Mobil 1â„¢ 15W-50 full synthetic oil at Walmart. $6.95/qt.

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Robert Gift, Mar 19, 2017.

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  1. Robert Gift

    Robert Gift Registered User

    Nov 12, 2012
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    Would it be OK to oil the 1977 and 1979 Ridgeway grandmother clock Franz Hermle clock movements with it?
    Would the oil's additives be an issue?
    After using one drop in the clocks, would use the rest a few ounces at a time in the vehicles.

    Thank you.
     
  2. MrStretch

    MrStretch Registered User

    Feb 21, 2017
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    In a word, no. Use good quality synthetic clock oil.
    Motor oil is wrong for clocks for a variety of reasons - contains detergents(bad), is hydroscopic (designed to absorb water, very bad) and may not play well with copper alloys (also bad)
     
  3. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

    Oct 19, 2010
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    I guess I am in bad trouble. I have been using Mobil 1 for several years and as far as I can tell I have never had a come back due to using it. I will be eager to read any more comments.
     
  4. Robert Gift

    Robert Gift Registered User

    Nov 12, 2012
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    Re: Mobil 1â„¢ 15W-50 full synthetic additives

    What viscosity do you use? (I did not know they made 15W-50.)
    Would be nice to see close-ups of the pivots and holes to discern if the Mobil 1â„¢ additives have caused damage.
     
  5. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
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    Yes. I think it would be fine. The biggest knock with using Motor Oils, in my opinion, is that the formulas do change so you may not be able to buy something you've used in the past. You'll get a wide variety of opinions on lubrication on this Message Board. I've used Synthetic Mobil 1 0W-40 (for about 2 years) and Synthetic Castrol Edge Gold 10W-60 (over the last year) on our clocks. I've been very pleased with the results thus far. Admittedly, that's not a long time as far as clock maintenance goes. I've also used Ney Synthetic Clock Oil on some of our Grandfather Movements and have been disappointed by its performance on 1st & 2nd Wheel Pivots. It's too thin and it doesn't stay put very well...again...in my opinion.
     
  6. Hudson

    Hudson Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 19, 2010
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    The 15w-50 would be just fine for the lower pivots, but you may want to consider a lighter grade for the uppermost ones.
    You will find many conflicting opinions and oil recommendations for clocks. I'm convinced that synthetic engine oils are just fine for clocks. You can find the opinions in previous threads on this board.
     
  7. Robert Gift

    Robert Gift Registered User

    Nov 12, 2012
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    The 0W-20 used in our vehicles could be used for the upper pivots. Is it too light to use everywhere?

    Why are VERGE PIVOTS not oiled?
     
  8. MrStretch

    MrStretch Registered User

    Feb 21, 2017
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    Why? What's the point?
     
  9. Robert Gift

    Robert Gift Registered User

    Nov 12, 2012
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    #9 Robert Gift, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    Full synthetic. It's cheap compared to clock oils. I can get it. Haven't been able to get to clock shops while they're open.
    Leftover oil would be used in the vehicles.
     
  10. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    It isn't clock oil. Sure I use some oils and greases for some things that aren't actually watch or clock oils but that is mainly because at times the real thing wasn't available. Clock and watch oils may be expensive to buy but the bottles take forever to empty. you could perhaps take some car oil off the dipstick of your car if you desperately needed some.
     
  11. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 7, 2000
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    #11 John Hubby, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    I have used full synthetic motor oils for over 25 years now with ZERO problems; I service in the order of 100 clocks per year and have had ZERO comebacks due to lubrication.

    I own three 400-Day clocks that I did some testing on starting in 1996 that I disassembled in 2001, 2006, and 2011 to check mainspring and pivot condition. One was lubed with Mobil 1 10W40 (mainspring) and 0W30 (pivots), one with Slick 50 HP (no longer available) for the mainspring and Etsyntha 5 (no longer available) for the pivots, and one with Slick 50 HP for mainspring and pivots.

