Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Discuss all things Model T related.
Forum rules
If you need help logging in, or have question about how something works, use the Support forum located here Support Forum
Complete set of Forum Rules Forum Rules

Topic author
pokie
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:01 am
First Name: pokie
Last Name: parmidge
Location: fort collins

Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by pokie » Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:53 pm

I'm new here, so please be patient with me. I did a search on my question and found nothing on the forum. Here is my problem,...

I have been given a case of oil with no labels, only information I have is each quart can has the stamp on top saying 30W. So obviously it's 30 weight oil but how do I determine if it is detergent or non-detergent? I bought my 1927 T from a private party that didn't have it long and doesn't know much about it, so I will assume it has non-detergent oil in the crank case. Does anyone here have a way of determining if this oil is detergent or non-detergent?

Thanks for your time.
Pokie.


Norman Kling
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:39 pm
First Name: Norman
Last Name: Kling
Location: Alpine California

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:43 pm

Here we go again!
Basically the detergent holds impurities in the oil to be filtered out in a filter. This causes the oil to keep the engine cleaner for longer. The non-detergent oil allows the sludge to settle throughout the engine and the engine will become dirty. In the old days I had a 35 Ford V8. It had a lot of miles on it and I needed to replace a burnt valve. I took off the intake manifold which was also the valve chamber cover. It was completely full of gooey sludge which I scooped out to get to the valve springs.

The Model T does not have a filter except for an accessory screen which can be placed under the transmission inspection plate. So a Model T oil should be changed about every 500 miles. This will help keep the oil clean. It works fine to use detergent oil in a clean engine, recently overhauled and cleaned out. It should still be changed often because the impurities are carried in the oil and will increase with miles on the oil.

I wouldn't recommend synthetic oil in a Model T. It won't hurt the engine to use synthetic, but the main reason for using it is less often changes. It will work in modern engines with oil pump and full flow filter, but is a waste of money in a Model T because it should still be changed about every 500 miles and the impurities will build up in the oil if you change it less often.

Now be prepared for a dozen or more different opinions.
Norm


Roz
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:53 pm
First Name: Dennis
Last Name: P
Location: TN
MTFCA Number: 31449
MTFCI Number: 24373
Board Member Since: 2012

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Roz » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:48 pm

Remarks deleted.
Last edited by Roz on Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.


Topic author
pokie
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:01 am
First Name: pokie
Last Name: parmidge
Location: fort collins

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by pokie » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:21 pm

Hi Norman, yes, I know the difference between detergent oil and non-detergent oil. I just don't know how to tell the difference when there are no labels present. These are metal cans with no label or name, only 30W stamped on the top.


YellowTRacer
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:55 pm
First Name: Ed
Last Name: Archer
Location: 1807 East Ave. Hayward, CA 94541
MTFCA Number: 19
MTFCA Life Member: YES
Board Member Since: 2009

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by YellowTRacer » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:38 pm

Non detergent oil cans only have the wt. stamped in them.

Ed aka #4


Scott_Conger
Posts: 2699
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:53 pm

"Free" or not, I would not put old oil into anything I cared about. Everyone will argue the point one way or another regarding oils and how they are so much better than what came in the car. That has NOTHING to do with your question but will not stop folks.

What you are really asking: Is it too old, even if it is in sealed cans and I know the viscosity?

Answer: yes, it's too old.

Generally speaking, oil has a shelf life of about 5 years and at that point degradation has moved to the point where it no longer has all of the properties and attributes that the manufacturer intended. Your oil is very likely far in excess of that age
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


Kerry
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:42 pm
First Name: Frank
Last Name: van Ekeren
Location: Rosedale Vic Australia

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Kerry » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:46 pm

Yea, it's like mineral salt with a use by date on the container, lucky it was dug up before it expired. :D


Billdizer,Spencer In
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:58 pm
First Name: Bill
Last Name: Dizer
Location: Spencer, In
MTFCA Number: 28610
MTFCA Life Member: YES
Board Member Since: 2014

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Billdizer,Spencer In » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:02 pm

Detergent oil when mixed with water and whipped, will form a whiteish foam, like you see inside your oil fill cap. Non-detergent will usually not form the foam like that.

