Redline Oil - Unplugged

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Aug 2, 2002
1) The copper in UOA's using Redline is not wear in the conventional sense....It's a plating effect and is the reason for the very low iron wear in RL analyses.

2) The initial spike in Pb is due to the interaction of the RL add pack and the softer bearing materials. This stabilizes after 2-3 changes

3) The key to Redline is not that it's shear stable, it's that the stuff just doesn't thicken. A very high resistance to oxidation means excellent engine cleaninless, even with extended drain intervals. Maintaining engine cleaninless over 100's of thousands of miles is MUCH more important that marginal differences in wear rates.

4) Valvetrain and piston ring/cylinder wear with Redline just beats Mobil 1 hands down ...

5) If I weren't using Amsoil, I'd run Redline or Delvac 1, based on the UOA's I've seen to date.


[ November 22, 2003, 09:17 PM: Message edited by: TooSlick ]

Maintaining engine cleaninless over 100's of thousands of miles is MUCH more important that marginal differences in wear rates.

So true...

Tooslick, THANK YOU!
Your one of the few that can help us out who have no clue with what we are looking at. Redline has been confusing the h@ll out of most of us.

TS, do you feel Amsoil's Valvetrain/Cynlinder wear is as good as RL?

[ November 22, 2003, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: buster ]

I get tired of my cars after 10-15 years and sell them cheap or give them away to family members. So any potential improvement over Amsoil in that department is moot to me ....I finally got rid of my 1976, Rally riding mower because the chassis parts were failing due to fatigue - the 11 hp B & S engine was still going strong.

Engines using petroleum oils and 3000 mile drain intervals don't wear out for 200k-300k miles. However, their performance does degrade significantly due to high temp deposits, particularly on the piston rings and in the valvetrain. That's what you want to avoid ....


[ November 22, 2003, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: TooSlick ]

The best synthetic lubes I've seen, regardless of the company, are the mixed fleet , SL/CI-4 rated oils. These include the Amsoil Series 3000 and 10w-40, Mobil Delvac 1 and the Petro Canada, Duron 5w-40.

..."Strong diesel engine performance is an indication of the quality of the detergent system, which is also a critical factor in running extended drain intervals"

I believe in borrowing good ideas from SAE lubrication papers ....

I've always liked Redline and wanted to try it out, but it's high price tag in Canada just prohibits that for me. The best price I found on it was around $15 per quart, up until recently when Canadian Tire started selling it for $13 (although none of the ones near me have it yet, but they do have Amsoil now)

But even at $13 per quart, that is still a lot more than GC 0w30 (at $6.66 per liter) or Mobil 1 (at $7.12 per liter, or less if you buy when they have the 4.5 or 5L jugs) And Amsoil is only a little bit more than these two.

If and when GC 0w30 disappears, and when my huge supply then runs out, Amsoil 5w30 ASL will most likely be my next oil (unless something totally spectacular comes out which also doesn't cost too much)

As good as any oil might be, you still have to look at it from a financial standpoint too.

Delvac 1 is the way to go for temps > 0C in the LS-1! Ignore the diesel oil label and try the stuff ....

Mobils own SAE data shows that Delvac 1 significantly outperforms their 0w-40 in the API gas engine tests


[ November 22, 2003, 09:35 PM: Message edited by: TooSlick ]
I have heard that the heavy detergent package in diesel oils will foul spark plugs in gasoline engines. Would you comment on that please.
My spark plugs are supposed to last 100k miles and are a bear to change.
I do agree engine cleanlinless is extremely important, and is one of the main reasons I would run any sythetic over dino, rather than just lower wear and better LDI capability.
White Fang,

Oil consumption with Delvac 1 will be about 50% lower than with mobil 1. The fact that it has 1000 ppm of phosphorus rather than 850 ppm is of no concern to me.

I've been using Amsoil for 25 years and they have been using about 1200 ppm of Phosphorus in their formulations. I've never had to replace a spark plug or oxygen sensor prematurely, and I've never had any pinging issues with high mileage engines from combustion chamber deposits.

