Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
07-17-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #1
Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
I have been asked this many times so I thought it only be proper to put down a few words as to how I got the point of doing something so utterly ridiculous like pouring gear oil into my engine. Really, -- What kind of crack-pot moron adds gear oil to their engine? -- Me.


I have been called stupid by the oil change services out there, and have been accused of being a "Highway Hank" and all sorts of other things for even mentioning that I add some gear lube to my engine at every oil change. I don't blame anyone for this, after-all I have no background in chemistry at all. One would think that the big oil makers like Shell and Mobil would have it all figured out by now. They do have millions of dollars in research in the stuff and are fierce competitors against each other. They are always trying to have the better product for your engine than the next guy. I know this very well too, so why would I go mucking up all this research they have put into my oil? -- Surely there is no way in hell an uneducated redneck truck owner like me could improve upon what they already make? -- Or have I?

Well, to explain that is to explain some of my past experiences and some of the things I have seen. I guess I will have to start there ...

I spent most of my adult years working on and around heavy industrial machinery, but not trucks in particular. Most of it has been very large CNC machines and/or robotics that use a lot of gearboxes, hydraulics, and hydrostatic systems. After many years of this there are some very clear trends that I have observed and are just generally well known. Here are some of them ...

I have seen proven time and time again where a slightly thicker oil in a gearbox will make it last longer. The problem with high speed CNC machinery is that if you get the oil too thick, it creates lag and extra heat in the motors trying to push against the thicker gear oil. It then becomes a trade-off of thicker oil for protection at a cost of lag and heat (shortened life of electric motors and their brushes/magnets/controllers) or shorter life of the gearbox with less lag/stress on the electronics. Also, EP's (extreme pressure additives) like sulphides help with start/stop wear due a buildup of micro-film. it is always a battle of thicker vs thinner and wear vs efficiency, lag, component lifespan.

Then came the crack-pot pushers/salesmen of synthetic oils. Their claims of thinner oils that protect as well as non-syn thicker oils was supposedly the miracle cure-all to all this, but was it?

Actually, not at all. This is because viscosity and hydraulic pressure rating of the oil ALWAYS WON!. -- ALWAYS!. This means that a thicker oil always won over a thinner oil at the same temperature. I have seen machine shops that had 25 machines, convert 5 machines to one grade thinner synthetics and guess what happened... The gearboxes wore out as fast as any non-synthetic of that same grade viscosity. It did not matter what the additives much were when comparing higher grade oil brands aside from one thing...

Here comes the EP (Extreme pressure) additives...

Better grade oils with better EP additives, synthetic or not, like the newer sulphides used would make a micro-film on the components after a while. This micro-film gets trapped between the teeth and reduces wear. The only differences with synthetic vs non-synthetics would be at varying temperatures. very cold vs very hot environments, the synthetic would be more stable, but in places where the temps were relatively consistent, it made no differences. Whichever one at that temp held its viscosity over the other usually won. otherwise, it did not matter if it was a mineral oil or a synthetic. Better EP additives vs not having any always had some improvements, sometimes up to 40% in some gearboxes. There was always one drawback though. Too much EP additives and softer metals like bushings would suffer pitting. Again a trade-off. Too much of this or too much of that and you get a problem somewhere. Hydrostatic systems do not have much in the way of softer bushings so high amounts of EP additives helped them tremendously, but even in those cases, slightly thicker oil prevailed above all.

This was not theory. This was observed on machinery over the years, some of that machinery I have worked with in the past so large, you could machine the superstructures of a nuclear submarine on them.

Hydraulic equipment follows this same pattern. I have also not yet seen any THINNER oil beat any THICKER oil even when comparing synthetics against non-synthetics in reducing long term wear in a machine, especially in hydraulic driven equipment. This of course is when you compare good quality oils against each other and not some el-cheap-o against an expensive brand.


So... In my past I observed and have seen without any question that slightly thicker oil helps reduce wear in any mechanical components lubricated by oil. This would be a gearbox, sliding components, hydrostatic systems hydraulic motors, and even engines. I have also observed that a slight amount of EP's (extreme pressure additives) help with start/stop and wear with their micro-film but hurt if there is too much of them.


Now lets fast forward to my engine...

First of all, EP's are bad for emissions. Engine oil makers simply cannot put them into the oil. The sulphides will combine with whatever oxygen in the DOC catalyst on these newest engines and make for sulfur-dioxide, contributing to acid rain and other environmental problems. This is also WHY sulfur and leads were removed from modern fuels too.

EP's will also accelerate any corrosion of softer metals like bushings in an engine too, BUT ... there are a lot of anti-oxidation additives in engine oils that will slow this down by a lot these days. It becomes again, a trade-off.