User avatar

Richard G
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:29 pm
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Grzegorowicz
Location: Hartland VT

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Richard G » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:41 pm

YES HERE WE GO AGAIN! NORMAN YOUR WORDING DON'T GIVE THE 30--N-D MUCH OF A CHANCE,I'M FROM THE OLD SCHOOL IM 82 AND OVER 65 YEARS OF TWISTING THE WRENCH, IVE BEEN UP AND DOWN THIS TREE MANY TIMES, TRYING TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DETERGENT AND NON DETERGENT , THE DETERGENT OIL HAS ADDITIVES TO KEEP THE PARTICALE'S PICKED UP IN THE LUBRACATION PROCESS ,AND TO RUN IN TODAY'S HI SPEED ENGINES WITH A FILTERING SYSTEM RUNNING CLOSE TO 200 DEGREES OR HIGHER,-THIS CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH THE CLOSED COOLING SYSTEM,IN TODAY'S ENGINES HOW THEY CAN RUN THE HIGHER TEMPITUR'S IS THE PRESSURE IN THE COOLING SYSTEM IS RUN UP TO 17 POUNDS RAISING THE BOILING POINT.-- 3- O/Z WATER UNDER PRESSURE WILL EXPAND TO 16 GALLONS OF STEAM IN A FLASH,,, ---, YESTERDAYS ENGINES WERE SLOW SPEED WITH SPLASH OIL SYSTEMS, IN THE CASE OF THE MODEL T THE DRIVE SYSTEM USES BANDS THAT TIGHTEN ON DRUMS, AND THIS IS WHERE DETERGENT CAN CAUSE THE SECOND PROBLEM, FIRST BEING THE COARSE SCREEN IN THE TRANSMISSION IS NOT FINE ENOUGH TO CAPTURE THE FINE PARTILEL'S FLOATING AROUND IN THE OIL,SECOND PROBLEM BEING SLIPPAGE OF THE BANDS [LACK OF FRICTION], NOW--IF THE NEW ENGINE IS STARTING LIFE WITH DET, OIL--AND KEVLAR BANDS,- AND THE OIL IS CHANGED OFTEN THAT'S A BIG DIFFERENCE IN HOW LONG THE ENGINE MAY LAST, NOW TO THE ENGINE THAT'S BEEN USED FOR SOME TIME, ITS MY SEGJESTION TO RUN THE NON DET, OIL -FOR-TWO REASONS, THE BIG ONE IS FRICTION ,HI DET, OIL HAS VERY LITTLE FRICTION WITH HIGH LUBRACATING CAPABILITYS, WHILE THE 30 WT N,D, WITHSTANDS ITS LURECATING QUALITY WITH FRICTION, -- NEEDED ON THOSE FIBER-- WICK TYPE BANDS TO CLAMP ON THE DRUMS TO STOP THEM FROM ROTATING --I--E---SLIPPING , WHEN GETTING UNDER WAY, LOOK AT YOUR FRYING PAN ,WHEN ITS HOT THE GREASE IS LIKE OIL, WHEN ITS COOL ITS THICK AND SLUG''Y --- BACK TO YOUR FLAT HEAD, BEEN IN ON THE BUILDING OF MORE THAN I CAN COUNT,,,I DON'T DOUBT THE VALVE VALLEY WAS FULL OF CRUD, THEY WERE PRONE TO RUN COOL BE CAUSE OF THE TWIN WATER PUMPS AND BIG RADIATORS,THUS SLUDGE BUILD UP, THERE WERE THERMOSTATS BUILT TO FIT IN THE TOP HOSES ,THIS HELPED, THEY DID NOT HAVE OIL FILTERS ETHER,BUT THEY CAME OUT AFTER MARKET,THIS HELPED A LOT, BOTTOM LINE--- OIL IS CHEEP CHANGE IT OFTEN. THERE WAS ONE OIL THAT USED PARAFIN --WAX TO CAPTURE THE FLOATERS AND DROP THEM TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN WHEN THE ENGINE WAS AT REST TO BE CLEANED OUT IN THE FALL WHEN THE CAR WAS PUT UP FOR THE WINTER, YUP WE USED TO PUT THEM UP WHEN THE COLD CAME, BY THE TIME YOU GOT IT STARTED THE SNOW PLOW NEVER MADE IT TILL THE NEXT DAY, THAT'S IF YOU WERE LUCKY, THE BIG DIFFERANCE HERE----IM OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THOSE DAYS. [ AND I MISS EM]

