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Old 02-25-2006, 09:32 AM   #1
Ziggyrama
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Default I did the unthinkable, went synthetic -> dino, and now the results

Hey guys,
yeah, yeah, yeah....I know what you're all thinking. Why would anybody go from synthetic to dino? Why would you do that to yourself and your engine? Well, here is why I did this:

I picked up my 04 WRX a year ago and ran with the original oil for 1K miles. At that point, I drained the oil and put in Amsoil synthetic. The car ran great and "felt" great but it started to consume oil, about 1qt every 3K miles. Yes, we all read a thread on this every day and the general consensus is that consuming 1qt per 3K is within acceptable limit. Personally, I do think that not having significant oil consumption is a worthy goal so I was determined to narrow down where I was loosing the oil and why.

I started with the obvious. Checked for leaks, nothing. I installed dual catch cans filled with stainless element, did not get any blow-by from the PCV and rocker lines, nothing. I did notice some oil residue in the IC and the IC Y-pipe. Some oil was getting through into the intake but not through the lines I was catch-canning.

At this point, I was not sure where to proceed. I continued to drive and monitor consumption. The car kept eating oil at about the same rate as I mentioned. I was hoping that perhaps my rings needed to get seated and this would eventually go away. I got to 20K and no change. I finally decided to drain synthetic and go back to stock dino Valvoline oil.

Since the change, about 4K miles now, I am seeing that my consumption has drasticlly reduced to about quarter of a quart per 3K miles. I changed the oil at 23K and I am planning to do at least 2 more changes using the dino oil. I basically want to go full 10K before I consider going back to synthetic. Now, some questions for you gurus:

1. Why did my consumption significantly reduce after the switch?
2. How was the oil entering my intake? Is the turbo to blame? Can anybody explain how the turbo could be leaking oil into the intake?
3. Is it possible that synthetic oil molecules are too small and have a tendency to "sneak by" and get burnt off? Dino oil molecules are significantly larger then synthetic.
4. Could it be that the engine needed dino to do the controversial "break-in"?

Any info provided will be much appreciated. Thanks!

Mike
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:45 AM   #2
jigga
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synthestic oil is made out of smaller molecules than dino stuff, making it easier to slip by gaps in the engine. But then again, that is part of its appeal... it coats everywhere without leaving any gaps.

I would think that it was entering your intake through the turbo.....

it is possible, but you want to find an oil that has a higher "flash point" I believe the word is... That is its ability to resist burnoff....

When I did breakin, my mechanics wanted me to use dino for 10K miles before making the switch to synthetic, since the stuff was too slippery to allow for proper break in.

Oil burnoff comes with the territory with turbocharged cars. The more time you spend upstairs in the rev range, the more you will lose it. For me, the absolute worst is Mobil1 Synth...That stuff would disappear like it was water or something... Made for some scary times when I would pull the dipstick to check the oil after a week of driving, and the oil level has dropped to the bottom and sometimes off the dipstick....

I have noticed that for me, the synth oils that burnoff the least are Amsoil and Motul. Redline is pretty good too I think, but not quite as reisitant to burnoff as Amsoil. I don't think the amsoil was quite as reisitant to burnoff as the Motul stuff I am currently using either... But then, Amsoil and Redline are MUCH cheaper than the Motul stuff...
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:47 AM   #3
Uncle Scotty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggyrama
Hey guys,
yeah, yeah, yeah....I know what you're all thinking. Why would anybody go from synthetic to dino? Why would you do that to yourself and your engine? Well, here is why I did this:

I picked up my 04 WRX a year ago and ran with the original oil for 1K miles. At that point, I drained the oil and put in Amsoil synthetic. The car ran great and "felt" great but it started to consume oil, about 1qt every 3K miles. Yes, we all read a thread on this every day and the general consensus is that consuming 1qt per 3K is within acceptable limit. Personally, I do think that not having significant oil consumption is a worthy goal so I was determined to narrow down where I was loosing the oil and why.

