Bob Klein of Westminister, CO, asks:

Have you considered using the "paper towel" oil filter systems on the any of the Nordhavns? Don't they eliminate the need to change the engine oil? If not, why?

Joe Meglen responds:

In response to your inquiry, I sent an e-mail to Dick Gee of Alaska Diesel and Electric expressing my thinking that if the engine needed more oil filtration ADE would supply the filter as standard equipment. I asked Dick, chief engineer at ADE for his input. He responded with the following:

1] "Paper towels" are not filter media. The real filter manufacturers of the world expend a great deal of effort to produce efficient effective filter media. It is not realistic to expect a roll of paper towels to perform the same as a product developed specifically for the filtering on engine oil.

2] All diesel engine lube oils include an "additive package". This package includes detergents to clean the engine, dispersants to keep the dirt in suspension until it can be filtered or the oil is changed, and "TBN" total base number.

New oil is "alkaline" (opposite of acidic) to protect the soft metal bearings from being eaten up by acid. Acid forms in an engine during normal engine use. It comes from the sulfur in the fuel and combines with the water from condensation to form mild sulfuric acid. This acid is "neutralized" by the "TBN". As this occurs the TBN is depleted. Most oils start with a TBN of about 10 and diminishes with use. If the TBN number ever reaches "0" serious engine damage will result. So, unless you know the TBN of the dirty oil in your engine, change the oil.


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