User avatar

Charlie B in N.J.
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:40 am
First Name: CHARLIE
Last Name: BRANCA
Location: Brick N.J.
MTFCA Number: 28967
Board Member Since: 2010

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:32 pm

I'm with Scot. Get rid of it properly. No telling what it actually is.
Forget everything you thought you knew.


Scott_Conger
Posts: 2699
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:17 pm

post pulled

was in response to another post that was pulled
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


John kuehn
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:00 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Kuehn
Location: Texas
MTFCA Number: 28924

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by John kuehn » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:17 am

Open up a can of the oil and use it for lubing old machinery, farm equipment, gear drives, and etc. That’s the ‘proper way’ to dispose of it.

Modern detergent oil such as 30HD something similar is much better than non-detergent oil in my view.

Again it positively amazing of some of the responses about types of oil whether it’s old or not.
Good grief Charlie Brown!

User avatar

Quickm007
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:58 am
First Name: Mario
Last Name: Brossard
Location: Canada
MTFCA Number: 30981
MTFCI Number: 30981
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Quickm007 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:35 am

Personally I used non-detergent oil for the last 15 years without any issues. I think you could use detergent oil or non-detergent at your convenience but please change your oil once a year at least... Oil is cheap and having engine or transmission issue is costly and keep you out of the road couple week-end. I just try to avoid trouble ASAP.

My 2 cents
Super Mario Bross ;)

1911 Touring
1914 race car project


Scott_Conger
Posts: 2699
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:48 am

Mario

have you ever pulled the inspection pan below the rods (does your car have an inspection pan?)?

My dad drained his oil every 6 months. Came out clean each time. Still, every horizontal surface inside the engine was stacked full of goop and lack of lubrication wrecked a very low mileage engine.

Ultimately it is up to the individual, but I've never met a person who has ever said "boy, I'll never run modern oil in my car ever again".
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


Jerry VanOoteghem
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:06 pm
First Name: Jerry
Last Name: VanOoteghem
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:51 am

I put oil that I wouldn't use in an engine in my oil cans, where it's used for less demanding things like oiling my bicycle chains, spring perches, squeaky hinges, squeaky wife , etc. You might also consider using it in your T to simply "top-off" your oil between oil changes, but not for a total oil change.

User avatar

Quickm007
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:58 am
First Name: Mario
Last Name: Brossard
Location: Canada
MTFCA Number: 30981
MTFCI Number: 30981
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by Quickm007 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:26 am

Scott,

We are at the same page, I pulled the inspection pan below before with all my cars.I rebuitl my 1911 engine last year with new trasnmission etc. This year I opened it my 1913-14 engine. I'm rebuilding the transmission and Magneto as well, I'm in the process right now. Piston, Valves, gears and camshaft are in very good shape. Personnaly I always used non detergent oil because I always used it and I have no issue with it but I'm not close to do not use detergent oil either. It is maybe by habit and all run as well, so why changing something work fine. :lol:
Super Mario Bross ;)

1911 Touring
1914 race car project


Topic author
pokie
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:01 am
First Name: pokie
Last Name: parmidge
Location: fort collins

Re: Difference between detergent oil and non-detergent

Post by pokie » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:01 pm

Thanks for all the replies, turns out it is all detergent oil. So I'll have to save it for use in my old car.

Thanks again!

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic