Drag Racing - wear on engine?

Messages
2,235
Location
SE MI
I will be switching to M1 5W-30 in my 2000 Ford Crown Vic (Ford 4.6 SOHC V8), and I currently have Redline 75W-90 gear oil (Detroit TrueTrac, 3.55s) I plan to do about 13-14 runs on a night (guessing 16 @ 85 mph). Mustang owners are telling me that my engine will blow up - that's why they only do a few runs and leave. Any comments?
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,001
Location
Guelph, Ontario
If that's the case, then I would've ended up with quite a few blown up cars! My 5.0 Mustang had easily 700 to 800 quarter mile runs on it (I owned it for 7 years) and half of those runs were with a Paxton supercharger on it. The engine burned a bit of oil (one quart per 3k) towards the end, but other than that, it performed flawlessly. My 98 Formula had over 250 quarter mile runs on it by the time I sold it, and did not burn any significant amount of oil between changes (less than 1/8th quart in 3k) There was even one trip I made to the dragstrip where I made 30 runs in a row, with no cooldown (just a 5min bathroom break), for two solid hours. I burned off a half tank of gas during that fun! [Smile] Both of the above cars ran Mobil 1 (10w30 in the Mustang, 5w30 in the Formula) Each of my summer time UOAs posted here (with Maxlife last year and Schaeffer Oil this year) are with between 10-15 quarter mile runs on the engine, plus TONS of full throttle blasts on the street, and there is nothing to indicate that I'm significantly hurting this engine, other than slightly higher lead numbers. But it's not even close to the alarming point by any means. I do think you could choose a better oil than M1 that would protect better for all those hard runs though, something with a higher HTHS. So in a nutshell, burn rubber and have fun! [Burnout] [ July 31, 2003, 10:41 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 

metroplex

Thread starter
Messages
2,235
Location
SE MI
So you think my 16 second car needs something more protective than M1 5W-30? I was thinking about using 10W-30 but Ford recommends 5W-30 and several Ford engineers I talked to also recommended 5W-30.
 
Messages
2,095
Location
IL
Drag racing a street vehicle is a cake walk. The worst stress would be on the drivetrain if you have a manual tranny since it's so sticky. I was dropping the clutch on my car at 5k with no wheelspin. If they think a car is gonna blow up after 15runs they might consider a better quality vehicle. [LOL!] Usually I do 15 "runs" just on my way home from work! Give me a break!!! Road racing is the only time your going to put any major stress on the oil and engine.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,001
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
So you think my 16 second car needs something more protective than M1 5W-30?
Even if it's not super quick, you're still going to be putting stress on the bearings with all that full throttle action, so you would probably see lower lead numbers in your UOAs if you used a slightly thicker 30wt oil. Try it with M1 first and do a UOA and see, you might just be ok, but my hunch is that a slightly thicker oil would work well here.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,001
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Road racing is the only time your going to put any major stress on the oil and engine.
Very true! Most drag racers end up cooling down the engine between runs, even if it's only for 10-15min, it still helps keep oil temps down, while road racing means your oil temps stay very hot for hours at a time. The only exception would be in cases like I mentioned where I was making back to back quarter mile runs for 2 hours straight, but you don't often get to do that. I went on a day when there was almost nobody at the track, and I just had minor mods on my 98 Formula was shooting for 12.9s with my car so I just kept going back up over and over again (managed a best of 13.08 at 108.7 that day, with most of the 30 runs in the 13.1 to 13.2 range) It would've been interesting to see what kind of oil temps I was running, and I really wish I did UOAs back then!
 
