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Old 28-03-2015, 20:30   #31
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

It's my understanding that the sulfur in diesel fuel does not provide lubricity per se, but that the process of removing sulfur degrades the lubricity.
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Old 28-03-2015, 22:32   #32
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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It's my understanding that the sulfur in diesel fuel does not provide lubricity per se, but that the process of removing sulfur degrades the lubricity.
You are correct sir.

For a more detail look at diesel, I post the following from our friends at Chevron http://www.chevron.com/documents/pdf...TechReview.pdf

Another nice write up, New Diesel Fuel and Old Diesels | Mercedes-Benz Club of America

Reading these, I believe that 2 stroke oil might be better then modern atf which is more cleaner then oil.
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Old 29-03-2015, 08:42   #33
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Oddly if you google adding Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel, you'll find many professional mechanics do it. .
Whenever I suggest to someone with a problem they can't fix to "hire a pro", I get dozens of replies as to how bad pros are, they don't know what they are doing, they screwed up my boat, etc., but now all of a sudden, they are Gods and know everything there is to know.

"Professional mechanics" are simply people who are paid to repair engines. Some are factory trained, receive the latest technical bulletins, and know what they are doing, some are just people who fooled around with engines until they learned the basics and then started charging for their services.

They did not design, build or test the engines. Any knowledge they have on the effects of fuel additives on engine performance and longevity are purely anecdotal. Also, they have no stake in the longevity of your engine.

The engineers who designed and built the engines are the ones to look for when it comes to fuel quality and the possible need for additives. If your engine manufacturer recommends adding automatic transmission fluid to the fuel, by all means, you should do that. If they recommend Marvel Mystery Oil, by all means do that. I doubt you will find recommendations for either of these products.

Your engine manufacturer probably designed your engine to run on standard diesel fuel without any additives. They may suggest an additive if you think you may be getting substandard fuel or have a problem with water or biological matter in the fuel. They will probably have a list of approved additives that you can choose from.
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Old 29-03-2015, 08:54   #34
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by McWho View Post
Sailorchic34 nailed it. ATF is a solvent based lubricant that will soften the carbon deposites on your injectors. With todays low sulfer fuels it also acts as a lubricant for the injector pump. I have been an ASE certified master technician for over 25 years and all my fuel filters get filled with ATF and what is left over goes in the tank.
I agree ATF is an aggressive solvent. Is this possibly a problem regarding elastomers? I would be a bit concerned about the mechanical lift pump diaphragm.
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Old 29-03-2015, 09:05   #35
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
\
How would we know this?
That's the rub....thus the fear mongering about additives and ultimately the backyard mechanic solutions to cutting costs.

There are basic field tests looking for the obvious, there is lab testing, and there is whatever certification that accompanies the fuel load that you might ask for.

Bottom line is most places with reputable fuel is OK.....while I have heard of a few cases in many years of both pleasure and commercial boating in the US, I have never experienced fuel that caused short or long term issues with engines.

Outside the US and even inside I am sure there are places with bad or lower grade fuels, so avoiding them or trying to find out what additive would help is what I have heard even over just arbitrarily adding something that may or may not help.
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Old 29-03-2015, 09:32   #36
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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I use ATF to fill my Racors after I change the filter. It runs right through the engine causing no problems at all.

I find it certainly easier than trying to get a cup or two of diesel fuel down below without spilling it all over the place thanks to the new "extra stupid" environmental jerry cans.

Dhillen
I do the same thing for the same reason but use injector cleaner.
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Old 30-03-2015, 05:42   #37
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

Has anyone tried the Lucas brand fuel and base oil additives? Some that I know rave about them while others not so much.
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Old 30-03-2015, 07:10   #38
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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Has anyone tried the Lucas brand fuel and base oil additives? Some that I know rave about them while others not so much.
How would one know?

If you always add product "X" to your fuel and have no fuel related problems, you might conclude that product "X" was taking care of any issues. That would be an invalid conclusion. The reality is, you have no way of knowing if there would have been any issues if you had used no additive or brand "Y" as an additive.

I use Stanadyne Performance Formula. Why? As insurance against moisture and other fuel problems and because Volvo suggests it in my engine's owner's manual. Since I have had no fuel related problems, I suppose I could swear by it but the truth is, I have no way of knowing what would have happened or not happened if I didn't use it.

I feel more comfortable using a product for the purpose it was intended for and a product approved by my engine's manufacturer. The cost is insignificant compared to the cost of diesel fuel.
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Old 30-03-2015, 07:14   #39
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I agree ATF is an aggressive solvent. Is this possibly a problem regarding elastomers? I would be a bit concerned about the mechanical lift pump diaphragm.

I believe it's really just 10W oil with a good detergent package, as far as elastomers I wouldn't worry. As a kid I used to rebuild automatic transmissions, old C4's, C6's Turbo 350 and 400's etc. An automatic transmission is actually hydraulically operated of course and is full of O rings etc., actually at least in the old ones, often the breakdown of the rubber seals is what led to the transmission failing and therefore needing re-building.
I'm inferring that since an automatic transmission is full of rubber and plastic parts that automatic transmission fluid doesn't attack rubber and plastic parts.

I'm not abdicating putting anything in your fuel, myself I always put a biocide in mine since I may burn a tank a year, but if you want to add a little automatic transmission fluid in your fuel and you have an old fashioned non common rail Diesel, I've seen it done for many years, it won't hurt anything.

