Oil for 1985 Chevy 6.2L Fire Rescue/Brush truck

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Mar 2, 2008
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262
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St. Petersburg, FL USA
So I just joined a Volunteer Fire Department (Midway VFD, Midway FL) and being the good BITOGer that I am, I checked out the fluids. OOOH, oil was a quart lower and more black than sin. It was supposedly serviced before they acquired the truck from Forestry in December... I don't recall the mileage, I'll check back and repost, and put up some pics for fun! Suggestions on oil/filter and OCI? I wanna be a good probie and take care of the equipment we have... The truck doesn't see too many miles per week, since the station averages about 220 calls per year, and other odd ball trips, but mainly short trips and lots of idling. Anything else I should look for/be aware of? Thanks in advance!
 

crosseyedwx

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Mar 2, 2008
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St. Petersburg, FL USA
So, my mistake, it is actually a 1986 model year Chevrolet...not sure if it is a C or K 1500, 2500, or 3500... I know it is a 4x4 and I am pretty sure it is the 6.2L NA diesel. The truck has just over 54k miles on it. Pictures for free!
 
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Mar 17, 2008
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Michigan
Valvoline Maxlife 10-30 or 10-40. Changed every 3-5,000 miles depending on how it appears to hold up. Filter either a Napa Gold, Carquest Blue or Wix.
 
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Oct 2, 2004
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NY
15-40 or 15-50. We run that in our humvees. If you are in a hot weather climate (SoCal or AZ, NM Etc...) run SAE Grade 10.
 

crosseyedwx

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Mar 2, 2008
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St. Petersburg, FL USA
 Originally Posted By: Johnny
Shell, Chevron, or Mobil 15W-40. Take you pick. What oil are they using at this time?
I have no clue, whatever forestry supposedly used right before they gave us the truck. I didn't get under the truck to check the filter either... I did notice that the oil cap stated "Use only SF/CC or SF/CD oil"... I guess that was the top notch standard back in the day...
 
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May 6, 2008
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sweden
No normal schedules fits a fire truck. Start it-floor it! We change once a year in our Scania, its 15 years old and have gone 70 000 miles. (9.2 liter turbo six)They also tends to use oil despite their low mileage, no run in and lots of cylinderwall washing. Also a couple of hundred ours running the pump at 1500 rpms a year.
 
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NW Ohio
Looks like an adapted Army CUCV to me (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle, basically a militarized Chevy truck). Yours looks like an M1008 1.25-ton with a civvy utility body installed. The Army made some with their own service body, but it was quite different than yours. Is it still 24v? Some of the extra wiring looks like it may have been converted to 12v (a good thing!). Looks like it still has the dual alternators, though. It's like ac-tc said. Typically, fire truck engines don't hold up well because they go from stone cold to firewalled in short order. I have heard that some departments use block heaters year around to extend engine life for that reason but I don't imagine that's practical in every case. I Florida, I'd recommend a 15W40. My 6.2L did well on it.
 
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Apr 7, 2003
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SF bay area, San leandro, Ca
In my experience most fire houses are at least heated to 75 deg year round so their not really STONE cold per say. I think the reason that the engines don't Hold up well comes from the fact their about the most anal maintenance organizations on the planet. Also once on scene at a fire the engines are left idle for hours at a time. Our local department has gotten better about running the engines on scene ONLY when their pumping water with them Rarely do they ever wear even a tire out to less than 50% tread life before its replaced. brakes are done on a time vs wear basis. coolants are flushed annually
 
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Apple Valley, California
The 8 lug wheels tell us that it's atleast a HD-3/4 ton truck. I believe those engines were originally speced for SAE30. Rotella would be my choice. A 15w-40 would work well also.
 

