Check Out Camshaft Lobe Pitting under "Tips and Tricks"

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Someone had doubted what I was saying about M1 and Varrnish issue. If you look at the camshaft lobe on either side of the follower you will see the infamous M1 varnish (looks brown like nicotine staines). The owner has been running M1 since 50,000 miles and the car now has 174,000 miles on it. So you have a car with 124,000 miles of M1 use. He also states that 5000 mile intervals were used. He has recently switched to Redline so alot of the heavier varnish has probably been removed by the ester's in Redline. I am in no way blameing the pitting on M1 but the varnish is hard to miss! I have seen this varniss about as thick as 3-6 mil plastic sheeting.
 
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After 100,000 miles you are going to see some varnish formation with ANY oil. A little bit is not really a problem. Sometimes the barrier lubrication chemistry of an oil will discolor metal surfaces. If you don't believe this, look at the valve train of any engine running Amsoil 3000 after only a few thousand miles. All the metal surfaces will be light tan or gold in color. It's supposed to do that. I doubt whether even a full ester base stock can remove a metalophosphate (or whatever) film.
 

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Well the point was that some people seem to think that synthetic oil as good as it is will not leave deposits and will not sludge. My point was they do. Especial M1 and any synthetic greatly biased towards PAO's. They all will but some more then others. In my other post I state quite clearly that I did not see it as a problem but that deposits were very real even with synthetics. It has been my experince that non-synthetic oils have a problem with carbon and VII failure and synthetics have a problem with varnish. I cited this photo as proof that even M1 leaves deposits. Some would have people belive that putting synthetics in an engine is somehow going to clean the engine of deposits. I would say that 124,000 miles of M1 and a couple of oil changes with Redline were plenty of time for the cleaning to take place! You can clearly see that it is not simple phosphates sticking to the metal. The build up has depth that can be observed clearly. So we can all see from this photo that synthetics produce deposits and that they can not completely keep an engine clean. P.S. The engine does look good other then the pitting in the limited shot we have to look at especialy with just under 200,000 miles.
 

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I think the question you're asking is, or implying is, how does varnish relate to pitting? Varnish is simply a "baked-on" vapor; not hard as sand but definately crusty. Pitting can be caused by a number of factors: 1. by sand or hard materials in-between surfaces. 2. Acids. 3. Mechanical Impulse forces on certain high spots. My vote is acids unless sand or some other hard material is seen. Nitric acids, according to my sources, is the number one cause of pitting and corrosion. [ May 12, 2003, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 
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I pulled a cam out of an LT1 SBC at 93k miles that had M1 10w30 it's entire life. My cam looked nothing like that one. There was some dis-coloration, but it was definately not "crusty". I don't know about syn oil cleaning deposits, but in my experience it definately kept my motors internals clean.
 
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I have seen Mobil 1 clean a badly sludged engine so maybe it comes down to how long the 5K mile interval was and what kind of driving in what weather. If you don't get it warmed up then no oil will last long.
 
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FYI, John had the intervals flip-flopped...124k on dino (prev owner) and ~45-50k on M1... more info in thread in question.
 

JohnBrowning

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No, I was not asking a question I was makeing a statement. If that post was not directed at me then just ignore this post.I was trying to drive how to everyone that you can not depend on synthetics to elimanate all deposits or to remove deposits from an engine. The varnish has nothing to do with the pitting.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: Someone had doubted what I was saying about M1 and Varrnish issue. If you look at the camshaft lobe on either side of the follower you will see the infamous M1 varnish (looks brown like nicotine staines). The owner has been running M1 since 50,000 miles and the car now has 174,000 miles on it. So you have a car with 124,000 miles of M1 use. He also states that 5000 mile intervals were used. He has recently switched to Redline so alot of the heavier varnish has probably been removed by the ester's in Redline. I am in no way blameing the pitting on M1 but the varnish is hard to miss! I have seen this varniss about as thick as 3-6 mil plastic sheeting.
I continue to be amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to slame Mobil 1. The owner of this vehicle makes it quite clear that for the first 124,000 miles, this engine had CONVENTIONAL oil in it, and drain interverals were sometimes overly extended. He's used Mobil 1 for the last 50,000 miles. So wouldn't common sense tell anyone that any deposits in the engine are the product of the use (and misuse) of the conventional oil for 124,000 miles rather than the Mobil 1 for the last 50,000? I mean...c'mon. [Roll Eyes]
 

