Horsepower, Protection, and New Technology

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22
There's a lot of discussion on this forum of specs and qualifications for specific applications, but I have a more general question. Are newer oil formulations and their additive packages actually better at protecting an engine from wear, or are they mainly driven by manufacturer requirements based on emissions and the sort? I see talks of boron and titanium and other additives, and certain companies moving away from things like Moly and ZDDP. I know there are pros and cons to everything, but I'm just interested in this kind of discussion, which requires a bit more science than label reading ;). Maybe I'm just a nerd.

Yes, it is applicable to my vehicles if you're curious. I have an RB25 swapped S13 and another S13 with a built SR20DET about to go in. I have no need for emissions related requirements, but these are street cars that see the track, so long drain intervals would be nice if I can get away with them. They do have proper PCV setups, and will be run on a both E85 or pump gas depending on what's available. At the end of the day I'll probably be doing a lot of testing on a variety of oils, but it in the mean time I'd like to narrow down my list if possible.

I've attached a spreadsheet I've made for kicks and gigs.
 

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2,016
Location
Crawfordville FL
There's a lot of discussion on this forum of specs and qualifications for specific applications, but I have a more general question. Are newer oil formulations and their additive packages actually better at protecting an engine from wear, or are they mainly driven by manufacturer requirements based on emissions and the sort? I see talks of boron and titanium and other additives, and certain companies moving away from things like Moly and ZDDP. I know there are pros and cons to everything, but I'm just interested in this kind of discussion, which requires a bit more science than label reading ;). Maybe I'm just a nerd.

Yes, it is applicable to my vehicles if you're curious. I have an RB25 swapped S13 and another S13 with a built SR20DET about to go in. I have no need for emissions related requirements, but these are street cars that see the track, so long drain intervals would be nice if I can get away with them. They do have proper PCV setups, and will be run on a both E85 or pump gas depending on what's available. At the end of the day I'll probably be doing a lot of testing on a variety of oils, but it in the mean time I'd like to narrow down my list if possible.

I've attached a spreadsheet I've made for kicks and gigs.
It really depends on which formulations and oils you are discussing. Some are driven by fuel economy and meet API requirements while being thinner. Some are driven by ultimate protection and long change intervals (Euro Oils) so they have more additives to control oxidation, wear, and acids.

For track use I'd go with a 5w-40 Euro. Full SAPS and high HTHS

What does your engine builder recommend?
 

PoorMans180SX

Thread starter
Messages
22
It really depends on which formulations and oils you are discussing. Some are driven by fuel economy and meet API requirements while being thinner. Some are driven by ultimate protection and long change intervals (Euro Oils) so they have more additives to control oxidation, wear, and acids.

For track use I'd go with a 5w-40 Euro. Full SAPS and high HTHS

What does your engine builder recommend?
If you check my spreadsheet there, I have most of the "high-performance" 5w40 and 5w50 oils listed out there.

I am my engine builder :p. The shops I've worked at have always used Redline, Motul, or Schaeffer's.
 
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5,899
Location
Atlanta,GA
[I have a more general question. Are newer oil formulations and their additive packages actually better at protecting an engine from wear, or are they mainly driven by manufacturer requirements based on emissions and the sort]

They're no worse and may be better (ie. less buildup within the intake tract).

Yes, life fuel injection, direct injection, it's mainly driven by emissions via low sulphur fuels combined with emissions equipment which will function over a finite period of time.

Racing oils have the convenience of not having to worry about 7-10k mile drain intervals.
 

PoorMans180SX

Thread starter
Messages
22
[I have a more general question. Are newer oil formulations and their additive packages actually better at protecting an engine from wear, or are they mainly driven by manufacturer requirements based on emissions and the sort]

They're no worse and may be better (ie. less buildup within the intake tract).

Yes, life fuel injection, direct injection, it's mainly driven by emissions via low sulphur fuels combined with emissions equipment which will function over a finite period of time.

Racing oils have the convenience of not having to worry about 7-10k mile drain intervals.

I am aware of the specifics of racing oil vs street oil. Unfortunately my vehicles are hybrids in the sense that they do both. I would like an oil that does as well. I know there are plenty of oils out there that will, I'm just curious about the new way to do it vs the old and if there is empirical data on which is better.
 
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5,899
Location
Atlanta,GA
I am aware of the specifics of racing oil vs street oil. Unfortunately my vehicles are hybrids in the sense that they do both. I would like an oil that does as well. I know there are plenty of oils out there that will, I'm just curious about the new way to do it vs the old and if there is empirical data on which is better.
You won't find empirical data because that's the property of the oil companies and the automakers. However what you can find are wear limits (ex, ACEA bench tests via ACEA Oil Sequences 2020).

