08 Dodge Ram 3500, 20k miles, Rotella T6

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First OCI with Rotella T6, running in the winter, with a lot of overnight idling. Transporting RV's for 2 months, 50% towing, 50% running free. Polaris Comments: Flagged data does not indicate an immediate need for maintenance action. Continue to observe the trend and monitor equipment and fluid conditions. Cylinder region metals (pistons, rings, liners etc.) are at a MODERATE LEVEL; Viscosity is MODERATELY HIGH. Causes include contamination, oxidation, incorrectly identified viscosity grade, or adding a different viscosity grade to the component. Base Number is SLIGHTLY LOW. As Base Number depletes, the ability to neutralize acids is diminished. Soot is at a MINOR level and is not yet cause for concern. Monitor future samples for increasing levels. Elevated soot reduces combustion efficiency and may indicate varying load conditions, malfunctioning EGR, exhaust restriction, or a timing/air-to-fuel ratio imbalance. HIGH SOOT LEVEL is interfering with FTIR spectrum (Oxidation, Nitration). Lubricant and filter change acknowledged. The big issue with this oil sample is the Iron reading of 159. But I have a possible explanation for it. I was using the Better Diesel FBC (Fuel Borne Catalyst) fuel additive for nearly this whole OCI. The Better Diesel additive has iron content in it, and they do say that it shows up in oil analyses. The example that they show on their website didn't show nearly as much Iron as mine does, though, so it is something to watch on the next sample. I used the FBC to clean out the DPF, and it seems to have worked. Before I started using it, I was getting about 8.5 mpg while towing. As I used the FBC, fuel economy steadily improved to about 10 mpg towing. The recommended dose is 1 oz per 25 gallons of fuel, and I used up my first shipment of it in about 20k miles. I will not use the FBC on this OCI, and see if the Iron goes back down. I was fretting about a turbo screech problem a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to do this oil analysis to see if turbo thrust bearing material was present. Fortunately, Copper is low, so my fear seems unfounded. I also took off the turbo inlet tube last week and checked shaft end play, and it was tight. Soot is up to 2.4% for this 20k mile interval, compared to 1.2% for the previous 10k mile interval. Double the miles, double the soot, so it seems to act linearly. But I'm cursing the EGR; my old truck never registered soot over 0.7%, on OCI's up to 37k miles. Still no fuel dilution, and this is good news considering the large number of trap regens that it has had on long overnight idles. This was one of my concerns when I got this truck. So my only complaint is the large amount of fuel burned in the regens. The KV100 of 17.5 is considerably higher than the virgin KV100 of Rotella T6, which should be ~15.4. And Polaris is complaining that the Oxidation number is being interfered with by the high soot. So maybe the oil has oxidized? On the other hand, Polaris has had the occasional spurious reading on viscosity in the past. The other possible cause they list for the high KV100 doesn't wash: I know I put RT6 5w40 in it. Polaris is tagging the 3.0 TBN reading as slightly low, and that seems about right. Recent VOA of RT6 15w40 had TBN of 8.3, and Polaris recommends changing at 35% of virgin, so this oil was due for a change at 20k miles.

Dodge-UOA.PNG
 
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Really interesting results. I appreciate all your long runs and reports. The soot number is telling compared to hour prior 5.9, looks like the emissions will be limiting your OCI compared to the 5.9. Thank you for sharing!
 
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Do our need to have the truck idling overnights? I am wondering if you would get better results with less idling? I have not done any UOA's on my Dodge Cummings yet. I only drive it about 6,000 miles a year and mostly shorter trips into town and I try to drive it at highway speeds for an hour at a time once a month. I used Rotella T6 5w40 in winter and mostly Rotella T5 15w40 outside of winter. I have been buying whatever 15w40 CK4 oils I have found on sale recently. I have a stash of 15w40 building up, so I won't have much consistency for a while. That is the main reason I haven't done UOA's yet. The longest OCI has been 4400 miles or 8 months. I suspect I might be wasting oil?
 
