Motorcycle Oil

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Oldav8tor
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Motorcycle Oil

Post by Oldav8tor » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:41 pm

I came across some mention in other threads about using motorcycle oil in a Model T. Since many motorcycles share the engine oil with the transmission like our T's, I wonder if the formulation would have any advantages over conventional automotive oil? Anybody care to comment?
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Henry K. Lee
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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Henry K. Lee » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:50 pm

Tim I find just using plain 30 WT Rotella from TSC works great! Why spend like $7.00 a quart?

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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Been Here Before » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:55 pm

Motorcycle engine and transmission sharing the same sump? Well ever hear of a Morris Minor - the Mini? Engine and transmission share the same oil. And it works. One minor problem is the metal from the transmission finding its want in the engine oil galleys. Straight weight or multigrade worked fine.
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perry kete
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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by perry kete » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:58 pm

I was always told that motorcycle oil was used because it contained zinc and that zinc was a necessary additive to aid valve seats that were not replaced with hardened steel.
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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:11 pm

OIL for a TYPE OF ENGINE-TRANSMISSION should not be confused with detergent/non-detergent oil, conventional vs synthetic oil or oil-viscosity. These, if necessary, should be discussed in their own post. The similarity of the Model T engine / transmission (wet-clutch) to some Motorcycle combinations is what the pros & cons are about.
Car engine oils contain friction modifiers and are formulated with the aim of reducing friction between moving parts in order to provide good fuel economy and efficiency. Also, these oils contain detergent additives, whose ash content is relatively high. If used in motorcycle engines, these could result in the formation of deposits on the piston crowns as well as the valve train. Because detergents are the main cause of pressure build up, this will cause perforation and burning on the components.
Motorcycles, on the other hand, use the same oil for both the engine and the gearbox. They are therefore uniquely formulated to offer protection for engine components and the gears. Compared to car engines, a motorcycle engine oil requires balanced friction characteristics as it needs to lubricate the wet clutch, which in turn transfers engine power to the drivetrain. If the friction level is too low, the clutch will not be able to engage and will cause slippage. Motorcycle oils are formulated to handle the transmission, more specifically, the wet clutches found in most bikes. The oil needs to be slippery enough to protect the engine, but not too slippery. This means that they strike a good balance between clutch performance, engine, and transmission protection. This is something that is not considered in the manufacturing of car oil
Using Diesel Engine Oils in a Motorcycle (Wet Clutch) https://www.oildepot.ca/diesel-engine-o ... torcycles/ Need to read it all to understand their point of view
Wet-Clutch Performance And Longevity
Diesel oils may not cause clutch plate glazing, but they are not formulated with wet-clutch performance and preservation in mind. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils are formulated to fight clutch fade and provide consistent clutch “feel”. They deliver steady clutch performance under high heat and extreme loads. Dedicated motorcycle oils will maintain the correct frictional properties over long service intervals.

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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:15 pm

If you have oil getting to the seats, time for some valve work. ;) Zink was added when the higher pressure springs started being used in the 50's, to help prevent wear between the lifters and cam.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Kerry » Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:47 pm

Frank B covered it, it's all about the clutch, as for the Morris, they had a dry clutch.


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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Moxie26 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:44 am

One of our presidents in the early '80s, Fred Houston, suggested motorcycle oil simply because the engine and transmission world lubricated with the same oil, same as in the Model T engine. He did suggest either to use either standard oil or synthetic for your choice as long as it was motorcycle type oil. I have been using Mobil 1 synthetic motorcycle oil, 10w40, since our engine was rebuilt almost 20 years ago. Yes I do have some oil leaks which is common with our engines at the front crank seal, but there are no signs of oil burning in combustion.


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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by John Codman » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:52 am

The 1953-54 Plymouths offered a semi-automatic transmission called the Hy-drive. It was basically a manual transmission with a torque converter. The engine and Hy-drive transmission (including the torque converter), shared the oil supply which of course was the engine oil - all 10 quarts of it!.

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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by John.Zibell » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:32 am

I've been using non synthetic motorcycle oil since rebuilding my T. It it working well with the Turbo 400 Clutch and the engine. So far no issues and the clutch is working well.
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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Erik Johnson » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:58 am

Any benefits of using motorcycle oil in a Model T are purely psychological.....

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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by TRDxB2 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:03 am

Erik Johnson wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:58 am
Any benefits of using motorcycle oil in a Model T are purely psychological.....
Is that a quote from Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams" or "The Ego and the Id"?

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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:40 am

I am thinking that using the Turbo 400 clutch disk would be different then stock just stock T disk. The 400 clutch disks are lined so more grabbing power.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Oldav8tor
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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Oldav8tor » Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:41 pm

I have the Turbo 400 clutch in my T - it is my first Model T so I have no basis of comparison to original Ford clutches.
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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Moxie26 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:34 pm

Tim: I found using motorcycle oil gives great transmission engagement with less or no band engagement shudders, and good engine response. Like I mentioned, I have the usual oil drippings when parked, but those traveling behind often said they didn't see any exhaust cloud from burning engine oil......surely any other engine will have different results depending on wear.


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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:49 pm

Driving one's Model T with two wheels removed REQUIRES the use of
motorcycle oil. Check the manual ! Failure to do so voids the warranty !
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Motorcycle Oil

Post by Allan » Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:12 am

Frank, the manual transmissions on Mini's had a dry clutch. The 4 speed autos used the common sump. It was not a good idea, as the contaminated oils led to transmission failures, and the factory recommended drastically reduced oil change intervals to help alleviate this.

Toyota tried to change history with the claim of the first four speed auto in a small 4 cylinder car, the late 70's Corolla, completely ignoring the fact that Minis and 1100's had same well before.

Allan from down under.

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