Four-Ball wear test: Amsoil versus Red Line

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why doesn't Amsoil list Red Line's performance number for the 4-Ball Wear Test? Amsoil must have tested Red Line's oil, too, in addition to the 6 other brands shown.
 
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Maybe RL is superior and they didn't want to show it? The 4-ball wear test is outdated from what I read here on BITOG and should be taken with a grain of salt. I would use a UOA with TBN/TAN numbers and real world performance to decide on an oil. ;\)
 
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AFAIK: The four-ball wear test is not necessarily outdated per se; it just doesn't really mean much for a motor oil. It's a test of point loading, which doesn't really happen in most engines. However, it happens all the time in transmissions and differentials, which is why the test exists -- to test gear lubes. Hope that helps.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Pablo
 Originally Posted By: Built_Well
Amsoil must have tested Red Line's oil, too, in addition to the 6 other brands shown.
Are you sure?
Of course he's not sure, but that's not the point. The point is why wouldn't they test Redline and show the results? I suppose it's becasue RL isn't really a "mainstream" oil, but it would still be interesting to see, even if the results didn't define anything relevant to what happens in an engine.
 
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I saw an Amsoil article that said redline wrote a letter to Amsoil dealers saying their product did better in the 4 ball wear test. The article said that Amsoil then wrote a letter saying that redline tested used oil and that they stood by the 1995 test results. I think this is marketing hooey on both sides and it is a bit like comparing a ferrari to a lamborghini, they both kick bu.t.t and it comes down to personal taste IMO.
 
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Found it. The last time I linked to an amsoil site the moderators told me not to do that so here is the copied article: "When AMSOIL created the Series 2000 20W-50 Racing Oil, it seems the competition got upset with the testing results showing it's better protection. For years Red Line advertised that they provided the best protection, but the results of the Four Ball Wear Test showed the AMSOIL Series 2000 20W-50 providing over twice the protection. Red Line decided that they would perform their own test by running both oils and then seeing what results they would come up with. Their results some how showed their oil to be better. In an attempt to discourage the promotion of AMSOIL they mailed this information to all AMSOIL Dealers as well as their own reps. The findings of the Four Ball Wear Test were that of 100 tests and coming up with an average. Unlike the Red Line test, it could be proved over and over, under proper testing conditions. Rather than going along with the hype that this action provoked, AMSOIL simply issued the following letter: Recently Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation mailed an article to AMSOIL Dealers outlining results of testing done on AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 20W-50 Racing Oil and Red Line products. AMSOIL finds the article flawed in both its marketing approach and scientific methodology. Initial Red Line testing of an unused sample of AMSOIL Series 2000 20W-50 Racing Oil in the ASTM D4172 Four Ball Wear Test yielded results consistent with those appearing on the Series 2000 label. That is, AMSOIL Series 2000 20W-50 provided nearly three times better wear protection than Red Line 20W-50. The article, however, goes on to report results of used oil testing using the ASTM D4172 Test. ASTM tests, as any informed entity in the lubricants industry knows, are designed for use with new (unused) lubricants, not used oil. There are two problems with testing used oil. First, the conditions of testing are uncontrollable. While Red Line states the service conditions under which the samples operated were the same, variables including fuel and glycol dilution, contaminant levels, filtration, driving conditions sampling techniques and many more are virtually impossible to control. The second problem is repeatability. AMSOIL attempted to replicate Red Line's findings by testing samples of used oil. The results were inconsistent with Red Line's and failed to meet the repeatability requirements of the ASTM D4172 test method. This failure is the result of testing an oil along with its contaminants. Red Line's claim that their oil is designed to become more effective as it reacts with blowby gases is absurd. Clearly, if blowby gases improved the anti-wear characteristics of lubricants, then lubricant manufacturers would expose their products to such gases during the manufacturing process. The fact is, lubricant performance should not depend on the uncontrollable reactions of blowby gases with the oil. Is AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 20W-50 Racing Oil better than Red Line ? Yes . When all the appropriate, scientifically valid, repeatable tests are applied Series 2000 is clearly the better oil. Of course, AMSOIL Dealers are much too educated on the technical aspect of lubrication and on the principles of ethical salesmanship to be swayed by unscientific and unprofessional marketing tactics. And as the documented histories of vehicles achieving oil drain intervals greater than 100,000 miles under the Trigard Program continue to mount, dealers are assured that AMSOIL motor oils remain the standard by which other oils are measured."
 
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 Originally Posted By: saaber1
Is this the test where shampoo does so well?
Yes. So does bleach. Some oil companies us the 4 ball test to deceive customers in regard to engine oil. I'll stick with what Mobil says about this test. Amsoil is a very good product, but they should stay away from the 4 ball test.
 
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AMSOIL (who I'm a fan of and dropped alot of money on) does some, um, questionable marketing things. As the leaders and experts in lubricants, they probably shouldn't be using a 4-ball wear test as an indication of quality in a lubricant designed for use in an engine. That along with the "looks like the starburst symbol" are what they are: marketing tools come up with by a department not focused on engineering expertise or appropriate representation. They are designed by a department tasked with selling the product. I wouldn't sweat it either way. Almost every company operates this way with their marketing departments. Just my .02
 
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 Originally Posted By: tig1
 Originally Posted By: saaber1
Is this the test where shampoo does so well?
Yes. So does bleach.....they should stay away from the 4 ball test
No it doesn't. This is internet garbage. Since you have written this as fact (twice) please prove it for all of us to read. The burden of proof is on YOU. If other oil companies can use their own tests, certainly Amsoil can use an ASTM test as one of their many marketing tests.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JoeFromPA
I wouldn't sweat it either way. Almost every company operates this way with their marketing departments.
That's the key! And ur right IMO pretty much every successful company puts lots of effort into marketing and sometimes it's frustrating. I was in a discount store the other day that sells overstock stuff. Their message over the PA went on and on about how they so diligently "scour the shelves" of other retailers for highest wuality merchandise blah blah blah. The bottom line is that message is much more effective than "we try to sell you the leftovers form other retailers that didn't sell", which would be much more accurate. As consumers, we have to be skeptical of the messages but also realistic that those messages are part of the business and like you said, "don't sweat it".
 
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Is there a test where shampoo does well? I seem to remember it mentioned here in regards to EP additives. Was it TImken (sp?) test?
 
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 Originally Posted By: Pablo
If other oil companies can use their own tests, certainly Amsoil can use an ASTM test as one of their many marketing tests.
Absolutely. I personally feel it detracts a bit from being an unimpeachable source of tribology expertise, but it's the company's choice to make when they publish such irrevelant (not false!) marketing to help sales.
 
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 Originally Posted By: saaber1
Is there a test where shampoo does well? I seem to remember it mentioned here in regards to EP additives. Was it TImken (sp?) test?
I haven't seen it personally, but I have heard that Head & Shoulders shampoo gives impressive results in the Timken OK Load test. Seems possible given the zinc content of the shampoo but I would have to see it to believe it.
 
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