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Author Topic: engine oils  (Read 4581 times)

Coles89

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engine oils
« on: May 05, 2012, 01:06:48 PM »
Hi All

   Ive been trying to learn a little about oils and was wondering, is there any difference between motorcycle oil and car oil? For example there is motorcycle oil which is 20w-50, but there is oil for cars which is also 20w-50. If they are the same then would it be possible to use the car oil in the bike or vice versa?

Cheers
2008 RE Thuderbird 350 AVL

Arizoni

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 07:17:22 PM »
Yes.  There are some important differences between oils made for automobiles and oil made for motorcycles.

Without getting into the technical areas too much car oils are made to provide lubrication and cooling for fairly light loads.
They don't have to worry about things that need to be cooled without loosing their friction so the friction fighting ingredients are super slippery.

Motorcycle oils often must withstand the heavy loading of gear teeth in the transmission slipping on one another.
It also must not be too slippery or the wet clutch plates will start slipping.

The new Royal Enfields need an oil that can serve as a transmission gear lube and a wet plate clutch lube so using a good motorcycle oil is important.

The older Iron Barrels and AVL Royal Enfields engines oil is separate from the clutch oil and the transmission oil.
These older models can use an automotive oil in the engine, type F automatic transmission fluid in the primary drive/clutch case and an SAE 90 weight gear lube in the transmission.

In the following link, I posted another link to a Amsoil report that was surprisingly fair and goes into great detail about oils and more importantly, what is needed for a good motorcycle oil.

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,7829.msg130603.html#msg130603
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

fzr400

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 10:17:23 PM »
amsoil ::)     i wouldnt trust anything they say
current bikes
90 yamaha fzr 400
99 yamaha vmax
04 honda rc51
11 RE B5
all us spec

Arizoni

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 10:56:09 PM »
To each their own but the report I posted the link to is very informative about the various requirements motorcycle oil should meet.

Equally interesting to me was the fact that their oils often were not the best in the various individual tests.

Of course as could be expected in a paper published by them, their oils were on top for the accumulated average of the tests but others like Mobil-1 V -Twin which is available everywhere was rated as extremely good.  That's why I'm using it in my RE.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 11:30:15 PM »
Oh boy we have re-opened the which is better "Ford or Chevy" "Champion or Autolite"
"Bud or PRB" argument. I don't mean to be a smart ass but have you ever known any people that have worn out a motorcycle by using the wrong oil? I maintain that there are pros and cons to all oils, but much of it is overkill.

Many if not most will disagree with me but that is OK, I am in fact a dinosaur.

fzr400

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 03:32:11 AM »
my grease gun tip fits just right in the fill hole and just pump her full. come on this america more is better!!
current bikes
90 yamaha fzr 400
99 yamaha vmax
04 honda rc51
11 RE B5
all us spec

Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 02:24:32 PM »
This subject goes round and round.

I know nothing but I've read everything!

Ask yourself when the Bullet engine was designed - I'm talking of my Iron Barrel jobbie here.

Now think how things have improved over the last 50 years with oils and petrols. Todays specifications are far above anything that was thought of back in the day.

As long as it's automotive oil I would use it. Fully synthetic would be like cooking with champagne.

Use hallf price oil, change twice as often if you wish.

I'm now standing aside to wait for someone to tell us about the zinc content...
No warranty implied or given.
Packed in a protective atmosphere.
May contain nuts.

t120rbullet

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 02:51:28 PM »
Oh boy we have re-opened the which is better "Ford or Chevy" "Champion or Autolite"
"Bud or PRB" argument. I don't mean to be a smart ass but have you ever known any people that have worn out a motorcycle by using the wrong oil? I maintain that there are pros and cons to all oils, but much of it is overkill.

Many if not most will disagree with me but that is OK, I am in fact a dinosaur.

Ford, Autolite & PBR are best.
1999 Enfield 500 Black Deluxe "Silver"
2012 Concours 14 (no name yet)
2013 Royal Star Venture S  "Jelly Roll"

REpozer

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 04:13:42 PM »
This subject goes round and round.

I know nothing but I've read everything!

Ask yourself when the Bullet engine was designed - I'm talking of my Iron Barrel jobbie here.

Now think how things have improved over the last 50 years with oils and petrols. Todays specifications are far above anything that was thought of back in the day.

