Any advantages of non-detergent oils?

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29
Location
Toronto
I noticed that some racing oils (and others) don't have detergents. What would be the advantage of no detegents? Thank you
 
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47,629
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Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
There could be, but for sake of a better thread, everyone should get better grip on the definition of the word "detergent" in relation to motor oils. Start here I think some pure racing oils don't need to have "soapability" (my corny word) for long term oil life, hence less detergents and higher percentage of actual oil and AW agents(less other additives).
 
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39
Location
Texas
Wrong - Non-detergent oils are what was used in WWII before additive technology was developed. They are now considered 'obsolete' and should only be considered for use in 'non-combustion' type applications such as a small hobby reciprocating air compressor. Non-detergent oils (SA / SB) should NOT be used in a combustion engine of any type (IMHO).
 

Leo

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911
Location
Australia
I read somewhere that the lack of (or very little) detergency can contribute to a lower coefficient of friction, which is fine for a drag/circut car which change their oils after every race! Not for a normal car tho. Would be nasty!
 

Jay

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1,607
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Idaho Falls, ID
I thought the low detergency meant lower ash deposits in the combustion chamber which could lead to detonation. Incidentally, an engine has to be designed to work with detergent oils or they can do more harm than good. Many aviation engines must use non-detergent oils. [ July 29, 2003, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: Jay ]
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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Iowegia - USA
Racing Oils have high levels of AW/EP adds and low levels of detergents. It is assumed that racing oils will be used for a race or just a few races. Synthetic Racing oils do not have VII's as well, because they are going to be warmed up before actual racing events occur. ND oils have low amounts of AE/EP/FM additives, but no DD additives. Below is a VOA of an ND oil of SAE 20 weight. Silicon 3 Phosphorus (P) 10 Zinc (Zn) 6 Calcium (Ca) 1 Magnesium (Mg) 0 Sodium 3 TAN 0.2 TBN 1 [email protected] 100C 6.5 All other elements zero. Note lack of detergent/dispersants, and only a bit of ZDDP. There is a trace of calcium to keep acids from forming, an antifoamant, and a smidgeon of rust preventer. Most compressors needs an ND oil for wear protection, but do not need detergents. Some oil companies put SL levlels of DD's in their racing oils, but as a norm, Racing Oils are for racing and not daily drivers. [ July 29, 2003, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 
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1,357
Location
California, USA
Straight mineral oil is only used for break in for aircraft engines. After that, "ashless dispersant" oils are used. There are also some anti-wear and anti-rust additives in modern aircraft oils. Because of the ashless requrement, they do not have ZDDP, calcium, etc.
 
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39
Location
Texas
No offense intended but your example of a Non detergent oil 'claiming ' to have a low anti-wear treatment - the less than 10 ppm of zinc / phos is not a treat rate but trash in the low quality oil's base stock. Non detergent SA motor oils commonly found in US automotive stores and discount grocery chains DO NOT have ANY anti-wear, detergent/ dispersants, etc. It pretty much is a base stock with a pinch of maybe a corrosion inhibitor. This type of oil should NOT be used in a combustion engine unless you are willing to accept performance levels from the 60's - anyone even remember the amount of carbon buildup on pistons and valves?
 
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39
Location
Texas
That is also a harsh generalization regarding Racing Oils are only for racing and do not contain detergent / dispersants. That would be something to contact the tech departments from each oil company that you are considering if you choose to use a "racing" oil on the street. There is NOT a general rule, this is a generalization as flawed as the following: don't mix mineral and synthetic oils, or don't break in a new engine on synthetic (35,000 new Corvettes must have engine problems per year), or that synthetic oils cause seal problems. The racing oil without detergents is just one of those "wive's tales" or "urban legends" that keeps getting passed on without anyone doing research on it. Heck, I was at Indy for time trials this year and saw many of the IRL engines being lubricated with off the shelf oils from consumer packaging. Unless the major oil company went to the trouble of packaging custom oils in consumer packaging, I have to assume it was a standard production run. I also saw what may have been custom oils imported by Toyota in generic 5 gallon containers. It may be true for certain brands of racing oils, but it definitely is not a hard and fast rule that ALL racings do not contain detergents / dispersants.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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Iowegia - USA
"No offense intended but your example of a Non detergent oil 'claiming ' to have a low anti-wear treatment - the less than 10 ppm of zinc / phos is not a treat rate but trash in the low quality oil's base stock. Non detergent SA motor oils commonly found in US automotive stores and discount grocery chains DO NOT have ANY anti-wear, detergent/ dispersants, etc. It pretty much is a base stock with a pinch of maybe a corrosion inhibitor." No offense taken, but your information is skewed. This is not trash or background readings. I have another analysis from a SAE 40 weight ND stock that has even higher levels of AW additives and RI and tbn mediators. Remember, non-detergent simply means that the oil has no DD additives, it doesn't imply it doesn't have AW additives and some RI. "It may be true for certain brands of racing oils, but it definitely is not a hard and fast rule that ALL racing [oil] do not contain detergents / dispersants. " Please note I included this sentence: "Some oil companies put SL levlels of DD's in their racing oils, but as a norm, Racing Oils are for racing and not [for] daily driv[ing]." This implies racing oils have low levels of detergents, but that there ARE exceptions and you're correct, contact the tech department and attempt to determine if the Racing Oil has detergents and at what service level, or send in a VOA of the oil. But if you look at the requirements of a Racing Oil, it doesn't really need DD additives. It is to be used on a per race basis and drained after the race. Anyone who uses the same oil for oval track racing and daily driving doesn't deserve to have the keys to the car.
 
