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curlett

What oil should I use?

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curlett

Last winter I used my 7016 and 3415 to plow and blow snow. I never changed out the SAE30 oil to 5W -30. I know that you are supposed to never use SAE30 in the winter but my question is this - I keep my tractors in my insulated barn that rarely ever gets below freezing no matter how cold it gets outside. I set a heat lamp by the engine block to warm it up before I start it, and I have a wood stove in the barn so I warm the barn up to about 70° for about an hour before I start them up. Then I let them run and warm up for about 10 more minutes before I actually go and use them. I really can't see much of a reason to change the SAE30 oil to 5W -30 under my circumstances. Once the engine is warm and operating it shouldn't need thinner oil even if it is 0° outside should it? The only reason I can see that they recommend 5w -30 in the winter is if the engine is being started when it is the outside temperature, then I can see how it could be damaged from inadequate lubrication. Do you guys think I should change my oil out to 5W -30 even if I do all the things I mentioned? My common sense says that I should be fine but I have been wrong before that's for sure! Thanks

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DanD

I read on one of websites I frequent about a guy who lived in Alaska and had a new portable generator that he was going to use. Kept it inside the porch all night where it was warm, so he figured he would just take it outside in the morning and start it and then it would be fine. Well, the thing ran for maybe an hour or so and blew up. Now remember this is Alaska and the temp. was about -50 or something crazy. What he found was all the oil in a solid gob hanging up in the top of the crankcase, leaving nothing to actually lubricate the engine. Since an air cooled engine has no temperature control, the extremely cold air cooled the engine so much that the oil solidified even though it was running. Now, I don't believe this would ever happen in the lower 48. Personally, I am lazy and just run Amsoil small engine oil all year!

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Tonyvdb

I think it has a lot to do with the outsid air temp. When I was in the Air Force stationed in northern Maine I had a friend that was in Alaska and we would talk on the phone, I was always working to make sure the generators didn't overheat he was always trying to get his warmer. This was in the winter and generators in the 500 to 1000 KW size.

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427435

It would seem that using a good 5w-30 oil would be a lot easier than all the stuff you are doing to warm up the tractor before starting.

I've just been using 5w-40 Mobil 1 oil in all my engines year around. Simplifies things, and only need to change oil once a year (if that) as some of the units don't get many hours.

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powerking_one

Another (well known) club member Marty "MPH" lives in Alaska and he posted a thread with some very revealing oil tests and flow characteristics at like -20 deg F. Only the true fully synthetic oils like Amsoil, Mobile-1, Red-Line faired well. From his pic's of the conventional 5W-30 and 10W-30 oils, they flowed more like gooey STP oil treatment than motor oil at these temps. I searched the T.T. forum for this thread but could not find it; he (MPH) had some good pic's showing the various flow characteristics.

Tom(PK)

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curlett

Wow! -50° that makes me feel like a wimp when I get cold in the winter here in Michigan. I knew oil got thicker when it's cold but I didn't know oil would turn to jelly when it gets that cold

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