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Old 06-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #1
540 RAT
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Default Motor Oil "Wear Test" and "Lab Test" Data

Some folks have a hard time accepting certain data that has come out of the motor oil “wear testing” that I’ve been performing this year. The result that is the hardest for them to accept is the outcome showing that an oil with a high level of zinc, will not automatically provide excellent wear protection. That runs counter to everything they’ve always been told over the years.

The data I’ve provided up to now has always included low zinc modern API certified oils along with traditional high zinc High Performance and Racing oils. But having so many oils of different types, all mixed in together, might be a bit overwhelming or confusing. So, here I’ve selected only 13 oils that all have between 1100 and 1800 ppm zinc. That way the comparison is just apples to apples. Now zinc levels vs wear protection can easily be compared straight across.

The excellent performance of many of these high zinc oils, shows that my testing equipment and test procedure do in fact, allow high zinc oils to perform as well as they are capable of performing.

Wear protection categories are:

*** Over 90,000 psi = OUTSTANDING protection

*** 75,000 to 90,000 psi = GOOD protection

*** 60,000 to 75,000 psi = MODEST protection

*** Below 60,000 psi = UNDESIREABLE

I’ve also included detergent levels for reference as well.

All the oils below are full synthetic unless otherwise specified.

The following group of 13 oils are ranked according to their “load carrying capacity/film strength”, or in other words, their “wear protection” performance, at 230*F. The higher the psi number, the better the wear protection. The tests were repeated multiple times for each oil, and then those results were averaged to arrive at the final psi numbers shown below. And every single oil was tested EXACTLY THE SAME.

1. 10W30 Valvoline NSL (Not Street Legal) Conventional Racing Oil = 103,846 psi
zinc = 1669 ppm
total detergent = 1618 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 1.0
NOTE: Due to its very low TBN value, this oil is only suitable for short term racing use, and is not suitable for street use.

2. 10W30 Valvoline VR1 Conventional Racing Oil (silver bottle) = 103,505 psi
(.3% below no.1)
zinc = 1472 ppm
total detergent = 2787 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 1.9

3. 10W30 Valvoline VR1 Synthetic Racing Oil, API SL (black bottle) = 101,139 psi
(2.6% below no.1)
zinc = 1180 ppm
total detergent = 2683 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 1.9

4. 10W30 Amsoil Z-Rod Oil = 95,360 psi
(8.2% below no.1)
zinc = 1431 ppm
total detergent = 2927 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio =2.0

5. 10W30 Joe Gibbs HR4 Hotrod Oil = 86,270 psi
(16.9% below no.1)
zinc = 1247 ppm
total detergent = 3134 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 2.5

6. 5W30 Royal Purple XPR (Extreme Performance Racing) = 74,860 psi
(27.9% below no.1)
zinc = 1421 ppm
total detergent = 3050 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 2.1

7. 15W40 Farm Rated Heavy Duty Performance Diesel, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4, CF/SL, SJ (conventional) = 73,176 psi
(29.5% below no.1)
zinc = 1325ppm
total detergent = 1593 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 1.2

8. 0W30 Brad Penn, Penn Grade 1 (semi-synthetic) = 71,377 psi
(31.3% below no.1)
zinc = 1621 ppm
total detergent = 2939 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 1.8

9. 10W30 Brad Penn, Penn Grade 1 (semi-synthetic) = 71,206 psi
(31.4% below no.1)
zinc = 1557 ppm
total detergent = 3173 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 2.0

10. 15W50 Mobil 1, API SN = 70,235 psi
(32.4% below no.1)
zinc = 1133 ppm
total detergent = 1437 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 1.3

11. 10W30 Royal Purple HPS (High Performance Street) = 66,211 psi
(36.2% below no.1)
zinc = 1774 ppm
total detergent = 3676 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 2.1

12. 10W40 Valvoline 4 Stroke Motorcycle Oil conventional, API SJ = 65,553 psi
(36.9% below no.1)
zinc = 1154 ppm
total detergent = 1999 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio =1.1

13. Royal Purple 10W30 Break-In Oil conventional = 62,931 psi
(39.4% below no.1)
zinc = 1170 ppm
total detergent = 3184 ppm
detergent ppm/zinc ppm ratio = 2.7

SUMMARY:

As you can see, the number one oil above, the 10W30 Valvoline NSL Conventional Racing Oil, has 1669 ppm zinc and 103,846 psi “load carrying capacity/film strength”. But, the number 11 oil, the 10W30 Royal Purple HPS (High Performance Street), has 1774 ppm zinc, but ONLY 66,211 psi “load carrying capacity/film strength”, which is a WHOPPING 36.2% below the number one Valvoline.

