Redline—has anyone figured this stuff out?

Messages
254
Location
Denver
I've recently switched to Redline 5W30 after running Mobil 1 5W30 in my turbo engine (WRX) for 15,000 miles,. The initial results were good—higher oil pressure, quicker turbo spool-up, a little raspier exhaust note. But after seeing some of the screwy UOA results for Redline—higher wear numbers and quickly depleting TBN as compared to the Mobil, I thought geez-- maybe I'd better switch back. Now, after doing some further reading, people have expressed the opinion that: 1) The high wear numbers are from Redline additives cleaning up the varnish and sludge left over from previous motor oils. 2) Sure, the TBN numbers are low, but the superior base stock of the Redline acts as a detergent in itself, so the low TBN is nothing to worry about—the oil is still doing it’s job. 3) Redline is formulated different than any other oil, so don’t worry about the UOA numbers when they look out of line. For example, it already comes with a lot of silicon as an additive, so don’t worry about the high Si readings. Ok, so now I have to ask, what’s the definitive answer here? Is Redline really a superior product that gets a bum rap from having to clean up the mess left over from previous oils? Or are Redline supporters (and must admit I like the stuff myself) making excuses for an oil that looks great on paper, but isn't that good when objectively analyzed? Also, doesn't higher oil pressure create more engine wear? Maybe that's why Mobil keeps theirs low. Finally, why would Redline even use Si as an additive, anyway? Isn’t silicon an abrasive substance that air filters are supposed to keep out of our engines to prevent excessive wear?!!
 
Messages
33,974
Location
Southern NJ
quote:
Or are Redline supporters (and must admit I like the stuff myself) making excuses for an oil that looks great on paper, but isn't that good when objectively analyzed?
I think #1 is probably the case. I think Redline is a great oil. I havn't used it but from what I've read about it, it is very good. I might even run Redline in my next car. The quote above though could be true. We have seen that an oils specs. on paper don't really mean much. Mobil 1 as I always state, is not as impressive on paper compared to others, but there oil does an outstanding job most of the time. I think they use high quality components. With these other oils, you really don't know what type of quality they are using. Just my opinion.
 
Messages
922
Location
Ontario , Canada
Couple notes about Redline. Firstly, a lot labs can't get the TBN reading correct, the ester or base oil content of Redline throws off their normal testing procedures. So I don't sweat TBN readings on Redline if they seem out of whack, this oil can surely go 10,000 miles regardless. Secondly, Redline does seem to pick up some of the softer metals left behind by other oils, thus lead and copper readings can be higher the first couple intervals, but its been reported that those numbers do drop down after a couple intervals of Redline. Lastly, Redline comes out of the bottle in virgin form with a few ppm's of various substances. Firstly Silicon can be 11-15 ppm, this is not dirt but rather an additive to keep foaming to a low level. Foaming oil can be a problem at high rpms thus Redline uses silicon for anti-foaming properties. Redline can also come with 2-5ppms of lead, 4-5 pppms of iron and/or aluminum in virgin form. Don't ask me why but it just does. We've seen some good reports of Redline and we've seem some mediocre reports. On paper Redline surely is one of the best built oils, how that relates to engine wear in a street driven vehicle is hard to say - beneficial or overkill ?. One thing for sure, a large percentage of racers use Redline oil, they must know something we don't, that's what I think. Joey
 

Al

Messages
19,160
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
For me the jury is still out. We can't keep using this excuse (OK maybe that's not fair) about Redline bringing out all the wear metals forever. Until it gives consistantly good wear numbers with extended drain intervals like Amsoil or Mobil 1 or (in my case) Schaeffer pure Syn, I'll hold off.
 
Messages
718
Location
Central Texas
All I know about redline is its the priciest oil you can buy. My son-in-law builds street rods for others and he recommends Redline. However, when I asked him about analysis results he looked at me like I had two heads. The right kind of si is a good thing. Its used as an antifoam agent. Take a look in the virgin oil analysis section.
 
