Due for an oil change, I used some odds & ends picked up at auctions. Based on some previous posts in the eternal oil discussion, I suppose this witch's brew will utterly destroy my car.
Quite a contrast to some of the folks who use only Full Synthetic and change it religiously at 500 miles even if they have to pull over on the side of a dirt road in the rain and change it laying in the mud so they don't make it to 501 without changing it.
I know that as Model T owners, we are supposed to be CHEAP!; but there ARE some limits!!!!
Looks like some of that stock has been around a while. . . .
Looks all good to me !!
Should work fine as long as they aren't used - check the color before pouring it in
Looks good to me too, I would use it all.
I have been known to put a quart of ATF in the engine of my 1971 Plymouth GTX to top it off when I had no oil close at hand, and a quart of engine oil into its transmission when I had no ATF close at hand. The car has worked fine for over 15 years and 50,000 miles.
Steve I know you are using the "Rotella" simply because it has a "T" in it's name Right?
Let us know how it goes.
this is my preferred Model T oil
As I have said before it's best to use 4 quarts.
I use the cheap Wal-Mart 5w30 in everything now. After being on the forum reading for a few years it sounds like we all have a preference. I just got tired of worrying about it and change my oil in model T s and A s every 500 miles or so. I did the same when I was buying expensive oils. No problems yet. Tim
Heck every T I've owned leaks and when my younger years driving it all over the wilds of Nevada I just kept adding never changed to oil in the couple of years now I just use what the best price 5w30 or 10w30
I drove a car for 10 years on bottle oil with no adverse affects. The car was 30 years old when I bought it and was still running fine when I stopped using it. I am sure what Steve is using is a hell of a lot better than the bottle oil I was using.
What is 'bottle oil'
Two things. And you won't like either one. First: Should you happen to put a rod through your block for whatever reason you've got nothing to complain about. Second: (and I've posted this exact statement a few times before on the Forum usually with the same dour derisive responses), What the hell makes some of you experiment with these cars? Home made diff lube, concoctions for the radiator, garbage in the fuel tank and now this mixture of crap oils. I'll bet you really don't know what's in half those containers and I'm equally sure you'll chance it. I sincerely hope this works for you. Best of luck and I mean that.
Come on, Charlie, tell us what you really think.
The containers were all dirty on the outside, but all but one were unopened, so I know exactly what was in them. The opened Rotella was clean and was obviously motor oil, and I expect it will be fine. I don't see how major brands, all with the API seal, qualify as "crap oils".
11-7/8W - 38-3/4
Can't find it in stores...
Porsche friends used to brag about how only using zinc fortified Brad Penn oil, so some of us ribbed them by calling it "Brad Pitt" oil.
Wondering if the same zinc argument is going to be mentioned here.
Jay, That picture is at least 39 years old!
I'm on your side, Steve. I also buy oil at auctions and garage sales for the T's. All unopened quarts for 50 cents a quart!
One thing to take into consideration is, sealed oil has a shelf life of 5 years, containers are dated, if not then that stuff is really old!
What happens to sealed oil after five years? Does it become less slippery? Do the additives start coming out of solution or something?
I feel bad about how frequently I bring up the "Perfectly Simple, Simply Perfect" Maxwell on this forum. But, just think how nice it would be if Ford had done what Maxwell did, and specified a brand of oil right in the owners manual. One of the Maxwell publications that I have, specifies Havoline oil based on the wonderful logic that it will produce less carbon fouling because it's more clear than other brands.
I thought oil was millions of years old...old dinosaurs. shelf life 5 years?.... Oil is older than model T's. T's have long passed their shelf life too.
To put it simple, The additives dictate shelf life.
But like tires, 5 year life as well, it doesn't stop us from stretching it a bit, does it!
Lucky thing we can still buy Havoline motor oil, or all Maxwells would be up on blocks!
David, bottle oil is reclaimed oil that is filtered and placed in bottles that were kept by the gas pumps at service stations. You see the carriers and empty bottles with long tapered spouts at flea markets for big bucks these days but then the oil in them was about half the cost.
Aside from the admitted guess at the contents just tell me where I'm wrong. Why put this eclectic mix in your collector car when you wouldn't do it to a modern? Just tell me why you'd chance it?
I didn't realize "bottle oil" was reclaimed oil. Did service stations also fill the bottles from a large drum of new oil, or was it more generally reclaimed oil?
The mix is probably still better than what Henry put in them originally.
