The truth about different motor oils - Road Glide Forums
Fluids and Lubricants discussion of all fluids and lubricants

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
BLammers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 12
The truth about different motor oils

I see a lot of discussions about what is the best oil to use in my bike. The threads are fun to read but for those that want to facts on what makes a good oil good please read this article. A long read but well worth your time. I have changed what I use due to this.

Oil companies provide data on their oils most often referred to as
"typical inspection data". This is an average of the actual physical and a
few common chemical properties of their oils. This information is
available to the public through their distributors or by writing or
calling the company directly. I have compiled a list of the most popular,
premium oils so that a ready comparison can be made. If your favorite oil
is not on the list get the data from the distributor and use what I have
as a data base.

Viscosity is a measure of the "flowability" of an oil. More specifically,
it is the property of an oil to develop and maintain a certain amount of
shearing stress dependent on flow, and then to offer continued resistance
to flow. Thicker oils generally have a higher viscosity, and thinner oils
a lower viscosity. This is the most important property for an engine. An
oil with too low a viscosity can shear and loose film strength at high
temperatures. An oil with too high a viscosity may not pump to the proper
parts at low temperatures and the film may tear at high rpm.

The weights given on oils are arbitrary numbers assigned by the S.A.E.
(Society of Automotive Engineers). These numbers correspond to "real"
viscosity, as measured by several accepted techniques. These measurements are taken at specific temperatures. Oils that fall into a certain range are designated 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 by the S.A.E. The W means the oil
meets specifications for viscosity at 0 F and is therefore suitable for
Winter use.

The following chart shows the relationship of "real" viscosity to their
S.A.E. assigned numbers. The relationship of gear oils to engine oils is
also shown.


__________________________________________________ _____________
| |
| SAE Gear Viscosity Number |
| __________________________________________________ ______ |
| |75W |80W |85W| 90 | 140 | |
| |____|_____|___|______________|___________________ _____| |
| |
| SAE Crank Case Viscosity Number |
| ____________________________ |
| |10| 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | |
| |__|_____|____|_____|______| |
__________________________________________________ ____________
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42
viscosity cSt @ 100 degrees C

Multi viscosity oils work like this: Polymers are added to a light base
(5W, 10W, 20W), which prevent the oil from thinning as much as it warms
up. At cold temperatures the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to
flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up the polymers begin
to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as
it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C the oil has thinned
only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of
looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that
will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot.

Multi viscosity oils are one of the great improvements in oils, but they
should be chosen wisely. Always use a multi grade with the narrowest span
of viscosity that is appropriate for the temperatures you are going to
encounter. In the winter base your decision on the lowest temperature you
will encounter, in the summer, the highest temperature you expect. The
polymers can shear and burn forming deposits that can cause ring sticking
and other problems. 10W-40 and 5W-30 require a lot of polymers (synthetics
excluded) to achieve that range. This has caused problems in diesel
engines, but fewer polymers are better for all engines. The wide viscosity
range oils, in general, are more prone to viscosity and thermal breakdown
due to the high polymer content. It is the oil that lubricates, not the
additives. Oils that can do their job with the fewest additives are the
best.

Very few manufactures recommend 10W-40 any more, and some threaten to void warranties if it is used. It was not included in this article for that
reason. 20W-50 is the same 30 point spread, but because it starts with a
heavier base it requires less viscosity index improvers (polymers) to do
the job. AMSOIL can formulate their 10W-30 and 15W-40 with no viscosity
index improvers but uses some in the 10W-40 and 5W-30. Mobil 1 uses no
viscosity improvers in their 5W-30, and I assume the new 10W-30. Follow
your manufacturer's recommendations as to which weights are appropriate
for your vehicle.

Viscosity Index is an empirical number indicating the rate of change in
viscosity of an oil within a given temperature range. Higher numbers
indicate a low change, lower numbers indicate a relatively large change.
The higher the number the better. This is one major property of an oil
that keeps your bearings happy. These numbers can only be compared within a viscosity range. It is not an indication of how well the oil resists
thermal breakdown.

