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2019 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT
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Ok, so 5w40 wasn’t one of my better ideas. Gear box wants the 10 weight. Feels almost like it needs an oil change. Engine seems happy with it. Feels like an improvement when first getting under way.
I should have known Kawi calls out the 10 weight on the low side for a reason. So I’m thinking 10w30 now if I can find suitable oil. I’ll switch it over and chalk it up to an engine flush.
I can only get that in a 15w40, think that would work? I'm in central Texas, thinking it would work.
 

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I can’t say what another engine needs or wants, but I’ve recently switched to Quaker State Full Synthetic 5W30 in my V650 and it likes it so far. Starts easier, runs stronger, shifts like butter, and is getting slightly better fuel economy. If the clutch starts slipping, I’ll use that as an excuse to upgrade to a slipper clutch, but I’m confident that won’t occur. I know how to adjust a clutch, and how to slip it when needed.

I had previously been running Motul 7100 10W40 and it was also smooth shifting. Amsoil Metric, on the other hand, caused poor shifting that got worse with use, forcing an early change by 4000 km.
 

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2022 Versys X 300
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I can’t say what another engine needs or wants, but I’ve recently switched to Quaker State Full Synthetic 5W30 in my V650 and it likes it so far. Starts easier, runs stronger, shifts like butter, and is getting slightly better fuel economy. If the clutch starts slipping, I’ll use that as an excuse to upgrade to a slipper clutch, but I’m confident that won’t occur. I know how to adjust a clutch, and how to slip it when needed.

I had previously been running Motul 7100 10W40 and it was also smooth shifting. Amsoil Metric, on the other hand, caused poor shifting that got worse with use, forcing an early change by 4000 km.
A slipper clutch prevents rear wheel lockup during overzealous engine braking. I think you meant an assisted clutch, usually present in tandem with a slipper:

 

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A slipper clutch prevents rear wheel lockup during overzealous engine braking. I think you meant an assisted clutch, usually present in tandem with a slipper:

Nope. Meant what I wrote. Apparently other Kawi 650 bikes (Ninja) came with slipper clutches and they are an easy swap. It has been documented here.
 

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Nope. Meant what I wrote. Apparently other Kawi 650 bikes (Ninja) came with slipper clutches and they are an easy swap. It has been documented here.
Gotcha...you'd mentioned going to a slipper in the context of if and when the 5w30 caused slippage so I thought perhaps you were thinking assist since that tech provides a more positive engagement of the plates.
 

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I can only get that in a 15w40, think that would work? I'm in central Texas, thinking it would work.
Others here speak highly of Mobil 1 15w50 in their 650s. Not sure why they’ve not chimed in yet? Perhaps the oil topic has been beat up enough for them 😂 FastEddie has 100k+ miles on one of his 650s using it in AZ climate. So that’s saying something. Rotella is also highly regarded. I’d expect similar results.
Do some searches on the site here. You’ll find extensive info on the subject
 

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Others here speak highly of Mobil 1 15w50 in their 650s. Not sure why they’ve not chimed in yet? Perhaps the oil topic has been beat up enough for them 😂 FastEddie has 100k+ miles on one of his 650s using it in AZ climate. So that’s saying something. Rotella is also highly regarded. I’d expect similar results.
Do some searches on the site here. You’ll find extensive info on the subject
Changed the oil in v650 yesterday
Bicycle part Motorcycle accessories Sports equipment Font Auto part


Bicycle part Material property Bumper Auto part Font


First impressions are good just been out to get some petrol
Will give it a few km and see how it goes
Bike has 91 K Kms ( thought it was higher ) and thought I would go with the heavier oil as it rattles a bit
The 4L bottle cost €56 with a discount of €6
Could only find one place selling this in Ireland
 

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...Others here speak highly of Mobil 1 15w50 in their 650s. Not sure why they’ve not chimed in yet? Perhaps the oil topic has been beat up enough for them 😂 FastEddie has 100k+ miles on one of his 650s using it in AZ climate. So that’s saying something....
I have used the M1 15w-50 on EVERY bike I've owned, for many years. That would be about 92K kms on my '15 and MOST of the 101,623 MILES on my AZ V650 ('08). Can't remember on my '09 which 'left the building...' 7 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
If you like paying less for automotive oil from Walmart, get the good stuff and try Valvoline's superior 5W-40 European Vehicle Full Synthetic Motor Oil ... Its viscosity is slightly higher than both Mobil 1's 10W-40 High Mileage Full Synthetic Motor Oil and Racing 4T 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil at operating temperature, while relatively lower on startup.