Messages
33,974
Location
Southern NJ
quote:
We can't keep using this excuse (OK maybe that's not fair) about Redline bringing out all the wear metals forever.
Good point Al. At some point this oil is either going to surface as a true contender or become the most over rated oil the planet earth has ever seen. [Big Grin] In the time being, 99% of us are buying Mobil 1 at places like Target and getting great results. Tough to beat that.
 
Messages
9,448
Location
USA
Al, I have yet to see anyone on this site use Redline twice in a row. They always flip flop around makeing it all but impossable to get a trend going. It also seems like the only people that use it always use it right before they take their car to the drag strip,auto-X, rally race.... Of course they never drive the exact same course with the M1 so their is no continuity. What we really need is for someone to run this stuff in their daily driver at least twice with no raceing or nitrous oxide ........ This would at least establish a trend. I know Terry has many clients useing Redline. He also recomends Redline in quite a few cases. I doubt he would risk his reputation on a bum product! I am either going to run Redline 5W40 or Delvac 1 5W40 in my wifes car this winter so we will see. The only problem with useing her car is that it is a low millage engine (new) and does not get driven much. I think that ideal candiate for such testing should be in a moderate climate and actual drive the vechile with a composite of city and HWY driveing. My wifes car is also a new and rather under-documented engine so the numbers would not mean much due to small sample size!
 
Messages
33,974
Location
Southern NJ
quote:
They always flip flop around makeing it all but impossable to get a trend going.
John, I think your right. We havn't really seen anyone run it consistantly. Terry recommends it for my car but it's a bit expensive and with the mileage I have on it I think it's too late. I'm sticking with M1. Redline contains a good deal of esters and I think for Toyos, it's a good oil. I wonder though if Amsoil and Redline put as much money into real world "field tests" that show what the oils are really capable of? Amsoil is no doubt a good, credible oil, but what about Redline? They are a small company. This doesn't mean there bad, and in fact in some ways it suggests they could be better! If I were racing, I'd say Redline is probably your best bet. I spoke to Mobil awhile back and they told me that they do more real world testing then the other guys and that is why they feel they have a better product. This wasn't from Mobil's crappy tech. line either. It was there customer relations department. So who knows? I would think all of this is just a balancing act of getting the chemistry just right to satisfy the mass market of all the cars. If you notice, Mobil has been tweeking there formula again and Amsoil recently has changed there 10w-30 from the latest VOA MK posted. Maybe they are reading 3MP's study? [ July 06, 2003, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
I'm on my sixth consecutive interval of Redline in my bike. I've only done one UOA though and it looked fine. If I can get 3k more miles on it before the end of summer, I'll do another UOA this year on it. My wife's new daily driver has RL in it now. I'll post a UOA here soon. But at only at only 1700 miles, it won't mean much. Over the course of the next couple of years, you'll see how RL works in a new Honda from early on. My only issue with RL is TBN retention. I've got a bunch of Dexsil test kits so I'm keeping close tabs on it. It's easy to measure and repeatable. I think the remarks about unreliable TBN measurements were probably directed at the oxidation values that some labs have trouble with.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,591
Location
Iowegia - USA
Redline is a high percentage ester oil composed of the best esters in the industry. And yes, analysis labs do have a problem analyzing high ester oils for both oxidation and tbn. Most ester base oils start out with a tbn of 2.0.
quote:
Also, doesn't higher oil pressure create more engine wear? Maybe that's why Mobil keeps theirs low.
Oils are only part of the oil flow/pressure equation. High oil pressures do not necessarily equate to good oil flow and engine protection. Better oil flow lowers engine wear. High oil pressure is caused by restrictions in the engine and filter and by too high a viscosity of oil. Too low a pressure is caused by too thin an oil and large clearances in worn engines. Redline oils have a starting oil viscosity greater than Mobil 1's. Time will tell if Redline is really mom and apple pie. [ July 06, 2003, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 

Leo

Messages
911
Location
Australia
I dunno, I have seem to lost faith in Redline Products. From reading other websites i've come accross I have read _numerous_ reports about; -MTL/MT90 causing premature synchro wear. Maybe it sacrifices the synchros for good shifting? -Water Wetter sludging up coolant reservoir bottles. I wonder what the rest of the cooling system would be like. -Their oils dont produce enough good UOAs. Some just seem to be lucky while others are very ordinary. Is Redline really all they are cracked up to be? Seems that their SI-1 is the only thing I havent heard numerous bad reports about! I think I'll be sticking to M1. Its not the most exotic oil, but you cant go wrong with it...
 