Flash point is the temperature at which an oil gives off vapors that can
be ignited with a flame held over the oil. The lower the flash point the
greater tendency for the oil to suffer vaporization loss at high
temperatures and to burn off on hot cylinder walls and pistons. The flash
point can be an indicator of the quality of the base stock used. The
higher the flash point the better. 400 F is the minimum to prevent
possible high consumption. Flash point is in degrees F.

Pour point is 5 degrees F above the point at which a chilled oil shows no
movement at the surface for 5 seconds when inclined. This measurement is
especially important for oils used in the winter. A borderline pumping
temperature is given by some manufacturers. This is the temperature at
which the oil will pump and maintain adequate oil pressure. This was not
given by a lot of the manufacturers, but seems to be about 20 degrees F
above the pour point. The lower the pour point the better. Pour point is
in degrees F.

% sulfated ash is how much solid material is left when the oil burns. A
high ash content will tend to form more sludge and deposits in the engine.
Low ash content also seems to promote long valve life. Look for oils with
a low ash content.

% zinc is the amount of zinc used as an extreme pressure, anti- wear
additive. The zinc is only used when there is actual metal to metal
contact in the engine. Hopefully the oil will do its job and this will
rarely occur, but if it does, the zinc compounds react with the metal to
prevent scuffing and wear. A level of .11% is enough to protect an
automobile engine for the extended oil drain interval, under normal use.
Those of you with high revving, air cooled motorcycles or turbo charged
cars or bikes might want to look at the oils with the higher zinc content.
More doesn't give you better protection, it gives you longer protection if
the rate of metal to metal contact is abnormally high. High zinc content
can lead to deposit formation and plug fouling.

Brand VI Flash Pour %ash %zinc
20W-50
AMSOIL 136 482 -38 <.5 ---
Castrol GTX 122 440 -15 .85 .12
Exxon High Performance 119 419 -13 .70 .11
Havoline Formula 3 125 465 -30 1.0 ---
Kendall GT-1 129 390 -25 1.0 .16
Pennzoil GT Perf. 120 460 -10 .9 ---
Quaker State Dlx. 155 430 -25 .9 ---
Red Line 150 503 -49 --- ---
Shell Truck Guard 130 450 -15 1.0 .15
Spectro Golden 4 174 440 -35 --- .15
Spectro Golden M.G. 174 440 -35 --- .13
Unocal 121 432 -11 .74 .12
Valvoline All Climate 125 430 -10 1.0 .11
Valvoline Turbo 140 440 -10 .99 .13
Valvoline Race 140 425 -10 1.2 .20
Valvoline Synthetic 146 465 -40 <1.5 .12
20W-40
Castrol Multi-Grade 110 440 -15 .85 .12
Quaker State 121 415 -15 .9 ---
15W-50
Chevron 204 415 -18 .96 .11
Mobil 1 170 470 -55 --- ---
Mystic JT8 144 420 -20 1.7 .15
Red Line 152 503 -49 --- ---
5W-50
Castrol Syntec 180 437 -45 1.2 .10 .095 % Phosphor
Quaker State Synquest 173 457 -76 --- ---
Pennzoil Performax 176 --- -69 --- ---
5W-40
Havoline 170 450 -40 1.4 ---
15W-40
AMSOIL 135 460 -38 <.5 ---
Castrol 134 415 -15 1.3 .14
Chevron Delo 400 136 421 -27 1.0 ---
Exxon XD3 --- 417 -11 .9 .14
Exxon XD3 Extra 135 399 -11 .95 .13
Kendall GT-1 135 410 -25 1.0 .16
Mystic JT8 142 440 -20 1.7 .15
Red Line 149 495 -40 --- ---
Shell Rotella w/XLA 146 410 -25 1.0 .13
Valvoline All Fleet 140 --- -10 1.0 .15
Valvoline Turbo 140 420 -10 .99 .13
10W-30
AMSOIL 142 480 -70 <.5 ---
Castrol GTX 140 415 -33 .85 .12
Chevron Supreme 150 401 -26 .96 .11
Exxon Superflo Hi Perf 135 392 -22 .70 .11
Exxon Superflo Supreme 133 400 -31 .85 .13
Havoline Formula 3 139 430 -30 1.0 ---
Kendall GT-1 139 390 -25 1.0 .16
Mobil 1 160 450 -65 --- ---
Pennzoil PLZ Turbo 140 410 -27 1.0 ---
Quaker State 156 410 -30 .9 ---
Red Line 139 475 -40 --- ---
Shell Fire and Ice 155 410 -35 .9 .12
Shell Super 2000 155 410 -35 1.0 .13
Shell Truck Guard 155 405 -35 1.0 .15
Spectro Golden M.G. 175 405 -40 --- ---
Unocal Super 153 428 -33 .92 .12
Valvoline All Climate 130 410 -26 1.0 .11
Valvoline Turbo 135 410 -26 .99 .13
Valvoline Race 130 410 -26 1.2 .20
Valvoline Synthetic 140 450 -40 <1.5 .12
5W-30
AMSOIL 168 480 -76 <.5 ---
Castrol GTX 156 400 -35 .80 .12
Chevron Supreme 202? 354 -46 .96 .11
Chevron Supreme Synt. 165 446 -72 1.1 .12
Exxon Superflow HP 148 392 -22 .70 .11
Havoline Formula 3 158 420 -40 1.0 ---
Mobil 1 165 445 -65 --- ---
Mystic JT8 161 390 -25 .95 .1
Quaker State 165 405 -35 .9 ---
Red Line 151 455 -49 --- ---
Shell Fire and Ice 167 405 -35 .9 .12
Unocal 151 414 -33 .81 .12
Valvoline All Climate 135 405 -40 1.0 .11
Valvoline Turbo 158 405 -40 .99 .13
Valvoline Synthetic 160 435 -40 <1.5 .12

