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250hr vs 500hr Oil Changes

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by scoops25, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. scoops25

    scoops25 Active Member

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    Currently we are doing 300hr services on our mining fleet working in the oil sands. What is everyone else doing?

    We used to run the OEM recommended which almost everything is 500hr now, older still at 250hr. We switched to 300hr in an attempt to try solve our early Cam failures. (dealers idea)
    Fleet consists of 777F, 793D, 789C, D6-10, JD450-850, PC1800-2000, 16-24M and mixed bag of support equipment.
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    We run 250 on all equipment because our fuel is high-sulphur. The oil additive package is depleted to the danger level long before the oil gets near 500 hours. The more I think about it the more convinced I am that the sulphur acts as lubricant to the engine parts, although the acid effects of combustion by-products in the oil are not to be under-estimated.

    I've seen a lot of O&M Manuals that include 500-hour oil changes but my position is that I would never start at that figure. I would start at 250 and then go up in increments of 50 hours at a time justifying every increment on the back of oil analysis results and fleet performance.

    Our fleet is mostly Cat but with Cummins power in Hitachi 3600 and Sandvik dills. We have had no low-hour cam failures whatsoever, 1 medium-hour cam failure on a C-18 in a D9T that would have been about 8000 hours I guess, plus a single roller failure in a C-18 rocker from an 834H that took the cam with it.
     
  3. FMD

    FMD Well-Known Member

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    We change our oils off the CAT maintenance interval schedule. 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 hours. If you want to do an extended drain cycle, I would recommend to have a strong oil analysis program. I would include the the TAN (total acid number) in the samples. The samples will cost you a little more for the additive depletion, but it will be a good base line for the depletion of your oil package. You will also need to know your TAN of your oil and send the lab a fresh oil sample so that they have a base line. I would start at 100 hour inclements and not advance the oil change hours until you get the first oil sample back. If you do go extended, make sure you are using a high quality of oil and a high quality oil filter with a good by pass in the filter.

    I attended several STLE oil sample classes and a TMC seminar on extended oil drains. It was said that the oil change (labor, oil and oil filter) is only 1% of your operating cost. To me that is a cheap insurance. Keep in mind also, when a machnie comes in for a PM there are other items that are getting attention also and by extending your oil changes, your other PM items will be extended also.

    I am not a fan of extended oil drains. I skydive, SCUBA dive, Rock climb and ride motorcycles. My co workers think I am reckless. I am not of course. It is all about risk versus benefits and midigating the risks. I dont see extending my oil chanages out and recouping enough benefits ($$$$) with the risk that I am taking by extending out my drains ($$$$).....
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  4. scoops25

    scoops25 Active Member

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    In your experience who has the best engine oil? What grades are you running? We run an Award 5W-40 year round due the the temperature swings we see in the Oil Sands. Winter can be low as -40C to 35C in the summer.
     
  5. FMD

    FMD Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest to use a oil with a high TBN. Basically the higher TBN, the heavier the oil package is. Rotella, Delo 400 are good high grade2 base stock oils with high TBN's.

    Typically the higher the TBN the longer the oil takes to get to the bench mark of your set TAN.

    Some thoughts are 2.6 TAN while at a previous company that I worked for, they had mandatory extended drains and I doubled my TAN to 5.1 as a target change.


    I am not a big fan of synthetic engine oils. I am in Ohio and the temp. change does not affect the non synthetic oils that much. Again, risk versus benefits. The cost of synthethic oil far out ways just changing my Delo 400 oil base stock. Not a lot of very cold start ups or extreme heat.
     
  6. scoops25

    scoops25 Active Member

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    Thoughts on extended intervals and adding more or better filtration like a Centrifugal Filters?
     
  7. scoops25

    scoops25 Active Member

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  8. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    10 TBN should be fine unless your fuel has high (<1%) sulphur. I don't think there's any fuel sold in N. America that remotely approaches that figure. The general rule of thumb is that oil TBN should be at least 10 times the fuel sulphur percentage.

    More or better filtration. Been there - tried that. Waste of time and money IMHO and simply something else on the machine to break.

    I can't comment on the quality of your oil as I have never heard of the company that produces it, let alone have experience of their products. Maybe other Canadian members on HEF can help you..? As a suggestion could you take maybe a small number of rebuilt engines and try running them on someone else's oil - one of the major players like Shell, Exxon, etc and see how those engines go compared to your existing oil. A pain to control a test like that but desperate situations call for desperate measures.

    I use the Cat Maintenance Schedule as a starting point to developing an in-house schedule to suit each individual job site, no more than that. No schedule straight from the book can be a "one size fits all" no matter how much the equipment manufacturer may claim (or wish) that it can. For example from experience knowing that I have high-sulphur fuel or if my jobsite is 10,000ft+ above sea level tells me I have to "tweak" the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations big-style before the machines even arrive on site. I can remember when the 500-hour service interval was first introduced. I was sceptical about it then and I'm still just as sceptical about it now. For example we run 16Ms and I know that despite the engine oil change recommendation in the book being 500 hours if my engines go past 275 hours the oil analysis looks like it's fallen off a cliff compared to what it looks like at say 230-250 hours. That's why I would never start at 500 and reduce the change interval as engines failed, I'd start at 250 and if conditions permitted increase the change frequency.

    Like FMD I'm not a fan of synthetics either.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  9. Gavin84w

    Gavin84w Senior Member

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    The whole 500hr engine oil change interval is a pure marketing exercise designed to pander to green groups and spec sheet sell equipment, the reality in the field is it seldom works, a solid SOS program and quality oils and filters (that are cut each PM) should be the basis of any maintenance regime along with having a very good handle on the site application and duty cycles/load factors your gear will see. While engines have become much more efficient and oils improved over time the basis for extending oil change intervals need to be thought out carefully for the long term. I have been on sites where the 500 was tried on a fleet of 793C trucks and the oil samples would never clean up, no matter what, a number of engines were lost on the way, then we implemented 250hr intervals and the samples all cleaned up and engine life improved, they go hand in hand. I have also seen good results with 789B with extended sumps and dunny roll filters and 333hr oil changes. Having 1 less PM event/1000hr was nice for the machine uptime too without any sacrifice of the iron.

