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David Schweizer

BMC 1.5 - Which Oil

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I have been using Morris Supreme/Golden Classic SAE 30 - API CC oil our BMC 1.5 for the past fifteen years, based upon the recommendation of Morris Lubricants themselves. However we do get some smoking when the engine has been running off load for a while, notably when doing a long flight of locks. I seem to recall some people recommending SAE 10/40 (or 20/50) - API CC as an alternative to overcome this problem.

 

We are down to our last can of oil and I am due to order some more, and would welcome the experiences of others regarding oil grades in the BMC 1.5 The engine is over thirty years old, but has only done 1,000 hours since it's complete re-build a few years ago.

Edited by David Schweizer

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I have been using Morris Supreme/Golden Classic SAE 30 - API CC oil our BMC 1.5 for the past fifteen years, based upon the recommendation of Morris Lubricants themselves. However we do get some smoking when the engine has been running off load for a while, notably when doing a long flight of locks. I seem to recall some people recommending SAE 10/40 (or 20/50) - API CC as an alternative to overcome this problem.

 

We are down to our last can of oil and I am due to order some more, and would welcome the experiences of others regarding oil grades in the BMC 1.5 The engine is over thirty years old, but has only done 1,000 hours since it's complete re-build a few years ago.

 

 

For all BMC engines I have never used anything else but 20/50. Straight mineral oil, no modern semi or fully synthetic oils. Its what the MG car clubs recommend.

 

If you are getting a puff of smoke when the motor has been idling, what colour is it?. If blue (oil), its likely the vavle guide seals are favourite (they harden up over time)

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Hi David,

 

I would personally go for a 15w/40 diesel engine oil, it is initially a high grade oil for use in turbo charged hard working engines, it will stop problems like sticking piston rings/bore glazing etc. I have used this oil in petrol engines also (I ran my Capri 2.8i on it for 150000 trouble free miles!!). As for the smoking after idling,it may be valve guide seals if blue smoke or injectors tired if smells dieselish. Hope this helps.

 

For all BMC engines I have never used anything else but 20/50. Straight mineral oil, no modern semi or fully synthetic oils. Its what the MG car clubs recommend.

 

If you are getting a puff of smoke when the motor has been idling, what colour is it?. If blue (oil), its likely the vavle guide seals are favourite (they harden up over time)

 

 

Please note that BMC diesels must use an approved diesel engine oil,running it on 20/50 will eventually gunge up the engine. I have seen engines destroyed in this way due to blocking of oilways!.

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I would personally go for a 15w/40 diesel engine oil, it is initially a high grade oil for use in turbo charged hard working engines, it will stop problems like sticking piston rings/bore glazing etc. I have used this oil in petrol engines also (I ran my Capri 2.8i on it for 150000 trouble free miles!!). As for the smoking after idling,it may be valve guide seals if blue smoke or injectors tired if smells dieselish. Hope this helps.

No! Very specifically don't use an oil designed for turbo-diesels - just about the one thing people can agree on about oil in these motors is to use one to an "old"API-CC spec!

 

Please note that BMC diesels must use an approved diesel engine oil,running it on 20/50 will eventually gunge up the engine. I have seen engines destroyed in this way due to blocking of oilways!.

An API-CC 20W/50 oil is fine in these engines, and completely within what BMC advised in the first place.

 

I personally use the Morris Supreme 20W/50, because our engine is at least 17 years since a rebuild, probably a trifle "tired", but in David's case, where the engine was recently professionally rebuilt, and has not done a lot of hours since, then I think I'd be tempted to stick with the thinner multi-grade. EDIT: No I wouldn't! - See below for what the operators manual actually recommends - I now think the 20W/50 is the best choice!

 

I think actually if you use any of the Morris Supreme API-CC diesel oils that are within what BMC originally recommended you are probably fine, and that includes the monograde SAE 30 that David has been loyal to for many years - that also complies with the original operator instructions, although I found I "used" more of it than with the multigrade. EDIT: Again no, it seems! - the operator manual shows that the SAE30 monograde really wasn't recommended at many of the ambient temperatures you will encounter.

Edited by alan_fincher

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Curious on this point, I have just been back and checked the original operators manual for the BMC 1500 and 1800 engines.

 

The following oils are all good for ambient temperatures from -25 degrees centigrade right up through 30 (plus) degrees centigrade.....

 

15W/40 15W/50 20W/40 20W/50

 

On the other hand it suggests a 10W/30 is only suitable up to an ambient temp of 10 degrees centigrade - so not ideal for much of the year.

