volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse New Reader
1/22/10 2:11 p.m.

Well guys, I know this has probably bee discussed over and over in many places before, ad nauseum, and after discussing it SOME MORE, with some of my race team, I think we may try a synthetic motor oil for the next LeMons race in the '66 Tunachucker Volvo Amazon.

My reasons for being shy of synthetics in the past were:

1) Shortly after switching to synthetic, my old '67 Imperial spun a cam bearing and broke the camshaft in half.

2) I have heard that synthetic oil tends to find leaks and exacerbate them.

3) Related to #1, I have heard that synthetics have more detergent powers, which can dislodge sludge and plug up oil passages elsewhere in the engine, causing failures.

However, I also realized that we've blown two B18 Volvo engines racing on conventional motor oils. And I have about as much proof that conventional oils killed the engines in the race car as I do that synthetics killed my old Imperial's engine. Also, the race car B20 has been rebuilt, and should be relatively sludge free. Its already been "broken in" by about 400 miles (last Fall's race), and I've heard you should not use synthetics during the break in period. And, synthetics do have advantages- especially the ability to withstand higher temperatures. Since we aren't running an oil cooler, and are using the stock radiator, this would be a big advantage.

The race is in February, which won't be so cold, but still, it'll be 14 hours of hard pounding, WOT action on the engine. I think we may use Mobil 1, 10W-30 or 10W-40, and add some of that ZDDP zinc additive for the flat tappet lifters. And of course, a new MANN oil filter.

Any other thoughts or ideas or suggestions? I had one friend tell me we should go with the 15W-50 viscosity, his logic being that even though it would create more drag and increase oil temperatures slightly, the synthetic could handle the higher temps, and the thicker oil would provide better lubrication for an older engine with looser tolerances than something more modern. Also, the thicker oil may contain more additives?

The floor's open...give me what you got!

--Mike, aka "VCH"

Captain, Tunachuckers 24 Hours of LeMons Race Team

Buzz Killington
Buzz Killington Reader
1/22/10 2:17 p.m.

give it a shot...what's the worst that can happen--you'll ruin your engine?

see you guys down there.

mike - schumacher taxi service

tuna55
tuna55 HalfDork
1/22/10 2:19 p.m.

For the record, the non captain (want to talk to someone in charge, or someone who knows what's going on?) member of the team recommends 10w-30 synthetic for the trips around the track. Leaks were not caused by synthetics, they were caused by poor additive packages, and I hit a deer once after reading a magazine, so I don't read magazines anymore...

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse New Reader
1/22/10 2:28 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: For the record, the non captain (want to talk to someone in charge, or someone who knows what's going on?)

For someone to know what's going on, they'd have to actually, you know, be involved with wrenching on the car.

Oh, snap! Let me get out my chainsaw: "Zing Zing Zing Zing!"

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog HalfDork
1/22/10 2:30 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: I hit a deer once after reading a magazine, so I don't read magazines anymore...

Running synthetic in my 70 142S B20 didn't cause it to leak any more (lots) or knock from the timing gears any less (also lots)

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse New Reader
1/22/10 2:37 p.m.

In reply to Junkyard_Dog:

I think you need to replace your timing gear. I had one in a B18 that used to knock, it was actually split around the hub! Replaced it, car ran like a Swedish sewing machine again.

Travis_K
Travis_K Dork
1/22/10 2:58 p.m.

if you want to use mobile one, id only consider the 15w-50, becasue its the only one that still has the additives for older engines. 10w-30 seems kinda light for a endurance racing engine.

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog HalfDork
1/22/10 3:01 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: In reply to Junkyard_Dog: I think you need to replace your timing gear. I had one in a B18 that used to knock, it was actually split around the hub! Replaced it, car ran like a Swedish sewing machine again.

I know. Its #146 on the list.

iceracer
iceracer HalfDork
1/22/10 7:14 p.m.

Amsoil makes a 10w-40 oil for older engines.

fifty
fifty Reader
1/22/10 7:16 p.m.

Autozone stocks "Valvoline Racing Synthetic" in 10w30 - the difference is it has 25% more zinc-phosphorus in the additive package than the current API SM standard allows. So, 25% more zinc than standard synthetics. Might save you some hassle with adding zinc.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse New Reader
1/22/10 7:59 p.m.
fifty wrote: Autozone stocks "Valvoline Racing Synthetic" in 10w30 - the difference is it has 25% more zinc-phosphorus in the additive package than the current API SM standard allows. So, 25% more zinc than standard synthetics. Might save you some hassle with adding zinc.

I thought the current SM standard had basically no zinc in it at all? I weren't so great at them thar numbers an' figurin', but it seems to me like 25 percent of nuthin' is still...nuthin'. ;-)

In seriousness, I've looked at so-called "racing oils", that all claim to have ZDDP in them, but they're like $10 a quart. Mobil1 is half that, and a bottle of ZDDP is 10 bucks- to treat 4 quarts. Saves me 10 bucks, Hey, this is LeMons racing!

