Some polymer chemistry

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It truly is a conundrum: •Use what's spec'd (conventional, blends or syn) at factory oci •Use only synthetics at factory oci •Use synthetics at a much more conservative oci •If synthetic isnt spec'd, use conventionals on short oci Maybe all of these are correct for different circumstances.
 
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Too large a file for my dying 'puter to open. NBD, my bachelor's was a BA.. I got to see some hydro- carbon chains and my eyes glazed over. But thanks for trying to educate me. My only guess is that modern engines are tight enough and tough enough and the oils are good enough for extended OCIs. Look at some UOAs and draw your own conclusions. Look at the miles put on cars. Decent PMs on just about any car, will get you 200K miles and beyond. I was gonna see how long I could keep my daughter's '06 Corolla going when it was totaled. No injuries to a full car, thankfully, but too twisted to save. 180k and running fine. Besides there is a difference between stuff in print and real world applications. The sky isnt falling. grin2
 
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Originally Posted By: andyd
My only guess is that modern engines are tight enough and tough enough and the oils are good enough for extended OCIs. Look at some UOAs and draw your own conclusions. Look at the miles put on cars. Decent PMs on just about any car, will get you 200K miles and beyond.
The question is more in the context of modern DI engines. Many of them in the US tend to generate notable fuel dilution in the oil. Too early to tell whether they'll reliably get you to "200K miles and beyond." I think I was the one that mentioned oil getting permanently broken down by fuel, even after the fuel burns off. I vaguely remember this notion was brought forward by some of the tribologists here on BITOG, but I'm unable now to find those posts. I also don't remember whether they linked to any supporting research. I hate getting old...
 
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Years ago, I opined in a post here that while oil and fuel were cosolvent, the fuel would be a more volatile fraction of the solution and would be evaporated out when the oil reached operating temperature and was kept there for a time. Someone replied that, no, the chemical changes were irreversible. In the context of DI engines, the UOA section shows that some implementations result in serious fuel dilution while others don't. I'd base my maintenance plan on that information.
 

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QP and fdcg27, Here's a link to the Google Search I was using... link to Google Search Won't post specific threads, as there's some uncomplementary discourse in there with some current members who I respect a lot. some items were that M1 (bear in mind 2007) was suffering from permanent attack by aromatics, and it was something Mobil could address with the will to do so. Temporary Viscosity loss could be burned off, but some aromatic attack was permanent.
 
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There was an old thread in which an owner of some hi-po Audi was seeing horrible metal shedding in UOAs due to high fuel dilution. He used Dyson Analysis and Terry's recommendation was to use an ester basestock oil from RLI. The owner did so and metals numbers in his UOAs came down to reasonable levels. Just thought I'd share this for the benefit of those who have engines that have high levels of fuel dilution. This is also a bit of a stick in the eye for those who think that UOAs have no utility and cannot be a proxy for wear.
 

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
There was an old thread in which an owner of some hi-po Audi was seeing horrible metal shedding in UOAs due to high fuel dilution. He used Dyson Analysis and Terry's recommendation was to use an ester basestock oil from RLI. The owner did so and metals numbers in his UOAs came down to reasonable levels. Just thought I'd share this for the benefit of those who have engines that have high levels of fuel dilution. This is also a bit of a stick in the eye for those who think that UOAs have no utility and cannot be a proxy for wear.
A question and a couple of observations: 1. When you say horrible metal shedding are we talking like north of 100ppm? I assume we aren't fretting about 2-10ppm of difference. 2. Terry doesn't use a $20.00 UOA as far as I am aware 3. Terry makes his living interpreting UOA's. Nobody else on here does. I am sure that there are situations where a professional can in fact glean valuable wear information from a UOA. but that isn't provided free of charge to the users of this site nor is it being performed by members looking at the UOA's of others in the UOA section. I'm sure there is a science (and perhaps a little voodoo) in being able to legitimately look at a pattern of metals in a UOA and based on that pattern, determine that something isn't quite right. This isn't the same as somebody going "OMG you have 10ppm more iron on PU than you did on Synpower, which had one more PPM than Syntec, PP is causing your engine to eat itself!!!!!!!111111ONE" grin
 

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
1. When you say horrible metal shedding are we talking like north of 100ppm? I assume we aren't fretting about 2-10ppm of difference.
The differences were not that big... http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubb...pda#Post1171236 But he also claimed other benefits to using RLI BioSyn... http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubb...ne_#Post1325647
Oh......... I don't see any actual tear-down data, just some UOA's there and some not-so-huge differences as you've noted (13ppm of Fe in the UOA at the top of that thread) shrug How do we know wear has actually been reduced? I don't think we do......
 
