changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:19 pm

i changed my cub over to 10W30 for winter use and i seriously recommend anyone that has a cub do the same. this makes winter starting SO much easier. many of us use our cubs for snowplowing and if you are the straight 30 weight oil just seems way too thick in the cold

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:26 pm

I've never run mine on anything else. I rebuilt my '53 before I ever used it and added 10w-30 oil after the engine was put together. I've never had an issue with starting or problems getting it to crank over easily, the 6v system works as it should.

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:15 am

This is going to be one of those personal preference topics, always was and probably always will be. I have never used anything BUT SAE 30wt oil year round in my Cubs. I never have a problem starting Ellie in the winter especially since she has been shedded. Warm southern sun warming the pole barn, battery maintainer keeping the battery topped up, a good tune up, clean fuel is all that is needed to have easy cold weather starts. Again, it is simply going to be personal opinion based on personal experience. Each will probably be different because we all have different environmental conditions to work with. Up here -30C/F is not uncommon but actually more likely. We get an average of 8 feet of snow per season, 4 inches of rain/freezing rain mixed in and a lot of Nor'easters that can bring blizzards or bitterly cold periods. Winter here is full of surprises.

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:41 am

Depending on which chart you use, some will put 10W-30's operating range down around 0 degrees F, others lower at -20 degrees F (like chart below):

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I use 10W-30 in my Cubs because that's what I use in my truck and car; never had any trouble starting my Cub in cold weather before (well below 0 degrees F). So for me, it's the ease of buying only one type of oil.

But like Rudi stated, it's going to be a personal preference decision that you have to make and feel comfortable with. Glad to hear you're not having trouble starting your Cub in cold weather. :)

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:35 pm

Those of you that think oil specifications are a matter of "personal preference" and aren't using a winter grade of oil as spelled out in the owners manuals better be checking the pour points of your "preference".

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:01 pm

Jim makes valid points and in most cases I would echo them, however for me it is different. Not saying better, just different.

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I don't use my Cub enough to warrant changing oil 3 times per year, at least not at this point in time. When we get the Alpacas - maybe. However my local CaseIH mechanics have on more than dozens of occasions said that SAE30wt is fine even in the winter provided the crankcase is kept warm. SAE30wt is heavier than winter weight oils and will become harder to move into the oil passages when it is really cold. No argument there. For equipment that sits un-shedded or in an un-insulated shed moving to a winter weight oil makes a lot of sense so that the oil will be more fluid.

For me, I have a barn with lots of southern exposure windows, 6" of insulation in the walls and 12" of insulation in the majority of the ceiling. This keeps Ellie pretty warm. As soon as I start her, oil pressure builds right up immediately. This tells me that the viscosity of the oil is sufficient to enable to oil to get to the proper passages in a timely manner that will restrict dry running. And that is the point. Reduce engine wear. Once Ellie is up to operating temperature it doesn't matter what type of oil you are using, they all are designed to provide the same viscosity at 100C or 210F. See - Motor Oil Viscosity Grades. I never ever take Ellie out of the barn until she has had a chance to warm up -- (me too btw :wink: )

All of my winter outdoor equipment also calls for SAE30wt or 5w30. My small engine guru says SAE30wt is the best. Since I do not do oil changes on my vehicles (leave that for the shop) it doesn't make sense to stock different grades of oil or to change oil every couple months when the oil is still essentially still "new". If it should get too cold I guess I could put a magnetic oil pan heater, but it never has. The only time I have had to put additional heat around the oil pan was during construction of the pole barn and Ellie was not living in my cabinet shop. I have had Ellie 12 years now and she has more grunt now than she had when I first got her (this is thanks to everything I learned in this community and through personal experience combined with consulting local CaseIH mechanics).

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:23 pm

I'm in Jim's camp on this one. Pour point is a very important factor. Additionally, for those of you that don't have enough hours to run summer and winter oil, the newer oils in 5W30, 10W30, and 15W40 all have superior performance to the oils available when the Cub was first made over a half a century ago both summer and winter and should function just fine at least down to zero. For those in the far north country, Mobil 1 or Amsoil may be your best friend.

Somebody took a lot of time to catalog oil information here:

http://micapeak.com/info/oiled.html

Based on my experience with cold start testing, if you are running 30wt in 0F weather without preheating, you are asking for trouble. We used to get 10 minutes of warmup time to function at that temperature and you needed 9.5 minutes every time.

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:42 am

If anyone wants to do a simple little test, put a small amount of 30wt. in a paper cup and 10W30 in another. Place them in your freezer over night and see how they pour the next day. 30wt. will be considerably slower to pour. I've seen automotive engines starve for oil on a cold morning, because the oil pump could not pump that stuff. The starvation resulted in severe bottom end damage. I'm a firm believer in multi vis oils and use the same oil year round.

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:12 am

Ok.. always time to learn something new.

According to the chart IF I am reading it right, 0W-30 appears to be good to below -30F which is the same as -30C. 10W-30 is good to -20F. So it would appear to me that the best choice for me would be 0W-30 -- if I would change from SAE 30 wt. It also looks to be effective in our summer weather which would make the 0W-30 a good all season oil to use. I am not intransigent about this stuff .. as long as I can see benefits and still maintain a single oil for all of my outdoor equipment. It would appear that 0W-30 would be good for the snow blower etc., as well.

I am down to my last quart or two of SAE30wt, so I might consider doing an oil change in the next few weeks. So far it is only very sunny, - 12C or so - pretty fair day and Ellie is sitting in the barn all nice and toasty :D

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:34 pm

For you northcountry folks, 0W30 is a perfect winter oil. I would not recommend it in the summer on a heavily worked machine, but if you look at some of the synthetic oils in 5W30 or Mobil 1 even in 10W30, they have pour points in the -40C range. If you can get a Cub to start in -30C ambient (about the functional limit of a -40C pour point oil) you are a better man than most.

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:36 pm

Yup. Straight 10/30 for me year round. In both, the 12 volt '64 and 6 volt '49, and they both start up just fine.

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:27 am

To add to ntrenn's comment about synthetics and to my primitive little pour test experiment, now put a small amount of 10W30 synthetic in another cup and put that & the 10W30 conventional oil in the freezer overnight. The difference in pour rate between them is amazing. At the test center, where I worked, we did this simple test on a bunch of different oils. Gear lube was the biggest "Oh My"! This was no official, scientific, test by any stretch of the imagination, just several of my fellow mechanics and myself, who were curious. We used the freezer in the lunch room, which did nothing for our popularity!

Re: changing oil to 10W-30 really helps cold starts

Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:48 pm

:D :D