Alfa Romeo 75 - Racing Car - AGIP/ENI advice request

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OP, you have to take into consideration that manual is written 30 years ago. There has been dramatic progress in oil development since then, especially in the late 1990's. That means that really, you should not pay that much attention on manual.
As all Euro cars of that time, they love heavier oils, so 10W40 would be good starting point. I am not so sure about 10W60 as it is a. thick. b. will cool off harder and c. it is expensive. Now, if oil pressure is an issue, than by all means you should consider it.
But I would try oils on "thinner" side first. Netherlands does not have harsh winters, so 10W or 15W should work fine.
Total has 10W50, and personally I would try this oil:
 
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I'm a former Alfa owner who used 20w-50 conventional oil in a Spider Veloce. If you're going to race the car, I'd stick with the recommended 15w-50 in a synthetic. I don't see any benefit to a 10w-60, and at operating temperature you'd be losing a bit of horsepower.
 

HMCS_Roland

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Alfa romeo wanted you to use a 10w-40 because at the time, 5w-40 or any xw-30 could have a HTHS viscosity below 3.5cP.

Any A3/B4 oil will do you really, but the smaller the viscosity spread the thicker the base oil is going to be and the more shear stable the oil becomes. I would look for a high flashpoint in any A3/B4 oil, also an indication of higher quality base oils. Flash point is found in every data sheet aswell.
Thank you for your reply.

Could you please elaborate on the following?
1 - Why is a HTHS viscosity below 3.5 cP relevant?
2 - What are indications of a higher quality base oil being used?
3 - What constitutes a high flashpoint? I understand I can simply compare the oils I'm considering and pick the highest / one of the higher ones. But is there a threshold I should be looking for?
 

HMCS_Roland

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OP, you have to take into consideration that manual is written 30 years ago.
For sure. It is part of the reason I am posting this.

As all Euro cars of that time, they love heavier oils, so 10W40 would be good starting point. I am not so sure about 10W60 as it is a. thick. b. will cool off harder and c. it is expensive.
Noted. I am certainly leaning toward xxW40 or possibly xxW50 after all the comments. What I'm still struggling to understand, is why I hear so many people (on other forums/at the track) talk about 10W60. What is the benefit that it provides? Because mostly I'm getting negatives, but there must be a reason people chose this oil. When would one chose the W60?

Now, if oil pressure is an issue, than by all means you should consider it.
Not at this point in time. I will pick an oil assuming oil pressure won't become an issue. Then if it proves to be an incorrect assumption I will correct it by chosing a different oil. Thanks for that.

But I would try oils on "thinner" side first. Netherlands does not have harsh winters, so 10W or 15W should work fine.
Total has 10W50, and personally I would try this oil:
Will add it to the list of potential oils. Thank you for your reply and recommendation.
 

HMCS_Roland

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The Netherlands
I'm a former Alfa owner who used 20w-50 conventional oil in a Spider Veloce. If you're going to race the car, I'd stick with the recommended 15w-50 in a synthetic. I don't see any benefit to a 10w-60, and at operating temperature you'd be losing a bit of horsepower.
Thank you for your reply. 60 is about to be stricken off the list. 50 is certainly in consideration.

I do prefer to go below 15W, simply because of the potential cold start wear and the longer stand-still periods this car will see. If that makes sense.
 
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Thank you for your reply. 60 is about to be stricken off the list. 50 is certainly in consideration.

I do prefer to go below 15W, simply because of the potential cold start wear and the longer stand-still periods this car will see. If that makes sense.
So, 15W will do good in Netherlands winter. In 1990's 15W was go to oil in Europe, and there are much, much colder areas in Europe than Netherlands.
I was checking Mobil1 German web site, and could not find Mobil1 15W50. That oil is made for a street/track use. Maybe you can stumble on it somewhere.
As for 10W60, it became popular among BMW owners as it was a band aid to issue with rod bearings. Obviously owners of other cars found it practical to maybe address some issues etc. But It is very thick, and it will take a lot of time to get it up to optimal temperature. You do not want too thin, but you do not want also too thick of an oil.
 
