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bucko
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Yet another oil thread Reply with quote

Rather than add to the oil post I started a few days ago and have this post get buried in it, I thought I'd start a new one with an acceptable oil to use.

I went to my local NAPA store and found Valvoline Racing oil, 20W-50. It is clearly labeled "Racing Oil", and "NOT FOR STREET USE". The reason for this is because it contains a high content of zinc ( .13%) which falls into the .12 to .14 range that TENCENTLIFE's oil article suggested be used for good anti-wear protection.

The back of the oil also states that because of the high zinc, your catalitic converter can be damaged over time should this oil be used in acat equipped vehicle, hence the warning "NOT FOR STREET USE". The parts counter person called Valvoline and talked to a Valvoline rep. He stated that this is an oil of choice for older engines requiring a high content of anti wear additives, aka zinc.

The bottle is plastic and blue, and the part number is VV851. The Valvoline rep said that all NAPA stores should be stocking it, but can easily get it if they do not, as Valvoline is also the maker for NAPA brand oils as well. I only saw it in 20W-50 weight.
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did the Valvoline rep lend any insight about the cat damage? I mean, does it actually futz up the cat or was that caveat added to please the legal department at Valvoline?

I am looking for a new oil since the Castrol 20w-50 "High-Mileage" oil eventually led to a blinky/buzzy oil light for me. Mad
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall writing any in-depth articles about oils and ZDDP, except a comment on a thread TK started where he pointed out the deficiencies of the new API SM/CJ-4 ratings and how they relate to our old two-valve tappet motors. It's an important consideration for our old-fashioned valvetrains, and TK deserves the credit for bringing that up. Unfortunately that thread degenerated into a chest-beating slam-fest with the big ol' boys trying to out-tough each other, but that time TK was on the high ground and I wished I could have made the others, who I have great respect for normally, just STFU because TK's point was much more important than their squabbling over synth vs. dyno oils and who has more hours on the dyno and a bunch of mostly irrelevant puffery that resulted in the main point of the thread being lost for most readers.

The important point was, in a largish nutshell (and your catalyst answer is in here, so bear with me):

The new API SM/CJ-4 additive standards call for levels of zinc and phosphorus to be kept below 1000ppm, or 0.10%. The Zn and P are elemental constituents of the molecule ZDDP (zinc dialkyl dithio phosphate), which is an extreme-pressure anti-wear additive that has long been part of the additive package of most street-marketed motor oils. ZDDP is important as it goes to work where and when film lubrication breaks down momentarily and metal components may come into direct contact. One place this occurs routinely is at the cam/lifter contact area. Older two-valve engines have bigger, heavier valves and hence stiffer valve springs to keep them closed than newer multi-valve engines are using. The stiffer valve springs apply higher pressure at the cam and lifters, so there is much greater need for an extreme-pressure additive to protect these components from excessive wear when the oil film protection is inadequate. The level of ZDDP that is needed to be effective here is considered to be between 0.12 and 0.14%, or 1200 to 1400 ppm.

So, ZDDP content was allowed to be this high until the new API SM/CJ-4 standard went into effect. Now products that meet SM/CJ-4 are required to have no more than 1000ppm each Zn and P. The main target they are after is the P, even though it's the Zn that actually plates the metal parts to protect from contact wear. The P is being limited by EPA in order to extend the life of catalytic converters, as excessive P can cause high-heat catalytic reactions on the surface of the converter matrices that erode them prematurely. This is being required in conjunction with the rollout of new low-sulphur diesel fuel formulation requirements for diesel fleet vehicles, so the requirements are related to new emissions systems that freight trucks will be required to have. It is for that reason that the mixed-fleet (diesel) oils that used to be a safe haven for users of older motors like ours that benefit from higher ZDDP levels as well as other additives may be no longer. If the oil has the API doughnut seal on the label and states that it meets SM and/or CJ-4 ratings, it will have levels of EP protection considered inadequate for 2-valve valvetrains.

So, to your question, bucko, the products rated up to and including API SL/CI-4 will have the "old" levels of P, but catalysts have been run with these P levels since cats were invented, without experiencing what we would consider premature burnout, so it's pretty safe to say that you can go on using pre-SM/CJ-4 products in your cat-equipped vehicle. I think Charles Navarro expressed this very well when he said that it makes more sense to provide the highest protection you can to your cam and lifters, which are very expensive to replace, than to try to squeeze a little more life out of a catalyst that is relatively cheap and easy to replace.

One of the best resources on the web for following this issue is Charles' work at LNEngineering. He posted his Virgin Oil Analysis results here (note the dates your preferred product was tested; it may have been updated since to SM/CJ-4. Always check the actual bottle ratings when you shop for the product):

http://www.lnengineering.com/oiltable.htm

Charles deserves all of our thanks for his work on this subject at his own expense. If he would make some Nickies cylinders for wbx's, I would feel compelled to buy them from him just so I could support his efforts in lubrication studies.

