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#4453049 - 07/08/17 06:07 AM 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil
FordCapriDriver Offline


Registered: 10/22/15
Posts: 2377
Loc: Balearic Islands , Spain
I thought this was pretty interesting, it's a letter from the UK from 1953 about a man complaining that detergents are being added to motor oils.

This is it :

Sir,

As a motorist for 20 years I have had many cars, but only one rebored (during the war), because I have used only good quality oil. changed it when necessary, kept my engines clean myself ; now after all these years I find the oil companies have decided I am not capable of doing these things myself and they are putting into their oils washing powders called "detergent additives" or detergent dispensives," etc., they might even have chlorophyll added, anyway I don't like it.

What the oil companies don't tell us is that detergent oils have their limited uses, mainly for engines with hydraulic valve mechanisms which must be kept clean. But most engines on the British roads today have performed well and will continue to do so with a pure oil and no additives if kept clean.

No finer proof is needed than the number of vintage and near vintage cars on the roads today and the engines of a modern car and vintage car are very little different, both respond to good lubrication.

Really the object of this letter is to find out if there is any pure oil on the market today, if so can someone tell me the name before my engine is washed away ?

I am, Yours, etc..

Coventry. J. E. HAND,.
_________________________
1975 Ford Capri II Ghia 3000 V6, - Valvoline VR1 20W-50
1988 Ford Escort MkIV 1.6 Xr3i Cabrio, - Shell Rimula R4X 15W-40 HDEO.

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#4453061 - 07/08/17 06:26 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
Red91 Offline


Registered: 12/09/13
Posts: 2124
Loc: Alabama, United States
Very interesting. It's funny considering we still have non detergent offerings such as Warren ND 30wt, Castrol ND 20W-20, and Kendall ND 20W-20. Truth be told, even in today's modern engines, you might could get away with non detergent oil at a 1K drain interval.
_________________________
'89 Chevy 1500
Napa 20/50
'15 Chevy Cruze
AcDelco syn dexos 5/30

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#4453072 - 07/08/17 07:03 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
ArcticDriver Offline


Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 1139
Loc: USA
Probably best to read it in the context of 1953.

What detergents were used back then?

Surely they were experimental and some probably caused more issues than they solved.

Oil technology has certainly come a long way, eh?

But he does not sound too different from several older generation Powerstroke owners who see no benefit to CK-4 HDEOs designed to compromise for the benefit of newer Cat-equipped trucks. grin and asking where can we still find CJ-4 oils !
Like Me !
_________________________
Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles

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#4453075 - 07/08/17 07:12 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: ArcticDriver]
HangFire Offline


Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2506
Loc: Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
But he does not sound too different from several older generation Powerstroke owners who see no benefit to CK-4 HDEOs designed to compromise for the benefit of newer Cat-equipped trucks. grin and asking where can we still find CJ-4 oils !


Or flat tappet owners (hmm like me) asking for high Zinc oils (not like me).
_________________________
Various musings: http://hangfire.net

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#4453093 - 07/08/17 07:33 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4055
Loc: Midwest USA
Ahhhh oooogah !!!! Enjoy those deposit build-ups Mr. HAND.
_________________________

'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QSED DEXOS1 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)

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#4453101 - 07/08/17 07:48 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: LoneRanger]
philipp10 Offline


Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 1171
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
Ahhhh oooogah !!!! Enjoy those deposit build-ups Mr. HAND.


You have to take it in the context of the times....this was just 8 years after WW2. A whole different world..

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#4453110 - 07/08/17 07:54 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: philipp10]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4334
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: philipp10
Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
Ahhhh oooogah !!!! Enjoy those deposit build-ups Mr. HAND.


You have to take it in the context of the times....this was just 8 years after WW2. A whole different world..


Given the number of magatonnes that were shortly to be hanging over Mr Hand's head, not worrying about deposit buildup was probably pretty reasonable.

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#4453116 - 07/08/17 07:58 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
40w8 Offline


Registered: 12/24/14
Posts: 77
Loc: Texas
As son of a fuel distributor being a teenage gas pump jockey, I got a chuckle one day.