    NONE of them have required re-lubrication of the mainsprings and all are still running (going on 21 years). At each check the mainsprings had a slightly wet appearance, no crud and no evidence of stickiness, thickening, or corrosion. The springs were reinserted in the barrels and placed back in service each time without adding any oil. I'll check them again later this year, didn't do that last year due to other priorities.

    >> Mobil 1 performance:
    No mainspring issues as noted. This clock required cleaning and relube of the pivots in 2011 (15 years service). The top end pivots had "dried out" although no evidence of wear and the clock was still running at the time. In this service I used Mobil 1 5W30 for the pivots, slightly higher viscosity based on recommendations from others who started using this oil in the same period I did.

    >> Slick 50 HP plus Etsyntha 5 performance:
    No mainspring issues as noted. This clock also had dry pivots but happened in 2006 after 10 years operation. I changed to Slick 50 HP and no problems since then, but I'll run out of my supply one of these days and it's no longer available. Etsyntha 5 has been replaced by Etsyntha 859, I have not used any of it so can't report.

    >> Slick 50 HP performance:
    No mainspring issues as noted. All pivots had visible oil present at each inspection although the oil is darkening with time. Will plan to clean and relube the pivots when I do the next inspection.

    Other observations include:

    >> Neither the Mobil 1 nor the Slick 50 HP had any problem with oil migration from any pivot holes.

    >> There is no metal discoloration with any of the lubes used in these tests, either around the pivot holes or on the pivots/arbors.

    A final comment:

    My interest in synthetic lubes started with finding that Nisshendo Watch Co. of Japan (Master TM) used synthetics for their mainspring lube from the earliest production in the 1950s. In the early 1960s they introduced 100-Day and 200-Day clocks that had sealed mainspring barrels that can't be opened without severe damage, evidently based on their confidence the mainsprings would never need servicing. I opened a couple of these in the late '90s just to check, and in those cases found the mainsprings to be in perfectly good condition, slightly wet with lubricant, and still with their original blued color after more than 40 years in service! I don't know what lube they used except that it has been analyzed and found to be 100% synthetic of about a 10W viscosity. My use of Slick 50 HP was based on their theory that the presence of colloidal Teflon would result in teflon being impregnated in the mainspring coil surfaces and result in much lower sliding friction. I carried out a series of tests in 1997-1998 using three 30-Day clocks and three mainspring lubes (Moebius mainspring grease, Mobil 1 10W40, and Slick 50 HP) that strongly supported that premise, with Slick 50 HP averaging about 23% longer run times than the Moebius grease and Mobil 1 giving 16% longer run times than the Moebius grease. That test is described in more detail in a post in this forum that was linked by Kurt.

    One other test I've carried out is to use Slick 50 One-Lube spray on mainsprings. My experience is that performance is excellent but no better or worse than Mobil 1 10W40. Being in a spray can makes it more convenient to use but it's a bit more expensive.

    Long story short: Since Slick 50 HP is no longer available, today I would choose Mobil 1 for my clock lube, 10W40 for mainsprings and 5W30 for pivots and never look back.

    EDIT: I've edited the comparative run times for the three lubes to conform with the actual results shown in the thread linked by Kurt, my memory was just about right but really need to use the source data. :police:
     
  12. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 15, 2016
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    I'm pretty sure that only the 1st number matters when using multi-grade/multi-viscosity motor oil in clocks. 5W-30 is 5w cold the 30 number is the high temp viscosity rating. a clock will never see temperatures required to change the viscosity. So 10-30, 10-40, 10-50 is all the same in this application. 5W-X, 10W-X, 15W-X, 20W-X would be your difference in this application.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_oil

    Scroll down to multi grade
     
  13. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    #14 Time After Time, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    Yes, I would use the lighter viscosity oil beginning with the third wheel in the train on up to the Flys and Escape Wheel. Use the heavier viscosity on the first and second wheels. I alluded to that earlier but I should have stated it explicitly. Thanks Hudson for pointing that out.

