Help me with 'SH' vs.' SJ'

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67
Location
Kissimee, Fla.
OK, I need the help of the experts here, and correct me if I make a mistake.(I often do) From reading the various posts on this forum, I understand that when the motor-oil rating was changed from SH to SJ( in 1996, I think), a significant amount of friction-reducing additives were taken out to keep from contaminating catalytic converters. I think I understood it to be the 'Moly' that was removed, but I'm not absolutely sure. Furthermore, I think I understand it that Valvoline in particular with thier 'Max-Life' oil, and other major brands with thier high-mileage oil formulations basically just put the friction-reducers back in their oil and marketed it for 'high-mileage'(75,000+ miles) cars that would coincidentally put it right in the middle of the mileage range of cars that were originally spec'd to use SH. If this is basically all true, then I have a couple of questions: First, if this 'high-mileage' oil is basically chemically the same as SH rated oil, then would it satisfy warranty requirements of newer engines spec'd to use SJ & SL?. We have a lot of customers that use this oil in newer engines. Also, putting the warranty issue aside for a moment, would this 'high-milege' oil in fact actually be better for a newer engine, disregarding the converter issue? Secondly, can a readily-availible additive be put in SL to bring the level of friction-reducers to the previous higher levels? Without upsetting the normal additive chemistry of the motor oil? I also have some personal concerns: I use Mobil 1 exclusively, and have always had good experience with it. My cars range from a 400 horse 429 Cobra Jet 1971 Mach 1, a 300 horse Z-28 with a ZZ4+ crate motor, 3 late 70's Ford products with 460's and a 95 Olds with a 3.8 litre V-6. Will I be able to increase the level of protection in these engines by adding anything to the Mobil 1 oil? I always change the oil at 3,000 miles, but sometimes it takes a year to get there. I know this is a long complicated post, and I appreciate everybodys help. Kit.
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
As I recall, the changes for SH to SJ and then SL only effected xW-30 weight oils and below. They mandated: Less phosphorus, lower sulfur and lower NOAK volatility. The API specs did not effect xW40 or higher oils. Some people have questioned why new motorcycles recommend 10w-40 oil that meets API SH specs. I'll tell you, it is optimized for superior protection with no regard to gas milage. Redline, Mobil or Amsoil in the 10w-40 grade would be my first choice in a high performance engine. Mobil 15w-50 is second.
 
Messages
47,824
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
quote:
From reading the various posts on this forum, I understand that when the motor-oil rating was changed from SH to SJ( in 1996, I think), a significant amount of friction-reducing additives were taken out to keep from contaminating catalytic converters. I think I understood it to be the 'Moly' that was removed, but I'm not absolutely sure.
I'm more up on the SJ to SL "rev" change, but for sure there was no removal of Molybdenum. I think sulfur was reduced and some other changes to the groups and descriptions. Bob has this posted somewhere.
quote:
Furthermore, I think I understand it that Valvoline in particular with thier 'Max-Life' oil, and other major brands with thier high-mileage oil formulations basically just put the friction-reducers back in their oil and marketed it for 'high-mileage'(75,000+ miles) cars that would coincidentally put it right in the middle of the mileage range of cars that were originally spec'd to use SH.
Not exactly. Most all the recent changes are 100% backward compatible. Valvoline use some different chemistry that may help seals and yes there also may be some higher amount of additives, but I don't think this has anything to do with API rev changes.
quote:
If this is basically all true, then I have a couple of questions: First, if this 'high-mileage' oil is basically chemically the same as SH rated oil, then would it satisfy warranty requirements of newer engines spec'd to use SJ & SL?.
No. If the warranty says SL, well use SL or better.
quote:
We have a lot of customers that use this oil in newer engines. Also, putting the warranty issue aside for a moment, would this 'high-milege' oil in fact actually be better for a newer engine, disregarding the converter issue?
Not sure why they would do this. No it just isn't better....I'm not saying there is anything wrong with SH oils, but....
quote:
Secondly, can a readily-availible additive be put in SL to bring the level of friction-reducers to the previous higher levels? Without upsetting the normal additive chemistry of the motor oil?
NO most folks don't like the home brew thing and it isn't simply an additive thing.
quote:
I also have some personal concerns: I use Mobil 1 exclusively, and have always had good experience with it....protection in these engines by adding anything to the Mobil 1 oil? I always change the oil at 3,000 miles, but sometimes it takes a year to get there.
Again no magic additives are required.
 