RE: bottle oil
Many of the glass bottles and spouts have brand names on them.
Service stations bought bulk oil and dispensed it. Customers bought the bottles and refilled them with new oil as needed.
Maybe from 1950s forward the glass bottles were relegated strictly to reclaimed oil, but at least prior to WWII I would say that they were used for new and reclaimed oil, whatever the customer decided to purchase.
Let's see, three quarts of 10W-40, one quart of 5W-30, and a little (maybe a pint) of 15W-40. My thought was that the 5 and the 15 combined would average somewhere in between, and the one quart of 30 would put the combined upper number at about 38 or 39. So would a mixture of weights averaging around 8W-38 be likely to do some kind of damage, while pure 10W-40 or 5W-30 would not? How will a weight range like that damage an engine, whether it's antique or modern? Not being expert on oil or chemistry, I'd like to know.
Steve, read the article Dan B linked above - it's about different oil companies using different chemicals as additives - and they may or may not play well together. Have heard that about greases before, news for me regarding motor oils. It's probably no big deal for a Model T since many of the potential problems are about swelling silicone seals and other non existent features in the simple T engine, but since oil is cheap compared to engine repairs, I'll just as well stay with one brand for each oil change
Steve. You have my vote. I think anything that resembles oil is better than what was available when the T's were new. I bought a partial bucket of Imperial grease at an auction for $1. Used it for 10 years. Every once in a while it would start to separate and I would just stir it up again. After I used it up I finally converted to a cartridge type grease gun. Regarding the oil bottles, I ran a Texaco station in the early 60's and it had been there for at least 40 years. In the basement were several oil tanks that were piped out to the pump island. I believe there was originally a dispenser at the island and the bottles would have been used for this oil. There was a local service station in the 70's that still had "economy" oil in a 45 gal barrel and would use these glass bottle to dispense it. I never encountered "recycled" oil being sold in these bottles.
In about 1960 I worked at a gas station ran buy a not real honest man. He would fill several oil cans that were empty with rerefined oil and sell it as new oil. This was when you used a spout that you would punch thru the can but he would make sure he had the spout already in the can when he took it out to the car, He also had a drip rack where the cans were put upside down to drain the last small amount left in the cans. This mixture was then sold as new oil.
At the rate I burn/leak oil (about a quart every 10 miles), I have yet to change the oil, except through
natural attrition and adding more. I DID drain it all recently and filter it, in an attempt to capture any fluff
floating around from a disintegrated brake band I replaced a few weeks earlier, but it was clean as a whistle.
I poured the filtered oil back in, topped it off, and got back on the road.
This is a junk pile engine that was chanced back into service to keep the old dog rolling while I rebuild
my original. I keep a close eye on all its functions, knowing it is probably pretty worn out and ready to
implode. The guys and I were just talking last night at the Tuesday night Ranch meeting at how well it
has done for a "mystery" motor.
I see the difference being in how closely we monitor or equipment and stay attuned to funny noises,
vibrations, etc. than anything. Maybe that comes from all my time around helicopters in AFG ? You can
limp it home on leather rod bearings if you have to. Is it your first choice, or is it one of those wonderful
charms of an ancient car that this is even possible, and why we like this old junk in the first place ?
If I had to baby this old beast like some people pamper their "purse dogs", I'd never have got one to
begin with !
I worked in a gas station in the early 60's and filled a lot of bottles from 55 gallon drums. It was an independent station and I don't recall the brand but it was new oil with the brand on the big drum. It was cheaper than the canned oil.
Mixing oil is like mixing grease, not a good idea as has already been mentioned due to different additives.
A few years ago a DC9 (or MD80) was lost and the cause was found to be grease incompatibility. There were two types of grease which were very common in aviation use (the red stuff and the brown stuff). Both the red and the brown stuff met the same Mil-spec number (kinda like you claim the API on the oil). The greases congealed when mixed together causing the bearing to not get lubrication and changes in the pitch trim actuator ate the threads off the bearing causing the airplane to have a loss of control.
It's your engine, do it if you want. I would rather run with scissors.
Machinery failure is well documented from what you propose.
For a Model T Ford, IF you change your oil occasionally (based on time/mileage) I sure don't see anything wrong with using oil obtained at auctions, yard sales, swap meets, etc. The key here is what Steve said about the containers never have been opened which means he knows it's good, clean, never used so as to insure no contamination, etc. I do believe that it is possible to end up with a "mixture" that could be somewhat short on one or more additives, or, a bit heavy on one or more additives, however, again for a Model T which DOES get an occasional oil change, I don't see this as much of a problem either.
