I know it's a beaten to death topic but I figured I would ask. I'm putting new Kevlar bands into the 26 Coupe soon and figured I'd change the oil while I'm at it since it's probably full of lint from the old cotton ones. I picked up 4qts of Penzoil 10w-40, and 1 pint of Marvel mystery oil original to go with it. What are the pros and cons of 10w-40? It should be a little thicker than 10w-30, but not so thick as to make cold starting so difficult. How do you think it will flow through the internal oil line and my external oil line that feeds from the transmission top to the oil fill up front?
Looks like you've already decided to use a heavier oil than many of us would recommend and you had extra $$$$ left over so spend for a mystery.
I found that the heavier oil (more than 30) didn't work as well for me than a 30 or even a 5W20.
I hope you are using a detergent oil but some guys don't.
Good luck and drive more, Think less and have fun
I figured I'd experiment with different weights and see what works best. Looking for any input/experience from others as to what they like and what they think about 10w-40 in particular.
In a motor with no filter in the oilsystem, you should use an oldfashioned straight oil with NO detergents (or 'dope') added. The reason is that the particles floating around in the oil will settle on the bottom of the sump and don't go through the engine again and again and do damage.
The detergents (dope) in modern multigrade oil are there (among other things) to keep particles afloat and transport them to the oilfilter that cleans the particles from the oil so you have clean oil running through your engine.
The worst mistake is to use a multigrade oil, for instance 10W40, in an engine that has run on a straight (SAE30) oil previously, the detergents will dissolve all the crud accumulated in all the nooks and crannies of the motor and pump it right through all your bearings, major disaster guaranteed !
Or you could put an oil filter on and not worry about it either way.
The first number (10) stands for how easy the oil flows when cold and the second number (40) for how it'll flow when hot or at operating temperature, so there will be no problem flowing in the oil pipe as long as you're not starting it in zero (F) weather
And it's not like it'll flow worse when hot - 10w40 will flow like a straight 40 oil would flow when hot, but like a straight 10 oil when cold, so multigrade oil combines the best of two grades - as long as the additives holds up, but that's no problem in a T, where it'll be changed (or leaked out) long before it breaks down
I'd say the worries about a multigrade dissolving any dangerous amount of crud so that it could cause any harm in a T is a myth. Just change oil often and use at least a transmission oil screen.
If the engine looks like it's full of gunk in the valve galley and when removing the inspection plate under the pan, then it's time for a more thorough cleaning - most can be reached without pulling the engine, the oil pipe can be blown clean by compressed air with the inspection plate off.
Removing one bolt in the front of the inspection plate and cranking the engine should confirm there's flow in the pipe if oil drips from the hole when cranking.
Maybe Henry won't mind, but I use whatever is on sale, and mix it up.
But change the oil often, after each tour or 500 miles or so. What ever nice clean clear honey looking oil you dump in, after those miles, its dark and black!
Detergent oil is really the best... You don't want all that "sludge" building inside everything.. Change your oil often and use a screen with a magnet. I know some guys that use a piece of filter medium in the oil screen but I don't. New oils have a lot of good additives.
lighter weight oils work good in the tranny.
I'm with Dan. I tried synthetic and it leaked out faster than I could put it in. I buy the cheapest detergent oil I can find and change it frequently. Garage sales and auctions are good places to find cheap oil.
Go to AutoZone, Wal-Mart, Dollar General or any store that sells their house brand oil. I use 10-w 30 but any detergent house brand oil is way better than any oil that Ford used. Spend your money on other things for your T instead of some exotic synthetic super dooper oil.
Your T will be glad you did.
Oil is cheap,engines are not!
Re: Non-Detergent oil
In 1976, my dad's engine was rebuilt. He changed oil religiously every 6 months. In 35 years, he drove the car gently for about 8000 miles. Then on his first national tour, he burned up a rod bearing in sight of the host hotel on day one. I pulled the pan and found an inch of "jelly", not oil, the rods simply dipped through sludge and got very little lubrication. Oh the oil drained out fine, and looked great! Just the goop on the bottom of the pan, where you need it most, was pure gunk.
Non Detergent is a no-go for me. If it's an old engine, pull the inspection plate, wipe every nook and cranny you can reach, change the oil and you're good. If you wipe down like advised, you'll pick up dirt, carbon, sludge, and other stuff that will keep your oil BLACK and contaminated if left there.
I prefer 10W 30. In a Model T you need good oil flow because there is no pump. The 10W will allow it to flow in cold weather when you start the car, but the 30 will still give a good lubricating film when it is hot. If you have good rings 30 will hold just fine.
Synthetic oil is a waste in a Model T because it is made for lasting a long time between oil changes. The T has no filter and also shares the oil with the transmission so it gets quite dirty but no filter. So frequent oil changes are recommended. You don't need the long lasting properties of synthetic. If you start with a clean engine and transmission, the detergent oil will keep it that way.
