Subject: listeroid oil weight
Question from Robert B.
Is there any reason I can not use 5w30 oil in the winter for easier starting? I have been sick lately and just can’t hand crank it like I used to.
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Do read the comments before you form your opinion and choose the best answer. Remember… I’m always the student, and always subject to needing another lesson, so do consider the other opinions here.
No doubt you’ll get different answers depending on who you ask, but here’s a dose of reality for some…My little camping Coleman generator is hard to start with anything but 0-30 multigrades in it when it’s really cold! So if you can’t start it what good is it?
The Listers can be a bear to start when it’s cold, as well… a glow plug helps, but with the drag of a gen head, and other loads, it can be hard cranking when it ‘s cold. I think 5Wxx or even 0Wxx multi grades can be an option to get you thru cold weather but there are things I’d note before doing so, most multi grades I see are detergents, and this means you will suspend stuff in the oil to carry it to the filter.. many of us don’t have conventional filters, and ferrous material can be trapped in the detergent and run thru those all-important softer metals in bushings. With this understanding, I run neo magnets in my sump, and if I have lots of them, I put lots of them in there. If the magnet traps it, it doesn’t run through the bushings.
Another thing to think about, the EPA doesn’t care how much equipment you ruin, and this older equipment can benefit from the oils that were blended for use in older stuff. I’d consider looking for additives that have a tad bit of zinc or other proven anti wear agents to help protect the most important thing in your engine.. the crank pin, no doubt, other parts will benefit as well.
To re-cap….several things I think necessary in an old splash system Lister clone.. fit magnets in the sump, some people even fit a screen with coarse cloth fiber material under it, all at the bottom of the deep sumps (if you have one) any particles in the oil will eventually drop out between runs, and get trapped. Do note that not all clones have deep sumps..
Always check the top bushing on your crank pin at regular intervals, look for contamination and pitting, change the shell if you see trouble.. remember the bottom shell can look perfect when the top shell is well destroyed or contaminated. Ferrous metal embedded in the soft bushing materials WILL eventually cut into your crank pin. Change the bush if you see a potential problem. With most things, inspections and engine performance are good guides as to your need to change methods or oil.
Now you have my opinion.. I like the multi grades as they can make a cold weather start possible. A multi grade non detergent would be nice.. do they make such an animal?
As with all things, planning ahead is best, make your decision as to what you’ll use for that coldest of weather, and have it on hand.