Amsoil and 4-ball wear

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2,602
Location
The Tropics of Antartica
Evidently the 4-ball wear test is ASTM 4172 but it appears a different temp and RMP can be used for example : Both the ASL 5w-30 and ATM 10w-30 has listed on the Amsoil website the following for both oils . ASTM 4172 @ 40kgf 75c 1200RPM The XL 7500 group III " I for get the vi " and the AMO 10w-40 lists this . ASTM D4172 @ 40kgf 150c 1800 RPM For a difference in 600 RPM of spinning those 4 balls in whatever way it's done . I did not check any other oils they offer for these differences but am curious as to why the RPM differs and is not a constant [Confused] I'd just like to know for when I run across other tests on the net or elsewhere I'll be more educated on the 4-ball wear testing procedures and why they differ in terms of temps and RPM's used . [Cheers!]
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,957
Location
Iowegia - USA
The general rule is that the oil that has run with higher loads, higher oil temperature, and higher RPMS, if that oil shows RELATIVELY lower wear scars than an oil run with lower values, the inference is that it has or will perform better. To clarify, if oil A has been run with 75 kg load, 1800 rpm, and at 150 C oil temp and has a wear scar of 0.4 mm, and if oil B was run with 40 kg, 1200 RPM, and 75 C, but has a wear scar of 0.35 mm, then Oil A is assumed to be the better oil. For what it's worth, I have seen tests run on a fully synthetic base oil without adds and wear scars averaged 0.45 to 1.25 mm. [ May 20, 2004, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 
Messages
34,394
Location
NJ
Interesting catch their Motorbike. Could it be Amsoil is using two methods to make each oil look a bit better? [I dont know]
 
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8,467
Location
Colorado
I do not pay any attention to either the four ball test or Falex tests for comparing motor oils. I think both are a false way to try to compare products. I once watched a guy use the Falex test to demonstrate an oil supplement at the Colorado State Fair. He had several bottles of different brands of motor oils so he could compare motor oils alone and motor oils with his product. People would ask him to try a certain brand of oil and they all seemed to fail at I think (if I can remember correctly) 180 ft/lbs (in that machine). Well, I asked him to try the Mobil 1. All the rest had been conventional motor oils. The Mobil 1 failed at 160! I believe it was Mobil 1 10W-30 that he tested. Any chance that the Mobil 1 really was inferior to the conventional motor oils? I very seriously doubt it. A long time ago I used to use an oil supplement. The people who made the oil supplement in their advertising said that their product outperformed numerous oil supplements that had been tested and many brands of motor oil in four ball testing. They showed the results of their testing. They claimed that four ball testing was the definitive test for lubricants in an engine. Based on their testing their oil supplement was the greatest thing going. It was so superior to anything else if everybody had used it engine wear should have become a historical thing. Their product would last literally several DAYS in testing where the other products tested would burn up in MINUTES. Four ball testing probably is good when a new motor oil is being formulated. I thing it is wrong to try to use four ball testing to compare motor oils. Falex testing probably should be used fro greases and not motor oil.
 
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47,831
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Just ignore those numbers. I long ago noticed the different speeds, loads, temps...what the heck, impossible to compare to anything outside of that test. Pointless really other than it makes a single graph for the oils run at those same parameters If someone needs this to convince them to buy Amsoil, then I can try to educate them about oil.
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
There are four different "parameters" that can be used for this standard ASTM test - you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples: Para #1, 75C/40kg load/1200 rpms Para #2, 75C/60kg load/1200 rpms Para #3, 150C/40kg load/1800 rpms Para #4, 150C/60kg load/1800 rpms Amsoil primarily uses parameters #3 for their xw-20/xw-30/xw-40 lubes and #4 - with the 50% higher pressure - for their 20w-50 Racing Oils. The 150C/302F, oil temp for Para #3 and #4 corresponds more closely to what you'd see in the valvetrain components. The 75C/167F test temp is more often used to test gear lubricants, which typically run in the 140F to 200F range, depending on load. I've looked extensively at this test and I have some related experience in evaluating the results of materials testing. My opinion is that the four ball test is a decent predictor of how well the oil will prevent valvetrain wear in gas engines under high loads - specifically cam lobe to lifter wear in engines that have direct acting cam lobes and can see very high pressures. Since valvetrain wear in diesel engines is highly dependent on soot concentrations, I'm not sure how good a test it is for those conditions. I should note that I've seen some results for Redline and Royal Purple using this test and they both do very well; significantly outperforming the other off-the-shelf synthetic lubes. You'll note that RL and RP don't show up in these comparisons ... [Wink] Tooslick www.lubedealer.com/dixie_synthetics
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,957
Location
Iowegia - USA
quote:
Four ball testing probably is good when a new motor oil is being formulated.
You hit the nail on the head. And that is the 4B's main purpose, oil formulation. These tests only show "RELATIVE" wear among different oils. Falex testing can be done on motor oils, hydraulic oils, and gear lubes and greases. I have yet to see any of these tests correlate well with "in-service" wear.
 