 

Where that leaves you with a 10W/40 (the next grade morris does below a 20W/50 I think), I'm not sure, but it would seem that a 20W/50 is definitely OK, whereas a 10W/40 might be considered too thin.

 

Curiously if you look at the use of an SAE 30 monograde, (like Supreme 30), it is listed as suitable only when the ambient temperature is 20 degrees centigrade or above - so really not suitable again for much of the year.

 

Yes, I know a lot of people use the Supreme 30 in these motos, but I now conclude that the 20W/50 seems the best choice in the Supreme range.

 

(All are the required API-CC spec, of course).

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Curious on this point, I have just been back and checked the original operators manual for the BMC 1500 and 1800 engines.

 

The following oils are all good for ambient temperatures from -25 degrees centigrade right up through 30 (plus) degrees centigrade.....

 

15W/40 15W/50 20W/40 20W/50

 

On the other hand it suggests a 10W/30 is only suitable up to an ambient temp of 10 degrees centigrade - so not ideal for much of the year.

 

Where that leaves you with a 10W/40 (the next grade morris does below a 20W/50 I think), I'm not sure, but it would seem that a 20W/50 is definitely OK, whereas a 10W/40 might be considered too thin.

 

Curiously if you look at the use of an SAE 30 monograde, (like Supreme 30), it is listed as suitable only when the ambient temperature is 20 degrees centigrade or above - so really not suitable again for much of the year.

 

Yes, I know a lot of people use the Supreme 30 in these motos, but I now conclude that the 20W/50 seems the best choice in the Supreme range.

 

(All are the required API-CC spec, of course).

 

 

Thanks Alan, I knew I was right, but couldn't find my BMC oil recommendation spec sheets. Its funny about SAE 30 oil, Qualcast mowers (as was) who made/make the Suffolk Punch mowers expressly forbade SAE 30 and put stickers on their engines saying 20/50 oil ONLY. (This applied to their own engines, not later fit Briggs engines. I'm guessing for the very reason you stated.

Edited by larkshall

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I have several workshop manuals for the BMC 1.5, including the official Leyland one, and am aware of the different oil grades listed for different ambient temperature ranges However, my concern is that the ambient temperatures are presumably quoted for a road vehicle installation where the engine is exposed to the air outside the vehicle.

 

On our boat, the engine is installed snugly inside an insulated steel box, and whilst there is adequate ventilation, I suspect that once the engine has warmed up, the ambient temperature inside the box is always going to be above 20 degrees, even in the winter, and it is presumably that environment which one should consider when choosing a suitable oil, rather than the temperature outside the boat.

 

Given that our boat is rarely used in temperatures aproaching zero, either the range suggested for above 20 degrees or between -10 degrees and up to 30 degrees would be suitable, which as Alan suggests does indicate SAE 20-50 as the most universal choice. Interestingly neither the Thorneycroft or Calcutt Workshop Manual recommend SAE 30 for any temperature ranges, and they are both specificly for marinised engines.

 

Perhaps I will try some SAE 20-50, and maybe it will improve cold weather starting, Unfortunately Midland Chandlers do not seem to stock the Golden Film (API CC) SAE 20-50 so there will be no advantage in buying my next batch of oil from them on their forthcoming "Freaky Friday"

Edited by David Schweizer

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Interestingly neither the Thorneycroft or Calcutt Workshop Manual recommend SAE 30 for any temperature ranges, and they are both specificly for marinised engines.

When I first got our boat, I contacted Calcutt, and they specifically said the use of a monograde oil was not a good idea, and that I should use either a 10W/50 or 20W/50 multigrade.

 

However when I approached Morris on the subject, they recommended the monograde SAE 30 ! (It was "Supreme" back then, not "Golden Film", although I understand these to probably be the same thing, just differently badged.

 

So it seems if you go to two respected sources who should know, you get conflicting advice!

 

You are correct that Midland Chandlers don't stock the Morriss 20W/50, and anyway the price of Morris oils seems to vary enormously in different chandleries, and I have seen both the 10W/40 and 20W/50 oils at prices of under £20 up to £28 and beyond for 5 litres. (Morris' own online prices for 5 litres are way OTT - after VAT they want in excess of £30 for the thicker oil).

