Redline vs. Swepco info

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Jun 21, 2003
Hi guys. I found this Redline "testimonial" on another board while browsing web in search of any technical data on Swepco oils. I think that this info is pretty interesting and does seem to be rather truthful. Your rational and substantiated opinions (as well as direct knowledge) are, as always, welcomed.

Hi all, not that I like open this old can of worms, but -

I used to love Red Line trans oil, run it in my Scirocco 16V, my Vanagon
trans, and it seemed like the best available- **Until Last Night**!!!

While at S Car Go, ( a shop in Marin county that
prepares Porsches for racing, builds custom engines, headers, you name
it! They have one that puts out 500HP at the rear wheels!. Indeed they
are widely known in Porsche racing circles, and do most excellent work.

The Point of this message:
I noticed that the only kind of oil in their shop is Swepco. One of them
had a transaxle apart on the bench, and I asked him his opinion of Red
Line vs Swepco. He told me that Red Line breaks down into a chalky
deposit on the parts, and leaves a thin liquid behind. He then showed
me, on the parts he was working on, exactly what he just told me. He
scraped the goo deposit off of a gear, and I could see that the stuff
coating the parts was red, and there was a layer of what looked like
watery oil on some parts. He also told me that he can take one look and
tell what was run in a gearbox, and sees a lot of Red Line-lubricated
trannys come in broken.

They run ONLY Swepco oils and lubricants in these awesome, beautiful,
hand built, ex-freaking-spensive machines.

I'm sold. It's Swepco from now on for my trans oil from now on, and if I
upgrade from Mobil 1 Synth in my engines, it will be to Swepco. I'll
even look for their greases for the important stuff...

And another one:

Here, let me open the can of worms a little further! A while back (actually
about 2 years or so now) I was having a problem with the 2nd gear sychro in
my trans and was told that Red Line would not fix the problem but would help
to make it better so I used some Red line in the trans. Not only did it
make my 2nd gear grind worse, but it leaked past all my seals so quickly
that I developed a whine (low fluid = bad bearing(s)) before I knew the
trans was low. I replaced the sychro but wasn't about to replace all the
bearings to fix one light whine so I started running Mobil 1 and it helped
quite a bit but it still has the whine. I posted this to the list and
everyone thought I was crazy to say that I wouldn't use "That over priced
red crap" in my trans again. Thanks for this post because it not only
reinforces my feelings on Red Line in general but reminds me how
commercially wipped people are. I like performance and durability and if I
have to pay a little extra for that then fine but there is also performance
and durability is things that are not name brand or something that isn't
pasted on the side of a Nascar or Rally car. I think people get lost in the
hoopla myself!

I have quite a few quarts of Redline in my garage, and none of them contain red oil. Ive seen green oil, and purple oil, but no red yet. Redlines gear oil is not red either. But their auto tranny oil (and everybody elses) is. But when tranny fluid goes bad it turns brown doesnt it? Sounds like a Swepco add bashing the competition to me.
Good for a laugh at least
Actually your post was the first time I had heard of Swepco. Ive used Amsoil products in the past, but I dont like their advertising strategy either. According to them God himself mixes their oil and nothing else can compare! But seriously, that is the first time Ive heard anything really bad about Redline. Only if BITOG himself said it was a bad oil, would I believe it.

Originally posted by Jason8691:
Redlines gear oil is not red either.

the redline i use in the diff of my vette is a bright, opaque red. shockproof heavy. it actually behaves as in the description, but i think it's supposed to be that way.

i really don't think any breakages are due to the lubrication. i can see synchro wear as changing, but breakage? the industry is full of shops with ideas like that. some of them might even believe themselves. doesn't make any of it true.


Originally posted by Jason Troxell:
Good for a laugh at least

Please explain why? If you'd like you can enter part of the message into google and it will take you to the original board message.

