil does not attack the bronze thrust washers like sulfur that is in some gear oils. The oil in my Ruckstell rear end does not turn a bronze color since I changed to synthetic. McMaster Carr has synthetic gear oil by the gal. for under $30.00. From what I have read, Synthetic does not foam like conventional oils when hot. I feel this is benitifical expecially with T's where the flywheel is running in the engine oil. Have not had any problems with the 400 clutch disks slipping. Just shareing my experiances....I do not sell or market synthetic oil. Thany you for sharing your knowledge and experiances with the group. "Les"
Remember when Bon-Ami was used to break in new rings? Caterpiller actually recommended this in their diesel engines to help seat the rings in a new engine. The explanation that I heard was that Bon-Ami would help seat the rings and then very soon the abrasive qualities of the Bon-Ami break down so fine as to be harmless. Always wondered if there was any truth to this or if it compared to one of those "old wives tales". (???)
A Model T makes 20 horsepower. Oil temps stay under 200 degrees unless you screwed it together wrong. Conventional oil performs well under its engineering limitations in a Model T. Foam in the crankcase? Baloney.
Synthetic oil leaks faster due to smaller molecular size, yet offers no performance or longevity improvements. Even in most modern cars there is no benefit to using synthetic oil.
The cars that need this type of oil are ultra high performance, typically those with extreme heat or pressure requirements in the engine. A good example would be a car that had a turbosupercharger that shared its oil supply with the engine crankcase. Another possible indicator for using synthetic would be extreme mileage requirements between oil servicing, say in a long haul truck that was required to never stop long enough to change oil except once every 10,000 miles.
You gotta quit reading all the advertising hype Les. They've got you hooked like a trout chewing on a rubber cricket!
I save money by using synthetics in my normal driving cars. I used to change oil every 2-3000 miles with standard oils. Now I change every 5-6000 with synthetic. Yes, it costs twice as much. But I change it half as often! Yes, I use it in my T also. I'm only 54 and don't want to do another overhaul in my lifetime! I talked with a GM engineer several years ago while on a camping trip with our old Winnebego (over 120,000 miles on it), he suggested using synthetic for longer life of the engine even at that age. It's cheap at Wally World. Gee, aren't you glad you asked about "oil"?
Mr. Schwendeman, that is not an "old wive's tale", I have a cousin, now retired, who rebuilt engines and transmissions for a living, I have seen him take off the air cleaner and do the "Bon Ami" ring job to any number of old clunkers, you could feel the old rings beginning to take hold. He was not the only one, this was a very common "fix" on the farm and etc.
The Bon Ami in the carburetor trick sure fixed-up a friend of mine's Jeep - it may have seated the rings, but mainly it gouged-out the valve guides so badly that it pumped oil worse than if it had a million miles on it. The abrasive action is NOT just limited to the cylinder walls and/or rings, it works all throughout the engine, especially the intake valve stems and guides.
Wow, haven't heard or seen the "Bon Ami" trick for at least 35 years but I know it works and you also pour water in the carburator while you rev the engine to seat the rings and blow out carbon. Never would do that today but have done it and seen it done in the past. It works if you left the oil plug out and drove your new rebuild about five miles before you realized it. That was the fist time we tried it to re-seat the rings and it worked great. When the old international started slowing down with years we did it again and it put new life in the bucket for another 50,000 miles.