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Old 11-20-2010
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Default Modern Fuel / Additives / Cetane ratings and mileage

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but does the modern low sulfer diesel fuels have an adverse effect on the Cat 3208 & Detroit diesel engines
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Old 11-20-2010
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We have a Cat-13 and Cat recommends that an additive like their's or Howe's be used because low sulfur diesel does not have the right lubricity for the injectors. My guess is the refinery uses an aggressive process (highly caustic?) to reduce the sulfur and that reduces trhe lubricity properties of the fuel.

I use half the recommended amount of Howe's in the summer and the full amount in the winter to help with the waxing problem of diesel fuel at cold temperatures.

I have been told that some big trucking firms have tried additives with no apparent help or problems either way. Howe's cost about $12 per bottle and I treat a 150gals of fuel with half a bottle in the summer.
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Old 11-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoagie View Post
I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but does the modern low sulfer diesel fuels have an adverse effect on the Cat 3208 & Detroit diesel engines
Rich,

There will many differing opinions on this topic and a variety of solutions, I use a combination of things from a gallon of new automatic transmission fluid in a tankful of fuel to Lucas Fuel Treatment added according to the instructions on the bottle and sometimes I don't add anything, I may be getting the same results for all I know, but it makes me feel good when I do it and it's my money that I'm spending. Some folks will tell you that adding anything is just a waste of money and there are test results out there that will tell you that, but then who paid for the test? It all ends up at being a personal opinion in the end.

Here are some things that you can read through that will probably end up confusing the issue even more but you can be the judge of that;

Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Engine > Information About Low and Ultra Low Sulfar Diesel Fuel

One thing that I will mention is when you bring your new 'Bird home from Arizona, is that you fuel up as soon as you start to get into colder temperatures (Flagstaff overnight temps are in the 30's) so that when you end up at home in Minnesota, that you have a completely full tank of winter blend fuel and even then I would add a fuel additive like Power Service Diesel Fuel Treatment both Power Service and Lucas products are available at most Wal Mart Supercenters as well as most truck stops. Some of our more experienced members who travel from the south to the north during the colder months can help you more than I can, I left Iowa almost 30 years ago to move to South Carolina and I stay down south during the colder months. I checked the Minneapolis temperatures this morning and got a good reminder of just why I left the upper Midwest and came south to live
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Old 11-20-2010
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My fuel pump re-builder, D&W in Worcester, Ma., claims business is very good since ULSD came into existence.
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Old 11-20-2010
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Related to this topic is a previous post by Rob Robinson (pretty sure)related to the effectiveness of the various after market fuel and oil additives. It was the results of a study. Some were rated much better than others.

Cant seem to find it. Rob, if you read this will you point us to it or post it again?

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Old 11-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH Bill View Post
Related to this topic is a previous post by Rob Robinson (pretty sure)related to the effectiveness of the various after market fuel and oil additives. It was the results of a study. Some were rated much better than others.

Cant seem to find it. Rob, if you read this will you point us to it or post it again?

NH Bill
Bill here's the results. It's a great article that was completed for www.dieselplace.com so it's results were not influenced by anyone with a particular bias. The research was done by Southwest Research Laboratory.

The following are the preliminary results of a research study on diesel fuel Lubricity Additives. There is likely to be further commentary and explanation added at a future time.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this research was to determine the ability of multiple diesel fuel additives to replace the vital lubricity component in ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfer Diesel) fuel.

HISTORY:

ULSD fuel is the fuel currently mandated for use in all on road diesel engines. This fuel burns cleaner and is less polluting than it’s predecessor, called Low Sulfer Diesel Fuel. Low sulfer fuel contained less than 500 ppm of sulfer. ULSD contains 15 ppm or less.
As diesel fuel is further refined to remove the polluting sulfer, it is inadvertently stripped of its lubricating properties. This vital lubrication is a necessary component of the diesel fuel as it prevents wear in the fuel delivery system. Specifically, it lubricates pumps, high pressure pumps and injectors. Traditional Low sulfer diesel fuel typically contained enough lubricating ability to suffice the needs of these vital components. ULSD fuel, on the other hand, is considered to be very “dry” and incapable of lubricating vital fuel delivery components. As a result, these components are at risk of premature and even catastrophic failure when ULSD fuel is introduced to the system. As a result, all oil companies producing ULSD fuel must replace the lost lubricity with additives. All ULSD fuel purchased at retail fuel stations SHOULD be adequately treated with additives to replace this lost lubricity. The potential result of using inadequately treated fuel, as indicated above, can be catastrophic. There have been many documented cases of randomly tested samples of diesel fuel. These tests prove that often times the fuel we purchase is not adequately treated and may therefore contribute to accelerated wear of our fuel delivery systems. For this reason it may be prudent to use an after market diesel fuel additive to ENSURE adequate lubrication of the fuel delivery system. Additionally, many additives can offer added benefits such as cetane improver, and water separators or emulsifiers.