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Thank you for your reply.

Could you please elaborate on the following?
1 - Why is a HTHS viscosity below 3.5 cP relevant?
2 - What are indications of a higher quality base oil being used?
3 - What constitutes a high flashpoint? I understand I can simply compare the oils I'm considering and pick the highest / one of the higher ones. But is there a threshold I should be looking for?

The High Temperature High Shear viscosity is the viscosity that is seen in any place that needs lubricating, like bearings and piston/cylinder wall interface, but also camshafts etc... The ingredient that turns an oil into a multigrade, called viscosity modifiers tend to stretch out temporarily under high temperature and high shear conditions so the viscosity drops below what you would expect without viscosity modifiers and much closer to the base oil used to formulate the final product. This can result in metal/metal contact if you drop below design limits. Back in those days the 5w-40, 0w-40 and all xw-30 oils were allowed to drop to 2.9 cP. A3/B4 oils don't drop below 3.5 as shouldn't a 10w-40 back then.

Higher quality base oils tend to drop less in viscosity as they get hot and subjected to shearing. It's likely your track use will exceed the conditions of the HTHS testing both in shear rate and temperature. It's likely the oil in the bearings is at least 30C higher than the bulk of the oil measured by the oil temp sensor.

The flashpoint will depend highly on the viscosity spread of the oil you're looking at, the lower the spread the higher the flashpoint can be. So in the viscosity you're interested in, a significantly higher flashpoint than others indicates a higher synthetic oil content (PAO or POE usually) which is interesting on track.

Don't worry about cold start wear, it's a misnomer and should be called warm-up wear. Even a 20w would be more than fluid enough for anything the dutch winters can throw at you. At anything near 0C or above, the winter rating is meaningless ie a 5w-40, 10w-40, 15w-40 or 20w-40 will all be in the same ballpark for viscosity. When you start the car, the oil pump moves a fixed volume of oil per revolution, unless the oil is too thick to be sucked up to the oil pump. That's part of what the winter rating is for:

sae-j300-engine-viscosity-table.jpg


As you can see even a 20W is guaranteed to pump down to -20C. You might not get the engine started at that temperature but you will get oil pumped.
 

HMCS_Roland

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So, 15W will do good in Netherlands winter. In 1990's 15W was go to oil in Europe, and there are much, much colder areas in Europe than Netherlands.
Yes, I'm not worried about the ambient temperature. But I would still prefer an oil that will better lubricate the engine when cold starting, as I may not always have time to warm up the engine before a session properly and will then put a lot of stress on it. Also, I want to add a little extra protection for long stand-still periods. So I guess 10W would then be preferred over 15W. But please correct me if I'm wrong.

So W60 is definetely out the window now. Thank you for your reply.
 

HMCS_Roland

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The Netherlands
Back in those days the 5w-40, 0w-40 and all xw-30 oils were allowed to drop to 2.9 cP. A3/B4 oils don't drop below 3.5 as shouldn't a 10w-40 back then.
Alright, I will make sure it's an A3/B4.

So in the viscosity you're interested in, a significantly higher flashpoint than others indicates a higher synthetic oil content (PAO or POE usually) which is interesting on track.
Understood.

Thank you for the nice write-up.
 

HMCS_Roland

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Alright, I've done some comparisons between Agip/Eni, Kroon, Mobil 1, Motul, Shell and Total oils.

I've compared them on viscocity (40C and 100C), viscosity index, flash temperature and price. I ranked each oil on their position for each of these criteria (best score, rank 1, second best score, rank 2 etc.) and in the end averaging their positions. I took special consideration for the HTHS where I could find them (unfortunately, I only got those values for 7 out of 19 oils).

I excluded the semi-sythetic oils, even though some of them scored very well, particularly the Total Quartz 9000 Energy and Agip Eni I-Sints.

Also excluded were the 10W60 oils, because of concerns of power loss. Even though the HTHS values were significantly higher for these oils.

