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Thread: Synthetic oil

  1. #1

    Default Synthetic oil

    Can the new 5w/30 weight synthetic oil be used in a 46 Chief? Good or not so good?

  2. #2
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    I would say no, been my experience - the old Indians don't like mixed weight oils. Was told by the late Lee Standley, the oil pumps wont push the oil, it well just froth it up. I put 10/30 w in my SS once by accident - my eyes are not what they used to be. I was cruising down hwy 395 and my Scout started losing power, looked in my mirrors and was shocked to see white smoke. Pulled over and killed the engine, looked down at my tank. The oil tank got so hot it blistered my paint. Thought for sure my engine was toast, pushed it into the shade and let it cool. Hour later it started right up and I rode to the first gas station, laid the bike on it's side and dumped the oil right there. Fill it back up with straight 30 wt and finished my ride with no trouble. I lucked out, came very close to wrecking my engine. Been about 10 years now still running good :-) Also I think the synthetic oil was just leak that much more - just my 2 cents, but that is the truth what happened to me. Good luck One other thing - also from Lee Standley - any of todays standard oil's are so much better than what they had when the machines were new, you well be fine using a strait standard wt oil. Lee was a super good engine builder, who built engines for more than 40 years.
    Last edited by Tom Lovejoy; 06-02-2017 at 12:44 AM. Reason: added more info

  3. #3
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    Mar 2017
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    So an Indian can run straight 30 in them? I know back then they only had non detergent, but is this still the practice of running ND 30 in them or do you now run detergent oil in them after a rebuild? I know that some old engines and air compressors specify ND 30 oils because they do not froth up and detergent oils do froth up?

    Also, that really is interesting that the Indians can run 30w when the old Harleys run 60w and 70w oils.
    Last edited by ryan; 06-02-2017 at 06:42 AM. Reason: Added Harley oil information

  4. #4
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    Catonsville,Md.
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    Refer to the manual! Most often 50w will cover most conditions.

  5. #5
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    I run Valvoline racing 30 wt, just cause it is easy to git. Most run 50 wt in their machines I think. Lee Standley built my bottom end and he told me to run 30 wt, so I always have. I have over 50,000 miles on my Scout in almost 27 years of riding it. Never had any issues, from 30 wt oil choice. I run 50 wt in my 25 Scout. Some thing else, I am not sure of. But with model T's, the Synthetic oil's leak more too, that is what we believe anyway - I am in a model T club too. Lee told me with the mixed wt oil's. The Indian oil pumps are not able to push the oil as intended and they just kind of froth it up. That is the way he explained it to me after my incident on the 395 hwy. That's my memory of how Lee said it happend, been a long time ago now. Other thing he always told me, today's oil's are fare better. Any of the major brands should be ok, hopefully others well chime in. Agree too, check your manual. Oh yeah, I have had people tell me 30 wt is to light of an oil for an Indian, including engine builders that know their stuff. But I went with Lee Standleys advice - good luck.

  6. #6
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    Minnesota USA
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    In my experience, running synthetic oil in the old bikes isn't a good idea based on the aluminum is so pious that the oil will seep through. Even coating the insides might prevent that but the synthetic oil will still find a way out. I run Valvoline racing 30 wt as well but like to run 50 wt when I can find it.
    20scout

  7. #7
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    Aug 2013
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    my experience - a few years back i resurrected an unmolested low mileage 1971 Honda CB750. i ran conventional 20/50 Castrol in it for about 500 miles to flush out the cases. as ii were, there was a very small weep at the cyl/head joint which is not uncommon for these models. a friend who is an Amsoil dealer talked me in to trying amsoil at the change. within 50 miles, the weep at the joint was a LEAK. and in a few other areas around engine cases weeps and seeps were cropping up that were not there during the previous 500 miles.

    fwiw, i'm running 50w Shell Aviation non-detergent ashless dispersant in my JD. it's readily available and not expensive.
    Last edited by Steve Swan; 06-03-2017 at 01:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lovejoy View Post
    I run Valvoline racing 30 wt, just cause it is easy to git. Most run 50 wt in their machines I think. Lee Standley built my bottom end and he told me to run 30 wt, so I always have. I have over 50,000 miles on my Scout in almost 27 years of riding it. Never had any issues, from 30 wt oil choice. I run 50 wt in my 25 Scout. Some thing else, I am not sure of. But with model T's, the Synthetic oil's leak more too, that is what we believe anyway - I am in a model T club too. Lee told me with the mixed wt oil's. The Indian oil pumps are not able to push the oil as intended and they just kind of froth it up. That is the way he explained it to me after my incident on the 395 hwy. That's my memory of how Lee said it happend, been a long time ago now. Other thing he always told me, today's oil's are fare better. Any of the major brands should be ok, hopefully others well chime in. Agree too, check your manual. Oh yeah, I have had people tell me 30 wt is to light of an oil for an Indian, including engine builders that know their stuff. But I went with Lee Standleys advice - good luck.
    Lee your right on about model "T"s..Beside all synthetics don't bond to all metals the same way. Having Babbitt bears is one of them.. Having a fresh rebuild on a motor and trans from one of the better Indian builders. He also told me to run 50W with zinc in the motor after break in. I also put in zinc in my 40W I use in my "T".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Swan View Post
    fwiw, i'm running 50w Shell Aviation non-detergent ashless dispersant in my JD. it's readily available and not expensive.
    If we are going to talk about oil, Folks,...

    Shouldn't we at least make it nostalgic?

    .....Cotten
    PS: I have cases of it stashed, but alas, all plastic bottles.
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    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  10. #10
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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    If we are going to talk about oil, Folks,...

    Shouldn't we at least make it nostalgic?

    .....Cotten
    PS: I have cases of it stashed, but alas, all plastic bottles.
    so, i've been saying i'm using Aeroshell. not. i'm using Phillips 66 Aviation 50W oil, ashless dispersant.

    20160305_201934.jpg20160305_201843.jpg

    form what little i know, it sounds like the essential additive for flat tappet on cam engines is ZDDP, the zinc provides a cushion. is zinc necessary in an engine that has lifter arms with a roller running against the cam, considering the other end of the lifter arm strikes against the ex/in lifter pins ?

    information i am reading states zinc is not an additive in Aeroshell or Phillips 66 Aviation; J/JD guys recommend either of these oils. what do guys use that are putting alot of miles on these old engines? sorry if i am hijacking this thread.
    Last edited by Steve Swan; 06-03-2017 at 06:26 PM.

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