Don't use synthetic oil - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:55 AM
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Don't use synthetic oil

I made a post a while back about how synthetic oil turns into pastic when it overheats and several people commented to the effect that I didn't know what I was talking about. I had to wait a couple weeks before we tore a core down that had the problem but here are the pics.
As you can see, the entire oil galley was plugged. We see this in about one out of every 12 engines that we tear down. One was so bad a couple weeks ago that the entire cankshaft was coated and couldn't be cleaned.
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Don't use synthetic oil-20120904_170142.jpg   Don't use synthetic oil-20120904_170200.jpg  

Last edited by AshevilleEngine.com; 09-06-2012 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:47 AM
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Are you saying that non-synthetic oil would have fared better if your analysis is correct?
Synthetic oil can take more heat than non-synthetic. Looks like poor maintenance to me.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:34 AM
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Yea, this makes No Sense to me...

To my mind, the reason for Not using Synthetic is because it's actually "the answer to the nonexistent problem". That is, it stands up to abuse like heat, So Much better than dino oil. So much so that those conditions are rarely, if ever, experienced in most engines. You're paying for "insurance" you'll never need by using it (and paying a Lot too! )

These pictures are from What? An engine you rebuilt, with a block that was boiled-out and never had anything but Synthetic in it and never had a catastrophic meld-down???

I bet Not! I don't think you can say that the reason for this is the oil...
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:48 PM
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I used to think that synthetic was a pretty good thing. I'm not a scientist so I don't really know what's happening but I at least want to put the info out there so people can make their own decisions about it.
Because I have seen a big plastic turd being pushed out of oil galleys in about 1 out of every 12 powerstroke core engines that we get back from customers, I can only assume that there is some very serious deficiencies with it. Maybe "plastic" is not the correct term but it appears to be very "plastic like". Either way, it plugs the oil galleys and keeps the oil from flowing and contributes to catastrophic engine failure.
Keep in mind, I said one in 12 engines. I wonder if one in 12 diesel owners use synthetic? My guess would be probably not.

Opinions are like a-holes. Everybody has one and most of them stink but I'm going to give you mine anyway. Since way back in the early 70's when I tore apart my first engine, I have never seen anything like this in an engine until someone came out with synthetic oil for diesel engines, and now I see it every month. My opinion is ... use all the synthetic oil that you want to use, I make my living rebuilding engines.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:51 PM
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Any more pictures of this? Looks very odd.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:25 PM
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How long were they going on OCIs?
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:20 PM
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Reading your post left me with one question. Did you confirm that the synthetic oil they were using was rated (proper class) for our engine. I would not be supprised if what you are seeing is someone who walked into Walmart and grabbed any old oil they could find and threw it in the engine.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:37 PM
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If you're wanting us to make our own decisions, why is the title of your post "don't use synthetic oil"? Additionally, how many motors have you worked on in the last few years? I have no clue what you do but if you tear down 2 motors per week for a year, that's only 104 motors per year. The "1 in 12" claim just sounds made up to me. To be able to make a "1 in 12" claim FOR ANYTHING, I feel like you need a much larger test pool. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your continued testing. I need to go to Wal Mart to get some more T6.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:48 PM
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I think he builds motors for a living? I have seen this as well only three times in like 5 years of repairing these engines, every time I have seen this it's been on trucks that I worked on regularly, knew the owners of two personally and they were fairly meticulous about maintaining there stuff. All three were during summer months and all three were towing when the motors let go. One of them was a 6.0 that only ran synthetic oil and the guy had an Insite, he didn't know when the oil was to hot to be running safely he said he saw his wrench light come on with the cluster saying check gauges, overheated the engine and she locked up on him, oil at 260+ needless to say his oil cooler was most of the cause of this problem, however hot oil will lubricate better than oil that's turned solid state, had the oil stayed liquid I highly doubt the engine would have locked up. Now I run Dino oil because I get it for next to nothing through work and I change it often enough I see no reason for me personally to run synthetic. It does have its advantages but it also has disadvantages, now in my experience I haven't seen this enough to say don't run it because of those three engines, that's 3 out of like a few thousand for me. But my understanding of the op is that they reman engines for a living, they will have seen it more times than most anyone, company here local does the same kind of business and they do more engines in a month than I think I have done in my working career. Shawn


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Old 09-10-2012, 06:55 AM
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Like skooter said, we reman engines so I'm only seeing the ones that already quit. And yes, it has been one out of twelve. (maybe 11, maybe 13). I know that several had been run extremely hot because things were "blue" inside. I was assuming that things got that hot and turned blue because of the lack of lubrication but I guess it could be the other way around.
I'm not a scientist so I can't tell you what is happening or why, but I do know that once the oil galleys are completely stopped up with a "pastic" plug, the engine has no lubrication. I used to run synthetic myself but have swithed back to the ol' reliable just so I never have to worry about "how hot is too hot?".
Maybe I should have titled it "Warning about synthetic oil" but I didn't think any diesel techs would take things literally.
This discussion has confirmed my believe that you can't tell a mechanic what to do!
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