I also use a screen on top of the transmission inspection hole with a magnet. It will remove a lot of particles from bands or magnetic metals.
I think synthetic oil was made to reduce friction,and increase fuel millage.I think Ford has went back to what they recomended for the model T,a high quality light weight machine oil.Our 2015 F-250 with the 385 hp gas v-8 calls for 5-20 synthetic Ford Oil only.Bud,PS, Oil is cheap,engines are not! Bud.
New engine or old engine use detergent oil and change it often.
I have a 14 with no starter and have found lower cold viscosity makes hand cranking easier. I have tried 10W40, 5W30, and 0W40. The 0W cranks the easiest by a bit.
Your 26 should have a starter, and if you don't plan on hand cranking use any modern oil. If you hand crank, stay with lower cold viscosity.
Dan, I was sternly chastised for mixing brands. Supposedly it would destroy my engine. But we operate on the "same pipe" theory. http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG103.html
The oil base stocks probably do come out of the "same pipe", but the additive packages are proprietary to each vendor and they don't disclose their contents. So to be on the safe side, I don't mix oils from different vendors either. I do run a high quality synthetic oil in my car, but its not a "gusher" and I get the stuff at wholesale prices. If I had a car that leaked more than just a couple small drips or had to pay full price, I'd be looking at different options.
If you want all details period correct and authentic, down to NOS air in your tires, here's the perfect oil for your T.
Mixing oil brands is like mixing Coke and Pepsi. Proprietary ingredients will cause all manner of horrible things to happen. It's OK to do it though, if you hold your mouth right and whistle Dixie while adding the oil. (I also believe in Bigfoot and unicorns).
I found 10-40 combined with 20-50 works well in my cars during the summer months.
I need to head over to Dollar General and buy a carload before our AG removes all the cheap oil
We all do not live in the same zip code! In 1955 when Tin Lizzie was researched it was stated the proper oil for a model T was SAE-10!! Bud.
Guess someone could do the research to find out if SAE-10 from then is the same as same as SAE-10 today or if it is = to something else.
A couple weeks ago at an estate sale, I saw a dozen quart cans of SAE 10 motor oil - they were probably 40 years old. The fellow who owned the house had worked for Minneapolis Moline. He had a compressor in the basement so my guess is that he was using it for compressor oil.
Household oil such as 3-in-One is non-detergent SAE 10. Electric motors that are less than 1/4 hp and that have bronze sleeve bearings many times will specify SAE 10 non-detergent for lubrication.
I have my doubts that SAE 10 is the equivalent of the recommended motor oil that was used in Model T Fords and other cars of the period due to its low viscosity. If you ran SAE 10 in your Model T, I'll be that you would burn out a bearing in a very short period of time.
I also occasionally find quarts SAE 20. Similar to above, electric motors that are 1/4 hp and greater with bronze bearings many times will specify SAE 20 non-detergent. (3-in-One has SAE 20 non-detergent electric motor oil - it comes in a blue squirt can. I use it for the blower motor of my hot water heater and the oilite bronze bushings of my Craftsman grinder head. Before I replaced my 1953 furnace, I used to oil the bearings of the squirrel cage blower with SAE 20 non-detergent, as specified in large letters on a decal on the blower housing.)
(Message edited by Erik_johnson on June 14, 2017)
How much more can possibly be said about this topic?
When someone asks the question again. Or when some asks about a "new kind of oil", Stay tuned.
Apparently it's no fun discussing grease. Grease is under-rated, oil over-rated.
In desperate need, I bought 10W-30 oil in the local supermarket. I experience the engine as running somewhat smoother than pure 30 I had before. The 10W is probably the explanation - the oil just flows easier into the bearing and maintains the oil pressure in the bearing by hydrodynamics.
My 24 touring has 65,000 + miles on it pulling a trailer 20w50 oil.
Hey Steve- I went to Dollar General and asked about that pre-1930 oil and none could be found. I suspect it has been pulled. The manager just looked at me sideways like a dog when a person farts.
Dean, that is some awesome road mile experience, and exactly the kind of first hand experience I was looking for. I've perused through a lot of your photos of your cross the country trips in admiration. It sounds like you really can't go wrong with most anything you run in the T.
Non detergent oil is for air compressors that don't have to deal with carbon and other byproducts of combustion. When I took over my dad's model T, over thirty years ago, I wrote to three major oil companies. I told them about the pored bearings and lack of an oil pump or filter. All three replied and recommended the same thing.Use a good grade of detergent multi weight oil, the same as you would use in your modern car or truck. that was over thirty years ago and I have no oil related problems problems so far. Brad.