Jason8691, it also seemed like a bashing at first to me. Later I recalled that a few members on this board also mentioned Swepco as a great lubricant. I've never tried any of Swepco's products, but wondering if people who did try it are able to some feedback on it. It also looks like from online info that some racing fans use exclusively Swepco in their cars. At this point I would trust Redline instead of Swepco mainly due to the huge (mostly successful) experience of BITOG members with a Redline on this board. Whereas Swepco oil practically is not used by BITOG members. I'm currently using 2 Redline's products - seem to work OK. Can’t say they are terrific compared to other oils, but can't say anything bad (at this point) about them for the exception of a high price.


[ April 08, 2004, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: Titanium_Alloy ]
I put forward a thread on Swepco over a year ago, and its true not many members here has heard of or use Swepco oils.
I have 5 liters just waiting at the starting line to go into my GM minivan. I would have used much earlier, but I had quite stock to rotate prior and then there was the GC bandwagon...

Now I am waiting a little longer again because I had the van service (the infamous GM gasket thing), and I am going to put a few miles on the dino oil they put in.
I will give you a "seat of pants" and "sole of my right shoe" - VOA -
I have used red Line for years, and have seen MTL in both red and amber colors - for a while, i could buy either - i used red in trannies that specified ATF so that the desaler would not hastle people. The Shockproof oil is red.

I have never seen any deposits from their products though, in years of street and racing.

Swepco is the darling of the Porsche crowd, and has the usual "amazing anecdotes" that follow "designer oils". I had their rep visit me a few years ago, and he did not know enough to convince me ( a retired tribologist, mech and electrical engineer) that they had achieved a miracle in a bottle.

Like a neighbor in texas, Lubrication Engineers, they have their followers. But I like the science shared with me from LE, and have seen their products in action, and tested the LE-607 gear oil myself, so I can vouch that they are a top-tier product.

I am not saying Swepco is not good- it may be excellent, but I generally raise an eyebrow at companies that spread "gossip" about others - Amsoil has done that about some of RL's products, as has Mobil, and now Swepco. It is bad form, as people used to say in a gentler time. Now, it "sucks". I will keep an open mind, so let' see the VOA/UOA's.
Marketing is everything for oil blenders. Most of the better blenders do have at least one engineer or scientist on the staff, but lack research budgets for anything much more than QC. Lubrizol, Ethyl, Oronite, etc. supply the add packs for most of the specialty oils, and they do good work supported by good science, narrowing the performance gap between the best oils. Regrettably, most automotive type club members (and possibly mechanics) have a herd mentality, always go for the slickest 'new' products, and are for the most part poorly-equipped to evaluate the products they advocate with such conviction. Frankly, I see 900 hp sprint cars make a season on RL quite reliably, and I don't think 500 hp Porsches are much of a big deal in that regard.

Originally posted by Titanium_Alloy:

Thanks for the future testing. I'll wait with a great interest your experience with Swepco oil.


No problem..

I will gladly post an update, fuel mileage and how it handles the piston slap at start up will be very interesting.
Well the Swepco oil just went in a1/2 hour ago...
, put in 1USQ of 10W30 and 4USQ of 5W30 (because thats what I was able to get my hands on...)

I am glad I droped that dino juice the dealer put in..even with less that 1500km on it. It came out like water
.I thought it was idling a little rough..even my wife noticed it. I guess I was really used to looking at M1 droping out of the pan.

Originally posted by 2K2AcuraTL:
Well the Swepco oil just went in a1/2 hour ago...
, put in 1USQ of 10W30 and 4USQ of 5W30 (because thats what I was able to get my hands on...)

Did you use the Semi-Syn Swepco? Not sure which you put in and just curious. Thanks
Both the 10 and 5 W30 is the -306 multi weight- that is currently found on their web site. As in the high VI parrafin base stock. As for the semi-synth...???

OK Folks...
Here are my first impressions/-seat of my pants-observations on the Swepco (mostly)5W30. So far its been >500km and 10 days. The engine is running quieter at any cruising speed, all I hear is wind/road noise. Start up is quick and the rough idle is gone. Fuel consumption seems to be a tad better (gas gauge), I will have hard numbers after a few fill-ups.
As for the piston slap.....
It has changed......
It is now clear, clean, crisp, somewhat like well tune castanets....I've never heard so well...

Stay tuned for more info.
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