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Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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540 RAT
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Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by 540 RAT »

All samples were taken from brand new, thoroughly shaken bottles of oil. And all tests were performed at ALS Tribology, formerly Staveley Labs, in Sparks, Nevada.

Royal Purple 10W30 HPS (High Performance Street)
Silicon = 7 ppm (anti-foaming agent in new oil, but in used oil, certain gasket materials and dirt can also add to this number)
Boron = <5 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Magnesium = 46 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Calcium = 3626 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Barium = <1 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Total detergent/dispersant = 3676 ppm
Zinc = 1774 ppm (anti-wear)
Phos = 1347 ppm (anti-wear)
Moly = 189 ppm (anti-wear)
Total anti-wear = 3310 ppm
Potassium = 11 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
Sodium = 2 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
TBN = 10.2 (Total Base Number is an acid neutralizer to prevent corrosion. Most gasoline engine motor oils start with TBN around 8 or 9. And in use, this becomes depleted over time as mileage accumulates)
Viscosity (cSt at 100*C) = 11.3 (cSt range for SAE 30 is 9.3 to 12.4) And cSt (centistokes) in general terms, represents an oil’s thickness.


Royal Purple 5W30 XPR Racing Oil (tested 2 or 3 years ago)
Silicon = 4 ppm (anti-foaming agent in new oil, but in used oil, certain gasket materials and dirt can also add to this number)
Boron = 1 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Magnesium = 10 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Calcium = 3039 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Barium = 0 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Total detergent/dispersant = 3050 ppm
Zinc = 1421 ppm (anti-wear)
Phos = 1338 ppm (anti-wear)
Moly = 204 ppm (anti-wear)
Total anti-wear = 2963 ppm
Potassium = 0 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
Sodium = 0 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
TBN = 10.9 (Total Base Number is an acid neutralizer to prevent corrosion. Most gasoline engine motor oils start with TBN around 8 or 9. And in use, this becomes depleted over time as mileage accumulates)
Viscosity (cSt at 100*C) = 11.6 (cSt range for SAE 30 is 9.3 to 12.4) And cSt (centistokes) in general terms, represents an oil’s thickness.


Royal Purple 5W30 API SL
Silicon = 9 ppm (anti-foaming agent in new oil, but in used oil, certain gasket materials and dirt can also add to this number)
Boron = 15 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Magnesium = 1192 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Calcium = 2745 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Barium = 0 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Total detergent/dispersant = 3952 ppm
Zinc = 1179 ppm (anti-wear)
Phos = 985 ppm (anti-wear)
Moly = 211 ppm (anti-wear)
Total anti-wear = 2375 ppm
Potassium = <5 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
Sodium = 0 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
TBN = 11.0 (Total Base Number is an acid neutralizer to prevent corrosion. Most gasoline engine motor oils start with TBN around 8 or 9. And in use, this becomes depleted over time as mileage accumulates)
Viscosity (cSt at 100*C) = 10.7 (cSt range for SAE 30 is 9.3 to 12.4) And cSt (centistokes) in general terms, represents an oil’s thickness.
Note: Royal Purple is no longer producing their API SL oils. They have been replaced with a new API SN formulation for new cars.

Castrol 5W30 Edge API SM
Silicon = 5 ppm (anti-foaming agent in new oil, but in used oil, certain gasket materials and dirt can also add to this number)
Boron = 57 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Magnesium = 14 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Calcium = 3206 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Barium = 0 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Total detergent/dispersant = 3277 ppm
Zinc = 955 ppm (anti-wear)
Phos = 799 ppm (anti-wear)
Moly = 149 ppm (anti-wear)
Total anti-wear = 1903 ppm
Potassium = <5 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
Sodium = 0 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
TBN = 10.1 (Total Base Number is an acid neutralizer to prevent corrosion. Most gasoline engine motor oils start with TBN around 8 or 9. And in use, this becomes depleted over time as mileage accumulates)
Viscosity (cSt at 100*C) = 9.7 (cSt range for SAE 30 is 9.3 to 12.4) And cSt (centistokes) in general terms, represents an oil’s thickness.