On top of that, the number one Valvoline is conventional dino oil, while the Royal Purple is synthetic. So, many people might not expect conventional oil to perform so well, since synthetic oil gets all the hype. Conventional oil is still quite good and does not get the respect it deserves. It’s sort of like the fact that Chevy’s late model high performance push rod engines are still quite good, even though most all other modern vehicles use overhead cam designs and get most of the hype.

If you had only looked at the spec sheet for each of these two oils, you’d assume they were equal in wear protection because their zinc levels were essentially the same. But nothing could be further from the truth. This is real world test data (not just some theory), which compared motor oils against each other under the EXACT SAME test conditions. So, this is a perfect example of the point I’ve been trying to make, which is that you cannot simply look at the zinc value on an oil’s spec sheet, and assume that you can predict how well it will provide wear protection. Things are just NOT that simple in the real world.

And for those folks who want to avoid high levels of detergent in their oils, for fear that an oil with a lot of detergent will not be able to provide adequate wear protection, let’s look at that above as well. The oils ranked 1st and 12th both had low levels of detergent. And the oils ranked 2nd and 13th both had high or relatively high levels of detergent. The rest of the oils were a mixed bag of high and low detergent oils. So, that is proof that detergent levels are a non-issue, and that there are better things to worry about.

You simply cannot believe all the misinformation you come across about motor oil, on the internet and elsewhere. The bottom line is that, the only way to really KNOW how well an oil can provide wear protection, is to perform real world “wear testing” at a representative temperature, and see how it performs dynamically, under load. It’s the same kind of reason that we dyno test engines, rather than simply looking at their build sheets. “Wear testing” motor oil is the gold standard, just like “dyno testing” an engine is the gold standard. Anything else is simply guessing.

As I’ve said before, there are no BAD oils here. They all will generally work well enough in most applications. But, some do clearly provide a higher level of reserve “extra protection capability” than others. Of course you can decide for yourself, how much reserve “extra protection capability” is good enough for your needs.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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How do you build up the sacrificial layer of phoshorous deposited on high pressure, high temperature surfaces over a period of time to test them? This layer is what protects flat tappet cam lobes and lifter surfaces when the film strength is compromised. A stock flat tappet engine will compromise the film strength of any oil. In your original testing you said you were testing film strength with a film strength tester. Is this a different tester that is testing extreme pressure antiwear additives or is it still the film strength tester. If it is still the film strength tester how are you concluding the effectiveness of a sacrificial layer that is deposited over time with a 30 second test that in no way can develop the sacrifical layer. Your missing a key component, You have pressure, heat but your missing time. You keep posting new threads on this and I keep asking how you deposit the sacrificial layer to test it and you never respond. Your testing has merit as a valid test of film strength of different oils. It has no merit as a conclusive test of the antiwear properties of ZDDP as your method does not facilitate the deposit of the sacrificial layer of the ZDDP.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/oilshear.htm

Last edited by 63mako; 06-08-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:25 PM   #3
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Flat-tappet cam owners - don't put your cam at risk based on this misinformation. Film strength testing is not "wear protection" testing, and you need >= 1000 ppm ZDDP to protect your cam...as specified by every.single.cam.manufacturer!

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-t...ppet-oils.html

Honestly, why do you keep doing this post after post? I think you have...what, 10 posts about all this? How about just ONE, and see if the mods will make a sticky for anyone that wants to buy into this.

Flawed conclusions from single-aspect testing. Same thing, over and over. No matter how many times you post, it *still* won't be correct. You said it best yourself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 RAT
And it doesn’t matter how many times [540 RAT] repeats the same wrong information, it will never magically become true.

Last edited by billla; 06-09-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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Thread is now a sticky. Posting info ONCE is enough.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by H P Bushrod View Post
Thread is now a sticky. Posting info ONCE is enough.
Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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Just because it is a sticky don't make it correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by billla View Post
Flawed conclusions from single-aspect testing. Same thing, over and over. No matter how many times you post, it *still* won't be correct. You said it best yourself:
Could not agree more.

How about an answer? How are you depositing the sacrificial layer developed by ZDDP over time in a 30 second test? If your not, how can you draw conclusions with an improper testing protocol?

Last edited by 63mako; 06-09-2012 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:57 PM   #7
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Just because it is a sticky don't make it correct.
Nope, but we don't get 2 posts/week that we have to post on
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 RAT View Post
The following group of 13 oils are ranked according to their “load carrying capacity/film strength”, or in other words, their “wear protection” performance, at 230*F. The higher the psi number, the better the wear protection.
In other words?????? No. In your words. This is the wrong assumption.

The higher the number the higher the film strength at that tested temperature. nothing more, nothing less. This is your testing protocol.

