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Oils for old engines #5360187 02/25/20 09:18 PM
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puma4440 Offline OP
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Hello all,

I've been restoring a '69 Sears Suburban SS12 with the original Tecumseh HH120 in it. The PO said it didn't use any oil, and for the short time I ran it before tearing it down, I didn't notice any consumption.

I tore the engine down, decarbed the head and piston, the rings are tight, no scoring on the cylinder wall. I wanted to replace the oil seal on the crankshaft since it was apart, and I cleaned what I would call a normal amount of sludge out of the crankcase.

I have no idea what the PO ran in it as far as oil, any recommendations?

I may mow the lawn with it a few times a year, but it's more of a dedicated workhorse, pulling wagons around my property in the summer and plowing snow in the winter.

Thanks,
bobcat2

Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360211 02/25/20 09:37 PM
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walterjay Online Content
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I would use any 5W-30 dino motor oil off the shelf. This would work for both cold and warm weather.

Last edited by walterjay; 02/25/20 09:42 PM.
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360214 02/25/20 09:40 PM
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cronk Offline
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I had a John deere 112 with an HH100 that did quite well with Amsoil Ase 10w30 Small engine oil.
If you want an off the shelf oil I would go with a HDEO, like Rotella or Delo.
5w40 would be fine year round. 10w30 or 15w40 would be fine in the warmer months.


2008 Ford F350
2008 Kia Spectra
2011 Nissan Quest
1986 Pontiac Trans Am
1940 Ford 9N Tractor
Amsoil lubes and filters!
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360216 02/25/20 09:42 PM
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Astro_Guy Offline
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Back in that day, straight SAE 30 would have been the rule. I've seen it posted here by some of our elder sages that good old dino SAE 30 had a 3.7 HTHS viscosity. Something in that neighborhood seems appropriate. Personally I like M1 10w-30 High Mileage with 3.5 HTHS viscosity, but there are plenty of other options.


'01 Volvo V70XC, 252k, 5W-30 M1 EP
'16 Accord, 50k, 0W-20 M1 EP
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360217 02/25/20 09:43 PM
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car54 Offline
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10w-30 is my choice for all small engines.

Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360218 02/25/20 09:45 PM
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Imp4 Offline
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In this here Tecumseh manual they call for a straight 30 weight.
My opinion is you'll likely do fine with a 5w-30 or 10w-30.

Good luck!!!
cheers[Linked Image]

Attached PDF document
BSI-012.pdf (332.17 KB, 7 downloads)
Last edited by Imp4; 02/25/20 09:47 PM.

2001 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 - 165k+
Grandma's creampuff...
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360227 02/25/20 09:55 PM
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puma4440 Offline OP
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If I did it right, these should be before I cleaned it up.

20191107_033117.jpg20191104_182038.jpg
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: Astro_Guy] #5360237 02/25/20 10:04 PM
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JHZR2 Offline
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Originally Posted by Astro_Guy
Back in that day, straight SAE 30 would have been the rule. I've seen it posted here by some of our elder sages that good old dino SAE 30 had a 3.7 HTHS viscosity. Something in that neighborhood seems appropriate. Personally I like M1 10w-30 High Mileage with 3.5 HTHS viscosity, but there are plenty of other options.



+1 on straight 30 being the norm, and syn 10w-30 HM being a good option... Amsoil ACD was my go to, but I hear it’s discontinued. Chevron 15w-30 is an intriguing option too...

Re: Oils for old engines [Re: walterjay] #5360307 02/26/20 01:43 AM
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Kamele0N Offline
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Originally Posted by walterjay
I would use any 5W-30 dino motor oil off the shelf. This would work for both cold and warm weather.

I wouldnt....dino + wide spread....no go! He will only get higher oil consumption


2008 Toyota Yaris 1ND-TV 1.4 D4-D Tech9 5W30 C3 VW 504/507
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD Elf Evolution NF900 5W40
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360341 02/26/20 05:18 AM
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car54 Offline
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Manufacturers these days say a 10w-30 performs just like a straight 30 at operating temps and is a direct replacement. It's a lot easier to find high quality 10w-30 than straight 30, and thats why I go with 10w-30. I'm fairly certain my lawnmower will outlast me on a steady diet of supertech 10w-30 synthetic changed every 2 years. Generator gets the same every 100 hours and sees 500+ hrs a year.

Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360349 02/26/20 05:53 AM
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Silverado12 Offline
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The Briggs manual now says to still use straight 30 or full synthetic 5W-30. I use 5W-30 syn in mine because that's what I use in all my cars except my wife's Jeep, which calls for 0W-20.


12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
18 Mustang GT 5.0 auto
07 Harley Dyna Street Bob 96 c.i. 6 sp.
00 Mustang GT auto
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360351 02/26/20 06:10 AM
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Lubener Offline
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I completely rebuilt my Tecumseh HH120 in my old Bolens a few years ago. From day one and after the rebuild the engine has had SAE 30 in it. It is a very hot running workhorse and I will not run anything else unless I was going to do some winter plowing with it. I would be open to trying 15w-40 during the summer however.

Make sure those valves and guides are in good shape before you button it up.

Last edited by Lubener; 02/26/20 06:28 AM.

The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360436 02/26/20 09:04 AM
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I own a few older small engines, and service quite a few for customers. I also grew up around antique garden tractors and small engines. The most common oils used were SAE 30 and HDEO 15w40. My choice the past few years for most small engines old or new has been HDEO 15w40. SuperTech, Rotella, Valvoline, basically any 15w40 that's on sale works great in these engines, and is superior in my opinion to SAE 30. Unless used in the bitter cold (I recommend/use 5w30 in snowblowers) 15w40 is what goes in it.


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (156k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (60k) - Liqui Moly 5w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Oils for old engines [Re: puma4440] #5360437 02/26/20 09:04 AM
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DriveHard Offline
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every engine I own gets 0w-40...not sure why anyone would run anything else.


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2013 Fiat 500 Abarth mod heavy (my DD)
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio TI Sport (wife's)
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Re: Oils for old engines [Re: car54] #5360464 02/26/20 09:29 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Originally Posted by car54
Manufacturers these days say a 10w-30 performs just like a straight 30 at operating temps and is a direct replacement. It's a lot easier to find high quality 10w-30 than straight 30, and thats why I go with 10w-30. I'm fairly certain my lawnmower will outlast me on a steady diet of supertech 10w-30 synthetic changed every 2 years. Generator gets the same every 100 hours and sees 500+ hrs a year.


10w30 can be ILSAC, you dont want that only a HD fleet 10w30.

That would be the all but missing from the shelves
Rotella T3 10w30 only available in pails or drums.

For heat I'd use a marine 4 stroke 25w40 or in cooler weather a Dino Motorcycle 4T or ATV oil.

Last edited by ARCOgraphite; 02/26/20 09:29 AM.

2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#8 60864mi-Subaru Idemitsu 0W20 + SOA Filter
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