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Old 03-11-2007, 11:53 PM   #1
540 RAT
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Default VR1 Racing Oil isn't the oil we thought it was

I picked up a Valvoline product manual over the weekend. It clarified some questions about their Racing oil products. It turns out that VR1 Racing Oil is just ordinary new car street oil that says Racing Oil on the label. I think most of us thought it was extra good stuff because of those words, and because it said it contains ZDDP (Zinc DialkylDithioPhosphate), which we commonly just call zinc. That ended up being just marketing hype, since even the newer street oils still contain some zinc, just at much lower levels than they used too. Of course, that reduction was done for emissions reasons to prevent wrecking the cats on street cars, certainly not to help the engines. As we know, zinc is considered one of the main additives that gives extra protection against engine wear. Many consider the fact that zinc has been nearly removed from newer street oils to be the primary cause for the rash of flat tappet motor wiped lobes. It may also be a contributing factor to solid roller lifter failures as well. So, of course, racers and gearheads typically like to stay away from street oil if they don’t run cat equipped cars. The thing is, VR1 is API certified as SM rated (check the bottle and you’ll see), which is the latest street oil rating for current new cars, as well as older ones so they claim. But don’t tell that to the guys with wiped lobes. In order to meet that latest strict API rating, the zinc level is at its lowest level yet……..so much for Valvoline’s feeble claim of “contains ZDDP”. And so much for VR1 being actual “Racing Oil”. I think most of us expect true racing oil to have much larger amounts of zinc than even the older “good” street oil. On top of that, I recently came across a Valvoline link on the web, where they talked about VR1 being a synthetic blend, though they don’t even say that on the bottle. So………. they don’t make it widely known that it is a synthetic blend, yet they do imply it has a lot of zinc, which is doesn’t. I know many people are quite happy using VR1, but the good it is doing for them apparently comes mostly from it being partial synthetic, not from any help from zinc. Jeg’s lists this oil for $5.00 per qt. I was planning to use it in the 540 I’m building, but now I wouldn’t even consider it.

For those of us who actually want truly elevated levels of zinc in our oil, we have to look no further than Valvoline’s two other Race Oils. They have conventional (petroleum) Racing Oil and Synthetic Racing Oil, both of which truly have elevated levels of zinc. Since they do, they say clearly on the bottles, “Not Street Legal”, which is because they will actually ruin the cats on cat equipped cars. And they don’t carry new street oil API ratings. Jeg’s lists the conventional at $7.00 per qt and the synthetic at $9.00 per qt.

Just when we thought it was safe to stop thinking about oil………………
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:17 AM   #2
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Yep.....I looked through some Valvoline catalogs at the oil distributor warehouse I was at when I was picking up some parts cleaning solvent. They clearly listed the race oils separate from the VR-1. I even had them bring a case out to read the label. They didn't have any real race stuff in stock..but could get it easily. I've used the VR-1 off and on over the years...and it's decent stuff...but as you said...not what we all like to think it was. Best clue should have been that it was commonly available pretty cheap at local parts stores. Really doesn't cost much more than any other oil around my house.

Even the old Kendall race oil that supposedly has been re-marketed as Bradd Penn isn't what the old *green spinach* was..but it looks better than most. I hope we don't have to start running Joe Gibbs oil to get the good stuff...it's going to be expensive.

Starting to make EOS look more attractive these days you know?