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According to the UOA in this post, iron wear particles dropped by more than half per K and nothing else was all that high to begin with: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/1394808/1 A 50% reduction in iron per thousand miles of use seems pretty significant to me. Is a UOA a proxy for wear? I think it is, since the wear metals obviously came from the engine and unless we take it as given that some oils skew the range of wear metals to particles sizes larger than what a UOA will show, there is no other reasonable explanation. In the case of this owner, he did a number of UOAs during his ownership of the car, so he does have valid trending of results. UOAs are useful for the owner of an engine in service. Teardowns are obviously not. Doug Hillary might not agree, but Terry Dyson would. Two experts with two different views.
 

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
According to the UOA in this post, iron wear particles dropped by more than half per K and nothing else was all that high to begin with: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/1394808/1 A 50% reduction in iron per thousand miles of use seems pretty significant to me. Is a UOA a proxy for wear? I think it is, since the wear metals obviously came from the engine and unless we take it as given that some oils skew the range of wear metals to particles sizes larger than what a UOA will show, there is no other reasonable explanation. In the case of this owner, he did a number of UOAs during his ownership of the car, so he does have valid trending of results. UOAs are useful for the owner of an engine in service. Teardowns are obviously not. Doug Hillary might not agree, but Terry Dyson would. Two experts with two different views.
True, but Doug DID extensive tear-down testing. And he made no money from the thousands upon thousands of UOA's he performed in his 50+ years in the field. He also doesn't benefit from recommending a particular brand of oil either, he's worked for basically all of the majors at one time or another. On top of that he has extensive OEM relationships with most of the German marques. I'm definitely on Doug's side, which I'm sure I've made quite obvious in the past. I have a copy of one of his publications. He is a man who is recognized as a true expert in the field in the Australian OTR trucking industry. So while I certainly respect Terry's contributions on here in the past before his departure as well as his expertise, if it comes down to what Doug says vs what Terry says, well, there's no contest, I'll be siding with Doug. I think it ultimately comes down to how much value is ascribed to that PPM figure and its trending history. Doug's data supports the fact that even "extremely high" Fe values (like 150ppm of Fe) in a UOA do NOT directly translate to actual wear in a tear-down. Do we have anything that can contradict that? I don't think we do. That 50% reduction in Fe PPM in that UOA may not translate into anything upon disassembly. We don't know one way or another because the engine was never taken apart. And that's WHY he advises we be very cautious trying to extrapolate conclusions based on that kind of data. You have to prove your hypothesis otherwise that's all it remains. So while the data can be attractive and makes it easy to draw a conclusion, without actual verification, what do you really have?
 
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I could just as well say that you have to prove your hypotesis. A properly maintained engine in typical light vehicle use will never be taken apart, nor will it need to be. To state that the only valid measure of wear involves a teardown is a little silly. Most of us are just looking for acceptable wear metals numbers. We aren't going to run an engine for thousnads of hours and then remove it from a vehicle ready for the yard so that we can tear it down and then break out the mics. The real message that I get from Doug is that when we're talking about PPM, even a 2X difference isn't really all that great. If an engine shows 1 PPM of iron per K on oil A and 2 PPM of iron per K on oil B, will the difference in wear even be measurable with conventional measuring tools? Probably not. Is there a difference in wear? Most certainly. Does it matter at all? Probably not.
 