I started with the obvious. Checked for leaks, nothing. I installed dual catch cans filled with stainless element, did not get any blow-by from the PCV and rocker lines, nothing. I did notice some oil residue in the IC and the IC Y-pipe. Some oil was getting through into the intake but not through the lines I was catch-canning.

At this point, I was not sure where to proceed. I continued to drive and monitor consumption. The car kept eating oil at about the same rate as I mentioned. I was hoping that perhaps my rings needed to get seated and this would eventually go away. I got to 20K and no change. I finally decided to drain synthetic and go back to stock dino Valvoline oil.

Since the change, about 4K miles now, I am seeing that my consumption has drasticlly reduced to about quarter of a quart per 3K miles. I changed the oil at 23K and I am planning to do at least 2 more changes using the dino oil. I basically want to go full 10K before I consider going back to synthetic. Now, some questions for you gurus:

1. Why did my consumption significantly reduce after the switch?
2. How was the oil entering my intake? Is the turbo to blame? Can anybody explain how the turbo could be leaking oil into the intake?
3. Is it possible that synthetic oil molecules are too small and have a tendency to "sneak by" and get burnt off? Dino oil molecules are significantly larger then synthetic.
4. Could it be that the engine needed dino to do the controversial "break-in"?

Any info provided will be much appreciated. Thanks!

Mike
...yer engine finally 'broke in'.

....and thus the fallicy of using syn oil TOO SOON, boiz and goylz
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Old 02-25-2006, 11:07 AM   #4
Farnsrocket
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty
...yer engine finally 'broke in'.

....and thus the fallicy of using syn oil TOO SOON, boiz and goylz
Yeah, what he said!
Switch back to synthetic now an see what happens.
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Old 02-25-2006, 11:09 AM   #5
BlackSnake
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Use Royal Purple. some synthetics are a little thin. I went with R.P. And rarely burn oil now.
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Old 02-25-2006, 11:37 AM   #6
hondaeater69
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my best bet is that your SYN oil was too thin and you were losing it to blowby. what weights were you running? what type of dino oil are you using now?

I used to burn 1qt every 3K miles on 10-30, this went on for about the first 40K miles of my cars life. Then I went to a 10-40 and now i don't burn a drop in between oil changes (and my last OIC was 10K miles). this is RP BTW.
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Old 02-25-2006, 11:46 AM   #7
ebeck
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^ more to do with weight than brand. Some 30wt's are thinner than others true. So some 40wt's are closer to 30 and some 30's are closer to 40 in a really general sense. The M1 30wt that you get at Wallmart and Costco are thin and not so good for turbo applications. I have found that deisel grade oil works really well and really quiets the valve train down.

A great many European cars come with M1 0W-40 in the crank case such as Porsche Turbos, AMG's as well as Uber dollar Lambos.

All synthetics are not created equeal and some are incredibly resistant to shear. Redine comes to mind. Ironically, some of the best UOA's in non turbo cars I have seen in super cheap Havoline Dino. Synthetic is not the only answer for all cars so keep that in mind.

No question the RP is very very good oil and I have seen 10K put on it in WRX's driven hard and still had minimal sheer. If you change it every 3K miles it is a bit spendy and not needed. For good Synthetic that won't break the bank with 4K change interval that works wonders, try thre M1 T&SUV. Amazing how quiet my JDM valvetrain became. No ticking at all. Deisel oil is especially if you abuse the motor and have external BOV which can lead to some fuel in the oil at low rpm's cruising. Abuse is kind of a funny word, it is like asking prision inmates if they are guilty. Prision is full of innocent people wrongly accused.

Oh, I used to burn 1 qt as well and now I loose none at 4K change. Not a drop. Some 30wt's are just too thin and when they get hot, like in AZ, it gets worse. I actually saw 120C oil temps once but 105-110 is not unusual during the summer. Perhaps the thinner 30wt's work in the north east, I am uncertian of that. In AZ no way.