Messages
795
Location
98245
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: I will be switching to M1 5W-30 in my 2000 Ford Crown Vic (Ford 4.6 SOHC V8), and I currently have Redline 75W-90 gear oil (Detroit TrueTrac, 3.55s) I plan to do about 13-14 runs on a night (guessing 16 @ 85 mph). Mustang owners are telling me that my engine will blow up - that's why they only do a few runs and leave. Any comments?
My modified Panoz Roadster is an 11 sec car with periodic autox use and I use Mobil 1 5w30. It has a '98 Cobra drivetrain (4.6L DOHC). So far no problems. Compression is excellent and it does not burn or leak oil. However, I don't have any UOA yet... my first UOA is coming up soon.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: Mustang owners are telling me that my engine will blow up - that's why they only do a few runs and leave. Any comments?
That's a bunch of BS. You obviously take care of your vehicle like it's a child [LOL!] Yea, if your making 20 runs a day win 100 + degree heat with over 5,000 miles on dino oil with a clogged up cooling system, maybe. Listen to Patman. I've been drag racing for a while with several different cars, and most of my friends also, and I've rarely seen problems, especially engine problems, from mostly stock vehicles. I mean, come-on, you romp on it just the same to get up to 75 to merge onto the freeway [Cheers!]
 
Messages
2,556
Location
Columbus Ohio
I have been dragracing for many years and I agree that the original statement is bull. Most people run into problems on the track with wornout, poorly maintained vehicles, or improper tuning causeing the engine to detonate (for whatever reason.....too much timing, nitrous, not enough fuel,etc).
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
In my opinion,if you are in to drag racing etc. that is the chance you take.A true hot rodder at heartwould look at a blown up engine or drive train as an opportunity to upgrade , if you understand what I mean. Your oil will not be a problem. The trans. will be the first to go in my experience if there will be a problem [Wink] [ July 31, 2003, 06:22 PM: Message edited by: Steve S ]
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
quote:
Originally posted by Jason Troxell: Drag racing a street vehicle is a cake walk. The worst stress would be on the drivetrain if you have a manual tranny since it's so sticky. I was dropping the clutch on my car at 5k with no wheelspin. If they think a car is gonna blow up after 15runs they might consider a better quality vehicle. [LOL!] Usually I do 15 "runs" just on my way home from work! Give me a break!!! Road racing is the only time your going to put any major stress on the oil and engine.
Jason summed it up very good: "Cake walk".....your Vic is relatively low horsepower and automatic. There isn't a lot of shock on the bearings and the RPMs are low....just about the most stressed out thing will be the tranny, especially when it shifts, that's it. I also believe 5W-30 will be fine for the reasons I just mentioned. If you are going to lose sleep at night, then go to 10W-30 M1 or maybe Amsoil, which is a thicker 30 weight. I have been drag racing for almost 10 years now.....the engines that blow up are mostly the very high HP Turbo/Supercharged and even more likely the nitrous motors.....but I can't think of such a case. What I usually see is broken suspensions, trannies and axles.....especially on Mustangs. Rick
 
Messages
450
Location
The Bay Area
If your really worried about protection, I'd go with Red Line products. Their motor oil has a hefty dose of Moly in it. Their ATF is top notch, too. I'm currently using their D4 ATF in my manual 5 speed Mustang GT 03. Water Wetter in the coolant will chill things down a bit. With a 50/50 mixture, your looking at about 10-18 *F cooler. If you use a 40 gly/60 H2O mixture, you can see temps. dropping off by as much as 30*F. I haven't tried their trans axle/ gear oil, because my car only have 1040 miles on the odometer. Truthfully, if your drag racing why not go for the best? G. Luck and have fun. My F150 01 4.6L was abused on the street, and it did fine except for two HG leaks in a row not from drag racing, but from unevenly finished heads.
 
