Continuing with the motor oil information:
In recent years there have been entirely too many wiped cam lobes and ruined lifter failures in traditional American flat tappet engines, even though a variety of well respected brand name parts were typically used. These failures involved people using various high zinc oils, various high zinc Break-In oils, various Diesel oils, and various oils with aftermarket zinc additives added to the oil. They believed that any high zinc oil concoction is all they needed for wear protection during flat tappet engine break-in and after break-in. But, all of those failures have proven over and over again, that their belief in high zinc was nothing more than a MYTH, just as my test data has shown.
A high level of zinc/phos is simply no guarantee of providing sufficient wear protection. And to make matters even worse, excessively high levels of zinc/phos can actually “cause” DAMAGE your engine, rather than “prevent” it. Motor Oil Industry testing has found that motor oils with more than 1,400 ppm ZDDP, INCREASED long-term wear. And it was also found that motor oils with more than 2,000 ppm ZDDP started attacking the grain boundaries in the iron, resulting in camshaft spalling (pitting and flaking). The ZDDP value is simply the average of the zinc and the phosphorus values, then rounded down to the nearest 100 ppm (parts per million).
From those failures where I was able to find out what specific oils were used, it turned out that those were oils I had already performed my Engineering Wear Protection Capability tests on. And all those oils had only provided poor wear protection capability, meaning that if they had looked at my test data before using those oils, they would have known in advance that their engines would be at significant risk of failure with those oils. And that is just what happened.
A number of people who have had those failures, and some had repeated failures, have contacted me, asking what they can do to prevent that failure in the future. I tell them to forget all that high zinc nonsense and look at my Wear Protection Ranking List. And to select any high ranking oil there, no matter how much zinc it has, because zinc quantity simply does NOT matter. The only thing that matters regarding wear protection, is the psi value each oil can produce in my testing. The higher the psi value, the better the wear protection. I recommend they use the SAME highly ranked oil for break-in and after break-in. It’s that simple.
WHEN PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN THAT ADVICE, NOT ONE PERSON HAS EVER COME BACK TO ME TO REPORT THAT MY RANKING LIST DID NOT WORK FOR THEM. Since my ranking list has worked in every case to prevent wiped flat tappet lobes and lifters, it can also work for you to provide the best possible wear protection for your engine. My test data is the real deal, it exactly matches real world experience, and it is the best and most complete motor oil comparison data you will ever find anywhere.
And for those people who have been able to use various high zinc oils without having trouble with their flat tappet engines, that only means that the oil they used had enough wear protection capability for the loads their engines saw at that time. It does not mean they were necessarily using a great oil. And it does not provide any information about how much reserve wear protection capability their oil provided, nor how their oil compares to other oils on the market.
But, there are some high zinc oils that do provide excellent wear protection. And you can see which ones they are, by looking at my ranking list below.
LOOKING AT PETROLEUM QUALITY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA (PQIA) INFORMATION, OR SENDING OIL SAMPLES TO TYPICAL MOTOR OIL LABS LIKE “ALS TRIBOLOGY” OR “BLACKSTONE LABS” IS NOT SUFFICIENT
What many people don’t understand is, that looking at PQIA information, or sending oil samples in to a typical motor oil lab, does NOT tell us everything we need to know about how well a motor oil performs. Some people think that if they look at PQIA on-line, or get a lab printout of their motor oil, that they know everything they need to know. But, that is simply NOT true. Here’s why.
PQIA information might be interesting to look at, but it doesn’t really provide any truly significant or meaningful information beyond what the API certifications of “reputable brands”, already tells us. The wind-up is that API has already done all that for you by granting the appropriate certification to various oils. If an oil’s performance was far enough off to be a problem, it would not meet the requirements for the specific API certification it was being considered for. So, all the end user has to do is look at the bottle of a “reputable brand” for the certification the oil has, and to change the oil at reasonable intervals, which for most street driven vehicles is ideally 5,000 miles. Doing that will provide an engine with the protection it needs in terms of acid neutralization and deposit and/or sludge build-up prevention. But, looking at PQIA, will NOT give you any information at all, about how well a given motor oil can provide wear protection, which is THE most important thing any motor oil does.