Too Slick: Thank you for this information on Redline oil. I have ignored all the back and forth debates on Redline oil and have been running it in my 5.3 Chevy since break in. Logic tells me with Redlines base stocks, and its robust additive package, that it could not help itself but to be a quality oil. You have confirmed my feelings are correct.

One question if you would please answer: What seems to be a good drain interval for this oil in a low mileage 5.3 that sees both summer and Midwest winters (with a remote start and extended idling), mostly short trip and some moderate towing in the summer months? Could you get me in the ballpark based on the UOAs you have seen. I would like to go once per year with about 4K but winter fuel dilution has me concerned. Could I change at the start of winter and run to the start of the next winter?

Thanks for sharing the wealth....Scott
Redline seems to handle fuel dilution and oxidative thickening very well. Esters have natural solvency and they can take lots of abuse. There was a UOA for an inboard boat engine using RL, that showed about 3% fuel and still had decent wear numbers.

It would be worth testing a couple of batches after 6-8 months, since you're under warranty. But I wouldn't lose any sleep if it was my engine.

Thanks for your explanation of Red Line oil. I understood everything except for #1.


1) The copper in UOA's using Redline is not wear in the conventional sense....It's a plating effect and is the reason for the very low iron wear in RL analyses.

Here are my questions regarding this statement:

-Where does the copper come from? It isn't an add in RL, is it? Is it being "cleaned" from the bearing and being used as an EP/FM?
-Where does the plating occur?
-How does copper reduce wear?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Too Slick One more quick question. A post on this forum states that the new spec on RL 5w-30 has changed as follows Quote:

--The ACEA ratings - what are these again? - have changed.
--The 5w30 is now thicker at 100C. Now it is 10.9 as opposed to 10.6
--Flash point is up from 455 to 486
--Everything else, based on the tech, is the same including additives.

Any educated guess on what would have change in their formula to get this nice bump in flash point??

Thanks again....Scott

[ November 23, 2003, 01:25 AM: Message edited by: Night Owl ]

Originally posted by userfriendly:
source of copper?
exxon chem_patents v_lubrizol corp htm

But if you look at the latest two (i'm too tired to link them) VOAs, they have 0ppm and 1ppm of copper. So i don't think it's too much of an add. And not anywhere near as much as Pat. 4,867,890 suggests.


Originally posted by TooSlick:

Delvac 1 is the way to go for temps > 0C in the LS-1! Ignore the diesel oil label and try the stuff ....

Everyone keeps forgetting I don't own an LS1 anymore though, my 95 Formula has the LT1 in it (although the oils which work in the LS1 should work well in the LT1 too, since they are somewhat similar in that both are pushrod V8s with similar clearances, LT1 being slightly looser)

My problem with Delvac 1 though is that it only comes in a 4L jug, and my car takes 5L. Makes it a bit of a pain to use. I've still considered it in the past though and am curious as to how it would do.

My theory is that the Cu doesn't show up in VOA's as it is only liberated by using the oil in an engine. At least that's how I've interpreted the articles I've read in industry trade magazines.

The MoDTC causes a reaction, forming a Moly-Sulfide layer, that generates free copper which then plates out on ferrous materials. So the valvetrain and perhaps even the cylinder walls are coated by this soft, easily shearable layer. I'm sure Molekule will weigh in on it sometime - I'd also like to hear a better explanation.

People on this site think they are the only ones who have noticed these things in UOA's? Of course the folks making Redline/Mobil 1/Amsoil are well aware of any potential issues with their products ....Nobody sells a defective oil - that's just a silly idea.

I would concur that a clean engine is probably more important then attemtping to reduce wear metals, where over the long run, fewer ppm/1000 miles really doesn't make any diffeence in longevity. At least none that have shown on this board as yet.

However, Redline is just overpriced or should I say, too expensive for the marginal, if any, benefit one would see in their daily driver or even their performance engine. That plus their difficulty in locating it when alternatives abound that accomplish the same thing are the primary reasons I have never tried it as an engine oil. For a gear oil, where I have experienced the difference in shifting, that is a different matter. Engine oil just no way of really knowing.
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