Pennzoil and Sludge!

Messages
353
Location
Australia
Pennzoil and Sludge! Now I'm trying to find out as much as I can about this old time reputation that Pennzoil was renown for Slugging engines. I want to collect info from both sides of the fence, the technical info to back up that they don't / or do sludge, and real life experiences from engines builders and the general public. Of course, if your one of these people that only change your oil once a year then I would expect it to have a sludge problem over time, but I would like to hear as much as I can from the people that do regular changes and there comments and experiences. I know there are many people that say, this is imposable with the current standards that oil has to pass and so on, but I'm trying to find out where this myth started form, and if anyone has any first hand experiences, past or present. So I would be so appreciative of any info at all I can get. Just out of interest, the first comment I have received: (I recently spoke with one very well known retired engine builder in the states that is apparently well known among Hot Roders, who told me , that over the years of rebuilding engines, he noticed a common sludge issue with customers that were using Pennzoil oils) [ August 01, 2004, 07:59 AM: Message edited by: Francis ]
 
Messages
339
Location
High Springs, Florida
Could be oil from pre-2002 or so that they are refering to. Pennzoil has shut down the Rouseville, PA refinery when Shell bought them out. They no longer use "Pure Pennsyvania Crude", which had a lot of parrafin in it. Quaker State, has also shut down their Pennsylvania operations in Emlenton, PA. Kendall may have shut down operations in Bradford, PA too. Not sure if Witco still operates the refinery there.
 

KW

Messages
1,686
Location
Central Arkansas
My brother builds one off engines and he will walk right past the Pennzoil and pick up a house brand. He says that he has pulled core motors down that have a known history of using Pennzoil and you have to scoop the waxy mess out with a puddy knife. I don't know for myself because I have never used the stuff.
 

Francis

Thread starter
Messages
353
Location
Australia
So it was a fact that the "Pennsyvania Crude" which had a lot of parrafin in it was prone to sludge if left in to long?
 

Francis

Thread starter
Messages
353
Location
Australia
quote:
Originally posted by KW: My brother builds one off engines and he will walk right past the Pennzoil and pick up a house brand. He says that he has pulled core motors down that have a known history of using Pennzoil and you have to scoop the waxy mess out with a puddy knife. I don't know for myself because I have never used the stuff.
I know you most likely don't know, but were these engines well maintained? or driven to the ground type things.
 

KW

Messages
1,686
Location
Central Arkansas
Probebly not well maintaned at all being cores. After re-reading your post I see that my post is not really the info. you are looking for. Sorry
 
Messages
47,935
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
I have found this to be mostly bunk. Especially when people start throwing around parafin wax when referring to parafinic hydrocarbon chains. Pennzoil probably did have some crappy oils in the 1960's, when pushed, sludged, gelled and caused excessive wear. Knowing what we know now, this seems very probable. But the same can be said for Castrol and other oils. I personally witnessed BlackDeath with Castrol 20W-50 in 1975. Hot Rod mechanic tales really take on lives of their own!
 

tpi

Messages
200
Location
So. CA
I grew up on '50s and '60s cars. I've heard the Pennzoil sludge (or other brand) sludge stories. IMO this is caused by: Pennzoil was very widely used and most engines/oils of the time were prone to sludge. Leaded fuel, poorly calibrated automatic chokes, carburetors, group 1 oils with poor viscosity index improvers, heavy iron block/head engines which had long warmup time. Note the OCI on these engines was typically 6,000 miles/6 months, they held 5 quarts of oil and they got 10-15 MPG on heavily leaded fuel. There was relatively high oil contamination from blowby. At least in my area, back in '60s there were more short trips as typical commutes were shorter. In that day I saw a lot of sludge and it wasn't just Pennzoil. OTOH if the oil was changed every 3,000 on those engines and the vehicle was used for extended highway driving, the engines would stay clean. Some of the longest lasting gas engines today are those old designs fitted with modern fuel injection, unleaded fuel, and using the better oils available today. Example would be the fuel injected '90s small block Chevy, the Jeep 4.0, and the Buick (GM) 3800.
 