Messages
238
Location
Monterey Park, CA
If you go racing a lot be prepared for something to eventually break. Your car is very heavy and a lot of stress will be placed on your drivetrain. I wouldn't be surprised if you trans goes first. Your rearend can break without warning also. But your engine will unlike die if it's just stock. And yes your brake rotors may warp from high speed stops. Leo
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: I will be switching to M1 5W-30 in my 2000 Ford Crown Vic (Ford 4.6 SOHC V8), and I currently have Redline 75W-90 gear oil (Detroit TrueTrac, 3.55s) I plan to do about 13-14 runs on a night (guessing 16 @ 85 mph). Mustang owners are telling me that my engine will blow up - that's why they only do a few runs and leave. Any comments?
A lot of the Mustang guys are squirrels IMO. I autocrossed my 5.0L almost every weekend in the summer for the first 3 years of its life. It spent a lot more time at WOT than you ever will drag racing. I've used some rear end parts but the motor has never been touched. It's got 80K miles on it now and the only thing it's ever had in it for oil was M1 5W-30. I have a friend who maintains Illinois State Police cars. You should hear what they do to those Crown Vics and yet they don't blow up... [ August 01, 2003, 12:12 AM: Message edited by: jsharp ]
 
Messages
34,200
Location
South Jersey
You'll be fine with M1 5w-30, but 10w-30 is their most shear stable oil. It's not always about being thicker. Certain thin oils have there benefits too with greater flow. This sometimes can translate into lower wear numbers as Bob has shown us. Mobil 1 is tested under very rigorous conditions and I highly doubt it would fail you. I'd maybe mix in a qt. of 15w-50 to thicken it up a bit. Keep in mind, the Corvette was tested by driving at top speed around the track until the gas tank was empty many times. It uses Mobil 1 5w-30. I'm sure GM and Mobil sampled the oil to see how it held up. Mobil works closely with these automakers and I don't here them complaining. They could have chose a 40wt or even told Mobil to make a heavier 30wt. but I doubt they did. [ August 01, 2003, 12:19 AM: Message edited by: buster ]
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,001
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
They could have chose a 40wt or even told Mobil to make a heavier 30wt. but I doubt they did.
Of course not, because the CAFE took top priority. GM specs out 5w30 and 10w30 for all it's vehicles, but it doesn't mean it's their best choice for engine longevity. Some of their engines, like the LS1, would do better with something slightly thicker. Especially a hard driven C5, I just read a topic on one of the Vette boards where some guys are seeing oil temps in the 260 to 300F range when driving hard for hours on end. Do you honestly think a thin 30wt oil is going to protect a hard driven LS1 engine when the oil temperature is that hot? It'll be super thin!
 

metroplex

Thread starter
Messages
2,235
Location
SE MI
So you're recommending I go to M1 10W-30? As for the parts breaking - the Vic is about 4200 lb fully loaded. The rear end is a Ford 8.8" with 28 spline axles, same as the Mustang GT. The trans is a 4R70W, same as the ones used in E-150s and E-250s w/ the 4.6 and 5.4 (5.4 making 260 hp and 350 ft-lb of torque) in a 5500 lb chassis.
 
Messages
133
Location
Pitcairn PA, USA
I wouldn't be worried about anything breaking myself. Even the brakes don't get a workout as most tracks have at least 1000' of "runoff" area where one can coast down from top speed. No worse than slowing for a toll booth on the highway for this car.
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: So you're recommending I go to M1 10W-30? As for the parts breaking - the Vic is about 4200 lb fully loaded. The rear end is a Ford 8.8" with 28 spline axles, same as the Mustang GT. The trans is a 4R70W, same as the ones used in E-150s and E-250s w/ the 4.6 and 5.4 (5.4 making 260 hp and 350 ft-lb of torque) in a 5500 lb chassis.
I'd worry more about driveline parts than I would about the engine, but with your auto trans that may not even be a problem. You could always add a few ounces of Schaeffers #132 to the M1 if you're worried about it not having enough film strength...
 
Messages
133
Location
Pitcairn PA, USA
quote:
Originally posted by cryptokid: i shift at 6000 and by the time im letting out the clutch in the next gear im bouncing off 7800 (the revlimiter)
Err, you shift at 6000 when your limiter is at 7800?
 
Top