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Old 02-23-2015, 08:50 AM   #15
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I was doing research on motor oils back several years ago. I came upon a independent study that did real world testing on real daily drivers. They had the test results for most brands of oils over an extended period of time. They even had a test lab scuff test setup and pictures of the test slugs for each oil tested. I learned two major things: First, changing oil too often is NOT good. The detergent packages used need to break down to be effective. Initially they are harsh on the engine and early changing of the oil is not only a wast of good oil, it is not necessarily good for the motor. Second, Royal Purple was the winner of the scruff test, hands down. The test slug was barely scratched. Hence, I use Royal purple and extend it through testing.

In my sample report my detergents were still very good and the oil had a lot more usable life when I changed it. But, it was not synthetic and that is what I want for the long haul.

Many times we do things because of tradition or it just seem like the right thing to do without facts to support our behavior. I changed my mind when I saw the facts and I saw such test results from a couple of different sources.

Rick Y
Rick, I don't disagree with anything you said. I see that old school mentality almost every day in the construction world. This is precisely my point. How many prospective buyers are going to be educated in oil analysis and extended change intervals?

I have also read the reports that say that early changes are actually counter-productive, due to the raw detergents. It's sort of like new air filters not reaching their highest levels of filtration until they are partially loaded. I change mine when the oil monitor says to change it. Yet there are many that still insists it should be changed every 3000 miles, because that's the way they have been doing it for 50 years.

I will continue to change and sample my engine oil once a year. It makes me get under there and see what is going on with the undercarriage. However, I am going to sample the tranny and change accordingly. My 1st sample was before purchase. I din't know age or brand of oil, but got a "Normal" report. Now that I know it has Transynd, I am going to do it again and send it to JB Lubricant Services for an Advanced Oil Analysis.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:02 AM   #16
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Extended oil drains are more common in industrial and commercial applications. In continuous duty and high mileage applications there can be significant savings to be gained IF it is done right. If it is not, it can be a very expensive experiment. I have seen the results of these types of "Austerity Programs" go sour many times in my years in the engine business.



In an RV (Motorhome) application the rig will sit more than it rolls and is subject to a lot of stop/start and short runs. This type of service lends itself to lube oil contamination due to condensation resulting in acid build up.

IMO, the cost of an annual full service is cheap. Take a sample before the service to confirm there is no contamination such as Glycol, Silicone (sand) or metal particles and be done. Trying to extend oil drains on an RV is asking for problems. IMHO....

Oil & Filters are cheap compared to Pistons/Liners & Crankshafts.

Excellent, well reasoned post. Good advise for coach owners.


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Old 02-26-2015, 07:48 AM   #17
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Excellent, well reasoned post. Good advise for coach owners.


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His thoughts may be as you see them but have you considered this? First of all, I am NOT a tree huger. But I do believe, as a nation, we can be more responsible with how we use our resources. This oil discussion is a good place to start.

By having fluid samples tested annually, and changing fluids based upon the results, reduces the amount of oil consumed by my rig and keeps me actively aware of the condition of my drive-train. In this manner I am helping the environment by not removing good oil too soon or returning service worthy oil prematurely.

When a program like this goes south it is usually because something unpredictable transpired between tests. Abusing the drive-train with short halls and dusty roads or pristine highway driving is not a problem. What is happening to the fluids under any of the conditions encountered is a problem if no observation program is in place.

Testing alone is useless without wisdom applied to the results. Because I am using premium products in my rig I am not in a hurry to throw them out because the calendar says it is time. And I like helping the environment, even in this small, insignificant way.

I hope my argument has not offended anyone. I do hope I have provoked some introspective thought. Happy trails is always a good way to go.

Rick Y
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:00 AM   #18
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Does Cummins and Allison endorse extended intervals based on oil sampling, especially during the warranty period? I know Allison allows it with the use of Transynd, but it still has a calendar based change interval. Seeing it in writing from the manufacturers would be a start.