Castrol 5W30 GTX API SM
Silicon = 8 ppm (anti-foaming agent in new oil, but in used oil, certain gasket materials and dirt can also add to this number)
Boron = <5 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Magnesium = 9 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Calcium = 2969 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Barium = 0 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Total detergent/dispersant = 2982 ppm
Zinc = 888 ppm (anti-wear)
Phos = 873 ppm (anti-wear)
Moly = 0 ppm (anti-wear)
Total anti-wear = 1761 ppm
Potassium = 8 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
Sodium = 114 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
TBN = 7.5 (Total Base Number is an acid neutralizer to prevent corrosion. Most gasoline engine motor oils start with TBN around 8 or 9. And in use, this becomes depleted over time as mileage accumulates)
Viscosity (cSt at 100*C) = 10.4 (cSt range for SAE 30 is 9.3 to 12.4) And cSt (centistokes) in general terms, represents an oil’s thickness.

Valvoline 10W40 4 stroke Motorcycle Oil API SJ (tested 2 or 3 years ago)
Silicon = 20 ppm (anti-foaming agent in new oil, but in used oil, certain gasket materials and dirt can also add to this number)
Boron = 137 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Magnesium = 13 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Calcium = 1849 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Barium = 0 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Total detergent/dispersant = 1999 ppm
Zinc = 1154 ppm (anti-wear)
Phos = 1075 ppm (anti-wear)
Moly = 0 ppm (anti-wear)
Total anti-wear = 2229 ppm
Potassium = 0 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
Sodium = 126 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
TBN = 7.1 (Total Base Number is an acid neutralizer to prevent corrosion. Most gasoline engine motor oils start with TBN around 8 or 9. And in use, this becomes depleted over time as mileage accumulates)
Viscosity (cSt at 100*C) = 14.6 (cSt range for SAE 40 is 12.5 to 16.2) And cSt (centistokes) in general terms, represents an oil’s thickness.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by ProPower engines »

Seems funny that the street oil would have more anti-wear capability then the race oil of a similar viscosity
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by David Redszus »

ProPower engines wrote:Seems funny that the street oil would have more anti-wear capability then the race oil of a similar viscosity
More anti-wear additves do not protect better, they protect longer. Street oils are rarely changed, race oils are always changed.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by Dodge Freak »

Oil changes are going longer than ever with the factories now saying 15,000 miles or more is OK

I recall working at a GM dealership in the 80's, were had stickers saying change your oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles. I still do that for my old cars
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by lun40119 »

You have any current data on Redlines 30wt Race Oil?
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by Mike Croley »

Very interesting comparison . Were those the only oils tested in that particular session , or is there a more complete list ?
I've always been curious about the numbers contained in these tests . I'd be more interested in knowing how much of each chemical and compound were considered optimal rather than which brand has the most . Of course that would depend largely on the oils intended usage and oil change intervals , among many other things . But for my own curiosity , i'd be very interested in knowing the optimal numbers for oils rated for racing only . I imagine those numbers would vary considerably also .
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by axegrinder »

RAT, thanks for the info. I would bet the Royal Purple XPR has ingredients that make it totally different than the other oils that were not found in the test. Was the lab instructed to test for everything listed here or for everything they could possibly find?
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by David Redszus »

Mike Croley wrote:Very interesting comparison . Were those the only oils tested in that particular session , or is there a more complete list ?
I've always been curious about the numbers contained in these tests . I'd be more interested in knowing how much of each chemical and compound were considered optimal rather than which brand has the most . Of course that would depend largely on the oils intended usage and oil change intervals , among many other things . But for my own curiosity , i'd be very interested in knowing the optimal numbers for oils rated for racing only . I imagine those numbers would vary considerably also .
Just to make matters a little more complicated, those are elemental values and do not reflect the nature of the compounds that they form. Lubrication additive chemical structures are very complicated molecules. Just because the elements are the same does not mean the compounds are the same.

In addition, lubrication additves react differently depending on the nature of the base stock to which they are added.

