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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors

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Dave from MN

03-20-2011 04:19:22
75.94.148.103



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Was just reading a thread on Case forum about Rotella 15-40 oil, which is what I have been using. Apparently it isnt the best choice. So I ask you. What should I be using? Generic 20-50, straight 30, or 40? I have a '67 1206, and 806 IH( both diesels, a '70 CAse 870 gas, a IH 544 Diesel, and a Oliver 1750 with a rebuilt 310, actually the 806 has a rebuilt as well. All tractors have between about 4000-5500 hours other than the rebuilt's, that have less than 500 hours. Want to protect the motors as much as possible.

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buickanddeere

03-20-2011 15:15:48
216.183.153.30



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Any of them burning oil?



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M Nut

03-20-2011 12:43:00
170.215.45.207



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Have used 15-40 from Fleet Farm for over 30 years. I rebuilt a tractor engine for the first time last year, and it was on a tractor I had purchased only the year before. I have no problems with their engine oil. Also use their hydraulic oil in everything but the 886 I.H. I use Case I.H. Hy-Tran in that.



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Jon Hagen

03-20-2011 12:26:53
69.26.23.96



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
"IH released a service bulletin,S-4611 about 1983 approving 15-40 in all their engines as long as you stayed with the 100 hour change interval."



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James22

03-20-2011 12:00:25
207.179.239.31



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Buzzman covered it well and several of the others made other good observations. For a time IH recommended SAE 30 in all diesel engines during the summer. Later an IH service publication was released that allowed multigrade diesel oil but lowered the change interval to 100 hours. I've got the publication number written down somewhere and hopefully could find if desired.



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mmidlam

03-20-2011 11:07:50
209.172.22.158



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
The oild you choose should be diesel rated. Many of the straight rated oils will not be diesel rated. 15w-40 is always diesel rated. More ZDDP in the diesel rated stuff.



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mnoliverguy

03-20-2011 10:57:25
209.191.197.100



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Hey Guys, CAn I change the subject a little? Has anybody use Mobil Delvac 14/40 in there tractors? Local dealer has it on sale at a good price, I have used rottela but not very long so really have no issue with it. But have never used the Mobil brand. Any Ideas? Thanks



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Jon Hagen

03-20-2011 17:54:32
69.26.23.96



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to mnoliverguy, 03-20-2011 10:57:25  
We have used Mobil Delvac 15-40 for many years with good results in all brands.



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trucker 40

03-20-2011 10:34:57
69.152.169.171



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Some say this is always an argument,well that's mostly because a bunch of them don't know what they are talking about or are stuck in the past.There is nothing wrong with Shell Rotella 15/40.Now the people who say that straight 30 weight is better aren't telling the truth.However,an engine that has been using straight 30 weight,you should probably continue to use the same brand straight 30 weight because I have seen an engine leak oil out of the front or back main from switching to 15/40.That doesn't mean 30 weight is better,it just means it will stay in old type seals better.Most stuff made from the late 1970s should have a newer type seal that will work with 15/40 especially if its been rebuilt and new crank seals were put in.15/40 gives better protection to your bearings over a wider temperature range.Its basically the same oil,its a different additive package to make it multigrade.I dont know about other oils,but as long as they have the same additives as Rotella the other 15/40 oil is good.Kendall is another 15/40 thats good.Interstate is good.Just has to be like Rotella.
Now I have rebuilt lots of diesel engines.Back in the early 1980s when I started working on diesels they used 30 weight or series 3 oil for diesels.We rubuilt Detroit engines at around 100,000 miles.Cummins engines might run a little farther,but at about 80,000 miles you had to put main and rod bearing in usually.Once they started using 15/40 you could run them a lot farther.We started off changing bearings at about 150,000 miles,then we went to 300,000 miles and then we just would pull one and see what it looked like,if it looked good and still had good oil pressure probably wouldnt change them unless we needed to work on the engine.By the time I started doing another job around 1988,they had engines that had ran up to a million miles and had never had a wrench on it anywhere.That was Shell Rotellas advertisement.They had pictures of pistons they took out of a diesel engine with a million miles on it.Ive worked on engines that had over 500,000 miles on them before they needed anything.
Just like anything else,if you keep oil in it,it will last a lot longer.What I have seen 15/40 oil do is make engines last a good 3 times longer,and burn less oil in that period of time than any engines on series 3 ever did that I worked on.Plus the bearings looked better at 300,000 miles than series 3 bearings looked at 100,000 miles.
You still probably should change bearings at about 500,000 miles,just to be safe,but you will maybe look at them and wonder why you are doing it if they always kept Rotella oil,or any other 15/40 that has additives like Rotella in it,but then they might be showing copper too,so its a good idea to swap them I think.
Also where I worked at they had bulk oil.They got a good deal on a barrel of Cummins Blue 15/40 and we ran that.Some of the trucks burned 2 or 3 gallons a week on the Cummins Blue and they switched to Rotella and some of the trucks that were burning 2 or 3 gallons a week went down to a gallon a week.I dont know why,but I saw it myself.
I'm not going to say that Shell Rotella is the best oil,but if there is any better oil,it has to be real good oil.

