Before we get into the data involved here, let’s briefly touch on a little background info. I'm a working Professional Degreed Engineer, as well as a U.S. Patent holder. Engineering is what I do for a living.
THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing a motor oil does for your engine, is prevent wear. Everything else it does for your engine, comes AFTER that. So, at the beginning of 2012, I began Tribology Research using motor oil “Wear Testing” equipment, to get to the truth about the wear prevention capabilities of motor oil. For those not familiar with the terminology, Tribology means the study of friction, lubrication, and wear between moving surfaces.
I'm a total perfectionist when it comes to technical issues. And those who know me personally, know that I would never jeopardize my reputation or my integrity, by posting data that would turn the Hobby/Industry on its ear, unless I was absolutely sure about the data I put out there. Of course I've always known my carefully generated data is completely accurate. And to make that clear to the world, you will see below that my data exactly aligns with real world Race Track experience.
OIL TEST DATA AND RACE TRACK EXPEREINCE ARE INDENTICAL
An oval track dirt racer (his class is extremely competitive, so he asked that his name be left out) on the SpeedTalk Forum runs a 7200 rpm, solid flat tappet, 358ci Small Block Chevy motor, with valve spring pressures of about 160 on the seat and 400 open, that are shimmed to .060” from coil bind. The rules and the combination of parts, were causing him to experience repeated cam failures while using high zinc, semi-synthetic 10W30 Brad Penn, Penn Grade 1 motor oil. Lab Report Data from testing performed by Professional Lab, “ALS Tribology” in Sparks, Nevada, showed that this oil contains 1557 ppm zinc, 1651 ppm phosphorus, and 3 ppm moly.
In spite of this being a high zinc oil, that most folks would assume provides sufficient wear protection, he experienced wiped lobe cam failure about every 22 to 25 races. A race consists of one 8 lap (a lap is typically 3/8 mile) heat race and one 20 lap feature race, plus any caution laps. If you add it all up, 25 races only total about 281 miles at the point of cam failure. And my test data on this 10W30 Brad Penn, Penn Grade 1 motor oil, shows that it produces a wear protection capability of only 71,206 psi, which puts it in the MODEST wear protection category, and it ranks a very disappointing 92nd out of 124 oils tested so far. That means of course that there are 91 different oils I’ve tested that provide better wear protection. So, my test data ACCURATELY PREDICTED EXACTLY what he experienced during racing. And that is, that this oil does not provide high enough wear protection capability to provide a sufficient margin of safety for this engine’s operating conditions. Looking at my “Wear Protection Ranking List” and choosing a much higher ranked oil, would have prevented all those cam failures. Repeatedly suffering cam failures in motors with so little time on them, may have been considered by some folks to be a normal consumption of parts back in the ‘60’s or ‘70’s. But, in the 21st Century that we live in now, by any measure, that is for sure premature failure. We no longer have to accept that as the cost of doing business, because we can do far better now.
So, he switched to the super micro polished billet lifters from PPPC and the cam life went up to 40 races, which was an improvement since he could now go 450 miles between failures. But, that was still clearly unacceptable. Then 2 years ago he started using “Oil Extreme Concentrate” as an additive to the 10W30 Brad Penn, and he’s never lost a lobe on a cam since. Adding the “Oil Extreme Concentrate” completely eliminated his premature wiped lobe cam failures. Now the motor has now gone 70+ Races without issue, and is still doing fine. This “Oil Extreme Concentrate” is one additive that actually works as advertised, and makes low ranked oils far better than they were to begin with. And that is PRECISELY WHAT MY MOTOR OIL TEST DATA PREDICTED as well.
Here’s how. I also added “Oil Extreme Concentrate” to 10W30 Brad Penn, Penn Grade 1 semi-synthetic, as part of my motor oil “Dynamic Wear Testing Under Load” research. And with 2.0 OZ of “Oil Extreme Concentrate” added per qt, which is the amount intended for racing, its wear protection capability shot up by a BREATH TAKING 56%, to an amazing 111,061psi, which puts it in the INCREDIBLE wear protection category, and now ranks it a jaw dropping 3rd out of 124 oils tested so far. So, it moved up a whopping 89 ranking positions, just by adding the “Oil Extreme Concentrate”. This totally accounts for the reason all his cam lobe failures were eliminated.