As long as it's automotive oil I would use it. Fully synthetic would be like cooking with champagne.

Use hallf price oil, change twice as often if you wish.

I'm now standing aside to wait for someone to tell us about the zinc content...

 Yes, that is why I use house brand diesel truck motor oil.It also has plenty of zinc ;).

 I don't ride one of them new fangled UCE bikes ....yet. Apparently they require the most expensive syn motorcycle oil known to man.
2008 AVL Classic Bullet in British Racing Green
REA # 84 ( the first time)

dogbone

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 05:15:29 PM »
In 1969 I was a Honda mechanic. The oil that was used for break-in smelled like fish. I would blow chunks after a day of unpacking and prepping. In those days, there was still whale oil in atf, maybe Harry Honda used fish oil !!!!!
Modern auto oil does not contain Zink (messes w/ the cat convertors) Iron units have solid lifters, the zink is a lube. 
99 Enfield Bullet 535
a man isn't drunk,if he can lie on the floor without hanging on

baird4444

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 07:57:29 PM »
Oh boy we have re-opened the which is better "Ford or Chevy" "Champion or Autolite"
"Bud or PRB" argument. I don't mean to be a smart ass but have you ever known any people that have worn out a motorcycle by using the wrong oil? I maintain that there are pros and cons to all oils, but much of it is overkill.

Many if not most will disagree with me but that is OK, I am in fact a dinosaur.

the text below was posted back in 2007 by
      a noted and respected individual....

           just thot I'd throw a little lamp oil on the fire- Mike

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I pulled this off of the internet today. I know fair little abut whether of
not there is any truth to it, but is may make for a good discussion.
Kevin
Classic Motorworks


Oil is Killing our Cars
By
Keith Ansell, President
Foreign Parts Positively, Inc.
_www.ForeignPartsPoswww.Foreign_ (http://www.foreignpartspositively.com/)
360-882-3596