$26.97 Valvoline European Vehicle Full Synthetic 5W-40 Motor Oil 5 QT - Walmart.com

$26.28 Mobil 1 High Mileage Full Synthetic Motor Oil 10W-40, 5 qt - Walmart.com


Valvoline European Vehicle Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-40
View attachment 190932


Mobil 1™ High Mileage 10W-40
View attachment 190929 View attachment 190931


Mobil 1 Racing™ 4T 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil
View attachment 190933


US_Val_EuroVehicle_5W40_MO_EN.pdf - DocuSign CLM (springcm.com)

Mobil 1™ High Mileage 10W-40

Mobil 1™ Racing 4T 10W-40 motorcycle oil
View attachment 190919

What do you think of this product?
 

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I've NEVER been interested in having a "PART SYNTHETIC" motor oil.

(I could open a quart jug of any NON-SYNTH oil, then add an ounce of synthetic oil to it. NOW it's "PART SYNTHETIC" motor oil.)
 

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I scoured my local Walmart for oil with JASO MA2 certs. I also want to see how 10w30 handles the cooler temps. I walked out with Super Tech ATV oil at $8/qt. It comes in 10w40 too if the 300 likes it.
Product Font Material property Gas Electric blue

Font Motor vehicle Electric blue Triangle Circle
 

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I just tried Rotella T6 5w40. It’s too light for my 300 gear box. Felt as if it needed an oil change, only crisper if that makes sense? Engine seemed to like it.
It's diesel engine oil... It has nothing to do with the 5. Its viscosity is actually higher than your typical 10W-40.
Brown Rectangle Font Parallel Number


Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Technical Datasheet | SCL (sclubricants.com)


246. 5W40 SHELL ROTELLA T6 Diesel Oil, synthetic, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4, SM, SL = 67,804 psi


12. DIESEL OIL – IS IT THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE GASOLINE ENGINES?

Before we get into the eye-opening Diesel oil test data, let’s take a look at some fundamental aspects of motor oil wear protection, so that we are all on the same page. The amount of misinformation and misunderstanding about motor oil is absolutely mind boggling, even though the basic technology of motor oil is NOT Rocket Science. It is simply unbelievable how much COMPLETELY WRONG information is out there on the Internet and on the various Forums.

And of course once wrong information has been repeated countless times, it becomes fact as far as most people know, even though it is completely worthless. But, you really can’t blame folks for not knowing any better. Because in addition to a ton of bad information being out there, motor oil advertising hype is often misleading or downright false, almost no one ever tests anything to know for sure what is true and what is not, aftermarket companies sell bogus oil additive products, including zinc additives, that only wreck an oil’s chemical properties, and any test data outside of the oil companies themselves, is virtually impossible to find ANYWHERE……………until now.

If you are interested in seeing the FACTS from real world independent and unbiased Engineering Test Data on motor oil, then the information below is for you.

“THE” single most common misunderstanding about motor oil is that higher zinc levels provide better wear protection. That has been repeated over and over again so many times over the years, that people just assume it is correct. But the fact is, that thinking is COMPLETELY FALSE.

Here are the FACTS:

Zinc is used/sacrificed in very small quantities at time, so the total amount present in your oil does not change how much wear protection the oil provides, as long as you don’t run out of zinc. “Lab Testing” and “Wear Testing” analysis proves/confirms that more zinc provides LONGER wear protection, NOT MORE wear protection. This is not a new discovery. In fact, Ed Hackett wrote an article some years ago, titled “More than you ever wanted to know about Motor Oil”. And in that article he says the exact same thing, so it’s been well known for a long time. You can Google his article if you like, and see for yourself.

An analogy for the zinc level in motor oil would be the amount of gas in your tank. Gas is also used in very small quantities at a time. So, if you have a quarter of a tank or a full tank, it does NOT change how much power your engine makes, as long as you don’t run out of gas. More gas provides LONGER running time, NOT more power. It’s the same type of idea regarding the amount of zinc in motor oil.

