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A Blackstone Labs oil sample is as close as we can come to an annual blood work-up and Doctor's physical for the Durango.

My latest report is attached below. I just got it back today. It's very interesting reading. I can see my last 4 samples compared side by side and I can see if there's any 'new' wear indicators based on what metals are showing up with increases, etc. Also, I can compare my numbers to universal averages of comparable vehicles. Finally, there's a lab tech's comment section letting you know their human observations.

This sample had only 4736 miles on it, however it was 5 1/2 months since the last change. You can see from my report, numbers from a 146k oil change were a bit different that the rest. It was taken from a cold motor and NOT the way to do a sample. The prefect way to change the oil and take the sample is after it's hot and has cooled down enough to change. You should have a warm sample when done.

Anyway? the next sample was right at 20,000 miles later on 12/7/06. I had added the 20,000 miles in 8 months. Of course I'd changed the oil many times between that interval, I just didn't send in each and every change for testing? that'd be a bit of overkill. You can see from the sample on 12/06 how my annually mileage started dropping dramatically. The next sample from this January was 33,000 miles and 26 months later. I'd gone from 30,000 miles per year to half that at a normal 15k. From the January sample to now, I'm down to 10,000 per year on average (the trip I'm on now changes that, however.)

In regard to my sample numbers, you can see how over nearly 60,000 miles how each number has changed, or in my case, really hasn't changed at all. My 203,000 mile D is statistically as strong as she was back at 145,000 miles. :)

When you review the paper report the lab also returns, you get an idea of what each metal represents in your sample. Moly may be lifters and valves while Iron may be the crank. Silicon is sand from the efficiency (or not) of your air cleaner setup, while Phosphorus is an additive in the oil. Each number provides you insight into potential problems BEFORE they happen. If you have an alarming increase in one, you know right away the particular part related to that metal is failing? BEFORE it fails. Wouldn't you rather get a valve job before having to twist one off and need a whole new head? Or needing a new block from a crank or piston failure, or etc., etc., etc. Getting samples is the best method outside of a race car break down after each usage. Of course that isn't practical, so sampling is your only method of reliable predictability.

One note on Blackstone, they always tell me to increase my mileage between the samples. Seems I'm pitching the oil before it's all used up. I pay an extra $10 per test to have them check the TBN number. In a nutshell, the TBN reflects the ability of the oil to protect, lubricate and do its job. As long as it's above 1.0, you still have good oil. You certainly can't tell that by looking at it with your eyes! My Mobil1 comes out black and looks bad. Obviously, it's not. I always disregard their, "extend your usage interval" notices. Primarily because I like still have a strong, 'young' reporting motor. I credit oil changes at or around the 5000 mile interval to that. It's also nice to know that if you have to push the oil out a week or a month before you can get a chance to change it, you know with confidence that you can.

The web site is www.Blackstone-labs.com They'll send you FREE test kits and I pay about $35 shipped for the advanced level of testing and shipping charges combined. I highly suggest this for everyone looking to keep an eye out on their Durango's engines. I can't tell you how nervous I was the first time I sent it out not knowing how it was going to come back. LOL

Any questions, just let me know. A great oil resource for understanding all the metals and elements in the oil is www.bobistheoilguy.com The forum community there's fairly helpful for newbies with questions.

IndyDurango
 

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I'll second this? Those guys at Blackstone are awesome!
I'd post my last test result, but I guess my version of Adobe isn't as cool as Indy's- I can't blank out my personal info.
(Indy, if I send mine to you, could you edit it and send it back in a sanitized-for-public-use form?)

Indy, glad to see I'm not the only one out here with "kinda-sorta" high iron readings? First time I got the results back,
I freaked!

Interesting that they tell you that a 6k change interval is good, while they want me at 4k. Bet it has something to do with
our wonderful red rust - oops, I mean "dirt" - out here.
 

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RobDA said:
I'd post my last test result, but I guess my version of Adobe isn't as cool as Indy's- I can't blank out my personal info.
Indy's pdf file "appears" to be a graphic image where his personal data was simply blanked out using colored boxes and then saved/printed as a pdf file instead of a graphic image.

