How accurate is the Falex machine?

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8,467
Location
Colorado
I hear a lot of people saying that a motor oil or an engine treatment has to be great because it holds up so well when tested in a Falex machine. Just how well does the Falex machine indicate how good a motor oil, engine treatment, or whatever will be? Is the Falex better for testing gear oils and stuff like that? I remember several years ago I was at the Colorado State Fair and a guy selling some sort of oil supplement (I can't remember what the oil supplement was) was using a Falex machine to demonstrate how well his product held up compared to motor oils. He had several motor oils and he was telling people to pick an oil and he would test it and then test the oil with his engine treatment added. I noticed a container of Mobil 1 (I think it was 10W-30) so I suggested the Mobil 1. All of the motor oils he had tested were failing at I think 180 ft.lbs. To my total surprise the Mobil 1 failed at 160 ft.lbs, less than the conventional motor oils. Now, Mobil 1 certainly is better than most if not all conventional motor oils. So maybe the Falex machine is a poor choice to test motor oils?
 
Messages
9,448
Location
USA
Falex and three ball were not designed to test engine oils. They can be used to demonstrate certain aspects of an oil though. If all you want to test is EP additives it is great. You really have to test an oil in an engine under repaeatable conditions to really see how it holds up. I think htat the Falix is used alot because it is cheap. portable and easy for a crowd of average joes to understand. It was desiged to test greases ability to protect Timkin style bearings!
 
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