I sampled my Allison pre-purchase. I had no knowledge of what oil was in it or how long it had been there, at the time. The results only gave me a "normal" grade. Now that I can fill in the blanks, I am taking a new sample and sending it to JP Lubricants, as suggested earlier, and having an Ultimate analysis done. I want to see how this works. By the calendar and my 2007 Allison manual, it is due for an oil change.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:25 AM   #19
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My 1995 Cummins Engine Owners Manual mentions oil analysis and deviation from recommended oil change intervals with no specifics as to conduct.

I would not call the phrase an "Endorsement".
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
Does Cummins and Allison endorse extended intervals based on oil sampling, especially during the warranty period? I know Allison allows it with the use of Transynd, but it still has a calendar based change interval. Seeing it in writing from the manufacturers would be a start.

I sampled my Allison pre-purchase. I had no knowledge of what oil was in it or how long it had been there, at the time. The results only gave me a "normal" grade. Now that I can fill in the blanks, I am taking a new sample and sending it to JP Lubricants, as suggested earlier, and having an Ultimate analysis done. I want to see how this works. By the calendar and my 2007 Allison manual, it is due for an oil change.
I do believe I read something in the owners manual about extending oil through testing. I was just reading the oil change intervals last week.

Here is the advantage in doing this that is a benefit to the owner and the warranty. If some test values indicates a problem, the test results can be taken to the shop. Because of the training the techs have they can tell the area where the potential catastrophic failure may occur and intercede before it happens. This may save them from covering a bigger warranty bill because the problem is isolated. Once the failure happens many other components, not originally involved, may need replacement because of the failure.

When the report comes back from the lab a comment is included about the life remaining in the oil. These folks are well trained and when they speak it is good to listen. If they say you have a bearing problem they know what they are seeing in the oil and where it is coming from. Testing, to me, is a great way to head off most major problems.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:46 PM   #21
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I do believe I read something in the owners manual about extending oil through testing. I was just reading the oil change intervals last week.

Here is the advantage in doing this that is a benefit to the owner and the warranty. If some test values indicates a problem, the test results can be taken to the shop. Because of the training the techs have they can tell the area where the potential catastrophic failure may occur and intercede before it happens. This may save them from covering a bigger warranty bill because the problem is isolated. Once the failure happens many other components, not originally involved, may need replacement because of the failure.

When the report comes back from the lab a comment is included about the life remaining in the oil. These folks are well trained and when they speak it is good to listen. If they say you have a bearing problem they know what they are seeing in the oil and where it is coming from. Testing, to me, is a great way to head off most major problems.
Rick, I'm not questioning the value of oil sampling as a preemptive maintenance tool. We have been sampling our equipment for over 20 years. CAT introduced the program to us, but we have migrated to different labs over the years. That's why that is the first thing I did when we got serious about our coach.

My question is about using oil analysis as a means of extending oil life. I personally see the value in it from both an economic and environmental aspect. However, how do the equipment manufacturers consider it when their recommended change intervals are not met? Is there anything in writing that would authorize altering the change intervals based on good oil samples? The closest thing I can find in my manuals is for the use of Transynd. It makes no reference to oil analysis.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:50 AM   #22
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Rick, I'm not questioning the value of oil sampling as a preemptive maintenance tool. We have been sampling our equipment for over 20 years. CAT introduced the program to us, but we have migrated to different labs over the years. That's why that is the first thing I did when we got serious about our coach.

My question is about using oil analysis as a means of extending oil life. I personally see the value in it from both an economic and environmental aspect. However, how do the equipment manufacturers consider it when their recommended change intervals are not met? Is there anything in writing that would authorize altering the change intervals based on good oil samples? The closest thing I can find in my manuals is for the use of Transynd. It makes no reference to oil analysis.
Thanks for the challenge, Scotty. I have no right to speculate in my comments here. The following bulletin is chock full of information. Please give us your opinion on what you read.

