The question we cannot seem to answer is?

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Jun 10, 2002
Chattanooga, TN
If an analysis shows consistently that the iron is 30 ppm and the chromium is 6, lead 20, copper 20 and silicon 18 etc.etc., after consistent oil changes of 5000 miles and the engine now has 60,000 miles we do not know how long that engine will continue to run fine without making any changes or locating any air leaks but just keep on running it as is; as opposed to changing that oil at 3000 miles finding air leaks and having lower numbers. As many many drivers today don't care about oil and could care less about these discussions and yet they get 100,000 miles regularly out of their engine. So, will the high numbers if unchanged result in that engine blowing or consuming oil at 100,000 (unlikely) but can it go 120,000, 150,000 or 200,000 with the same high numbers and no change in oil intervals? We don't know; yet we continue to put forth a huge effort on these boards, spend a large amount of money on products to achieve that elusive goal of ??????????? It would be great to know that hey, if you get 30 ppm of iron consistently for 60,000 miles your engine will be history by 100,000. That would be valuable info! Too many variables I know but hard core data and science sure seems to be lacking from the engine manufacturers, lubrication industry and scientists in the field. As a side note I have one engine with analysis since new that has 15-30 ppmn of iron, silicon in the 20s consistently at every analysis yet has 147,000 miles and running well. Go figure.
I know what you mean,I have spent enough money since February on this and that to have changed the oil on the new car with a rather good 94 cent a quart oil every 3k for 5 years or so,yet I only have 6700 miles on the car and a analysis showing moly that was not from the oil. Edit,just found out moly was in the formulation. Something the board does though is help us see into oil formulations,teaches us the read MSDS's ect to at least educate us between a extremely good oil and a rather poor one and to learn from each other some varying success stories With that said,engine designs we can do nothing about but use the best oil we choose to use and change it when we think it best to do so as owners The board is way cool [Cheers!] Bob,thanks again for this place to gather and share information [ September 17, 2002, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: dragboat ]
That's an excellent question you guys bring up. There are some published reports, such as for Delvac 1 and other Mobil oils (do a search as I posted some wear info for one of the board members), but most companies won't let their engineers and chemists publish papers on wear rates for the SAE Fuels and Lubricants Section and Lubrication Engineering (an STLE publication). Now Mobil, Pennzoil/QS, General Motors, Ford, and some of the foreign car makers do publish in the above publications. I do know some of the major diesel engine manufacturers will publish wear rates for their engines, since they use a lot of used oil analysis and want to compare wear trends. I think the best we can hope for is to trend our engines with used oil analysis, experiment with different oils, and seek the best protection we can afford, that is, what do we define, given our individual economic situations, as the best price/performance products. Regarding wear rate, say for for an 8-cyl diesel, the wear rates may be 15 ppm/1000 miles, but for my Nissan 4-cyl it may only be 5ppm/1000 miles. Each engine has its own wear rates and even the same engine in the same type of vehicle may show different wear rates due to machining tolerances, driving habits, local weather, local fuels, etc. In other words, this isn't an exact science, but the situation is getting better.
Molakule,was this the one? Oz, here is what I have (A slightly older formulation of Delvac 1, 5W40; I assume the numbers are somehwat better now since they have had time to tweak it since this test was done): CAT 1M-PC Ring Side Clearance - Loss mm - 0.012 Piston, ring, and liner scuffing - 0 Piston Ring sticking - 0 CRC-L-38 (3X, 120 hr) Bearing Wt. Loss, mg - 20 mg Extended 128 hr. Seq. IIIE Cam and Lifter Wear - um, 5.2 In Gas Engine, 50,000 miles accumulated, 25,000 mile Oil Drain Interval, 2.0L, I4; Oil Cons. averaged 6,000 miles/qt Oil Vis. Increase@40 C - 15% Used Oil TB - 8.4 Emissions in Gas Engine for above: HC - 0.2 CO - 1.85 NOx - 0.60
Yes Spector , that is one of the great unknowns. I too have given ut sine thought. These are some of my experiences/thoughts: Over the 35+ years that I have buying vehicles, I have had 4 serious engine related problems. All of them have been due to manufacturing defects. 2 Coricas (3.1L) with the infamous and predictable GM intake gasket failure. A '74 Ford 2.3L (pinto) with incorrect bearing clearances. Finally another 2.3L Ranger with 3 Oil pan failures and finally they pumped enough silicon in to destroy the lube pump. So my vote is that engines fail due to manufacturing defects or poor designs. One other thing-probably posted this before. In a 6 year test Mobil ran a 3.1L vehicle 7K miles with 2 very very short trips per day (Aunt Minnie Test) and did not change oil and filter except for topoffs and sampling. At the end of the cycle-even with all the dilutions due to samplings the ppm iron was like 400. And the engine really was judged in good condition and no hint of where the iron was coming from. Go figure. I suppose we are all wasting out time and no better off than Joe Sixpack going to Jiffy every 3K and getting the $.99 oil. However-I can't deal with that. I get an inner security on long trips, knowing that the most important part of my car is well cared for-even if its not necessary.
Dragboat, That's the one. Al, I recall that same paper in which they reported a point in the test when they did used oil analysis and found the elevated ferrous (iron) levels but never did find out where the iron came from. They subsequently tore down the engine to see what was going on, but never found any wear on ANY of the parts they examined.
The most interesting thing about these two SAE papers was that Delvac 1 outperformed the Mobil 1, 5w-30/0w-40 in the API, "SJ" engine sequence tests. There was also a statement in the paper on the extended drain versions of Mobil 1 that caught my eye. It said something to the effect of: "Strong diesel engine performance (referring to the "CF" tests) is an indication of the quality of the detergent system. This is also a critical factor in extended drain, gas engine use." It's been over a year since I read both of these so my memory may be a bit off on the actual wording .... One of the reasons why I've been testing the Series 3000, CH-4/SL oil in gas engines was due to the data in these two papers ....
A bit off topic but related is who knows what elements we are pouring in the engine right out of the bottle? Look at some of the virgin tests,4 parts per million of iron in one of them. That's not much help for the guy that is truly tying to get to the nitty gritty of it on his engine
Well, we kinda, hafta, trust the Chem engineers at Mobil, Amsoil, and Schaeffer's to know what their doing. BTW, Schaeffer's MSDS' now have a lot of proprietary language and no longer lists percentages of components, which BTW, is why I orginally purchased their products because I could determine up front what the quality might be and what I was pouring into the engine.
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