Oil is Killing our cars Part I
About a year ago I read about the reduction of zinc dithiophosphate (ZDDP)
in the oils supplied with API approval that could affect sliding and high
pressure (EP) friction in our cars. The reduction of these chemicals in
supplied
oil was based on the fact that zinc, manganese and/or phosphates reduce the
effectiveness and eventually damage catalytic converters and introduce minute
amounts of pollutants into our atmosphere.
A month or so ago I had a member of the Columbia Gorge MG Club bring a
totally failed camshaft and lifters back to me that had only 900 miles on
them!! I
immediately contacted the camshaft re-grinder and asked how this could
happen. They were well aware of this problem as they were starting to have many
failures of this type. In the past, the lack of a molybdenum disulfide camshaft
assembly lubricant, at assembly, was about the only thing that could create
this type of problem. My customer has assembled many engines and had
lubricated the camshaft properly and followed correct break in procedures.
This got me on the phone to Delta Camshaft, one of our major suppliers. Then
the bad news came out: It’s today’s “modern” API (American Petroleum
Industry) approved oils that are killing our engines.
Next call: To another major camshaft supplier, both stock and performance
(Crane). They now have an additive for whatever oil you are using during
break-in so that the camshaft and lifters won’t fail in an unreasonably short
period of time. They also suggest using a diesel rated oil on flat tappet
engines.
Next call: To a racing oil manufacturer that we use for the race cars
(Redline). Their response: “We are well aware of the problem and we still use
the
correct amounts of those additives in our products”. They continued to tell
me
they are not producing API approved oils so they don’t have to test and
comply. Their oils were NOT the “new, improved and approved” ones that
destroy
flat tappet engines! “We just build the best lubricants possible”. Sounds
stupid, doesn’t it, New-Approved but inferior products, but it seems to be
true
for our cars.
To top this off: Our representative from a major supplier of performance and
street engine parts (EPWI) stopped by to “warn us” of the problem of the
NEW oils on flat tappet engines. This was a call that the representative was
making only because of this problem to warn their engine builders! “The
reduction of the zinc, manganese and phosphates are causing very early
destruction
of cams and followers”. They are recommending that, for now at least, there
must be a proper oil additive put in the first oil used on new engines, beyond
the liberal use of molydisulfide assembly lube. They have been told that the
first oil is the time the additives are needed but remain skeptical that the
first change is all that is necessary. Their statement: Use diesel rated
oils such as Delo or Rotella that are usually available at auto stores and gas
stations.
This problem is BIG! American Engine Rebuilder's Association (AERA) Bulletin
#TB2333 directly addresses this problem. I had a short discussion with their
engineer and he agreed with all that I had been finding.
Next phone call was to a retired engineer from Clevite, a major bearing and
component manufacturer. First surprise was that he restored older British
Motor bikes. The second surprise was that he was “VERY” aware of this
problem
because many of the old bikes had rectangular tappets that couldn’t rotate
and
are having a very large problem with the new oils. He has written an article
for the British Bike community that verify all the “bad news” we have been
finding.
Comp Cams put out “#225 Tech Bulletin: Flat Tappet Camshafts”. They have
both an assembly lube and an oil additive. The telling sentence in the bulletin
was “While this additive was originally developed specifically for break-in
protection, subsequent testing has proven the durability benefits of its long
term use. This special blend of additives promotes proper break-in and
protects against premature cam and lifter failure by replacing some of the
beneficial ingredients that the oil companies have been required to remove from
the
off the–shelf oil”.
Next question: Now what do we do?
From the camshaft re-grinders (DeltaCam): “Use oils rated for diesel use”,
Delo (Standard Oil product) was named. About the same price as other quality
petroleum based oils. They are not API formulated and have the zinc
dithiophosphate we need in weights we are familiar with. From the camshaft
manufacturer (Crane): “use our additive” for at least the first 500 miles.
From General Motors (Chevrolet): add EOS, their oil fortifier, to your oil,
it’s only about $12.00 for each oil change for an 8 ounce can (This problem
seems to be something GM has known about for some time!).
From Redline Oil: Use our street formulated synthetics. They have what we
need!
From our major oil distributor: Distributing Castro, Redline, Valvoline and
Industrial oils: “After over a week of contacts we have verified that the
major oil companies are aware of the problem”. “The representatives of the
oil
companies today are only aware of marketing programs and have no knowledge of
formulation”. The only major oil companies they were aware of for doing
anything to address this are Valvoline that is offering an “Off Road
20W-50” and
Redline.
From Castrol: We are beginning to see a pattern emerging on older cars. It
may be advantageous to use a non-approved lubricant, such as oils that are
Diesel rated, 4 Cycle Motorcycle oils and other specified diesel oils.
Last question: So what are we at Foreign Parts Positively going to do? After
much research we are switching to Redline Street rated oils and stocking the
Castrol products that are diesel rated. Castrol, owned by British Petroleum,
is now just a brand name. This is a difficult decision as we have been a
dealer and great believer in all Castrol Products for over 40 years. We have
been using Castrol Syntech oil in new engines for about 3 years so the cost
difference in changing to Redline is minimal. The actual cost in operation is
also less as the additive package in Redline makes a 1-year or up to 18,000
mile change recommended! Yes, it is a long change interval but with lowered
sulfur levels and the elimination of lead and many other chemicals in the fuels
there are less contaminants in our oil from the fuel, which is the major
contributor to oil degradation. We will continue to offer the Castrol products
but
will now only stock the suggested diesel oils that they produce.
Too many things are starting to show up on this subject and it has cost us
money and time. Be aware that “New and Improved”, or even products we have
been using for many years, are destroying our cars as it isn’t the same stuff
we were getting even a year ago.
For the cars that use “engine oil” in their gearboxes this may even pose a
problem as these additives that have been removed could be very critical in
gear wear. We will be using oil specifically formulated for Manual Gearboxes
with Brass Synchronizers. The only oils we are aware of that fit the criteria
are from General Motors and Redline.
If you have any additional input let us know. We need to let every flat
tappet engine owner, i.e.: every British Car owner know that things are
changing
and we MUST meet the challenge.
Oil is Killing our cars Part II
Last month’s report on this subject is turning out to be just the tip of the
iceberg! Many publications have had this subject of zinc-dialkyl-Last month’
s report on this subject is turning out to be just the tip of the iceberg!
Many publications have had this subject of zinc-dialkyl-<WBR>dithiophosphate
(ZDDP) covered in varying depths over the last few months. Some publications
have
I have had the good fortune to have the ear of quite a few leaders in the
industry including some wonderful input from Castrol. We have been very
reluctant to “dump” Castrol, as it has been such a great supporter of our
cars and
industry over the years. Castrol hasn’t really abandoned our cars, just
shifted to a more mass marketing mode. Many Castrol products are not
appropriate
for our cars today, some still are.
Now for the latest report:
#1 Castrol GTX 20W-50 is still good for our cars after break-in! 10W-40,
10W-30 and other grades are NOT good. Absolute NOT GOOD for any oil (Any Brand)
that is marked “Energy Conserving” in the API “Donut” on the bottle,
these
oils are so low with ZDDP or other additives that they will destroy our cams.
Virtually all “Diesel” rated oils are acceptable.
#2 Castrol HD 30 is a very good oil for break-in of new motors. This oil has
one of the largest concentrations of ZDDP and Moly to conserve our cams and
tappets.
#3 Only an unusual Castrol Syntec 20W-50 approaches the levels of protection
we need when we look to the better synthetic lubricants. We are attempting
to get this oil but will be using Redline 10W-40 or 10W-30 as these are
lighter weights for better performance, flow volume, less drag and has the
additive
package we need.
#4 The trend today is to lighter weight oils to decrease drag, which
increases mileage. Most of these seem to be the “Energy Conservation” oils
that we
cannot use.
#5 Redline oil and others are suggesting a 3,000-mile break-in for new
engines! Proper seating of rings, with today’s lubricants is taking that long
to
properly seal. Shifting to synthetics before that time will just burn a lot of
oil and not run as well as hoped.
#6 The “Energy Conservation“ trend was first lead by automakers to increase
mileage numbers and secondly because the ZDDP and other chemicals degrade
the catalytic converter after extended miles, increasing pollution. We don’t
have catalytic converters and the mileage gains are not that significant for
most of us.
For you science buffs: ZDDP is a single polar molecule that is attracted to
Iron based metals. The one polar end tends to “Stand” the molecule up on
the
metal surface that it is bonded to by heat and friction. This forms a
sacrificial layer to protect the base metal of the cam and tappet from
contacting
each other. Only at very high pressures on a flat tappet cam is this necessary
because the oil is squeezed/wiped from the surface. This high pressure is
also present on the gudgeon pin (wrist pin) in diesel engines, therefore the
need for ZDDP in diesel engines.
Second part of the equation is Molybdenum disulfide (Moly). The moly bonds
to the zinc adding an additional, very slippery, sacrificial layer to the
metal. I found out that too much of the moly will create problems; lack of this
material reduces the effectiveness of the ZDDP.


« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 08:13:09 PM by baird4444 »
"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!! "
        -Cody Baird
'My dear you are ugly,
 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
 - Winston Churchill

baird4444

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 08:15:23 PM »
Ford, Autolite & PBR are best.


  ya 2 out of 3 right cj....
"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!! "
        -Cody Baird
'My dear you are ugly,
 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
 - Winston Churchill

Jinx

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 12:26:47 PM »
 I just poor used diesel oil through a tee shirt then into the bike!  ::) I run the Rotella HD diesel oil. Can get it in 5 gal bucket,darn near everything I own runs on it. Must be perfect for motorcycles because the bikes run. I also have elephant repellant spray for the garage, works great! Haven't seen any running around in there. ;)  (notice the sarcasm)  ;D
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

2 ways to get to the top of a tree. Sit on an acorn or start climbing!

2008 RE Classic Deluxe
1990 HD FXST-C
1970 HD XLCH
1942 HD WLA
& probably enough parts lying around to make another bike. LOL!

chapel

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 10:37:47 PM »
I used to sell high end oils for a company called lubrication engineers. They said always sell what the manufacturer recommended if possible. So on my Enfield I use what they say.
Greg

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Re: engine oils
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2012, 11:57:50 PM »
I don't mean to be a smart ass but have you ever known any people that have worn out a motorcycle by using the wrong oil? I maintain that there are pros and cons to all oils, but much of it is overkill.

Anyone else here read Motorcycle Consumer News magazine?  Anyone else remember the old motor oil controversy article from, oh, must've been three or four hundred years ago by now...

The Punch Line: What oil does Royal Enfield say to use?  Use that oil, forsaking all others. You can hardly do better than the manufacturer's recommendations, can you?
-Dave
2012 C5 Special
Central Michigan, USA (when I'm not working somewhere else)