Motor oil lab printouts will only provide information such as the amount of metals, the amount of contaminants, the amount of additive package components in the oil, and its viscosity rating in centistokes (cSt) at 100*C (212*F). And the cost for this test is usually around $30.00 US per sample sent in.
According to a Royal Purple Motor Oil Engineer I spoke with a few years ago, he said only people outside of the Motor Oil Industry, use the unprofessional terminology of calling new oil lab tests, virgin oil analysis (VOA), and used oil lab tests, used oil analysis (UOA). The VOA and UOA references are commonly used on Internet Forum discussions about motor oil, even though they are not legitimate names. Even so, in order for the most people to follow along, I’ll continue to use that wrong terminology for a moment here.
For a VOA, you will NOT get any information on absolutely THE most important thing any motor oil does for your engine, and that is PREVENT WEAR. Everything else a motor oil does for your engine, comes AFTER that. There is not one thing in that lab printout that will tell you how good that oil is at preventing wear. And looking at the zinc and phosphorus levels is completely worthless, because as you will see below, those levels DO NOT predict an oil’s wear protection capability, even though countless people have been brainwashed to believe it does. Therefore, you still have no idea if that oil is any good at performing job number one for your engine. So, you are left with guessing, believing Advertising hype, or Internet chatter, as to which oil you should choose for your engine. In other words, you wasted $30.00 for the lab test, plus the cost of shipping, and your time, all for nothing.
If you have a lab printout from when an oil was brand new, and then you get a UOA of that exact same oil, you can compare those two printouts to see how the oil has changed during that particular change interval. There is definitely some value to that, for indications of engine health, how much of the factory additive package has been depleted, etc. But, it still doesn’t provide any meaningful direct information about how that motor oil compares to other motor oils in terms of wear protection. And if you do see extra metal quantity in the used oil that might be of concern, it is too late, because you are looking at results after the fact. Wear and/or damage has already begun. That is like closing the barn door after the horse already got out. And you still wouldn’t know if the extra metal is because of a poor choice of motor oils or because of a mechanical problem.
So, you need something FAR BETTER than looking at PQIA info or motor oil lab printouts for selecting the best motor oil for your engine, if you are interested in the best possible wear protection for it.
That something FAR BETTER, is the independent and unbiased Engineering testing I perform at a representative OPERATING OIL TEMPERATURE to establish motor oil wear protection capability.
Motor oils are derived from base oil stocks, which is a generic oil base that is modified with an additive package to produce a lubricant with the desired properties. A base stock oil with no additive package would perform quite poorly. Base oil stocks are classified by the API (American Petroleum Institute) and fall into one of the categories below:
• Group I and II – are conventional mineral oils derived from crude oil.
• Group III – is a highly refined conventional mineral oil made through a process called hydrocracking. This group of oil is allowed to be called a synthetic oil in North America.
• Group IV – are true synthetic oils, known as PAO (Polyalphaolefin).
• Group V – are synthetic base stocks other than PAO’s, which include esters and other compounds.
People on Internet discussions argue endlessly over the merits or lack thereof, of these oil Groups, to try and determine which oil type is best to use. But, with my Engineering tests, you can bypass all that debate, and go directly to the results of how oils you find on Auto Parts Store shelves, actually perform when put to the test. My testing is a dynamic friction test under load, similar to how an engine dyno test is a dynamic HP/Torque test under load. Both tests show how their subjects truly perform in the real world, no matter what Brand names are involved, no matter what outrageous claims may have been made, and no matter what their spec sheets say.
The resulting breakthrough data used in the Wear Protection Ranking List is NOT my opinion, and it is NOT my theory. The data is the result of the Physics and Chemistry involved in the testing. I am only the messenger. The Science is what tells us how these oils perform. And no one can argue with Physics and Chemistry.
You can see my entire 195 motor oil “Wear Protection Ranking List”, which EXACTLY matches real world severe over-heating experience, real world Track experience, real world flat tappet break-in experience, and real world High Performance Street experience (test data validation doesn’t get any better than this), along with additional motor oil tech FACTS, that CANNOT be found anywhere else, by reading below.