Messages
34,394
Location
NJ
quote:
I have yet to see any of these tests correlate well with "in-service" wear.
I havn't either. All the UOAs on BITOG have shown me that the 4-ball wear test is not relevant to real world wear. Redline flat out told me it's not and in fact all that is done is they add an additive that makes it do well in the four -ball wear test, but over time it gets depleted. Mobil engineers will tell you this too. To put it in perspective, take one of the M1 wear scars of 1.62 vs Amsoil's .43. Do you really think Amsoil protects 400% better? Nope. [Smile] From a marketing standpoint, I can see why Amsoil uses this. However, if I were Mobil, I'd spend the extra $ and make it excell on this bench test so Amsoil can't plaster their results on all their bottles, misleading people. Redline shot back and now Amsoil no longer includes them on their bottles for a reason. [ May 21, 2004, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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1,251
Location
Akron, OH
===quote=== From a marketing standpoint, I can see why Amsoil uses this. However, if I were Mobil, I'd spend the extra $ and make it excell on this bench test so Amsoil can't plaster their results on all their bottles, misleading people. Redline shot back and now Amsoil no longer includes them on their bottles for a reason. ===end quote=== I dunno if I can agree. If they can keep the price on Mobil 1 below the price for an equivalent Amsoil formulation, I'd say Mobil was ahead of the game.
 
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2,235
Location
SE MI
Mobil IS ahead of the game with its pricing. As an Amsoil dealer, I just buy Mobil 1 at my local stores and save a lot of money. I don't need overpriced oil that meets non-existent fictional specifications.
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: Mobil IS ahead of the game with its pricing. As an Amsoil dealer, I just buy Mobil 1 at my local stores and save a lot of money. I don't need overpriced oil that meets non-existent fictional specifications.
The M1 at Wally world in the 5qt. jugs pricing is pretty much a killer for all other syn's. Having said that. I'm trying ATM anyway. It's not such a bad value.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: Mobil IS ahead of the game with its pricing. As an Amsoil dealer, I just buy Mobil 1 at my local stores and save a lot of money. I don't need overpriced oil that meets non-existent fictional specifications.
You're not going to sell much Amsoil with that kind of attitude. [Confused]
 
Messages
1,487
Location
Indiana
Does anyone know the ratio of Mobil 1 sales to Amsoil sales? Mobil is on every discount store shelf. Amsoil is unknown outside the enthustiast ranks. I can't imagine Amsoil is even on the Mobil radar screen when it comes to marketing strategy.
 
Messages
1,412
Location
Falls Church VA
AMSOIL is definitely on the screen of the oil companies. Mobil 1 is obviously the volume leader, and I suspect AMSOIL would be second in gallonage. Yep, Mobil 1 is in every discount store--and maybe that's why the Mobil dealers have been known to stock up there.
 
Messages
1,251
Location
Akron, OH
quote:
Originally posted by Dick in Falls Church: AMSOIL is definitely on the screen of the oil companies. Mobil 1 is obviously the volume leader, and I suspect AMSOIL would be second in gallonage.
Dick: Could you provide a cite for AMSOIL being second in gallonage? I'm assuming you're meaning that "Amsoil is the 2nd-best-selling synthetic in the world." I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'd just love to see the numbers.
 
Messages
1,412
Location
Falls Church VA
Nope, don't have a cite. AMSOIL is privately owned, and there is some info they just don't publish. About 5 years ago, Al told us that, best he could figure, AMSOIL was ahead of all other than Mobil 1 in gallonage-at least in the US. Sales have about doubled in the past 3 years. I don't know what gallonage they are turning out now, but there is a bunch being pumped through the plant.
 
Messages
2,946
Location
Georgia/Retired
I would hazard a guess that there is more Castrol synthetic oil thrown in the trash due to residual left in the bottles world wide than Amsoil even has the capacity to blend. Castrol is sold on every single speck of dry land across this globe. I'm not trying to be argumentative but some common sense must prevail here. Exxon/Mobil probably has a information technology budget that is greater than Amsoils entire operating budget. Remember, Amsoil doesn't have oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico nor do they ship their freshly pumped product through the Straight of Hormuz so they're really not producing oil. Amsoil and Castrol are both blenders which means they have to buy product from other companies in order to have a product to sell. If it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling to think that Amsoil is on the coat tail of Exxon/Mobil then go ahead and believe that.
 
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