Zinc is used as an extreme pressure, anti-wear additive. But, zinc “DOES NOT” build-up over time like some type of plating process. For those who have actually taken an engine apart that has been running high zinc oil, you know that you don’t find a build-up of zinc that looks like some sort of coating or sludge build-up. Zinc does NOT work that way. And zinc is not even a lubricant until heat and load are applied. Zinc is only used when there is actual metal to metal contact in the engine. At that point zinc must react with the heat and load to create the sacrificial film that allows it to protect flat-tappet camshafts and other highly loaded engine parts.

So, with zinc being sacrificial, it will become depleted over time as it is used up. This has been proven/confirmed by analysis of new and used oil lab test results. And the literature from the “ZDDPlus” zinc additive folks says the exact same thing, if you’d also like to see it there. On top of that, excessively HIGH zinc levels can lead to INCREASED wear/damage and cast iron erosion. There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”.

So, you really don’t want or need a ton of zinc. You simply need “enough” so that you don’t run out of it with your particular application, that’s all. And this is precisely the reason why the motor oil “wear testing” I’ve been performing, has ALWAYS shown that the level of zinc does NOT affect how well an oil can provide wear protection. I’ve had many HIGH zinc oils, as well as many modern LOW zinc oils, produce outstanding results in the wear testing. I’ve also had HIGH zinc oils as well as LOW zinc oils that produced only modest results in the wear testing.

And this brings us to the second most common misunderstanding about motor oil, which is that modern API certified motor oils cannot provide adequate wear protection for flat tappet cam lobe/lifter interfaces. This has also been repeated over and over again so many times over the years, that people just assume it is correct. But the fact is, that thinking is also COMPLETELY FALSE.

Wear protection is determined only by the base oil and its additive package “as a whole”, and NOT just by how much zinc is present. There is nothing magical or sacred about zinc. It is just one of a number of motor oil additive package components that can be used for extreme pressure anti-wear purposes. The other components that are typically Oil Company proprietary secrets, can be added to, or used in place of zinc. And most modern API SM and SN certified oils have shown in my wear testing to be quite good when it comes to providing wear protection, and have even EXCEEDED the protection provided by many high zinc oils.

So, modern low zinc oils CAN BE USED SAFELY with flat tappet cam setups, even in engines with radical cams and high spring pressures. Simply choose from the higher ranked oils on the list at the end of this write-up, and you’ll be good to go. I know people who’ve been using modern low zinc oils in High Performance flat tappet set-ups for a long time, and they’ve had no issue at all.

On a side note:
Whatever you do, DO NOT add aftermarket zinc additives to low zinc oils. Because I did testing on this exact situation and found that adding zinc to low zinc oils, ruins an oil’s chemical properties and SIGNIFICANTLY reduces its wear protection capability. The Oil Companies always say to “never add anything” to their oil. Believe them, because they know what they are talking about. After all, they are the experts on their own products.

So, back to the topic at hand:
Just looking at an oil’s spec sheet to see how much zinc is present, tells you ABOLUTLELY NOTHING about how well that oil can provide wear protection. To only look at the zinc level to try and predict an oil’s wear protection capability would be much like looking at your gas gauge to predict how much power your engine will make. That kind of thinking simply makes no sense at all. So, throw away that useless motor oil zinc quantity reference list. In other words, forget about zinc. The ONLY THING that matters, and the ONLY WAY to tell how well an oil can prevent wear, is to perform some type of dynamic WEAR TESTING that is done at representative temperatures. And that is exactly what I’ve done here.

The test equipment used here to perform this kind of testing, focuses on an oil’s “load carrying capacity or film strength”, and for good reason. THE single most CRITICAL capability of any motor oil is its film strength. Everything else it does for your engine comes AFTER that. Here’s why. When oil is down to a very thin film, it is the last line of defense against metal to metal contact and subsequent wear or damage. And oil film strength capability DIRECTLY APPLIES to flat tappet lobe/lifter interfaces, cam gear/distributor gear interfaces, mechanical fuel pump pushrod tip/cam eccentric interfaces and other highly loaded engine component interfaces. The higher an oil’s film strength, the better your engine is protected in these areas.