JohnBrowning

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G-Man II obviously you have not read many of my posts. I use mobil-1 so I am not slameing it. I am though trying to be a voice of reason with reguards to some of the silly stuff people attribute to synthetics. So I miss read the post about the millage. I would still point out that 50,000 miles of M1 has not cleaned all of the deposits out of the engine. I would also have to say that Redline did not do it either! So now I guess you think I am slamming Redline. It does not matter if the oil you use is synthetic or Dino if you do not stay ahead of oxidation then it is all over. Their is no miracle synthetic that will remove the need to stay ahead on maintence. When you have rebuilt 1000's of engines run on synthetics at speeds in excess of 150 mph on a routine basis come talk to me! I am not a chemist or tribologist but I know engines and transaxles. Seeing how I usualy rebuilt about 1-2 engines and a transmission a day for roughly 12 years with only a small number of day's per year off I feel preety confident that I now more then most about engines and the typical abuse one see's at the dealership level! I now do forensic examination of failed engines for a large company. Looking to improve durability under within warranty period. What possable motive would I have to slam a product that I use? It amazes me how some people can ignore the facts because they want to belive that what they use is the best inspite of clear indications that better products are available like Amsoil, Redline and Neo to name a few. If telling the truth is slamming then I guess I am guilty! Sorry I just use Mobil-1 in my cars and trucks due to price point. I was not aware that one had to be a Mobil-1 cult member to have an opion based in 12 years of experince as a professional Tech! [HAIL 2 U!]
 
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JohnB, Look closely at what you wrote below. It's quite clear that you are BLAMING the varnish on Mobil 1, which is patently ridiculous in my opinion. My guess is that this engine looked a lot worse on the inside when he started using Mobil 1, and Mobil 1 has in fact cleaned some of that mess up. But I agree with you, Mobil 1 won't completely clean an engine that has years of deposits born of neglect.
quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: Someone had doubted what I was saying about M1 and Varrnish issue. If you look at the camshaft lobe on either side of the follower you will see the infamous M1 varnish (looks brown like nicotine staines). ... I am in no way blameing the pitting on M1 but the varnish is hard to miss! I have seen this varniss about as thick as 3-6 mil plastic sheeting.
 
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quote:
I continue to be amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to slame Mobil 1
quote:
ignore the facts because they want to belive that what they use is the best inspite of clear indications that better products are available like Amsoil, Redline and Neo to name a few.
John, prove Redline and Amsoil are better? You can't. Just because the specs look better doesn't mean they are. Amsoil assembles there oils and buys there supplies as you know from various companies. I'd be willing to bet there are many inconsistancies with there product. Take 0w-30 S2000 for example. This oil can't EVER reach 35k and if it did I'd feel sorry for the owner of the engine. Amsoil's base line 5w10w-30 hasn't shown to be better then M1. Lets get something straight, we have yet to see any real proof that Redline or Amsoil are better then Mobil 1. For the price, you would think the extra $2 chemistry would make them better but in reality they don't always. There is no holy grail in lubrication. Certain oils we see perform better in certain engines. Redline has been disapointing and Amsoil is just not cracked up to be what they say it is. I think Schaeffer's and M1 can hold there own against Amsoil/Redline in 99% of the cases. [ May 13, 2003, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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Guys brand means poopoo to me. Buster is correct some oils perform better in some engines. I have seen M1 and most other high end synthetic oils coke under stress. Depends on application and need. NO motor oil is robust enough to clean and lubricate properly without sacrificing one for the other. The key is finding what works for you verified by analysis. Otherwise you are like 95% of the driving public, slowly killing the engine without a clue, cause they'll trade or turn in at the end of the lease. [I dont know]
 