SWS

Messages
392
Location
Tennessee
I used Pennzoil Dino 10W-30 in my '97 Camry 4-Cyl for 7 years / 65K miles. I bought this car new. OCI 3 months, ~3K miles - I change it myself, and always use a new Toyota oil filter with every oil change. Just a few months ago, I had to have the oil pan gasket replaced, so I got a chance to look into the bottom-end of my engine - everything was very clean! This engine is one of Toyota's so-called "Sluge Motors" that runs very high head temps, and also has poor crankcase ventilation. I think that this speaks well of Pennzoil. I recently switched to M1 on this car to gain extra thermal protection for my hot-headed engine, but still have good feelings about Pennzoil. When I was growing up in Ohio in the late '60's and early '70's, Quaker State had the reputation for sludging ANY engine, even those that were highly maintained. At that time they were a very popular oil and I think that they lost a lot of market share in the late 70's & 80's due to the perception of making a sludge-prone, lower-quality oil. I think that a lot of people switched to Vavoline and Pennzoil during that time. I do not know if they had a better experience with these other brands or not. I heard enough stories about Quaker State sludge / wax from enough different sources that I chose to never use it when I got my own cars. Several years ago, some nice person gave me 4 quarts of Quaker State oil for some reason. I took it to Walmart that day, hiding it in a brown paper wrapper so that nobody would see me with it, and traded it for Pennzoil. My attitude at that time was that only those who do not know better use Quaker State. Harsh, eh? Best Wishes as you Motor along!
 
Messages
22,874
Location
Apple Valley, California
My father is a Pennzoil man from way back. He uses only 10w-40 and changes his oil every 5K using fram filters! In 1968 he bought my mom who was pregnant with me a brand new Plymouth Valiant with a 225. The car now has over 150K on it and was running when he parked it. It was parked due to a broken frame section in the unibody. Several years ago I pulled the valvecover to adjust the valves and the engine was very clean. In 1970 he bought a new VW Beetle. It also got the Pennz 10w-40 but with 3-4000 mile changes. The car was running fine when he decided to restore it in 1982(which he never completed). That engine had 120K on it and was spotless inside. In 1974 he bought a new Beetle. He wrecked this one at 150K in 1985. It was running fine at the time. This car is still out in the field next to the others. The engine is still in it and together. I removed the oil filler cap to look down there this morning and the engine is also clean. None of these cars had ANY internal engine work done to them.
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: ...High paraffin base oil was for many years the only way to go for producing the BEST quality motor oil. Modern hydrocracking techniques have made the quality of the crude a moot point, however. With the catalytic conversion that takes place in hydrocracking, even the most "sour" crude can be turned into a virtually chemically pure, high paraffin base oil.
Careful, there, G-Man II, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Next thing ya' know we'll be reading posts from the "sludgemaster" crowd that Group II and Group III base lube stocks are causing untold, incalcuable losses to the motoring public because the oil companies are in collusion with auto manufacturers to sludge up everyone's engines with high paraffin content motor oils. This thread was really just one more attempt to goad more anti-Pennzoil rhetoric all over again in the guise of "an honest and objective search for knowledge". [Wink] (IMHO)
 