Unlike the multi-billion dollar oil companies with all their multi-million dollar research, I can hack up my engine however I like to to find what works for me. I see all these oil change places pushing hard all the time and selling the crap out of that over-priced Pissless clear-looking oil additive so I set out to find out what all the smack was about. This is where my curiosity was first sparked towards adding something to my engine oil...


First thing I did was some research on the stuff. I found out it was roughly 110-grade viscosity. I saw all these salesmen Bulls#it claims and thought just that. They are mostly Bulls#it, and still do... BUT the whole idea of improving viscosity/hydraulic pressure rating slightly struck a nerve with me and made some bit of sense to me. The trouble was that everyone was saying that the thicker the oil in an engine, the lower the fuel mileage will become. The engine will have to labor harder to push the stuff around. I then argued back that the ISX only has 40 lbs of oil pressure and other model engines have 80+. As far as fuel economy goes, adding a bit of slightly thicker oil would have the same effect to the engine and how much harder it has to work as raising the oil pressure would do and nothing much more. The more I looked into it the more a slightly thicker oil and adding some slight amounts of EP's made sense to me. Only problem is that every truck stop in town only sells 10-40 oils and not 20-60 oils. If I want viscosity raised slightly and some low amounts of EP's added, I will have to add something myself ...

I looked into that Puke crap addative they all push, and found out it has no additives other than very simple olefin-polymers (basically just oil stop-leak). If I remove one gallon of oil so that I could put in a gallon of that stuff, it would thin out the oils own additive package by about 12%. I did not like that idea at all. 12% LESS additives in my oil is not something I am willing to accept and there is NO WAY IN HELL that over-priced oil additive is worth more than about $5 - $6 a gallon or so because it ehemmm -- "AIN'T GOT SH$IT IN IT" worth no $30+ dollars for one gallon. --- What a complete over-marketed over-pushed product and nothing but a ripp-off in my own eyes! -- Surely I can find something with decent 80+ viscosity that can be found off the shelf with some actual additives in it ... what about some gear lubes???


I don't care if people call me a crack-pot "highway Hank" on this -- It is my engine and I can do what I want to with it, good bad or otherwise. I like the idea of having some protection to dry-starts using EP additives, so how else am i going to gert them into my engine without overdoing it?. I can also monitor my wear metals for accelerated brass, lead, tin, and any of the other softer metals. Keep an eye on things and see if they change by adding some...

I did some research and saw the warnings about EP's and problems with them eating "yellow metals" and the like and found out that newer gear oils have additives to reduce this/prevent this. Worse case scenario, I can just use a GL-4 oil specifically designed to prevent corrosion of brass, etc. instead of a GL-5. Oil sampling should reveal if it is going to be a problem, brass/copper levels would surely go up. Even so, the newest GL-5's don't really have that issue unless you plan on using significant amounts of it. I would hardly think that 12% gear lube added to my oil would be anything high enough to cause harm, so I decided to try it out and keep an eye on my oil samples...

Sure enough, I got some GL-5 oil, poured it in, and what I expected did happened. The oil viscosity went up slightly, causing the engine to get a bit quieter. I was monitoring the live fuel flow into the cylinders when pouring it in and did not see any measurable change out of curiosity. After 20,000 miles, oil sampling showed slightly lower iron than I usually get and copper/brass did not go up. If anything, brass went down a bit, iron certainly did after a few oil changes too. I tracked my fuel mileage closely and did not see anything I could reliably measure as far as losses go. Some people who work their trucks hard have reported slight differences but I never saw it in mine. I could however smell those sulphides on occasion when checking my oil so I know the EP's are in there ...

Well, I ran the truck with the added 1 gal of gear lube at each oil change about 800k miles or so before I in-framed the engine. A bad injector cup finally got the head and i decided to do it even though it really did not need it so much. I used this as an opportunity to see how much wear and other things were going on while it was apart, including what the gear lube might be doing to it.

I was called a crack-pot many times and some oil change places flat out refused to put it, telling me that i was destroying my engine. Of course none of them could tell me why, as they knew zero about oils and their additives. Most would say it is too thick, but sadly, they all wanted to sell me that 110-grade puke-crap for $35+ dollars that was even thicker than the stuff I was putting in. I would say sorry, but it has no helpful additives whatsoever. -- It is really funny how little people know about the products they are pushing onto others.

My multi-part series on the inframe I did is the result of running 1 gal of gear lube in my engine for roughly about 800k miles. Anyone is welcome to be the judge of the results. I saw no harmful effect whatsoever, not even in brass and copper components.