Now then, not to clutter up Steves post here too much, but then this post did go somewhat "astray" with the discussion that ensued with the discussion of "bottle oil". I certainly don't know much about motor oil, but I do know this,.....there has been several terms used, in some cases, quite "loosely" on this thread. As usual, I have become too "wordy" already, but some research on the internet is in order here for those who are using the following terms:
I lived next door to a man who owned and operated a business that processed "reclaimed" oil. That's how come I do know just a little about it. Now then, this was years ago, but he told me that there was a huge market for "reclaimed" oil,....in fact at that time, he said the Greyhound Bus Lines was a big customer of his. He said that Greyhound claimed that "reclaimed" oil had one property that new oil did not have, and he said that "reclaimed" oil was "tempered",....apparently a quality that Greyhound place a lot of value on. (???)
Anyway, my main point here is the info on the internet explains that "reclaimed" oil is just as good as brand new oil. To me, the term "recycled" oil is the same as "used" oil, with all of the obvious negatives, like water content, contamination, no longer effective additives such as anti-foaming, rust inhibitors, detergents, etc, etc. Anyway, if interested, there's a lot to learn about oil on the internet, not the least of which helps in using the proper one of the various "terms" that I listed above so that at least we know what we are talking about,...... FWIW,.......harold
To build on what Gary said about mixing lubricants in aviation, I've also been told the reason you can't mix two different brands of turbine oils (even if they meet the same MIL spec) is that there's a risk they'll separate into layers in the oil tank. Apparently then only the bottom layer (nearest the pickup) gets circulated in operation and the end result is usually overheating and cooking the denser oil while the rest just floats on top, takes up space, and maybe tricks your oil temp gauge into under-reading.
Still not convinced any of this matters in a T, though.
Years ago, I was turning wrenches at the local Ford dealership. We had a guy who did almost exclusively, oil changes. One day, he and I were shooting the bull in his Bay and I noticed a plastic 5 gal bucket with several holes cut in the lid. Each hole had a plastic oil bottle turned upside down with the neck stuck in one of the holes. I asked him what that was for. He said he let the last bit of oil drain into the bucket, and when he got enough, he'd change his own oil. Being a bit curious, I asked him how long it took to get enough to do his oil change. He gave this huge grin and said "Well, sometimes I cheats a little."
Gary Tillstrom said:
begin quote "A few years ago a DC9 (or MD80) was lost and the cause was found to be grease incompatibility". end quote
The aircraft was an MD80 operated by Alaska Air. It went down short of the airport into the Pacific Ocean killing all aboard when the HSTA ball screw nut failed.
Actually incompatible grease was suspected to be a contributing factor at first during the investigation, but it was ruled out in the final report. The aircraft had been serviced over the years with both clay and soap based greases, and so investigators initially believed that this might be a causal factor. After extensive investigation and testing it was determined to be a non factor.
The ballscrew was simply worn out. A mechanic had brought it to the attention of management and the inspection department. He was overruled, and the aircraft went back into service with a known defect.
You must be very careful when mixing different types because of a thing called the "RH factor". If you mix different types of RH factor, you could have problems with coagulation............
Wait a minute, I'm thinking about blood....
Well, Here's my two cents.
I only bought the best oils over the years for corvettes and bmws, cobras mustangs and new trucks but now I just don't believe the hype on the oil products and for the last 15 years i have primarily ran super tech Wal-Mart in every new car and truck I have bought. That's a lot of cars because I drive 1200- 2000 miles most weeks for my work with no mechanical failures ever. With to many old cars and retirement a few years away still for me, why waste the money. Tim
Jay, are those period correct (1909-1927)?
Here's my 2¢.
Here's my story: I lived near a monster farm with a fleet of trucks and tractors. The farm had a garage, and a mechanic, to maintain all of these vehicles. There were drums of used oil behind the garage and that's where I got the oil for my T...I'm still driving that T with the same engine, though It's all been restored. It worked for me for many years....man was that stuff black and sometime kind of thick. That's when gas was 20 cents a gallon and I could only afford a few gallons at a time. I wouldn't think of doing that now, but I like 30wt oil because with it my oil pressure says around 45PSI. ("A" crank w/ drilled mains, engine oil pump in generator hole.)