crosseyedwx

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Mar 2, 2008
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St. Petersburg, FL USA
 Originally Posted By: Jim Allen
Looks like an adapted Army CUCV to me (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle, basically a militarized Chevy truck). Yours looks like an M1008 1.25-ton with a civvy utility body installed. The Army made some with their own service body, but it was quite different than yours. Is it still 24v? Some of the extra wiring looks like it may have been converted to 12v (a good thing!). Looks like it still has the dual alternators, though. It's like ac-tc said. Typically, fire truck engines don't hold up well because they go from stone cold to firewalled in short order. I have heard that some departments use block heaters year around to extend engine life for that reason but I don't imagine that's practical in every case. I Florida, I'd recommend a 15W40. My 6.2L did well on it.
You are correct as to it being a CUCV, as I have learned. No, the truck still has the 24v system in it, and has been having gremlins for a month or so now... it's out of service and in the shop again... Thanks for all your input. Since the oil change was coming out of the department's petty cash, I went with the Rotella 15W40 since it was $9.99/gal at AZ and the STP S5 filter, since I don't plan on keeping the oil in there too long... The oil filter previously used was a Carquest filter...the lettering on the can was very faded and it was so stuck to the engine that I had to jab a screwdriver into it to twist it off. It's location didn't help. The oil poured out rather slowly from the pan and was not translucent at all... black as sin just as before. I put in the oil, started it up (after it took two trucks to jump start it) and ran it about 15miles in an attempt to charge the batteries (to no avail, batteries won't hold a charge, they are about 2 months old as well... ). I checked the oil and almost as black as the old oil...
 Originally Posted By: Dualie
In my experience most fire houses are at least heated to 75 deg year round so their not really STONE cold per say. I think the reason that the engines don't Hold up well comes from the fact their about the most anal maintenance organizations on the planet. Also once on scene at a fire the engines are left idle for hours at a time. Our local department has gotten better about running the engines on scene ONLY when their pumping water with them Rarely do they ever wear even a tire out to less than 50% tread life before its replaced. brakes are done on a time vs wear basis. coolants are flushed annually
Our station only has 2 truck bays, which are occupied by Engines 1 and 3...this truck sits outside next to the station. The bay isn't climate controlled either, except for an exhaust fan, so it's pretty warm in there this time of year, even with the bay doors open. Oh, and the truck has 4 different tires on it, all with varying (but safe) tread depths... no idea when other fluids were flushed... methinks if we end up keeping this truck for a while, I may flush coolant and other fluids. The truck isn't used for pumping, since the tank on the back has a generator-run pump in back. But I am sure it is left idling on scene (per department SOG's) and safe practice I suppose.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
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Canada
Diesel oil turn black alomost as soon as you run it, even if service hasn't been neglected. - nature of the beast. Not sure I'd want to be doing high-speed fire runs in a 23 year-old truck with 4 mis-matched tires and questionable mechanical integrity. You'd think you're county/city would want you to have a bit more modern/safer equipment.....
 
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Oct 14, 2008
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110
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Maryland
My dad had an 86 C2500 6.2L Crew cab long bed with a shell (Country Limosine) when I was a kid. The oil would turn black on the way home from the shop that changed the oil.. We used it as our trip vehicle and it was A) a pig and B) would burn a quart or so of oil each way (about 600 miles). It also was a bear to start if the temps got below freezing and it wasn't plugged in. Very memborable truck. I loved driving it to high school, most people mistook it for a Suburban.
 
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I remember whe I worked at WM, a guy came in with a 1986, 4-wheel drive Suburban with a 6.2 diesel. It was SO big, it took up the whole lift - front tires were against the stops, and back tires were just on the actual lift. It was huge!
 
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Oct 9, 2004
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
Actually, a MAINTAINED 6.2 won't turn the oil black instantly-my '93 doesn't get black until the oil has over 3500 miles on the oil. I use straight 30 in mine, but a quality 15W40 would also do the job. Be sure the oil is HOT when you change it, & if it's been neglected, doing a change using Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck (AKA Delvac 1) 5W40 will help un-soot (de-soot?) the rings & interior of the engine. Great to see another old 6.2 that is still out there working!
 
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