Did it actually reduce wear? -- I have to think it did. None of the brass bushings in my wrist pins had enough wear to even really measure. That is where i was most concerned as it was a soft metal. The cams and crank still looked new and there was barely even any polishing on them. -- did I simply get lucky? -- Was this normal? -- I really don't know, but I can say for sure that whatever I was doing was certainly good enough for me to keep doing it for the next million miles. -- This I do know.

In the end, I think it is all a matter of application. What works for me may not be the best answer for someone else, but I do know this... Even NASA has studies showing that adding a small percentage of EP (extreme pressure additives) to oil mixes creates a micro-film and slows down wear anywhere from 10% to as much as 50% in real world application testing. Too much though, and again, problems with it attacking softer metals. 10-12% on a gear lube seems to be the sweet spot when you consider how much of them are in one gallon of the stuff. I suppose they are a bunch of crack-pots too, just like me?. Here is one older example of this under the heading of "Summary of Results" in this document...
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi....004926.pdf

(3) Scanning Auger microscope (SAM) images of the gear tooth surfaces made after testing showed that gears tested with the 0.1 wt Yo sulfur and 0.1 wt To phosphorus EP additives in the oil had reactive surface films that were 200 to 400 A (0.8 to 1.6 pin) thick.

and...

" Surface fatigue tests were conducted with CVM AISI 9310 spur gears using a formulated synthetic tetraester oil (conforming to MIL-L-23699 specifications) as the lubricant containing either sulfur or phosphorus as the EP additive. Four groups of gears were tested. One group of gears tested without an EP additive in the lubricant acted as the reference oil. groups either a 0.1 wt % sulfur or phosphorus EP additive was added to the tetraester oil to enhance gear surface fatigue life. A gear temperature of 334K (160° F), a maximum Hertz stress of 1.71 GPa (248,000 psi), and a speed of 10,000 rpm. Phosphorus EP additive showed pitting fatigue life 2.6 times the life of gears tested with the reference tetraester based oil. Although fatigue lives of two groups of gears tested with the sulfur EP additive in the oil showed improvement over the control group gear life, the results, unlike those obtained with the phosphorous oil, were not considered to be statistically significant."


I.E. roughly 2.6x more overall life out of the gears with the EP additives than without, but slightly increased surface pitting. That article was written in 1984 before the newest anti-oxidation/pitting additives were used in todays gear oils. Gl-4 oils are specifically designed to prevent just this, though the GL-5 I used did not show any signs of pitting in my own engine at all. These days there is a lot less problems with surface etching from sulphides, and given all other data in the article, what I have said and have seen over the last many years suddenly has some serious merit.

I will keep doing what I do to my own engine, no one has to agree. I do however know that adding viscosity to the oil as an engine wears has well known benefits. It is simply a matter of what you choose to use to get it there. is using gear lube the answer? -- Maybe or maybe not, that is for each of us to decide. I choose to use it due to costs, availability, and because of personal experiences testing of my own engine. Maybe it is not for others, but when asked, i tell them this is what i do and it worked for me.

Add all this up and add in the fact that the oil makers are being forced to strip more and more out of their oils by Mr. EPA every year,.. I will choose to stick to my crack-pot ideas and watch the rest of the world who don't agree with their synthetic claims and dis-beliefs continue to complain about cam lobe wear and all sorts of other things that simply are not in my own engine.

I would have to disagree with those who go around making claims that I am full of it simply because the oil makers have more money than me. They have to adhere to strict environmental and other standards and make their product work on more than just my own single application. Statements like that are just as short sighted and nothing more than a trolls opinion. I am wrong simply because "they got more money than me"?. I have heard that argument about everything I have ever done in my life and rarely does it ever hold true. If it were, I would surely have seen a negative result by now. ... Still looking for it... The same could be said about a 15 year old hacker vs a windows computer that has software by a multi-billion dollar company like Micrososft. -- Surely they have millions invested by now in research so that no one can hack them right?--- Just as ridiculous.

Again though,.. just because I want to "hack" my own oil to gain something in my own engine does not mean it is for anyone else. It is just what I want to do for myself based on my own experiences and nothing more. I will have to say in this instance that I am proud to be that "Highway Hank" shade tree redneck mechanic that fixes everything in his front yard. Just like my signature says,... I am full of s$it!. No one has to follow what I do, to each their own. .. Sad part is that the professionals with all their professional OEM certified credentials can't seem to keep an engine running any more nearly as well as guys who have learned to do their own work. it SHOULD be the other way around but it is not. Because of this, I am not about to pay them and get caught up in their money hungry ways if I can help it. I will continue to do what works best for me instead.