02Pilot
02Pilot Reader
1/22/10 10:00 p.m.

Oils rated for gas and diesel use usually come in a 5w40 full synthetic (well, hydrocracked Group III+, but that counts as full synthetic in the US) and have a robust additive package that works well in older engines. They are also fairly cheap. Rotella, Delo, and Delvac are all good options.

turboswede
turboswede SuperDork
1/25/10 11:19 a.m.

Yeah, on older motors, you should look at using a ZDDP additive. ZDDP isn't needed on newer motors, but the older motors tend to suffer a bit without it. Kinda like the switchover between leaded/unleaded gasoline.

Use whatever oil you want, synthetics (true synthetics, not hydrocracked dino oil) tend to hold up better to racing abuse before breaking down. Any modern oils today have cleaning products to reduce sludge, etc so the old adage about causing leaks is bull.

Of course if the oilly sludge breaks up and starts tumbling around the engine internals, what do you think might happen to the journals? I would pop a valve cover/oil pan and look for excessive sludge and clean it out before beating on it for 24+hours.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy New Reader
1/25/10 11:33 a.m.

Are you using an oil cooler?

If I'm not mistaken, the early 1800S had a water/oil heat exchanger as part of the oil filter mount.

tuna55
tuna55 HalfDork
1/25/10 8:31 p.m.

no oil cooler. The cap and I have done some serious research today - this place, cc, product MSDSs and some random other crap has come into play. I think we've decided on Mobile 1 15W-30 - still has a good amount of ZDDP plus it's got the Mobile 1 goodness and cheap compared to race oils.

-Brian

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy New Reader
1/26/10 12:06 p.m.
oldeskewltoy wrote: Are you using an oil cooler? If I'm not mistaken, the early 1800S had a water/oil heat exchanger as part of the oil filter mount.

I found a pic....

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse New Reader
1/26/10 2:59 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: no oil cooler. The cap and I have done some serious research today - this place, cc, product MSDSs and some random other crap has come into play. I think we've decided on Mobile 1 15W-30 - still has a good amount of ZDDP plus it's got the Mobile 1 goodness and cheap compared to race oils. -Brian

For once, Brian and I argued each other into agreement. I think the M1 15W-50 is the way to go- once I saw it still had healthy levels of Z and P, I was sold. Apparently they can get away with it because it's sold as a "racing" oil, and not recommended by any manufacturer as OEM. Plus, its available OTC.

Follow up Q: What's the difference between a "true" synthetic and so-called "hydrocracked dino" oils?

The vintage oil coolers in the 1800 and 122 sucked balls- they used a water to oil cooler, and were prone to leaks. Modern oil coolers might work, but are way over our budget, and plus, adding complexity adds potential failure points.

The B20 we have now was rebuilt prior to the last race, and was immaculate when I put it together. And yes, I did build a B20 for less than $500!

wbjones
wbjones HalfDork
1/26/10 4:56 p.m.

so just what is considered an older engine..??

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
1/26/10 5:09 p.m.
wbjones wrote: so just what is considered an older engine..??

Well, the lowest mileage i have on any of my cars is 172k miles. I refuse to put synthetic in any of them. Mainly because of the detergent factor. I figure if conventional oil was a problem, they would have all blown up by now. Ain't broke, not gonna fix it.

turboswede
turboswede SuperDork
1/26/10 7:03 p.m.

Well, the 2.0L in my 79 924 requires a certain level of zddp and suffers more wear without it. That motor was produced through the eighties with very few changes, if that gives you a clue at all.

Your engine manufacturer/owners manual should have a specification for the oil you use (aside from the weight)

Oh and Celica? All motor oils sold now a days have some form of detergent in them. So again, synthetics are nearly the same as regular dino oil in your motor with the exception that synthetics withstand higher pressures and temperatures before breaking down. Synthetics also tend to reduce friction, which can help with mileage a small amount. If you change your oil regularly and let the engine warm up before beating on the car, then you probably won't notice much of a difference.

http://www.boucherandjones.com/hydrocracking.htm

Basically it is the highest level of refining for dino oil and Castrol won the court case that allowed them to say their hydrocracked oil was "synthetic" opening the door for other manufacturers to change their synthetic formula's to hydrocracked oils. So Mobil 1 is hydrocracked, etc.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
1/26/10 7:17 p.m.

Hrmmm... looks like i may need to investigate further then on switching the MX6 over. The other two, i don't care about.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse New Reader
1/27/10 6:47 a.m.
turboswede wrote: http://www.boucherandjones.com/hydrocracking.htm Basically it is the highest level of refining for dino oil and Castrol won the court case that allowed them to say their hydrocracked oil was "synthetic" opening the door for other manufacturers to change their synthetic formula's to hydrocracked oils. So Mobil 1 is hydrocracked, etc.

So, is a hydrocracked "synthetic" inferior to a true synthetic? What are the differences? And, are there any "true" synthetics out there- and is it worth looking for them?

BTW, just got a box of Redline MTL and diff oil delivered to my front door last night. Woo-hoo!

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