Oil film strength capability also DIRECTLY APPLIES to cold start-up conditions. In this case, only an oil film remains on most internal engine components, because most of the oil drained off after hot shut down. And it’s no secret that nearly all wear occurs during start-up when there can be a couple of seconds or even more, depending on the oil viscosity being used and the ambient air temperature, before a flow of oil reaches all the components. Before oil flow reaches the components, all you have saving your engine from wear or damage, is the remaining oil’s film strength. That makes it another very important reason why an excellent film strength is highly desirable.

When Amsoil refers to wear scar size comparisons on their website, they are referencing oil film strength test data. A few years or so ago, when Castrol Edge and Valvoline SynPower ads talked about their oils providing better wear protection than Mobil 1, they were referencing oil film strength test data. Pennzoil Ultra, API SM advertised that no leading synthetic oil provides better wear protection, and they also reference oil film strength test data. The bottom line is that oil film strength testing and the resulting data, is the “Gold Standard” in the motor oil industry, regarding wear protection.

There is no additional value to performing more “comprehensive” oil testing related to wear prevention. Because when an oil is thicker than a mere film, it becomes LIQUID oil. And LIQUIDS are INCOMPRESSIBLE, which of course is how hydraulics work. But, that refers to 100% PURE LIQUID with no air bubbles what so ever. And the nature of liquids being “incompressible”, is a basic FACT of Physics.

So, since liquid oil CANNOT be compressed, there can be NO metal to metal contact, THUS NO WEAR OR DAMAGE. This means that ALL oils when in “incompressible liquid form”, provide the SAME level of wear protection. And it does not matter if they cost one dollar per quart, or twenty dollars per quart. Nor does it matter how much zinc/phos is present.

For example, the normal flow of oil between the crank journals and rod or main bearings, is “liquid” oil. And the “liquid” oil in that hydrodynamic wedge is incompressible, just like any liquid is. For a crank journal to ever touch the bearings, the oil has to be reduced to only a film, and that film has to be PENETRATED. Because of course, to achieve metal to metal contact, and thus wear/damage, you have to go THROUGH the oil’s film strength to get there.

If conditions cause a flow of liquid oil to be squeezed out of the way, you are right back to being left with only an oil film, and the need for good film strength. And this is PRECISELY why we perform OIL FILM STRENGTH testing. The ONLY thing that separates one oil from another oil, in terms of wear prevention, is the DIFFERENCE between their film strength capabilities. So, if an oil has sufficient film strength capability, then you are good to go when it comes to wear protection, no matter how much zinc is present.

The tester used here, was never intended to reflect exactly what goes on inside a running engine. It was designed to test “oil against oil”, nothing else. So, the whole point of my “wear testing” was to test oils directly against each other, head to head, back to back, at a representative operating temperature. Then see how they stacked up against each other.

For example, if oil “A” has a 110,000 psi “load carrying capacity/film strength” (no matter how much zinc is present) in this test, and oil “B” has only a 65,000 psi “load carrying capacity/film strength” (no matter how much zinc is present) in this test, it’s not hard to understand the fact that oil “A” with its WHOPPING 70% HIGHER CAPABILITY, will provide a MUCH HIGHER level of reserve wear protection in a running engine as well (no matter how much zinc is present).

My testing performs severe torture testing on motor oil, which is much harder on the oil, than what the oil will ever experience inside any running engine. This is a dynamic friction test under load, and the test results are determined by the size of the wear scar. And how good an oil is at preventing wear, high zinc or low zinc, is determined in a fair and straight forward manner. The numbers come out how they come out, depending on the capability of the oil.

All of the oils are tested at a representative normal operating oil temperature of 230*F, to make the comparison meaningful. By testing in this manner, it absolutely shows which oils are better at preventing wear than others. This real world test comparison allows you to test a large number of oils EXACTLY THE SAME, under controlled and repeatable conditions, which you simply cannot do in a running engine. And you can see how they compare right away, without having to wait for 100,000 miles to find out what happened. With this testing methodology, you can quickly and easily distinguish between outstanding oils and merely ordinary oils.