    Regarding the Verge Pivots, we're getting into a whole 'nother area now. Some folks do oil the Verge Pivots. I always do. You'll definitely want to use a low viscosity there. I also apply a little oil to one of the pallets and let it distribute to the tips of the escape wheel's teeth.

    Most folks don't recommend oiling gravity powered levers and such, like Racks, Rack Hooks, Long Levers and such. The reason being that the oil tends to dry and gum up...that has been true of many of the older clock oils. Not so sure that it applies to the synthetics as much but you won't go wrong by leaving these surfaces clean and dry. Since you're not disassembling this movement you may want to be sure that these control levers move freely. If they don't you can carefully remove them and clean the pivot surfaces without disassembling the rest of the movement.

    I'm not sure if that fully applies to the modern multi-viscosity formulas BLKBEARD. What about the 0W-X oils? I use such a formula and it definitely has more viscosity at normal room temperature than does my Ney Synthetic Clock Oil. Just as clocks will not be operating at high temperatures, they won't be operating at freezing "Winter" temperatures either (Tower Clocks excluded). There are many different formulas out there and they change relatively rapidly. I do agree that the bottom number should serve as a good baseline. i just know that 0W-X is not "water" at room temps.
     
  14. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
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    John, thank you for taking the time to review your experiences with the use of these types of lubricants in Horology. I always get a little nervous recommending them because some folks hold very strong opinions against using motor oils in clocks.
     
  15. Whereisitat

    Whereisitat Registered User

    Mar 14, 2017
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    Here is my "secret" recipe...

    1/3 portions each...Mix well, stays in solution fine.

    30W non detergent motor oil

    STP with Zinc additive(standard blend)

    Rem-Oil from the can-spray into cup for measure.

    Great for all drive pivots. Smaller watches in main barrel/pivots. Tested it by putting a dot on a plate of steel-hit it with a micro torch for a full second. It stayed put & was still solute.
     
  16. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    I've used lots of oils that aren't specifically clock oils. For example I use a white grease made specifically for the upperv asslembly parts of outboard motors to grease the Seiko auto pawls. It is Valvoline X-All.
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
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    I think the verge pivots issue is related to the "oil only the parts that rotate 360°" rule. So you would normally not oil strike lever pivots and things like that. But the verge is in motion almost constantly, and I always use a bit of oil on the pivots there.
     
  18. Mr. Time

    Mr. Time Registered User

    Feb 13, 2017
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    #19 Mr. Time, Mar 22, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    After reading all the post on this thread I went directly to my clocks owners manual and specifically read under the "Care and Maintenance" section of the manual and read about oiling the clock's movement.

    Well the manual is not specific about two things: 1.) What type of oil (clock oil?....maybe gun oil?.....etc.?) grade, etc. should be used?.....and......2.) Where exactly on the clock movement or at what specific points on the clock movement should one apply oil too?

    I have a Howard Miller MacArthur mantle clock (http://cql.howardmiller.com/Product/Details.aspx?StyleID=754) which was purchased back in Sept. 2009.

    After inquiring with Howard Miller, specifically with serial number, my MacArthur clock was produced/manufactured in the year 2008. Production on the Howard Miller MacArthur clock was started back in the year 2003.

    I have again, contacted Howard Miller to inquire about what specific clock oil should be used as well as where or what points on the clock movement should oil be applied to, etc. The manual does not indicate this specifically nor does it show any diagrams, etc. all it says is that oil should be applied to the clock movement and that's about it?

    NOTE EDIT: Looks like I found an answer to at least one of my questions concerning clock oil type. Since I posted this, I checked the Howard Miller website and under the Customer Help Center questionair, the last question pertains specifically to the clock oil recommendation (http://cql.howardmiller.com/FAQs/Default.aspx?FaqCategoryID=14&FaqCategoryCode=DFLT) clock oil 859.
     
  19. davefr

    davefr Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 29, 2008
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    The additive package in motor oils is formulated to deal with the byproducts of combustion. (hardly needed in a clock).

    I think an ATF or Hydraulic/Tractor fluid would be better.

    However what's the point when there's products designed to deal with the unique lubrication properties of clocks?
     
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