In addition to this, a NASCAR team sent me three Mobil 1 Racing Oils, for testing because they were having wear problems when using those oils (more on that below). The results of my testing, showed that these oils provided poor wear protection capability, and were not a good choice for their racing application, which confirmed why they had wear problems. This example clearly showed once again that my test data EXACTLY MATCHED what this race team had experienced on the track.
So, these examples PROVE once and for all, that my test data EXACTLY MATCHES REAL WORLD RACE TRACK EXPERIENCE, and that my test data is the spot on REAL DEAL, just as I’ve said all along. This completely confirms that my test results WILL ACCURATELY PREDICT what we can expect from motor oils in running engines on the track or on the street, EVEN if those oils are high zinc oils. So, that should be more than enough proof to satisfy anyone who was skeptical of how well my test data compares to the real world. And if anyone thinks my data comes from flawed methodology, they are not paying attention, and need to reread everything again more carefully.
Not only does my oil testing methodology and the resulting data match up exactly with real world Race Track experience, but it has also been endorsed by the following well respected sources:
1. Dr. Lars Grimsrud, who is the most highly respected Engineer, Car builder and Tech Guru on the Corvette C3 Forum. He told me, “I'm 100% on board with backing you with my endorsement on your testing: I run a Propulsion Testing Laboratory for a major Aerospace Comany, so I'm in the testing business. Your methods and approach are in accordance with sound engineering testing methods, and are not arguable by intelligent people”. He also told me this about my Oil Testing info, “This is excellent stuff, and I've already sent copies of this to my engineering colleagues”. In addition to that, he now includes my Oil Testing Info in a list of Tech Papers written by well respected Industry authors, that he makes available to enthusiasts.
2. A NASCAR engine supplier out of North Carolina (they did not want their name associated with any Internet motor oil arguments that may come up, so they asked that their name be left out, which I honored) was so impressed with the motor oil “Wear Protection Capability Testing” I perform, that they sent me 3 NASCAR Racing Oils they use, for testing. They valued my testing efforts enough to include me in what they do, which is quite an endorsement, considering the Professional level of Racing they are involved in. They had been seeing some wear issues with those oils, and wanted to see if I could shed any light on that by testing them. I did test those oils for them, and the test results showed that those oils did not provide acceptable wear protection capability, which accounted for the wear problems they were having. So, they have selected other oils to use, and their wear problems have gone away. If I had tested those oils before they started using them, I could have saved them time, money and grief.
3. The “Oil Extreme” Oil Company was so impressed with the detail and accuracy of my oil testing, that they wanted to hire me to perform product development research testing for them. That was clearly a major endorsement of the testing I perform. But, I declined taking any money from them, because I won’t be tied to any Oil Company by money. That way I can maintain my independent and unbiased status. I report the test results just how they come out, good or bad. And there is no way I’d allow any Oil Company to influence anything I report. I did however, agree to perform testing for them for free, along with other testing I perform. And those results will be posted along with other test results.
In addition to that, my oil test data has also been validated and backed-up by a total of FOUR other independent Industry sources. They are as follows:
1. Well known and respected Engineer and Tech Author David Vizard, whose own test data, largely based on real world engine dyno testing, has concluded that more zinc in motor oil can be damaging, more zinc does NOT provide today's best wear protection, and that using zinc as the primary anti-wear component, is outdated technology.
2. The GM Oil Report titled, "Oil Myths from GM Techlink", concluded that high levels of zinc are damaging and that more zinc does NOT provide more wear protection.
3. A motor oil research article written by Ed Hackett titled, "More than you ever wanted to know about Motor Oil", concluded that more zinc does NOT provide more wear protection, it only provides longer wear protection.