This is the Cummins Service Bulletin: http://www.plaisance-pratique.com/IM...40__5jun13.pdf

If I read it correctly, service intervals are established by sampling but do not become accurate until the engine has 500,000 to 700,000 miles on it!

On page 74 of the Allison operators manual is the following exert from paragraph 5.9.6.1: .... Calendar based fluid requirments are not required if a fluid analysis proigram is in place. Refer to 5.6 FLUID ANALYSIS.

This is the best I can give to you in answer to your question.

Rick Y
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:00 AM   #23
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This is the best I can give to you in answer to your question.
Thanks for that service bulletin. That is a start. I will dig into it some more. Mine is no longer under warranty, so I just need to do the RIGHT thing, and not necessarily the default response.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:17 AM   #24
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Your research made me look somewhere else and I found this. This is what we may be looking for. Thanks again. Allison Oil Analysis Test Recommendations
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:10 PM   #25
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I think getting the fluids tested from time to time is a good idea. If you keep you coach long enough it will help identify potential problems before they become a disaster.

I just got my first report back on this new to me coach. I wanted to do it before my first oil change. I visited the Freightliner factor service center and had the chassis service done. I told them NOT to change the oil but they did anyway. So, my engine tracking started later. The factory service was well worth the money.

When I changed my oil I took a sample. The engine should have been hotter but I didn't want to idle that long for I was set to camp. The new oil I am using is Royal Purple 15W40 diesel formula.

Here is the first oil record, my bench mark. One great factor is the lab comments. I could have continued to use the old oil and my air filter is working well because silicon is low. Many rigs have a problem with dusting, if I have the term correct. The air filter will fail and dust will get into the turbo causing damage. If the silicon values start to climb with later analysis reports I will change the air filter no mater what the gauge indicates.

At around 30K I will pull a sample of the transmission and coolant to see how they are doing. Having this much money invested in my home, it only seem fitting to do some testing like this so that we can be Happy Campers for a long, long time.

Have a report to compare? Has it helped prevent major problems?

Rick Y
i would like to know how the royal purple oil turned out- my relative sales this and i may get a good price- very expensive- thanks gjv
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:39 AM   #26
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i would like to know how the royal purple oil turned out- my relative sales this and i may get a good price- very expensive- thanks gjv
I have used it for years. I started using it in my last coach and in my old car. Both performed very well, even the generator. By extending the oil changes with testing and using only high grade filters your equipment should run smoother, last longer and you probably will break even in the long run for money spent on oil.

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Old 03-03-2015, 07:59 AM   #27
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Your research made me look somewhere else and I found this. This is what we may be looking for. Thanks again. Allison Oil Analysis Test Recommendations
Good find, Scotty. Both Allison and Cummins recommend port sampling. I wonder if there is any greater value for us, as RVers, to go this extra mile? Blackstone Labs recommends dipstick or oil pan samples.

There must be someone on the forum with first hand experience with a MH. Would love to hear from them.

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Old 03-03-2015, 08:14 AM   #28
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Good find, Scotty. Both Allison and Cummins recommend port sampling. I wonder if there is any greater value for us, as RVers, to go this extra mile? Blackstone Labs recommends dipstick or oil pan samples.

There must be someone on the forum with first hand experience with a MH. Would love to hear from them.

Rick Y

Because I use the transmission sampling to extend the interval, I installed a port on my Allison. It's cheap and simple. If you call JG Lube Services & talk to Barney, they sell a sampling fitting that mounts in a high pressure port low on the side of the Allison. It's a simple matter of taking out a plug & putting the fitting in. The fitting is approx $25.

Then taking a sample requires a "needle probe" which is a throw away. It takes less than 5 minutes to take a sample with the engine running and the transmission at operating temp. I highly recommend this method.

Since I don't try to extend oil change intervals but just use the testing of engine oil to monitor the health of the engine, I just catch a sample when I change oil.


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