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Thread: Oil Analysis Update?

  1. #136
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    I wonder just how many real oil refineries there really are in the world - I mean those that can produce high-quality lubricating oil?
    I wouldn't think oil refineries are in the business of producing lubricating oil as a final product. Isn't that what oil companies, ie blending companies like Spectro, do? They take all the various stocks and stir in their favorite additives.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  2. #137
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    I wouldn't think oil refineries are in the business of producing lubricating oil as a final product. Isn't that what oil companies, ie blending companies like Spectro, do? They take all the various stocks and stir in their favorite additives.
    That's my point exactly. They pretty much all start with only a few variations, and then by their own standards add what they want to make their "brand." Also, each one varies on particular applications. My bet is that the only major source variation is non-synthetic vs synthetic. I think only an extremely large companies can afford their own refineries. The rest purchase from them and produce their own formulas.

  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by typ181r90 View Post
    Look on the bottom of the bottle, there's a BP logo (Castrol).
    Correctomundo...here's a picture of the bottom of a bottle of dino 10w40 BMW oil.OilBottom.jpg
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #139
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    So, I'm doing an oil change on the recently rebuilt RS and referred back to this oil analysis as a guide for my oil selection options. This was a very informative effort, Kurt. I've referred to these results a couple of times when servicing my bikes over the past year. Speaking as a scientist, there's no substitute for quantitative data. Thank you for your effort and making this available to us!
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '97 Nissan XE PU (Mighty Mouse)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas, baby!)

  5. #140
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    Back in post #66:

    http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....l=1#post834622

    I indicated I bought the book titled "Which Oil?" by Richard Michell. I finally got a chance to go through it. I found it interesting to understand oil development since the early beginnings of cars. He also used vehicles that he owns (old vehicles) to go through a process of determining which oil he would select in those vehicles, based upon recommendations in the owners manuals for those cars (for oil which doesn't exist today) and translate that to an oil that is on the shelf today. Pretty nerdy stuff.

    But I read some interesting tidbits that led to "ah ha" moments for me, or provided a point of view that I hadn't considered. These were some of them:

    - multi-viscosity oils increased in popularity as a result of the 1973 oil crisis...better oils meant better gas mileage
    - lubrication is all about moving two surfaces relative to each other and having the oil keep them apart; this cannot be maintained at two spots during engine rotation, at the top and bottom of the stroke. For a relatively short period of time, there is no movement.
    - engine components such tappets and cam followers really require an oil viscosity that is too high for the rest of the oiling system, so compromises have to be made
    - these situations are what's called "imperfect lubrication" and this is what ZDDP does, to provide the necessary protection during these periods
    - oils contain dispersants which keeps particles in suspension. They also keep soot during combustion from forming large particles, otherwise the particles will get too large and create havoc in the oiling system. Seeing oil turn black is the soot being dispersed.
    - for this reason, he recommended that detergent/dispersant oils be used in engines without filter systems, such as the pre 1970 bikes. This way they don't create problems with the bearings by getting too large. The downside is that the particles are too small and won't settle to the bottom of the pan, leading to the need for slinger cleaning.
    - use of "active" sulphur in gear oils should be limited when copper is involved in the drivetrain. "Active" means that it is soluble in the oil.
    - synthetic oils can be produced all chemically or they can be blended with mineral oil. Chemical synthetics are very shear stable (ie, it retains its viscosity over time) because there are no added viscosity improvers...it comes naturally with the make up of the oil.
    - in the 1960s and 1970s, oils had poor shear stability, starting out with good viscosity but it degraded over time. The polymer chains added as viscosity improvers either became aligned in one direction or they were cut into smaller chains from the engine components.
    - the idea of using diesel oils in engines seems like a good idea because they contain a goodly amount of ZDDP. However, the formulation of that oil is for a working environment that is much hotter than a gas engine situation. Thus if a diesel oil is used, the effects of the ZDDP might not get released because the temperature is not right.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  6. #141
    P Monk
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    a little disagreement with synthetic oils needing no VII (viscosity improvers)

    This is an over simplification, but what you are comparing are the viscosity of the oil measured at freezing and at the boiling point of water.

    The 20w (winter grade) represents viscosity of the oil measured at freezing.
    The 50 represents the viscosity of the oil measured at boiling 100c 212f or whatever.

    There are some synthetic oils that may have a rating of 20w20 containing no VII.

    However I really doubt any synthetic oil can achieve a 20w 50 rating with no VII.

    However synthetic oils contain no parafin wax so much less VII is needed than in mineral oils.

