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Old 17-12-2009, 21:03   #1
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Lead in Diesel Engine Oil

I was looking at a boat with a Cummins diesel engine 330 HP and in the boat saw an engine oil analysis which was "normal" in all respects but one. One of the reports was labelled "critical" and said that the level of lead was extremely high. The engine only has about 900 hours. Can someone tell me what the concern is here.

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Old 17-12-2009, 21:18   #2
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I was looking at a boat with a Cummins diesel engine 330 HP and in the boat saw an engine oil analysis which was "normal" in all respects but one. One of the reports was labelled "critical" and said that the level of lead was extremely high. The engine only has about 900 hours. Can someone tell me what the concern is here.

Thanks

I would take this question to cdlofit.com and post it.

It's a forum for truck drivers and they will know exactly what the level of lead in your oil means. They can read those oil analysis and actually understand what is going on inside the engine.

And with this engine you might ask some other questions. For the smaller engines I don't think they'll have much to offer.
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Old 17-12-2009, 21:25   #3
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at one time lead was put in fuel as a lubrcant, if i remember right
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Old 17-12-2009, 21:49   #4
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I don't think lead is typicaly used a a lubercant in diesel engine oil. It's unneeded in diesel, and typicaly baned for use in a motor fuel. Lead was used as a octane enhancer in gasoline, and a a material to lube the valves on older gasoline engines. Diesel typicaly used sulfur compounds, or surfactants to lub the injector pumps.

However, lead is a common metal to find in bearings. If the level of lead in the oil was high, that could mean the bearing were wearing faster than normal.

That means checking for proper oil changes, proper oil pressure, and running the proper weight oil. It would also mean checking that you ahve it changed on a schedule to keep water out of the oil if you don't run the engine often.

If you get only one report with an out of bounds result, I wouldn't be too worried. Somethings things happen. If it's a trend, you may want to start saving up for a rebuild.
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Old 18-12-2009, 19:38   #5
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One out of line result is nothing to be overly alarmed about.

But yo should change the oil and filters and run the engine and retest.

Check with Cummins Tech assistance on line
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Old 18-12-2009, 21:16   #6
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Just thought I would add this link...

http://www.polarislabs1.com/pdf/wear...guide-2008.pdf

Usually you will find elevated levels of other metals....(note under lead they also mention additives).....

If you use Pennzoil for example you will get a high zinc level (it comes in the oil)
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Old 18-12-2009, 23:58   #7
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Call your Cummins distributor.
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Old 19-12-2009, 00:28   #8
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Just pulled out my last oil spectrographic analysis.
Lead showed at 1 ppm
My engine has 4800 hrs
Max acceptable for diesel is 36 ppm
Excessive lead indicates:
Bearings
Bushes
Clutch pack
Grease
Oil additive

Massive quantities - I'd be thinking bottom end bearing.
I ain't no expert!
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Old 21-12-2009, 09:07   #9
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Call your Cummins distributor.
Call Cummins. Also boatdiesel.com is a great site for diesel engine info, however, you have to be a paid member.
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