The selection (within reason) isn't nearly as important as keeping your engine clean inside. Pull the pan ring out and clean out all the gunk and brass pieces that builds up behind it. You may have to reach up there with your fingernails and dig that crap out. Spray the inside of the crankcase down with WD-40 and wipe it clean. Then, with the pan cover still off and the drain plug out, pull the trans inspection door off and douse the innards with 2 gallons of kerosene and let it run right out the pan opening. Repeat 2 or three times. You better have a big catch pan because it's messy. But you'll be amazed at the junk that comes out.
When you keep the engine clean inside, the oil stays golden and transparent for several hundred miles before it starts to darken and breakdown. Since I started this practice 6 years ago, I have not touched my connecting rods. And I do a lot of hard mountain driving here in West Virginia.
For the record, I use straight 30 weight, Sheetz gas station brand. You'd rate it as junk oil. So do I. But the proof is in the performance.
Agreed James, A clean inside of the engine results in longer lasting clean oil. But only if the maintenance is kept up. When I rebuild more "modern" V-8 engines that everything thing as been cleaned with detergent / degreaser and scrub brushed inside and out, the oil will stay clean for a long time, if it is changed just to the point it starts looking dirty--not black.
And as far as the junk oil is concerned, pretty much any oil is better than what was available in the day. I have my favorite (A store house brand I get on sale regularly). But I don't want to open that can of worms.
James, how often do you recommend flushing?
You would think with all the new tech out there for Model T's that someone would do the obvious. Modify a drain plug and top check valve on the oil pan and run 2 copper lines to a filter and oil pump.
This could be a accessory built and left on the bench and connected once a week or something to filter the oil and let it back in.
Might loose a few ounces per filtering but hey,it would make the oil last longer and keep that trash out!
That sounds like a great idea James, however it does sound messy!
I do this with every T I've owned, and a few I've worked on for others. I whole-heartedly recommend your advice and have experienced the same results as you have mentioned.
Here is a different slant. When I was young I was told by all the old T guys to never use detergent oil. At some point I decided that was a bunch of B.S. I switched to SAE 10-30 and 20-50 years ago, and the rest is history. I haven't ever flushed out an engine, even though it seems like a good idea. The detergent oil keeps the inside clean. I've always used Valvoline, but as Jim said even the cheap oil today is probably better than what was available back in the T days.
A little while ago a guy did build a bolt on oil filter unit that ran from the intake manifold vacuum. It was slick and worked well
Tommy - I flush with Kerosene about every 3 or 4 years. If I have a band come apart or wear out suddenly, (Yes, I run Scandanavia's) I flush when that happens also. HOWEVER, I do pull the pan cover ring out every time I change oil and wipe the pan out with a rag and WD-40. A lot of stuff builds up behind that pan retaining ring so you have to get at that junk every time.
With regards to adding a filter as Mack Cole recommends, yes, this would certainly help. But the model T engine has places that dam up the oil and trap debris (such as the pan retaining ring) that a modern Small-block chevy does not have. That is where the issues hide.
Larry... Yep, HD-30 is what I run.
There is a gravity flow oil filter setup sold by dealers. It works with the hogs head high volume oilier.
James. I am amazed that you mention flushing with kerosene.
A few years ago I said that I used kerosene to clean the motor of a T that had been in storage for 45 years and got attacked.
I didnít say anything about it because my dad did what you said.
I believe that using kerosene was done on a regular basis in the olden days.
Fred.. The attacks are usually good for a laugh. I ignore them when they happen.
As far as flushing with kerosene is concerned; Kerosene is nothing more than an oil itself. IT won't hurt a thing. And you are right, it was used a lot back then. Heck, it was used for just about EVERYTHING. People even bathed in it to get rid of lice. Crazy.
I never thought about flushing the transmission as mentioned in the initial post, sounds like a great idea.
Your engine and transmission are constantly flushed by the use of detergent motor oils.
Use good oil. Maintain the level. Drive. Don't overthink it.
Not the same thing Jerry. Next time you have your pan cover off, stick your fingers up behind the pan retaining ring and then get back to me. That thing is a stupid design and is nothing but a debris dam. You'll be amazed.
This stuff is kerosene! At least it smells like it. I can't believe that women actually washed thier clothes in this stuff
What do you think "dry cleaning" is, Doug ?
Add a quart of 10W30 to 5 gallons of kerosene, a Cummings diesel truck would run fine from our non-diesel selling station to a truck stop 10 miles away in the early '60's.
I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread, so I'll I might as well get it revved up!
I'm not concerned about sludge/debris that stays put behind my pan ring. What doesn't stay put is suspended in the oil, which needs to be changed to remove it. The rest gets picked up by the trans screen/magnet.
I'm not criticizing your approach or saying you're "wrong" by the way.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Jerry - Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you too!
Just one note.. The sludge that gets trapped behind the pan ring adds contaminants to the oil and causes it to break down faster and get dirty quicker. If your oil is turning dark, then there is stuff in it that shouldn't be. Once I removed that gunk behind the pan ring, the oil stayed clean for hundreds of miles more than it had in the past. Besides, cleaning out the engine is easy to do. To me, there's no reason not to do it!
Mike... Marvel Mystery oil is GREAT stuff! I have a 1970 C-10 Chevy 1/2 ton. It's all original and the heads have never been off it. Last year, a lifter started sticking in it. I put a pint of that stuff in it on the last oil change and it freed it back up!
I take a spoonful of MMO everyday.
It keeps me cleaned out and my breath smells great!
Now that's funny!!Bud.
In the Model T era kerosene was much cheaper than gasoline. That's why a lot of tractors had a small fuel tank for starting on gas and a large tank for running on kerosene. Today, with kerosene no longer used much for lighting, its price is much higher. The last time the local Ace had it "on sale" it was $10 a gallon. I wonder if there's a less costly solvent that would work as well.
When I was at Hershey, I was riding around out in the country, and the station I was at had a separate pump just for kerosene.
I have used mineral spirits with good success on both T and A engines of unknown internal condition. I drain whatever is currently in the engine, dump in about half a gallon of mineral spirits and crank the engine over. I jack the front end up and repeat. I jack the rear of the vehicle up and repeat. I then drain the mineral spirits (repeating the jack procedure with the drain open). I replace the drain plug and fill with used (but sludge/contaminant-free) oil. I crank the engine over a few times, drain, fill with fresh oil and start the engine.
Steve - Here in Appalachia, Kerosene is consumed in large volumes for heating. You can find it at most gas stations around here and as Larry said, it's dispensed at the pump. Price is usually about $3.50 per gallon. SO it's plenty cheap.
As Ron says, Odorless mineral Spirits work well too.
Steve, check your local co-op , in McPherson Ks. you can buy it by the gallon at the co-op, just bring your own container . I think for about the same price as James said.
Seems to me like diesel oil would work about as well as kerosene as a solvent,......and for only about $3.00 or $3.50 per gallon! And before somebody says that diesel fuel might possibly contain something harmful, I would counter that diesel fuel seems to go thru' diesel fuel injection pumps and injectors and is not only NOT HARMFUL, but diesel fuel injection equipment is somewhat self-lubricating to the equipment it passes through. Just a thought,......harold
....well,....I said that wrong! I meant that diesel oil is somewhat of a lubricant,.....
Well, I'm not going 125 miles to McPherson. But I will check the local co-op.