help me decide on a good oil for my engine.

lui

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Aug 17, 2008
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hey guys. my engine recently experienced a failure. not really due to oil or lubrication but mostly from the extreme heat caused by some poor parts selection in my setup. I'm in the middle of putting in new pistons and rings and i want to change my oil after i saw the condition of the internals. anyway. the engine is a turbocharged 2.0L Honda thats is fully built and produces allot of power (and heat). i was using mainly castrol syntec in either 5w40 or 5w50 during the spring/summer months and 5w30 during the winter months. i would change the oil religiously every 2 months regardless of mileage. weather it had 4000km or 1500km i would change it every couple months. anyway the recent engine failure was from to much cylinder heat which caused the pistons to over expand and touch the cylinder walls. once i fully took the engine apart i noticed the bottom side of the pistons had a good layer of cooked/varnished on oil. all on the bottom of the pistons and down the connecting rods. some of it was thick too. it was obvious the oil was cooked onto the surfaces from to much heat and not because of lack of oil changes. the rest of the head/crankcase was fine with only some very slight brown coloring to it. it looked clean/normal. after talking to my engine builder and tuner they suggested using a better oil to help protect the surfaces under high loads and heat. my choices are (in no particular order) Royal Purple 5w40 Amsoil 5w40 M1 5w40 (not a huge fan of M1 but its not that bad) Redline 5w40 I'm limiting to those brands/grades for because of availability and price. i can easily walk into the local Canadian tire and buy those brands without having to special order. I'm kinda leaning toward royal purple because of it's high film strength and good reviews it receives. also their XPR line of oils look very promising except for the cost.. around here RP oil's sell for about $10 per liter. standard castrol/M1 is about 7-8 per liter. i think redline oils are about $13 per liter. i want to try and use the best oil i can for under $10-12 per liter. any suggestion/comments? thanks
 
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While and oil switch might help, perhaps cyl wall clearances are too tight for what you're trying to do. Just guessing from this vantage point but having built hundreds of race engines this is the first mistake I've seen novices make.
 
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If it were me, I'd be debating oils that pass a turbo spec. How convenient Honda has one, HTO-06. So it would likely be M1 for me, though I heard PP also passes? If you're changing oil every two mothns, RP/AmsOil/Redline sound too pricey to me.
 

KW

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Out of the oils that you have to choose from I'd run with either the Redline or Royal Purple. How much boost are you running and what do you see for water temps after doing a hard run up on the engine?
 
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x2 on the turbo spec. You may find that M1 really shines where it is known to in that turbo engine. I'd lean towards M1 0w40 european stuff, and change it every 5K Kms
 
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lui

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Toronto, Ontario
i want to stick with a 5w40 weight oil to keep oil pressures up under extreme heat. oil temps get up to 220-240f when pushing hard. average normal oil temps are in the 190-210f range. coolant temps average 200-208f. sometimes it will climb up to 215f but thats in stop and go traffic during hot summer months....i don't push the engine when it gets to those temps. piston to wall clearance is not an issue. they are speced loose to begin with. it was a combination of allot of ignition timing retard, restrictive exhaust, high speed/load and high rpm that killed the one piston badly. lots of high EGT. if everyone must know it's a custom turbo setup with a Garrett t3/t04b. made [email protected] with 19psi on 94oct pump gas. as the engine is being rebuilt i will be switching up the exhaust to something more free flowing and adding a water+meth injection system and tuning the ignition timing more efficiently to keep cylinder temps down. I'm thinking RP or amsoil and instead of changing it every couple months i will run them to 5-6k intervals as long as they will give me the added protection I'm looking for...
 
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Your choice of oils is not the problem. Any of the oils you mentioned would perform admirably. You have other issues.
 
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Do you have oil squirters, or some other system to cool the pistons with oil? I'd imagine for anything more than a 1/4 mile pass your pistons must be roasting with that kind of output.
 
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Redline 10w30 would be my pick. Get the exhaust manifold ported and get a 3" turboback exhaust w/highflow cat on there, that should lower the EGT's nicely.
 
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Very easy choice. We have high power density and extreme heat. Redline is the natural choice for this. Especially after reading the articles where Redline doesn't lose it's HTHS after much abuse. That's one oil I would feel comfortable taking out to a normal OCI in a race engine.
 
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 Originally Posted By: hooligan24
Redline 10w30 would be my pick. Get the exhaust manifold ported and get a 3" turboback exhaust w/highflow cat on there, that should lower the EGT's nicely.
May check into turbo sizing too. Meth does a great job at knocking EGTs down too although high EGTs due to timing retard is different than high EGTs due to a lean mixture or high boost. If it's from ignition retard, it doesn't heat the pistons as much.
 

lui

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thanks for the input guys....your suggestions are appreciated. i have narrowed it down to RP, Redline or Amsoil.... strongly leaning toward RP for the price and easy of availability around here.
 
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FWIW, I agree with your preference for thicker oil. All that boost will place huge loads on the bearings. In this case, "Mo thicka, mo bettah!" applies! I'd lean toward Redline, since their oils have excellent HTHS numbers for any given grade (5W-40 measures 4.6). $ 0.02
 
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I would use the Mobil 1 hands down. Mobil 1 is used in race engines and is the recommended oil for many high performance cars like Corvettes. So, it can definetely hold up in a high performance engine. I'm sure the other oils you mentioned could too. I just prefer Mobil 1 for the reasons I mentioned.
 
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 Originally Posted By: lui
thanks for the input guys....your suggestions are appreciated. i have narrowed it down to RP, Redline or Amsoil.... strongly leaning toward RP for the price and easy of availability around here.
Your engine isn't the usual Honda plant, so you're correct to throw the Honda turbo recommendations out the window. With a modded turbo, you do walk a bit of an oil tightrope. You want heavy film thickness, but you don't want so much vis that spool up suffers. I'd lean towards RL here, as it will give you superior film strength and put up with the turbo better at a thinner vis. Although I would consider less spread, such as a 10w-40 I do agree with the one poster above; you may have your pistons spec'ed a little too tight. That, or you will need to cool them a little better than you have. At those pressures, you're running them mighty hot. Is this an open/deckless block?
 
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