Consider the much abused topic of ZnDDp, or zinc , an anti-wear additive. An elemental analysis will indicate a certain presence of zinc in the form of an additive. If the compound is consumed, it will lose its anti-wear propery, but the zinc is still there. Just no longer working as an effective additive.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by Brad Hawk »

Putting a "buttload" of anti-wear additives into the blend along with a really high level of detergents (e.g. 3000+ ppm calcium) can be counterproductive, according to what's been posted on LM Engineering's web site:

"... it has been determined in the SAE paper "Oil Development for Nascar" that overly detergent motor oils can block or "clean" the anti-wear films off of engine parts, that is one reason that these oils usually have high levels of anti-wear additives. SAE Technical Paper Series 2007-01-3999, Modern Heavy Duty Engine Oils with Lower TBN Showing Excellent Performance, also show that low detergent packages increase the effectiveness of film formation, just as in racing oils tend to have less aggressive detergent packages..."

That old saying about having too much of a good thing keeps coming to mind.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by 540 RAT »

Mike Croley wrote:Very interesting comparison . Were those the only oils tested in that particular session , or is there a more complete list ?
I've always been curious about the numbers contained in these tests . I'd be more interested in knowing how much of each chemical and compound were considered optimal rather than which brand has the most . Of course that would depend largely on the oils intended usage and oil change intervals , among many other things . But for my own curiosity , i'd be very interested in knowing the optimal numbers for oils rated for racing only . I imagine those numbers would vary considerably also .
I also tested the oil I use in my new daily drivers. I didn't figure anyone would be much interested in that, but here ya go in case anyone is:

Castrol 5W20 Edge with Titanium API SN
Silicon = 7 ppm (anti-foaming agent in new oil, but in used oil, certain gasket materials and dirt can also add to this number)
Boron = 54 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Magnesium = 1236 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Calcium = 662 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Barium = 0 ppm (detergent/dispersant)
Total detergent/dispersant = 1952 ppm
Zinc = 1042 ppm (anti-wear)
Phos = 857 ppm (anti-wear)
Moly = 100 ppm (anti-wear)
Total anti-wear = 1999 ppm
Titanium = 49 ppm (trace element)
Potassium = <5 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
Sodium = 2 ppm (anti-freeze inhibitor)
TBN = 9.5 (Total Base Number is an acid neutralizer to prevent corrosion. Most gasoline engine motor oils start with TBN around 8 or 9. And in use, this becomes depleted over time as mileage accumulates)
Viscosity (cSt at 100*C) = 9.1 (cSt range for SAE 20 is 5.6 to 9.2) And cSt (centistokes) in general terms, represents an oil’s thickness.

Eventually I'll be testing some other oils. Most likely some Racing Oils like Valvoline's VR-1and NSL oils, as well as probably Redline and some Lucas stuff. And maybe something like the 15,000 mile Mobil 1, just to see what might be different in that one. Since TBN is the one you see most depleted in use, it would be interesting to see if they put extra in it, to make it go that far. But then, the oil is contaminated, dirty and very dark by 5,000 miles anyway, indicating that it is doing its job, and that it needs changed. So, would you really want to go all the way out to 15,000 miles? You can ask Toyota/Lexus about what happens when you do that. Their sludging problem that killed a large number of their engines and cost them millions, was traced to infrequent oil changes, from the research results I came across.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by 540 RAT »

Brad Hawk wrote:Putting a "buttload" of anti-wear additives into the blend along with a really high level of detergents (e.g. 3000+ ppm calcium) can be counterproductive, according to what's been posted on LM Engineering's web site:

"... it has been determined in the SAE paper "Oil Development for Nascar" that overly detergent motor oils can block or "clean" the anti-wear films off of engine parts, that is one reason that these oils usually have high levels of anti-wear additives. SAE Technical Paper Series 2007-01-3999, Modern Heavy Duty Engine Oils with Lower TBN Showing Excellent Performance, also show that low detergent packages increase the effectiveness of film formation, just as in racing oils tend to have less aggressive detergent packages..."

That old saying about having too much of a good thing keeps coming to mind.
Yeah, one time before, during a Racing Oil discussion, it was mentioned that Valvoline's Tech Support said that their NSL oils required changing every 500 miles. And it was assumed that was because of little or no TBN and/or detergents. When I test one of these I'll find out just how much of what, is in it.