Also, peruse the VOA forums on Bobistheoilguy.com for more than you could ever want to know about oil and additive packages.

A note for the curious on the API ratings designations: the "S" and "C" in the ratings refer to Spark and Compression-ignited engines, aka gasoline/ethanol Spark-ignited vs. Compression-ignited diesel engines. Products may carry the latest rating of one type and not the other, especially S-rated oils not marketed towards the diesel market. Mixed-fleet oils almost always mention both ratings. Both rating systems advance the second letter for more recent designations, i.e. SM is more recent than SL, SJ, SH, etc., and CJ-4 is more recent than CI, CI-4, CI-4+, etc.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was refering to the link you had on an article about this very subject.

Sorry TK (if you are reading this), I did not read all the posts in detail, for the reason TENCENTLIFE mentions; the other thread got too "political". That is why I started this one, as well as not to have the information I found out get lost in all the chest banging.

DEPRIVATION, I did not ask the rep about cat damage, as I do not have one, so it does not concern me. From what I have read from TERRY KAY and TENCENT's posts, the higher percentage of ZDDP will indeed cause eventual damage to a cat, how long this would take, I don't know.

But, this oil, VALVOLINE Racing Oil 20W-50, does contain a zinc and phosphorus level of 1300 PPM, or 0.13%. This fits in well with what the older oils that was mentioned in the above articles used to have (0.12 to 0.14%).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm.. I don't remember that TK thread quite the same way. While I was surprised that Jake even bothered entering the discussion (X2 that he continued with it to the extent that he did), it seemed clear that while Terry came up with some good info, he quickly became THE expert on something he had just learned about .... info that had been discussed in length on numerous other internet discussions for at least a couple months. And while Swepco 306 is on Charles Navarro's short list of "guaranteed good" oils, the subject of synthetic vs non-synthetic engine oil never even came up in that particular discussion... at least not from Jake.

I think Charles has said that while the Castrol GTX 20-50 has decent additive numbers, the balance of additives in that particular oil dictates that it's best to change it at around 3500 miles, rather than 5000 as with some other synthetics. What I have found interesting (although I haven't been "studying" it) is the discussion of "too much detergency", which can be as much a problem as too little zinc/phosphorous. I can now understand why Charles says that fresh oil isn't really doing as good a job as oil that's been run a thousand or so miles. Interesting stuff.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you must have read the thread more closely than I did, gears, so I'll trust your memory over mine as to whether synth v dyno came into it. I tend to read less closely once threads degenerate that way, if I keep reading at all, and I'm no doubt conflating that one with other unpleasant memories I have of threads where similar shouting matches erupted over the subject of oil. Or over other things. The all become the dark blurs flitting about the shoulders of the road in my rearview.

Navarro had somethingelse interesting relating to the levels of detergency, mostly seen in the sodium and calcium measurements in analyses, of some of the oil after-additives that add ZDDP. In particular, STP 4-cylinder in the red bottle has, if I remember right, a pretty high level of detergency, while the blue bottle has much less and will cause a reaction that depletes the oil's TBN reserve when you add it. Both have high ZDDP levels, but the blue bottle would markedly shorten your change interval because the TBN drops too fast. The extra detergents balance the extra ZDDP so the native TBN is stabilised. I think I have it the right way round.

I haven't yet found the red bottle STP for sale in my area, nor the BGMOA. I'm stocking up on the SL/CI-4 Rotella 5w40 synth so I won't have to figure out another product to switch to for another year or two. It meets my requirements, but before I stocked up I wanted to be sure my hydro lifters didn't leak down excessively overnight with such a light base oil. My van wasn't started for three days, and there wasn't any noise on startup, or subsequent ones, so I'm satisfied the weight is a good match for the lifters.

bucko, I was looking at PepBoys today and noticed they stock Castrol 4T motorcycle oil, GTX Diesel (20w50?), and a straight 30 that aren't SM but are dyno oils. That and all the RP oils they have, but they're synth, right?
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gears
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
memories I have of threads where similar shouting matches erupted .... become dark blurs flitting about the shoulders of the road in my rearview.


Ha ha ... that's where they belong. It's always a good idea to try keeping it friendly, and just share what you've got hard & repeated feedback on.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
bucko, I was looking at PepBoys today and noticed they stock Castrol 4T motorcycle oil, GTX Diesel (20w50?), and a straight 30 that aren't SM but are dyno oils. That and all the RP oils they have, but they're synth, right?


I did not see any of those at the Pep Boys I had. All they had was the newer Rotella T with the lower ZDDP (SL rating).

I'm going for this Valvoline Racing oil. It has the weight I've been using (20W-50), and the 1300 ppm count. It had no mention of it's detergent level, and since it was listed and recommended as a racing oil (for it's high anti wear rating), it will suit me well. $3.99 a quart; not too bad.

