05 Cummins 5.9L UOA

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Mar 25, 2010
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Bonfield, IL
Hey all... Just purchased this truck last October... Changed oil first time in January with Rotella T6. Changed again in July at 6 months and 4200 miles for her first UOA (wanted to start a baseline). Blackstone Comments: Universal averages show typical wear levels for this type of engine after about 6,700 miles on the oil. This oil wasn't in use that long, but with wear metals comparing so nicely with universal averages, there's no reason why you can't run longer next time. The viscosity is correct for 5W/40 and there's no fuel or coolant to worry about here. The oil and air filters had no trouble keeping insolubles and silicon low. The TBN is solid at 7.9 and shows more than enough active additive remaining. Try going up to 6,500 miles on the next oil and check back. Results: Unit: Avg: Miles on Oil 4,272 Miles on Unit: 101,142 Sample Date: 7/21/14 Make Up Added: 0 Aluminum: 2 3 Chromium: 1 1 Iron: 21 25 Copper: 4 5 Lead: 1 2 Tin: 0 1 Molybdenum: 54 38 Nickel: 1 0 Manganese: 0 0 Silver: 1 1 Titanium: 0 1 Potassium: 1 5 Boron: 49 82 Silicon: 3 5 Sodium: 5 5 Calcium: 1056 2231 Magnesium: 1178 419 Phosphorus: 1174 1112 Zinc: 1338 1297 Barium: 0 0 Result Should Be Sus Visc. @212: 74.9 66-78 cSt Visc. @ 100: 14.22 11.9-15.3 Flashpoint in F: 445 >410 Fuel %: <0.5 <2.0 Antifreeze %: 0 0 Water %: 0 <0.1 Insolubles %: 0.3 <0.8 TBN: 7.9 >1.0 Overall I was very pleased with the results... No concerns... Was very happy to see the % fuel number too! What do you guys thing... Go by blackstones recommendation of 6500 miles for next OCI or push it further?
 
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I suggest looking at the used oil analysis posted here similar to your truck and use their data to give you a guesstimate for the next run. I don't think 10000 miles is tough to achieve in those trucks based on sump size. How do you drive the truck. How much towing. Those 2 variables will also factor into the total interval. And I've read a lot of used oil analysis here at bitog on diesels. And today's conventional hdeo's are absolutely phenomenal. So unless you plan on running 25000 mile intervals,depending on winter temps of course I'd try a conventional,test it then figure out cost per mile then repeat for synthetic and see which gives the best return based on cost per mile. Since you are doing used oil analysis anyways you might as well truly become enlightened,instead of just drinking the kool-aid. Just a suggestion.
 
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Does this truck have EGR? 4200 miles is nothing for RT6 in a Cummins 5.9. Go 12,000 miles and do a UOA. I've run my last two oil changes in my 2001 (non-EGR) to 24,000 miles, and haven't really used the oil to its maximum extent. An EGR engine may be harder on the oil, so that's why I'm not recommending you go 24k miles right off the bat. 12k is a good intermediate step so you can gauge how far it can go. Which filter are you using?
 

Shorthorn

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Bonfield, IL
Thank you all for the reply's... Clevy: I don't drive this truck alot.. under 10k per year. I pull livestock trailers and camper a fair bit in the summer, rest of the year is mixed driving, but always enough to get it warmed up (15 minute min. trip). I agree modern conventionals are great.. However, I am getting T6 for $14.99/gallon and like have the synthetic for cold winter starts (below 0 for weeks at a time usually). A.Harman: The truck has in cylinder EGR... Basically meaning that the exhaust valve closes early and leaves alitte exhaust in the cylinder each cycle. Donald, I appreciate the advice to review with your OCI's... but honestly I think the 24v and the common rails are pretty different animals, especially with the in cylinder EGR and the common rail injection.. Not sure I would really learn alot from that or not? I started at short OCI intervals just to be safe (still at 4200 miles, was 7 months)... Also, I changed it a little early to gauge the fuel in oil level, being extra cautious with the injectors in this truck, being I don't know its full history. At this point I will run this oil a year and change it out next summer which should put me around 10k miles (maybe alittle less).. I do not want to go further than that right now simply for the reason of checking fuel %...maybe I will pull a sample to test instead of doing an OCI... Who knows.
 