An oil cooler in hot climates and UOA on a regular basis is very good insurance. You can and should "tune" your oil for good UOA results and minimal loss. Many are unaware of that. It just takes the realization that this is indeed the case and a bit of effort. Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:50 PM   #8
hondaeater69
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebeck
^ more to do with weight than brand. Some 30wt's are thinner than others true. So some 40wt's are closer to 30 and some 30's are closer to 40 in a really general sense. The M1 30wt that you get at Wallmart and Costco are thin and not so good for turbo applications. I have found that deisel grade oil works really well and really quiets the valve train down.

A great many European cars come with M1 0W-40 in the crank case such as Porsche Turbos, AMG's as well as Uber dollar Lambos.

All synthetics are not created equeal and some are incredibly resistant to shear. Redine comes to mind. Ironically, some of the best UOA's in non turbo cars I have seen in super cheap Havoline Dino. Synthetic is not the only answer for all cars so keep that in mind.

No question the RP is very very good oil and I have seen 10K put on it in WRX's driven hard and still had minimal sheer. If you change it every 3K miles it is a bit spendy and not needed. For good Synthetic that won't break the bank with 4K change interval that works wonders, try thre M1 T&SUV. Amazing how quiet my JDM valvetrain became. No ticking at all. Deisel oil is especially if you abuse the motor and have external BOV which can lead to some fuel in the oil at low rpm's cruising. Abuse is kind of a funny word, it is like asking prision inmates if they are guilty. Prision is full of innocent people wrongly accused.

Oh, I used to burn 1 qt as well and now I loose none at 4K change. Not a drop. Some 30wt's are just too thin and when they get hot, like in AZ, it gets worse. I actually saw 120C oil temps once but 105-110 is not unusual during the summer. Perhaps the thinner 30wt's work in the north east, I am uncertian of that. In AZ no way.

An oil cooler in hot climates and UOA on a regular basis is very good insurance. You can and should "tune" your oil for good UOA results and minimal loss. Many are unaware of that. It just takes the realization that this is indeed the case and a bit of effort. Good luck!
very nice breakdown ebeck!
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:53 PM   #9
HerculesPeanut
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My car is modded by the dealer, runs synthetic and they have no problem with me changing my oil at 7500 miles and warranting it. If you have to change more often then that, something is wrong. If a 450HP vette can go 20,000 miles, a healthy subaru can make it to 7500.

I tend to agree with some of the other comments about weight and also the likelihood that your engine finally broke in.

Come to think of it, I did go the first 7500 miles on dino breaking in the car as the manual told me to do.
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:05 PM   #10
hondaeater69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerculesPeanut
a healthy subaru can make it to 7500.

.

that's a fair guess, but not something i would recommend to the masses. As stated before, and i firmly believe in and practice also, oil analysis is the only way to know fo sho. . .depending on oil type and driving habits, 5K may be the magic number for someone else.

Oil analysis FTW.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:30 PM   #11
Ziggyrama
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

To answer the questions, I tried 2 weights, both by Amsoil. I started with 0W-30 Series 2000. Then I went to 5W-40 EU formula. I had consumption with both.

I am leaning towards the theory that my car finally broke in. If that is the case, I will ride it out for a full 10K on dino (Valvoline) and then go back to synthetic. Perhaps I will try Amsoil series 3000 5W-30 which is their uber oil. RP is a candidate as well.

I agree with hondaeater69...doing oil analysis is the only true way to know how your oil is doing. I never done it so this might also be on order once I switch to synthetic.

Last night, it was 5 degrees here and the car turned right over, no problems. Funny thing is that it runs and "feels" great on dino oil.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:33 PM   #12
Ziggyrama
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ebeck,
speaking of AZ, I'll be out that way all of next week on business trip. Last time I was in Tucson, I didn't see any subies. Here in NE, you can't throw a stone without hitting one.
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:12 PM   #13
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I clicked onto this thread expecting to see used oil analysis results.

Do a used oil analysis and post the results. Yes, Subies don't even break-in nicely until 20-25k miles. At 22k miles, my FXT's wear in metals were just starting to go down to normal levels.

I wouldn't run a dino past 3,750 miles in a modded WRX without a UOA! As others have mentioned, weight has a lot to do with it especially when summer comes.

-Dennis
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