search for best gas-engine oil: Amsoil vs Mobil vs Redline vs Shell vs Chevron

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Sep 8, 2003
UPDATED: 20Nov2003 (UTC -8)

I'm looking for the best gasoline-engine oil for daily driver/weekend
warriors (supercharged 4.7L v8 & 4.5L i6 Toyota engines). Amsoil
Series 2000 20w50 Racing Oil, Mobil1 SuperSyn 15w50, Formula
Shell Synthetic 10w30, Chevron Supreme 5w40, and Redline 15w50
are all synthetic oils at the approximately same price range, viscosity,
and mind share of consumer market.
*No, I don't sell any of these stuff. I'm just an extroverted 4x4 enthusiast.

Here's what I found so far:
1. Standards specifications/approval

Amsoil: API SL, SH, SJ, CF
Chevron: API SL/CF, SJ/CF
* These are most important designations to be aware of.

Mobil: none
Redline: none
Shell: ILSAC GF-3, GF-2
Chevron: none (but 5w30 & 10w30 meets ILSAC GF-3, JASO VTW)
*ILSAC is set of standards developed by American & Japanese
cooperation, while JASO is purely Japanese. Though both seem
relevant to my Toyota engines, I don't know which is most applicable.

Mobil: ACEA A3,B3,B4; VW 505.00
Amsoil: ACEA A2, A3, B2, B3; VW 501.01, 505.00; Ford ESR-M2C
179A; Chrysler MS-8809A
Redline: no data
Shell: ACEA A3-98 Engine Performance; GM 4718M (Corvette)
Chevron: ACEA A3,B3; BMW Longlife-98; Mercedes-Benz 229.1;
Volkswagen 502.00 and 505.00; Porsche; Volvo SMB 22-3
*Nice to know things. These are American- and European-focused,
engine-test & vendor perf specs.

2. Oil Properties

Viscosity, ASTM D 445 (cSt @ 40ºC)
Mobil: 125
Amsoil: 128.1
Redline: 139
Shell: 62.7 (best)
Chevron: 87.7
Viscosity, ASTM D 445 (cSt @ 100ºC)
Mobil: 17.4
Amsoil: 18.3
Redline: 19.5 (best)
Shell: 10.41
Chevron: 13.7
* Viscosity is the measure of how thick an oil is. 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 temp
and the film may tear at high rpm.

Viscosity Index, ASTM D 2270
Mobil: 153
Amsoil: 160 (good)
Redline: 160 (good)
Shell: no data
Chevron: 158
* 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.

Total Base Number (TBN), mg KOH/g, ASTM D 2896
Mobil: no data
Amsoil: 11+ (best)
Redline: no data (Redline just says they have a "high" TBN)
Shell: no data
Chevron: 8.8
* A measure of total alkalinity; used to neutralize acids and other
contaminants in the system; higher number means better cleaning

Pour Point, ºC, ASTM D 97
Mobil: -45 (good)
Amsoil: -36
Redline: -45 (good)
Shell: -33
* This measurement is especially important for oils used in winter,
as it shows the coldest temp the oil will still flow. The lower the
number, the better.

Flash Point, ºC, ASTM D 92
Mobil: 230
Amsoil: 234
Redline: 262 (best)
Shell: 228
Chevron: 222
* Flash point is the temperature at which an oil gives off vapors
that can be ignited with a flame held over the oil. The higher the
flash point the better.

Four-Ball Wear Test (ASTM D 4172: 40kgf, 150°C, 1800 rpm, 1 hr)
Scar diameter, mm
Mobil: 0.922
Amsoil: 0.44 (best)
Redline: 0.73
Shell: no data
Chevron: no data
* The Four Ball Wear Test determines the wear protection properties
of a lubricant by measuring the wear scars produced by 4 metal balls
in sliding contact under the test parameters. The smaller the average
wear scar, the better the wear protection provided by the lubricant.
Based on and from only, no data
from anywhere else, but was tested by independent lab, as per Amsoil.

Sulfated Ash, wt%, ASTM D 874
Mobil: 1.3
Amsoil: 0.5 (best, but I'm waiting validation from Amsoil)
Redline: no data
Shell: no data
Chevron: 1.2
* Indication of 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.

3. Conclusion? I guess Amsoil and Redline are tied for top specs, but I'm
favoring Amsoil 'coz of their JASO rating.

Automotive Lubricants Reference Book: Caines, Haycock (ISBN 1-56091-525-0)
Re:search for best gas-engine oil: Amsoil vs Mobil vs Redline vs Shell vs Chevro

uh.....whats this oil you are speaking of??

i just thought it was black when used and to change it 3-5K
Re:search for best gas-engine oil: Amsoil vs Mobil vs Redline vs Shell vs Chevro

it looks like you might just be the expert on this one -- thats a lot of info on oil
Re:search for best gas-engine oil: Amsoil vs Mobil vs Redline vs Shell vs Chevro

21Nov2003 (UTC -8)

[quote author=customcruiser link=board=1;threadid=7838;start=msg66180#msg66180 date=1069435220]
it looks like you might just be the expert on this one -- thats a lot of info on oil

Naah dude, far from it. I'm just trying to learn what all these alphabet soup means, 'coz it's very interesting for a nerd like me :D I got all those data only by browsing the respective company websites.

I've discovered that oils are not the same. Different needs by different people with different engines living in different environment need different oils. :banana: I've chosen a few and are experimenting with them.

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