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Old 04-20-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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Question Top-end Diesel Lube

I was in a trailer repair place last week and another customer, a man who has driven and serviced diesel engines all his life gave me some advice for my 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax (diesel)/Allison (transmission). I want to get some advice now from forum experts to verify what I was told.

The Master Mechanic advised:

1) At the next oil change, get the transmission fluid drained and replaced, 100%, not just the once-over-lightly that usually happens

2) At the same time, remove the fuel filter to replace as usual, only this time, and every oil change, fill the brand new fuel filter with transmission fluid, wait for all of the air bubbles to rise, fill to the brim, and replace the full fuel filter back in its place. He said this would lubricate the top end of the diesel transmission and prolong the life of the engine. He said he typically gets 500,000 miles on the heavy duty diesel trucks he uses and services. He said you could run baby oil in the engine (I think he was kidding).

3) I've read that an older model truck like mine might have some varnish in the tank from poorer quality diesel in the past. Introducing newer diesel, and especially biodiesel, could release the gunk and harm the system. There are various recommendations for getting rid of this varnish.

Does anyone else observe these practices?

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Indianapolis, IN
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
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Okay, for what its worth. My Father owned a trucking company and I grew up with diesel trucks. Big ones. We used to buy a product called "Siloo Diesel Fuel Conditioner" and mix a pint with about fifty gallons of number two diesel. He thought that extended the engine life considerably, although we couldn't prove it. It cost $1.175 a pint and we used a lot of it.

At that time the University offered a service to truckers that if they would send in an oil sample whenever they changed oil, the U would analyze it and from particles in the oil determine engine wear. Crafty as my Dad was, he once sent in a sample of Siloo. The report came back as Automatic Transmission Fluid, which we could buy the for thirty-five cents a quart. After that he bought thirty gallon drums of Auto Trans Fluid.

Now that was a long time ago. Forty years at least, and I would want more info on the subject before I put it in my modern diesel engine.

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Old 04-20-2008, 09:53 AM   #3
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I would agree with (#1) for sure. Be carefull who and how your tranny is serviced. Get all the old fuid out.

As for he other two do you really want to put a foreign product in todays hight tech, vehicles. Modern oils do a marvelous job of lubrication. Shade tree mechanics are just that...shady. I have been a fleet manager for 30 years. Stick with factory recomendations is the best policy.

500,000 miles??? out of a class 8 truck engine??.....if thats all HE is getting He needs to change service habbits. Modern CAT, DETROIT, CUMMINS, will go a million miles if taken care of.

Keep the fluids clean in the tranny is very very important. HEAT is the killer. Once the fluid turns brown its too late. It is amazing how many folks spend 50 grand plus on a new diesel pickup and then won't change the fluids because they are saving a few bucks.

Sorry to ramble on but service is a passion with me. I am always searching for the best way to make engines and trannys last and after 4 decades of taking care of motors and transmissions I find using a quality product and changing more often than recommmended leads to long long engine and transmission life. And stay away from recommendations to put something in a mechanical device that not already recommended. Just change often.
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:46 AM   #4
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Ditto what was said in post #3, though I used a quart of Dexron ATF per tank of diesel in my old 6.9. This was to lube the injector pump seals, not the top end of the engine. The 6.9 was built long before low sulpher and ULSD fuels, so the seals weren't made to withstand the new fuel. It's kind of like using the lead replacement additive for older gasoline engines.
I have run diesels on ATF, but only in an emergency (the *&*&^%$#@#!!! driver ran out of fuel, nearest placce to get more was 15 miles away, and I had 3 gallons of ATF with me)
To make a long story short, unless you have a diesel that's older than a 1996, you don't need to add anything.
As for the transmission fluid replacment, it is highly recomended to do so, but most shops will want to only do the flush. Make sure they replace the filter, as it will have trapped particles of debris in it, and a flaush will not remove it.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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Regular service

I agree with the above. Regular service saves money. In the past, I have usually done my own work but last Fall I paid someone to change the fluids and filters in my Allison 6 speed transmission. Not knowing when it was done last, When I got to look at the filters they had an assembly date of 1993 on them! This was at 83,000 miles. The fluid still looked pink and clean, so someone had obviously done the quick and easy fluid changes. Yes, it cost a lot of money but compared to repair on an Allison tranny, it was probably a good investment.
I am installing a bypass oil fliter this Spring, not to save money on oil changes just so I can run through our work season without messing with oil changes. Keep on diesel-streamin...regards, Phil and Sam
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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hey diesel phil!

u live in mountain home?

i had major service there last year on the powerstroke...

had it towed there from about 50 miles east on the interstate.

apparently the top diesel mechanic at the ford shop is one of the BEST in the country!

and they did a great job on my truck, while i camped outside the dealership...

this was just a week before that giant new building opened on the hiway...

i'm gonna stop in a say hello again this year.

ok back to the topic....