All of the oils above meet current SG/CD ratings and all vehicle
manufacture's warranty requirements in the proper viscosity. All are "good
enough", but those with the better numbers are icing on the cake.

The synthetics offer the only truly significant differences, due to their
superior high temperature oxidation resistance, high film strength, very
low tendency to form deposits, stable viscosity base, and low temperature
flow characteristics. Synthetics are superior lubricants compared to
traditional petroleum oils. You will have to decide if their high cost is
justified in your application.

The extended oil drain intervals given by the vehicle manufacturers
(typically 7500 miles) and synthetic oil companies (up to 25,000 miles)
are for what is called normal service. Normal service is defined as the
engine at normal operating temperature, at highway speeds, and in a dust
free environment. Stop and go, city driving, trips of less than 10 miles,
or extreme heat or cold puts the oil change interval into the severe
service category, which is 3000 miles for most vehicles. Synthetics can be
run two to three times the mileage of petroleum oils with no problems.
They do not react to combustion and combustion by-products to the extent
that the dead dinosaur juice does. The longer drain intervals possible
help take the bite out of the higher cost of the synthetics. If your car
or bike is still under warranty you will have to stick to the recommended
drain intervals. These are set for petroleum oils and the manufacturers
make no official allowance for the use of synthetics.
Oil additives should not be used. The oil companies have gone to great
lengths to develop an additive package that meets the vehicle's
requirements. Some of these additives are synergistic, that is the effect
of two additives together is greater than the effect of each acting
separately. If you add anything to the oil you may upset this balance and
prevent the oil from performing to specification.
The numbers above are not, by any means, all there is to determining what
makes a top quality oil. The exact base stock used, the type, quality, and
quantity of additives used are very important. The given data combined
with the manufacturer's claims, your personal experience, and the
reputation of the oil among others who use it should help you make an
informed choice.

2013 Big Blue Pearl
HD installed stage IV upgrade
Vance & Hines 2 into 1
BLammers is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 08:47 PM
Life Member
 
tdkkart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: East Central Iowa
Posts: 3,042
Garage
Yawn!!!!!!

2015 RGU CVO........under continuous change......
tdkkart is offline  
post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 09:25 PM
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Sacramento Ca.
Posts: 3,813
So, what oil do you run!!!!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
2011 FLTRX 103 Sedona Orange
Hillglide is offline  
 
post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 09:36 PM
Grey beard
 
1st Sgt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Florence, SC
Posts: 884
Somehow I missed the source citation for the information posted by the OP - but worse, after reading all the data presented, reviewing, comparing researching other sites etc... I read the last paragraph (and especially the last sentence) of the original post, slapped myself on the forehead and said "Crap - that's what I was doing anyway!"


