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Old 05-09-2003, 09:52 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Stillwater, Mn
Posts: 67

I know there are three things that should not be discussed in mixed company, Politics, religion and synthetic oil, but since I have never been accused of being polite here goes.

I would like to do more of my own maintainence but have no experience with these class 8s.

I have an owners manual for my M-11 and they give the recommended oil change parameters. i will probably not hit the mileage but rather the 6 months calendar time.

Since we put on few miles and the truck is lightly loaded, is there any reason to use synthetic oil? I do so in my other vehicles but they are used in dramaticly different ways.

Also is the 6 month time frame real or a nice to have?

From a practicle point what do you guys use to catch your oil as it is draining. I will be on my back in my drive way, so not sure what kind of conatainer would work.

Any thoughts?



chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 03:56 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hanford,CA,USofA
Posts: 786

IMHO, synthetic oil is probably the best thing you could do for your engine. HOWEVER- To take advantage of its longevity, have a sample analyzed every 2 or 3,000 miles, so you will know when to change it. I would STILL change the filter(s) at the prescribed intervals just to play it safe. If you follow a plan like this your engine will be happier than you are while doing your low-level flying!

Gary Atsma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 05:26 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 68

Hi Chuck -- --

I just take Ol Red to my step son's truck shop in Coos Bay -- :^)

Ok -- back to reality !! Sorry couldn't resist !!

One question -- do you want to do this your self or have a shop do it ?? To help you answer that question -- view this link:

This is just one example from a chain truck stop and their prices. Now -- you have a price point to better make your decision.

How much oil ??

Engine -- 10 gallons (M11)
Transmission -- 2 1/2 gallons
Rear end -- 5 gallons

What to use ?? Something that will hold at least 10 gallons of hot oil. If oil is cold/to warm -- I can visualize putting back the drain plug -- dumping the container and continuing till the pan is empty.

Container -- I use a plastic container about 24 x 24 x 16" tall. Forgot what was in it origionally though.

Length of time/mileage -- --

Since Ol Red just sits -- yearly mileage is maybe only around 3000 miles. I change once a year. I'm very pickey about most things -- maintenance included -- but I have no problem about doing an in-frame either. So thats my story ....... At the rate I'm driving -- I'll be dead before I have 420 thousand on Her !!

For most people -- I recommend the Truck Stop.

OLDphoneman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 05:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 193


I carry a wide 25 gallon plastic container with a snap on lid for oil drains. I also carry four, 2 X 12 X 15" boards. After a long drive, I drive her up on the boards. I even kick it up to high idle and let her run while I put on my coveralls, break the drain plug loose, and slide the container under the truck. Only then do I shut her down. Then I start draining the oil immediately.(let the plug drop into the oil so you don't get burned). I let her drain all night. I know, I know, IM a fanatic about all this. :-)

In the morning I reinstall the drain plug after cleaning everything. Then I remove the old filter (now cold) fill the new filter with fresh oil and install it. Then I fill her up. I take the old oil to a recycling center.

I have studied to an extent, considered and once tried syn oil in one engine. Zero difference in fuel mileage or anything I could measure.

These big diesels go eight hundred thousand to one Million miles using any good quality petroleum based oil. Hard to improve on that. I use Rotella.

Last time I checked, syn lubes are pure synthetic with no additives of any kind. I want my oil working, dispursing soot and keeping the oil from thickening. Besides, I just am not comfortable exceeding 10K miles between changes.

40 to 44 quarts of oil at Synthetic prices is not worth it, unless the engine is operated at temperature extremes.

Also IMO, an oil analysis every 3K miles is a waste of money. Oil analysis is used primarily by those who operate engines under load 6 day a week, 10 hours per day or more. Operations such as these generally do an oil analysis every, or every other, oil change. That way they can chart a history of engine wear. Internal parts that wear are made from different metals. If a certain metal increasingly shows up in the oil over time, the area of wear can be identified and corrected if necessary.

OTOH, I would never use anything but syn lube in the transmission and axles.

onezman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2003, 04:54 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Stillwater, Mn
Posts: 67

Thanks guys:

When I first brought my truck home, I had all the fluids changed and put in synthetic in everything but the engine, and used the recommended oil that the dealership provided.

Seems like I made the right choice and will continue to do so.

Will look for a chain type of truck facility as having your oil changed at a 85$/hour truck dealer is pricey.

Thanks again.


Now gotta find me an air horn, with those flames, I get a lotta waves from kids, and they always motion to sound my horn. Don't want to continue to disappoint them.

This truck is a kid magnet.

chuck is offline   Reply With Quote

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