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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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Any more pictures of this? Looks very odd.
 

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How long were they going on OCIs?
 

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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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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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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


What would I be doing right now if I didn't have an iPhone?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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Thats true you cant tell a mechanic what to do. I work with enough that I know. But this is interesting to see. Maybe it will change some opinions but then again maybe not. It's still information to have out for people to see.
 

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Send the sample out for testing, see what it really is. Is it possible to go back to the people that sent in core & find out what they used or set up a program so you can back track. Could this be a warrante issue for you as a rebuilder, meaning if you use syn. oil you void warrante?

I plan to bring this up at my next AMSOIL meeting.
 

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if you run an engine hot enough to turn everything blue, you're going to have problems no matter what kind of oil! LOL

there are so many trucks running for hundreds of thousands of miles on synthetic oil, it's silly to "warn" against it IMO
 

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Have you done a chemical analysis to verify its synthetic oil.

Based on experience what that looks like to me is a dino oil thats remained in an engine far too long.
 

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Especially since plastic is petroleum based
 

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I've worked in petro-chemical industry for over thirty years and synthetic oil will NOT do that. I'd be questioning what that owner was adding to his oil, not the oil he's using. Some snake oil additives contain Teflon which of course is a plastic. Synthetic oil is a superior lubricant plain and simple, it's a proven fact. Must you run it to make your engine last longer is debatable, personally I believe every little bit helps, but frequent dino oil changes is just as good for most vehicles.


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Something isn't right with what that customer is telling you (and the others with the plastic plugs). I've been running synthetic for 150k miles and we just did head gaskets. My friend, who was doing most of the hard work, was a Ford diesel tech for 6 years and my favorite Mr. anti-synthetic motor oil guy. While inspecting my engine, he commented that I just made him a believer in synthetic oil. The wear he was seeing "looked like a motor with 30k miles on it." On top of that, my dumb azz wasn't monitoring ECT and EOT until a couple months ago. When I finally hooked up the ScangaugeII, I nearly crapped myself when I saw my EOT climb to 245* and stay there every time I got on the highway. Lord only knows how long I drove like that. I was due for an oil change so I sent a sample to Blackstone. That sample passed everything with flying colors with 5k miles on it (no new oil added and no additives).
 

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a simple EOT gauge will tell you when the oil is getting too hot. i think everyone that owns a 6.0 should have the basic gauges. I guess IGNORANCE IS BLISS!

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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