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Old 02-20-2015, 12:13 PM   #1
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Oil analysis

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
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:31 PM   #2
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You might consider sending a sample to JG Lube Services based on time rather than Milage.

Allison's schedule calls for filter change at 36 months and fluid change at 48 months. Sample testing of course supersedes the fixed intervals. I use JG transmission samples because it is run by Tom Johnson who is the retired Allison engineer who wrote the specifications for Allison's TES295 (synthetic) and TES398 (Dino) fluid requirements. Tom authored a thread on the Allison forum and if you post a question or ask for a test interpretation he is glad to provide.

http://www.jglubricantservices.com/online_store.html

I use Blackstone also for engine oil.




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Old 02-20-2015, 01:18 PM   #3
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+1 here for Blackstone....you now have a baseline, and over time, consistent sampling can indicate a potential problem. Kind'a like "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Cheap insurance in the grand scheme of things. Good luck and drive safe.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:42 PM   #4
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I know this is not the main purpose, but a side benefit. A oil analysis history would be valuable information to provide to a prospective buyer.

We sammple everything in our business and it is just calculated as an operating cost. I pulled samples of the tranny, engine, and Onan, before we purchased our MADP. No baseline but a good indication that there is not an impending failure.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:14 PM   #5
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I'm a big believer in oil analysis.
Blackstone did my analysis for both of my Corvettes that I raced. It's a great tool for knowing what's going on with your engine.
I just got my DP and will start a program with it.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
You might consider sending a sample to JG Lube Services based on time rather than Milage.

Allison's schedule calls for filter change at 36 months and fluid change at 48 months. Sample testing of course supersedes the fixed intervals. I use JG transmission samples because it is run by Tom Johnson who is the retired Allison engineer who wrote the specifications for Allison's TES295 (synthetic) and TES398 (Dino) fluid requirements. Tom authored a thread on the Allison forum and if you post a question or ask for a test interpretation he is glad to provide.

JG Lubricant Services, LLC

I use Blackstone also for engine oil.




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I was going to use Blackstone but this info is great. I will have to pull my Gaffney service slip to see if they did the Allison service then. Thank you for this link.

Rick Y

PS: Nice to see the fish and the cross!
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:36 AM   #7
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A side note to this topic but related: Air filter. The silicon levels are one indicator of a bad air filter, or piping, and more accurate of the condition of it than the filter gauge mounted by the radiator. I don't want to be one of those folks with a story to tell about my turbo eating a air filter.

On the maintenance end of things, getting the air dryer filter changed every 50K is not a bad idea either. Personally, because of the easy life most of our chassis have, I feel that many of the service intervals in the book are very conservative and can be pushed out, especially with testing the essential fluids.

So far my major chassis service was done about 8 or 9K early just because I was new to the coach and Gaffney, SC was handy. It got a good bill of health and I got peace of mind. I am a happy camper!

Rick Y
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:24 AM   #8
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My old C8.3L had 95,000 on the odometer last summer when tested for a second time. The first time was at 74,000 miles.

The report looks very much like your statistics.

I do pay Blackstone $10 for the TBN analysis which will tell you if you can run the oil longer.

You might like the engine oil analysis info at:

Engine Oil Analysis - Bob is the Oil Guy - Bob is the Oil Guy
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
My old C8.3L had 95,000 on the odometer last summer when tested for a second time. The first time was at 74,000 miles.

The report looks very much like your statistics.

I do pay Blackstone $10 for the TBN analysis which will tell you if you can run the oil longer.

You might like the engine oil analysis info at:

Engine Oil Analysis - Bob is the Oil Guy - Bob is the Oil Guy
As important as sample interpretation is your method of taking the sample. Ideally, a tap on the oil galley ahead of the filter is the best. However, not really practical. Drawing a sample from the dip stick tube is a good alternative but be very careful Not to extend the tube such that it reaches the bottom of the pan.
Taking a sample from the drain plug is one of the poorest methods.

I use a pump that I put the sample bottle onto and using a measured piece of tubing draw a sample when the engine is hot, just before my annual service.
I do both the engine and transmission yearly.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:27 AM   #10
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I read in one of these thread topics about this:
Fumoto Oil Drain Valve



Sorry about the type change. I did a cut and past. This valve seems like a good and clean way to take a sample. They make them to fit most engines sump pans. I am considering this method. One guy wrote that he used a shop vac on the fill tube to keep the oil in the pan when he pulled the plug to install the valve. Another guy tried it and said it worked like a champ.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
My old C8.3L had 95,000 on the odometer last summer when tested for a second time. The first time was at 74,000 miles.

The report looks very much like your statistics.

I do pay Blackstone $10 for the TBN analysis which will tell you if you can run the oil longer.

You might like the engine oil analysis info at:

Engine Oil Analysis - Bob is the Oil Guy - Bob is the Oil Guy
Great information. Thanks. I will consider the TBN on my next sample. This one is the benchmark and was done early. I was looking for a place to start. Using Royal Purple should improve some of the numbers but not by much. Because it is so good a wear prevention and reduced friction I like using it. Because of the $/qt most people find it too expensive. I want to do extended oil changes so I figure start with a top product and at least break even at the end of the day.

Rick Y
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:01 PM   #12
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I am a firm believer in oil analysis. We have been doing it in our business for over 20 years. So far, we have only used it to head off problems before they happen and as an investigative tool on purchases. We have not used them for the purpose of extending oil life. I'm not sure if this is a new concept or if we have just fallen behind the curve. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it. I may be more comfortable with using this for the transmission than the engine oil, since the synthetics we use are so expensive and is so long lived anyway. I certainly see the validity in practice. It just doesn't look good on paper. I could just see explaining to a prospective buyer that you didn't change the engine oil for 3 years because the oil samples came back good.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
I am a firm believer in oil analysis. We have been doing it in our business for over 20 years. So far, we have only used it to head off problems before they happen and as an investigative tool on purchases. We have not used them for the purpose of extending oil life. I'm not sure if this is a new concept or if we have just fallen behind the curve. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it. I may be more comfortable with using this for the transmission than the engine oil, since the synthetics we use are so expensive and is so long lived anyway. I certainly see the validity in practice. It just doesn't look good on paper. I could just see explaining to a prospective buyer that you didn't change the engine oil for 3 years because the oil samples came back good.
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.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
I am a firm believer in oil analysis. We have been doing it in our business for over 20 years. So far, we have only used it to head off problems before they happen and as an investigative tool on purchases. We have not used them for the purpose of extending oil life. I'm not sure if this is a new concept or if we have just fallen behind the curve. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it. I may be more comfortable with using this for the transmission than the engine oil, since the synthetics we use are so expensive and is so long lived anyway. I certainly see the validity in practice. It just doesn't look good on paper. I could just see explaining to a prospective buyer that you didn't change the engine oil for 3 years because the oil samples came back good.
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
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