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KYFarmboy

1939 Engine Oil

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Time to service engine. Looking for input on what oil to use. Have been using 30 wt. non detergent for past 45 years. All sorts of new oils available now. Any good advice would be helpful. THANKS

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

DO NOT put detergent oil in the engine... or you will hear it comming apart... Stay with what you have been using.... Also I read a article in the 37/38 Buick club mag. that one of the owners of a 38 was driving it and lost oil pressure.. When he pulled the oil pan it was sludged up pretty bad and the pick tube up sucked up the sludge and ruined his engine.. I pulled my oil pan right after that,,, good thing I did...

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My suggestion is to continue to use a non-detergent oil in your engine. If you should rebuild your engine, then change to a modern detergent oil.

Grandpa

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Grandpa</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My suggestion is to continue to use a non-detergent oil in your engine. If you should rebuild your engine, then change to a modern detergent oil.

Grandpa </div></div>

Agreed, switching to detergent oil now would "wake up" a lot of sludge deposits already in your engine. The advice I have heard most often is to switch to detergent only when you know there is little to no sludge in the engine, which means dropping the pan and cleaning it out at a minimum.

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Agreed, but only if the car is equipped with a good oil filter system. Many prewar cas have no oil filter or only filter part of the oil flow.

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Doesn't the '39 have a filter [albeit a basic one but a filter netherless?]

......That said it probably would not pass your 'good' description Mark.

Regards

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Dear KYFarmboy:

The oil filter on a 1939 is quite god, in and of itself. However, as Mark Shaw and DBT noted without specifically saying so, is that ONLY the oil going to the head gets filtered. While this takes out the big "boogers", sludge builts up in the oil passages in the block.

IF you switch to detergent oil, all of that block sludge comes out and goes DIRECTLY into the main and rod bearings, probably ruining them. Even cleaning the pan doesn't get the block sludge.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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David,

Correct! A good filter system filters all the oil. As Dave Corbin clarified, to use detergent oil in a partial filtering oil system will cause accelerated wear on the un-filtered parts of the oil lube system.

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I agree that if non detergent oil has been used; to stick with that; if the engine has bee rebuilt, however, then a detergent oil could be safely used provided that the oil is changed often (1000 mi)The filter on the prewar engines was only a partial flow, I can't see how that could be changed, but if anyone knows how to plumb up a full flow system; I would like very much to share that knowlege so that I could change my '39 over.

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I just happen to have the engine out of my 1931 model 57 Buick torn down right now. So I will see if a remote spin-on oil filter can be rigged to do the job.

The problem is where to hide it....maybe next to the battery under the floorboard?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Tom_Tams</div><div class="ubbcode-body">... but if anyone knows how to plumb up a full flow system; I would like very much to share that knowlege so that I could change my '39 over. </div></div>Have seen a 39 with remote full flow oil filter from a 1960-70's Slant 6 Dodge, mounted on the chassis near the firewall. He took a feed off the oil pump through a fitting in the block and back in again to join up with the original piping.

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Was on a red 39 Coupe in New Zealand. Only saw the car & meet the owner once in New Zealand. He has since sold the car and its now in Queensland, Australia. Don't have a photo. Should not be too hard, if you know the oil circut after the oil pump (which I don't). Was a very neat installation.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KYFarmboy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Time to service engine. Looking for input on what oil to use. <span style="font-weight: bold">Have been using 30 wt. non detergent for past 45 years.</span> All sorts of new oils available now. Any good advice would be helpful. THANKS </div></div>

Years ago I had an elderly spinster retired teacher neighbor who lived on the first floor of the two family house she had owned since after the war. The tenant on the second floor was also an elderly ex-teacher who had been renting the apartment for over forty years.

One day I see the second floor lady moving out. A few days later I see the homeowner, so I asked her why her tenant left.

Quote;

"I got tired of hearing her walking around up there."

Sometimes things just run their course I guess. I hope you find a new oil that works for another 45 years.

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