Gearheads and oil analysis. Yes oil!!!


nautoncall

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Apr 6, 2014
1,093
So there are always topics on whats the best oil to use and I've spend countless hours reading forums on what oil to use on my cars. Still confused as ever but I thought I would post a different type oil thread and get everyone's analysis on some of my oil analysis on my cars. I have come to the conclusion that manufacture's guides are just that....guides. Below are oil analysis from several different cars. I send my oil after every change which I do myself. I'll make some observation after the posting. I'd love to hear some of you gearheads ideas and thoughts.
 

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  • 65 COBRA-190602 (1).pdf
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  • 92 VIPER-190922.pdf
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  • Diablo L19329.pdf
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nautoncall

GT Owner
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Apr 6, 2014
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Last one.
 

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nautoncall

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Apr 6, 2014
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1. The Blue GT seems to be doing fine with the Motorcraft 5/50 and yes not many miles on last sample but it was over a year and the flashpoint was borderline. Overall acceptable.
2. The Twin Turbo Red GT seems to sheer the oil much more. The flashpoint is always way down on the samples. Much less than I would like. This car was used with race fuel for a while and none has been run in it for at least 2-3 years so the lead is washing out dramatically. I run exclusively 93 octane and have done no drag races or any such events..just some fun street runs but nothing excessive. All changes have been Motorcraft 5w-50. Based on my analysis, I now filled with Redline 5w-50 and will report back on the next oil change.
3. The 65 Cobra is a race motor with 675hp and 625 ft/lb that I was told to run on Mobil 1 5w-20 but I recently called the engine builder and they said I should be running VR1 10w-30. It's a dino oil also. I have changed to that and can report back at next change. I think the flashpoint will improve plus the small fuel dilution probably has contributed but the VR1 should fix this.
4. 92 Viper with excellent first change on Rotella T6
5. Diablo first change was Agip 10-40, second was Rotella T6, and last was Agip 10-40. Seems like the Rotella was a little better. I didn't like the viscosity and flash points on the last change. Agip is syn blend.
6. The TT 04 Viper seems to be doing great on VR1 20w-50. This is the most confused vehicle I have because everything I read says this is too heavy. I have two different Viper turbo shops that's main business is TT Vipers and they say to run the regular conventional VR1 20w-50 that I"m running. This is why I have exclusively used that oil. They make a synthetic but these two shops say use the dino oil. I've yet to get a real good reason. Some TT viper guys run M1 15w-50 and swear buy it also. Stock viper suggestion is 0w-40. I have been temped to run T6 in this car but not sure.
 

nautoncall

GT Owner
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Apr 6, 2014
1,093
Any FGT owners want to share any of oil analysis on either Motorcraft or their oil de jour? Thoughts on shear in turbos??
 

MTV8

GT Owner
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Jul 24, 2010
1,018
Houston Texas
No turbos on my GT, but I can tell you that Underground Racing also recommends VR1 20w50 for my twin turbo Lamborghini with built engine. They specifically say to use the conventional version and not synthetic.
 

nautoncall

GT Owner
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Apr 6, 2014
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No turbos on my GT, but I can tell you that Underground Racing also recommends VR1 20w50 for my twin turbo Lamborghini with built engine. They specifically say to use the conventional version and not synthetic.
Well if you can get someone to tell you the reason I’d like to know. I still can’t get a straight answer on “why” the Dino VR1!!! Turbo shop that built the car said to go 10k miles on the conventional since the motor was just built. Then syn was ok!! Then I read on multiple places where a few hundred miles are fine!! Thanks for chiming in!! I’ve spent hours on BITOG!!! Still confused!!
 

HighHP

GT Owner
Jun 3, 2019
440
Spokane, WA
Well if you can get someone to tell you the reason I’d like to know. I still can’t get a straight answer on “why” the Dino VR1!!! Turbo shop that built the car said to go 10k miles on the conventional since the motor was just built. Then syn was ok!!

Here is a common held theory why, which all builders may not support.
Begin with what is happening in a new engine. The cylinders are purposely honed to a rough surface that actually cuts the rings, which provide a perfect fit of the rings to the cylinders. The rings need to be cut before the cylinders lose their roughness and smooth out. It is thought that short bursts of hard acceleration help this cut-in process. The high pressure gasses in the cylinder actually fill the space on top of and behind the ring pushing it tight against the cylinder. This cutting process creates heat and fine metal filings, so hard acceleration should be short in duration. Followed by light load allowing the oil to cool the rings and clean out the fine metal filings. So short durations of high load followed by normal driving. This should be done in the first few miles of driving or running the engine on a test stand. A rebuilt engine continues to break-in for 10,000 miles. HP gains are commonly noticed during this 10,000 mile break-in period. Thus, I think this is why the builder above noted 10,000 miles. I think car manufacturers just say to drive the car like normal for break in without sustained high load.

I began building custom engines at a young age back in the 1970's. Back then everyone ran non-detergent or mineral oil for break-in oil for the first 500-1000 miles. Supposedly, it was critical for piston ring break-in. It was thought that detergent additives negatively affected this cut-in process.

