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#4600110 - 12/10/17 06:16 PM Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow
PrimitiveJunk Offline


Registered: 08/02/16
Posts: 6
Loc: 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

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#4600114 - 12/10/17 06:23 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
Dave9 Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 176
Loc: Cincinnati, USA
5W30 synthetic. Move to 10W40 when wear makes it sloppy

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#4600118 - 12/10/17 06:26 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5514
Loc: 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


Edited by BrocLuno (12/10/17 06:27 PM)
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#4600122 - 12/10/17 06:30 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15696
Loc: 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.
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96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
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#4600156 - 12/10/17 07:12 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 4203
Loc: 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.
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#4600171 - 12/10/17 07:34 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: 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.
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#4600224 - 12/10/17 08:42 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
NormanBuntz Offline


Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 2123
Loc: 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.
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#4600233 - 12/10/17 08:54 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
PrimitiveJunk Offline


Registered: 08/02/16
Posts: 6
Loc: 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.

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#4600266 - 12/10/17 09:40 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: 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.


Edited by Alex_V (12/10/17 09:41 PM)
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'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 167K
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#4600280 - 12/10/17 10:22 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: Alex_V]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: 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.
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#4600282 - 12/10/17 10:25 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: 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.
_________________________
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4600312 - 12/10/17 11:06 PM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 4203
Loc: 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.


Edited by Panzerman (12/10/17 11:07 PM)
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#4600362 - 12/11/17 04:35 AM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: PrimitiveJunk]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10027
Loc: 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.
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97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 145k Rotella T5 10w30 Fram TG3980


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#4600366 - 12/11/17 04:51 AM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: dlundblad]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3858
Loc: 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.
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09 Mercury Sable : 6qts AutoQuest(Meijer/Warren) 0w20, WIX 51516
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#4600381 - 12/11/17 05:31 AM Re: Oil recommendation for old garden tractor on plow [Re: Panzerman]
Slick17601 Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 1515
Loc: 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

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