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508
Location
milwaukee
My 1947 John Deere Model A two cylinder takes ND oil. I was told that if I run a detergent oil it will start to burn oil. Wives tale? I am planning on treating with two bottles of Auto-RX, (11 quart system,) and then running HD 30.
 
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211
Location
CMH
non-detergent oils are better for machine tools, as the detergents cause problems and the oil holds water. I don't know who is using sa/sb oil in a car but it is a bad idea. when I need oil for my oil can I go to the store and buy sa/sb.
 
Messages
211
Location
CMH
quote:
Originally posted by greencrew: My 1947 John Deere Model A two cylinder takes ND oil. I was told that if I run a detergent oil it will start to burn oil. Wives tale? I am planning on treating with two bottles of Auto-RX, (11 quart system,) and then running HD 30.
If it runs okay why do this?
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,583
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Iowegia - USA
quote:
My 1947 John Deere Model A two cylinder takes ND oil. I was told that if I run a detergent oil it will start to burn oil. Wives tale? I am planning on treating with two bottles of Auto-RX, (11 quart system,) and then running HD 30.
It may not only burn oil, but the seals may leak since they may not be able to cope with the detergents. I would not use Auto-RX since the seal materials may not be compatible with esters. I would stick with the ND oil for the John Deere if that's what JD specified, and change often, say every 25 hours.
 
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3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by davidc: Wrong - Non-detergent oils are what was used in WWII before additive technology was developed. They are now considered 'obsolete' and should only be considered for use in 'non-combustion' type applications such as a small hobby reciprocating air compressor. Non-detergent oils (SA / SB) should NOT be used in a combustion engine of any type (IMHO).
Agreed, though even the small compressors seem to be going away from using non-detergent oil. Campbell/Hausfeld now recommends Mobil-1 in its units...
 
Messages
47,629
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Molecule - I agree and I am staying consistent with my answer above -
quote:
I think some pure racing oils don't need to have "soapability" (my corny word) for long term oil life, hence less detergents and higher percentage of actual oil and AW agents(less other additives).
I think some folks are confusing purpose made high tech low detergent oils with oils made pre-detergent technology. davidc (from Royal Purple) may not have low/no detergents in their catalog advertised racing oils - but I know custom racing oils take this approach.
 
Messages
211
Location
CMH
quote:
Originally posted by davidc: Wrong - Non-detergent oils are what was used in WWII before additive technology was developed. They are now considered 'obsolete' and should only be considered for use in 'non-combustion' type applications such as a small hobby reciprocating air compressor. Non-detergent oils (SA / SB) should NOT be used in a combustion engine of any type (IMHO).
"obsolete" is the wrong word. sa/sb oils are simply for different applications. not only should they be "considered" for "non-combustion" applications, they are actually better for those applications.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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Iowegia - USA
FYI: SAE 40 weight ND oil All elements not reported were 0 ppm. Phosphorus (P) 986 Zinc (Zn) 273 Calcium (Ca) 29 Magnesium (Mg) 2 Physical Total Acid Number (Tan) 0.5 Total Base Number (Tbn) 1 Viscosity At 100 C 14.3
 
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3,216
Location
BC, Canada
Molakule, while we have you here, can you explane (pun intended) the dd and aw wear additives in piston aircraft engines. Some say they are non-detergent. I have read some amature oil articles in Harley bike magazines where people are trying out Shell's 15W50 aero lube in their bikes. Shell's 15W50 once thought to be the be and end all for piston aircraft is losing popularity, or should that be synthetics in general. Can aircraft oils that have an ash free dd/ri/aw package be used in automotive racing or motorcycle engines?
 
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