Think about it like this:
#1 Cars of today make more power per liter than even some supercars 20-30 years ago and that last longer.
#2 Engines today outlast the rest of the car. Lubricant related failures are essentially unheard of today.

Personally I wouldn't get too hung up on it. You can't use a race oil in a daily driver because it's not formulated for long drain intervals. So pick something off the shelf that will work with your oiling system and call it a day. Maybe M1 0w40 or some other Euro spec 40w (Porsche A40, Mercedes Benz 229.50, BMW LL01 ). Just make sure you have an oil cooler installed.
 

PoorMans180SX

Thread starter
Messages
22
I mean, that was kind of my plan. Run a few oils, do some UOAs, cut filters open, etc. I'm definitely not concerned with finding/having a high quality oil in my cars, I'm mostly concerned with which is going to provide me with the best results. If I have to establish it with testing, that's fine. I'm currently running HPL 5w50 in the sump of my RB25 because I wasn't sure what shape it was in when I acquired it from the previous owner, but it seems to be in pretty excellent condition, so I'll probably drop down to a 5w40 or 0w40 and start logging data.
 

PoorMans180SX

Thread starter
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22
Space must be tight in there. The S13 wasnt made for a inline 6 cylinder.
It is indeed! The radiator fan sits very close to the harmonic balancer.
Here it is in the old chassis (as I bought the car, not my work haha), it's currently on the stand getting some new gaskets and a makeover before it goes in the other car.
Mb4wG15h.jpg


Going into here:
kySNbm8h.jpg
 
Messages
364
Location
Australia
Just use a racing oil, lots of zinc lots of moly. I take it you don't have standard cats. Ester, pao and group 4- 5 is what you want. The biggest misconception about running racing oil is that it has a low TBN. But the TBN doesn't take into consideration the quality or properties of the true synthetic base oil.

Well it does but it doesn't correlate like a street car oil because the TAN takes a lot longer to rise in these oils than a normal street oil. So a normal street oil is around 8-9 TBN where a racing oil might only be 6 or so. But the TAN rises quicker in the street oil. TAN is the real indicator of oil quality when compared to the same oils TBN.

Lots of people do 3500 miles on race oil with no issues even running to 5000 miles. The acids just do not rise as quickly with the better base oils. You get all the friction reduction elements in the racing oils as well from both the true synthetic base oil and a larger amount of additives.

I changed from a 10w-40 street car oil to a 5w-50 racing oil a while back and wouldn't change back its like butter. Many won't believe this and I don't expect anyone too but I have better fuel economy with the 5w-50 racing oil than the standard 10w-40. Also, my turbo spools earlier, it seems to be very happy with the friction reduction.

 
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Messages
65
Location
WA
I would stay away from anything over 2500 miles if you use straight e85 for fuel consistently when paired with ester-based top tier oils. Definitely get tests done to see where the TBN ends up. E85 is very hard on oil.
 
Messages
364
Location
Australia
Yea that's a good point with e85. We are lucky here in Oz we have Nulon racing oil which is PAO + AN so its not something to worry about its great for e85. You can get away with ester with e85 and a lot have but you will be changing it often and have to keep a good eye on wear. Is the Torco just a group 3+ or back to Mobil for e85.
 

PoorMans180SX

Thread starter
Messages
22
Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on things with whatever oil is in the car, I'm very particular about my cars haha. Hopefully the breather setup I'll be installing will help with some of the stress on the oil, I know alcohol will leech zddp out of the oil. I won't be running a catalyzer on either car, at least for now. Torco has a weird lineup that I don't fully understand, maybe it's just marketing. Depending on which version of the site you go to, some say what base oils they use and some don't.

I have a large oil cooler with a thermostat for the SR20 and the RB25 has it's factory water bath cooler/warmer in place. The RB25 had a super low temperature thermostat in it, to the point where it didn't warm up on a two hour drive! I had to put cardboard in front of the radiator for the oil and water to get to temp!
 
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96
Location
USA
I mean, that was kind of my plan. Run a few oils, do some UOAs, cut filters open, etc. I'm definitely not concerned with finding/having a high quality oil in my cars, I'm mostly concerned with which is going to provide me with the best results. If I have to establish it with testing, that's fine. I'm currently running HPL 5w50 in the sump of my RB25 because I wasn't sure what shape it was in when I acquired it from the previous owner, but it seems to be in pretty excellent condition, so I'll probably drop down to a 5w40 or 0w40 and start logging data.


You are in good shape with your HPL. The oil is designed for E-85. It will also run extended drains on the street. The TBN of your 5w50 is 10. It is very oxidation stable.

David
 
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