JIM
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:25 PM   #3
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Interesting.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 540 RAT View Post
I picked up a Valvoline product manual over the weekend. It clarified some questions about their Racing oil products. It turns out that VR1 Racing Oil is just ordinary new car street oil that says Racing Oil on the label. I think most of us thought it was extra good stuff because of those words, and because it said it contains ZDDP (Zinc DialkylDithioPhosphate), which we commonly just call zinc. That ended up being just marketing hype, since even the newer street oils still contain some zinc, just at much lower levels than they used too. Of course, that reduction was done for emissions reasons to prevent wrecking the cats on street cars, certainly not to help the engines. As we know, zinc is considered one of the main additives that gives extra protection against engine wear. Many consider the fact that zinc has been nearly removed from newer street oils to be the primary cause for the rash of flat tappet motor wiped lobes. It may also be a contributing factor to solid roller lifter failures as well. So, of course, racers and gearheads typically like to stay away from street oil if they don’t run cat equipped cars. The thing is, VR1 is API certified as SM rated (check the bottle and you’ll see), which is the latest street oil rating for current new cars, as well as older ones so they claim. But don’t tell that to the guys with wiped lobes. In order to meet that latest strict API rating, the zinc level is at its lowest level yet……..so much for Valvoline’s feeble claim of “contains ZDDP”. And so much for VR1 being actual “Racing Oil”. I think most of us expect true racing oil to have much larger amounts of zinc than even the older “good” street oil. On top of that, I recently came across a Valvoline link on the web, where they talked about VR1 being a synthetic blend, though they don’t even say that on the bottle. So………. they don’t make it widely known that it is a synthetic blend, yet they do imply it has a lot of zinc, which is doesn’t. I know many people are quite happy using VR1, but the good it is doing for them apparently comes mostly from it being partial synthetic, not from any help from zinc. Jeg’s lists this oil for $5.00 per qt. I was planning to use it in the 540 I’m building, but now I wouldn’t even consider it.

For those of us who actually want truly elevated levels of zinc in our oil, we have to look no further than Valvoline’s two other Race Oils. They have conventional (petroleum) Racing Oil and Synthetic Racing Oil, both of which truly have elevated levels of zinc. Since they do, they say clearly on the bottles, “Not Street Legal”, which is because they will actually ruin the cats on cat equipped cars. And they don’t carry new street oil API ratings. Jeg’s lists the conventional at $7.00 per qt and the synthetic at $9.00 per qt.

Just when we thought it was safe to stop thinking about oil………………
Did you indeed check the Valvoline web site and look at the Product Information for the VR-1 racing oil and the Valvoline Not Street Legal Racing Oil???

I do not understand some of the listed specs, BUT, I can read Zn wt% and P wt%.

VR-1 has 0.130 Zinc and 0.120 Phosphorus. Valvoline NSL Racing oil has Zn wt% of 0.12 and P wt% of 0.12.

"It turns out that VR1 Racing Oil is just ordinary new car street oil that says Racing Oil on the label" How did you come up with this conclusion??

I had been using Valvoline NSL Racing oil because someone on the "INTERNET" said there was a reduced amount of Zn and P in the VR-1, and I was too lazy to check at the source - Valvoline! During this time, I heard that there was a reduced additive package in the NSL Racing oil, but, since I change oil every +/- 1500 street miles, I did not care. My next oil purchase will be Valvoline VR-1, unless someone has documented proof that it contains no/or reduced amounts of Zn and P.

I would like to know if the Valvoline Product Manual that 540 RAT picked up, agrees with Valvoline's web site. I would also like to know where he picked up the Valvoline Product Manual.

If I am wrong, based upon REAL information, let me know before I buy any VR-1.

Internet=wheat +chaff. Go to the source (manufacturers) for any information that is important to you. Don't take BUBBAS word for it!

I will apologize if my information is incorrect!!!

Last edited by glen242; 03-13-2007 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:21 AM   #5
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Here's some more interesting reading I came across.

http://www.valvoline-technology.com/...%20Galling.pdf

Recently ML67 was speaking with Performance Research about their *Ball roller lifters* and interestingly the one separate big piece of advice they gave was to use the thickest oil you could get to help roller lifter life. They said if you could live with 60wt..go for it!!

http://www.thevalvetrain.com/pages/products.html


Seems we all need to keep studying....from the Valvoline tests you would believe that *what's new isn't always best*.

Who'da thunk it??