Matthew,Did you read Scott Conger's post June 13 at 851??
It is no longer politically correct to use the word "Dixie" any more as it upsets liberals to no end. In the future instead of the phrase "whistling Dixie" please use "whistling down South."
I did read that one. I've always been of the opinion that detergent based oil may start off dirty, bu I'd rather clean the system out than let it sit. What I currently have in it is detergent based, no problems so far.
You will be fine with 10w-40 oil. A detergent oil keeps the "dirt" in suspension and it gets drained out with the oil. A non detergent oil will look pretty and clean because all the "dirt" coats the internals of your engine and will remain there unless you switch to detergent oil which will after successive changes clean it up or you take the engine apart and scrape it out.
All this talk about multi grade viscosity is good I agree with the 10w40 but one should consider the application of motorcycle oil with the Model T Ford. Both the motorcycle and the Model T Ford share the same lubrication for the engine and transmission. Motorcycle oil does not have the friction modifiers as the modern present-day 10w40 for present 2017 cars. I've been using 10w40 motorcycle oil for the past 8 years as suggested by our past mtfca president Houston with no problems of chatter or lubrication problems
I use Wal-Mart super tech 5w30 in everything from our 2012 hemi challenger to my lawnmowers. I think it all comes down to the keeping them changed and very often. Tim
I have been using Rotella for some time in all my Ts. I think diesels use Rotella because it has properties that keep junk in suspension and not allowed to settle and form jelly blobs in the crankcase. Anyhow, it seems to work for me.
I rinse all of my dirty parts in 10-30 prior to putting them in the parts cleaner. Then I take 2qts of the oil I rinsed the parts in and add 2qts of Marvel Mystery oil to it. Typically I can run 10,000 miles between oil changes before the engine starts to knock. Then I'll open the petcocks on the oil pan and if anything runs out; I continue on my way. If it don't run out I add more Marvel Mystery Oil until it does. I can get nearly 3,000 miles between engine rebuilds.
I'm with Dean,20/50. Change your oil when hot, even 20/50 runs out like kerosene.Needs the viscosity to lubricate.
I love oil threads!
Mike Garrison.....very interesting, transposed your # miles on engine rebuild & drain intervals ???? Hope so,,,,
Happy Father's Day
In Canada I'm finding it difficult to find which oil is "Detergent" since most are NOT labeled as such??!!
All modern multi-viscosity motor oil at your local auto parts store has detergent.
If there is no detergent, the label will say non-detergent. About the only non-detergent oil you will find at the auto parts store is SAE 30 non-detergent. HD30 or HD 30W has detergent.
I simply buy the cheapest non detergent oil I can find at the dollar store and add a teaspoon of Dawn to it. Then I have the best of both worlds!
Good one Noel!
But the first thought should always be - what did Ford recommend?
In the first manual from 1908 the recommendation was to use a "High grade gas engine oil", but as automobiles became more common, the oil industry developed with the auto industry and more variations became available. From 1911-1923 Ford recommended a "Light high grade motor oil" and from the december 1924 manual until the end of production the recommendation is even more fine tuned - a "medium light high grade motor oil"
Now what's a medium light oil compared to the later SAE standard for viscosity?
Just have a look at a pre war Sinclair oil can, if you can find one - they have a cool design and are collectible - ebay prices are crazy..
Here's one with medium light oil that also has the SAE grade pressed into the top:
It's a bit hard to read, but it says SAE20 is medium light. For comparison, here's a medium heavy Sinclair quart can - it says SAE 30.
So if you want to be authentic, use SAE 20. (And if you don't want sludge in your engine, use detergent )
Facts without opinions masquerading as facts.
Thank you very much for this. I just learned something new.
I know i have preached the page 164 before but the back cover says the book is based on a years research at the Ford archives,the Detroit public library's Automobile collection,the Automobile Manufacture's Association Automotive Library,and the Library of Congress!!Not to say this book is perfect as Rob has proven about the Model K,but is it more than a empty oil can???????Bud DeLong.
Yes "light high grade motor oil" and "medium light high grade motor oil" was suggested by Ford 100 years ago. In general you are best served to simply follow the recommendations of the engine manufacturer. But there are times when that may not be practical or wise. The manufacturer’s recommendation is based on the assumption that the motor is in new or close to new condition and is being operated in a typical environment. It is also based on the SAE standards in effect at the time the recommendation is issued. SAE standard has changed tremendously over the last 100 years and tremendous advances in motor oil performance have been realized. So a 50 or even 25 year old grade recommendation might not be the best choice given current standards and/or oils. And if your motor is badly worn or operated in unusually harsh or demanding environments that may alter the grade requirements as well. Would you use the same grade oil for both winter driving in Arctic Russia and summer driving in Outback Australia?