4. This from the Brad Penn Oil Company:
There is such a thing as too much ZDDP. ZDDP is surface aggressive, and too much can be a detriment. ZDDP fights for the surface, blocking other additive performance. Acids generated due to excessive ZDDP contact will “tie-up” detergents thus encouraging corrosive wear. ZDDP effectiveness plateaus, more does NOT translate into more protection. Only so much is utilized. We don’t need to saturate our oil with ZDDP.
Those who are familiar with my test data, know that my test results came up with the exact same results stated by all four of those independent sources. So, this is an example where motor oil “Dynamic Wear Testing Under Load” using oil testing equipment, engine dyno testing, Motor Oil Industry testing, and proper motor oil research using only the facts, from a total of five (including my own) independent sources, all converged to agree and come to the same exact conclusion. Back-up validation proof, doesn't get any better than this.
So, with all those sources in total agreement, that should provide more than enough proof to anyone, that my data is absolutely correct, and that it DOES NOT come from flawed methodology, as some have said simply because they didn’t like or didn’t understand the results. The fact is, scientific test data is not determined by emotion, it is determined by the facts that are a result of the Physics and Chemistry involved. And anyone questioning any one of those sources, questions them all, as well as the Physics and Chemistry that determined all those identical results. And no sensible person would try to argue against Physics and Chemistry. Because that is a battle no man can win.
Now finally, on with the main subject of this write-up. I was asked to test Prolong Engine Treatment motor oil additive, which claims to increase wear protection and decrease heat and friction, to see if it actually works the way the makers claim.
Their packaging says, “No Equal In The World”, and “Prolong works in an effective partnership with your motor oil, to give your engine the ultimate protection against destructive metal to metal contact”.
Here’s a link to their website for more details:
They call for using their 12 ounce bottle for the initial treatment, and then to use their 8 ounce bottle at the following oil changes. The 12 ounce bottle costs about $20.00 and the 8 ounce bottle costs around $16 or $17.00. Those bottles are intended to treat 4 to 5 quarts of oil.
So, I tested Prolong Engine Treatment, and here are the results:
• 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra full synthetic, by itself produces a wear protection capability of 115,612 psi, and up to now was ranked number 1 out of 124 oils tested. But, with the addition of the recommended amount of Prolong, its wear protection capability increased to 136,658 psi, or up 18%. This is the highest value I’ve ever seen. It is so high that it is completely off my wear protection category chart. This combination will become my latest number one ranked oil. No one could ever ask for any oil to provide a higher level of wear protection than this combination provides.
• 5W30 Castrol GTX conventional, by itself produces a wear protection capability of 95,392 psi, and up to now was ranked number 31 out of 124 oils tested. But, with the addition of the recommended amount of Prolong, its wear protection capability increased to 130,366 psi, or up 37%. This combination will become my latest number two ranked oil.
• 5W30 Pennzoil conventional yellow bottle, by itself produces a wear protection capability of 76,989 psi, and up to now was ranked number 73 out of 124 oils tested. But, with the addition of the recommended amount of Prolong, its wear protection capability increased to 117,028 psi, or up 52%. This combination will become my latest number three ranked oil.
• I will be adding these results to my “Wear Protection Ranking List” soon.
• This Prolong Engine Treatment motor oil additive works amazingly well in all types of oils, at all ranking levels. The creators of this product knew what they were doing, and the product does just what it claims above. It is the REAL DEAL in terms of improving wear protection. You just have to decide for yourself if it is worth the extra money for your own particular needs. For most people, it would be more cost effective to simply choose a highly ranked oil in the first place, and avoid using any additives at all. But, for heavily loaded race engines, where the ultimate in wear protection is desired, it would be well worth the money.
And for the record, I have no affiliation what so ever, with any Oil Company or any Oil Additive Company. I simply post the results that come out of my independent and unbiased testing.
To see my entire 100+ motor oil “Wear Protection Ranking List”, along with additional motor oil tech FACTS (with over 8,000 “views” worldwide), here’s a link:
U.S. Patent Holder
Member SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)