Redline Oil - Good, Bad or Ugly???

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5,785
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Dixie
Here's my take on Redline, based on the results I've seen to date and a fair amount of experience with synthetic lubes: Strong Points: 1) Probably the best shear stability of any multrgrade I've seen - even the 5w-40 and 10w-40 grades simply don't shear. If you look at the spec sheets, it's easy to figure out why. 2) Grade for grade, lower oil consumption than Mobil 1 where this is an issue. This is a function of the relatively high, HT/HS viscosity and very low Noack numbers. 3) Excellent engine cleanliness, even compared to other synthetic lubes. You can see this in the oil analysis results, if you know what to look for. 4) "Hard" metal wear, specifically iron wear is generally very good. I believe the additive chemistry is highly resistant to corrosive wear. Weak Points: 1) Soft metal wear - the additive chemistry is pretty aggressive and Pb/Cu/Sn levels tend to be higher than for other top tier synthetics. I think the very high level of moly is somewhat responsible for this. 2) Below average TBN retention makes the product unsuitable for extended drain use in many cases. 3) Basestock and additive chemistry is pretty unique, so you really want to carry some on long trips if your engine burns oil. 4) Cost/Availability - of course you can say the same for the Amsoil Series 2000 formulations. I think Redline is well suited to specific applications where it's unique properties can be put to use. These include application like wet clutch motorcycles and turbos that tend to shear oil. It is also a good candidate for problem engines like the V-6 toyota and 2.4L Nissan four cylinder that tend to beat up the oil and form sludge/varnish deposits. For extended drain applications in normal driving, I believe Amsoil or Mobil 1 are better choices for most folks. Tooslick Dixie Synthetics
 

Jay

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1,607
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Idaho Falls, ID
I agree that something in RedLine affects soft metal wear but why do you think moly is responsible? I looked over my break-in oil analysis results and found that the soft metal wear was very low even though I had almost 1000ppm moly in the oil.
 

TooSlick

Thread starter
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5,785
Location
Dixie
Jay, Sort of a process of elimination I suppose .... There is some sort of chemical reaction the first 1-2 times Redline is used where the basestock and/or additive chemistry interacts with these softer bearing surfaces and probably forms some a sacrifical metallic oxide layer. In cases where the drain interval has been overextended the bearing wear goes up noticably, so something is turning acidic and causing corrosive wear. Of course, I could be totally wrong and it's the specific type of esters Redline uses that are causing this. That would be my other educated guess. Tooslick
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,909
Location
Iowegia - USA
quote:
3) Excellent engine cleanliness, even compared to other synthetic lubes. You can see this in the oil analysis results, if you know what to look for.
I think the cleanliness AND the soft metals issue are one and the same. The DD levels are low for a synthetic oil and I believe it's because of the high ester content in RL, which make very good scavengers. I do not think the esters are attacking any soft metals, just cleaning the surfaces of bearings, due to their high polar affinity to metals. I do agree that RL's tbn and tbn retention could be better given the price. I think their calcium levels need to be about 1.5 times more than current levels.
 

Patman

Staff member
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22,000
Location
Guelph, Ontario
One of the reasons I like the Castrol Formula SLX 0w30 is that I see it as being very similar to Redline in many ways, but with a few extra benefits too. For one, they both contain a lot of esters. Also, the Formula SLX appears to be very shear stable so far too. I think the bonus is that Formula SLX appears to hold it's TBN very well, and it's lack of moly might be a benefit for extended drains. I also think that this Formula SLX is very similar to Amsoil 5w30, their viscosities at 40 and 100c are very close for one. I would love to try out Redline in my Firebird sometime, but it's price is far too high up here. So if my testing with Formula SLX doesn't go well, I'm thinking of trying out either the 5w40 Belgium Castrol, or 5w30 Amsoil (ASL). Ideally, I'd love to try an oil with a 40C viscosity of around 60-70cst, and a 100C viscosity of 13-14cst. I'm not sure this oil even exists, most thicker oils also have 40C viscosities which I feel are too high for my comfort level. And if this oil even did exist, would it retain it's viscosity throughout a 6k interval? I'd feel more comfortable with an oil that starts at 12cst at 100c and finishes there, than an oil that starts at 14 but finishes at 12. Sorry for taking this slightly off the original topic, but I did want to discuss the similarities between these oils.
 
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534
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South
Originally posted by Patman: "and it's lack of moly might be a benefit for extended drains." Can this be explained? [Confused]
 

Patman

Staff member
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22,000
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Chris: Originally posted by Patman: "and it's lack of moly might be a benefit for extended drains." Can this be explained? [Confused]
A few people on here have alluded to the fact that Redline's very high moly content can be a detriment to it's use for extended drains. Technically speaking I'm not sure why this is though, perhaps someone else can explain it better.
 
Messages
47,787
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
TS - I pretty much agree with you. As far the cleaning effect/RL and softmetals - I really cling to my theory similarly when going to non-Mo synthetic from a high Mo oil - The AW plastizied films are removed from bearing surfaces by the new oil along with surface atoms -hence these show up as increased (soft) metals in UOA and decreased TBN (from the organo/thio) - This is temporary and not necessarily harmful, the new high priced oil will lay down it's own AW film when the cleaning "phase" is over.
 

