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    Retired Air Force Master Sergeant's Avatar
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    Default Oil

    Is there much of an advantage to paying the extra money for synthetic oil vs conventional? And if so does a name brand make any difference? Store brand synthetic is $5 a quart vs $8 name brand.

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    Senior Member Hass828's Avatar
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    GN7 to the white courtesy phone please
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    I think synthetic is better than conventional. It flows better at lower temps, it clings better to the parts, I'm told it can lower your et at the races, parts seeem to wear less, it can take a higher temp, seems to run cooler. The only draw back I've seen, is that it will seep out of any where it likes.

    A good off the shelf is Mobil1. I've never used any of the high dollar brands, but Mobil1 never let me down.

    Tim

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    gn7
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    I am not going to get all wound up in a oil thread. I will throw this two cents out there.

    Some time ago Mobil tried in vain to get Castrol to stop using the term "synthetic" for their Syntec. They failed to make the case, and Castrol AND OTHERS are now free to call Group III oils synthetic. Not synthetic blend, but the term 100% fully synthetic. This allows them, AND OTHERS to use Group III oil mixed with group II and call it Synthetic blend. There was no "law suit", Mobil simply filed a complaint with the National Advertising arm of the BBB, as well as the API agreed Group III oils were in fact synthetic because they derive the finished product by means other than distillation. Well, duh, thats been going on since WWII


    There hasn't been a decent oil on the market in the past decade that wasn't made up of Group II and III oils and still refered to as conventional until Castrols ruling. Now, you better be pretty damn sure of the company your buying your oil from if you want to know whats in it. Since 1993 vitrtually every decent oil on the market has been either 100% group III or a blend of group II and III. Those same oils are now allowed to be termed 100% synthetic, and sythetic blend, respectfully.

    You can buy a quart of converntional oil from any number of companies labeled as conventional and be just as good as Castrol Syn blend, and a blend from some companies and it will be as good as, if not better than Castrol's Full Synthetic.

    My point is, leave the Castrol on the shelf, and be damn certain who you're buying your synthetic from. Because what Castrol (and now others) are selling as Full synthetic, you have been buying as conventional for years. Until now!

    Mobil 1 is the one oil you can be sure is 100% Full Sythetic. There are others at your local store, but why bother tryiong to figure out who they are. Everyday more and more are being sold as synthetic because they are trying to compete with the others that are doing the same thing.

    I will say avoid Mobil 1 10/30 or lower wt oils. They are bad, but the other wts do have a better additive package. Mobil 1 10/40 and 15/50 are the toughest of the bunch.

    LINK: Mobil vs Castrol I
    LINK; Mobil VS Castrol II


    To answer the OP question, is synthetic worth it? I guess that depends on how GOOD the conventional oil you buy is verses how shitty the synthetic is. And price will not help you in all cases. Castrol doesn't sell their junk any cheaper, they simply make more profit.
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    Retired Air Force Master Sergeant's Avatar
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    Thanks

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    Default gn7

    yeah thanks bud thats great information........
    Don't be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark...Professionals built the Titanic!

  8. #7
    www.highflowdynamics.com LakesOnly's Avatar
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    Wow, gn7, that goes waaaay back Good reference material. I used to reference that case in oil threads many years ago. Castrol Syntec used to be a true synthetic when it first came out, then the makers of that lubricant found a way to restructure petroleum-based modelcules so as to give them performance characteristics (film strength, viscosity stability, etc) like that of the synthetic stock competitors. They made no public announcement of their change (on the bottle) and that intiated the court case. Castrol maintained and provided documentation that their product was indeed changed in the lab and perfomed like synthetic based stock lubricants and thereby won the case against them. And I was pissed as well.

    But this is not to say that Castrol does not have similar performance characterists of their competitor's product (not that I use Castrol), and in fact there are other less brands of "true" synthetic lubricants whose performance characteristics are poor by comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Sergeant View Post
    Is there much of an advantage to paying the extra money for synthetic oil vs conventional? And if so does a name brand make any difference? Store brand synthetic is $5 a quart vs $8 name brand.
    Not all engine lubricants sold as synthetic are the same. We can all tell our favorites, but generally speaking, you do get what you pay for in sythetic lubricants. Personally, I like to stick around Amsoil, Mobil 1, Royal Purple, and Red Line. Note that if you don't take advantage of the extended drain intervals, or your engine leaks profusely, or consumes a lot of oil, then the cost may be higher. If you take advantage of the extended drain intervals and your engine holds oil then the price is not only well worth it but the extended life of the engine makes the use of a good synthectic a better deal in the long run. Many people register more horsepower on the dyno when they switch to a quality synthetic. The old belief that synthetic oil leaks is a bunch of hogwash; if you engine leaks oil then the engine has a leak....fix the leak.

    Long, long ago, I ran Amsoil 20w-50 in a 429 for over 40,000 miles without ever changing the oil. The engine did consume a bit of oil because of the umbrella-type valve stem seals and the fact that I often had my foot in it, so I added a fresh quart every 1500-2000 miles or so (which is something I had to do with a conventional oil too). I changed the oil filter every 3000-4000, but never a full oil change. I never had a problem with the engine up to the day that I sold it.