You are correct that the final report states otherwise. I work with a structural engineer that came from Alaska and knows of this incident well. The FAA did sponsor in industry forum on the subject and the conclusion was interchanging greases didn't pose a problem so long as the joint is properly purged. Interchanging and mixing are two different things. The warning and recommendation is not to mix as the soap based and clay based are not compatible. Boeing issued a slew of service letters on the subject as did Airbus (Airbus actually issued one against all models as opposed to each type like Boeing did).
Since this incident, the Mil spec has been revised to have a type 1 and a type 2. They divided the soap and clay based. There is more to the issue that thickener incompatibility. The additives may interact negatively with each other. Shell aviation published a paper on the subject in 2002.
Folks are free to do as they choose. I wouldn't add a quart of brand A, B, C, and D as Steve is proposing but that's just me. I also use the same brand of grease everytime.
We go through several gallons of engine oil, hydraulic oil, and coolant in our operation. We do our own service work on our older farm equipment but send the newer stuff back to the dealership, and when we're not farming or working on our equipment we're restoring older tractors and equipment. We have 55 gallon drums of 30wt oil, John Deere 1000 hydraulic oil, and glycol antifreeze in our shop. We fill gallon or quart jars out of these barrels, depending on what we need. Filling the rear end of a John Deere 4230 with hydraulic oil takes a long time.
Dad also works for a local auctioneer from time to time, and random quarts or gallons of various chemicals and lubricants have been known to follow him home. If there's an open oil bottle in the mix, I'll check it to see if it's clean. If it is I'll use it to fill oil cans.
I'm sure it would take a long time and a little luck to collect enough of the same brand of oil to do an oil change on any machine. I guess if you had the patience to do it, you could. I'm sure if the engine in his car grenades before the next oil change, Steve will be quick to inform us all. But if the oil is all the same dead dinosaurs would it really hurt anything if the additives from this quart don't exactly match the additives from that quart? And if that's the case, would that mean people who buy whatever oil is cheapest would be at risk of engine failure vs. the guy who buys Valvoline 5w-30 High Mileage every single time regardless of the price?
All of the oil in the original post is engine oil, and all are far better then what was available when our Ts were new. I wouldn't give a second thought to using it. I also agree with the post that pointed out that all oil is millions of years old. In a sealed container, where are the additives going to go?
I don't know that the additives "GO" anywhere, but since some of them, at the molecular level, are long chains, I could certainly see the possibility of there now being considerably more chains of a much shorter length.
I'm not a chemical engineer, but I thought that the major reason for changing oil (assuming a full-flow oil filter in a modern engine) was that the molecular chains were mechanically cut by the operation of the engine. Shorter chains equal lower film strength. Why would long-term storage affect the chain length? Note: I'm not being argumentative, I simply don't know.
Me either. Mechanical. I don't KNOW that long term storage DOES affect chain length, but if some 'expert' told me it did, I'd have no reason to doubt them.
I am a chemical engineer, I turn Beer into Pee. I say let Mr. Thrifty use his oil.
Until the official scientific data and findings are put out, let us add oil use in model T as an OT and no longer post any of this trouble making talk.
Trouble making? What? Where? Please elaborate. I see nothing but a discussion of whether it is prudent to use old oil in our cars. This subject matter should be considered off topic? Again, please elaborate.
All this talk reminds me of an article I read years ago in a magazine. It was probably Mother Earth Magazine.
The article was about recycling oil at home.
I really think Mr. Frugal and friends should try this.
It involved a stack of toilet paper rolls in a cylinder and letting gravity and time let the used oil pass through the stack of toilet paper rolls and come out at the bottom clean again.
I tried to do a search to see if I could find it but did not come up with what I am talking about, but did find oil filters using toilet paper rolls as cartridge elements.
Has anyone else heard of this?
"OILS WELL THAT ENDS WELL"
Frantz oil filter, common in the 50s and 60s, for instance. Dave in Bellingham, WA
Yup. The supposed advantage of the Frantz was that the toilet paper filter would trap water; I never used one though. Modern engines run so hot that unless the car is used almost exclusively for very short hops, condensation is not much of an issue these days.
A local paper mill ran toilet paper filters in their hysters. They worked so well that the machine shop foreman and two mechanics put them on their cars. Don
I hope I'm not too late to warn you Steve, but I heard that mixing oils in a T will make your frost plugs fall out...
I remember my father making a toilet paper oil filter can thing back in the 1960s so he could filter the oil from his T and reuse it.