Messages
9,448
Location
USA
LEO I belive that you have read all of those things. I question the source of information though. It has been my experinces that shade tree tuners always look for a scape goat to make up for thier mechanical failures. I see it all the time in amature import raceing. Their is a lot to be said for self actulization! I have used all of redlines products at one time or another. Their is no way that water wetter if used properly could cause any sludgeing!I ran it year round for 3 years with no sludgeing or corrison. I use MTL in C5 corvettes and have not seen any problems!! I also use it in old corvettes that origanaly shiped with Whale Oil in their Muncie manual transmissions. Their is nothing that would convince me that MTL ate a syncro! I am not aware of any other GL4 compliant fully synthetic lube. Last I checked synchremesh was semisynthetic. No oil blender with their name on the bottle is going to misrate a fluid and open up the floodgates to litagation and class action suites. Smokey Yunick has also used a Polyol based oil and said similar things. The parts look as though they have never touched. SMokey would not name the brand of oil. The only domestic polyol based oil I am aware of is Redline.
 
Messages
47,635
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
John Browning wrote:
quote:
The only domestic polyol based oil I am aware of is Redline
By polyol, I assume you mean PAO or polyalphaolefin.....and all this time I thought that infamous (low -sic) price of Redline was because of the ester base...and that Amsoil and M1 are PAO based....hmmm....
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,591
Location
Iowegia - USA
Redline uses a majority of PE and Di-PE polyol esters (current jet engine lubes). PAO's are not polyol esters. PAO's are synthesized hydrocarbons derived from and polymerized from petroleum gasses, such as ethylene and other gasses. Amsoil uses PAO's and TMP polyol esters at last count. NEO, and a few other companies, still use di-esters as well.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,591
Location
Iowegia - USA
Leo, If you have lost faith in Redline and don't want to pay the price, then don't use the friggin stuff. However, I think your information, which you have not sourced, is incorrect. [ July 06, 2003, 11:50 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 
Messages
47,635
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Molacule - that's why I like the full name used or a proper ancronym - not just a shortened common term. As far as Redline - the few UOA's have indeed not been outstanding. Funny that some people say Amsoil is overpriced....but defend Redline. I tend to think Redline gear oils are nicely priced, but the motor oils are WAY too expensive.
 
Messages
450
Location
The Bay Area
I swear by Red Line products. I'll take a bottle of Red Line over any other oil on the market today. I have had nothing but good experiences, and recently my engine was torn down (headgasket leak), the pistons, cylinders and all lubed parts looked spic and span. Th eengine was completely clean, so clean I could eat off of it. I run 10W-30 in an 01 F-150 at 5,000 mile intervals. I'll have words with anyone that tries to tell me that Red Line is inferior to any other oil.
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
Pable I can't agree no outstanding RL UOA's (they are here somewhere a 5W30 and a 5W40 are two that I remember) BUT I agree gear oil excellent/well priced but engine oil just too expensive here A$28 US quart for non racing use.
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
Pable I can't agree no outstanding RL UOA's (they are here somewhere a 5W30 and a 5W40 are two that I remember) BUT I agree gear oil is excellent & well priced but engine oil just too expensive here IMO (A$28 US quart) for non racing use.
 
Messages
43,651
Location
'Stralia
quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: Smokey Yunick has also used a Polyol based oil and said similar things. The parts look as though they have never touched. SMokey would not name the brand of oil. The only domestic polyol based oil I am aware of is Redline.
JMB, the oil that Smokey used at Indy was "Allproof", whatever that ended up being in today's parlence.
 
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