The whole thing simply comes down to what is called “margin of safety” or extra reserve protection capability. Let’s say the lowest ranked oil has a 20% margin of safety relative to your engine’s needs, which means that the oil’s capability “exceeds” your engine’s needs by 20%. So, you are in good shape and you will never see a problem. But, if something bad happens like an overheating condition, or an oiling condition, or a loading condition, or some parts heading south, or whatever, and your oil protection requirements increase to say 50% above your engine’s typical needs. Now you’ve just exceeded the oil’s capability by a whopping 30%, and your engine is junk. But, what if you’d been running an oil that had a whopping 70% margin of safety to begin with? In this case, when your engine’s needs went up 50%, but you still have another 20% capability above that. So, your engine would still live to fight another day.

So, in the end, it just depends on how much margin of safety an individual is comfortable with for his particular engine combo. The whole point of all my oil testing, is having the data to make an informed choice when it comes to choosing the best motor oil.

I did this testing only for my own knowledge, because there is so much misinformation and misunderstanding about motor oil. But, I do NOT sell oil, and I do NOT get paid by any oil company. So, it doesn’t matter to me what oil people buy, or why they buy, the oil they buy. That being the case, I have absolutely no reason to try to make one oil seem better than another. On the contrary, I’m only interested in seeing how they TRULY differ.

So, there is no Snake Oil pitch going on here. And I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m only sharing my test data results. People can embrace my data or ignore it. That of course is totally up to them. So, run whatever oil you like, but now you’ll have the data to see how oils rank, relative to each other.

NOTE: A motor oil’s “load carrying capacity/film strength” capability is NOT the same thing as slipperiness or friction reduction. Therefore, this type of test data says nothing at all about the amount of Horsepower one oil will make vs another.

DIESEL OIL TESTING

I always found it a bit curious that some folks would use Diesel oil in High Performance gasoline engines, rather than the more obvious high quality gas engine oils. I assumed they figured that Diesel oils had higher zinc levels which most folks “mistakenly thought” was needed. Or maybe they figured if that oil works well for hard working Diesel engines, then it should work for their gas engines as well. But, other than some lab test reports showing zinc quantities, I haven’t seen much real data on any of that.

Is it possible that the Diesel oil fans somehow know more than the Oil Companies’ Chemical Engineers and Chemists? But, based on only a casual overview, the value of using Diesel oil in gas engines seemed to be mostly just folklore that had been repeated over and over, without any real data to support that. So, since I’ve been performing a lot of motor oil testing this year, I thought is was time to do some extensive testing on Diesel oil, to see once and for all, just what the Diesel oil hype is all about.

So, finally, on with the Diesel Oil test data:
*** The higher the psi result, the higher the “Load carrying capacity/Film strength”, and the better the oil is at preventing wear.

*** All oils were tested at 230* F (representative of actual running temperature).

*** Multiple tests were performed on each oil, and those results were averaged to arrive at each oil’s final value shown below.

*** Test Result differences between oils of less than 10%, are not significant, and oils within that range can be considered approximately equivalent.

*** All oil bottles were thoroughly shaken before the samples were taken. This ensured that all the additive package components were distributed uniformly throughout all the oil in the bottle, and not settled to the bottom.

*** All the oils here are current new oils, recently purchased, except for the unopened OLD Rotella T mentioned above.

*** The onset of “Thermal Breakdown” is determined by the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke/vaporize. This indicates that the lighter components in the oil are beginning to boil off, which changes the oil’s chemical composition for the worse. Always keep your oil below the point of thermal breakdown. If your oil does get too hot, then change it at your earliest convenience.

*** Lab Testing for component quantities shown below, was performed by ALS Tribology (formerly Staveley Labs) in Sparks, Nevada.

*** Diesel engine oils have C-type API certification rating designations. The “C” is in reference to “C”ompression ignition engines.
Gas engine oils have S-type API certification rating designations. The “S” is in reference to “S”park ignition engines.

