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Old 07-19-2019, 02:19 PM   #1
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Service Options - Oil

I haven't used my DP much this last 12 months - just under 5K.

In talking with a couple of commercial owner/operators who have the C7 in their older rigs I was informed they test their oil every 10K but seldom change sooner than 36 months.

Anybody here do oil changes past 12 month?

What is the possible harm if oil tests good and good viscosity?

Thanks for your input. My annual is due end of August.

Have a great day - Richard
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:24 PM   #2
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I average about 5,000/year,n ad change my oil annually as wel. I don't use synthetic. Could I go longer with a full synthetic?
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:04 PM   #3
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The problem is your C7 oil is used by the HEUI pump to power the injector system. Any impurities or condensation can damage the HEUI system and repairs are expensive.

I'm not sure what owner operators you spoke to. I do not know any class 8 trucks that ever used a C7. It is just not powerful enough. However, the Cat C13 and C15 were favorites for many of the old timers. The C7 was used primarily in school buses.

Changing 4-5 gallons of oil and a filter is relatively easy. You can drain it into a 5 gallon plastic bucket. The larger engines can hold 15 gallons and that makes it difficult to handle that quantity.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
The problem is your C7 oil is used by the HEUI pump to power the injector system. Any impurities or condensation can damage the HEUI system and repairs are expensive.

I'm not sure what owner operators you spoke to. I do not know any class 8 trucks that ever used a C7. It is just not powerful enough. However, the Cat C13 and C15 were favorites for many of the old timers. The C7 was used primarily in school buses.

Changing 4-5 gallons of oil and a filter is relatively easy. You can drain it into a 5 gallon plastic bucket. The larger engines can hold 15 gallons and that makes it difficult to handle that quantity.
'nuff said. thanks.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:41 AM   #5
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First thing I did to our new-to-us C7 based coach was change the oil. I've read too many stories of HEUI pump or injector failures from dirty oil. In not as worried about retained viscosity as i am with dirt in the oil.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtribble View Post
I haven't used my DP much this last 12 months - just under 5K.

In talking with a couple of commercial owner/operators who have the C7 in their older rigs I was informed they test their oil every 10K but seldom change sooner than 36 months.

Anybody here do oil changes past 12 month?

What is the possible harm if oil tests good and good viscosity?

Thanks for your input. My annual is due end of August.

Have a great day - Richard
Richard,
The C-7 is a good engine. It's in a zillion motorhomes, older fire trucks, cement trucks, delivery trucks and many more, not to mention the marine use. As has been stated, the HEUI pump in the C-7 (and many other engines) likes CLEAN OIL! Waiting to change oil simply because "it's not due" is, well, not the best plan. You can look at it fairly simply. OIL is CHEAP. HEUI pumps are SERIOUSLY EXPENSIVE.

We don't put nearly enough miles on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT per year as we should, based on the "so called" basis for acquiring a diesel coach. But, that's fine. WE use it when we use it. But, in any case, that oil gets changed at a minimum of twice a year, regardless of the miles we put on it. Again, oil is cheap. I'm the one that has to fix the thing if it breaks, and it's cause was DIRTY OIL. And I'm the one who has to pay for it. So, I'd rather pay a bit more, in terms of frequency of oil changes, than PAY A LOT 'cause I was worried about changing the oil either too soon or too frequently. Your choice.
Scott
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:26 AM   #7
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Send your oil to one one the testing labs (I use Blackstone), they will tell you if the oil needs to be changed. It may be good for another year or more.
https://www.blackstone-labs.com/about-us/
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:47 AM   #8
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Richard,
The C-7 is a good engine. It's in a zillion motorhomes, older fire trucks, cement trucks, delivery trucks and many more, not to mention the marine use. As has been stated, the HEUI pump in the C-7 (and many other engines) likes CLEAN OIL! Waiting to change oil simply because "it's not due" is, well, not the best plan. You can look at it fairly simply. OIL is CHEAP. HEUI pumps are SERIOUSLY EXPENSIVE.

We don't put nearly enough miles on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT per year as we should, based on the "so called" basis for acquiring a diesel coach. But, that's fine. WE use it when we use it. But, in any case, that oil gets changed at a minimum of twice a year, regardless of the miles we put on it. Again, oil is cheap. I'm the one that has to fix the thing if it breaks, and it's cause was DIRTY OIL. And I'm the one who has to pay for it. So, I'd rather pay a bit more, in terms of frequency of oil changes, than PAY A LOT 'cause I was worried about changing the oil either too soon or too frequently. Your choice.
Scott
Hi Scott,
By nature I'm a proactive vs reactive person and do almost all my own maintenance including oil changes. Other than oil changes being cheep, is there a benefit to doing twice a year changes?