cobravenom71

Thread starter
Messages
67
Location
Kissimee, Fla.
Satterfi & Pablo, Thanks for the input! [Smile] [Smile] I am now a little more sure of my facts [Big Grin] , and a little more confused! [Frown] So, the reduced additives affected only '_'W-30 weights, and nothing higher like '_'W-40's and 50's, right? That seems to make sense that the government would target only the 30's, since that is the highest that any current manufacturer primarily recommends for thier vehicles. I take it to mean that the higher viscosity oil has better, more effective additive chemistry. Well, I've been using Mobil 1 10W-30 exclusively, and when I use the 15W-50, I notice an immediate drop in fuel economy( from 18 MPG to about 13 MPG), and higher operating temps.(about 10 degrees). I would like to use oil with better additives, but I don't want to suffer the mileage and heat penalties, which obviously are not good for the engine, since it is working harder and hotter. And, does the Mobil 1 15W-50 actually have a better additive pack than thier 10W-30? Or is there a better, different brand I should use. I definately like the synthetic, and I 'm not too concerned about getting the longest intervals possible, just the best protection. Thanks so much, Kit. [HAIL 2 U!]
 
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1,874
Location
Ocala, Florida
let me interject here if I may.. High milage motor oils if it has the API certification on the bottle for SL, then it too has the lower amounts of zddp as the rest. IMO, I see most of these high milage motor oils as more of a marketing issue. Some do come with less detergency so not to clean seals on older engines where it would possibly cause leaks if a newer high detergent synth oil might. Other than that, no difference. As for x-30wt mobil, Use the mobil Supersyn oil. It has an excellent additive package that includes the moly barrier additive and you will not suffer from MPG loss as well as getting a good wear protection oil. It is also correct that the moly was not a part of the reduction process of the zddp. The chemistry of the soluble moly is totally different and doesn't have or hasn't been shown to effect cat's. In satterfi's comment, Redline, Mobil or Amsoil in the 10w-40 grade would be my first choice in a high performance engine. Mobil 15w-50 is second." I would also include Schaeffers in that line up.
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
quote:
Originally posted by BOBISTHEOILGUY: let me interject here if I may.. cut In satterfi's comment, Redline, Mobil or Amsoil in the 10w-40 grade would be my first choice in a high performance engine. Mobil 15w-50 is second." I would also include Schaeffers in that line up.
opps, I forgot about Supreme 7000 15w40. Move M1 15w50 back to third place. cobravenom71 The additive pack for M1 15w50 changed with the SuperSyn and appears to be a lot like the M1 10w30 now. The Trisyn 15w50 was quite a bit different from the 10w30. Trisyn 15w50 was more like the current M1 MX4T 10w40, which is pretty good stuff. If want to stay with a 10w30, you can always use an oil that is not API certified. These oils can use as much ZDDP as the blender wants. Redline 10w30 has a lot more ZDDP than API would allow. Schaeffers 10w30 might be the same, I'm not sure. (edit: I may be wrong about Redline having more than 1000ppm phosphorous, a VOA shows it near that level.) [ December 03, 2002, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: satterfi ]
 

cobravenom71

Thread starter
Messages
67
Location
Kissimee, Fla.
OK, I'm think I'm starting to get a handle on this. I like the Mobil 1 10W-30 because of the better mileage and lower operating heat of the engine. If I was to switch to another synthetic 10W-30 with more ZDDP, would that absolutely be better for my engine, or does it depend on the particular engine and driving circumstances? Of all my cars, the one I am most concerned about is the 71' 429 Cobra Jet. When I rebuilt the engine about 4 years ago( about 10,00 miles ago)I used as much modern low-friction parts and technology as I could. The motor was dyno'd at 422 HP, and was chassis dyno'd at 366 HP. [Burnout] Like most people with obsessions, I spent way too much money on the engine and I definately do not want to ever have to do any major engine work to it again! If the Red-Line synthetic oil will give me substantially better protection, I'm all for it. Should I switch, or is the tri-syn Mobil 1 10W-30 good enough? And just exactly what is ZDDP? [Confused] Thanks, Kit. [Smile]
 
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6,388
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Washington St.
"The performance of zinc dialkyl-dithiophosphates (ZDDP) is vital to preventing wear in an engine. ZDDPs are common antiwear additives in engine oil. These compounds break down under high pressure and load to form a protective polyphosphate film at the contact points between two rubbing surfaces [1]. The films have been observed to be formed of high and low regions that vary in height by 100-300 nm." http://www.src.wisc.edu/meetings/SRC_UM2002/Abstracts/Research_Abstracts/SRC_UM02_P16.pdf Ken
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by cobravenom71: Cool. Is more ZDDP always a good thing? And is there a way to tell which oil has more of it?
The oils that contain more of it are those that aren't api certified, since to be api certified they have to stay under 1000ppm of phosphorus.
 
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8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: [QUOTE]The oils that contain more of it are those that aren't api certified, since to be api certified they have to stay under 1000ppm of phosphorus.
This isn't totally correct. An oil that has too much phosphorous can't get the API "starburst" certification for gasoline engines, but it can still get API SL "doughnut" certification. The Rotella T Synthetic I'm using is an example.
 
