1952 8N - what oil to use

JJT

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I received my non detergent advice from a very old mechanic, many years ago. He restored dozens of 1928 - 1931 Model A Fords and swore modern detergent oil would eventually eat away the soft babbit bearings in these motors. I believe the 9N's are the same vintage?
 

bgott

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I've been a mechanic for twenty five years. I've also been into quite a few poured babbit bearing engines. I've never seen bearing damage that could be attributed to detergent oil eating the babbit. Both of RichZ's engines have inserts. I doubt very seriously the previous owners ran non detergent oil in the last few years, but who knows? You might have a point on running it in the Massey, that engine might have a bypass oil filtration system. The Oliver, on the other hand, is new enough to have a full flow oil filter. It would catch any dirt you knocked loose before it hit the bearings. If you're worried about it, pull a valve cover or a side plate and see how much sludge is in the engine. I ran detergent oil in my 8N and had no problems until I tried to replace the pickup screen on the oil drain plug. Those problems weren't oil related, though. You've got to take the information you get from a lot of those old guys with a grain of salt. A lot of them still think alternators and disc brakes are a waste of time. I know one guy that won't use a timing light to save his soul. Ask him what he does on a computerized car and he'll throw you out of his shop.
 

jinman

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You are correct about the vintage of the 9N. It's the oldest of the Ns, first built in 1939. As to babbit rods, I have to really "plead ignorance" on the metallurgy issues. I was just commenting on things in modern engines that I think are much more fragile than babbit, but seem to handle detergent oil just fine. To me, the logic doesn't seem to fit. I'm reminded of my dad telling me that someone used detergent oil in a tractor and soap suds started pouring out the filler cap. I asked him why soap suds didn't pour out of newer engines too, and he told me to shut up./w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif /w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif
 

s1120

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<font color=red>I asked him why soap suds didn't pour out of newer engines too, and he told me to shut up. </font color=red>

LOL Got to love it.
 

bgott

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Just for the he11 of it I dug out my 8N owners manual to see what Ford had to say. :) They don't mention detergent or non detergent, back then they might not have had detergent oil. They do, however, list the grades. Above 90 degrees they recommend 30 wt.. + 32 to 90 degrees they recommend 20 wt.. + 10 to + 30 is 20 wt.. -10 and + 10, 10 wt.. 50 hours to the first change, change every 200 hrs. after that. More often if used for severe service. Sounds like they were trying to BS people about the cost of service or cost per hour back then just like they do today!
 
 
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