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Detmurds

03-20-2011 08:26:49
67.142.130.20



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
If you have an owner's manual, follow what it says.



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S2710

03-20-2011 08:27:30
98.143.227.89



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Dave 518 super lube 15-40 from cenex is a very good oil and ready available in your area of Minn. I have used it in all lettered Farmalls 1066 706 gas and deisel olivers and Massy's



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Buzzman72

03-20-2011 07:18:02
74.129.194.120



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
These days, it's not as much about the VISCOSITY of the oil as it is about the ever-decreasing amounts of ZDDP in the oil. Over on the automotive side of things, there are a lot of companies selling "break-in oils" with higher levels of ZDDP in them. ZDDP is essential when breaking in an engine with a new flat-tappet [non-roller] camshaft. The EPA Nazis have required oil companies to decrease the level of ZDDP in motor oils because of the fear of fouling catalytic converters with the phosphorus component of ZDDP.

More on ZDDP in the link below.

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MF Poor

03-20-2011 07:21:39
72.4.0.230



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Buzzman72, 03-20-2011 07:18:02  
Never seen a 70's or earlier tractor with a catalytic converter.



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Buzzman72

03-20-2011 07:24:14
74.129.194.120



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to MF Poor, 03-20-2011 07:21:39  
But that didn't stop th EPA from DEMANDING that oil companies lower the ZDDP levels in ALL their oils, either.

Guess they're aftaid some poor schmuck will use "tractor oil" in his Kia, so the dropped the ZDDP levels in ALL oils...some more than others, of course.



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MF Poor

03-20-2011 06:47:38
72.4.0.230



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
The folks who maintain their membership in the Flat Earth Society will tell you there's a problem with Multi Weight oils, detergent oils, ect, but have no solid evidence to back up their stories. They're just stuck in the stone ages. Old tractor manuals suggest straight weight oils because that was what was available "back in the day".

Over the road semis use 15/40 (of various brands) with tremendous success. They pile up hours/miles that most tractors never see. I've used Pennzoil 15/40 in my diesels (trucks and tractors) for as long as I can remember, with NO issues. That includes a couple older tractors with (in excess of) 15,000hrs (on original motor)

The earth is round, the moon is NOT made of green cheese, and 15/40 diesel rated multi-weight oil is the best thing for diesel engines, new OR old.

Rotella is as good as most. I use the Pennzoil because a friend is a Pennzoil distributor and I get it at a good price. My bro-in-law uses Napa 15/40 without a single problem and has for years.

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Buzzman72

03-20-2011 07:27:23
74.129.194.120



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to MF Poor, 03-20-2011 06:47:38  
Unless you're breaking in a new camshaft and need the higher ZDDP levels in your oil, the key isn't what viscosity or brand you use, but how clean your oil is, and how often it gets changed.



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d beatty

03-20-2011 06:30:44
71.239.246.137



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
I use 15-40 Shell Rotella in my 1930s farm tractor all the way up to my cars,trucks,& garden tractors. We had less engine problems with Shell than outer brands. I also just retired from a freight line after 38 years. They have used Shell 15-40 Rotella about the last 20 years with less engine failers than with other brands.



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jcwag

03-20-2011 05:31:51
75.213.116.134



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
well we run 15w40 in everything. our newest tractor is a 1993. we have used shell rotella, case ih and napa. havent had any problems so this year we bought napa again.