Last year we put around 16k miles on our DS and have always changed the oil yearly in this and our last DP. Typically every 2-3 months we go somewhere and living in SW FL the trips are always far away. Tallahassee next week as our youngest graduates FSU and then Bar Harbor MA a month after that.

My reasoning is the acid build up in the oil takes time and we don't have her sitting around for more than a couple months.

Enjoy
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:04 AM   #9
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Scott, thanks for your input. My non-diesel background shows but I'm learning thanks to you and others who post here.

In my review of the Hui pump I'm learning how it operates. The problem I am dealing with is 'dirty oil'. When I had the oil changed at FL it was a dirty looking afterward as it was before. When I asked about it they said 'diesel oil is always dirty'
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:15 AM   #10
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Yes diesel oil will look dirty shortly after a change. I with the others who change their oil annually regardless of mileage. My Coach goes to sleep for the Winter so I change it when winterizing. I don’t waste the money to buy synthetic since it does not extend the service interval. An oil analysis is good to get just to understand the engines health if nothing else. I personally don’t extend my oil change interval based on the results
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:16 AM   #11
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Scott, thanks for your post. My non-diesel background clearly shows but I am learning thanks to you and others who willingly share your knowledge.

I understand dirty oil but diesel oil is always dirty - at least that is what FL told me after I asked why my new oil after the change was just as dirty as the old oil was.

Can you and/or others clarify this for me?

Do I need to have the engine flushed next month. I asked for it last year but FL said the seals in my engine were old (12 years) and they did not recommend doing it.

Changing twice a year doesn't bother me if it will help keep my unit running smoothly. I've spent a ton this first year but have more confidence in my DP now than when I bought it.

We now have an Altorfer Service Center here in Springfield. I had them do the turbo replacement earlier this year. Should I use them to do the oil change and then FL do the rest of my annual service - they do have a couple of techs who are DP Knowledgeable?

Thanks for your info - Richard
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:51 AM   #12
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I wouldn’t recommend an oil system flush. A waste of money and might actually do more harm than good. Motorhomes live a much gentler life than over the road trucks so your crankcase is likely to be cleaner than almost any other engine in other applications. While changing the oil twice a year is certainly a good thing it is really not needed unless you exceed the recommended mileage change interval. I would recommend being sure a quality oil is being used when you have yours changed. I do my own and have always used Rotella non-synthetic
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtribble View Post
I understand dirty oil but diesel oil is always dirty - at least that is what FL told me after I asked why my new oil after the change was just as dirty as the old oil was.

Can you and/or others clarify this for me?

Do I need to have the engine flushed next month. I asked for it last year but FL said the seals in my engine were old (12 years) and they did not recommend doing it.

What the FL tech should have told you , is that your engine's oil galleries hold approx 3 quarts of oil , that can't get removed during standard service; so that oil mixes with the fresh oil as soon as the engine is started and blackens it. The black in diesel engine oil comes from combustion chamber carbon , the carbon is washed down the cylinder walls past the rings during cold start up and extended periods of idle , when the pistons and rings aren't at full expansion/operating temp. Any diesel fuel in the pan evaporates and is vented out the slobber tube but the carbon remains in the oil.
I wouldn't do an oil system flush either , for the reason they gave.
Synthetic oils weren't as common when these engines were built / designed and the seals and gaskets probably not designed to handle them.
JMHO: The only time to switch any engine that came from the factory with regular oil to synthetic is at the first oil change, when all the seals and gaskets were new and flexible .
BTW; From my Dodge/Cummins training , Cummins said synthetic oils were ok in the Dodge/Cummins engines ; BUT ; the oil change intervals could not be extended by using synthetic.

Safe Travels.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:31 PM   #14
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Scott, thanks for your post. My non-diesel background clearly shows but I am learning thanks to you and others who willingly share your knowledge.

I understand dirty oil but diesel oil is always dirty - at least that is what FL told me after I asked why my new oil after the change was just as dirty as the old oil was.

Can you and/or others clarify this for me?
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