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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Dec 2006
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    102
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    Jefferson City, MO (central)
    Tractor
    B3030 w/ FEL and 72" midmt

    Default diesel oil - is it always dark?

    I have a kubota I bought new in 06 and have about 160 hours on it - has been a wonderful machine. I changed the oil as recommended. But I notice when I check the oil level that it seems dark for being "new" oil - I fairly recently changed the oil.

    My question: does oil in a diesel engine get dark quicker than in a gasoline engine? It looks like I should change the oil it is so dark but I know the tractor is not due for an oil change for a while. Since this is my only diesel I don't have the benefit of experience.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member psj12's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    518
    Location
    Short OK
    Tractor
    KIOTI 554

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    Oil in a diesel will generally get dark quicker than in a gas engine. The color is not an indcation of the need to change oil. Time, miles or oil analysis should be used to determine change intervals.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2003
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    Windber, PA
    Tractor
    ALL J-D's: 955, X595, 6x4 Diesel Gator, CX Compact Gator, 310D Loader/Backhoe (4x4, turbo, extend-a-hoe)

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    Like psj12 said, diesels tend to blacken-up pretty quickly. And, some diesel oils, Pennzoil "Long Life" 15-40 being one I noticed, come out of the jug very dark in color. Doesn't affect their ability to function properly tho..

    In my experience, most mfr's recommended drain intervals are pretty conservative, so, either follow that, or get an analysis, and run it longer.

    Key is to be sure you're running the proper grade/weight.
    R-WEST

    "live so the preacher doesn't have to tell lies at your funeral"

    955, X595, CX Compact Gator, 6x4 Diesel Gator,
    310D Loader/Backhoe (All J-D's)

  4. #4
    Platinum Member WH401's Avatar
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    889
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    Southern Maryland

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    When diesel fuel is burned in the cylinders, it creates soot, and eventually enough soot builds up in the oil to give it that black color. If you check the oil regularly on any diesel engine, you will notice that the oil progressively goes from its natural honey color to a black color. It's not a problem, it's just the nature of a diesel engine.
    FOR SALE 2006 JD 3320 PowrReverser w/ 300cx Loader, 61" HD Bucket w/ Toothbar, Horst Fixed Forks, IMatch, Ballast Box, Filled R4's, Vertical Exhaust, Warning Light Brush Guards, Auxiliary Forward Lighting Kit, Rear Work Light, 68" Ratchet Rake, & a Woods PRD7200 Finish Mower
    2004 JD Gator 6x4
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  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Oct 2004
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    16,854
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    First organized permanent settlement in the northwest territory
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1500/2004 Kubota Bx23/2005 Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    Quote Originally Posted by RussMan View Post
    I have a kubota I bought new in 06 and have about 160 hours on it - has been a wonderful machine. I changed the oil as recommended. But I notice when I check the oil level that it seems dark for being "new" oil - I fairly recently changed the oil.

    My question: does oil in a diesel engine get dark quicker than in a gasoline engine?
    It looks like I should change the oil it is so dark but I know the tractor is not due for an oil change for a while. Since this is my only diesel I don't have the benefit of experience.
    Bingo
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
    Attachments 60'' Front Blade/48'' Rear Tiller/FEL/Back Hoe /
    60'' MMM/Clamp on Forks/48'' MMM
    South of Canton Ohio L .B

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2008
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    829
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    mountain valley near Tahoe
    Tractor
    Michigan 55A, Foton 254

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    Why not instal a Bypass Filter. A filter that cleans a small amount of oil at a time, the bulk of the oil continuing through the system. A filter not inline with the OEM fliter. An oil cleaner.
    On truck threads I have seen that they are intaled on large Deisel Engines some say the oil stays clear or nearly clear.
    Some do it not to extend change time but to always run clean oil.
    The only question is what filter to instal. Richard

  7. #7
    Platinum Member WH401's Avatar
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    Southern Maryland

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    The problem you run into with a bypass filter on a tractor is space. Where do you mount it? The hood basically covers the entire engine compartment like a glove, and there's no way you want to mount it below the frame. Plus I don't know as that I would want to put a bypass on a tractor since a tractor's oil see's different mediums than a truck engine. Space is still the biggest issue though.
    FOR SALE 2006 JD 3320 PowrReverser w/ 300cx Loader, 61" HD Bucket w/ Toothbar, Horst Fixed Forks, IMatch, Ballast Box, Filled R4's, Vertical Exhaust, Warning Light Brush Guards, Auxiliary Forward Lighting Kit, Rear Work Light, 68" Ratchet Rake, & a Woods PRD7200 Finish Mower
    2004 JD Gator 6x4
    81' Gravely 8173-KT
    99' Gravely 20-G
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  8. #8
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Fairfield, PA
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    JD 3020, JD 4230, JD 7410, JD 2440, MF 750, NH LS170

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    Quote Originally Posted by WH401 View Post
    The problem you run into with a bypass filter on a tractor is space. Where do you mount it? The hood basically covers the entire engine compartment like a glove, and there's no way you want to mount it below the frame. Plus I don't know as that I would want to put a bypass on a tractor since a tractor's oil see's different mediums than a truck engine. Space is still the biggest issue though.
    Not sure what you mean by that? A bypass filter does not know the difference, solid particulate contamination is solid particulate contamination no matter what engine it is in. Be it a lawn mower, car, tractor trailer, ag tractor or industrial turbine engine the bypass filtration system serves the same purpose, remove as much debris from the oil as possible, some filters also remove water.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member WH401's Avatar
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    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    Not sure what you mean by that? A bypass filter does not know the difference, solid particulate contamination is solid particulate contamination no matter what engine it is in. Be it a lawn mower, car, tractor trailer, ag tractor or industrial turbine engine the bypass filtration system serves the same purpose, remove as much debris from the oil as possible, some filters also remove water.
    I guess mediums wasn't the correct word, perhaps situations would work better, such as excessive idling and oil not getting up to temp to burn off the condensation, and such. But yes, a filter is going to filter no matter what, I'm just talking about the situations that can affect the oil that a filter can't help with. But either way, unless he has a huge M series kubota, maybe even an L series perhaps, I doubt if he'll be able to find a suitable area for such a bypass without it being in harms way.
    FOR SALE 2006 JD 3320 PowrReverser w/ 300cx Loader, 61" HD Bucket w/ Toothbar, Horst Fixed Forks, IMatch, Ballast Box, Filled R4's, Vertical Exhaust, Warning Light Brush Guards, Auxiliary Forward Lighting Kit, Rear Work Light, 68" Ratchet Rake, & a Woods PRD7200 Finish Mower
    2004 JD Gator 6x4
    81' Gravely 8173-KT
    99' Gravely 20-G
    06' Ram 3500 DRW 4x4 5.9 Cummins

  10. #10
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Fairfield, PA
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    JD 3020, JD 4230, JD 7410, JD 2440, MF 750, NH LS170

    Default Re: diesel oil - is it always dark?

    You can get bypass filters that are fairly small. No need to install a huge one on a small engine. As far as mounting goes, it's only limited by how much oil line/hose you get with it and your imagination. It could be mounted behind a seat, on a fender and there's usually room under the hood if you use a properly sized one.

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