JIM
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by glen242 View Post
Did you indeed check the Valvoline web site and look at the Product Information for the VR-1 racing oil and the Valvoline Not Street Legal Racing Oil???

I do not understand some of the listed specs, BUT, I can read Zn wt% and P wt%.

VR-1 has 0.130 Zinc and 0.120 Phosphorus. Valvoline NSL Racing oil has Zn wt% of 0.12 and P wt% of 0.12.

"It turns out that VR1 Racing Oil is just ordinary new car street oil that says Racing Oil on the label" How did you come up with this conclusion??

I had been using Valvoline NSL Racing oil because someone on the "INTERNET" said there was a reduced amount of Zn and P in the VR-1, and I was too lazy to check at the source - Valvoline! During this time, I heard that there was a reduced additive package in the NSL Racing oil, but, since I change oil every +/- 1500 street miles, I did not care. My next oil purchase will be Valvoline VR-1, unless someone has documented proof that it contains no/or reduced amounts of Zn and P.

I would like to know if the Valvoline Product Manual that 540 RAT picked up, agrees with Valvoline's web site. I would also like to know where he picked up the Valvoline Product Manual.

If I am wrong, based upon REAL information, let me know before I buy any VR-1.

Internet=wheat +chaff. Go to the source (manufacturers) for any information that is important to you. Don't take BUBBAS word for it!

I will apologize if my information is incorrect!!!

Glen242, fair enough, I'll try to answer your questions. I picked up the Valvoline Product Manual at a big NAPA vendor display at a big car show last weekend. The manual was a Valvoline publishing, simply being handed out by the NAPA guys. NAPA carries Valvoline Racing Oil as well as their normal street oils. The manual had more "text" info than their website, but it did not have specific "test" numbers. I wish it had, since the website info for VR1 appears to be a misprint, and I'll show you why I say that. It's common knowledge that oil companies have had to reduce zinc to meet the later API SL/SM requirements, all in an effort to preserve the cats on modern cars. A change for emissions, not engine longevity. But then, flat tappet motors are a thing of the past, right?.........and modern roller tappet engines don't seem to be bothered by it. That whole deal has been discussed countless times on the various Forums. And there was even a widely read magazine article awhile back about how the new oils with reduced zinc is considered to be one of the primary factors in flat tappet motor lobe wiping. So, let's take a look at Valvoline's own current street oils that meet the latest new car API SM requirements. The info is taken from their website:

Conventional petroleum oil…………zinc/phos .083/.076
Synthetic blend oil………………….....zinc/phos .083/.076
Full synthetic oil………………....……zinc/phos .084/.077

You can see their SM rated oils have virtually the same zinc numbers.

Now let's take a look at the "Not Street Legal" oils:

Conventional (petroleum) Racing Oil….zinc/phos .120/.120
Synthetic Racing Oil………………….........zinc/phos .120/.120

You can easily see the roughly 50% increase in zinc and phos antiwear additives. The text that goes along with these two oils says, "Contains increased amounts of zinc for extra engine protection". And then it goes on to say, "Because Valvoline Racing Oil is optimized for racing conditions, it should not be used in passenger vehicles. Using this oil in a passenger car may damage the catalytic convertor over time". This is just what has been discussed at length, previously. And they are not showing modern API ratings.

Now let's take a look at the infamous VR1 "Racing Oil"

10W30 not SM rated and 20W50 SM rated….zinc/phos .130/.120

Hmmmm…….the VR1 shows the most zinc of all, yet is still claiming to be API SM rated, meaning amoung other things, that it won't damage the cats? Not!!! This is not Rocket Science, and you can't have your cake and eat it too. Plus, there is no mention of this oil damaging cats in Valvoline's text or on the bottles, huh??....that makes no sense at all, since they clearly point that out with the other Racing Oil. You can't have it both ways. Let's hope Valvoline just has a misprint on their website, otherwise it would appear to be deliberate misinformation.