User's Signature: ->: What I post is just my own thoughts and Opinions! --- I AM Full Of S__T!.
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07-17-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #2
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
Very well written and as always,very informative. I believe many problems of great magnitude in this world can be and are being solved by individuals and small groups willing to go against the grain of common "wisdom" and try. Maybe EPA could learn some lessons here. Thx Rawze
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 Thanks given by: hhow55 , Waterloo , AnOldDog
08-11-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #3
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
This is great info. I also read the thread about the oil bypass. I was interested in the bypass & extended drain intervals. After reading these two threads I've decided to go ahead with the bypass but keep my regular interval. I have a 2011 Freightliner Cascadia with a DD15 in it. Manufacturers recommends 10w30 oil changed every 50k miles. I've been running 10w30 Delo 400 synthetic blend & I change it every 30k miles. I also thought oil sampling was a great tool but now I'm thinking just sampling for info but changing the oil every 15k-20k miles.

I'm really interested in what weight of oil you use & what gear oil you add. This really makes sense to me.
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08-11-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #4
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
(08-11-2017 )RStewart Wrote:  This is great info. I also read the thread about the oil bypass. I was interested in the bypass & extended drain intervals. After reading these two threads I've decided to go ahead with the bypass but keep my regular interval. I have a 2011 Freightliner Cascadia with a DD15 in it. Manufacturers recommends 10w30 oil changed every 50k miles. I've been running 10w30 Delo 400 synthetic blend & I change it every 30k miles. I also thought oil sampling was a great tool but now I'm thinking just sampling for info but changing the oil every 15k-20k miles.

I'm really interested in what weight of oil you use & what gear oil you add. This really makes sense to me.

I run a 2008 ISX, and if I had your motor, I would be running regular Rotella dino in it, don't waste your money on synthetic. As far as gear oil, Rawze did a write up on this regarding the newer SCR motors and recommended a GL-5 lube over the GL-4 many of us are running in our none SCR motors. I would also recommend oil change intervals of 15,000 miles along with a good oil by pass system if you keep the mandate. No oil bypass, I would be changing oil every 12,000 miles. That soot will eat your motor alive, synthetic or not.
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 Thanks given by: RStewart , Yeti , AnOldDog
08-11-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #5
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
(08-11-2017 )Waterloo Wrote:  
(08-11-2017 )RStewart Wrote:  This is great info. I also read the thread about the oil bypass. I was interested in the bypass & extended drain intervals. After reading these two threads I've decided to go ahead with the bypass but keep my regular interval. I have a 2011 Freightliner Cascadia with a DD15 in it. Manufacturers recommends 10w30 oil changed every 50k miles. I've been running 10w30 Delo 400 synthetic blend & I change it every 30k miles. I also thought oil sampling was a great tool but now I'm thinking just sampling for info but changing the oil every 15k-20k miles.

I'm really interested in what weight of oil you use & what gear oil you add. This really makes sense to me.

I run a 2008 ISX, and if I had your motor, I would be running regular Rotella dino in it, don't waste your money on synthetic. As far as gear oil, Rawze did a write up on this regarding the newer SCR motors and recommended a GL-5 lube over the GL-4 many of us are running in our none SCR motors. I would also recommend oil change intervals of 15,000 miles along with a good oil by pass system if you keep the mandate. No oil bypass, I would be changing oil every 12,000 miles. That soot will eat your motor alive, synthetic or not.

Cool. Thanks. I saw where he recommended the GL-5, just wasn't sure if there was a specific brand.
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 Thanks given by: bossboy2
08-12-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #6
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
Rawze used sta-lube the first 500k miles or so and super tech till the Inframe. He reported no ill effects from using the cheap Walmart brand.
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 Thanks given by: Waterloo , RStewart , DSTdriver
08-13-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #7
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
Could be a dumb question but, would it cause any damage if you were to pre fill the oil filter with gear oil?
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08-13-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #8
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
(08-13-2017 )Tanker93 Wrote:  Could be a dumb question but, would it cause any damage if you were to pre fill the oil filter with gear oil?

MOST LIKELY YES because it's like starting engine at subzero temperature !
Doing so will drastically shorten the engine life and accelerate premature components failure !
It's like playing a "Russian roulette" . There's only one in the drum and the rest are empty.
The outcome is well known......
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08-13-2017, (Subject: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change... ) 
Post: #9
RE: Why I add 12% (one gallon) of gear lube at every oil change...
I service the truck at Speedco or TA, I let them put the bulk of the regular Rotella in and about that 35 quart mark I stop them and have them pour in the gear lube. Then they finish filling the motor. Do not fill your oil filter with it, Wiseman is spot on.
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