Forklift Engine Oil

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  #1  
Old 09-19-16, 06:03 PM
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Forklift Engine Oil

I have a propane powered forklift that only gets about 5 hours of engine time per year. It gets a lot of short uses so the engine only gets up to full temperature once or twice a year. As you'd expect the oil looks like mayonnaise. It's approaching time for it's once a year oil change. Should I stick with dinosaur oil or would a full synthetic offer some benefit especially in corrosion protection?
 
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Old 09-19-16, 06:51 PM
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If the oil looks creamy I'd be doing a pressure check on the cooling system to check for a head gasket leak.
No leak then change the oil more often.
Worst thing on an engine is to not use it enough.
Synthetic not going to do a thing to coat the upper cylinder walls or prevent condensation damage.
 
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Old 09-19-16, 08:18 PM
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Sounds like water is getting into the oil.
 
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Old 09-20-16, 03:14 AM
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I agree, it sounds like water Both my tractor and 4x4 truck have low hours/miles use so I only change the oil once a year. Neither ever have any milky look to the oil!
 
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Old 09-20-16, 05:21 AM
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Years ago I was having a coolant leak and replaced the head gasket. I not lost any coolant in six years so I'm pretty confident there is no longer a leak. But the white oil mayonnaise continues. I believe it's from condensation due to the wild temperature swings in my warehouse and the engine rarely ever gets up to operating temperature to cook off the moisture so it just accumulates day after day. I too have diesel and gasoline powered equipment, some stored in the same warehouse, and they don't have the same problem with the oil.

The problem is that it's in a small space and there is only limited work for it to do. I've tried letting it idle for a long time and it does warm up some but the oil and coolant temps are still quite low. It needs a load to bring the temperatures up and that's extremely inconvenient to do. Basically someone has to drive in a little circle while raising and lowering a heavy pallet. After 15+ minutes it does get up to temp but then temp needs to be held there for another 15+ minutes to cook off the moisture making it a half hour+, very boring ordeal.

Changing the oil more frequently is an option except that is not an easy option. It's too low to the ground to get an oil pan under so it requires jacking. It weighs 6'000 pounds and it's too low to get a hydraulic jack under. I have a porta power hydraulic jack but it's a slow and slightly dangerous process to get it jacked and blocked to get underneath.
 
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Old 09-20-16, 05:24 AM
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Would it be feasible to build a ramp or otherwise raised platform to drive it up onto?

I wonder if a block heater would alleviate the condensation.
 

Last edited by marksr; 09-20-16 at 05:28 AM. Reason: add thought
  #7  
Old 09-20-16, 04:14 PM
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I've never thought of a block heater. That might be a good option.
 
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