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1,933
Location
Oklahoma
I think you will notice mst M/C oils still rated SG these days. Quite a thread going on here. I find it interesting some companies make a SL 20/50 Race oil for one. Engine builders trying to protect cam and lifters be it the hydraulic or solid design with high spring pressures I doubt will find these oils suitable although I have not seen a VOA of these types and could be wrong . If the 71 motor you have has been rebuilt to stock I doubt you need much more than 1300ppm of ZDDP to keep it alive as long as you have some hydrodynamic protection to go with it. In use with street driven carbed motors that tend to gas up the oil I find it hard to use a expensive synlube myself because often the oil needs to come out pre 3k miles depending on the state of tune. Just my opinion as a builder I would prefer a syn blend like the Phillips Trop Artic 15/40 Race oil with plenty of additives for the street or the Schaeffers 15/40 blend. Neither are true race oils but most street engines are not true race motors but these oils will get the job done for the most part at a fraction of the cost of some race synlubes. High amounts of ZDDP can be found in other oils as well that will fill the bill for a street performance motor,,the newer Group III 5/40's and especially the 5/50's have near collosal amounts of ZDDP like the Valvoline VR1 Race oil does. Next someone will say but all those VII's in a oil like that will shear and render protection near useless,,not the newer VII's imo and using them for 3k or so. There are many oils to choose from,education and research if key to success here for a old Muscle car and simalar motors.But if the carb is not tuned the oil will be killed early and valve overlap comes into play as well depicting at least for me early changes. I don't doubt the Chevron Delo 400 15/40 or the Phillips HD 15/40 would work for many street performance cars but I draw the line there with OTC Diesel oils for personal reasons . My opinion is a HT/HS minimum for a hard driven street car of 3.5 as absolute for me,the Mobil Supersyn 10/30 comes in at 3.2 but easily mixes with the 15/50 Supersyn which should not kill any gas milaege compared to some dinos. Most often with older collector cars a dino in a straight wt can be used succssfully given adequate warm up time since they are not driven too often and most of these better straight wt dino's have a near 500F flash point and are still rated SJ/SG.Guessing they have plenty of ZDDP to protect most hi-performance motors
 

cobravenom71

Thread starter
Messages
67
Location
Kissimee, Fla.
I have used nothing but Mobil 1 10W-30 since I rebuilt the engine. Over the years, I mostly used Castrol GTX 20W-50, and I had a time when I liked the Havoline 10W-40. That was all when the engine was stock. Even though the engine can be considered 'high performance', it is certainly not a race motor. I consider these to just be 'optomized' street engines. When I redid the motor, I lowered the compression from 11.3 to 10.5, which allows me to run pump gas. A modern cam ( Magnum), low restriction rings,Lighter-weight valve springs, roller rockers and as many other friction reducing tricks I could come up with. I had the entire reciprocating assembly spin-balanced, everything else was balanced, the heads had considerable work done on them, and I had the intake and stock exhaust manifolds acid-honed. The exhaust is 3" stainless with a crossover, with 3-chamber Flow-Masters( the quiet ones). The Engine(429 Cobra Jet) was factory rated at 370 (gross) Horses, and I feel that was pretty accurate,as the chassis dyno showed it to be around 290 HP. The new combo dyno'd at 422 horses, and the dyno showed a little more than 365 Horses. This car is much more powerful than stock, smoother running, pulls a lot more vacuum, and gets much better gas mileage!(originally about 10-11 mpg)All on pump gas.Modern technology, what a wonderful thang! I wanted to continue with the 'lowest-possible friction' theory, so I have been using Mobil 1 exclusively. I once drove about 120 miles immediatelly after an oil change. It was going to be about 90 degrees outside that day, and I used Mobil 1 15W-50 because of the heat. On the trip I noticed a definate increase in engine temp(by the gauge) and the mileage for that trip was around 13-14 mpg. That same day, before I left for home, I had the oil and filter changed again, back to Mobil 1 10W-30. On the trip home, the outside temp was actually about 10 degrees hotter, yet the engine ran considerably cooler, and the mileage for that trip was back to the normal 16-17 mpg. I grew up thinking that 20W-50 goes in everything. The thicker the better! After being in the 'biz' for so many years now, I have changed my mind. If the engine runs cooler and the mileage is better, it seems to me that there is actually less friction being generated in the engine. I know this sound like simplistic logic, but is it necessarily correct? If anyone has some info or more insight on this , let me know. Thanks so much, Kit. [ December 05, 2002, 09:57 AM: Message edited by: cobravenom71 ]
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by cobravenom71: How do you determine what the ZDDP content of any particular oil is?
Keep an eye on our virgin oil analysis section on here, and it'll show you the breakdown of zinc and phosphorus in ppm for various oils. [ December 05, 2002, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 
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