If anyone would still want to run VR1 with all this suspect info, then by all means do so. I'm sure it is fine street oil, afterall they can't fake the API rating, just don't bet your engine on it being high in zinc, if that's important to you. If anyone has independent VOA data, maybe they can share it with us. Here's a link with two UOA lab tests, where it didn't look all that impressive:

http://theoildrop.server101.com/foru...e=1#Post810397
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:19 PM   #7
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It sure seems like folks like beating this horse over and over

Here's some specs off the Amsoil website:

ANTI-WEAR ADDITIVES

SPECTROGRAPHIC ANALYSIS: Passenger Car Motor Oils
Zinc ppm Phosphorus ppm
AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 0W-30 1599 1288
Mobil 1 Tri-Synthetic 5W-30 1070 892
Phillips 66 Trop Artic 10W-30 922 784
Pennzoil 5W-30 1170 905
Quaker State 10W-30 4X4 Synthetic Blend 1078 856
Castrol Syntec 5W-50 972 856

ANTI-WEAR ADDITIVES


SPECTROGRAPHIC ANALYSIS: Racing Oils
Zinc ppm Phosphorus ppm
AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 20W-50 Racing Oil 1675 1380
Mobil 1 Tri-Synthetic 15W-50 1500 1174
Quaker State High Perf. Synthetic Blend 15W-50 1030 960
Havoline Formula 3 20W-50 1085 834
Castrol Syntec 5W-50 972 856
Valvoline Racing 20W-50 1192 1077

Personally, I use Mobil 1 for everything. Never had any problems.

Dep
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 540 RAT View Post
Now let's take a look at the infamous VR1 "Racing Oil"

10W30 not SM rated and 20W50 SM rated….zinc/phos .130/.120

Hmmmm…….the VR1 shows the most zinc of all, yet is still claiming to be API SM rated, meaning amoung other things, that it won't damage the cats? Not!!! This is not Rocket Science, and you can't have your cake and eat it too. Plus, there is no mention of this oil damaging cats in Valvoline's text or on the bottles, huh??....that makes no sense at all, since they clearly point that out with the other Racing Oil. You can't have it both ways. Let's hope Valvoline just has a misprint on their website, otherwise it would appear to be deliberate misinformation.

If anyone would still want to run VR1 with all this suspect info, then by all means do so.
http://theoildrop.server101.com/foru...e=1#Post810397

whats suspect? are you saying you do not believe the these specs "zinc/phos .130/.120" what do you base your comments on?
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:50 PM   #9
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whats suspect? are you saying you do not believe the these specs "zinc/phos .130/.120" what do you base your comments on?
If you've been following along, you'd know that API SM rated oils are the ones with the lowest zinc/phos levels to protect the cats on modern cars. Makes no sense to claim race oil levels of zinc in a given oil, when it has the SM rating. They are mutually exclusive. It would be magic for this to be the only oil with such high zinc, yet not destroy cats like other oils would with similar amounts of zinc. Valvoline's other Racing Oils that are shown with even less zinc, have warnings that they are not street legal, and can destroy cats if used in street cars. So, if VR1 had that much zinc, it would also need the same warnings, but it doesn't have them. It couldn't be street legal API SM oil with a ton of zinc in it. If you look at the link above, you'll see that 2 independent UOA tests showed it having less than average zinc/phos, not more, as the Valvoline spec shows. So, no I do not believe Valvoline's published specs. I'd like to think it was just an honest misprint on their part.

Last edited by 540 RAT; 03-13-2007 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:23 PM   #10
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Know what amazes me??? How the hell did guys build and race hot rods back BEFORE we had all this high tech gibberish to argue about????


Dep
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DJ Dep View Post
Know what amazes me??? How the hell did guys build and race hot rods back BEFORE we had all this high tech gibberish to argue about????


