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Old 10-17-2000, 08:19 PM   #1
richeich
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Post 0W-30 Oil Analysis

This has got potential to be long, so I'll try to keep it simple.

1998 Legacy 2.5GT, 5spd., approximately 27,900 miles currently.

Amsoil Series 2000 0W-30, with Amsoil SDF-36 oil filter and Amsoil TS-74 air filter. Oil and oil filter installed on 5-15-00 at 19,421 miles. Car driven relatively mild compared to some of the stories I see on the board . Oil sample taken with 7,841 miles on it, after just under 5 months in the engine. Oil analysis by Oil Analyzers, Inc. in Superior, WI.

Glycol- Neg.
% water- <.05
% fuel- <1.0
Viscosity 40degC- NA
Viscosity 100degC- 10.3 (min 9.3, max<12.5)
% Solids- TR
Soot- NA
% Oxydation- 13.3 (up to 100% allowed)
% Nitration- 37.1 (up to 100% allowed)
TBN- 8.5 (depletes with use- Amsoil 0W-30
starts with a TBN of 11.4)

The analysis also gives a Spectrographic Analysis for 21 different elements. Which, if someone wants, I could post them as well. Some of you engineer types might like that .

In a nutshell-
"Results of tests performed indicate:
-Nitration elevated
-Check pollution control system
-Oil is suitable for continued use
-Change full flow filter, if not done when
sampled
-Top off system
-Resample at next regular interval
-Normal wear indicated"

As far as the elevated nitration, and checking the pollution devices, anybody got any ideas? Engine is pretty well stock, with the intake silencer snorkus removed, running the Amsoil air filter.

We've had a really hot, dry summer here in Oklahoma. We had over 20 days of 100 degree + temperatures. I think we had like 17 in a row like that.

It's a little bit early for the normal recommended oil filter change (for Amsoil), but I think they want me to change it because of the elevated Nitration.

This may or may not be of interest to anyone, but I was curious how well 0W-30 holds up in hot climates, so I thought I'd pass it along. Any questions or comments, I'll try to address them.

Rich

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Old 10-17-2000, 08:35 PM   #2
richeich
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. I didn't have to add any oil in that 7800 miles. Not using any.

Rich
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Old 10-17-2000, 11:33 PM   #3
Fitz
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The elevated nitrates make sense since I believe Nitrogen is a biproduct of combustion.

Fitz
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Old 10-17-2000, 11:39 PM   #4
Eric SS
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What the hell are you talking about??? Just change your oil and if you pass emissions good.

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Old 10-18-2000, 07:13 AM   #5
ColinL
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So being the intrepid AMSOil salesman Rich, what do you suggest to change the filter without loosing all that still-suitable oil?

And do you think that a severe duty engine should go 8,000+ miles without changing the filter at all?
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Old 10-18-2000, 07:54 PM   #6
richeich
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Sorry I've taken so long to reply, it's been one of those days (tomorrow is another one).

I don't know how much you lose when you change the filter on other makes, but on our Subies, because of the way the filter is situated, you only have to add a little over half a quart total. I fill the new filter with oil, and then run the engine, and then doublecheck the level, and add as needed. I don't even jack the car up.

Now, for the oil filter change interval, Amsoil says 12,500 miles or six months for "personal pleasure vehicle". They say to follow the engine manufacturer's recommendations or six months for "commercial vehicles". That doesn't really sound all that convincing to me, so I'll give the oil change intervals that might be of interest to you. (Using 5W-30 as an example).

Personal vehicles with gasoline engines- Up to 25,000 miles or one year.

Turbocharged Gasoline Engines- Up to three times longer (than manufacturer's recommendation) or six months.

High performance and racing engines- Oil changes specified by Experience/Oil Analysis.

Light-Duty and non-turbocharged diesel engines- Up to 2 times or longer w/oil analysis or six months.

Basically, for a nice big cushion, compared to their passenger car recommendations, cut it all in half, if that's what you're comfortable with. So, your filter change would be 3 months or 6,000 miles. Oil change would be 6 months or 12,000 miles. Without the hassle of oil analysis, that should give you a nice, safe margin.

I really wasn't wanting to get into an Amsoil sales pitch. I'm still learning and gaining experience with all this, and I wanted to post the analysis to let everyone know how the 0W-30 holds up. I didn't mean it as an "Amsoil is better" thing. It's just that's what I use in my cars. That's what I got tested.