I could not find any of the older Rotella T stuff at all around here. Nor could I find the synthetic either. I can get motorcycle oil from several places, but I'd have to make a few calls to see what their rating is. The Castrol motorcycle oil is $6.99 a quart; assinine price. I use Bel-Ray in my Harley; been using that for years, way before the chest beating threads started on the Harley sites over synthetic vs. dyno, and so on.

Thanks TENCENTLIFE and Terry Kay for your insite and commen sense, as well as turning your head during the gorilla grunts.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BG's website has a function in the information section that locates local authorized dealers for you if you're interested. IIRC MOA costs around $5 a can.
http://www.bgprod.com/home.html
Here are the VOA results from Bob's website. I wouldn't mind hearing what you guys think.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/897266/site_id/1#import
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Valvoline Raing NSL is good for maybe 800 miles, because of it's reduced detergency. I ran it in my 911 for comparison, and using the 50% rule (change your oil when the TBN is reduced by 50%), the best I could get out of it was 2000 mi of highway driving (12 quart capacity).

If you use Castrol GTX 20w50, stick to the High Mileage formula - it has a lower volatility and it's viscosity index is a bit higher. In our field testing that Jake conducted, GTX 20w50 tested at a 30wt after 800 mi and had significantly lower TBN retention and higher wear too, than all the other oils tested. Don't plan on anything more than 3000 mi with it.

I don't care for BG MOA - it has all kind of other conditioners and friction modifiers. Plus, you shouldn't need additives if you use a good oil to start with. If I had to use an oil additive, I would stick to the Red STP or EOS. If you really need more ZDDP than that, either you're using too much spring pressure or the oil you are starting with is crap Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can accept the reduced mileage between oil changes in leu of the benefit of gaining anti-friction additives, but I question the 800 mile suggestion. How was it determined that you reduced the TBN to 50% by 800 miles? Was that in your Porche and with hard driving? In your next sentence you make mention of 2000 miles of highway driving before the TBN was at 50%(?).

I defininatly appretiate testimonials, as this oil is new to me, and I'm in no means an expert on the subject at all. I only want to squeeze a bit more mileage out of my 1.9 litre Vanagon, and hope to do so with using a better grade of oil (meaning better/higher content of ZDDP).

I may be in a better situation than others, as my heads and valves are new; they were replaced about 300 miles ago when the head seals started leaking.

Can you add more insight as to the mileage you were able to obtain from the Valvoline racing oil? 800 verses 2000 (highway) is a large spread. I can use a calculated average and say that perhaps a happy medium would be around 1300 highway/city miles between oil changes before my TBN reaches the 50% mark. Unfortunatly, I do not have any access to oil testing facilities to test this "happy margin" calculation. I too am not convinced of using additives, and I have read/heard that GM is dropping it's EOS, and the other additive mentioned is not available in my area.

Any and all testimonials is greatly appretiated. I know it's costly in both time and money to perform these tests, so your sharing is a gift. Thanks for providing this valuable information.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:15 pm    Post subject: BG MOA Reply with quote

Well, with due respect (which means, no sarcasm!) to Charles, we can't easily GET the good oil any longer, and I agree with tencentlife that I'd rather save the valves and camshaft than the cat! In fact, that's exactly what my non-VW mechanic said when we discussed the oil issue, although he was more dismissive of the whole thing as yet another Internet scare (YAIS). I hope he's right, but I don't think he is on the oil. He definitely and positively recommended the BG MOA if I was worried about this.

GM was apparently forced to quit making EOS. STP won't confirm the zinc and phosphorus content in the red. I've used BG MOA with great results in Winston and in other vehicles, and here, we can get it at NAPA with a 7% discount for AAA members. Barring better news, Winston's getting BG MOA in his oil.

Just in case nobody caught me, BG-44K is the injector cleaner, incredibly expensive, correspondingly effective. I try to alternate one tank with it and another tank (six months later) with Techron in the course of a year.

Best!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BG MOA is no different from a fully formulated motor oil, with moly and other additives, and Zn and P levels really no higher than a good diesel oil. STP would make more sense, just from Zn and P levels, even with the blue, that has lower levels than the red bottle.

The red stp has 4000 ppm Zn, 2000 ppm P, and about 800 ppm Ca (detergent). The blue has 2500 ppm Zn, 1700 ppm P, and no detergent added, but is VERY thick with lots of viscosity modifiers.

My comment to TBN retention was based on the starting TBN for Valvoline Racing and at the rate it was used up, in nearly 100% highway miles, that it would be time to change the oil, in my 911, at 2000 mi. Granted there are 12 quarts, it takes longer for the detergency to get used up. With only 4.5-5 quarts, it's going to get used up much faster, making it a poor choice for all but a weekend warrior with changes every 700-800 miles, which is in line with recommendations given by Valvoline for this product. Sorry if I caused any confusion!
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