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Old 10-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #1
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Oil that is, Black Gold, Texas Tea!

Thanks to you'all, I am looking at our near future selection of a used DP very differently than I started out 2 months ago.

One of many learnings, is get an oil sample and have it analyzed before buying a used DP. Given many posts here regarding very expensive major overhaul expenses, this sounds like very good advice.

So, what are the "best practices" to gather an oil sample?
  1. How much oil do you need to take as a sample?
  2. Should you run the engine before taking the sample? Just warm it up? Run it on the road a bit? (would seem this would make sure the bad stuff is mixed in, rather than laying in the bottom of the pan?)
  3. How exactly do you get the sample? Meaning from where? My guess not the drain plug.
  4. What do you do, if it has very recnetly had a fresh oil change? Could this have been done to mask pending disaster?
Thanks all for any insight you have.


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Old 10-23-2013, 07:29 AM   #2
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Maybe you've considered this already, but in case you haven't, in the cases where you're looking at a coach with well documented history/service records, as long as the mileage isn't sky high or you have other flags going up, oil analysis might be a step you can skip?

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Old 10-23-2013, 07:40 AM   #3
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Call or email Blackstone Labs, Ft. Wayne IN ... they will send you a kit with instructions.. the kit is free, it's $22.50 to get the analysis.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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If they recently changed the oiled you might not get a true sample. Another option is to take it to a shop and have a Dyno run on the engine. It will tell you if any codes come up where the engine was abused, overheated, problems, etc.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:44 AM   #5
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Ahicks, there could be a problem the seller is not aware of, leaking coolers, headgaskets etc.. Have maint completed on time, and completed correctly does not garanttee a great engine.

Would hate to buy a DP for $130k (my price range) and then get a $10k repair bill. I'll spend $30.00 on the idea that I can sleep at night.

PanJH, I'll do that.

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Old 10-23-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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Blackstone Labs (and others) sell an oil vacuum pump which is inserted through the dip stick.

You can find something similar at Harbor Freight or Ace Hardware probably for less money.

I would not worry about oil temperature unless the rig had not been run within the past 30 days when drawing the sample from the dipstick.

Because you would be dealing with a for sale target rig, you will want a quick turn around so figure another $30 for shipping costs on each sample.

You can do the same thing with the Allison Transmission fluid. That is @ a $10,000 component.

Be sure to determine that the oils have not been changed recently before testing.

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