A guy came in with 55 Chevy bragging about how clean that non detergent oil was when I checked his oil.

At 15 in 1967, I even knew the story.

Of course oil is clean, but any dirt just lays around inside engine making mud and wear.

Oil was up to at least SD by that time, and I read the books on why SA (straight non detergent) wasn't good.

However, Chevy engines run until they don't.

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#4453150 - 07/08/17 08:54 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7138
Loc: Marshfield , MA
As a pump jockey/ labor for every dirty job there was, I de-sludged many a Chevy 6 that had the rockers immersed in sludge. I used a putty knife. In those days, a Ford V8 was lucky to get to 70K miles
_________________________
'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2

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#4453161 - 07/08/17 09:05 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: Red91]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15687
Loc: OH
;
Originally Posted By: Red91
Very interesting. It's funny considering we still have non detergent offerings such as Warren ND 30wt, Castrol ND 20W-20, and Kendall ND 20W-20. Truth be told, even in today's modern engines, you might could get away with non detergent oil at a 1K drain interval.


I suspect that you may be right.
I knew people back in the early seventies who did exactly this with Type I VWs and their engines lasted as long as did anyone else's and didn't look too dirty on teardown, but the usual failure mode with these engines involved a swallowed valve which had nothing to do with lubrication.
There are also folks who still think that an ND oil should be used in anything lacking an oil filter, like a splash lubed OPE.
ND 30 does have a legitimate use in air compressors, but I'm not too sure why ND 20W-20 remains available.
Very short drain intervals were the norm way back when, but I don't think that I'd want to do 1K drains if I could use an oil that would allow me to extend them.
Might be an interesting experiment, though.
_________________________
17 Forester 12K MSS 0W-20
12 Accord LX 86K PP 5W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i

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#4453200 - 07/08/17 09:46 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: fdcg27]
Red91 Offline


Registered: 12/09/13
Posts: 2124
Loc: Alabama, United States
If we didn't already have a 3.5 quart mix of ND 30wt and 40wt poured up for compressor pump oil changes, I'd be tempted to try out a 20W-20 in it. I'm pretty sure I can get Castrol or Kendall 20W-20 ND from one of my suppliers, and if not, I believe I can order the Castrol through Napa.

As for the 1K non detergent experiment in a relatively modern car engine.....do not tempt me. crzy
_________________________
'89 Chevy 1500
Napa 20/50
'15 Chevy Cruze
AcDelco syn dexos 5/30

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#4453235 - 07/08/17 10:13 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
ArcticDriver Offline


Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 1139
Loc: USA
What is the dis-advantage of running a detergent oil in an air compressor?

Thanks
_________________________
Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles

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#4453240 - 07/08/17 10:16 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
hillclimber Offline


Registered: 10/01/06
Posts: 459
Loc: Alexandria, VA
I don't have any oil comments to make. This just happens to remind me of a letter I read many years ago in the Houston Chronicle's version of TV Guide, called the Chronilog. A man wrote in to rather bitterly complain that the early morning listings -- we're talking like 1AM, 2AM, etc. -- were listed with the previous day's programming. So, the early Tuesday morning programming was on the Monday page, etc. He was truly angry about this. We cranky old men are funny sometimes.
_________________________
2007 Lexus ES350

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#4453272 - 07/08/17 10:41 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: FordCapriDriver]
Padawan Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 333
Loc: NJ
What's most amusing is that, with only some slight tweaks, this letter could easily be one of the daily rants by BITOG members about __________ (fill in the blank with any "newfangled technology" from smartphones to direct injection).

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#4453281 - 07/08/17 10:52 AM Re: 1953 letter complaining about detergent engine oil [Re: ArcticDriver]
Kamele0N Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2038
Loc: Slovenia
Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
What is the dis-advantage of running a detergent oil in an air compressor?

Thanks


Some will say that disadvantage is that detergent(s) can cause foaming...and that they can trap condensed water from the air in the oil...


Ours where I work runs happily on acea C3 5w40 engine oil smile


Edited by Kamele0N (07/08/17 10:52 AM)
_________________________
2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD various 10w40

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