I too have great concerns with additives, I've seen personally the mess some like the "trans doc" additives do to automatic transmissions, block and head sealer clog up cooling passages on engines etc. I do feel that if you avoid all additives that are not specified by the manufacturer you won't hurt anything, just know the engine manufacturer is in the business to make money, and if your engine lasts until the warranty period has expired, it has lived long enough.
They would be fools to recommend a third party additive, they wouldn't make anything off such a recommendation, they would be out of pocket to do any testing and they aren't in control of the additive as far as it's ingredients, that could change at any time. Safest bet is to stay away from additives
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Old 30-03-2015, 07:38   #40
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

If anyone thinks manufacturers of expensive things just try to get their product though warranty....well....what can I say.

Cat and Cummins are unbelievable with continued support to keep their reputation.

Detroit car manufacturers found out the hard way when the general population laughed at Japanese cars until the guy next doors Toyota was still running after the others went through 2 or 3 Detroit beasts.

No, ones good name comes from trust in the product that it will do the job you want it to. A product just lasting just till warranty expires seems to be a huge consumer complaint....not something that is easily accepted.

While I don't think manufacturers have all the answers....I generally take something like additive suggestions, especially when manufacturers aren't too concerned with general use, over some old timer or super kid who want you to "think" they know something you dont.
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Old 30-03-2015, 07:43   #41
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

Yes, engine manufacturers are in business to make money but they also have a reputation to maintain if they want to stay in business. They are not just concerned about lasting through the warranty, they want to sell you your next engine many years from now.

As I posted above, my Volvo manual recommended two different additives for anyone unsure about fuel quality or moisture. I picked one.
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Old 31-03-2015, 13:09   #42
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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I'm going to add "adding automatic transmission fluid to diesel fuel" to my upcoming book "101 Stupid Boating Tricks".


Right under "adding cayenne pepper to bottom paint".

The sad thing is it would be a best seller because people want cheap and easy.
I can't believe some of the BS ideas that get passed around, just use fuel from a reliable source and change your filters when needed. What destroys injectors is water, I've seen the tips blown apart because water will not atomize like diesel. Given decent care the engines in our boats will outlast our ownership of most boats. What kills a diesel is overheating, dirty air, dirty oil, contaminated fuel and lack of normal maintenance. Most engines are mounted in a space where it's hot, dirty and difficult to perform that normal maintenance, so some owners latch onto the idea that magic in a can will take the place of the difficult dirty work really required. When was the last time you re torqued the head bolts and adjusted the valve lash, checked belt tension, changed coolant? Get a manual for your engine and follow the scheduled maintenance to get the longest trouble free use from it. Occasionally something will break, don't let it be caused by lack of proper care.


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Old 31-03-2015, 14:24   #43
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by sartorst View Post
You wont find a manufacturer who will recommend additives why would they want to do the research and time on something that they can not regulate or make money from, chasing fuel standards is hard enough!
Actually I replaces the injection pump in one of my older trucks and the pump manufacturer required some type of lubrication additives needed to be added to the fuel due to the new ulsd and a friend of mine owns ska it injection service here in the pnw he recomends a qt of md3 atf or similar every so often to clean the injectors in OTR rigs heck won't hurt and lots cheaper than the " injector cleaners " also he recomended using 2cycle oil to raise the lubricity and cetane levels in fuel at the rate of a cup per ten gallons. YMMV
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Old 31-03-2015, 14:28   #44
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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The sad thing is it would be a best seller because people want cheap and easy.
I can't believe some of the BS ideas that get passed around, just use fuel from a reliable source and change your filters when needed. What destroys injectors is water, I've seen the tips blown apart because water will not atomize like diesel. Given decent care the engines in our boats will outlast our ownership of most boats. What kills a diesel is overheating, dirty air, dirty oil, contaminated fuel and lack of normal maintenance. When was the last time you re torqued the head bolts and adjusted the valve lash, checked belt tension, changed coolant? Get a manual for your engine and follow the scheduled maintenance to get the longest trouble free use from it. Occasionally something will break, don't let it be caused by lack of proper care.


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Actually did all the maintance that the yanmar in our new to us boat needed to be done by the 1000 hour mark it only has 836 hours but why wait.
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Old 31-03-2015, 17:55   #45
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Re: Automatic transmission fluid in diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Actually I replaces the injection pump in one of my older trucks and the pump manufacturer required some type of lubrication additives needed to be added to the fuel due to the new ulsd and a friend of mine owns ska it injection service here in the pnw he recomends a qt of md3 atf or similar every so often to clean the injectors in OTR rigs heck won't hurt and lots cheaper than the " injector cleaners " also he recomended using 2cycle oil to raise the lubricity and cetane levels in fuel at the rate of a cup per ten gallons. YMMV
Question: (let's put cetane ratings aside for now, OK?)

Are you saying that the purpose of any additive is to clean the injectors? Whether it's injector cleaner by name, ATF or 2 cycle oil?

How "old" is usld? We have a 1986 M25 Kubota and it's been running just fine with only injector cleaner added to fill the cup of the Racor when I change filters (as I noted earlier). Our engine must have started her life on "regular" diesel and has seen no change in the 17 years we've had her and I use at least 60 - 100 gallons a year.
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