Rich
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Old 10-24-2000, 07:28 PM   #7
richeich
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Okay, with a little digging;

Nitration -- nitration products are formed during the fuel combustion process in internal combustion engines. Most nitration products are formed when an excess of oxygen is present. These products are highly acidic, form deposits in combustion areas and rapidly accelerate oxidation.

Also;
Nitration (evidence of lubricant breakdown)- Cause- Abnormally high combustion temperature. Lean air to fuel ratio, Abnormal blow-by, Injector or carburetor malfunction, EGR valve failure.
Effect- Accelerated oxidation, Increased exhaust emissions, Acidic by-products formed, Increased cylinder and valve train wear, Oil thickening, Combustion area deposits, Increased TAN.

Sounds scary doesn't it? Keep in mind that up to a 100% nitration level is acceptable, mine is at just over 37%. Which compared to all my other levels is apparently a little high. I have run some octane boost through the fuel system, and I do have the intake snorkus removed.

Oh well, I replaced the oil filter like they suggested. I'll run through the winter with it and take another sample maybe in February and see how it's doing.

Rich
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Old 10-28-2000, 07:35 PM   #8
BoomerRS
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rich
looks like you are writing to yourself on this one... i bought an oil analyzer kit from amsoil... i will post my results in the future. i prob wont take a sample for a little while.
thanks for posting your info
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Old 10-29-2000, 07:41 AM   #9
SteveS
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Rich, what does "100%" nitration mean? 100% of what? Saturation?

I was going to let this thread die, but since someone else commented, I will, too. You had 8K miles on the oil and it still looks usable, although I would suggest that it has used up quite a bit of it's chemistry.

The telling point, IMO, is the TBN (Total Base Number) value. If you are correct and Amsoil 0W-30 starts with a TBN of 11.4, then you don't want the value to fall below half of that, which is 5.7. (BTW, TBN is rated in mg KOH/g.) You're analysis came back at 8.5, which is good. Ideally you would have also been given a TAN number to compare the TBN against, because if the TAN number is higher you wouldn't want to keep running that oil.

Once the TBN value hits half of its original value, it may less than ideal. The acidic by-products of combustion are working against the oil, and the oil has only so much capacity to fight against it. Again, TBN alone is not always giving a complete picture.

The biggest problem with long drain intervals is the operating conditions. If your engine started to have some type of problem, you are not helping by not changing the oil very regularly. (That's why used oil analysis can be helpful if done at intervals normally used to change oil.) If next month something happened which really messed up the oil's chemistry, you wouldn't find out about it until, what, the 16K mile mark? That's unacceptable, IMO. That's why oil changes are recommended for most people -- we can't get oil analysis very easily, or often.

SteveS

PS. Don't take this as an attack. Just some thoughts I had on this subject.

[This message has been edited by SteveS (edited October 29, 2000).]
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Old 10-29-2000, 07:36 PM   #10
richeich
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Smile

Hey Steve- no problem. I appreciate and respect your input on this stuff.

I'm not sure if this is common practice among all analysis companies, but this one gives only the TBN for crankcase lubricants, and only the TAN for transmissions, gears/differentials, industrial use hydraulics, gas turbines, steam turbines, compressors, etc.

I was aware of the 50% depletion cutoff for the TBN, so that does indicate to me that I probably won't get 25,000 miles out of this oil. Perhaps my TBN has depleted rather rapidly because of the elevated nitration level. Maybe I do have something wrong with my EGR valve, and that has caused high combustion temperatures. Although I admit, 0W-30 isn't really the proper viscosity for this part of the country, and running it was merely an experiment for myself. If I had run a more normal viscosity, like 5W or 10W-30, I probably wouldn't have even taken a sample. For normal passenger car operation, Amsoil doesn't even recommend analysis. They do, however, recommend it for high performance or racing engines, which I don't consider mine to be. If you run their bypass oil filter systems, then obviously you'll also sample it because you're really trying to extend your drain interval that way.

And sorry, I can't answer your question about the nitration level being acceptable to 100%. I was just relaying what was on the report. I'm thinking you've got an idea what that's all about , if you'd like to educate me, that'd be good.

I've got a book on order, "The Practical Handbook of Lubrication", so I can learn more about this stuff. Are you familiar with it? Do you know if it's any good? It looks like it's got a full range of subjects pertaining to lubrication. I look forward to getting it.

Rich

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