 

I can't recall definitely which grades I recently bought where, unfortunately, (I use the 10W/40 in vast quantities in Sickle), but I think I found reasonably priced oil at both Rose Narrowboats at Stretton Stop, or (surprisingly!) Anglo Welsh at Great Heywood. If I had to guess, I'd say I probably bought the 20W/50 at Rose, and 10W/40 at Anglo Welsh. Could be worth a phone call or two ?

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We always used 20/50 in vehicles with these engines, the petrol versions too. Or for straight oils 20 winter and 30 summer. C spec for diesel and S for petrol.

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When I first got our boat, I contacted Calcutt, and they specifically said the use of a monograde oil was not a good idea, and that I should use either a 10W/50 or 20W/50 multigrade.

 

However when I approached Morris on the subject, they recommended the monograde SAE 30 ! (It was "Supreme" back then, not "Golden Film", although I understand these to probably be the same thing, just differently badged.

 

So it seems if you go to two respected sources who should know, you get conflicting advice!

 

You are correct that Midland Chandlers don't stock the Morriss 20W/50, and anyway the price of Morris oils seems to vary enormously in different chandleries, and I have seen both the 10W/40 and 20W/50 oils at prices of under £20 up to £28 and beyond for 5 litres. (Morris' own online prices for 5 litres are way OTT - after VAT they want in excess of £30 for the thicker oil).

 

I can't recall definitely which grades I recently bought where, unfortunately, (I use the 10W/40 in vast quantities in Sickle), but I think I found reasonably priced oil at both Rose Narrowboats at Stretton Stop, or (surprisingly!) Anglo Welsh at Great Heywood. If I had to guess, I'd say I probably bought the 20W/50 at Rose, and 10W/40 at Anglo Welsh. Could be worth a phone call or two ?

Yes, I have found that to be the case also. However, I have just found Classic Oils in Aylesbury who will sell me four x 5 litres of Morris Golden Film SAE 20W/50 at a special offer price of £61 (inc VAT), or £70 incl Delivey through ebay. I have just placed an order.

Edited by David Schweizer

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Hi David

I see this conversation is rather old now but I'd be very interested to know if you resolved your 'smoky off load' problem as I have the same thing with the same make and model. Our BMC 1500 is pretty well behaved cruising but smokes badly in neutral on tick-over. I've adjusted valve clearances, replaced the missing thermostat, put in a new head gasket and new injector nozzles and not made much progress. It wasn't well-looked after when we got it and its running better now its had some TLC, but still smokes. I believe I'm looking at unburnt diesel rather than oil but am willing to accept that I'm no expert and could be wrong about that. My next step is a head skim.

Did you resolve it? What was the problem?

Thanks
Dave

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The design of these BMC engines is ancient. They all smoke to some degree, pause, waiting for the rush of owners who swear that theirs' never smokes. They were designed before the second world war when no one gave a damn about an engine smoking a bit. They are indirect injection into a Ricardo chamber which gives a slower burn rate than a direct injection modern engine. Fuel pumps are less accurate than a modern common rail injection system.

In a boat they spend a lot more time ticking over than they ever did in a vehicle and we run them at lower tickover speeds too. We usually don't work them hard enough or for long enough.

Oil burning, blue smoke, on revving after slow speed is valve stem seal, particularly exhausts,they go hard with the heat, if severe the guides are worn.

Oil burning, blue smoke, under load at normal running speeds is ring and bore problems, either worn or glazed through prolonged running off load.

Belches of black smoke on opening the throttle quickly is due to the engine being temporarily under heavy load whilst the speed builds and is normal.

White smoke is unburnt fuel due to retarded timing or poor compression/misfiring on one or more cylinders.

A feint black haze whilst sitting in a lock is common unfortunately, new injectors and pump overhauls may cure it but not for long.

We are burning red diesel too, and its got biofuel in now, less sulfur, but it is not as clean usually as pump derv, white diesel, as it is produced for plant and farm use where emissions are still not closely monitored.

Use of high performance lubricating oils, higher than CD rated, causes bore polishing, lower spec oils have a little ash in them which give microscopic bore scoring that prevents glazing.

Reclaimed oils ar better still in this application for the same reason.

 

 

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Hi Sam

Thanks for the tips.

I've read quite a lot about this already and am working on the unburnt fuel hypothesis (which is why I'm going for a skim next time - on the assumption that a crappy head seal will give me poor compression). I have tried adjusting the timing by twisting the pump but it won't budge (and I'm a bit scared of getting it badly wrong).

I was interested in David's post because he mentions getting bad smoking when off load. Our engine barely smokes when we're cruising, its only bad when its in neutral on a tick-over rev (which is a bind when doing locks, as David says).