CONTENT:

In this study we will test multiple diesel fuel additives designed to replace lost lubricity. The primary component of this study is a side-by-side laboratory analysis of each additive’s ability to replace this vital lubricity. Additionally, claims of improving cetane, water separation or emulsification, bio-diesel compatibility and alcohol content will be noted. These notes were derived from information that was readily available to consumers (via the label and internet information) and none of this information has been evaluated for validity and/or performance. Cetane information has only been noted if the word “cetane” was used in the advertising information. The words “improves power” has not been translated to mean “improves cetane” in this evaluation. Information on alcohol content is provided by indicating “contains no alcohol”. Omission of the words “contains no alcohol” does not imply that it does contain alcohol. This information was simply missing in the information available to a consumer. However, the possibility of a form of alcohol in these products is possible. Additionally, information on dosages and cost per tankful are included for comparison purposes.

How Diesel Fuel Is Evaluated For Lubricating Ability:

Diesel fuel and other fluids are tested for lubricating ability using a device called a “High Frequency Reciprocating Rig” or HFRR. The HFRR is currently the Internationally accepted, standardized method to evaluate fluids for lubricating ability. It uses a ball bearing that reciprocates or moves back and forth on a metal surface at a very high frequency for a duration of 90 minutes. The machine does this while the ball bearing and metal surface are immersed in the test fluid (in this case, treated diesel fuel). At the end of the test the ball bearing is examined under a microscope and the “wear scar” on the ball bearing is measured in microns. The larger the wear scar, the poorer the lubricating ability of the fluid. Southwest Research runs every sample twice and averages the size of the wear scar.
The U.S. standard for diesel fuel says a commercially available diesel fuel should produce a wear scar of no greater than 520 microns. The Engine Manufacturers Association had requested a standard of a wear scar no greater than 460 microns, typical of the pre-ULSD fuels. Most experts agree that a 520 micron standard is adequate, but also that the lower the wear scar the better.

METHOD:

An independent research firm in Texas was hired to do the laboratory work. The cost of the research was paid for voluntarily by the participating additive manufacturers. Declining to participate and pay for the research were the following companies: Amsoil and Power Service. Because these are popular products it was determined that they needed to be included in the study. These products were tested using funds collected by diesel enthusiasts at “dieselplace.com”. Additionally, unconventional additives such as 2-cycle oil and used motor oil were tested for their abilities to aid in diesel fuel lubricity. These were also paid for by members of “dieselplace.com”.
The study was conducted in the following manner:
-The Research firm obtained a quantity of “untreated” ULSD fuel from a supplier. This fuel was basic ULSD fuel intended for use in diesel engines. However, this sample was acquired PRIOR to any attempt to additize the fuel for the purpose of replacing lost lubricity. In other words, it was a “worst case scenario, very dry diesel fuel” that would likely cause damage to any fuel delivery system. This fuel was tested using the HFRR at the Southwest Research Laboratory. This fuel was determined to have a very high HFRR score of 636 microns, typical of an untreated ULSD fuel. It was determined that this batch of fuel would be utilized as the baseline fuel for testing all of the additives. The baseline fuel HFRR score of 636 would be used as the control sample. All additives tested would be evaluated on their ability to replace lost lubricity to the fuel by comparing their scores to the control sample. Any score under 636 shows improvement to the fuels ability to lubricate the fuel delivery system of a diesel engine.