But the problem with some of those statements you referenced above, is that they simply are not the case in the real world. Or at least not always the case. So, you have to be careful about taking any info you come across as an all encompassing fact.

Here's an example:
We can see above the type and amount of detergents and TBN that Royal Purple has in their XPR Racing Oils. And their Racing Oils are considered by many to be one of the, if not THE premier Racing Oil on the market. For many years Hardcore Racers as well as serious Hotrodders with high HP engines, have used that oil extensively. And everything I have ever heard, seen or experienced with that oil, is that upon engine tear down, everything looks brand new and perfect inside as related to oil and what you'd expect it to do. No problem with detergents or TBN has ever been found, as far as I know.

In fact, you will not find an oil that prevents wear better than Royal Purple Racing Oil. And I've never personally heard of any oil with detergents or TBN ever causing any kind of wear problem, simply because they are present. Perhaps people may have confused an oil's film strength deficiencies (oils are absolutely not the same in this regard, it depends on their particular additive package, and those vary widely) with detergents or TBN being present. The bottom line is, use whatever oil you like, but avoiding the use of Racing Oils with detergent and TBN is not necessary.

And on the subject of film strength, I'm looking into purchasing a modest (but still rather pricey) tester that is designed to test oil film strength. As you could see above, most oils have enough detergent and TBN as well as other important components, to generally work well in most applications. So, what REALLY separates one oil from another? It's oil film strength! Oil film strength is the last line of defense in preventing metal to metal contact and the resulting wear or outright failure, depending on the situation. So, it is quite obvious that excellent film strength is the number one capability that any oil should provide. And everything else that an oil does for you, comes AFTER that. And the problem is, the capability that various oils have in this regard, varies widely.

Personally, I use film strength capability to determine what oil to use in my own engines. But that info is not easy to come by in most cases. So what are you left with, to decide on which oil to use? Who has the coolest looking bottle? Who has the best TV commercials or print ads? Maybe which oil your pappy used? Maybe what oil came in your new car? Who advertises the most and sponsors the most at NHRA races? Problem is, that is all smoke and mirrors. So, I'll use my own film strength testing to decide what I really want in my own engines.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by 540 RAT »

axegrinder wrote:RAT, thanks for the info. I would bet the Royal Purple XPR has ingredients that make it totally different than the other oils that were not found in the test. Was the lab instructed to test for everything listed here or for everything they could possibly find?
Yes, I've spoken with Royal Purple about some of the test results that came back from the lab. And they told me that no matter what the lab test shows, it does not prove an oil's ability to prevent metal to metal contact and thus prevent wear. Only real world testing or film strength testing can do that. They said that their primary extreme pressure additive is their proprietary "Synerlec" additive that only they have. And that including zinc/phos is merely icing on the cake of Synerlec. So, this conventional lab testing does not show the makeup of their Synerlec.

I requested the TBN test specifically, since that one is an extra cost option that they don't do automatically. But I only included a partial list of what they did routinely check for. I didn't bother to include the metals they check for because this was all brand new oil that had never been in an engine before. And used oil is where those metals can show up. Unless you test the Castrol Edge with Titanium, in which case elemental titanium shows up even in brand new oil.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by David Redszus »

The single most important factor when selecting a motor oil is obtaining the correct viscosity for the temperature conditions that the engine will experience. Oil film strength is directly related to oil viscosity.

When performing lab oil analysis, it is worthwhile to obtain vis number at 40 and 100C. That will allow the calculation of true vis at any operating temperature.
In fact, you will not find an oil that prevents wear better than Royal Purple Racing Oil.
If they put that statement on their bottles (or ads) they would be sued by other oil companies in a New York minute.
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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by governor »

Rat,

Have you tested any of the Joe Gibbs oils? How about the break-in oils, Gibbs, Brad Penn or Lucas.

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Re: Motor oil lab tests – the new Royal Purple HPS and others

Post by treyrags »

[quote="David Redszus"]The single most important factor when selecting a motor oil is obtaining the correct viscosity for the temperature conditions that the engine will experience. Oil film strength is directly related to oil viscosity.

When performing lab oil analysis, it is worthwhile to obtain vis number at 40 and 100C. That will allow the calculation of true vis at any operating temperature.

[quote]

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