We are definitely getting misfires from time to time (occasionally it coughs and puts out a puff of extra smoke) but this is intermittent.

Any comments on the additional details above will be warmly received.

Thanks
Dave

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The head gasket will not be the problem unless there are also other issues like water or oil loss or over pressurising of the cooling system.

Occasional misfire is usually low compression on one or more cylinders, valve sealing is the common fault, a decoke and valve regrinding (not just seat re-cutting) should solve it.

Injectors should be checked for spray pattern and the pressures reset every few years, not expensive to get done at a diesel specialist  ( Potteries Diesel Services are near you) but you need a set of fire and fuel connection washers when they go back in. Whilst they are out, its a good idea to inspect the top hat units down the holes, they can break up.

These and most diesel engines respond well when they are regularly given a really good work out, not just over revved but loaded and run hard against a river current if you can.

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2 minutes ago, Boater Sam said:

Whilst they are out, its a good idea to inspect the top hat units down the holes, they can break up.

They pull out on the end of the injectors too

Richard

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Thanks both.

You have lost me on a bit of the terminology here!

Fire and fuel connection washers? When I had the injectors out, there were large copper washers down each hole. I could not get one of them out but annealed the other three before refitting the injectors.

Top hat units?

I'll be taking the head to Allards when I'm next in their vicinity - they tell me they used to get a lot of these engines and seemed to know what they were talking about (like knowing about the chambers with the brass covers - I thought they were precombustion chambers - so they're Ricardo chambers?). From what you say I should get them to inspect the valve seats?

Many Thanks

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Those big copper washers are the injector body washers, the fire washers are down the top hats and seal the business end of the injectors, (ensure that the old ones are out before putting new in, having 2 washers in there causes bad damage) The fuel connection washers are two different sizes under and above the fuel spill rail connections on each injector top union. All these should be renewed when the injectors are refitted. 4+4+4+4 and the 2 others on the big end union of the spill rail.

Top hats are down the injector holes, the ends of the injector sits in them, with the fire washers between them and the end of the injector, and they are, erm, top hat shape!

Be careful not to damage the end of the needle that just protrudes from the injector face. A good time to get the diesel specialist to check the injectors for spray pattern and break off pressure, not expensive.

Your engineers will sort the valve seats out aspart of a decoke, but these days some are lazy and only re-cut the seats in the head, much better to grind the valves in instead or afterwards depending on condition, with valve grinding paste - see my avatar.

Ricardo was the man who invented the precombustion chambers, its a patent held by him once upon a time. There used to be a patent label on every BMC diesel engine.

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Hi Sam

These are the nozzles I fitted: https://www.asap-supplies.com/brands/bmc-leyland/injector-nozzle-only-bmc-1-5-diesel

These are the washers I found down the holes and annealed: https://www.asap-supplies.com/injector-nozzle-copper-washer-199121-11b276

I guess these are the fuel washers you mention (though these seem to be only one size): https://www.asap-supplies.com/copper-washer-injector-leakoff-rail

I saw nothing resembling a top hat except maybe the nozzle itself?

Thanks again
Dave

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16 minutes ago, davehindle said:

How did you do that then?

You should have some of these on the end of the injectors too: https://www.asap-supplies.com/engine-spares-gearboxes/engine-spare-parts/bmc-leyland-land-rover-engine-parts/bmc-1-5-leyland-1500-diesel/atomiser-washer-for-bmc-injectors

Richard

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3 hours ago, davehindle said:

Hi David

I see this conversation is rather old now but I'd be very interested to know if you resolved your 'smoky off load' problem as I have the same thing with the same make and model. Our BMC 1500 is pretty well behaved cruising but smokes badly in neutral on tick-over. I've adjusted valve clearances, replaced the missing thermostat, put in a new head gasket and new injector nozzles and not made much progress. It wasn't well-looked after when we got it and its running better now its had some TLC, but still smokes. I believe I'm looking at unburnt diesel rather than oil but am willing to accept that I'm no expert and could be wrong about that. My next step is a head skim.

Did you resolve it? What was the problem?

Thanks
Dave

I don't think David S is over bothered now as he sold his boat a while ago.

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29 minutes ago, davehindle said:

Hi Sam

These are the nozzles I fitted: https://www.asap-supplies.com/brands/bmc-leyland/injector-nozzle-only-bmc-1-5-diesel

These are the washers I found down the holes and annealed: https://www.asap-supplies.com/injector-nozzle-copper-washer-199121-11b276

I guess these are the fuel washers you mention (though these seem to be only one size): https://www.asap-supplies.com/copper-washer-injector-leakoff-rail

I saw nothing resembling a top hat except maybe the nozzle itself?