Finally I excluded the most expensive oils. I don't believe the extreme price differences between some oils will be compensated by extreme quality differences. For instance, Motul V300 10W40 was priced at 180 euro's for 7 litres, while Shell Helix Ultra 5W40 was priced at 51 euro's for the same quantity. So I limited the comparison to a maximum of 100 euro's per 7 litres. I'd rather do an additional oil change than pay that price.

This provides the following list:
BrandTypeGradeSynthA3/B4Visc. 100Visc. 40Visc. IndexFlashPourMass dens. 15CHTHSPriceAverage Rank
ShellHelix Ultra5W40FullYes13,174,4187215-398403,68€ 515
Motul8100 X-cess5W40FullYes14,285,4172230-368513,7€ 608
AgipEurosport5W50FullNo - motorsport19,0100,0210210-458754,6€ 6010
Mobil 1SUPER 3000 X15W40FullYes14,084,0?222-39855?€ 608
Mobil 1FS X15W-50FullYes?101,0?239-45850?€ 9910

This gives first place to Shell Helix Ultra 5W40. A fully synthetic oil, complying with A3/B4, with a low viscocity at both low and working temparature. A very respectable viscocity index and an exceptable HTHS value (although one of the lowest that I did manage to find). Additionally the Flashpoint was relatively low compared to other oils, but it seems to be an acceptable value.

Alternatively I do think the Agip Eurosport 5W50 is an interesting prospect due to the higher range, high viscocity index and significantly higher HTHS but it also scored comparatively low on Flashpoint.

The Mobil 1 FS X1 5W-50 could have been interesting (especially considering the high Flashpoint) but I couldn't find any information about the working temperature viscocity, the viscocity index not the HTHS value.


Now I'm still not confident in my own ability to judge all these values. I've simply applied what you guys have commented and did some basic internet queries to further understand some values on a basic level.

I think the Shell Helux Ultra 5W40 or Agip Eurosport 5W50 will at least be sufficient to keep my engine in good condition. I'm not sure which one of these I will pick and whether it's actually (one of) the best option(s) on the market, I can't honestly say.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my comparison method and the final selection. As it stands, I will be purchasing the Shell Helix Ultra 5W40.
 
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I think the shell/pennzoil is an excellent choice, as is the motul. here's another that should be cheap:


Now it's time to start driving, and keep an eye on the oil pressure, especially when the engine rpm drops back to idle at high temperatures and hard use. If you have about 1 bar pressure you're all good. If the pressure drops towards 0.5 bar it's time to go up a bit in viscosity. Are you on any of the dutch alfa romeo forums?
 
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1,321
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Brittany / Canada
The Total is a group 3 oil, so considered synthetic in some countries, not in others. Maybe the Energy version (different formula) has a bit of PAO added, same with the 10w50.
It's just like the Motul, Agip (probably) and Mobil super oils...just play on wording. I'm not sure it would be very cost efficient to do a "non synthetic" 5W40 that passes the A3/B4 tests.

The Shell incorporates some GTL base, from natural gas, but this is still considered a group 3, on paper.

Mobil 1 5W50 is an "excellent" oil with (last time I checked) some PAO in its formula (used probably to give the widespread viscosity range). I would say within all the oils you selected, that would be the "most synthetic". Maybe the Agip 5W50 too, but the lack of A3/B4 raises questions.

Can you get Yacco oils? They do a Galaxie 15W50.


Edit : 5W50 oils apparently could be a touchy subject, I think regarding deposits, but I'm not the expert, just came across some old threads...so...YMMV
 
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HMCS_Roland

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Thanks for all that information. Sound like the Total and Mobil 1 are good alternatives. Might give them a try in one of my other cars.

Never heard of Yacco oils. Don't believe we have that brand over here.
 
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Also if you want the cheapest prices...online German stores are the way to go :) They also sell brake fluid and gear lube, grease, brake cleaner... I generally take advantage and place a yearly big order to get free shipping, or mitigate the shipping prices vs buying locally.

Yacco is probably more widespread in France and Russia.
 

HMCS_Roland

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Thanks for the tip. I do order from Germany and the UK from time to time. I think some of the biggest German carparts webshops already have Dutch subsidiaries that I order from as well.
 
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