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Old 01-09-2019, 10:12 AM   #1
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Synthetic Motor Oil

2005 Monaco Windsor cummins 400 hp. Do we switch to fully synthetic oil in these engines and can I fill it through the timing chain filler hole? I hope the screw out plug that is available is correct. I change my oil and do not like to carry oil through the bed room.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:34 AM   #2
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You can use a full synthetic oil as long as its meets the Cummins heavy diesel CJ-4 requirements. However, Cummins does not recommend it.

Yes, you can add oil though the timing cover filler.

This web site has some useful data charts for the ISL:
http://www.diesel-service-parts.com/cummins-isl.html
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:05 AM   #3
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Jim --


Let me give a "petroleum refinery" perspective on synthetic vs. conventional oil for diesel engines. From a lubrication perspective, synthetic engine oil is made from poly-alpha-olefin (PAO) which has much higher thermal stability that conventional engine oil which is made from crude oil. At engine operating temperatures synthetic oils maintain much better lubricating properties e.g viscosity / viscosity index, friction factor, etc.) vs. conventional oils and are less likely to form sludge (the result of the oil "breaking down" under heat and polymerizing). For diesel engines, synthetic oils offer no benefit vs. conventional oils on the amount of contaminants (e.g. exhaust particles) that can be held in suspension in the oil. For this reason, diesel engine manufacturers allow, but do not recommend, the use of synthetic engine oils as engine owners may be tempted to extend intervals between oil changes beyond the time / miles engine manufacturers prescribe.


So, using synthetic oil will improve engine lubrication but does not allow the oil change frequency to be extended e.g. if Cummins says change the oil every 12,000 miles, change it every 12,000 miles regardless of which type of engine oil is used.


Personally, I use Shell T5 15W-40 Synthetic Blend heavy duty diesel engine oil. The synthetic blend gives some of the thermal stability offered by full synthetic oil with only a slightly higher price than conventional Shell T4 15W-40 oil.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:14 PM   #4
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Jim ,

I don't use synthetic oil but I change often .

I fill through the timing chain cover .
What I do is set up 2 step ladders with a couple of 2/4 boards between them .
The boards must be higher than the engine , then I put a 5 gal bucket of oil
up on them .
I use one of those siphon pumps , I get it started then go do
other things since it's slow siphoning .
For safety I tie the hoses in place with wire just to make sure things don't
slip out place .

Ray
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:28 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys. I will not change to fully synthetic and will fill through the easier plug. Thanks
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:33 PM   #6
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Thanks to all. I will not change to fully synthetic and will fill at the easier to reach plug and not have to worry about spilling. Thanks to all replies. It is nice to get people with knowledge.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:49 AM   #7
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I'm thinking of using Shell Rotella T-5 synthetic blend because Walmart has a great price on it compared to Rotella T4 conventional oil. T5 is $15.97 per gallon and T4 conventional is $12.97 per gallon.
I do use full synthetic T6 in our Onan diesel generator. It seems to help the cold starts in the winter and retains better viscosity on the hot summer days.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
At GASOLINE engine operating temperatures synthetic oils maintain much better lubricating properties e.g viscosity / viscosity index, friction factor, etc.) vs. conventional oils and are less likely to form sludge (the result of the oil "breaking down" under heat and polymerizing).

For diesel engines, synthetic oils offer no benefit vs. conventional oils on the amount of contaminants (e.g. exhaust particles) that can be held in suspension in the oil.
Mainly bc diesels rarely get above 200degrees coolant temp and 190 oil, if they do you got a problem
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:24 PM   #9
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My experience:

I ran Rotella 15w40 for close to 30k miles after rebuilding our old 5.9 12 valve engine. Never had an issue. I decided last year to try the new t6 synthetic right before a long trip. I IMMEDIATELY experienced oil leaks that didn’t exist before and suspected that the engine was also consuming some oil... on a 7000 mile trip, i think we lost or burned 3 quarts. (I don’t remember the exact amount... it’s on a forum post here somewhere) Previous to the synthetic, we would maybe use a quart or less in that distance.

When we got home, I sent in an oil sample to have it tested. Everything looked good but aluminum was slightly elevated. I decided that the synthetic wasn’t worth it and switched back to regular oil. Cummins recommends valvoline 15w40 premium blue conventional oil now, so that’s what I switched to. The only recommendation that I have seen cummins make for synthetic is for arctic conditions. I think we have about 1500 miles on the engine since the oil change, and so far the level has not dropped even a little bit, and the leaks have disappeared. I have read of other people experiencing these issues... and also some who never had any issues. I don’t really understand why... just sharing my experience.

I have nothing against the rotella 15w40... I only switched to valvoline because I found out cummins recommended it. Before this oil gets changed out, I’m going to pull another sample and have it analyzed... it will be interesting to see if the aluminum goes back to normal.

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Old 01-13-2019, 09:21 PM   #10
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Early synthetics had issues with seals changing elastomer properties. They were sorted out in gas motors early. But diesel probably remained for a bit longer due to temp differences.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:40 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing your experience. We have a new 1999 Holiday Rambler Endeavor and plan to use the Valvoline Super Blue 15/W 40 recommended by Cummins.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:01 AM   #12
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Mainly bc diesels rarely get above 200degrees coolant temp and 190 oil, if they do you got a problem
Actually it is normal for oil temperature to be hotter than coolant in a hard working engine. The oil is cooling the pistons and turbo bearings. Engine oil at 225 should be no cause for concern.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:09 AM   #13
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Actually it is normal for oil temperature to be hotter than coolant in a hard working engine. The oil is cooling the pistons and turbo bearings. Engine oil at 225 should be no cause for concern.
Thats the key. My ISC stays at 5 to 6 lbs of boost at level road doing 60. Coolant temp stays at 180 and will drop lower going down a hill. There is no way my oil is hotter than 180 during those conditions (and a check of the dipstick immediately after stopping can easily confirm that) AT 12 to 15 lbs of boost thats probably a different story. But thats when the fan speeds up (hyd drive) and the temp gets at most 185-188.

And your right, 225 is no issue for current technology conventional oils.
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