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Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow #4600110
12/10/17 06:16 PM
12/10/17 06:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 6
West chicagoland
PrimitiveJunk Offline OP
PrimitiveJunk  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 6
West chicagoland
It's an old 14hp Cast Iron Kohler K321. About 100 hr on a rebuild. Plows for about .75-2 hours a snow event. Usual temperatures are 20-30 degrees F, as I try to get it cleaned up before the real cold sets in after the storm. Sometimes I have to run it from 0-20F, but only a few times a year. It sleeps in an unheated garage I'd guess about 25-35 degrees, but sometimes I leave the door open like a dummy & it starts from a colder ambient.

I run delo 15w40 in the warm seasons in it.

I was going to fill with my on hand 5w40 Rotella T6, but after looking it up, that's a THICK oil. (Like 14.x cst IIRC) so I had second thoughts. It's air cooled, and well shrouded. With the low ambient temperature, i wonder if it'd even hit 100c running. The motor is Spec'd for straight sae30 over 32 degrees, and 10w30 0-32 degrees with the (possibly old skool) caveat that it will consume from Kohler. Does that seem kinda thick & too far off spec for a splash luber?

So I jumped on BITOG, and wasted hours of my life lurking, and had mostly concluded GC 0w30. But I don't think that exists any more? Then I thought about M1 HM 5w30, or Rotella T5 10w30, but the are both super low cst IIRC, like [email protected]? This thing runs rich & probably shears oil like a sheep. Doesn't that seem pretty low vis?

Now I'm just lost & confused. Over analysis paralysis! Please help! (God I wish I could get GC 0w30!)

What's the best 0w / 5w HEAVY 30wt?

Is the 5w40 T6 really too heavy as I figure? I like that oil, and have it on hand. Maybe I should just dump that in

I'd prefer some good Zn / strong add pack for the old skool flat tappet design.

What would you guys recommend for a winter fill?

Sorry for the novel. Thanks for your time!

Max

Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600114
12/10/17 06:23 PM
12/10/17 06:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 225
Cincinnati, USA
Dave9 Offline
Dave9  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 225
Cincinnati, USA
5W30 synthetic. Move to 10W40 when wear makes it sloppy

Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600118
12/10/17 06:26 PM
12/10/17 06:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,071
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,071
Kalifornia Kollective
If it liked 40 (Delo) in the summer and it's just winter temps you are concerned with, I'd switch it to 0W-40 and be happy (any brand as they are all good in this range). Very stout base oils and not too thick at op temp, plus very nice at cold temps when starting.

Does this thing have an electric starter, or are you pulling a rope?

As far as rich, I'd look into that... Does not need to be rich. The main jet on most of these old carbs is adjustable. So once it's up at op temp, tery turning it in a bit smile

Last edited by BrocLuno; 12/10/17 06:27 PM.

Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600122
12/10/17 06:30 PM
12/10/17 06:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,183
OH
fdcg27 Offline
fdcg27  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,183
OH
You have T6 on hand?
Use it. I would. This is a higher quality oil than what Kohler had in mind when they made their recommendations.
No worries since it is a 5W qualified oil and a HDEO might be a better choice for this OPE.
These engines aren't all that picky about oil grade anyway.


18 Accord Hybrid FF
17 Forester 18K VME 0W-20
12 Accord LX 96K SSO 0W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600156
12/10/17 07:12 PM
12/10/17 07:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,220
Port Orange, Florida
Panzerman Offline
Panzerman  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,220
Port Orange, Florida
My dad always ran 10w30 in his old wheel horses plowing and blowing snow in zero weather in PA. Never a issue in the Kohler motors. All this 0 Weight oil is hype. 10w30 would be fine. That's a simple motor.



2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Hemi 4x4
2016 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600171
12/10/17 07:34 PM
12/10/17 07:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
The K series Kohler is a tough engine that will live a long life on conventional oil. I ran SAE 30 in mine year-round, but most of the hours were accrued mowing in the summer. I'd use a syn blend 10w30 in winter.


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600224
12/10/17 08:42 PM
12/10/17 08:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,280
Outer Banks, NC
NormanBuntz Offline
NormanBuntz  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,280
Outer Banks, NC
If it's like the Wheel Horse 310-8 tractor I had for 19 years with a Kohler 10 HP, it was made to run on conventional oil. I'd use a solid 10w-30 and just keep a close eye on your oil level, because it will use oil. I'd say you don't want to start that thing at 0-20 degrees with a straight 30.


2017 Honda Odyssey SE, 16K
2013 Honda Accord LX, 58K
2007 Honda Ridgeline RTS, 88K
2007 Infiniti M35, 107K
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600233
12/10/17 08:54 PM
12/10/17 08:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 6
West chicagoland
PrimitiveJunk Offline OP
PrimitiveJunk  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 6
West chicagoland
How comfortable would everyone be using oil that's like 14.5 cst instead of the recommended 12.5 cst? In a winter application like this?

