To add to the many discussions about oil, Dad had told me to "Always use a 'straight-20, non-detergent oil', so it won't glaze the bands." Not having experience with the different band materials, my quandary still exists. This video may provide some answers... (And "Happy T-ing!")
When it comes to motor oil, there are only 2 to choose from. Real and synthetic. Some may say that synthetic is better for your engine than real but is it really?
To start off, here's a brief overview of what synthetic oil actually consists of. Synthetic oil is a lubricant that consists of chemicals that used modified petroleum components. It uses these types of components rather than whole crude oil like regular oil does.
Some of the benefits of using synthetic oil include:
Better viscosity index, better chemical and shear stability, decreased evaporative loss, resistance to oxidation and oil sludge issues. Something else that's important to note is that synthetic oil can result in improved fuel economy, which is a desirable benefit in today's climate where people are always trying to get better MPG's. Another great benefit of synthetic oil is that it can result in increased horsepower and torque due to less initial drag on the engine. Obviously one of the biggest claims that synthetic oil can benefit your car is that it can possibly result in a longer engine life.
This video gets into the scientific details of synthetic oil and explores if it's better for your engine than traditional motor oil.
(Again, "Happy T-ing!" and a Happy New Year!!)
"Sure, it's loaded.... Just listen!"
I use synthetic in my T. Love it. However you must use synthetic for 4 stoke motorcycles only . When the synthetic debate started years ago people had problems with the anti friction additives in the oil, it would cause the "Wet" clutch to slip. More so with the original steel clutch plates. Most motorcycles have wet clutches. So less anti friction additives .
I'm currently using the stuff from Walmart. Full synthetic for 4 stroke Motorcycles. and have had no issues. Before I was using Amsoil Z-ROD . It's perfect for Ts, I used it for 2 years before moving back to midwest. Using 20w50 in SoCal was no problem, engine was quieter, picked up an extra 2 mpg's ,easier starting. Since coming back to Missourah have had no issues with the Wally Brand. Hand cranking with the 2050 syntec. was a little slow but manageable ,4 pulls in this real cold weather and fired up.
Leaks ?? With the newer gasket cements people are using the syntec didn't leak anymore then conventional oil, maybe less since going over to 20/50.
Another plus is that my engine was set up with Turbo400 disks and would chatter on conventional oil unless I added 1/2 a quart of Trans.fluid. I have not used any trans fluid since going syntec.
The first time I heard of synthetic motor oil, it was from a friend in New Orleans who worked for a Mississippi River towboat company. He said you could always tell his towboats by their sound, because they sounded just like Diesel locomotives -- because they used the same engine.
The towboat industry, he said, faces two big problems in regard to motor oil. One, it takes a 55 gallon drum of oil to fill the engine, and it has to be done every so many hours, which is quite often when the engines run 24/7. Hence, the cost is high.
Two, the engine is in the bilge, and you can't drain the oil out - you have to suck it out. This always left some sludge, and that contributed to the need to overhaul the engines rather more often that they'd like.
So, they experimented with synthetic oil. They used a newly overhauled engine, which was clean and tight and ready to go.
After many hours of testing and measuring, they ended up with a new normal. They NEVER, and he said NEVER, change the oil. They simply change the oil filters regularly, and add just enough oil to make up for what was in the filters.
And they get better performance, less wear, longer life, and cooler operating temperatures.
He gave me some, and I have been using synthetic, only, in my modern cars ever since.
Having said this, his lab folks, who did all the testing, told me that my Model T engine has no real use for synthetic oil. It would be a waste of money to use it in the T.
So, I do as we've said so many times on the Forum. I use the cheapest oil they sell at Spee-Dee. I go there because I get a kick out of the kick the guys get when I drive in, and their rack, if you park just so, lifts the front wheels about 4", so the pan drains a bit better. And I'm too old and fat to crawl under the car if I don't have to.
I use synthetic oil in my '21 Roadster. No clutch slipping problems. The oil stays clean looking waaay longer than conventional oil.
As to the "science" of oil, science has no place in a Model T forum.
I switched to full synthetic in my 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix last February at 82,000 miles.
On the highway during long trips, I now get one additional mile per gallon. Always averaged 29 mpg highway. Now I average 30 mpg.
Conventional 2003 to 2012 - changed every 3000 miles
Synthetic blend 2012 to 2017 - changed every 4000 miles
Full synthetic 2017 forward - plan to change every 5000 miles
Does anyone have an explanation about "glazing the bands" my Dad referred to? Thanks.
And, "Happy T-ing!"
The glaze is composed of burned up oil that deposits on the band linings. Carbon essentially. To my thinking, a detergent oil might actually help this issue. Synthetic was suggested to me as way to combat it also, with synthetic supposedly able to withstand greater heat. I have no idea if that's true or not.
I use Amsoil 10W-40 full synthetic in my car. It leaks very little, and I get it at wholesale pricing. If either of the last two things didn't happen, I'd use whatever name brand oil was on sale. Bottom line: Its your car, use what you want.