Thanks again
Dave

You were lucky or unlucky depending upon your view because either the "top hats came out on the nozzles or they stayed in the head. If you look down the injector hole and can see a hole of about 1/2" diameter leading into the combustion chamber  then the "top hat" is either missing or on the end of the nozzle. If it were missing you could expect bad starting, impossible starting & lots of smoke depending upon how many of the four are not there.

Fitting the injector, washers etc.

Having made sure the top hat is out of the head. Fist you drop a thin copper washer down the hole and make sure it lodges on the lip on the head.

Next a top hat, brim upwards with the hole in the crown next to the combustion chamber.

Next drop a crimped steel atomisation washer into top hat. I get the domed part on top.

Next the copper washer that sits on the top hat brim and seals to the injector (actually onto the nozzle nut.

Finally the injector.

I think Mr Sam is calling the atomisation washer a fire washer. I have always known them as atomisation washers.

 

 

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Crikey Tony - sounds like mine might be totally wrong. The copper washers came out with three of the injectors and not the other. There were no atomisation washers down there - I see I can get these from ASAP but where would I get top hats if they really are missing? Google doesn't seem to know them by that name. I wouldn't be surprised if the copper washers have been fitted where the atomisation washers should be so perhaps the top hats are there after all - it does take some persuasion to get it started but its not as bad as you suggest it would be if the top hats were completely absent and as I say it smokes a lot when its not under load. 

Found them: http://calcuttboatsshop.com/epages/c3a6cb0f-3e0f-4132-9636-974f7502e04d.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/c3a6cb0f-3e0f-4132-9636-974f7502e04d/Products/BM12H218

Looks like I'm going to have to have a poke around and see what's there and what's missing.

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23 minutes ago, davehindle said:

Crikey Tony - sounds like mine might be totally wrong. The copper washers came out with three of the injectors and not the other. There were no atomisation washers down there - I see I can get these from ASAP but where would I get top hats if they really are missing? Google doesn't seem to know them by that name. I wouldn't be surprised if the copper washers have been fitted where the atomisation washers should be so perhaps the top hats are there after all - it does take some persuasion to get it started but its not as bad as you suggest it would be if the top hats were completely absent and as I say it smokes a lot when its not under load. 

Found them: http://calcuttboatsshop.com/epages/c3a6cb0f-3e0f-4132-9636-974f7502e04d.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/c3a6cb0f-3e0f-4132-9636-974f7502e04d/Products/BM12H218

Looks like I'm going to have to have a poke around and see what's there and what's missing.

 

I am sure Calcutt will stock them because they can break up or get lost when injectors are sent to the FIE specialist for overhaul.

You often can not see the atomisation washers because they have been crushed (as they should be) and well carboned. They can be a sod to extract from a top hat that is in the head. I uses  an old motor cycle spoke bet at right angles at one end and sharpened to a point to get into the hole in the top hat and try to get it under the washer.

There is no way you could get any copper washer that is sold to go down that hole into the top hat.

Just look down the injector hole. The hole into the combustion chamber is huge if there is no top hat in there,a s I said over 1/2". If there is one there the hole is maybe 3/16".

I.5s and I assume 1.8s use pintaux injector nozzles that have a small auxiliary spray hole on one side of the "nipple" that is in the centre of the nozzle. This is used to direct some spray under low speed cranking into the hottest part of the pre-combustion chamber. Unfortunately these bung up causing bad starting even though the main pintle still works fine. I have also know ordinary Pintle nozzles fitted in error. That would do something similar.

You say that you fitted new nozzles so question 1 is were they Pintaux ones.

Next question is how did you set the break/opening pressure. If you get this too far out you are libel to get poor atomisation and hence poor starting, especially when cold starting, and smoke, whitish or black.

If this is an older engine do you have access to a gauge to set the injection timing pointer? Smoke once hot and poor starting could well be a timing issue. Although I would not advocate it many people rotate the injector pumps with the engine running to try to find a minimum smoke position where it still starts well enough. AS the timing gear wears (especially on a 1.5) the timing will gradually retard itself.

Edited by Tony Brooks

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22 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

IYou say that you fitted new nozzles so question 1 is were they Pintaux ones.

Next question is how did you set the break/opening pressure.

Very interested to hear the answer to this one

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