oil can't tell time?

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forgive me if this is in the wrong place of if this has been beaten to death, but the idea that oil knows only miles and cannot tell time is a little odd to me. case in point ... i've got two old trucks that don't get many miles. the one is my powered wheel barrow and plow truck. on it's best year it gets 300 miles. that being said, half of it's miles are in reverse backing up while plowing. being an 83 the odometer does indeed count backwards in reverse. not that it matters much. the other has seen 300 miles since 2011. its my back up heavy hauler and generally only gets used to haul hay. it is also somewhat of a toy, and is a truck i just like. now the plow truck gets way more idle time than miles and rarely sees the road, while the other still gets plenty of idle time it sees the road when when it gets uses, and usually with a trailer behind it. i'll freely admit that i'm from the "oil is cheap" camp. i usually change oil annually on anything that gets used. even if it is not needed, a 5quart oil change and filter only costs me about $15. an oil analysis costs as much or more, and an engine failure would put the truck in the junkyard. (can't put more money in the truck with an engine replacement than it's worth as a whole). i've got another car that has been sitting in the shed un used and un started for probably 5 years. i did an oil change on it before the last time i had it out and the oil may have 100 miles on it. now i agree that it hasn't been "used up" but who knows if it has collected moisture via condensation. maybe it has, maybe it hasn't but i can either pay for the oil analysis and know, or for the same money i can drop the oil and filter and know for sure. so if we go by the 3,000 oci for "severe use" on the two trucks (which i feel would apply), then the one truck should get it's oil changed every 10 years, and the other truck wouldn't be due for another 30 years (based on current trends). is there anyone here that would feel comfortable changing their oil every 30 years? how about 10? oil can't tell time -- only miles, right? not looking for a fight, just looking for some insite.
 
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Originally Posted By: meborder
of if this has been beaten to death,
Yes, it has been, numerous times.
Quote:
so if we go by the 3,000 oci for "severe use"
The severe service typically also has a time limitation, so it's not only 3K miles, but also something like 3 months or 6 months, whichever comes first.
Quote:
not looking for a fight, just looking for some insite.
Oil does degrade over time when exposed to air, moisture, fuel, etc. It's worse if the engine does not get a chance to properly warm up and remain at operating temp long enough to evaporate moisture condensation, fuel, etc. However, it's not easy to tell. Do a UOA if you're worried, to help establish a safe OCI based on time.
 
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When oil gets contaminated it breaks down faster. You are a good case for a UOA. Maybe you should change 6 months, maybe you should change at 3 years. Better to know than to think $15 every year is cheaper than $25 once.
 
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Originally Posted By: abycat
I'd change it every three years. cheap as dirt conventional and a cheap filter.
do this and you will be fine. they will out live you.
 
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A couple of things - Do either of these motors use oil, i.e. leak or burn oil. If so, when you "top up," you're adding fresh oil and thus, fresh additives. I've heard that as oil is contaminated, acids develop. Said acids when left to sit too long, etch the bears. Now, old timers told me that little bit of wisdom years ago, perhaps some seasoned Bitogers can attest to the truth of that statement. Then there's the soon to be world famous "Luv" machine as an example of severe neglect of service. Said vehicle, like one of yours, is a "power wheelbarrow" and never sees the road. It's a 1986 Chevy astro van with the 4.3 V-6 and I haven't changed the oil in almost five years now. It see's weekly work on the farm and when it does need oil, I add used motor oil I've drained from my cars. Occasionally, I will change the filter, but I use a used filter as one of my cars uses the same filter as the 4.3. It smokes, it leaks, it runs. One day it will stop running. I will be sad.
 

meborder

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Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
A couple of things - Do either of these motors use oil, i.e. leak or burn oil. If so, when you "top up," you're adding fresh oil and thus, fresh additives. I've heard that as oil is contaminated, acids develop. Said acids when left to sit too long, etch the bears. Now, old timers told me that little bit of wisdom years ago, perhaps some seasoned Bitogers can attest to the truth of that statement. Then there's the soon to be world famous "Luv" machine as an example of severe neglect of service. Said vehicle, like one of yours, is a "power wheelbarrow" and never sees the road. It's a 1986 Chevy astro van with the 4.3 V-6 and I haven't changed the oil in almost five years now. It see's weekly work on the farm and when it does need oil, I add used motor oil I've drained from my cars. Occasionally, I will change the filter, but I use a used filter as one of my cars uses the same filter as the 4.3. It smokes, it leaks, it runs. One day it will stop running. I will be sad.
i'm far nicer to mine than you are yours! i tried using the drain oil out of vehicles like these in my tractor, but that didn't work out very well. i think it got too much 5w20 once and it started smoking badly and never recovered.... i don't do that anymore. the plow truck when used as a wheel barrow doesn't get time to warm all the way up. i try to let it run for 20 min before i shut it down, but it's only at an idle. in the winter though, it gets warmed up good before shut down. it usually takes an hour or so to plow my yard and the oil gets up over 200 when i check it. (i check my tranny with an IR to make sure it isnt getting too hot and while i'm down there i check the oil pan for fun). my last OCI went 2 years on that one because at the 1 year mark the oil was still a nice light tan color and hadn't used any. so i let it go to the point where it started to turn dark and needed a quart, that took another year. never did add anything to that one. but i think consumption is going up. the left pipe smokes for 10 minutes or so on startup now. stickey ring or something, IDK. it does seem to clear up as it runs though. the other truck uses oil depending on how i've used it. if i've got a load of hay it might burn a quart in 100 miles, when not used hard though it doesn't seem to use much. never smokes that i can see, though. no converters so if it was burning it you'd think you'd see blue, but even when pulling hard i've never seen or smelled blue smoke. but i have checked it and seen some useage, so who knows. its a 79 with a 460 ... runs good. was kind of just curious what others think. i might do a UOA for fun next year on the plow truck. i was going to do one this year, but i didn't have time to get it warmed up before changing it. i only had enough time to get it started up, idle a bit, then get'er'done....
 