    I currently have a number of customers with C27, C32, 3408, 3412, 3508 engines in mixed applications and see little engine issues and all there maintenance managers agree 250HR keeps it simple for the maintenance crews not having to think any different foe a given machine and oil & filters are very cheap insurance.
     
  10. FMD

    FMD Well-Known Member

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    Well said Gavin............
     
  11. blitz138

    blitz138 Senior Member

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    Ive seen oil changes pushed out to 500 but its always under strict oil analysis and using proper filters. Ive also seen it try and fail because things are not properly done, how many times do you see someone taking oil samples from a machine that has been sitting for hours or days, then the next guy that pulls the sample pulls it from somewhere else......When we did it at Cerro Colorado we had Finning involved and did the oil sampling ourselves until we could get the mine personal reliably trained.

    Im pro PAO synthetic..... "Synthetic" is just a marketing term, thanks to Castrol winning the lawsuit with Mobile. The word synthetic means the oil has been hydrocracked, hydrotreated, basically the chemical make up has been changed from what it was when it came out of the ground.....in other words every type III and some type II oil is according to US federal court a synthetic. PAO are type IV oils and can make a difference in oil change interval.

    I agree with the others that you need to look at the TBN number ( 10 is decently high) but also look at what type base oil they are using. If an oil company is telling you that you can extend your drain intervals make sure they will support you and take responsibility, in writing of course.
     
  12. blitz138

    blitz138 Senior Member

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    What kind of equipment would you put a centrifugal filter on? We did a varying degrees successful testing with bypass filtration at Jacobs Ranch years ago depending on what we were trying to accomplish.

    Are you doing oil analysis now?
     
  13. scoops25

    scoops25 Active Member

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    Centrifugal was just a thought, I was thinking the bigger equipment like 777 and up and large excavators. Doing oil analysis for a few years now.Using Fluid Life.
     
  14. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    Centrifugal filters apparently are common on marine engines. The only place I've seen them is Russian tractors as the only engine oil filter, and online WVO fanatics. Fleetgaurd sells a centrifugal filter element, no idea how it works?
     
  15. Zed

    Zed Well-Known Member

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    I have had quite a bit to do with centrifuge's and they do work quite well. A lot of engine manufacturers use them including MTU, Cummins, Wartsila NSD...
    We are using them on Cummins QSK 45's, 60's which is standard with the eliminator filter unit. We are also using the ROS tanks (reserve oil system) and 1000hr intervals.
    Cat SOS samples are taken every 250 and monitored closely. For those not familiar wth ROS systems, it increases the quantity of oil available for the engine, via a seperate tank and pump unit which circulates oil between engine sump and ROS tank. Cummins have graphs where you can match up your engine and ROS tank size, then with fuel burn figures you can calculate what your oil change interval can be. The QSK 60's here for example are using a combined capacity (engine sump and ROS tank) of 1000 liters, and could be run to 1500hr interval using the Cummins graph, but we are keeping it at 1000 to be on the safe side.
    It has been said above that there are many factors which influence oil life like fuel quality, sulphur levels, duty cycle etc. and each machine/ mine site is different.
    Remeber to employ the CARE factor. Cover Arse, Retain Employment. So get it in writing by dealer/OEM/ Oil supplier that they will support you and any changes you wish to make. This should also include the oil brand and type.
     
  16. Gavin84w

    Gavin84w Senior Member

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    Zed is right with the large hyd excavators, they are quite unique in there set ups which allow big oil change intervals, that Cummins eliminator filter is a good set up, i remember buying the paper for the centrifuge from Komatsu for the K1900 in the PC5500 we had and it was about $45 ea then we got onto a Cat part number at 3 times less the price.
     
  17. CAT793

    CAT793 Well-Known Member

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    No one has commented on the $$$$ to overhaul an Engine that has been on 500 Hour Drains (compared to 250 Hour Drains). Some of the savings are lost in the additional wear on running a greater depleted oil with higher Soot loading in the Rebuild Process. This is much more pronounced in Hi Load factor sites.

    In my experience it is a similar outcome to running a component on condition and not removing it at the Manufacturers recommendations.
     
  18. scoops25

    scoops25 Active Member

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    Anyone advanced enough that the they schedule the oil changes by Fuel Burn? Rumours out there a few construction companies have started this, curious on how they are doing this efficiently?
     
  19. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    I think some of our locations do this but as of yet we have not been told to go that route. The problem I have with that idea, but this may be taken in to account, is some of our loaders during the winter will spend many hours sitting idling waiting for the next customer to show up. I'm not sure you can expect the operator to sit in a cold machine with heater off, at least ours would not be happy. Well this idle time could be harder on the engine and oil than running a near full load but in fuel consumed would be very minimal causing the oil change to be extended. I guess this could be adjusted for winter months to take this in to consideration.
     
  20. Gavin84w

    Gavin84w Senior Member

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    Engine overhauls are now being based off fuel burn in some cases but never heard of engine oil changes, if anything you might do oil changes based off SOS results but at the end of the day like we have been saying on this thread, engine oil and filters are cheap insurance and trying to cut costs by being a rocket scientist and pushing oil changes is about as short sighted as setting your printer default to print double sided instead of one sided.

    Most operations will have many other ways to improve efficiencies if it is all about cutting costs but they just don,t look so hard for them.