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mEl

03-20-2011 05:23:21
108.10.129.213



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
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Dave, I have been lambasted for my stand on engine oils and I respond knowing that I will be castigated for my opinion on oil. Let me clarify first that I am a lifelong Case mechanic since 1962 at the same dealership without a layoff and little lost time until recently while a health issue is being resolved. As far as your 870--- no multigrade is recommended for that engine in any of our oil charts from Case. A study of multigrades shows that MG oils do not change viscosity when hot so I will stubbornly recommend the straight weight oil for the 870. Case #1-- 30 wt is my oil of choice as I have watched it protect many engines over the years. The first engines Case had that recommended for multigrade in the large equipment were the CDC joint venture engines with Cummins introduced in the 580 E series hoe/ loaders and other equipment. There were a couple smaller skid steer engines that used a multi. I have seen engine failures which were directly linked to a particular brand which I will not name. My experience is first hand as I repaired a 530 Case ag tractor that the sleeve rubber o rings were reduced to slime, gooey stretchy snot and the only possibilities were incompatibility with the oil or the antifreeze. Since the engine was being used with an oil that it was not speced for it I will stick to the multigrade as the culprit. Seeing the carnage that an improper oil caused and being the one to repair the damage has left a lasting impression on me. I realize that was years ago and both oring and oil blends have changed but that incident is vivid in my mind and the cause for my opinion on multigrades. Before you all pounce, my life has been tractors, backhoes and skidsteers. I have been threatened with lawsuits by off brand suppliers and firsthand experienced the problems caused by two brands in particular. mEl

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36 coupe

03-20-2011 06:27:45
199.2.58.129



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to mEl, 03-20-2011 05:23:21  
I put a few oz of MMO in the gas of my Ford 640 tractor.The gas shut off valve bound up so bad that it took a large screwdriver to open and close it.This went on for about a year before I could open it by hand.I open it just 2 turns.After a while the valve started leaking, the o ring is shot.Anytime I post this the MMO users go nuts and attack.If I had kept the MMO out of the gas I wouldnt have to put a new o ring in the valve.New valves cost 60 bucks.I put Shell Rotella in my truck last year and saw some erratic oil pressure for a while.I dont think I will use it again.I worked for a JD dealer and was working for a Ford auto dealer when the 57 Ford was a brand new car.

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WGWKy2

03-20-2011 05:12:57
98.23.27.128



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Just my opinion but every time this comes up you get a lot of different answers! My conclusion has been that everyone is right, just use the right specs on the can. Failures due to oil are very rare, except no oil at all. The old rule detergent if the engine has an oil filter and multi-vis if used year around has'nt changed. Brands are printed on the outside of the cans,



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grampy

03-20-2011 05:06:57
72.36.56.204



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Mornin' Dave, asking an oil question on this board is like pokin a stick in a hornets nest !! However, had the same question myself a few years ago. I asked both Conoco and Shell. Got the same answer from both, still using 15/40. Just parked a 930 case last season with a very tired engine. We powered an irrigation pump with it amoung other chores. We put about 5000 hours on it - all with 15/40 in it. ( and who knows how many hours the tractor had when we got it ! ) I use 15/40 in everything but my four wheeler and my 97 chev pickup. Ken

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Bob Bancroft

03-20-2011 05:14:21
97.73.64.149



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to grampy, 03-20-2011 05:06:57  
Just to make the discussion complete the oil filter brand question should be added! Then watch it fly!



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MPowis

03-20-2011 05:00:52
24.60.32.99



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Dave from MN, 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Same question; have a early 60's JD2010 gas, 4cyl., 47hp. Only used for occasional chores, less than 100hrs a year. If I'm changing the oil annually, does it make that much difference?



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DanR

03-20-2011 04:57:20
67.236.8.213



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to Mike (WA), 03-20-2011 04:19:22  
Stay with the Rotella. If there was a better oil for older tractors I'd be using it.



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mike1972chev

04-18-2011 04:37:39
75.149.81.173



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 Re: Best engine oil for late 70's and earlier tractors in reply to DanR, 03-20-2011 04:57:20  
Just clarifying.You guys use this in your old gas motors as well??? 15/40 Rotella ???



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