Ester Oils & Seal Controversy

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Jul 27, 2004
After reading the recent debate about Redline oil and their use of POE base stocks, I have a couple of questions maybe some people could comment on. I have used Redline oil and currently do so at the moment, although not for long periods of time (over 100,000 miles). Presently I am using it in rear ends, transmissions, and the motor of my 2002 SVT Focus. After breaking the motor in, I switched to Amsoil S2000 0W30 for several oil changes. I also used this type of Amsoil in a 2000 Ford Lightning truck. I developed a rear main seal leak in the Focus while using the Amsoil. After Advance Auto started to carry Redline, I switched to 10W30 RL. I still have a rear main seal leak, although it is not very bad and I just live with it. The car now has close to 50,000 miles. I do not believe the Amsoil had anything to do with developing the leak, as I drove 65,000 HARD miles on the lightning using the 0W30 without any oil consumption or leaks. I have also used the 0W30 on other cars without any leaks or problems. I assume the seal on the Focus was destined to leak, it was only a matter of time.

Do any of you think Amsoil is hard on seals or think the Redline will accelerate the rate at which the leak becomes worse? I have read some of the debate about seal compatibility using oil with ester base stocks, however hasn't seal technology and resistance to chemicals improved over recent years to where this should not be a concern? I know these oils are used primarily for performance and racing applications but how about all of the people that use Motul for example, especially in Europe. They make ester based oils apart from their 300V race series that uses a 100% ester base that is targeted for highway vehicles. Would some of you feel the same about Motul as you do Redline? All of there 300V racing oils are ester based. They are used in all forms of racing including LeMans (Ferrari 550 team), World Rally, and so on. VP Fuels even has their line of racing oils primarily for circle, drag, and road racing, some of which are identified as having a 100% ester base. How about Silkolene? IF an ester based oil does provide greater film strength than a PAO, then it would definitely provide a benefit in a series such as Winston Cup, where there are tremendous loads in the valvetrain (high spring pressures and solid flat tappet cams in Cup Cars). Wear of the lifter face, cam lobes, pushrod cups, etc, would be of concern for any endurance engine. That is why I am curious as to whether that type of series is using an ester based oil. I have already asked the question as to how much ester is used in Mobil 1 R that is used in Winston Cup? Does anyone know?

I’m not trying to start a heated debate, just tying to become informed. I appreciate comments whether pro or con. Thanks.

Ester Oils & Seal Controversy
Good question. I just got done with ARX and am debating if I should go back to the Green Nector, or stay with some 15w-40 dino in summer/5w-40 Gruppe III in winter. I have no signifigant leaks and no consumption, but these engines are prone to seal issues. ARX Frank says G-IV&V oils are not seal-friendly. I probally will go back to GC, I figure I could do ARX again if there were eventually leaks.
ACEA does specify an oil/elastomer compatibilty test for A1, A2, A3 etc., CEC L-39-T-96

If an oil company like Amsoil,Redline, Fuchs and Motul claims to meet ACEA standards then they should have run the test and passed.
I don't believe any oil is 100% ester based. (Could be wrong) RL/Amsoil/M1/Synergen etc. are all PAO + POE. RL is somewhere around 65% PAO and 35% ester or the other way around ( I forget sorry).

Amsoil Series 2000 20w-50 and 0w-30 are mainly PAO but have some uniqueness blended into the base oil much like M1 and GC. Problem is none of us know for sure how much and what exactly is in it but can only guess. Tests would cost $400 for something like this from what I'm told.

Their are also over 300 different types of ester so comparing Motul to D1 to RL isn't an apples to apples comparison. RL for some reason shows odd numbers which many have a theory for. I don't think RL has any negative effects on seals bc their additive package addreses that issue. Their are various ways to make great oils and the majority have chosen a PAO with some ester and advanced addtive packages. If the UOAs we see on here reflect anything, it's that RL is not worth the cost and really is a better oil for racing then anything.

[ August 04, 2004, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
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