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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Just when you though you'd heard it all!

When discussing diesel fuel in the oil, can you believe some Clown on another site actually believes this and posted it:


.. CAT actually used to recommend if doing a deep oil change and clean out, to empty oil and refill with straight diesel and run the motor an hour then drain and add fresh oil ..


None of us know it all, but it doesn't take much mechanical insight to imagine what the bearings, scored piston skirts and cylinder walls would look like after relying an hour on straight diesel for lubrication. I'm betting it probably would freeze up first. As a wise person said on another forum,
"Be very careful of repeating something you "read somewhere". If you absolutely have to do that, attribute your source so that the information you are presenting can be properly evaluated."
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Last edited by LMJD; 03-23-2016 at 09:41 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 01:07 PM
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The engine will never last the whole hour before sizing up. IMO


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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The engine will never last the whole hour before sizing up. IMO Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
I remember a weird experience from years ago that taught me how important oil is. I had a bare 335 Cummins block upside down on a shop bench ready to rebuild with main brg shells oiled and pressed in the block. Those engines are HUGE and seem about 6' long with all the accessories installed, 855cu.in. inline 6. It takes two guys to lift and lay the crank in the block. After the crank was laying on the oiled bearing shells, I had to use a bar to rotate the crank even a little bit whenever I needed to. The amazing thing was, after I put the main caps on, torqued them down, THEN tried to rotate the crank, I found I could turn it with my bare hands, no prybar needed. With the caps on and torqued the crank was held in perfect alignment within the block and it turned so easily because then the crank journals were literally floating on a film of oil top and bottom.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 05:11 PM
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I couldn't comment whether Cat did or did not recommend this flushing practice, but that guy is in for a heck of a surprise if he does it on a modern diesel. The old ones might get away with it, with loose tolerances, low HP and big bearings/journals. Oh - and diesel had sulfur as well as other lubricating properties!

Hmm - I wonder if a HPOP would even fire injectors with diesel in it?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I messed up, I shouldn't have posted this subject in the "Off Topic" section, it's ON topic and maybe a moderator will move it to the 7.3 IDI section where I intended.

Heavy truck and diesel mechanic (thankfully retired after 30+ yrs)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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The old ones might get away with it, with loose tolerances, low HP and big bearings/journals. Oh - and diesel had sulfur as well as other lubricating properties!
Highly doubtful IMO if you think about it. We've all seen a "torture test" on an old engine where the oil was drained and then they tested how long it would run before seizing up. At least in that case, the brgs, etc, are lubed a short while by the leftover film of oil. The diesel in a crankcase will immediately wash away any oil film, and regarding diesel's lubricating properties, they do the job in a fuel system, but anyone with a mechanical background knows as far as lubing internal engine components to any degree, the crankcase may as well be filled with paint thinner compared to engine oil viscosity.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 10:39 AM
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Highly doubtful IMO if you think about it. We've all seen a "torture test" on an old engine where the oil was drained and then they tested how long it would run before seizing up. At least in that case, the brgs, etc, are lubed a short while by the leftover film of oil. The diesel in a crankcase will immediately wash away any oil film, and regarding diesel's lubricating properties, they do the job in a fuel system, but anyone with a mechanical background knows as far as lubing internal engine components to any degree, the crankcase may as well be filled with paint thinner compared to engine oil viscosity.
Ha! That's what I was thinking of as well. All those "gas guzzlers" being destroyed on YouTube. Some of them were in great shape too!

Just being a devil-advocate here, but wouldn't the oil pump be able to pump enough flow to the bearings, to keep some type of hydro-dynamic barrier at no-load idle ? Not to say the cam, rockers and cylinder walls wouldn't get scored.

Either way, I'm not going to volunteer my trucks to experiment!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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but wouldn't the oil pump be able to pump enough flow to the bearings, to keep some type of hydro-dynamic barrier at no-load idle ?
After working on these things for decades and seeing all manner of damage due to all manner of bizarre causes, I'd say no. Besides allowing parts to rotate with almost zero friction, oil also forms a cushion for rotating parts. On diesel fuel I'd bet rod and main journals would beat right through and badly score the bearing shells in no time at all . Rub some 15-40WT oil between your fingers, then some diesel fuel. In fact diesel is so oil-free many people use it to clean parts rather than using parts cleaning solvent. Feel free to put my opinion to the test by draining your differential and refilling it with diesel. JUST KIDDING!
From some oil info:
" The viscosity of lubricating oils diminishes as temperature rises and consequently is measured at a given temperature (e.g. 40°C). The viscosity of a lubricant determines the thickness of the layer of oil between metallic surfaces in reciprocal movement."

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Last edited by LMJD; 03-24-2016 at 11:48 AM.
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