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
I could just as well say that you have to prove your hypotesis.
But I don't need to, Doug already did, that was the point I made that you seem to have missed. Doug did millions of Km's coupled with thousands of UOA's AND random tear-downs to do actual physical inspection because he was doing lubricant testing for Mobil at the time with Delvac 1 5w-40.
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A properly maintained engine in typical light vehicle use will never be taken apart, nor will it need to be.
I agree. And a typical engine will never see a UOA either. And the use of them on this site is hardly in-line with their common use in commercial applications (which nicely corresponds with Doug's usage BTW).
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To state that the only valid measure of wear involves a teardown is a little silly.
Not sure how it being a fact makes it silly? Unless you are going to divine the wear measurements out of the engine you have no idea what wear has or has not occurred without tearing it down.
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Most of us are just looking for acceptable wear metals numbers.
Define acceptable? That's the issue here! We do UOA's, have no baseline for which to determine if they are acceptable or not and half the folks go off half-cocked over numbers they really don't understand in the context of the engine at hand. And again this jives handily with the article Doug wrote for this site which states that one must have literally thousands of UOA's for a given engine to properly be able to determine what "normal" is! Ultimately GM doesn't give somebody a "normal" UOA spreadsheet for an LT1 and tell people to shoot for that as a target with whatever lubricant they see fit. They advise you run a GM-spec oil at the OLM interval to obtain optimal results. UOA's are used in commercial service to optimize lubricant operational life and monitor for things like coolant leaks, air intake tract leaks and signs of mechanical issues which are sometimes coupled with significant spikes in a particular metal or metals. Similarly, Audi's testing yielded what THEY, the OEM, determined as acceptable wear performance using their requirements for an approved lubricant and what seems to be implied here is that through some UOA's and no actual measurements we've somehow managed to determine that some other lubricant is performing better than what Audi spec'd. While that may in fact actually be happening, a UOA is not proof of that, only a tear-down is.
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We aren't going to run an engine for thousnads of hours and then remove it from a vehicle ready for the yard so that we can tear it down and then break out the mics.
Yet that's exactly what people who have real data like Doug did. And that's exactly what the OEM's do. And they aren't doing UOA's and contrasting them to the tear-down measurements either. About the only situation I'm aware of where they are used is in F1, and these aren't your $20.00 specials. And the engines are still torn down eventually.
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The real message that I get from Doug is that when we're talking about PPM, even a 2X difference isn't really all that great.
But that's not what he states:
Originally Posted By: Doug Hillary
Secondly, it is easy to assume that by carrying out a UOA you will be able to determine how quickly the engine is wearing out. As well, if you change lubricant Brands you will be able to compare the wear metal uptake results and then make a balanced best lubricant choice to make your engine last longer. Sadly that logic is seriously flawed. Single pass (random) UOAs will provide some information regarding wear metals but unless you have a history of your engine’s performance up to around 1 million miles the results are simply that – UOA results! As an example a limit of 150ppm of Iron is a reality – after say 100k it means the lubricant should be changed and all is well. But what is the situation if you have 150ppm of Iron at 5k? Where would you look what would or could you do? So UOAs are really a diagnostic tool – one of many! The other parts of the UOA Report will be much more valuable to you – it will tell you about the CONDITION of the lubricant and its suitability for further use. This will enable you to get the maximum safe use from the lubricant saving a valuable resource in the process.
So if it is normal for engine XYZ to generate 30-40ppm of Fe every 10K on an approved lubricant and you change to another lubricant that isn't approved and those numbers change that doesn't mean you can contrast those numbers to the earlier numbers. The new numbers are just the numbers for that lubricant in that application. To determine wear performance you still have to take the engine apart. No matter how inconvenient that might strike you as. Nobody said science was easy. It would be awesome to be able to just do UOA's until you got the lowest numbers and then choose that oil and proceed like a boss knowing full-well that your engine is wearing the least. But of course that's not how it works.
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If an engine shows 1 PPM of iron per K on oil A and 2 PPM of iron per K on oil B, will the difference in wear even be measurable with conventional measuring tools? Probably not. Is there a difference in wear? Most certainly. Does it matter at all? Probably not.
You wouldn't even know where the iron was coming from with numbers that low. It could be rust, chelation, somebody could have eaten some iron pills and [censored] near the intake. Doug posted pictures (and measurements!) of various parts off an engine with 1.2 million Km's (that's roughly 750,000 miles) that had been randomly chosen as a tear-down candidate. This engine operated with an Fe condemnation limit of 150ppm IIRC and the oil was changed at around the 90,000km mark (55,000 miles). The parts still measured "as new" with that kind of mileage and that kind of lubricant "contamination" level/limit. The parts were returned to service! The liner looked immaculate BTW with visible cross-hatching still on the walls. And regarding the difference in wear assuming more realistic examples: The UOA isn't necessarily telling us there is a difference in wear. Different additive packages will react to a surface and can result in a different measurement in a UOA. We don't know if these tiny particles in the 2-10 micron range are in fact the result of abrasive removal or chemical. They could even be the result of oxidation. A steel valve cover bolt operated in a Canadian winter accumulating a tiny amount of rust after a short winter run as the water gets to it. Then washed away by the oil the next actual warm up. So I agree with your last statement: No, it probably doesn't matter. But the reason it doesn't matter is because we don't actually know exactly where the particles we see in the UOA are coming from. Ergo, we don't know what "wear" even is in this context. We know it is occurring, all over the engine (because an engine is always wearing while it operates), but we do not know how we are effecting it in each region that reflects the metal being measured (think of the potential sources of iron for example) and so we really don't know what we think we do with these simple numbers assuming they are in the range that is normal for that engine family. And if there IS an unusual spike, well that will likely warrant a manual inspection because you sure aren't swapping out a camshaft with another Blackstone kit. The desire is of course to use a UOA as a substitute for an actual inspection. But anything unusual gleaned from the UOA will require an actual inspection. Just like there's no reason to tear down a properly operating engine there's really no reason to do a UOA on one either unless you suspect coolant ingress, intake tract contamination, a potential failure of some sort or are looking to optimize OCI length. The former reasons all potentially leading to a tear-down anyways. The longest lasting gasoline engines get that way not because somebody optimized lubricant choice through UOA's and fretting over PPM, they got there due to good DNA and a lifestyle that is conducive to racking up excessive miles. So by that metric even if by some stroke of luck you actually reduced wear and were able to lengthen the life of your engine from 700,000 miles to 720,000 miles, in that context, as you said, does it matter at all? Given what sends most cars to the wreckers? probably not smile BTW, this is a great discussion thumbsup
 
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Doug may have proven something wrt large diesels with extravangant oil capacities in hard service. This has negligible relevance to the vehicles that most of us drive, so it proves almost nothing. What Doug did show, and or very own Dave Newton has shown the same, is that condemnation limits for oil in service can be far beyond what most of us would feel comfortable with Of course the notion of a teardown and measurement is silly. You're not going to do one and I'm not either. UOAs are a valid proxy for wear. To postulate that the metals could be coming from some source other than wear is reaching, and an owner normally knows when rust would be contributing to high iron levels, as in cases where the engine has been left resting for a few years and is then put back into service. Your other two examples are specious, particulary in the context of the many UOAs you can find here of most common engines, and I doubt that you'd need thousands of them. If your street driven engine has metals per K well beyond the norm as compared to other similar engines, then you may well have a problem. It may involve the oil you've used, it may involve the drain intervals you've used or it may involve your driving habits, but one could draw a valid inference that something is amiss. Manufacturer's base their oil and OCI recommendations on an expected vehicle service life of around 150K and this is well understood in the industry. Many may not find this to be an acceptable life and will therefore maintain their vehicles more carefully than what the manufacturer calls for. This may include periodic UOAs just to see what's going on and to try to achieve lower wear. Acceptable to me might well be a lower number than acceptable to the OEM, since the OEM has designed both the vehicle and the maintenance schedule around what many of us would consider to be too short a life in service. The longest lasting engines typically get that way because they have low specific outputs or they're operated in a way that only produces low specific output, like mainly highway use. Any engine can be made to last a long time with careful maintenance as well as careful driving. Any engine can be ruined through a lack of maintenance just as it can be through abuse. There is a very fine line between maxmizing oil life and going beyond an oil's life limit in service. Where that line lies is a matter of opinion. I know that Dave Newton and Doug Hillary would put the condemnation limit well past what the UOA lab I use, Polaris, does. Polaris also flags TBN levels that Blackstone recommends as good for continued service. I suspect that Polaris may know a thing or two about oil service life having done who knows how many UOAs over the years and trended many engines in commercial service. Of course, if you reject UOAs as having no value, then that means little.
 

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Doug may have proven something wrt large diesels with extravangant oil capacities in hard service. This has negligible relevance to the vehicles that most of us drive, so it proves almost nothing.
I am quite sure he would beg to differ on that one.
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What Doug did show, and or very own Dave Newton has shown the same, is that condemnation limits for oil in service can be far beyond what most of us would feel comfortable with
Agreed. And that ties into the value aspect of things. If you aren't going to take advantage of the potential service life of the lubricant, what is the point in tracking it? Assuming an engine in proper mechanical condition.
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Of course the notion of a teardown and measurement is silly. You're not going to do one and I'm not either.
They are far from silly and I've done several. I've posted pictures of them on here in fact. As well as the tear down and build-ups of a number of 302's.
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UOAs are a valid proxy for wear.
In your opinion. This is where we disagree.
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To postulate that the metals could be coming from some source other than wear is reaching, and an owner normally knows when rust would be contributing to high iron levels, as in cases where the engine has been left resting for a few years and is then put back into service.
We are talking about parts per MILLION and particles that are 2-10 microns in size! It doesn't take much rust to affect the readings. In fact it doesn't take much of anything. Did you see the UOA from my Town Car when the engine was opened and the heads swapped? We are talking iron in the over 100ppm range on what was fresh oil.
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Your other two examples are specious, particulary in the context of the many UOAs you can find here of most common engines, and I doubt that you'd need thousands of them.
Doug seems to disagree.
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If your street driven engine has metals per K well beyond the norm as compared to other similar engines, then you may well have a problem. It may involve the oil you've used, it may involve the drain intervals you've used or it may involve your driving habits, but one could draw a valid inference that something is amiss.
Certainly. but that's not the same as seeing +/- 10ppm between oils and drawing the conclusion that there is a (significant) difference in wear between the two lubes. Using the tool to detect a problem is part of its purpose. Those are not the same thing!
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Manufacturer's base their oil and OCI recommendations on an expected vehicle service life of around 150K and this is well understood in the industry. Many may not find this to be an acceptable life and will therefore maintain their vehicles more carefully than what the manufacturer calls for. This may include periodic UOAs just to see what's going on and to try to achieve lower wear. Acceptable to me might well be a lower number than acceptable to the OEM, since the OEM has designed both the vehicle and the maintenance schedule around what many of us would consider to be too short a life in service.
Yet many engines in certain families with regular maintenance go far, FAR beyond that with no special maintenance regimen and no special lubricant that is based on a myriad of UOA's performed to "optimize wear". And of course that ties into your next point:
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The longest lasting engines typically get that way because they have low specific outputs or they're operated in a way that only produces low specific output, like mainly highway use. Any engine can be made to last a long time with careful maintenance as well as careful driving.
While that is generally true there are many engine families that simply don't last due to mechanical defects that manifest themselves later in life. And some engines (like a few Honda and BMW ones) will rack up plenty of miles even though they have relatively high power density. With the Honda example, they will do it on whatever PCMO in the right grade is on sale.
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Any engine can be ruined through a lack of maintenance just as it can be through abuse.
Certainly, but we are talking about optimizing engine life are we not? Yet some engines have proven that they'll last and last and last without any optimization. Their design is conducive to a very long life. All engines are not created equally.
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There is a very fine line between maxmizing oil life and going beyond an oil's life limit in service. Where that line lies is a matter of opinion. I know that Dave Newton and Doug Hillary would put the condemnation limit well past what the UOA lab I use, Polaris, does. Polaris also flags TBN levels that Blackstone recommends as good for continued service. I suspect that Polaris may know a thing or two about oil service life having done who knows how many UOAs over the years and trended many engines in commercial service.
But have they done tear-downs? That ties into my earlier point in that determining lubricant life in service part of Doug's protocol was also to perform random tear-downs to actually LOOK at the components. He wasn't drawing his conclusions based on the numbers on paper, he was drawing them based on actual measurements and physical inspection of components. That's one of the bigger gripes I had with Dave's testing, that he didn't do that part of it, he looked at lubricant health as his metric and that was it.
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Of course, if you reject UOAs as having no value, then that means little.
Luckily none of us here are doing that wink We are just debating their applicability to measuring wear. I think we all acknowledge their significant value in determining oil life, contamination levels and alerting us to potential issues with a piece of a equipment.
 