Film strength and wear protection are two totally different characteristics. Extreme pressure additives are what protect the engine after the film strength is broken or "sheared". Film strength is a result of the base oil and viscocity improvers added to it. Antiwear additives are a different group of additives and would require different test protocol. Friction modifiers are a different group of additives (which could also affect your results), detergents a different group of additives, anti oxidants a different group of additives and all the additives can affect the others and some will overlap like boron. It is a primary ingredient of many antiwear additives and also an ingredient of some detergent additives. If it is used as an antiwear additive it also increases the detergency of the oil. In an oil test it is just listed as "Boron". Absolutely no way to tell what compound of boron it is. Moly is an extreme pressure antiwear additive that will withstand 500,000 psi before it shears off of the part it is protecting. It is the base of most high quality cam assembly lubes, is now used as an additive in motor oils. Many of these additive work in overlapping functions.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...&Number=729116

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/moly.html
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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thank you 540 rat for sharing this info. Very much appreciated by some.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:43 AM   #10
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Everything I've read says the 10W30 Valvoline VR1 Conventional Racing Oil that I put in will work just fine. Everything from ZDDP to film strength and many many threads and posts state it's worked for a lot of people. Even if it isn't the best, it's certainly not the worst.

By the way, it seems oil is perhaps the most controversial issue on the forum!
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #11
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[QUOTE
By the way, it seems oil is perhaps the most controversial issue on the forum![/QUOTE]

DING DING DING.....OOHH so true, but it also creates good awareness
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodeck350+ View Post
Yea, i always have the wife push for the first 500 miles on a new engine. Don't want to start it until the sacrificial coating has built up.
That is one of the reasons for the 20 minute break in. Don't happen in 30 seconds.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodeck350+ View Post
Yea, i always have the wife push for the first 500 miles on a new engine. Don't want to start it until the sacrificial coating has built up.
that's funny sheet right there
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodeck350+ View Post
Yea, i always have the wife push for the first 500 miles on a new engine. Don't want to start it until the sacrificial coating has built up.
Hmmmm...perhaps we should SACRIFICE our wife and that would install the sacrificial coating???
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Green View Post
Everything I've read says the 10W30 Valvoline VR1 Conventional Racing Oil that I put in will work just fine. Everything from ZDDP to film strength and many many threads and posts state it's worked for a lot of people. Even if it isn't the best, it's certainly not the worst.
Works for me.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:08 AM   #16
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Default All New Diesel Oil Test Data

If you'd like to see this information, you can find it here:


http://speedtalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32279


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Old 08-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #17
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540Rat's results are flawed. He is testing new oil. He is testing film strength. He is not factoring in viscocity breakdown or ZDDP depletion. The facts are ZDDP levels drop up to 50% in 3000 miles likely more if the original level is reduced by 50%. The SM/SN rated oil that tests good when new with 600 PPM ZDDP may have inadequate protection @ 1000 miles when ZDDP levels have dropped to under 500 PPM. By the time you hit 3000 miles your trying to protect a flat tappet cam with 300 PPM ZDDP when the recommended level is 1000. Film strength is also a result of viscocity modifiers. These are broken down as oil shear happens. A lot of conventional oils depend on high levels of Viscocity index improvers or "Viscocity modifiers" to turn single grade oil into a multi grade. These are very suceptable to oil shear. As this happens the film strength drops rapidly. Combined with dropping ZDDP levels this is a recipe for disaster, especially if your using a flat tappet cam with heavy spring pressures, high lift and fast ramps. True synthetic oils use little or no viscocity modifiers. This is one reason why many are considered extended drain interval oils. The sheared VI improvers are contaminants. Do you really want your engine to be a guinea pig for a theory based on flawed conclusions using improper testing protocol, not factoring in the above obvious facts? Think about it. How much ZDDP is required to protect a flat tappet cam. Who knows. It varies with the application and severity of use. I would rather be safe than sorry. Use all the information available. There are plenty of oils on 540rat's film strenght list that also have 12-1400 ppm ZDDP and are synthetic based so have a more stable VI and reduced viscocity breakdown. His testing has merit but the conclusions drawn on new oil will not apply to the oil with 1000, 2000 3000 miles on it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:49 AM   #18
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Interesting info. The last flat tappet engine car that I owned was my '85 Corvette. I put 142,000 miles on that car and the engine still ran fine when I sold it. I can't remember what oil I used in it, but it wasn't synthetic and definitely wasn't diesel. I'm not up on all of the data that everyone is providing, but there's one thing that's certain, today's oils are engineering marvels compared to the stuff sold years ago. Keep the info coming.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #19
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What about using plain old Mobil 1 Synthetic and adding ZDDP Additive from Summit or the GM Flat Tappet Additive? Is that much different that seeking out these pre-blended ZDDP oils?
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
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What about using plain old Mobil 1 Synthetic and adding ZDDP Additive from Summit or the GM Flat Tappet Additive? Is that much different that seeking out these pre-blended ZDDP oils?
Yes; more background here: http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-t...ppet-oils.html

Last edited by billla; 08-24-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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