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dnewton3

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I would consider a conventional lube; either 15w-40 or 10w-30 HDEO. You're not running enough mileage to justify the T6 cost. Any decent brand (including house brands) will suffice for up to 10k miles. Nothing wrong with the results you have; it's fine. But you can get the same performance for less cost. As a point of reference, see what one member has been able to accomplish: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2179591&page=1 10k miles is a walk in the park to just about any decent CJ-4 in your engine.
 
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Shorthorn

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Thanks dnewton... I will look at some other conventionals... I just have a hard time passing on the performance of T6 (even if I am not fully utilizing it) at $14.99 / gallon... [censored] thats not much more than rotella or other conventional HDEO.
 

dnewton3

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Delvac 1300 was about half that last year with MIR. VPB will be on sale every once in a while. All the majors will have a promotion at least once a year. And dont' forget about house brands; they are every bit as capable. If you're committed, you can find HDEO at least once a year for around $10/gallon, and sometimes less. The bottom line is this; any accredited CJ-4 lube will suffice and your engine will be well protected. So when performance is 100% assured, then price should be the guide, not opinion or rhetoric. Leave emotion out of it and you'll do well by both your engine AND your wallet. Regardless of what you buy, utilize it to its full potential. 4k miles on T6 is a BIG waste of remaining capability; it would be a big waste of any lube. Even your planned next OCI at 6.5k miles is far short of the potential of the lube. If you expected annual OCI is 15k miles or less, I'd recommend (for the sake of simplicity) just going with one OCI per year, and using the least expensive CJ-4 you can find on sale at the time. You paid for the UOA; that's information that can either be used for smart decisions, or ignored in favor of "feelings". If you choose to use lubes for such short OCIs, at least stop throwing away money on the UOAs, because at that point, you're doubling down on the waste! Rather than me continuing, please read this about UOAs: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/used-oil-analysis-how-to-decide-what-is-normal/
 
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Shorthorn

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Thanks DNewton Given my low miles / year, I understand you point to simply go to a dino HDEO and change oil annually. My concern with that is winter temps... I really didn't like the way the motor sounded / felt at -20 with 15/40 in the crankcase. That is why I went to T6 in the first place (and yes, it felt much better in the cold days not plugged in with it). Does it not make sense then to just use the T6 all year and maybe run it out to 18 months or 2 years to hit the OCI recommended by the blackstone testing (as I continue to extend on their recommendations)? I do realize that could be called emotionally driven, however the owners manual clearly states to run 5-40 in temps below 0, which were very common last winter. I am trying to use the UOA and not emotion to make decisions... which is why I say I am going to go to 6500 on the next UOA, as recommended by Blackstone... My intention was to follow their recommendations on up to the higher OCI's?... I apologize if my messages seem argumentative... I am simply trying to understand and learn.
 
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Doesn't the owners manual state you can go 15,000 mi.? I am somewhat familiar with the 5.9 of this vintage, minimal emission system with no EGR, basicially a cat, I would go to 10,000 mi., sample and go from there.
 

dnewton3

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Originally Posted By: Shorthorn
Thanks DNewton Given my low miles / year, I understand you point to simply go to a dino HDEO and change oil annually. My concern with that is winter temps... I really didn't like the way the motor sounded / felt at -20 with 15/40 in the crankcase. That is why I went to T6 in the first place (and yes, it felt much better in the cold days not plugged in with it). Does it not make sense then to just use the T6 all year and maybe run it out to 18 months or 2 years to hit the OCI recommended by the blackstone testing (as I continue to extend on their recommendations)? I do realize that could be called emotionally driven, however the owners manual clearly states to run 5-40 in temps below 0, which were very common last winter. I am trying to use the UOA and not emotion to make decisions... which is why I say I am going to go to 6500 on the next UOA, as recommended by Blackstone... My intention was to follow their recommendations on up to the higher OCI's?... I apologize if my messages seem argumentative... I am simply trying to understand and learn.
You're in IL; I'm in IN; rr1 is in OH. We're all in the same general area as far as temps go. Both rr1 and I run dino 10w-30 HDEO. He runs a Deere lube product and I run Rotella. He runs a 6.0 PSD and I run a Dmax. He gets excellent UOAs; so do I. If you are concerned about the temps in your area, then use a thinner HDEO. You don't "need" synthetics in our market region. I started my truck last year in the bitter cold (down below -15F ambient a few nights in a row) and it started just fine. If wear is your concern, then don't worry about the topic of 15w-40 versus 10w-30; it just does not materialize as a real issue in real world data. What may be of concern, if you expect uber cold temps to be prominent, is the aid of thinner oils to allow a diesel to spin-up quicker, which is of utmost importance in a CI engine. Here, rr1 and I get excellent performance from a simple thinner dino grade. If you choose to run T6, then I would agree pushing the OCI out past 1 year. The only way to know how far is to UOA along the way. I currently am on a three year OCI, and will test again later this fall; I do it annually. So far, everything is fine with my lube and filter. Many folks cringe at this concept, but science trumps rhetoric for me.
 