pbm

Messages
8,956
Location
New York
I have a coworker with an 89' Corolla with nearly 300k. He has used Quaker State 10/30 dino almost exclusively. After the car hit 200k he became lax with his OCI and even let it go 10k (on dino) several times. When he saw that the car wouldn't die he went back to 3 to 5k OCI that he had been doing for the first 200k. This tells me 2 things. 1) the Corolla is a great car and 2)QS makes a pretty **** good oil.
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
I can't believe this nonsense about Pennsylvania Grade Crude being loaded with paraffin and causing sludge is still going around. Let's get back to basics, folks: The "paraffin" in base oils has nothing to do with wax or sludge and everything to do with the QUALITY of the baseoil. High paraffin base oil was for many years the only way to go for producing the BEST quality motor oil. Modern hydrocracking techniques have made the quality of the crude a moot point, however. With the catalytic conversion that takes place in hydrocracking, even the most "sour" crude can be turned into a virtually chemically pure, high paraffin base oil. As for Pennzoil and Quaker State causing sludge, here's how that myth got started, but like all myths, there is a kernel of truth in it: For many, many years Pennzoil and Quaker State marketed their premium single grade oils and their non-detergent single grade oils in VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL CANS. The ONLY difference (save for the fine print) was the color of the symbols and writing on the top of the can. Of course, the non-detergent oil was a few cents cheaper, and most people who didn't know any better would buy that, not noticing (and probably not caring) that the oil was inferior to the higher priced, but almost identical, can sitting beside it. I worked in a small country service station after school and during the summers while I was in high school, and by a margin of 10 to 1 I put Quaker State "green top" in peoples' cars versus "red top." The color of the circle on the top of the can was all that distinguished the high detergent from the non-detergent and I was constantly amazed at the number of people who specifically asked for "green top." One was even the local game warden who drove a tricked out Ford sedan with a 429 BOSS engine. He needed a quart of oil every time he came in for a fill up, and the amount of sludge visible when I removed oil fill cap was simply amazing. I asked him one time if he didn't know that the "red top" QS was actually the better oil, and he looked at me with one of those "What do you know, you're only 16?" looks. Anyhow, can we please put the BS to rest about Quaker State and Pennzoil causing sludge? My aunt’s 1977 Mercury Marquis had 345,000 miles on the 460 big block in it when she gave it away, the it was spotless under the valve covers. Only oil ever used was Pennzoil 10w40 changed every 5000 miles.
 
Messages
34,471
Location
NJ
Thanks G-Mann, your the man. [Wink] On a side note, my brother just bought a Solora with 35k miles on it. I ran about 9oz of AutoRx and then switched him over to Mobil 1 10w-30. You should here all the BS the Toyota mechanics at this one particular dealer are saying about synthetics. Their clearly are too many stupid people in this world. Frustrating.
 
Messages
222
Location
McKinney, TX
G-Man. Wow - interesting post. Seems like a small marketing mistake has caused headaches for the companies for decades. thx for the explanation, mr
 

Francis

Thread starter
Messages
353
Location
Australia
quote:
Originally posted by KW: Probebly not well maintaned at all being cores. After re-reading your post I see that my post is not really the info. you are looking for. Sorry
No not at all, I'm happy to take info from every side.
 

Francis

Thread starter
Messages
353
Location
Australia
quote:
Originally posted by Ray H: [QUOTE]Originally posted by G-Man II: [qb].. This thread was really just one more attempt to goad more anti-Pennzoil rhetoric all over again in the guise of "an honest and objective search for knowledge". [Wink] (IMHO)
No not at all! I'm a Pennzoil user and have been for years. I just would find it interesting to get to the bottom of this myth. I personally find it interesting hearing peoples thoughts and information, then collecting all the facts and data to form my own conclusion. Other threads have spoken on, or about it, even bagged Pennzoil, but not concluded why, where and when, this Sludge myth came about. An Avid Pennzoil user, and thread starter! Francis
 
Messages
1,855
Location
Australia
Francis, don't forget that most nearly all Australian Pennzoil comes out of either Shells' Clyde or Geelong refineries here in Oz. Rick.
 
Messages
11,247
Location
PA
Just spoke with an Ultra-Redneck on this subject. He used Pennzoil for one-point-one MILLION miles on his pick-'em-up truck, a '49. He eventually did a tear-down and reported it was clean. Too bad he did not have a digi-cam. [Frown] PS my 'ol Grandpa used QS and Rislone back in the '70s. He was a Master Olds Mechanic. I do remember the QS sludge/paraffin reports as one of the earliest oil info I ever got. [ August 02, 2004, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: Audi Junkie ]
 
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