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Discussion Forum

Model B Oil Color

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Joe Westrich

05-05-2003 07:22:33

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Checked my oil prior to changing it and it was the normal
black with a milky brown color mixed in. About
30% of it was this milky color.
My anti freeze was up to proper level.
I had used a dip stick heater during winter months. Could this be condensation? Never saw this color in winter months.
Do I have a problem?

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Joe Westrich

05-07-2003 07:51:33

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 Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Joe Westrich, 05-05-2003 07:22:33  
Interesting observation. I drained the oil into
a clear container. The milky colored brown oil settled to the bottom over a period of a couple days. A little water on top.

No sign of any problem since oil change. Another
tractor mystery?

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Greg Ballantyne

05-06-2003 17:36:34

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 Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Joe Westrich, 05-05-2003 07:22:33  
I agree with Dave, you have one or two things going on. My oil never gets black, and I never have seen the milky brown either. Niether one sounds good.

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Phil Auten

05-05-2003 18:28:39

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 Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Joe Westrich, 05-05-2003 07:22:33  
If you have antifreeze in the radiator and there's no trace of it mixed in with the oil, it is most likely condensation. The oil turns black from soot produced by unleaded gas. It sounds like your carb might be set just a bit on the rich side. Try leaning it out so it runs best under load, then richen it "just a bit" to keep it from being too lean and burning a valve.

My 2,

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Terry in pa

05-05-2003 14:05:42

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 Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Joe Westrich, 05-05-2003 07:22:33  
Water in the oil doesnt always mean that its cracked. In my B I had a softplug under the valvespring rust out and it put water all thru the oil. You wont get much fuel in the oil from leaving the carb full either because its an up-draft system. It would be different if it happened while you were trying to start it when its REALLY flooded, but its not gonna get in the oil just by sitting overnight.

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Kevin (FL)

05-06-2003 11:42:29

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 Re: Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Terry in pa, 05-05-2003 14:05:42  

Awhile back I posted a message about water pouring into a newly "freed-up" and started B model oil pan. As soon as we got it running I noticed the engine making a little noise, shut it down and found milky oil. We assumed this was a bad sleeve o-ring. What's the chances that the softplug you mentioned is bad on this engine too? I wanted to ask before I pulled head and sleeves unnecessarily. After we pulled the pan and refilled the radiator on this B, water flowed down and across the #1 main bearing cap. Compression check showed about 90-95 #'s on all four cylinders, so I think a bad head gasket is almost ruled out.

Thanks for any advice you could offer.

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Kevin (FL)

05-06-2003 20:45:00

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 Re: Re: Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Kevin (FL), 05-06-2003 11:42:29  

So is that your final answer? Still wondering about the softplug question I had--haven't pulled the head off yet. Project's on hold while we build a barn.


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Terry in Pa

05-07-2003 14:02:48

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Kevin (FL), 05-06-2003 20:45:00  
Kevin, Sorry I misunderstood your question. I thought that you already found that the softplug was the culprit.... Well as far as the oil being just plain black or brown would depend on what oil you use. There are so many different chemicals used in different oils that color doesnt mean squat.Period. Now if it smells gassy or looks like chocolate milk, then there is trouble. I would pull the valve cover off of your tractor Kevin and start it up and look at it while it warms up. Dont use it or put a load on it if the oil has water in it. A little water wont cut the oil that bad so keep the rpms down while you are looking.This aint a 10000 rpm screamer. After you rule that out, (or in) run it for a while and check the color of the spark plugs.White would indicate leanness or antifreeze. But with antifreeze the difference will be that (almost always) that plug color will be white only on one or two. Leanness will be shown more uniform on each plug. Start from there and mail me if you need more ..tyount@alltel.net

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Terry in pa

05-06-2003 13:51:33

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 Re: Re: Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Kevin (FL), 05-06-2003 11:42:29  
Hey Kevin, dont feel bad!!! I pulled the head off mine uneccesarily too!!!

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05-05-2003 10:20:19

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 Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Joe Westrich, 05-05-2003 07:22:33  
The black can be from fuel leaking past your rings. Do you shut off the gas to let the carb go dry and stop the engine or do you shut it down wet? That could do it.

The water could be condensation if you are not running your tractor enough to get it to opperating temperature for any duration. Especially if you are in a wet or humid climate.

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Dave K

05-05-2003 08:07:00

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 Re: Model B Oil Color in reply to Joe Westrich, 05-05-2003 07:22:33  
milky brown color in oil is always water or coolant. How did you determine it was about 30% mixed in? It was probably the water on top so when you drained it it was not well mixed. No matter what it should not be there! You say your normal oil color is black? That is not what I would accept either. I have a 1948 WD that I work and my oil never gets black. It will get a little darker as it ages but never black. You must have a lot of sludge in there! Did you switch to detergent oil after years of non-detergent? Anyway, keep a close eye on it and don't run that engine if it is getting more water in it. It should show up as milky brown on the dipstick after running if it has water in it. Don't know if your dipstick heater would cause that much condensation but doubtfull.

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