IF ya wanna clean the top end, USE the product made by the company that MAKES injectors...

Stanadyne Corporation - Home Of High Quality Diesel Fuel System Components

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:19 PM   #7
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When ULSD hit the pumps, my '04 Sprinter took an absolute 10% hit on the fuel mileage, going from 23-24 MPG to 20-22 MPG. It was on the very first tank with ULSD that I noticed it, and it has been that way ever since......... until about a month ago.

I was speaking with a diesel specialist from Cummins at a big RV rally, and he recommended Stanadyne. Interestingly, there was a vendor a few aisles away selling the suff, and we had a similar conversation. For $15 for 32 ounce, I took the plunge.

It has been 5 tanks since I started using the stuff (4 ounces per 20 gallons) and my mileage has returned to pre ULSD levels. For the $2/tank that it costs, it sure seems worth it for the $8-10 savings with each fill-up!
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:23 PM   #8
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If you dont know when the last time someone changed the tranny fluid you need to be careful I've got about 2500.00 worth of that deal,,, also check out a web site called jim
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:14 PM   #9
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There is a study available on some of the diesel forums as to "best" fuel additives (and, why). Stanadyne was second tier, but the top tier stuff was harder to find. I have used Stanadyne several times, but it is no better than my usual (and cheaper) choice, I simply have to order it (Lube Control's FUEL POWER FP-60).

I'll be looking for SCHAEFFER's Premium Soyshield if I can get it locally from the dealer.

Yes, I also have seen more consistent mpg with a proper fuel additive.

ATF, 2-cycle oil and other recommendations lack manufacturer support; I'd be leery of them. For example, ATF is just 20W motor oil without the additives needed for combustion byproducts and some additives to make it work well with the trans.

There are endless discussions on this topic, some of them well-informed, on Bob Is The Oil Guy
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:56 PM   #10
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the product comparison u saw was partly sponsored by the WINNER as i recall...

and it was a lubricity comparison.

the magic new product that won came onto the market within weeks of winning the comparison...

1% biod was 2nd? i think and stanadyne 3rd.

no one has independently repeated the comparison to date, so best is yet to b known, imo.

and lubricity is only one issue, and not the same as cleaning injectors or boosting cetane or other issues and so on...

as i recall ford only approves of 2 products (their own motorcraft product and the s-dyne) not that that's critical either...

i've yet to try that new magic stuff (it was back ordered by the maker/distributor and

NO msds was available to look over ingredients...

snake oils all rely on a little mystery right!

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:04 AM   #11
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Like Lewster, I have been using Stanadyne in my diesel. I first heard about it on the Diesel Place website. I have tried Power Service additive, but it does not deliver the fuel mileage that the Stanadyne does.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:30 PM   #12
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As a retired crane operator(40 years) I have found the secret to engine and transmission longevity is to follow the manufactures recommedations and stay away from all the snake oil claims. We used to add marvel mystery oil to all of our old diesels,but found most claims on additives were mostly myth.
I change oils,etc. at the intervals called for in the owners manual in my motorhome and hope to get a million miles out of it.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:05 AM   #13
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My '08 SuperDuty is my first "real" truck and of course diesel. I've purchased Ford's extended warranty and I'm very leery about straying off the manufacturers recommendations knowing I may not be covered if the worse were to happen.

As a pilot, I know how important following proper maintenance procedures is mandatory for safe flight. (I've had to jump out of one that wasn't)

So I'm following the manufacturers recommended schedule to the T. There's nothing I can do about a manufacturers defect but I can do my part and follow Ford's schedule!

I too wish I could squeeze a few more MPG but so far I can now only dream about that.

I guess I could fold the mirrors in while driving, add the larger chin spoiler, and maybe someone will come up a roof spoiler like the big rigs.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:15 PM   #14
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I had a 2001 Ford Excursion with the Triton V-10. I followed Ford's recommendations, and when the flawwed head design caused it to spit out a spark plug on the way to Disney World, they wouldn't cover it. I also purchased an extended warranty from Ford and had a 7 year 100,000 mile power train warranty I'd bought on it, but the weasle wording in there said "Parts broken due to the failure of an internally lubricated part are covered..." so if the head design itself was bad, then it was no dice for me. Ford would not cover it. Their fix was a $3K repair. I fixed it myself with a kit from Timesert and promptly unloaded it.

I wish you luck with your's and hope you never have a problem like I did. I have a Thunderbird SC and a Crown Vic. But this has soured me to Ford and I'll never buy another. The SC is dead, and the Crown is going to be replaced with a Charger R/T.

I drive a Cummins now and will never look back.

Not to be a gloomy gus, but Ford didn't honor their extended warranty for me. I thought it proper to tell.

Take care,


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