    However in my career I blended fuel oils and diesel oil for viscosity, pour point etc. I never worked with motor oils so I may be on a slippery slope.
    P. Monk
    74 R90/6 (also know by bride as the Black Hole). 09 R1200 GS. My wife, 1953 model who has survived aplastic anemia and a bone marrow transplant.

  7. #142
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    P. Monk -

    I might have over simplified things, but there are certainly different kinds of "synthetic". I'd have to track it down again, but it sounded like being much more shear stable than mineral oil, it doesn't break down as quickly as other oils which have to be "doctored" with VIIs.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  8. #143
    P Monk
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    I might be wrong at what temp the winter viscosity is measured.

    It was a long time ago that I dealt with blending oils. But you are absolutely correct that the synthetics do not require as much VII as mineral oil, and they are much more resistant to shearing than the mineral oils. So the question is, do you run synthetic oil in your airheads?

    I have always been afraid to do that but I am considering trying it mainly to see if I get less oil blown into my right carb. One theory is that the synthetics do not foam like mineral oils.
    P. Monk
    74 R90/6 (also know by bride as the Black Hole). 09 R1200 GS. My wife, 1953 model who has survived aplastic anemia and a bone marrow transplant.

  9. #144
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    No, I run mineral oil...I've been thinking about stepping "up" to Golden Spectro which is a semi-synthetic. I read where Paul Glaves mentioned something in the "Oil Rebranding" that if he had an Airhead today, he'd use a synthetic because of the wide temperature ranges that the engine operates in.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #145
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    Just saw a news story about "obsolete" oil being on the shelves or stores and that it could be damage car engines. The backs of the labels say "not to be used in engines built after 1988". Hmmm...I wondered what they meant...could it have to do with the API SG/SH ratings.

    http://www.pqiamerica.com/apiserviceclass.htm

    Sure enough...the chart in the above link includes all oils up to the SH rating. But of course, that's generally what we need in our Airheads!

    I know we love our venerable Airheads, but now we're running obsolete oil?? I hope I can sleep tonight.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  11. #146
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    Kurt,... at the risk of re-igniting an oil thread,... I have been using Spectro Heavy Duty Motorcycle oil, 20W50, for several years. Non-synthetic and carries an API SG rating. No trouble so far.
    1973 R75/5

    1988 R100RS (available)

  12. #147
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    James.A -

    No worries using that oil IMO. I'm still getting my oil from BMW, but at some point, I'll probably track down some Spectro myself.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  13. #148
    Warning. Cynicism alert.

    Follow the money. The Feds mandate a 7 year warranty period for emissions control equipment on cars. That includes three-way catalytic converters. ZDDP ( a zinc phosphorous compound ) can damage catalytic converters. Replacing them under the 7 year warranty was aggravating the then "Big Three" U.S. auto makers. They badgered the API - American Petroleum Institute - into reducing the amount of ZDDP called for in the API SG rating. The first reduction happened with SH rated oil. The API said it was equal to or better than SG but of course for flat tappet engine designs - cam and follower scuffing action - it wasn't. Then they reduced the required levels of ZDDP further for SJ rated oils. The API again claimed that SJ superceded all prior ratings but that was even more untrue. For modern cars with roller cam followers and 3-way cat-cons the car makers were happy.

    But for older cars and many motorcycles things were less than hunky and dorry. BMW disagreed with the API that SJ oil superceded the older standards. BMWNA Issued Service Bulletin #2855 on November 25, 1998. Among other statements was the following key statement:

    "Not Approved:

    The API specification SJ is not approved for use in any BMW motorcycle.
    This latest API classification does not guaranty the required levels of
    wear protective additives such as Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, etc. as with
    most prior API specifications."

    So for Airheads, Oilheads, Classic K bikes, later flop-four K bikes, etc. obsolete oil classifications are what you want. SH is acceptable but not optimal. SG is better. You will likely find this most often in motorcycle or motorsports specific oils.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #149
    Unrelated, I noticed the BMW packaging changed again and doesn't appear to be blended by BP anymore (still SG rating). Maybe I'll send a sample out next time I buy oil.

    "Not Approved:

    The API specification SJ is not approved for use in any BMW motorcycle.
    This latest API classification does not guaranty the required levels of
    wear protective additives such as Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, etc. as with
    most prior API specifications."
    When I got the Porsche oil tested, it was claimed I believe here and on some other forums I was looking at that "Americans are the only ones that care about ZDDP," that TSB directly refutes that. Thanks for the info.
    // 1975 BMW R90/6 (cafe'd) // 1957 BMW R60 (in pieces) // 1967 Aermacchi/H-D Sprint 250 SS (custom special) // 1967 Moto Guzzi V700 (current restoration)

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