Let's assume you discover your pump is totally dry on a weekend job
and your jug of vacuum pump oil is empty and Johnstone Supply is
closed until Monday. Now let's also assume there's a NAPA auto parts
nearby with a wide selection tranny fluid, hydraulic fluid, compressor
oil and motor oil.
Is there a substitute oil that'll do the job without damaging your
pump until you can get the right stuff?
If so, what's the best short term substitute??
That reminds me of a guy back home in the late 60's--he had a 1957
Pontiac and the brake system was full of leaks. Whenever he wanted to go
somewhere, he would fill the up with water. To the OP's
question, no good excuse for not having the right supples on hand, but
stuff happens, Murphy"s Law, the best laid plans of mice and men, etc.
Hell, the Leonard Skynard bunch's plane ran out of gas and crashed. The
auto parts stores used to carry mineral based refrigeration oil for car
a/c, though they may be getting away from that now as non134A systems
are getting fewer as time goes by. If you just absolutely had to put
something else in a vac pump, that would be my guess as to the least
possibly harmful. As soon as possible though, I would drain it, refill
it with vac pump oil, run it blocked off for a while, and change it
again. Actually, as I think about it, I seem to remember seeing vac pump
oil at some auto parts stores, but I am not 100% positive about that.
The thing to do is to stay away from detergent oils, the detergents
will bind with any free water.
And the "motorcycle" oil is a scam. The ratings are on the oil for a
reason. Your manual also specifies the minimum grade oil you can use.
I've been running automotive oil in motorcycles for 30+ years with no
reason to beleive it has ever caused a problem.
I was told I need specific oil because of the wet clutch,
anti-foaming agencies and such...I think it's bullshit, but for the money,
it's not worth me taking a chance on screwing up my engine.
But I still think I'm getting hosed....
Actually there is a measure of truth to what you have been told. It's
not that you need motorcycle oil. It is that you need to avoid
specific types of automotive oil that include friction reducing
additives. Often labeled as "energy conserving". These additives do
cause problems for any wet clutches. There is a fair bit of info on
the net about it. As long as you avoid those you can freely use
quality brand oil from walmart with no worries.
Everything I have read says they cause the clutch to slip. I have not
experienced it myself, not because I always knew better, but just
because I never happened to use any of them before I found out not to.
How much money are you saving by using a substitute oil??
By "you" I mean anyone who does this.
Is it worth it, risking damaging your vac pump to save a couple of bucks??
Is your profit margin that thin that you have to use something other than
what the manufacturers call for??
Motorcycle oil is much more expensive than automotive oil, and I have read
many articles that claim it's a scam purpetrated by the oil companies.
It most likely is, but am I going to risk damaging my bike engine in order
to save $30 to $50 a year????
Not this guy.
no guts, no glory ! :)
i dunno who buys your vac pumps, but my customers buy me the tools i
need to work on their stuff. they also buy my gasoline and motor oil.
wait til they find out where they'll be paying for our annual
corporate board meeting this year.
Read the OP's post. He didn't say he wanted to save money. He wanted
an alternative oil he could use in a pinch.
So I assume that if you're at a weekend job and the homeowner needs
heat right away you'd prefer to abandon the job until you could trot
into Johnstones and get real vacuum pump oil??
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.