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  • Mobil 1 Synthetic

    I know a lot of guys on here run Mobil 1 15w-50 synthetic, me included.

    I've seen a lot of guys switching away from M1 since they "changed the formula" or whatever as well. I was wondering if someone could explain exactly what happened and why it was no longer suitable to use.

    I've also heard complaints from some BMW shops that Mobil 1 15w-50 is too thin and the additives aren't right which tends to result in a lot of excess valve chatter that is often solved by switching to something different. A couple people on the forum also noted increased valve noise when running M1 in their s14's as well.

    Are either of these real reasons for concern? Tons of people swear by M1. I've never run anything different, so I don't have a baseline to compare to. Next time I'll probably try something different just to see if I notice. Just curious.

  • #2
    I read something about the new stuff not being a true synthetic due to formulation change. Might want to check bobistheoilguy.com
    Last edited by Reelizmpro; 01-30-2008, 10:04 PM.

    88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
    89 M3 - ALPINEWEISS II/SCHWARZ
    85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ
    91 M TECHNIC TURBO - MACAOBLAU/M TECH


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    • #3
      Originally posted by ShiftBMW View Post
      I've seen a lot of guys switching away from M1 since they "changed the formula" or whatever as well. I was wondering if someone could explain exactly what happened and why it was no longer suitable to use.
      The key change to most modern oils is that they have eliminated ZDDP. Zinc Diphosphate. A very crucial lubricant for motors like the s14. Read this article. http://www.lnengineering.com/oil.html

      There are a few oils out that still have high levels of ZDDP. Shells Rotella T synthetic is one of them.

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      • #4
        I run Castrol Edge Sport 10w60 on my S14. Special oil for M engines.
        1987 BMW M3 E30

        S50B32 swap thread http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread.php?t=43515

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ShiftBMW View Post
          I know a lot of guys on here run Mobil 1 15w-50 synthetic, me included.

          I've seen a lot of guys switching away from M1 since they "changed the formula" or whatever as well. I was wondering if someone could explain exactly what happened and why it was no longer suitable to use.

          I've also heard complaints from some BMW shops that Mobil 1 15w-50 is too thin and the additives aren't right which tends to result in a lot of excess valve chatter that is often solved by switching to something different. A couple people on the forum also noted increased valve noise when running M1 in their s14's as well.

          Are either of these real reasons for concern? Tons of people swear by M1. I've never run anything different, so I don't have a baseline to compare to. Next time I'll probably try something different just to see if I notice. Just curious.
          There are two formulations of Mobil 1 15/50.
          You have the lower spec stuff that is priced with the other "energy conserving" weights.
          The desirable 15/50 formulation is the old recipe and it is in the bottle with the GOLD cap and costs more than the other weights.

          m

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          • #6
            ive switched over from mobil to elf in my e39...mind you i change the oil still at 2500-3000 miles, but i really like the elf oil. Actually switched over the whole shop to elf

            the project lives...

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            • #7
              Mobil1 synthetic 15-50 is fine....

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              • #8
                As stated above, oil companies are / have removed ZDDP (zinc) from oil, because they say it fouls catalytic converters earlier.
                The article linked above by Dougy Fresh is a very good read on the subject, as well there is an excellent oil discussion running on the Pelican forums in the air cooled Porsche section.

                There is also much referenced about the ZDDP subject on Bob is the Oil Guy. You could read about it for hours there.

                The gist is very few over the counter US oils have what older engines need to protect camshafts anymore. Even the Heavy Duty Engine Oils like Rotella, Delo and Delvaq have reduced their amounts. You WANT a CI oil (old stock), the newer CJ formulations are almost as deficient as the new SJ car oils in ZDDP.

                Both Mobil 1 and Castrol Syntec have supposedly made an "older car" formulation, but I have not seen any analysis yet of these that convinces me they have put enough ZDDP back in those formulations, just more than their current oil which is much too low.

                I had built up about a 4 year long supply of the old-old Mobil 1 (pre- Tri-Synthetic with acceptable ZDDP levels) that I just used up end of last season.
                After much research I decided to go with the Brad Penn Racing oil. I bought a 55 gallon drum, so I am good for a while.

                The situation is real, its not a sky is falling scenario. People with older engines are wiping out camshafts and rod bearings with this new formulation oil in high stress situations.
                Without geting into a very long OT E30 M3 post, I know several racers with between 1500 - 2500 hp engines who were religious Rotella users, they used Rotella for years with great results, and in the past 6-8 months have started to see premature bearing failures where none were experienced before. If you are going to use the HDEOs, looks for the old stock CI, not the new CJ.