    I also rebuilt a 4-cylinder engine and broke it in for 1800 miles. Daily driver. After that, I switched over to the same synthetic oil and their associated filter (7 micron rating) and extended my oil changes to every 15,000 miles. I piss-wound the you-know-what out of that little engine. Never a problem. At about 83,000 miles, I did a compression test (it was perfect) and pulled the head and did a brief inspection. Everything was flawless and as it should be, all the way to the honed cylinders and no up-and-down scuffing. And I really beat the crap out of this engine. I can't say for sure but I think that engine could have lasted hundreds of thousands of miles with little more than a couple of valve jobs...but not if I had used a dino oil.

    If you want to switch to a synthetic on a "budget," then Mobil 1 is sold in 5-quart bottles at Walmart for pretty cheap and it's a damn fine lubricant. By the way, in my personal experience Walmart's house brand synthetic is the worst engine oil I have ever used...worse than many conventional engine oils. I forget the name of that crap but last I heard it was made by Havoline....

    LO
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    Performance Components for the 429/460 Engine Family


    This post © Copyright 2007-2014 Paul Kane. No copying, linking, printing or otherwise without express written permission.

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    I have been using Brad Penn, it came recommended from Fowler Engines, who build tractor pull stuff, that really takes a beating.

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    What brand of conv. oil would you consider a good conv. oil? Does it matter what fuel you are useing? Does "wedge" still happen with synthetic oil. If synthetic has no or little viscosity, will it keep a good oil film between the moving parts?

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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakesOnly View Post
    Wow, gn7, that goes waaaay back Good reference material. I used to reference that case in oil threads many years ago. Castrol Syntec used to be a true synthetic when it first came out, then the makers of that lubricant found a way to restructure petroleum-based modelcules so as to give them performance characteristics (film strength, viscosity stability, etc) like that of the synthetic stock competitors. They made no public announcement of their change (on the bottle) and that intiated the court case. Castrol maintained and provided documentation that their product was indeed changed in the lab and perfomed like synthetic based stock lubricants and thereby won the case against them. And I was pissed as well.

    LO
    Your right Paul, it is an old case. When this first came down, only Castrol was using the term for what is basically highly refined conventional oil. All the others where behind Mobil on the complaint. Once the complaint was settled in Castrols favor, it left the door open for others. And, in time they have. Which is why I posted it AGAIN! Everybody and their bother has jumped on this opening. Some have ABUSED the ruling more than others. Castrol is probably now a victim of their own ruling. When Castrol first started marketing Syntec, it was a primarily a group III oil with some group IV to fortify it and bring up its Total Base Number. It probably performed very close to some synthetics overall. Oh well! They made the bed, they can sleep in it.
    I blame the API and the to some extent the SAE for not solidly defining the term "synthetic" Group III oils are only termed synthetic because they aren't derived thru distillation, but thru hydrocarcking and isodewxing and reformning. Not a huge scientific accomplishment today. Germany was doing it during the war. Every drop of gas we burn is made this way. If it wasn't, and we were totally dependent on destillation for gas, it would be 12.00 a gallon and severe shortage. Its EXACTLY why Germany start doing it during WWII. Not enough crude stock.

    So today, any 100% group III oil is considered fully synthetic, and any oil containing at least 50% group III is considered semi synthetic.

    Paul, like you said, you either buy Mobil 1, Redline, Royal Purple, Amsoil, or one of the racing oils that flatly states its made of 100% group IV and V oils, or you have NO IDEA whats in the bottle.
    Last edited by gn7; 02-19-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jspeeddemon View Post
    I have been using Brad Penn, it came recommended from Fowler Engines, who build tractor pull stuff, that really takes a beating.
    Brad-Penn isn't exempt from the confusion any longer. Use to be Brad Penn meant 30, 40, 50 and 70 wt. Period. Now add to those, full synthetic(FSGF), Synthetic Blend, Partial Synthetic(explain that difference!!!!), Premium Penn Grade and Superior Fuel Saving. Yes those are all now Brad Penn oils. I'll let you guess which is good and which has no business in a lawn mower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Sergeant View Post
    Is there much of an advantage to paying the extra money for synthetic oil vs conventional? And if so does a name brand make any difference? Store brand synthetic is $5 a quart vs $8 name brand.
    Yes! Some good oils have expensive add packs to them such as Zink and anti foaming agents. We use Lucas.


    Sent from My Boostpower Marine Efi Beacon.

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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Sergeant View Post
    Is there much of an advantage to paying the extra money for synthetic oil vs conventional? And if so does a name brand make any difference? Store brand synthetic is $5 a quart vs $8 name brand.
    Quote Originally Posted by BOOSTPOWER View Post
    Yes! Some good oils have expensive add packs to them such as Zink and anti foaming agents. We use Lucas.


    Sent from My Boostpower Marine Efi Beacon.
    Too answer your question MS, yes there is an advantage. Like Boostpower said, good additive packages cost money. And like I posted above, the name brand might actually be a synthetic oil if you shop right. Chances are, the store brand is not what I refer to as a synthetic, as Lakes Only mentioned.

    One nice thing about the Lucas line is they are one of the few that hasn't tried to get into the politically correct oils yet. They don't even market an oil that meets GF4 let alone GF5. Their entire line is made up of good to very good lubes. None of them are hocus pocus BS. They are what they say they are. AND NOBODY GIVES BACK TO THE SPORT THAN LUCAS!

    Why this is an area people will get stingy is always baffled me. Is your oil bill per season that high?
    Last edited by gn7; 02-19-2012 at 05:23 PM.
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    Anything wrong with Torco 20/50?
    steveo143 AKA DiMarco 21 II



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