Rotella v Mobil 1 Observations on New Motor - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Rotella v Mobil 1 Observations on New Motor

Following a few hundred miles with dino oil, I switched to Rotella 5w40 synthetic. For the next 4500 km, while the motor continued to break in, the little 1400 consumed just under 1 qt per tankful of gas. Oil pressure (on the test bed, was 80 psi when cold, and when warmed up dropped to 60 psi) on my gauge ran at 50 psi when warm, and 60 psi when cold... yet on cold mornings on a drive to the office, and returning home, it often ran at 60 psi on the Rotella.

I had some Mobil 15w50 in the garage, so when I changed the oil, instead of getting more Rotella, I switched to Mobil 1.

On Mobil 1, my gauge runs at 50 psi when cold and 45 psi when the oil has warmed up. In stop and go traffic, the pressure may drop to 40 psi after getting back underway. And the oil consumption has dropped by more than 50%. Didn't consume more than one half pint of Mobil 1 on the first tank of gas. I'm about to put in the 2nd tankful, and will check the oil consumption again.

Now, the sounds the car makes with the different oils is slightly different. Sounds great either way, but there is a different sound. There is slightly more mechanical noise with the Rotella, and the motor feels just a tad smoother with Mobil 1. Running up the rev range to the 6k rpm area, the motor seems to glide more easily toward the higher revs on Mobil 1.

I'm sure both do the job just fine, but these are the observations. Any thoughts?

Ish-Man
75 Nuova Super 1300

Last edited by Ish-Man; 02-16-2007 at 12:44 PM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 12:34 PM
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Suprised you switched to syn so early. I would have ran dino for at least 2K miles. Seems like a hell of a lot of oil consumption initially but I see it's calmed down now which is good. I'm almost suprised the plugs didn't initially foul

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 12:35 PM
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It doesn't suprise me that the oil pressure dropped when using the Mobil one. Although it's a 15W-50, it seems to behave more like a less viscous substance. That will make the oil pump not have as work as hard.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lowmileage View Post
Suprised you switched to syn so early. I would have ran dino for at least 2K miles. Seems like a hell of a lot of oil consumption initially but I see it's calmed down now which is good. I'm almost suprised the plugs didn't initially foul
Per writings by a number of automotive and lubricant engineers, all suggest the requirement of break in of a motor on dino oil is a myth. The synthetic is not too slippery, per Shell's and Mobil 1 engineers. Notwithstanding, I understood, the preparation of the wet cylinder liners with the piston rings only requires a few hundred miles at most. Some writings suggest, it is accomplished more quickly than that. I think I ran closer to 300 miles before changing to Rotella. And I picked Rotella because of its parafin derived synthetic base, thinking this would be a good break-in synthetic.

The motor was initially set up with a pretty rich idle, and I did foul the first set of plugs by about 1500 km. These were Lodge 2HL plugs. I then went to NAPA and picked up NGK 6 and 7 ES, Autolite, and Champion plugs. At the same time, I adjusted the idle richness, and have been watching the plugs coloration, periodically.

I ran the Autolites briefly, while I ran some Techron through a tankful of gas, then switched to the NGKs. On the street, the colder of the NGK plugs weren't happy, and I changed them after about 30 minutes of around town driving. I've been running the hotter of the two (I think the 6's, but could have the number mixed up). I haven't run the Champions yet, but they were what I ran in the 70s, and I've got a set of the cross referenced part number that is available today. The Champions are in the trunk, in the event I need a swap... along with material to fix hose leaks, a set of accessory belts, a fuel pump, and tool kit.

The motor seems to really like the NGKs.

On consumption, when I used Rotella before the rebuild, the 1300 would consume this at about the same rate as the rebuilt motor. When switched to Mobil 1, the consumption diminished significantly on the older motor.

I'll be interested to see what consumption is like after the next tank.

Ish-Man
75 Nuova Super 1300
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2007, 01:30 PM
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It's been my impression with Ferrari engines and NGK's, that they seem to have a wider acceptable heat range, than most others. Old (60's) Ferrari engines run only about 9.2 compression, and the Webers are quite rich in the low speed circut, and still a little rich in the high speed circut. Even with stem seals, these engines were intended to burn a little oil. All this conspires to foul plugs in short order. 12 plugs are time consuming to pull and clean or replace. The NGK's solve this problem. Not too hot at high RPM and slow to foul at low speeds around town. Just my observations. Gordon Raymond
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2007, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Report on oil consumption, 2nd tank of gas with Mobil 1: Approx 2 fingers of a 1 qt oil bottle. That's some 3-4 oz, yes? Less than half a pint.