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Shorthorn

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Thanks dnewton, I like the idea of sampling the oil periodically without changing... How do you pull a sample without draining? Is there a way to pump it up thru the dipstick perhaps? I run the Deere plus 50 oil in all my tractors and my old lawn mower.. it is a great oil... Maybe I will see if my dealer stocks it in 10-30. Thanks for the help.
 

dnewton3

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A couple of options for the sample. 1) find a port in the oil path that allows you to tap a simple ball valve in; do this live. 2) buy a Fumoto drain ball valve; I use this - very high quality. Can be done live or off. 3) buy a dipstick sample tube (must be done with engine off)
 

Shorthorn

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Just got my second UOA back on the Cummins.. Looks great at a year and just over 7300 miles.... Probably going to push next sample to 10k (about 18 months) Blackstone Comments: You used a longer run this time, which is why iron is higher. Other metals held fairly steady and close to average, just as they should. The TBN was plenty strong at 8.0, so there was lots of active additive left in the oil. Try 9,500 miles next and check back for another look. So far, so good for the Blue Cummins! Results: 7/3/15 7/21/14 : Avg: Miles on Oil 7,308 4,272 Miles on Unit: 108,450 101,142 Make Up Added: 0 0 Aluminum: 2 2 2 Chromium: 2 1 2 Iron: 36 21 29 Copper: 5 4 5 Lead: 1 1 1 Tin: 1 0 1 Molybdenum: 66 54 60 Nickel: 1 1 1 Manganese: 0 0 0 Silver: 2 1 2 Titanium: 0 0 0 Potassium: 7 1 4 Boron: 43 49 46 Silicon: 4 3 4 Sodium: 6 5 6 Calcium: 909 1056 983 Magnesium: 1288 1178 1233 Phosphorus: 1108 1174 1126 Zinc: 1399 1338 1338 Barium: 0 0 0 7/3/15 7/21/14 Should Be Sus Visc. @212: 75.4 74.9 66-78 cSt Visc. @ 100: 14.35 14.22 11.9-15.3 Flashpoint in F: 440 445 >410 Fuel %: <0.5 <0.5 <2.0 Antifreeze %: 0 0 0 Water %: 0 0 <0.1 Insolubles %: 0.2 0.3 <0.8 TBN: 8.0 7.9 >1.0
 
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Shorthorn, the BITOG comments from last year still apply here and Blackstone is being uber cautious with their 9,500 recommendation. If you look at the health of the oil, it isn't even breaking a sweat (so to speak). Your wear rate for iron isn't impressive but all is fine. I just believe you may hit the condemnation point in iron levels before the oil was ever depleted. If you test at 10K, it will look virtually the same as what you see with this last oci (assuming all remains healthy in the engine). No harm in testing the oil for a general health check but if you just drain at 10K it'll be a waste of your money and time. Look at the great viscosity, the lack of fuel and low insolubles. The TBN will hardly change if you add only 3K more. Everything is going great for you so far and there's a lot of room for oci extension.
 
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Shorthorn

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Thanks Dusty! If I may, can I pose two questions.... 1)iif 10k is still too short, where would you recommend sampling on the T6 fill I just put in? 2)my stash of T6 is now depleted and I am considering regular rotella, premium blue, or Deere +50 next... where should I target as my first OCI on the dino oils?
 
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If you continue your 7K miles per year, I would just sample it annually. That's overkill I suppose, but I like to keep a close watch of things. If your engine doesn't develop any problems (like fuel or coolant contamination), that oil could take you well past your comfort level. You'll want to drain it before it ever has a chance to deplete (so it seems, anyway). If your use of the truck remains as it has, it could easily go a few years. A conventional oil in your situation could go two years easy. Your engine seems very healthy and it's low on miles so you're good to go. The silicon is nice and low as well. Hopefully your truck has an air filter restriction gauge. The filter is doing good so don't touch it if you don't need to.
 
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