BLIND STUDY:

In order to ensure a completely unbiased approach to the study, the following steps were taken:
Each additive tested was obtained independently via internet or over the counter purchases. The only exceptions were Opti-Lube XPD and the bio-diesel sample. The reason for this is because Opti-Lube XPD additive was considered “experimental” at the time of test enrollment and was not yet on the market. It was sent directly from Opti-Lube company. The bio-diesel sample was sponsored by Renewable Energy Group. One of their suppliers, E.H. Wolf and Sons in Slinger, Wisconsin supplied us with a sample of 100% soybean based bio-diesel. This sample was used to blend with the baseline fuel to create a 2% bio-diesel for testing.
Each additive was bottled separately in identical glass containers. The bottles were labeled only with a number. This number corresponded to the additive contained in the bottle. The order of numbering was done randomly by drawing names out of a hat. Only Spicer Research held the key to the additives in each bottle.
The additive samples were then sent in a box to An independent research firm. The only information given them was the ratio of fuel to be added to each additive sample. For example, bottle “A” needs to be mixed at a ratio of “480-1”. The ratio used for each additive was the “prescribed dosage” found on the bottle label for that product. Used motor oil and 2-cycle oil were tested at a rationally chosen ratio of 200:1.
The Research Laboratory mixed the proper ratio of each “bottled fluid” into a separate container containing the baseline fuel. The data, therefore, is meaningful because every additive is tested in the same way using the same fuel. A side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of each additive is now obtainable.

THE RESULTS:

These results are listed in the order of performance in the HFRR test. The baseline fuel used in every test started at an HFRR score of 636. The score shown is the tested HFRR score of the baseline fuel/additive blend.
Also included is the wear scar improvement provided by the additive as well as other claimed benefits of the additive. Each additive is also categorized as a Multi-purpose additive, Multi-purpose + anti-gel, Lubricity only, non-conventional, or as an additive capable of treating both gasoline and diesel fuel.
As a convenience to the reader there is also information on price per treated tank of diesel fuel (using a 26 gallon tank), and dosage per 26 gallon tank provided as “ounces of additive per 26 gallon tank”.

In Order Of Performance:

1) 2% REG SoyPower biodiesel
HFRR 221, 415 micron improvement.
50:1 ratio of baseline fuel to 100% biodiesel
66.56 oz. of 100% biodiesel per 26 gallons of diesel fuel
Price: market value

2)Opti-Lube XPD
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier
HFRR 317, 319 micron improvement.
256:1 ratio
13 oz/tank
$4.35/tank

3)FPPF RV, Bus, SUV Diesel/Gas fuel treatment
Gas and Diesel
cetane improver, emulsifier
HFRR 439, 197 micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank
$2.60/tank

4)Opti-Lube Summer Blend
Multi-purpose
demulsifier
HFRR 447, 189 micron improvement
3000:1 ratio
1.11 oz/tank
$0.68/tank

5)Opti-Lube Winter Blend
Muti-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver
HFRR 461, 175 micron improvement
512:1 ratio
6.5 oz/tank
$3.65/tank

6)Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, emulsifier, bio-diesel compatible
HFRR 470, 166 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.87/tank

7)Super Tech Outboard 2-cycle TC-W3 engine oil
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 or newer systems)
HFRR 474, 162 micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank
$1.09/tank

8)Stanadyne Lubricity Formula
Lubricity Only
demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 479, 157 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.00/tank

9)Amsoil Diesel Concentrate
Multi-purpose
demulsifier, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 488, 148 micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank
$2.16/tank

10)Power Service Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost
Multi-purpose
Cetane improver, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 575, 61 micron improvement
400:1 ratio
8.32 oz/tank
$1.58/tank

11)Howe’s Meaner Power Kleaner
Multi-purpose
Alcohol free
HFRR 586, 50 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.36/tank

12)Stanadyne Performance Formula
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 603, 33 micron improvement
480:1 ratio
6.9 oz/tank
$4.35/tank

13)Used Motor Oil, Shell Rotella T 15w40, 5,000 miles used.
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage systems)
HFRR 634, 2 micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank
price: market value

14)Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant
Gas or diesel
HFRR 641, 5 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
427:1 ratio
7.8 oz/tank
$2.65/tank

15)B1000 Diesel Fuel Conditioner by Milligan Biotech
Multi-purpose, canola oil based additive
HFRR 644, 8 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$2.67/tank