Here are the 13 Diesel Oils that were tested. And they are ranked in the order of their “Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” values:

1. RED LINE, 15W40 Diesel Oil, synthetic, API CJ-4/CI-4 PLUS/CI-4/CF/CH-4/CF-4/SM/SL/SH/EO-O
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 85,663 psi
zinc = 1615 ppm
phos = 1551 ppm
moly = 173 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 2999 ppm
TBN = 8.3
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 285*

2. ROYAL PURPLE, 15W40 Diesel Oil, synthetic, API CJ-4 /SM, CI-4 PLUS, CH-4, CI-4
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 76,997 psi
zinc = TBD
phos = TBD
moly = TBD
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = TBD
TBN = TBD
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 265*

3. MOBIL 1 TURBO DIESEL TRUCK, 5W40 synthetic, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4 and ACEA E7
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 74,312 psi
zinc = 1211 ppm
phos = 1168 ppm
moly = 2 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 1596 ppm
TBN = 9.3
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 270*

4. CHEVRON DELO 400LE, 15W40 conventional, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4, SM, SL, “Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 73,520 psi
zinc = 1519 ppm
phos = 1139 ppm
moly = 80 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 2205 ppm
TBN = 8.0
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 265*

5. MOBIL DELVAC 1300 SUPER, 15W40 conventional, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4/SM, SL , “Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 73,300 psi
zinc = 1297 ppm
phos = 944 ppm
moly = 46 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 1843 ppm
TBN = 9.8
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 250*

6. Farm Rated 15W40 Heavy Duty Performance Diesel, conventional, API CI-4, CH-4, CG-4, CF/SL, SJ
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 73,176 psi
zinc = 1325 ppm
phos = 1234 ppm
moly = 2 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 1593 ppm
TBN = 9.3
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 255*

7. SHELL ROTELLA T, 15W40 conventional, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CH-4, CG-4, CF-4,CF/SM
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 72,022 psi
zinc = 1454 ppm
phos = 1062 ppm
moly = 0 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 2886 ppm
TBN = 9.1
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 250*
NOTE: This new Rotella T has SIGNIFICANTLY MORE zinc than the OLD Rotella T, NOT LESS as is often claimed. And these two Rotella oils were Lab tested more than a month apart. So, their component quantities had no chance of being mixed up. This new Rotella’s wear protection capability is just slightly BETTER than the OLD Rotella. Therefore, the new Rotella is NOT the junk some have claimed.

8. “OLD” SHELL ROTELLA T, 15W40 conventional, API CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, CH-4,CG-4,CF-4,CF,SL, SJ, SH
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 71,214 psi
zinc = 1171 ppm
phos = 1186 ppm
moly = 0 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 2715 ppm
TBN = 10.1
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 250*
NOTE: There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING special about this OLD Rotella, as so many have always claimed. That was only folklore. It is simply ordinary Diesel oil.

9. VALVOLINE PREMIUM BLUE HEAVY DUTY DIESEL, 15W40 conventional, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4, CF-4, CF/SM
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 70,869 psi
zinc = TBD
phos = TBD
moly = TBD
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = TBD
TBN = TBD
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 255*

10. CHEVRON DELO 400LE, 5W40 synthetic, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, SL, SM,
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 69,631 psi
zinc = TBD
phos = TBD
moly = TBD
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = TBD
TBN = TBD
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 255*

11. SHELL ROTELLA T6, 5W40 synthetic, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4/SM
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 67,804 psi
zinc = TBD
phos = TBD
moly = TBD
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = TBD
TBN = TBD
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 260*

12. LUCAS 15W40 MAGNUM Diesel Oil, conventional, API CI-4,CH-4, CG-4, CF-4, CF/SL
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 66,476 psi
zinc = 1441 ppm
phos = 1234 ppm
moly = 76 ppm
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge = 3393 ppm
TBN = 11.7
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 250*

13. CASTROL GTX DIESEL, 15W40 conventional, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4, CF-4/SN
“Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” = 66,323 psi
zinc = TBD
phos = TBD
moly = TBD
total detergent/dispersant/anti-deposit build-up/anti-sludge TBD
TBN = TBD
The onset of thermal breakdown is approximately 265*

The average value for Thermal Breakdown among the conventional Diesel oils here, was 255*, which is 17* LOWER than among the conventional gas engine oils I’ve tested.

The average value for Thermal Breakdown among the synthetic Diesel oils here, was 267*, which is 15* LOWER than among the synthetic gas engine oils I’ve tested.

And as you can see with these Diesel oils above, zinc levels alone do NOT establish their wear prevention ranking. The zinc levels are randomly up and down, relative to the ranking order. So, zinc levels clearly have NOTHING to do with an oil’s protection capability or ranking order. Also, anyone who has followed my motor oil testing, probably noticed that these Diesel oil “Load Carrying Capacity/Film Strength” psi values are rather low, with an average value for the whole group of only 72,408 psi. This number would put an oil for gasoline engines, only in the MODEST PROTECTION category (60,000 to 75,000 psi).

