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Thread: mixing regular and synthetic gear lube-- problems?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    352

    Default mixing regular and synthetic gear lube-- problems?

    Anybody ever mixed synthetic and regular gear lubes and had problems? Just wondering...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    southernmost NJ
    Posts
    157

    Default

    New outboards come with a petroleum based gear oil in the gear case. After the first 20 hours of use, I drain them and put a synthetic gear oil in. I don't flush the gear case and there is always some residual petroleum left that mixes with the synthetic. I've been doing it this way for about 5 years and never had a problem. I don't think however, that mixing larger amounts of the two would be a good thing, even though most synthetic gear oils are a blend and not 100% synthetic.
    Mac

  3. #3
    IOWOLF Guest

    Default

    As always revert to manufactures recommendations.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Friesland, Netherlands
    Posts
    1,848

    Default

    Jim,

    We run several gas turbines offshore, and have changed over to synthetic lube oils. We checked with the lube oil manufacturers; they told us that regular and synthetic can be mixed in any ratio without problems - just that the mix will be less effective than pure synthetic (but better than regular).

    No problems with the oil turning to a gel or whatever - I think that was only when adding mineral oil to a vegetable oil like castrol R...

    Ian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    6,729

    Default

    Shouldn't be a problem these days. Some early synthetics weren't compatible with petroleum, but the ones you get now generally are.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    759

    Default What does "SYNTHETIC" really mean?

    My understanding is that the term "SYNTHETIC" doesn't mean that the oil is created from something other than petroleum, but rather that it is perhaps hyper-refined and then the components are put back together for a specific application. You are still mixing oil & oil. The only thing I have ever heard of where there could be a problem would be from mixing parafin based (Pennsylvania Grade) oil with acid base oil (most of the non-Pennsylvania Grade). Other than that oil is oil. Unless you are really pushing the limits of the lubricating or heat transfer properties you will probably never see any difference.

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