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You might save fuel and avoid idle caused regens by installing a Webasto Thermo Top C 5kw (17000 btu/hr) engine and cab heater. The price for the part is about $900, but installation can be tricky. Also is the truck registered in a state where one can get away with deleting EGR? That would solve the soot issue and decrease wear in the engine and turbo. Not an option if the setup uses urea unless you do a total delete.
 
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At your current pace, I personally would add antigel, as needed for temperature, and change the oil once per year. No worries.
 

wdn

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An EGR delete is illegal in all 50 states. Seems better stick with a cab heater or explore other legal options unless its a farm truck.
 

A_Harman

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Originally Posted by frankbee3
Sorry, I meant to ask if you need to idle overnights?
Necessary for comfort. I'm sleeping in the truck, and it gets kind of nippy in there when the temperature gets below 20F. A couple of weeks ago, I overnighted at -20F in Saskatchewan. Truck stays running all night in those conditions for comfort and safety. I stay comfortable at temperatures above 25F, and only need to start the engine every 3 hours and run for 15-20 minutes.
 

A_Harman

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Originally Posted by m37charlie
You might save fuel and avoid idle caused regens by installing a Webasto Thermo Top C 5kw (17000 btu/hr) engine and cab heater. The price for the part is about $900, but installation can be tricky. Also is the truck registered in a state where one can get away with deleting EGR? That would solve the soot issue and decrease wear in the engine and turbo. Not an option if the setup uses urea unless you do a total delete.
I like the Webasto idea. It could just about pay for itself in one winter if I ever decided to take the plunge and buy one. If I did, I'd pay the retailer to install it. The 2008 Dodge didn't have urea injection, which didn't appear until 2014. The first-gen DPF/EGR/DOC trucks had emissions systems problems, and had many recalls for reflashes to solve drivability issues. I think I'll take it to a dealer and have it checked for the ECU calibration release. I haven't like the drivability of this truck since I got it. It has about a seconds hesitation on every gear shift before it picks up and puts out the torque. Gale Banks supposedly has a tuner available that solves the stumble issue.
 
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IMO you pushed the oil too far. Your iron wear rate increased on a per mile basis, as did you aluminum wear rate (cylinder/piston) and chromium is from the rings. The viscosity increase also tells you that it began to oxidize. Try another oil or cut down the interval.
 
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A Harman - I'll send a Webasto TTC kit to Brian's. Watch him install it outdoors while you sit inside & drink his beer. May as well grab some of that excellent Duron 10w30 before you leave his place.
 
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Yeah, everyone using Better Diesel FBC has sky high iron. Basically pouring iron into your fuel, which ultimately gets in the oil. Guessing overnight idling to keep heat on in cold weather allows more iron than usual to migrate from the fuel to the oil, due to much lower engine/oil temps. My idling overnight oil temp last night was 139 degrees, whereas my operating oil temp is 200 degrees, for example.
 
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A_Harman

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Originally Posted by BrianF
Off topic but where in sask did you run through?
Entered at Portal, ran to Saskatoon by way of Regina. Returned to Portal by way of Moose Jaw.
 
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Nice!! Hope all went well for you in this great Province! You seemed to have missed all our nice weather though, it's been a warm one.
 

A_Harman

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Originally Posted by BrianF
Nice!! Hope all went well for you in this great Province! You seemed to have missed all our nice weather though, it's been a warm one.
It got down to -22F when I was there, and the next night it was going down to -33F. I bugged out quick!
 
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That cold start idle time is going to kill that motor prematurely. Bunk heater IS NOT optional for your use. And I sure don't see any reason to run 20k on an oil change. Unless you install bypass Filtration and want to monitor more closely. What's your Average MPH? (Engine Hours into Odometer Miles) What's your Average MPG? (All miles) Your engine may last the 350k Cummins built it to do, but that's with a 35-MPH Average. It's pretty well a 10,000-hour motor at 35. And "gallons consumed" that is commensurate with steady-state cruise. Not idling. "Maybe" a 20,000-gallon engine life (fuel) as above. Point is, these things tie together. Stock oil filters are a joke, they don't do much. The OFL is better related to gallons burned than to strictly time & miles. Oil is cheap. Engines ain't. Good luck. .
 
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