Then enter the high quality synthetics. Synthetics are considered more slippery than conventional oils. This slipperyness, it is thought, does not allow the rough cylinders to cut the rings. The lubrication is too good. The rings smooth out the cylinders before the cylinders have time to cut the rings. So the rings never seat properly in the cylinders. Not sure what ever happened to running mineral oil for break-in, but now builders recommend conventional oil during break-in and not to use synthetics. I do not know for sure what the OEM manufacturers put in their engines for break-in, even when they spec synthetic when replaced. So now you have it.
 
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nautoncall

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HighHP...thanks for the great explanation! I’ll keep running conventional for now!!!
 

Gene Cassone

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Dec 3, 2005
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way upstate NY
Interesting! I had a new M3 years ago that came with mineral oil, then at 900 miles was changed to synthetic.
 

33Bravo

GT Owner
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Nov 3, 2006
688
Minneapolis, MN
Rebuilt aircraft engines are always broken in with mineral oil....
 

HighHP

GT Owner
Jun 3, 2019
440
Spokane, WA
Yep. Aircraft pistons also run mineral oil with dispersants after break in. They don't use detergents like auto oils. There is a safety story on why no detergents.
Shell oil info for aircraft recip's.

AeroShell Oils 65*, 80, 100 and 120

AeroShell (straight mineral) Oils are available in four different viscosity grades (SAE 30, 40, 50 and 60). They are blended from selected high viscosity index base stocks and contain a minimum quantity of additives. These oils are especially appropriate during the break-in period of most new or recently overhauled four-stroke aircraft piston engines.
 

nautoncall

GT Owner
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Apr 6, 2014
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New automotive engines are so precisely made I think synthetic is ok from the start
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
6,093
Las Vegas, NV
My recollection on my Cobra Roush 427 was that they recommended using a regular 10/30 for the first part (1000 miles?) and then a synthetic was OK. The block is a modern machining (Pond or Dart, not sure which) so has the tolerances of the modern engine. Mine used almost no oil.
 
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PeteK

GT Owner
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Apr 18, 2014
2,319
Kalama, Free part of WA State
It's been awhile, but I have an update on my oil analysis. I still use the Motorcraft 5W-50 stuff. This time I went 2 years and 13Kmi since last oil change. I use Blackstone Labs. Here are my latest results.

Bottom Line Up Front:
"Peter: This is the nicest sample yet from your Ford! Wear metals are mostly a little lower than usual, even though this oil was run relatively long, including a day at the track. The mechanical parts are wearing really minimally from our perspective, and no fuel, coolant, or excess dirt was detected. The viscosity of the oil was correct for 5W/50 and low insolubles show proper oil filtration. The TBN is strong at 2.7 showing active additives left in reserve. Go ahead and try 15,000 miles again if you like."
 

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B.M.F.

GT Owner
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Jan 29, 2009
1,787
Minnesota
The studies i've seen in the past is Redline 5-50 is about the best oil out there for 5-50. Many of the GT500 guys used to run samples and i used to pay attention to that stuff. I run motorcraft in all my stock gt's and redline in my gt that makes 1400whp.
 

HighHP

GT Owner
Jun 3, 2019
440
Spokane, WA
Pete - Very interesting.
Thanks for posting.
Have you ever sent in an out of the bottle oil sample?
 

PeteK

GT Owner
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Apr 18, 2014
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Kalama, Free part of WA State
Dan, others: I've gotten dragged down a few rabbit holes about what oil is best, yada, yada...

I'm a Mech E and taken an interest in oil since I started driving almost 50 years ago. I've read serious SAE papers about tribology and the additives (especially ZDDP) and base stocks of oil. I've read analyses that say Redline is among the best, and analysis that say it's fine but nothing special, and analyses of other popular brands.

The more I learn, the more I learn that I don't know as much as I thought about how oils really perform. BUT, I've also learned that even vaunted experts don't really know either. So, I'm not alone! And I've learned that the particular ingredients are not as important as how the additive package is balanced and optimized. Thus, "1500ppm Zinc" (like in Valvoline V1) does not mean much on its own.

The engineers who really know how well oils work in their engines are beavering way in the development departments of major engine manufacturers, and oil manufacturers, and they don't much talk about their specific findings because those are proprietary. AND, oil formulations change frequently, both because of changing API and manufacturer specifications, and to reduce cost, use multiple alternative suppliers of chemicals, etc. Thus, the oil with the SAME label today as two years ago may be subtly or significantly different.

Therefore, the best information you can get about how a particular oil performs in YOUR engine is through regular oil sample analysis. Period. Then there are religious arguments about which oil lab does the best job and measures the right parameters...

I use Blackstone because that's what I have used in the past. Another thing I have learned (I hope!) about this black art is that a snapshot in time is not very useful (unless the engine is in bad shape). It's the trends over time that matter most, so you should use the same lab consistently. That's the rule in general aviation too.

If you want to know how well the oil in your 1400whp car--or any other car-- holds up and prevents wear, do oil analysis, and try several different oils over time. But my guess is that you don't drive that car enough to try oils over, say, 20,000 mile periods. Thus, I advise you to stick to one oil, but pull samples at some regular basis to see how it's holding up and whether wear metals are increasing.
 
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PeteK

GT Owner
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Apr 18, 2014
2,319
Kalama, Free part of WA State
Pete - Very interesting.
Thanks for posting.
Have you ever sent in an out of the bottle oil sample?
Ed, no. I read in some of their online info that Blackstone has those numbers in their database. Unless you are using something exotic, they already have that baseline info.