And considering that these oils are intended for use in heavy duty working Diesel engines as used in big rigs, bulldozers, locomotives, etc, etc, you probably expected to see some rather impressive psi numbers. But, if you were expecting that, you were obviously disappointed and maybe even shocked. So, what’s going on here?

Obviously since all these diesel oil numbers are so closely clustered together with only about a 20,000 psi range (compared to the gas engine oil numbers which have a much larger range of almost 60,000 psi), it is clear that the oil companies intentionally formulated them to be in this general range. Why would they do that? How can that be good enough for these hard working diesel engines?

Diesel engines of this type are made very rugged and very durable for the long haul. And in order to accomplish that, the engine’s components are designed and sized to keep the part loading at a modest level. And of course, these engines are known primarily for their impressive low end torque under boost, but NOT for their high rpm HP. All that being the case, these oils don’t need to have a higher capability. And this type of Diesel engine typically takes a LOT OF OIL. So, cost becomes a real factor when changing oil. This means that no oil company is going to make their products way better than needed, because that would make their products too expensive to be competitive in the marketplace.

And no one can complain that my test equipment and test procedure do not allow high zinc oils to perform at their highest level. Because here are some high zinc (over 1100 ppm) conventional, semi-synthetic, and full synthetic gasoline engine oils that I’ve tested previously. And they all had test results over 90,000 psi, which put them in the “OUTSTANDING PROTECTION” category for gasoline engines.

10W30 Lucas Racing Only, full synthetic = 106,505 psi
zinc = 2642 ppm
phos = 3489 ppm
moly = 1764 ppm

10W30 Valvoline NSL (Not Street Legal) Conventional Racing Oil = 103,846 psi
zinc = 1669 ppm
phos = 1518 ppm
moly = 784 ppm

10W30 Valvoline VR1 Conventional Racing Oil (silver bottle) = 103,505 psi
zinc = 1472 ppm
phos = 1544 ppm
moly = 3 ppm

10W30 Valvoline VR1 Synthetic Racing Oil, API SL (black bottle) = 101,139 psi
zinc = 1180 ppm
phos = 1112 ppm
moly = 162 ppm

30 wt Red Line Race Oil, full synthetic = 96,470 psi
zinc = 2207 ppm
phos = 2052 ppm
moly = 1235 ppm

10W30 Amsoil Z-Rod Oil, full synthetic = 95,360 psi
zinc = 1431 ppm
phos = 1441 ppm
moly = 52 ppm

10W30 Quaker State Defy, API SL (semi-synthetic) = 90,226 psi
zinc = 1221 ppm
phos = 955 ppm
moly = 99 ppm

SUMMARY
Thermal Breakdown BEGINS SOONER with Diesel oil, than with gas engine oils, which is not desirable for High Performance gas engine usage. And as you can see by looking at this short list of “high zinc” gas engine oils, or by looking at my complete Wear Protection Ranking List, there are many, many gas engine oils available that are FAR SUPERIOR to the best Diesel oils in terms of wear protection. Therefore, using Diesel oils in high performance gas engines is NOT the best choice, if you want superior wear protection with plenty of margin of safety (extra reserve wear protection above what the engine typically needs).

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For those who have used Diesel oil in High Performance gas engines for years without issue, you were able to do that only because the wear protection required by the engines, never happened to exceed the oil’s capability. But, you were clearly running a MUCH LOWER margin of safety than you would have been, if you’d used a much more capable gas engine oil instead. So, if you’ve been using Diesel oil in High Performance gas engines, you may want to rethink what you’ve been doing and consider upgrading to one of the far better gas engine oils.

CONCLUSION
The bottom line is that the end user does NOT know more about motor oil than the Oil Companies’ Chemical Engineers and Chemists. So, the BEST choice is to use only quality gas engine oil in High Performance gas engines. These oils offer MUCH HIGHER wear protection capability and can withstand somewhat higher temperatures before the onset of Thermal Breakdown. Leave the less capable Diesel oils for use only in Diesel engines, where they are meant to be used.

540 RAT

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