                Cheers
                jimmy
                Last edited by jimmy p.; 01-31-2008, 05:13 AM.
                jimmy p.
                87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                04 Ford F350 - V10

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                • #9
                  Based on this article link posted above it looks like my redline 10w40 has a good amount.



                  - Tire is the other control arm bushing.

                  zhpregistry.net

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                  • #10
                    The Redline 10W-40, and more recent than that Castrol TWS 10-60 both have a good following after years of this topic being rehashed. I really need to get around to a OA with the TWS. So far I like it best believe it or not.

                    I know VAC is running Elf these days. I also like Motul a lot but have yet to try it in an S14. All the above mentioned are fairly exotic, AKA pricy (other than the Diesel oils)

                    If you wanted to be more economical you can run them. Proven great stuff as well.

                    Mobile one has changed there formula almost yearly it seems...I wouldn't bother with them. Your comment of noisier running after switching is not uncommon either.
                    Steve
                    "Technology is the only replacement for displacement" - TRD

                    (For business related questions please contact my other user name '[email protected]')

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                    • #11
                      just saw the gold cap 15/50 last night at Target for $6.99 QT
                      i had just changed to 15/50 mobil 1 last weekend that i had gotten from costco (silvercap)
                      next time will get from target

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                      • #12
                        VG read.
                        I haven't changed the oil In my M since I have gotten it, but after reading this thread, I'll be very carefull when choosing what weight & brand of oil to go with

                        -Brad
                        cars suck!!

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                        • #13
                          Dang, so much info. Sounds like it's a good idea to get the Mobil 1 out sooner rather than later. The hard part is picking an oil now.

                          Looks like I'll have to spend some time picking a nice 10w-50, 15w-50, or 20w-50 oil that fits the bill.

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                          • #14
                            So what to get now??

                            Shell Rotella?

                            Castrol Syntec?

                            Redline?
                            -AJ

                            -'88 Henna Red-

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                            • #15
                              I decided to contact several oil companies and pose the same question regarding a drop in zddp levels in todays oils. So far I have heard back from royal purple and redline:

                              The reduction in antiwear additives occurred significantly in the API SM Service Category oils in the multiweight SAE 20's and SAE 30's.
                              None of these oils should be used in you BMW and if you did - it is not a failure of the oil but a miss application. - trying to use the wrong part on the vehicle.

                              Royal Purple has continued to make our API Motor oils to the API SL levels and in addition, all of our motor oils contain our Synerlec additive technology which increases the ability of the oil film to resist metal to metal contact 400% better than other oils (mineral or synthetic).
                              This is detailed on our website.
                              http://www.royalpurple.com/rp-perfor...dvantages.html

                              we do not disclose actual levels as there is an incorrect assumption on the internet car forums that wear protection is a direct linear relationship with amount (ppm) of zinc and phosphorus. What is true is that it is a function of the quality of the additive package volatility and how effective it is.
                              If I told you we had X ppm of zinc and phosphorus in our oil and Company A then reports that their oil's contain X + 50 ppm, most consumers would WRONGLY assume that oil company A had a better product. This is so far from being accurate it is laughable.

                              RP has you covered. We recommend our RP 10W40 or RP 15W40 for your BMW. If you want even greater amounts of antiwear additives - use the RP MaxCycle 10W40. If you are the typical BMW owner and are willing to purchase the ultimate, then our RP XPR 10W40 is for you - which would contain roughly 2.5 times the amount of antiwear additive as an API SM rated oil.

                              Sorry - but I just will not promote the spreading of inaccurate mindset on this ZDDP issue.

                              Sincerely,
                              David

                              Thank you for contacting Red Line Oil, the ZDDP actually the
                              phosphorus and sulphur provides anti-wear protection critical for
                              some flat tappet cam shifts. Oils submitted to the API to comply with
                              the latest SM requirements have between 600 and 800 ppm phosphorus.
                              Phosphorus in sufficient concentrations can degrade catalytic
                              converter performance, though before that occurs the converter would
                              likely be plugged from the sheer hydrocarbon load. We don't submit
                              products for certification and still have good levels, the motor oils
                              contain 1330 ppm zinc and 1200 ppm phosphorus. In your M3 I would
                              recommend the 10W40.

                              I am still awaiting to hear from mobil1, amsoil, shell.

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