"The numbers above are not, by any means, all there is to determining what
makes a top quality oil. The exact base stock used, the type, quality, and
quantity of additives used are very important. The given data combined
with the manufacturer's claims, your personal experience, and the
reputation of the oil among others who use it should help you make an
informed choice."

2019 Wicked Cherry RGU. And an even bigger smile than before.
1st Sgt is offline  
post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 11:39 PM
tmd
Grey beard
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: San Angelo, TX
Posts: 1,477
Anytime you see Amsoil listed as the first oil for each grade they make you can easily guess where the report originated.

2011 RGU with more money then sence in it.
Oh and its black because blacks faster.
tmd is offline  
post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 12:11 AM
Prospect
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Mpls MN.
Posts: 273
I find the pour point interesting. Good to know up here. American Iron magazine about 5 years ago did a 3 part article that talked about the API standards and which letters to look for for which harley engine you had. Normally you pick a brand, find the weight you need and put it in however, the more you read about the science of oils the more interesting it becomes.
roadglidetouring is offline  
post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 02:07 AM
Life Member
 
tdkkart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: East Central Iowa
Posts: 3,042
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillglide View Post
So, what oil do you run!!!!
My guess would be that this is the answer to your question........

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmd View Post
Anytime you see Amsoil listed as the first oil for each grade they make you can easily guess where the report originated.

2015 RGU CVO........under continuous change......
tdkkart is offline  
post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 02:16 AM
Grey beard
 
Phantom6722's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Main Residence Perth Western Australia, Secondary Varna Bulgaria, Satellite Houston
Posts: 1,398
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmd View Post
Anytime you see Amsoil listed as the first oil for each grade they make you can easily guess where the report originated.
What's wrong with Amsoil? I thought the list was alphabetic. Personally, I think any good brand of synthetic oil will do a good job. My preference is Amsoil for the SERG and Mobil 1 for the Heritage.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Cheers Skip
Veritas Vos Liberabit{the truth shall set you free}
Phantom6722 is offline  
post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:35 AM
tmd
Grey beard
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: San Angelo, TX
Posts: 1,477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom6722 View Post
What's wrong with Amsoil? I thought the list was alphabetic. Personally, I think any good brand of synthetic oil will do a good job. My preference is Amsoil for the SERG and Mobil 1 for the Heritage.
I never said it was bad oil its just that their marketing strategy leads people to think if you don't use their oil your ride wont make it past your driveway without a catastrophic failure. Truth be told after 30 years in the maintenance field the only time I ever come across an oil related failure is when proper maintenance wasn't preformed. All modern oils theses days are way better than oils of the past. Pick a label you like, use the proper grade, and change it according to the manufacturers schedule and you will have years if worry free riding.
Oh and I'm sure someone will ask what I use so here goes. For the longest time I used Mobil 15w50 only because years ago when they removed the zinc my local Wal Mart had the old formula on sale for about $10 a gallon. I bought 10 or so gallons of it. Well when I ran out a few years ago I switched to Valvoline VR1. I also go about 5k between changes.

2011 RGU with more money then sence in it.
Oh and its black because blacks faster.
tmd is offline  
post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:10 AM
Life Member
 
Big_gary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: GA.
Posts: 8,171
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmd View Post
Anytime you see Amsoil listed as the first oil for each grade they make you can easily guess where the report originated.
Notice how Amsoil is not only on top but they also used all caps ?

2010 FLTRX , Stage 1, 13" Madstad, Mono tubes, SuperShox, Heritage style bars. Alpine CDE-HD149BT,Soundstream Picasso Nano Series PN4.520 , 5X7 and 6.5 Infinity Kappa speakers
If I have to explain ,you wouldn't under stand anyway.
Big_gary is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Road Glide Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
different oils Mbosleyjr Do-IT-Yourself 20 11-21-2015 08:09 PM
The TRUTH ABOUT HELMETS - Why Wear 'Em? twistedglide Helmets 43 09-11-2012 01:41 AM
Different year differences...That's a lot of different HogPro *General Road Glide Discussions/Pictures 2 04-20-2012 05:38 PM
Oils Treblig00 *General Road Glide Discussions/Pictures 48 02-08-2012 06:03 PM
Klotz Oils Beachjeep *General Road Glide Discussions/Pictures 4 07-19-2011 09:09 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome