The Big Debate Over Synthetics PS Magazine

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Go Here to see the scans At one time I had a lot of copies of this reprint but only have this one left. Gave them away to potential customers years ago and only found this one a couple months ago in a box of old records. [ March 13, 2003, 09:13 AM: Message edited by: Mike ]
 
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Thanks for refreshing the links. I read that article when it first appeared. I remembered the details better than I expected. I even remembered Ray Potter's name. So here we are 30 years later, and the debate goes on. The big difference now is that today's conventional oils perform darn near as well as synthetic did back then. That's really progress!
 
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Hey, they're using a Pinto! Now that was a cool ride. I agree with Big Jim about today's dinos peforming as well as the Mobil 1 back then. Actually, I'd say today's dinos are probably much better in most areas. But it is interesting to see that the debate goes on. Dave
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave H: I agree with Big Jim about today's dinos peforming as well as the Mobil 1 back then. Actually, I'd say today's dinos are probably much better in most areas.
I don't think that's the case at all. We're still talking about a fully PAO based oil back then which Mobil said was good for 25,000 miles or 1 year. Today's better Group III oils can match that performance, but not typical conventional oils.
 
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G-Man, That's why I said "most" areas. Cold flow and thermal stability may be better just due to basestock. But what was the rating of oils back then, "SE"? I would hope that any "SM" oil would protect much better than any "SE" oil in most areas or the API ratings just haven't advanced that far. I also doubt that Mobil's 25,000 mile claim back then was a smart idea. A lot of cars were extremely lucky to see 100,000 miles, and a lot of that may have been due to oil quality resulting in excessive wear (I don't know that as pure fact, so correct me if I'm wrong). I certainly would not run 70's era Mobil 1 for that mileage interval. I wouldn't run today's Mobil 1 for that mileage interval (one year is plausible, though). Dave
 
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Flash point temps? I think in page one they said the flahpoint of the M1 of the time was 565 degrees? 585? They said the dino of the time was something around/under 300 degrees? Isn't Havoline well into the 400 degree range for flashpoint?
 
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Dave, there have been some people on this site that have stated they used M1 when it first came out, did 25,000 mile OCI's, and had their engines last just fine. Most didn't, but it seems that those that did didn't have the problems we might think. The thing I find interesting comparing yesterday to today is how far dino oil has come compared to synthetic. In the 1960's/1970's, dino oil was lucky to last 3,000 miles, and even then there was often problems with sludge and breakdown. Synthetics, however, when they came out, promised 25,000 mile changes, and delivered it for most cars. 30 years later, dino oil can go 10k miles and still be good, and the original synthetic, Amsoil, still promises 25,000 mile changes - its like they got it right the first time, and didn't have to change the interval it was good for. Most other synthetics will do this as well. One basically stayed still, and the other made a quantum leap forward!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave H: Hey, they're using a Pinto! Now that was a cool ride. (...snip...) Dave
Oooooo, Dave, Dave, Dave, the Pinto was definitely NOT a cool ride. They were already the rusty laughingstock rollingstock of my high school parking lot, and I graduated in 1979! In addition, early build Pintos were especially uncool, in a grotesquely literal way, if the occupants were unfortuntate enough to be rear-ended. One classmate of mine who owned one even made an official-looking "NO Smoking within 50 feet!" sign for the back of his car. Those were the days. . . [Wink] [Razz] [Cheers!]
 
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Dave, Addguy, On a more serious note, don't forget that the carbureted cars of the day, many using leaded gasoline, and plumbed with truly primitive emissions controls, were much harder on oil than todays ULEV, SULEV, etc crop of engines. Between carb-caused fuel dilution and the TEL, even good oils were doomed to short lives. Mobil was pretty much right about their oil's endurance, alas, most of the cars on the road then had a couple decades of catching up to do.
 
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Pennsylbammyvania
quote:
Originally posted by ekpolk:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave H: Hey, they're using a Pinto! Now that was a cool ride. (...snip...) Dave
Oooooo, Dave, Dave, Dave, the Pinto was definitely NOT a cool ride. They were already the rusty laughingstock rollingstock of my high school parking lot, and I graduated in 1979! In addition, early build Pintos were especially uncool, in a grotesquely literal way, if the occupants were unfortuntate enough to be rear-ended. One classmate of mine who owned one even made an official-looking "NO Smoking within 50 feet!" sign for the back of his car. Those were the days. . . [Wink] [Razz] [Cheers!]

Maybe so, but it was good enough for Pat Bedard (of Car & Driver fame) to campaign in the BFG tires, sort of showroom stock race series of the day. I think he (or someone else) in a Pinto even won a few races (maybe the whole championship)?? Anyone know for sure? [I dont know]
 
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I've been a pretty regular reader of Bedard's column in C&D for years. I would enjoy hearing what he would have to say about the Pinto today. I don't doubt that some people did some interesting things with Pintos (at least the ones who didn't get blown up by their own car -- [Wink] ). Still, the Pinto is one of those designs that leaves me wondering "what were they thinking." Even in the dark days of the early 70s, I think (just my opinion) that Ford could have done a lot better. [Cheers!]
 
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Austin, TX
I was a regular reader of Popular Science back then. That article inspired me to start experimenting with synthetics shortly thereafter. Ran a SBC over 100K miles on M1 5w20 and it ran like new. Compression checks and visual inspections showed it had many miles of life still in it. Unfortunately, someone totaled the car, so the engine was pulled for a high performance rebuild with many new parts.
 
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I think the rage now is that Amsoil say's they will go 35,000 miles. I believe this is the series 2000 and 3000....Or lot's more with a bypass, fullflow, and airfilter...along with an analysis. Some claims have stated 300K plus. I am quite sure any good PAO or Ester synthetic with a bypass and regular fullflow and airfilter changes can go forever with analysis.
 
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The Garden State
Anybody remember the Ford advertisements for the Pinto, "600 extra pounds of road hugging weight". My, how times have changed [Roll Eyes] . But in defense of the Pinto I have to say at least it wasn't a Vega [Wink] . At the time it was the cheap answer to the VW Beetle. Though Ford and GM thought the Pinto and Vega were the answer to the new invasion of small cars from Japan. Boy they misjudged that one [Duh!] . Whimsey
 
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