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Allis Chalmers Discussion Forum

Non detergent /Detergent..whats the real deal?

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12-15-2003 07:34:45

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What about non detergent vs. detergent in a 1959 AC D-17? I went to buy some non detergent today because they say detergent can loosen crud and cause it to possibly loosen sludge and block and oil way.....instructions on the Non D oils says don't use on post 1930 vehicles! I found only a couple of post relating to this and one said it is fine if you make first oil change soon. But if the slug breaks free before hitting the filter how will that help? This is kind of like eating a greasy cheese burger when you got a bad ticker make the wrong choice and your on the operating table! Not a place I want the D-17 during snow season. So what say you all? Thanks.

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12-15-2003 12:02:28

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 Re: Non detergent /Detergent..whats the real deal? in reply to Ed, 12-15-2003 07:34:45  
using "Rislone" is a very good way to slowly clean up an engine...

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Doug in OR

12-15-2003 08:38:32

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 Re: Non detergent /Detergent..whats the real deal? in reply to Ed, 12-15-2003 07:34:45  
It's a bit complicated, but I'll try to hit on the highlights.

Non-detergent oils were recommended for older tractors for two reasons. (Keep in mind that we are speaking of recommendations from 50+ years ago). First of all, there obviously were no detergent oils available 60 years ago. Secondly, when they came out with the first detergent oils, they had a high ash content. As the oils burned away, they left an ash deposit. This deposit was as bad as the sludge problem. Tractor manufacturers just decided that non-detergent was the lesser of two evils.

The detergent oils of today don't have the problems associated with the first detergent oils. The oils of today don't burn off nearly as rapidly, and the detergent formula is different. In a modern engine, or a newly overhauled older engine, detergent oil is the only way to go.

Now, to change from a non-detergent to a detergent oil on an older engine - it's a bit more complex. If you have a sludge buildup from non-detergent, the detergent oil might free this and cause clogging. This can usually be eliminated by changing the oil and filter more often after switching to detergent oil. I would say more often is defined as maybe three times as often as before. At least for the first 200 hours. Dropping the oil pan and removing the sludge will help greatly too.

There are also stories of seal leaking after switching to detergent. This is caused by a bad seal in the first place. The sludge is what kept it from leaking. If this happened to me, I'd replace the seal.

Most people have switched to detergent with no problems. In the case of the D17, it might already be using detergent oil. If you already are using detergent, don't change back.

I oversimplified things here, but hope this helps.

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12-16-2003 06:43:53

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 Re: Re: Non detergent /Detergent..whats the real d in reply to Doug in OR, 12-15-2003 08:38:32  
Doug, that was probably the best explanation of detergent/non that I have seen while keeping it in laymans terms. The benefits of detergency are great if introduced properly, like you suggested.

Most (if not all) engine manufacturers now recommend for their vintage engines (that have previously had a non-detergent recommendation) detergent oils. The benefits are just that great.

There are some limited applications for non-detergents in some special hydraulics, etc.

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12-15-2003 10:10:11

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 Re: Re: Non detergent /Detergent..whats the real d in reply to Doug in OR, 12-15-2003 08:38:32  
Thanks Doug. The previous owner may have used Non Detergent..I am unsure. I will go with th edetergent and change more frequently.

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David T (MO)

12-17-2003 10:28:49

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 Re: Re: Re: Non detergent /Detergent..whats the re in reply to ed, 12-15-2003 10:10:11  
If the previous owner didn't flat-out tell you he used non-detergent oils, he used whatever was handy - probably a multi-weight detergent oil.

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