I'd really like to use my 5w40 T6 I'm really just not sure how significant this viscosity difference is.

I know these are tough motors. I know that it's pretty hard to kill them. LoL. When I bought this tractor, it consumed a pint of oil every 15 minutes of operation. I'm just hoping to get 1200 hours out of it, and if it locks on me, it'll really ruin my winter.

It took me well over a quart to mow my yard.

Ran it like that for about 75 hours. LoL.

Wasted alot of oil. Fogged a lot of mosquitos.

Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600266
12/10/17 09:40 PM
12/10/17 09:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
If you're worried about extended oil starvation I don't see how a 5w40 is going to be much different than a 10w30. However I'd never personally put 5w30 in such an engine. While I didn't put many hours on my K321 in severe cold (maybe a few dozen) I've plowed quite a bit with a Briggs 23CFB (9 HP flat head, side shaft) with straight 30 in the sump and it hasn't hurt it... but then again, I dunno what would.

My K321 used nearly no oil.

Last edited by Alex_V; 12/10/17 09:41 PM.

To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: Alex_V] #4600280
12/10/17 10:22 PM
12/10/17 10:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,098
Waco, TX
Linctex Online content
Linctex  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,098
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Alex_V
The K series Kohler is a tough engine that will live a long life on conventional oil.


Yes, and it was designed almost 70 years ago.

ANY oil that serves modern autos will be fine.

5W-40 will not be "too thick" for that engine for winter snowblowing.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600282
12/10/17 10:25 PM
12/10/17 10:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,098
Waco, TX
Linctex Online content
Linctex  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,098
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: PrimitiveJunk
How comfortable would everyone be using oil that's like 14.5 cst instead of the recommended 12.5 cst? In a winter application like this?


Just:

1) Never start at full throttle. That's just plain ol' stupid.

2) do NOT over-choke it. Once it starts, let it breathe!
Use only just as much choke as needed to keep it running - NO MORE.

3) Let it warm up slowly before putting it to work.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600312
12/10/17 11:06 PM
12/10/17 11:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,220
Port Orange, Florida
Panzerman Offline
Panzerman  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,220
Port Orange, Florida
If that engine was using that much oil I would put 15w40 in it or straight weight. I would not being worried about cold starts. If that engine uses that much oil to mow the grass it has plenty of clearance between moving parts.

Last edited by Panzerman; 12/10/17 11:07 PM.


2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Hemi 4x4
2016 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk] #4600362
12/11/17 04:35 AM
12/11/17 04:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,674
Indiana
dlundblad Offline
dlundblad  Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,674
Indiana
I have an old 1965-ish Wheelhorse Charger 12 with (I think) a similar engine. Just curious, why the rebuild? Also, why do you have the 1 pint of consumption every 15 mins?

Castrol 0w40 is nearly identical to GC 0w30. If that's what you want, get it. Honestly, you're not going to kill anything with a 15w40 though. Given the consumption, that is what I'd use.

I'd look into fixing the oil leak too.


03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 186k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 153k Synpower 5w30 Supertech ST3980 (Ecore)

Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: dlundblad] #4600366
12/11/17 04:51 AM
12/11/17 04:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,012
Lima, Ohio, USA
earlyre Offline
earlyre  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,012
Lima, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: dlundblad
I have an old 1965-ish Wheelhorse Charger 12 with (I think) a similar engine. Just curious, why the rebuild? Also, why do you have the 1 pint of consumption every 15 mins?

Castrol 0w40 is nearly identical to GC 0w30. If that's what you want, get it. Honestly, you're not going to kill anything with a 15w40 though. Given the consumption, that is what I'd use.

I'd look into fixing the oil leak too.


you kind of answered your own question(i think, if i read it right...)
that consumption was when op first bought it, and has been rebuilt since.


Mine:
09 Mercury Sable : 6qts AutoQuest(Meijer/Warren) 0w20, WIX 51516
Mine to Maintain:
03 Pontiac Vibe : 4.5qts VWB 5w30,WIX 51394
Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: Panzerman] #4600381
12/11/17 05:31 AM
12/11/17 05:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,547
Pennsylvania
Slick17601 Offline
Slick17601  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,547
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Panzerman
My dad always ran 10w30 in his old wheel horses plowing and blowing snow in zero weather in PA. Never a issue in the Kohler motors. All this 0 Weight oil is hype. 10w30 would be fine. That's a simple motor.


+1


2018 Ram Bighorn 5.7
2008 Toyota Sienna 3.5
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