Al

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19,252
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
It seems to me like the RL reports we have seen lately are pretty good. I really want to try the stuff-but I really think I will add a quart of the RL to the next oil change (I know additive clash) to my son's Cavalier just to see how things work. I like the addition of the extra esters. [ August 10, 2003, 09:11 AM: Message edited by: Al ]
 
Messages
413
Location
Marietta, GA
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: It is also a good candidate for problem engines like the V-6 toyota and 2.4L Nissan four cylinder that tend to beat up the oil and form sludge/varnish deposits. For extended drain applications in normal driving, I believe Amsoil or Mobil 1 are better choices for most folks. Tooslick Dixie Synthetics
Are you referring to the KA24DE on a Nissan Altima? I did not know it was sludge/varnish monster. I learn more everday on BITOG. I have a 94 altima that has 118,000 miles on it. I am doing the auto rx high mileage treatment on it with Castrol GTX 10w-30. I will be interested to see how much goop/sludge comes out.
 
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246
Location
Atlanta, GA
Tooslick, can you point me to info on the Nissan 2.4l sludging problem. I have both a KA24E and a KA24DE but have never had or heard of an oil issue with these engines.
 
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903
Location
CA
The soft metal wear is one of my concerns since I use RL. My last UOA from my bike showed this after 4200 miles: copper 4 ppm lead 0 ppm Tin 1 ppm TBN 11. It was the sixth interval with RL so maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe it was just good luck. [I dont know] I'm coming up on 5,000 smiles so let's see what that gives me. I checked TBN a couple of weeks ago. I got a 10. I know 5k miles isn't very far but I don't mind changing oil twice a year.
 
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254
Location
Denver
Thanks TooSlick, just the thread I was hoping to see. [HAIL 2 U!] The rapid TBN depletion on extended drains is unnerving to say the least, and with all the topsy-turvy UOAs that have been posted on this site so far, it was getting hard to decide whether the Redline beefs up your engine protection or slowly works to destroy it! [Dual] But your analysis makes a good case that RL is taking a bad rap on its UOAs for doing a superb job of clean-up inside the engine and for laying down the all-important protective coat of moly. Now, not only am I feeling more comfortable using the Redline, heck, I’m actually starting to develop a John Wayne swagger about having it in there. [Big Grin] Even at $7.25 a quart, when all is said and done, it just may be the king of motor oils if superb high-performance protection is what you are after.
 
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34,194
Location
South Jersey
I think Tooslick and Molekule's posts are right on. After reading about RL and talking to the experts on here (Molkule/Terry/TS/Mark etc.), I think RL is a very good oil. I would also say that I have been wrong in most cases about it being hygroscopic/corrosive etc. It's also been said that the high Pb we've seen is from RL reacting chemically with the bearings and NOT wear as we think of it. RL chemists have stated this as well. RL will also maintain it's viscosity better then any oil on the market and probably keep your engine a lot cleaner which from my uderstanding, is a lot more important then small differences in PPM we see in UOA's. Whether it's worth it to you is another story and I'm not quite sure RL is as good of an extended drain oil as Amsoil/Mobil 1. However, for racing it's probably the way to go. I've be come such a post whore. 7k + posts? That is sad.... [Freak]
 
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105
Location
Denver, Co
Bump for this topic...I think I'm sold on the Redline for my '05 V6 Accord...the 3000 mile intervals with expensive Redline might hurt a little but I'll make it up with my own oil changes. Good info here though!
 
[LOL!] buster [LOL!] I did have a question concerning RL's cleaning ability. Could this be used as an alternative to AutoRx, providing the engine was not severely sludged up, or maybe could be used every X amount of oil changes for about 5k to clean out the engine (or rather, help keep it clean) then switch back to the dino/synth oil of your choice? Does that sound workable? [I dont know]
 
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922
Location
Ontario , Canada
one other benefit seems to be reduced friction. I switched to Redline 10w-40 from Mobil1 10w-30 for one of my road course events (which includes about 2,000 kms worth of driving there and back). I found that I got the best fuel consumption with this oil change interval - Redline 10w-40, where I was expecting it to be worse than the 10w-30 OCI's. With respect to engine wear, Even with a day of road racing on this oil the UOA wear numbers weren't much worse than a typical daily driving OCI using Mobil1, they were relatively close in all metal counts. And the wear numbers for Mobil1 were very low to begin with. I was very impressed with Redline when I used it, but it is too expensive to dump out for my 3,000 mile OCI's required under my manufacturer warranty. [Frown]
 
Messages
841
Location
Ohio
I'm glad to see that Redline is becoming less of a whipping boy around here. It's an excellent oil in my opinion, and always has been. Not the be all/end all oil that we all search for, and probably not the best choice for some people, but an excellent oil none the less. I think the only place it really comes up a little short is TBN retention, but that doesn't really bother me since I'm not interested in super long drain intervals. 5K to 6K is the maximum for me, regardless of what oil I use. I just don't see the need to stretch it beyond that.
 
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