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The most likely source of the metals found in UOAs is wear. This is no more than common sense. If a given oil has been shown in mutiple UOAs of multiple engines to yield more wear metals on a consitent basis than another, why would anyone use the oil that results in greater metals shedding? If we're talking about OTS oils at any given tier, they all cost about the same. Why would anyone use an oil that consitently shows higher wear metals in service over another that shows lower wear metals? WRT field teardowns, these are only done when an engine is being rebuilt for some reason or in the event of suspected incipient failure. It's never done as a recreational activity and not very many of us would take an engine to pieces merely to validate our choice of oil. That's why we rely upon UOAs. They are the practical measure of wear in our engines as we use them and more is never better than less. There are, of course, other benefits to UOAs, like identifying coolant ingress before catastrophe ensues or finding excess bearing material before one gets friction welded tight and spins. We differ on the utility of UOAs and quoting one experienced Aussie doesn't make your view more authoritative.
 

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
The most likely source of the metals found in UOAs is wear. This is no more than common sense.
Keep in mind "wear" is not restricted to the particle range found in UOA's, though I think we've been over that in the past. An oil with a more aggressive detergent/dispersant package that holds contaminants in suspension is going to give you higher readings in a UOA even if it potentially is actually letting less real wear occur. Of course you wouldn't know that without a tear-down. You are just guessing without a tear-down, which is my entire point.
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If a given oil has been shown in mutiple UOAs of multiple engines to yield more wear metals on a consitent basis than another, why would anyone use the oil that results in greater metals shedding?
Because you don't really know that the oil results in greater metal shedding?
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If we're talking about OTS oils at any given tier, they all cost about the same.
Yes, they do.
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Why would anyone use an oil that consitently shows higher wear metals in service over another that shows lower wear metals?
Because perhaps they are into building engines and have observed less wear using oil A than oil B regardless of what the UOA says? Goes back to Doug's data. The theory is great! I know exactly why you want to believe that this is a 1:1 relationship, as it makes it so easy! But the data in actual field testing shows that this correlation doesn't exist, not in the way you are trying to use it.
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WRT field teardowns, these are only done when an engine is being rebuilt for some reason or in the event of suspected incipient failure. It's never done as a recreational activity and not very many of us would take an engine to pieces merely to validate our choice of oil.
Actually it is done quite regularly by people who build up their engines or are involved in basically any automotive hobby that has somebody wanting to make more power than stock. When you are swapping heads/cam/intake onto an SBF, SBC, LSx....etc you are tearing into the motor.
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That's why we rely upon UOAs.
Because a tear-down doesn't make sense in your situation. Sure. But as I said, there are plenty of guys out there tearing into their engines, you just aren't one of them.
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They are the practical measure of wear in our engines as we use them and more is never better than less.
So is a compression test, keeping track of oil pressure to gauge bearing wear, leakdown testing....etc. And all of those are a lot easier than a tear-down too. They are all relative metrics to gauge an engine's health and provide you with much more direct and accurate information than a UOA does.
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There are, of course, other benefits to UOAs, like identifying coolant ingress before catastrophe ensues or finding excess bearing material before one gets friction welded tight and spins.
Which is the official purpose of the tool, along with optimizing OCI length for fleets.......
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We differ on the utility of UOAs and quoting one experienced Aussie doesn't make your view more authoritative.
Not to you perhaps. It certainly feels to me that referencing Doug's extensive experience with not only UOA's but actual fleet testing and wear measurement while doing UOA's gives me a stronger source of data here. I'm not going to beg you to agree with me, you are obviously just as stubborn as I am so there's no "end" to this discussion; no agreement. I think this is where we will have to agree to disagree. cheers
 
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Great post!sadly this confirm the obsolescence of polymer in oil (graphene is what will replace it and likely just added in plain conventional oil)
 
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