What oil do you use for your Model T?

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Migo
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What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Migo » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:10 am

I used to have 20w50. Isn’t it too thick?
Rebuilding of my engine is nearly finished, so I need to find out the oil type that will give the best lubrication


Henry K. Lee
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:30 am

I have used straight Rottela 30wt for years with excellent results. Just me.

Hank

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Ruxstel24
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:33 am

Here we go again !! :lol:

I would use 10W-30 on a fresh engine...Just my opinion. Lots of people like 15W-40, but I would let it break in first.

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cudaman
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by cudaman » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:42 am

I follow Royce's suggestion and use 5W-30 year round with no problems so far. :)
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Steve Jelf
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:50 am

I have asked some guys known to be Model T mechanics with decades of experience who drive long distances. I was a bit surprised at what they told me. 15W-40 and 20W-50. I didn't ask about break-in, but I'm using 10W-30 for that and will go to the heavier stuff after the first oil change.

I should add a warning about a mistake I made. Learning that the "light high-grade engine oil" recommended by Ford was the equivalent of SAE 20, I assumed that the 5W-20 used in modern engines would be OK. No. It's not. 5W-20 is much lighter than the old SAE 20.
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by bud delong » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:06 pm

In Tin Lizzie by Stern the proper oil was said to be SAE#10 in 1955.When the question was put to Bruce,he said the 5 w was too thin and the 10-30 was best! Oil is cheap but engines not so much. Bud.


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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by John kuehn » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:59 pm

Here in Texas 10w30 is probably the best weight oil to use. Don’t be fooled by exotic brands or some type of super blend. Save your money and buy what’s on sale at the auto supply houses or go to WalMart, The Dollar store or bulk Rotella is just fine.
It’s great oil compared to what was avaliable in the Model T era.

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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by George House » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:39 pm

Migo; if you live in Tula Mexico then 20W-50 is probably too thick. Here in hot Tejas (formerly Tejas-Coahuila) I simply use 30W...does great...
God made summers in Texas to remind us Hell isn’t a place to spend an Eternity

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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:07 pm

...if you live in Tula Mexico...

Nope.

Screen shot 2019-08-25 at 3.04.42 PM.png
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by VowellArt » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:45 pm

It's still to bloody thick in Moskva, just use 30W, it works best...so far, since you probably put yours to bed for the winter anyway, although you may want to add the additive ZZD-PLUS, https://www.modeltford.com/item/ZZDPLUS.aspx a zinc additive, seems modern oils don't have zinc in them anymore. ;)
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Rich Bingham » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:52 pm

Nope ?!? Steve, are you lost ? Tula, in the state of Hidalgo, en Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos is a city of 100,000 approximately sixty miles north of Mexico City. Alt. 6000 ft. Average temp 62 F.
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by HalSched » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:01 pm

I have inserted mains and a drilled block for oil pressure to the mains. 30 weight is the only oil that will maintain oil pressure. With 10-30 the oil pressure drops way down after just a few miles. There was no __-__ oil in Henery's day. Use whatever floats your boat. When a kid (70+ years ago) I used farm tractor drain oil.


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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:14 pm

Rich

Mikhail is in Russia
He had an interesting visit with Constantine from Australia during Constantine's Melbourne to Moscow trip
It is worth an MTFCI search on "Constantine" to read/see some of his exploits.
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Rich Bingham » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:32 pm

Needing a red-faced "smilie"
I was responding to the post that said Tula, Mexico. Oops ! (Stats on Tula, Hdlg., Mex. still stand). Yup, I recall reading Constantine's adventures in past years. I resolve to read more carefully and post less frequently from now on ! ;)
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Tom D » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:29 pm

ZDDP was also not around in Model T days. It was developed in the 1940's. And by most authorities, it is really only needed in high performance engines, which I would not think the Model T qualifies.
Tom


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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Original Smith » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:35 pm

I still use straight 30 weight to break in an engine. I only leave it in for about 100 miles. After that, I switch to 20-50. But lately I've been using 15w-40 diesel oil. I can buy it at Walmart for about $12 for a gallon. That's much cheaper than the car oil, which only comes in a 5 quart container.


Marty Bufalini
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Marty Bufalini » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:34 pm

20 w 50 with a little transmission fluid.


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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:04 pm

20w-50, in a well broken-in engine.


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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by wayne sheldon » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:46 pm

I almost never look in on "oil" threads. And the "Migo" name threw me off. It was only a severe case of boredom that made me look in, and I am so very pleased to see you (Mikail Gotesman) posting here again! I always enjoy hearing what the other side of the world is doing with their model TS.

Also, Rich B, please do not post less.

As for oil? Model Ts are very forgiving about such things. The "Goldilocks" rule applies. Not too thick, not too thin. Almost anything readily available near the middle ground is good.
When you get your T going again, and have a few miles on it? Please post some pictures here. Many people here are interested in seeing model TS in unusual locations.


Topic author
Migo
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Migo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:24 am

Thanks to all of you for the answers!!


Original Smith
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Original Smith » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:34 am

I just bought a gallon of Mobil 15w-40 at Walmart yesterday for $10.80. I've always used Valvoline, but they were out of it.


Mark Osterman
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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:48 am

I recently went back to using straight 30 weight oil because I was dealing with a very persistent chatter problem with a lower weight multi grade oil. The difference was significant and the chatter was subdued to just about gone. Still have a very little in certain situations.

So winter is around the corner and I’m wondering the recommendations for a multi grade that will allow the starter motor to do it’s thing with not too much trouble. Should I use 10w 30 for winter?


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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:59 am

The weak point in the system is the gravity flow oil line inside and sometimes an extra one on the outside of the engine. You need an oil which will flow freely when the engine is cold. Remember if it is slow flowing, it will not fill the dippers as fast as the rods will throw it out. In the old days people used to warm up the engine for quite a while before driving, for just that reason.
Having said the above, I would recommend 10W30, which I use in all my T's from break in till they need to be rebuilt again. You can get it pretty low price at Walmart or other discount store. They sell major brands. Since the T does not have an oil filter and it also runs in the transmission, frequent changes are recommended. There is really no advantage to use the expensive synthetic oil because changing oil every 500 to 1000 miles the oil does not really break down. It just gets dirty.
Now for those who live and drive in very low temperature areas, perhaps 5W30 would be better in the winter.
Norm


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Re: What oil do you use for your Model T?

Post by wayne sheldon » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:15 pm

Mikhail G, I for one, would be curious to know how oil may be different in your part of the world? Does Russia have a similar rating system for viscosity? Do the numbers we use (like 10w/30w?) make sense where you are? I would imagine your stores, major chain stores, and local auto supply stores, may be a bit different than what we are used to.
Nearly sixty years ago, a television "Twilight Zone" episode made quite a point that "people are the same all over" (another cultural reference for which you may not be aware of). (Search engine "Twilight Zone" and the actor "Roddy McDowall".) Yet, the differences as well as the similarities are quite interesting.

Be well my faraway friend!

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