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If you dont abuse oil with 'severe service' (or high mileage) it should last for a few years.
 
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I also have a vehicle that gets driven less than 300-400 miles a year. Garage kept. I'm now comfortable going 2-3 years between OC's, using high quality dino oil and a premium filter.
 
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Originally Posted By: Dallas69
Getting a UOA on a farm truck is just silly
+1 Every 3 years on cheap oil - you'll be fine.
 
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Originally Posted By: meborder
[quote=GreeCguy]i tried using the drain oil out of vehicles like these in my tractor, but that didn't work out very well. i think it got too much 5w20 once and it started smoking badly and never recovered.... i don't do that anymore. the plow truck when used as a wheel barrow doesn't get time to warm all the way up. i try to let it run for 20 min before i shut it down, but it's only at an idle. in the winter though, it gets warmed up good before shut down. it usually takes an hour or so to plow my yard and the oil gets up over 200 when i check it. (i check my tranny with an IR to make sure it isnt getting too hot and while i'm down there i check the oil pan for fun). my last OCI went 2 years on that one because at the 1 year mark the oil was still a nice light tan color and hadn't used any. so i let it go to the point where it started to turn dark and needed a quart, that took another year. never did add anything to that one. but i think consumption is going up. the left pipe smokes for 10 minutes or so on startup now. stickey ring or something, IDK. it does seem to clear up as it runs though.
On your tractor, did you change the oil after the "too much 5W20? If so, does it still smoke? Have you tried a MMO soak on the pistons? (assuming it runs on gasoline and not diesel). As far as the truck is concerned, is it a Chevrolet? Older Chevy V-8's are famous for the "blue cloud start up" after a while. The valve guides wear allowing oil to run past them from the heads into the combustion chamber where it pools after the motor is shut down - hence the "blue cloud" on start up.
 

meborder

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yes, yes, and yes. the oil pressure stayed up OK with the 5w20, but it really started smoking badly. after i realized that the 5w20 might be to blame, i drained it and refilled with fresh. still fogs the yard, though. and i've never tried to re-use oil again. as for the MMO soak, i could try it, sure wouldn't hurt anything. the guy i bought it from said it had a scored cylinder, so i doubt much of anything is going to help. it fouls out plugs pretty quickly too. i think it is just plumb worn out and has been limping along for decades. runs good with fresh plugs though (or if i clean the old ones with a torch and wire brush). the plow truck is an 83 chevy k20 with a weak-suck 350. never used to smoke but has started to in the last year or so. only on the left side, though. will smoke some on the left side until it is fully warmed up, then it quits. never did this until the last year though. i put some MMO in the fuel here today, just for fun. but when you crank it over you can hear one hole not hitting like the rest, like it is down on compression on one cylinder. the motor doesn't seem to be badly neglected, but it is not the original motor either. again... runs good otherwise, and ALWAYS starts, no matter what. hence the question/discussion. I changed the oil in my 806 for the first time today too (different tractor than the one above). new NAPA gold filter and 8 qts of Mystic JT8 10w30. has 5200 hours on it. wrote the hours on the filter and plan on yearly oil changes or 100hrs, which ever comes first. might do a UOA on this one on the next change. i think it is getting a fair amount of fuel dilution as it is just a loader and never really gets "worked".
Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
On your tractor, did you change the oil after the "too much 5W20? If so, does it still smoke? Have you tried a MMO soak on the pistons? (assuming it runs on gasoline and not diesel). As far as the truck is concerned, is it a Chevrolet? Older Chevy V-8's are famous for the "blue cloud start up" after a while. The valve guides wear allowing oil to run past them from the heads into the combustion chamber where it pools after the motor is shut down - hence the "blue cloud" on start up.
 
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Have you tried spark plug inserts in your tractor, (at least on the cylinders that are smoking)? I did that to "'D' the Mighty" (1950 Case Model D tractor)and it decreased my spark plug change time greatly. As far as using used oil, you really shouldn't have a problem as long as you keep everything clean while you're changing AND use a heavier oil. About a year ago, I added three cans of a product called "Restore" to "'D' the Mighty." (Three of the V-8 size cans). It worked really well for a period of time cutting my oil consumption from one quart an hour to one quart every four hours of operation. But then about two months ago, I got all happy with my tractor and gave it a MMO overnight piston soak. That seemed to un-do the "Restore" and I'm back up to higher consumption. I'm debating if I should add more restore to current oil or draining oil and starting from scratch. At one point in time, I did try an "STP" type product, (the super thick oil additive). While it did slow consumption, my clutch started to slip under heavy load, (tractor has a wet clutch). I drained the oil, replaced with fresh and no STP type additive, clutch stopped slipping, (this gave me 8 quarts of 15W40 with an STP additive to add to the soon to be famous "Luv" machine). Therefore, if your oil burner tractor has a wet clutch like mine, I would strongly advise against going with that kind of additive. I would imagine that the weather up there is turning cool to cold right now - down here it's still hot and humid, so a heavy oil works good for me year round. BTW - I clean my spark plugs the same way, the one thing I add is that I scrape the electrode with a razor knife before I reinstall the plugs. I'd love to see pics of your tractor and your farm trucks - post if you can smile
 
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