Ish-Man
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2007, 11:48 PM
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Intesting thread. I was under the impression that switching over to syn. would be sometime after 10,000 miles after having the rings fully seated and the cylinder walls sealed. The use of syn. before this time would result in increased oil consumption and the rings not fully seating due to the complex molecular chains and the extra slip properties (as compared to dino oil).
I just did the first oil change on my wifes spider after 700 miles and the engine consumed 1 qt. using Valvoline 20w/50 racing oil with Deves rings Some of it was minor leaks that had to be resolved). I will continue to use Valvoline Racing oil until I get some more miles on this engine and see if the oil consumption diminishes to less than a 1/4 qt per 1000 miles. My preference would have been to use syn. but didn't as I was concerned with the rings. Nothing worse than having to tear down a beautiful running engine to install new rings. AR has since the 70's and the advent of 20/50 oil as the oil weight of choice for better oil presure when hot. Yes, you can run 20/40 oil but in a hot condition your oil presure will diminish.
Keep us posted on how your consumption is going please
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Another tank

Another tank of gas, and barely 2 fingers of oil to top up to max. Motor running better than ever. Under the circumstances, I'm leaning toward staying with Mobil 1 15w50 extended, with the GM anti-galling additive.

Ish-Man
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ish-Man View Post
Per writings by a number of automotive and lubricant engineers, all suggest the requirement of break in of a motor on dino oil is a myth. The synthetic is not too slippery, per Shell's and Mobil 1 engineers.
While this may be generally true, it is interesting to note that Redline bottles specifically state "Not for break-in of engines - allow 3000 miles".

Of note is that Mobil 1 is a PAO-based (group 4) synthetic, while Redline is Ester-based (group 5). The fact that Mobil 1 is used as an OEM fill suggest that it would be OK for engine break-in, but other synthetics may not share some of its characteristics.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 10:07 AM
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Group 5 syn's are really the only true Syn's out there (ie: Redline). Group 3's (Castrol Syntec) & 4's (Mobil 1) are "just" more highly refined Dino's - less Parafin. I think

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 10:53 AM
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What is the GM anti-galling additive? Zinc?
Note: I was at Napa yesterday looking for a muffler hanger for my Q and saw that they are now carrying their own Napa label synthetic in all weights including 15-50. I will have to go and check to see what group it falls in. The best part is........$2.99 a bottle! It is probably a major distributor of synthetic put in a Napa bottle. That would significantly open up a huge market for the manuf. and bring in more business for Napa retailers. Also that means you can find synth. at more locations nationwide. A win-win all the way around.


btw...I didn't find a donut hanger at any of my local retailers, I had to hit up a local euro car repair shop for the last one they had. $3.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 11:10 AM
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What is the GM anti-galling additive? Zinc?
Note: I was at Napa yesterday looking for a muffler hanger for my Q and saw that they are now carrying their own Napa label synthetic in all weights including 15-50. I will have to go and check to see what group it falls in. The best part is........$2.99 a bottle! It is probably a major distributor of synthetic put in a Napa bottle. That would significantly open up a huge market for the manuf. and bring in more business for Napa retailers. Also that means you can find synth. at more locations nationwide. A win-win all the way around.
I (and no offense to you meant ) have a real hard time believing that you're going to get a fully synthetic oil for $3 bucks a quart. There getting $2 something for plain jane GTX now a days . Remember when it was 99 cents . Maybe (and a big one) it one of those "blends." Yea, 5% syn, 95 dino. If I want a blend, I'll do my own blending and at least know the ratio. Let us know the details upon your return trip.

Loud pipes save lives.

1973 GTV - bought 3/06, intend to keep forever
1969 GTV, #AR1530021 - sold 10/72, guess didn't intend to keep forever
Current project: '69 Corvette bought in '73, DD '73 - '80, in storage 1989-2002, now apart
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 12:07 PM
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The engine in my '84 Spider was fitted with 10:1 CR pistons and new rings, and we did the traditional break in approach: 500 mi. with conventional 10W-30, then an oil change to conventional 20W-50 and about 1600 mi. After that, we switched to Mobil 1. What's been most interesting is that after 8k mi. this Spider doesn't consume any oil. First time ever that I've had a Spider where every time I check the oil level, it doesn't change.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 06:59 PM
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FWIW, a Mitsubishi tuning shop in California did leak downs on many many Evo's and found blow buy issues on most motors broken in on synthetic and consistently higher hp and less blow buy on the cars run in on non-synthetic. Similarly, the Subaru turbo community has had some issues with ring seal with break-in on synthetic.

On the other hand I know at least one top rate Alfa race engine builder that breaks in his engines with synthetic on the dyno with no apparent issues - though the high initial load on the dyno is likley to facilitate good break-in.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 09:45 PM
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When I built the engine on the Datsun, I used 20-50 dino for the first 3k miles, then changed to Mobil 1 15-50. I have had really good luck with it, the way the car is geared, it lives between 4k and 5k rpm all the time with frequent jaunts to about 7k. The engine has a little over 30K miles on it and doesn't smoke (however it does leak from the distributror and its driving me crazy). I did notice the car sounds smoother with the Mobil 1. The Alfa on the other hand got 10-30 GTX when I pulled it out of the barn, an now runs 10-30 syn blend. I checked the oil today and it seems to have burned or disappeared about 3/4s of a quart. The oil pressure is right where it should be. It doesn't really leak anything (a few small seeps from the valve cover but nothing big. There is no puddle under the car.) I was tempted to try the Mobil 1, but I'm worried about leaks.

Will

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