- Oct 6, 2006
- Boat Info
- 1996 450DA
- 3116 Caterpillars
This was my conclusion, after spending several days trying to muddle thru the various Cat publications I posted this on CSR in October, 2022:Was there any conclusion to the great oil debate from last fall? After reading 40 pages of this thread I still can't tell whether the Shell Rotella T4 15W-40 that I used last year is still OK.
I trust your expertise and don't want to appear argumentative, I just want to make sure I understand things clearly.
After a less than convincing phone call with the local cat dealer, and conflicting information I began to read over the SEBU you posted. Can you help me understand if I am interpreting these footnotes correctly?
(page 27) "Cat Special Application Engine Oil (SAEO), API CF oil of SAE 30 and SAE 40 viscosity grades is recommended for use in 3116 and 3126 marines engines"
Page 7 Note: Cat offers Special Application Engine Oil (SAEO), of SAE 30 and SAE 40 viscosity grades that fullfills all the requirements of API CF category oil. These oils are recommended for use in 3116 and 3126 marine engines only.
Page 11 Note: API oil category CF is obsolete. The API (American Petroleum Institute) does not license this category effective end of 2010. API does not validate the quality of API CF oils and does not allow the display of API symbol (also called API doughnut) with CF as highest claim on the oil container. Oils that claim the requirements of API CF can be used ONLY in Cat Series 3112 and Cat Series 3126 Marine Engines and in 3600 engine models per the OMM of these engines. Refer to the details given in the Marine engine section in this Special Publication.
I'm not offended and am not in a position to argue since this can of worms Caterpillar have given us can be confusing. I Just hope this doesn't add to the confusion:
First, I am not concerned with SAEO and that point isn't worth discussing because you cannot even buy it now. The parts guy I use at Thompson Cat in Nashville told me I asked for "unobtainium" when I asked if he had any SAEO in inventory. It no longer shows up on their "Available To Order" list.
API ratings are backwards compatble so Rotella-1 which is rated CF, CF-2. CF-2 is ok but CF-2 is for only for 2 stroke engines which means you shouldn't use it in 3116/3126 engines.
The safest approach is to follow table 1, page 6; and, table 4, page 10 on SEBU6250-31.
Cheat sheet: This came from a meeting I had with the Caterpillar SOS lab folks at Thompson Cat in Nashville: Caterpillar strongly recommends DEO-ULSD (preferred) or DEO rated CI-4 in 15W-40 since they are developed and optimized for use in Cat engines. Some retail oil distributors are now handling Cat oils.
As a second choice, commercial oils with API CK-4 rating or which meet Caterpillar requirements of ECF1, ECF-2 and or ECF-3 are acceptable.
and, as a third choice, API CJ-4, CI-4, CI4-plus, CH-4 but do not meet any Cat ECF specification.
Unfortunately, Shell's reformulation of Rotella-T-1, SAE-30 & SAE-40 don't meet any of the above specs for any Caterpillar engines not involved in the construction industy.
However, if for some reason, you are determined to not use Caterpillar products, Shell Rotella T-4 15w-40 meets Cat ECF-2, and ECF-3, and API CK-4, CJ-4 and Chevron Delo 600 ADF 15W-40 meets or exceeds Cat ECF-3 and API CJ-4, CK-4, so both are aceptable for the oil requirements Cat published in 2/2022 and are second only to DEO-ULS.