JohnBrowning

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Well it would be hard to attribute the varnish to any other oil if Mobil-1 has been the only oil in the engine or makes up 95% of the vechiles oil over it's life. This has been the casue in several instances. The reason I can not say that about Amsoil or Redline is because I do not have alot of experince with Amsoil. Most of my Redline experince is in Raceing so oil was not in long enough to really produce varnish unless a catastraphoic failure occured and the car was allowed to run in spite of this(for points standing). My personel use of Redline was only about 2-3 years in daily drivers and hardly enough to produce the varnish I am talking about. THe varnish/lacquer I am talking about in cars run on mobile one take 100,000++++ miles to be visable unless you really extend the drains. I also doubt seriously that Redline would produce the same type of varnish in a daily driver the base stock is not a volitile and has enough esters to keep this in check. You will also see that in each instance I noted that this varnish in no way apeared to dimish the performance of the vechile or affect key wear area's. I actuly plasti-guaged bearing that where not being worked on just for test sample data. If you do not like hearing that my experince has pointed out some weak points in M1's chemistry oh well.Identifying a weakness in a product is not slamming it. Slamming a product is when you go off half cocked with out any grounds for what you are saying. Their is a reason that Terry recomends Nuetra 131 and LC to people running M1. He also knows the weak areas in M1 chemistry. You can only do so much with an oil for $3.88-$4.97 a quart. All oils will produce varnish is left in the engine to long or allowed to cook at sustained high temps for long periods of time. M1 is well know to cause this. Unlike some I am self actulized and do not feel the need to pat my own back and convince myself that because I use something it must be the best!! I use M1 because it is good enough and the price is right. I sleep just fine at night knowing that the oil in my engine is not the best money can buy. Most engines last me 200,000-300,000 with Dino oil and I have never had sludge in any engine that I have owned from new or close to new. Engines with sludge were usualy used high millage betters. A dirty engine is just like dirty teeth the owner is the one to blame. G-Man II You will never hear me tell anyone that M1 is the best oil because it is not the truth. I am not going by white papper. White pappers are just a starting point. I am a doubting thomas I have to prove everything my self by doing it. P.S. If it helps you sleep at night I like M1 better then Motul but that was the European M1!!
 

JohnBrowning

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G-man II one more thing. I was not trying to imply that the varnish in that particular engine was caused by M1. What I was really trying to demonstrate was what it looks like and that is right on the money. Seeing how I do not have any photo's to show. I also wanted to show what M1 was unable to clean up out of the engine. I did mix up the numbers though. Still if you listend to some on this site then M1 should have cleaned that engine of all varnish and sludge in well under the 50,000 miles it had been run on it. I also did mention that Redline had not done it either. I noticed you did not seem to interput that as slameing redline???? I quess that is ok since you obviously do not use redline. So while M1 may or may not have caused the varnish it definately did not remove it either. We also do not know when the pits actuly developed but I belive he said that they were not their 30,000 miles prior when he last adjusted the valves and that is well within the 50,000 miles of M1 and Redline use. So what could that tell us. That could mean that his TBN did not hold up and that acids(nitric and sulferic) were allowed to form and pit him cam.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: Well it would be hard to attribute the varnish to any other oil if Mobil-1 has been the only oil in the engine or makes up 95% of the vechiles oil over it's life.
That's the point, John. You blamed the varnish in this engine on Mobil 1, when the engine had used conventional oil, sometimes with overextended drain intervals, for 124,000 miles before Mobil 1 was ever put in it.
 
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In fairness to Mobil 1, I don't think the detergents or esters in almost any synthetic oil are going to remove this type of baked on varnish once it is formed. As Drstressor pointed out, some of this may be due to the particular additive chemistry and is a tinting rather than a thick coating. You will normally find this in areas of the engine where the oil vapors condense, but where little liquid oil is splashing around. I would agree in Johns comment that you are somewhat constrained when trying to sell a licensed formulation for $4.00-$5.00/quart. I'm not sure that Redline is any more durable than Mobil 1, but it does have higher detergency due to their basestock blend. The oil analysis results I've seen with Mobil 1 have been very consistent. As long as you don't go crazy with very long drain intervals maintains it's viscosity and TBN pretty well.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: ... So while M1 may or may not have caused the varnish it definately did not remove it either. We also do not know when the pits actuly developed but I belive he said that they were not their 30,000 miles prior when he last adjusted the valves and that is well within the 50,000 miles of M1 and Redline use. So what could that tell us. That could mean that his TBN did not hold up and that acids(nitric and sulferic) were allowed to form and pit him cam.
Just clearing some things up. I do know that M1 did not cause the varnish or add to it (at least what I could see under the valve cover). Secondly, the last time I adjusted the valves was 15k ago, and the pitting was there too. 15k before that, I honestly can't remember for sure but I think it was. So no, this did not occur when I owned the car. And when you see how extended the intervals on dino were, it's no wonder. And my TBN did hold up, it was 6.5 @5k miles(with M1), that is the longest drain I ever did and was under the worst conditions it has been in(winter w/ short trips).
 
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