Modern Diesel Fuel in an Old Tractor

Contributed Article

Talk of the Town:
Modern Diesel Fuel in an Old Tractor

This interesting discussion is from the Tractor Talk Discussion Forum. Remember that safety is your first priority - make sure you know what you are doing before attempting a potentially dangerous activity!

The discussion started out with the following post:

" I have recently purchased a M670 Super diesel, what if any additives do I need to use to replace the removed sulphur compounds in modern fuel, also what service life can I expect from the rosa/master injection pump? "

What followed are some interesting replies:

" It is not the lack of sulfur that reduces the lubricity. When the sulfur is removed, the process takes away the lubricity. Sulfur can react with your crankcase oil and break it down and cause corrosion. Just don't look for high-sulphur fuel, thinking it is better. "

" I understand red (off-road) fuel has more Sulfur in it than green (high-way) fuel and the sulfer is used by farm equipment as a lub. I have been told not to use green fuel in my tractors because of that. But if you must use green fuel add 1qt of transmission to about 20 gal of fuel. "

" The injection pump will give many hours of service. But anything can wear out. "

" At one time the quality of diesel fuel was determined in part by its sulfer content. Cat warned against the use of fuel with a high sulfer content, the sufer would cause all types of problems, such as mixing with water, which formed sulfuric acid. As time went by the demand for diesel fuel increased to the point where the overall sulfer content of most all diesel fuel was at a high level. To cambat the effect of sulfer higher quality of oil was developed. Several years ago the FED. GOV. mandated the use of a cleaner burning low sulfer fuel,there was not enough high quality fuel to go around so a new fuel which we know today as low sulfer was developed,I have seen it harm some rubber parts but seems to run fine in most tractors,it also tends to be cleaner than most HS fuel, cost more though. "

" Many truckers complained that the "new" fuel caused premature injector pump failure. Do not know if this is true or not. I have added upperlube additives to my diesel fuel for twenty years to help lubricate pump and injectors and will continue to do so. It is an inexpensive insurance on a large investment. [Earlier Post] is correct, if you don't have a regular additive a quart of auto trans fluid works just fine. Thats what the truckers were putting in their fuel. "

" Sulphur, I understand your situation. Sulphur has its pluses and minuses. If any mositure is around it reacts with water and makes sulfuric acid. Very bad for the engine. You can get the old diesel fuel. The railroad lobbied the GOV. to keep it available. It can still be burned off Highway, on farm. The red may be high sulphur but not guaranteed. Diesel fuel is available with additive that increases the lubricity. The ATF solution seems ok. I use Dextron III not type F. Type F has stuff in it that make it engage clutch packs faster, its rougher. The estimate life of a Roosamaster is around 70,000-100,000 miles on a 6.2 L diesel PU. At 60 mph make just over a 1000 hrs. Keep your filter changed and keep the water out of the fuel. "

" Use Stanadyne (manufacturer of Roosta-master pumps)"Performance Formula" additive and it will take care of lubricating the pump as well as a number of other possible problems. Generally have to go to a injection shop to get it. Or try After paying to rebuild a Roosta-Master twice, I use it religiously. Every diesel/injection mechanic I've talked to recommends it. "

" I work for a Case Dealership in So. Calif. The green hiway diesel has a tax on it , the red does not... same fuelwith a dye. We have over 900 diesel engines in our fleet of Champ forklifts, Case tractors , and J.Deere powered Air compressors Perkins and Deutz are also in the fleet. WE use NO additives of any kind in any of the fuel, and many of the engines have over 3000 hours on the original pumps. Just keep the water out!! Change those Filters!!!!!! "

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