16)FPPF Lubricity Plus Fuel Power
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
Emulsifier, alcohol free
HFRR 675, 39 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.12/tank

17)Marvel Mystery Oil
Gas, oil and Diesel fuel additive (NOT ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 and newer systems)
HFRR 678, 42 microns worse than baseline fuel.
320:1 ratio
10.4 oz/tank
$3.22/tank

18)ValvTect Diesel Guard Heavy Duty/Marine Diesel Fuel Additive
Multi-purpose
Cetane improver, emulsifier, alcohol free
HFRR 696, 60 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$2.38/tank

19)Primrose Power Blend 2003
Multi-purpose
Cetane boost, bio-diesel compatible, emulsifier
HFRR 711, 75 microns worse than baseline
1066:1 ratio
3.12 oz/tank
$1.39/tank

CONCLUSIONS:

Products 1 through 4 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 460 or better. This meets the most strict requirements requested by the Engine Manufacturers Association.
Products 1 through 9 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 520 or better, meeting the U.S. diesel fuel requirements for maximum wear scar in a commercially available diesel fuel.
Products 16 through 19 were found to cause the fuel/additive blend to perform worse than the baseline fuel. The cause for this is speculative. This is not unprecedented in HFRR testing and can be caused by alcohol or other components in the additives. Further investigation into the possibilities behind these poor results will investigated.
Any additive testing within +/- 20 microns of the baseline fuel could be considered to have no significant change. The repeatability of this test allows for a +/- 20 micron variability to be considered insignificant.

CREDITS:

This study would not have been possible without the participation of all companies involved and dieselplace.com. A special Thank You to all of the dieselplace.com members who generously donated toward this study and waited longer than they should have for the results. You folks are the best. Arlen Spicer, organizer.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubledoc View Post
<snip>My guess is the refinery uses an aggressive process (highly caustic?) to reduce the sulfur and that reduces trhe lubricity properties of the fuel.
Actually, the sulphur molecules provide a degree of lubricity that is lost when they are removed.
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2010
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While it can and has been argued that additives may or may not be needed I continue to use additives in my fuel. Yeah, it makes me feel better. What I have done is taken the study that Rob posted above and kind of tweaked it. I use the Walmart Two Stroke oil cited in the test as method number 7. However, I do not mix at that level. I add one ounce of oil per gallon of fuel. It is easy to remember and adds to the lubrication of the fuel. Therefore I am mixing to a level twice as high as cited in the study. (I am using 96:1 versus 200:1 in the test.) I have seen no difference in performance and no additional smoke. I think on two stroke gas engines you mix for a level of 50:1. The only clue I have is my fuel in the clear portion of the filter has a blue tint. The oil is readily available at any Walmart.

Be advised this method cannot be used on any diesel that has an exhaust particulate filter. This method would clog it if my reading is accurate.

I also add JF Bio-Bor as an algeacide. I actually add it to the oil so it is ready when I refuel.

I add this post not to start an arguement but merely to reveal another possible method for other worriers like me.
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Old 11-20-2010
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I used number 10 (Diesel Kleen) for a couple of tanks early on, but stopped when I didn't see any difference.

A couple of weeks ago I had the bus serviced by Bird owner Clyde Schumann at the highly recommended Seguin Diesel in Seguin Texas. Clyde talked me into trying #6, Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000. Everywhere I've seen it on the internet they have said 1000:1 as the posting does, but the gallon bottle is clearly labeled 2000:1, and Clyde provided a dosing bottle labeled for that ratio. At $40 for a gallon it is 2 cents per gallon of fuel, much less than the 7 cents per gallon listed.

My bus always runs good, so it is hard to say if it runs better except I do have one data point: My lowest speed eastbound on Cajon Pass (I-15 in California) this trip was 46mph. I do not think I had previously had a low that was better than 40mph. Maybe I had a tail wind, but I don't think so.
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Old 11-20-2010
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It sounds as if Biodiesel is the best for lubricating the injection pump, injectors, cyilinders, lift pump, ect,ect. ect. I use Lucas 2-stroke motor oil in my dodge truck along with adding an anti gel product in a full tank of #1 diesel during this time of year. I guess from what I'm gathering here, just make sure the fuel has enough oil in it, alge inhibanator and anti gel product per tank, and adjust accordingley?
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