Dep
That was back when most oils would suffice.
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:28 PM   #12
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That was back when most oils would suffice.
Right. And the simple fact is most over-the-counter oils today will ALSO suffice. Either Mobil 1, a multi-vis dino, or a straight weight are MORE than adequate for pretty much EVERY engine on this forum. What has happened is people bought into "racing oil" labels and exotic additives from media hype. People LOVE to buy big $$$ doodads that aren't needed and the manufacturers are more than happy to sell it to them.

Dep

Last edited by DJ Dep; 03-13-2007 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 540 RAT View Post
If you've been following along, you'd know that API SM rated oils are the ones with the lowest zinc/phos levels to protect the cats on modern cars. .
is there a standard for SM rated oils and the zinc level or are you inferring this?
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:15 PM   #14
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DJ dep
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:36 PM   #15
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Just a quick thought: Those are based on weight fractions correct? Is it possible that VR-1 has some other different component than the racing oil which has a smaller density? This way, it could look like ther is more zinc by weight percent in VR-1, but maybe if you checked mole percentages you see that it is actually less. Just a thought.

example: Density of ZDDP - 3.7 g/mL 80 ml/L
Average Density of rest of Race Oil 2.6 g/mL 920ml/L
wt% .110 Zinc

Density of ZDDP - 3.7 g/mL 60 ml/L
Average Density of rest of VR-1. 1.8g/ml 940ml/L
wt% .115 Zinc

Last edited by LeMans Pete; 03-13-2007 at 11:47 PM. Reason: some fun math
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:40 PM   #16
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I use Kendall GT1 SAE50

Any opinions on this oil?

Joe

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Old 03-13-2007, 11:49 PM   #17
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heres the link...you may be thinking about the energy conserving rating.....there is nothing in SM that says it can't have high zinc contents....however the energy conserving rating does have some limitiations..let me find the info on that.

http://www.api.org/certifications/en...rd_English.pdf
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:09 AM   #18
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I thought rottelle t was fine. Via this forum. I love my original car .
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymophandlpapa View Post
Just a quick thought: Those are based on weight fractions correct? Is it possible that VR-1 has some other different component than the racing oil which has a smaller density? This way, it could look like ther is more zinc by weight percent in VR-1, but maybe if you checked mole percentages you see that it is actually less. Just a thought.

example: Density of ZDDP - 3.7 g/mL 80 ml/L
Average Density of rest of Race Oil 2.6 g/mL 920ml/L
wt% .110 Zinc

Density of ZDDP - 3.7 g/mL 60 ml/L
Average Density of rest of VR-1. 1.8g/ml 940ml/L
wt% .115 Zinc

I think I'll prove myself wrong. The actual densities are:

VR-1 Race Oil: 7.27 lb/gal
Syn. Race Oil: 7.16 lb/gal
ZDDP: average ~9.18 lb/gal

A greater weight fraction of ZDDP in VR-1 would make sense by these numbers. Unless there is something else in there that is much, much heavier than ZDDP.

Last edited by LeMans Pete; 03-14-2007 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:23 AM   #20
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for kicks i grabbed a vr1 10w-30 oil bottle and do you know whats not there....the API certification label.....

the API certification label means "API’s Service Symbol and Certification Mark identify quality engine oils for gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. Oils
displaying these marks meet performance requirements set by U.S. and international vehicle and engine manufacturers
and the lubricant industry. More than 500 companies worldwide participate in this voluntary program, which is backed
by a marketplace sampling and testing program."

now the bottle does say "exceeds engine protection requirements for API services sm/sl/cd" so based on whats observable on the bottle valvoline is not participating in the API rating/certification process for some reason.

and in fact on the valvoline website http://www.valvoline.com/products/VR...otor%20Oil.pdf

10w30 which is the bottle i grabbed is not even listed as being API SM/SL/SJ rated


i have no reason to think Valvoline is misrepresenting anything, although i cannot explain that oil analysis you posted

Last edited by bobs77vet; 03-14-2007 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:23 AM
 
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