Air cooled engines need the very best oil?

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Somehow or another within my wife's family I've become "the guy" for lawnmower maintenance, and I've changed more lawnmower oil and sharpened more blades this year than I probably had in my life up to this point.

Generally they get whatever I have an open quart of, although if I have to buy oil it will be conventional 5W-30 or 10W-30. I've gone as high as 20W-50 before because, well, I have a British car and even if I have no other oil on hand, I'll always have 20W-50. Generally during mowing season it's warm enough here that I don't worry too much about 20W-50 as long as it's not too hard to pull.

Some seem utterly alarmed at what seems a "reckless" disregard for the oil type I'm putting in, but clean and full trumps basically any other consideration.

Which reminds me too-BIL is supposed to bring his tomorrow for a sharpen and oil change. I've definitely gotten good at freehanding them on the bench grinder!

And I'm so grateful too for my own personal push mower(s) where I never have to worry about changing the oil or even checking the oil level :) (plus I cycle through mixed gas a lot faster now than I ever did in the past).
Once you become "the guy" there is no going back. :LOL:
 
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Once you become "the guy" there is no going back. :LOL:

I don't mind it too a point.

Of course there comes a time where I'd rather just drop some of the show with it-i.e. BIL says "Will you help me do my brakes." He loses interest pretty much as soon as the wheels come off and I start mostly using hand tools, gets frustrated at how long it's taking me because his 200K mile Camry probably has its factory pads and rotors and the rotors won't come off, and 3 hours later is sitting there watching me scrub brake dust off the calipers with a nylon brush since it's caked on thick(and I'm pretty picky about how I do brakes) and asking me if I "really" need to do all that because he's supposed to be meeting a friend for dinner.

At the end of the day, I wish he'd just said "would you do my brakes for me" and left his car with me for the evening(he could have even driven mine) and let me leave him with a properly done job.

He cancelled on bringing his mower yesterday. I'm going to encourage him to wait until end of the season so I can actually do stuff properly and not have him watching the clock while I scrub grass off and paint the underside of the deck and the like(which reminds me-I need a rattle can of "Grapper Green" which is supposed to match the Lawn Boy paint. One of mine needs a bit of work on the deck beyond just cleaning and painting, so we'll have some fun putting my less-than-great welding skills to use).
 
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I would only recommend a good quality oil for OPEs being used hours on end. Like commercial users and generators. Otherwise, if you run it with not many hours for the whole year, than any motor oil will work.
 
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I run any left over oil I have from oil changes…at least 30W. Ran 0W30 and 5W30. My GVC 160 runs great in the Texas heat.
 

Elkins45

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Is there any advantage to using a straight 30 grade over something like a 10w-30 In a mower that’s only used in warm temps?
 
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Is there any advantage to using a straight 30 grade over something like a 10w-30 In a mower that’s only used in warm temps?
I always got a puff of smoke when starting a cold engine using a 10w-30. Never had it using a straight 30. I would say a slight gain in oil consumption using 10w-30.
 

Elkins45

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OK then, any reason not to run my rider on a steady diet of an S-rated 15w-40 HDEO? I’ve been using the leftovers from my tractor oil changes for a couple of years and haven’t noticed any difference. Any reason not to make that thr normal fill?
 
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Does it make sense to run a really high quality oil in an air cooled engine?
It won't make a difference to spend extra on a small engine. However, low temperature performance is the only excuse for the price if it really gets cold or the engine is frequently cold started on a regular basis during winter. Either way, the 20-25 hours of operation is said to be the green zone for most air-cooled engines as established by many published papers.
ZDDP is not for "flat tappets" only, it's also a potent anti-oxidant and aids oil thermal conductivity and stability. ZDDP is an air-cooled engine's best friend.

Here's some tips for air-cooled engine maintenance.

1. Sufficient oil level is the most important factor.
2. Synthetics do not protect more, it protect the same as mineral oils for longer, unfortunately, you cannot go longer.
3. Change the oil every 20-25 hours.
4. At least ZDDP equal or higher than 1200 ppm. 1400 ppm is optimal.
5. High TBN will also help keep the engine running cleaner with less sludge and deposits formation due to high thermal stress and erratic temperature variations.
 
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OK then, any reason not to run my rider on a steady diet of an S-rated 15w-40 HDEO? I’ve been using the leftovers from my tractor oil changes for a couple of years and haven’t noticed any difference. Any reason not to make that thr normal fill?
I've been running 15w40 in small engines for years. Pretty much everything I work on besides snowblowers gets a 15w40.
 
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