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ado ado is offline
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SAE 30 Diesel oil in 914

Can Shell Rotella T1 SAE 30 heavy duty diesel oil be used safely in a 914 2.0 FI ?
Old 08-10-2014, 08:07 AM
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It can be used about as safely as any other modern oil. It will probably be fine, though the current formulation of Rotella T1 does not have the same levels of ZDDP that the older formulations did. So it should not be any different from any other current motor oil.

If you are worried about the ZDDP levels and the possible cam wear that is sometimes associated with low levels of anti-scuff agents such as that, look for oils like Brad Penn and some of the Valvoline Racing oils. (And others; everyone has their favorite.)

--DD
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:28 AM
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Porsche also recently released their "classic" oil for use in the 914. I was surprised to hear though that they are recommending 20w50. I always ran straight 30 weight in my car, 20W50 seems like overkill.
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Old 08-10-2014, 01:20 PM
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I use Rotella 15w-40 in my 2.0. I get it at walmart ofr about $13/jug.

The inside of this motor looks like it just came out of a parts washer and I've had no issues whatsoever.
Old 08-10-2014, 10:44 PM
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Good to know and thanks for the reply guys....
Old 08-11-2014, 02:52 AM
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Diesel oil????? Learn something new every day. I would have never thought diesel oil was OK for a non-diesel engine.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:12 AM
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No cats on diesels - so chemical formulation is different.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:19 AM
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There tend to be a few other differences as well, in part because diesel engines take a lot of beating from very high compression ratios, lean mixtures, and (I think?) more abrupt burns than gasoline engines. Also the different stuff that's "left over" after combustion, most of which goes out the exhaust but some of which makes its way past the rings.

For a number of years, Rotella T was one of the "default" motor oils for old air-cooled cars. It isn't necessarily, now. Depends on who you talk to, frankly.

BTW, 20/50 is a grade of oil that is often recommended for old air-cooled Porsches. It is not necessary to use a straight-weight any more--oil formulation has come a very long way since the 60s when the 914's engine was designed.

--DD
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cairo94507 View Post
Diesel oil????? Learn something new every day. I would have never thought diesel oil was OK for a non-diesel engine.
Diesel lube oil has much higher concentrations of detergent right? wouldn't that cause crankcase "washing" and rapid blocking of the oil filter ?,personally I wouldn't do it but maybe thats just me
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:47 PM
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Engines with flat tappets, like diesels and older gas engines use Zinc Dialkyyl Dithio Phosphate (ZDDP) to lubricate metal to metal surface contacts like the cam and lifters. The EPA "suspected" that ZDDP "might" cause damage to the cat so the levels in gas engines are now somewhere in the 600-800 ppm range. A flat tappet engine like the 914 requires something like 1200 to 1500 ppm of ZDDP to be protected.

As stated above, diesels do burn much different than gas engines. There is soot, unburnt diesel that reacts with water to form strong acids as well as other crud. So, diesel engine oils are jammed packed with detergents, dispersants to keep the soot in suspension, along with the usual anti-wear, viscosity improvers, pour point reducers.

Using diesel 15W-40 in a gas engine in good condition is a walk in the park for this kind of oil. It's overkill, but who cares. Plus it's a lot less expensive than the one Mobil One 15W-50 product, Brad Penn and the rest.

If there is any question as to the ZDDP levels in a particular diesel oil, check the manufacturers web site. They usually have product sheets there for every product. If that doesn't work, contact the local distributor of that brand of oil. There "should" be someone on staff that can find the number for you. Or you can find one of the special ZDDP additives that are available to boost your levels.

A friend of mine vintage races an early 1930's Ford dirt track car with a flat head Ford V/8. He bought a race prepped engine from a guy in California who sent it filled with diesel engine oil. After a weekend of racing he changed the oil to a Mobil One product. Halfway through the second race weekend, the engine seized. The cam looked like someone had taken to it with an angle grinder. The cam contact surfaces of the solid lifters were mushroomed to twice the size of the other end. ZDDP is a necessity.

Larry Steckel
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:35 PM
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Note all diesel eng made to 2007 EPA spec do have cats on them. When introduced the formulation of the oil was changed. The rating on the oil went from cj-4 to cj-5. Also all diesel engs manufactured now (and for a long time in heavy duty and medium duty) have roller lifters, so I would be wary of how much zddp is in the formula. I personally prefer synthetic oils wherever you can use them. I have been in the trucking industry since 73 and have been involved with many tests. Also all trucks come factory filled with syn. lubes in eng, trans and diffs. When syn are used the warranty on these components went up at least double and in some cases tripled. I have seen that replacing mineral bases oil in a heavy duty trans w/syn has lowered temps from 50 to 75 degrees. Just my dealings with lubes through the years, we all have our opinions on this. This is just my 2 cents.
Old 08-15-2014, 11:25 PM
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Funi,
In 2007, diesel engine oil specs moved from the CI ratings to CJ ratings. This reflected a decrease in sulfated ash allowed in the oil. The CJ-4 spec is still in effect according to the API website. If a new spec is introduced it would probably be a CK spec.

At the same time, diesel trucks were required to install a particulate trap in the exhaust to eliminate the black, sooty exhaust that trucks used to spew into the atmosphere. This isn't a catalyst. When the trap becomes clogged, the engine goes into a special sequence that super heats the trap vaporizing the particulates.

Having sold oils, I will agree that synthetic is the way to go in transmissions and diffs. However, you change engine oil not because the oil degrades, the additive package does. You want to get rid of contaminants suspended in the oil. Given the oil change intervals recommended on diesel engines, the fact that mineral and synthetic have to meet the same specs, plus the fact that you need 10 gallons for an oil change on a large diesel engine, I could never justify the cost difference of synthetic versus mineral oil. Most of the fleet manager I talked to who ran back to back tests didn't see enough difference in fuel mileage to justify the more expensive oil.

Larry Steckel
1971 Porsche 914
Old 08-16-2014, 05:52 AM
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