If you can't do that with yours, send me a copy of your file and I'll use my FULL copy Acrobat to "delete" your personal data for you and send it back.
 

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Cmon Rob I thought you were a Puter Geek?you can do it!
Steve
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Man, that's pretty cool. I think I'll give D'tan that as a present at the next change (which will be close to the big 100k milestone.) It's better than driving along waiting for a valve spring to break, that's for sure.
 

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What's your compression on those 8 cylinders after 203K?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RobDA said:
Indy, if I send mine to you, could you edit it and send it back in a sanitized-for-public-use form?
Send it over and I'll take care of it.

Big Al, I have the full Acrobat, it was quicker to paint a box, save and then print the PDF to file than to wait for Acrobat to load and then load the edit tools.

Durangutan said:
Man, that's pretty cool. I think I'll give D'tan that as a present at the next change (which will be close to the big 100k milestone.) It's better than driving along waiting for a valve spring to break, that's for sure.
It's really interesting stuff. And you get more and more data the longer you do it. INDEED it's better than tooling along and SNAP goes the valve. Ouch!

Thrush said:
What's your compression on those 8 cylinders after 203K?
Dunno. She gets along very well however. :)

IndyDurango
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Never.

Why risk a good thing.

Thoughts on the iron? Over half of my daily mileage is 3 to 4 miles and stop. 4 hours later, 3 to 4 miles and stop. 4 hours later 3 to 4 miles and stop.

Rob, you going to post yours? Wasn't your iron high too?

IndyD
 

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Yeah, my iron's been high in the past. I just changed the oil the other weekend and haven't put a lot of miles on, but it's been a year since the last change. The sample's sitting in the garage waiting for my lazy butt to mail it. Once I get the results, I'll post 'em.
 

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Finally got the results of the last sample I sent in to Blackstone and? YIKES!! Things aren't looking good for the bottom end it seems.

However, in yet another testimony as to why these guys are awesome, I sent them a little note explaining what I'm running and asking if they had any recommendations. Right away, I received a long personal reply offering a couple of suggestions. These guys are great! Now let's see if we can keep ol' Shmoop alive for a bit longer!
 

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Drive Schmoop more often!
I believe that comes from it sitting for long periods of time. The oil completely drains down and for a few seconds it's all metal on start up.
Steve
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Some of that makes sense El Presidente? but then the bearings are on the BOTTOM end. They and oil are like Skynyrd on a classic rock station: All the dang time! :)
 

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I disagree Rob. There are other bearings in the motor as well, and much higher up in motor, plus a multitude of other metal that normally has some oil on it.
I make it a point to at least drive my D once or twice a week even if it's just around the block a few times.
Steve
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Ohhhhhh, right! OK, well, I'll drive her more, and we'll see what happens at the next retest in a few months.
 

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Rock on!

Latest report is back. I took the sample around Christmas and it sat on the shelf until last week when I mailed it out. Just in time for this next oil change :thumbsup:

Anyways? the wear numbers are back and all looks great! I think I remember now that I added an additive to the last sample and obviously upped the iron levels fooling me into thinking wear was setting in. In this latest test, iron is back to normal and not a problem.

I had let Blackstone know that I was experimenting with a new air filter. The incorrectly refer to it as a paper filter and it's not. It's a clone K&N cone filter that's blue in color and that I added right before Carlisle 2010. Haven't touched it or anything since them. I was expecting higher silicone and indeed it went up as they indicated. I have another new one to try so on the next oil change, I'll swap the air filter too and track it's effectiveness or lack there of. This latest was honestly for looks and I didn't expect good numbers there. No biggie.

Based on the report, the Lab is suggesting adding a few more thousand miles on the oil since my TBN number is still good. NOPE! I believe in 4000-5000 miles swaps on the Mobil1 and why push to 7000 to get a little more oil life while risking the more costly engine life? Since my interval obviously works, I ain't changing it.

All in all, it's a GREAT feeling to know scientifically that your motor is solid and sound. Very cool to see historical data from prior changes all side by side by side to see what if any is going on. Doesn't mean something won't break but it does mean all is good or excellent at this moment in time.

IndyDurango
 

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