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Author Topic: liquid engineering?  (Read 2289 times)
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Rebel Poster
Posts: 723

« on: 03 February, 2008, 02:18:19 PM »

On oil filters the vane type work with straight oil providing they are washed out in petrol every 2 t0 3 thousand miles.  There is a good mod for Augusta engines with a new aluminium peice that bolts on where the vane filter fits but it takes a modern screw on throw away filter enabling detergent oil (cheaper) to be used.

My apologies to Don for hijacking your comments (which I subscribe to also in part) but the whole topic of oil performance, especially in older vehicles is one  that merits discussion. I hear so many different views on the relative strengths of old vs modern oils and its a topic haunted by the urban myth approach I suspect..
(Incidentally moderators, perhaps we need a seperate technical section, not model dependent, for topics such as fuel additives, oil, cooling, electronic ignition etc?)

anyway to start the ball rolling, the point that detergent is placed in modern oils is not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, if for example your engine
has been rebuilt in recent times.
The main concern seems to be of what may be freed up when placing a modern oil in a "choked up" old engine as I understand? The principle being that sludge is keeping the whole thing better sealed /gas tight etc and that the various seals are going to leak once this sludge is washed away...
Bear in mind before getting too bogged down in these theoretical discussions that detergents and other additives have been commonly added to oil for many decades, certainly most of the last half century. How many of our cars is running with an engine that has never had these oils in them?

In a pint of oil , a quarter of it is additives.!  This is not only detergents but corrosion inhibiters, anti oxidants and improvement agents to stabilise the viscocity and a host of other minor functional elements.

The viscocity range on modern oils is wide compared with earlier oils.This means in practice that the viscocity when the engine is cold is maintained due to the improvers (polymers) as it increase in temperature.The cold performance is very critical.Again with the help of additives, the oil binds better to the metal surfaces so when oil has drained down and you crank to cold start, a basic boundary lubrication is still maintained. In these early moments with a cold engine , other additives perform a vital function as the bi-products of combustion condense on cool surfaces (acid and other nasties) and migrate as an emulsified sludge to the crankcase. This is actually a more serious problem on more recent cars (70's on), as legislation led to positive ventilation of crankcases which increases this sludging significantly.

Cut a long story short there are compelling reasons to use modern oils. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that simple (old fashioned oils) necessarily work better with older engines. Oil alone will not compensate for a ropey old engine although it might delay the inevitable for a while. There are some very good "sympathetic to old vehicle" oils with clever additive packages that are perhaps worth looking at but they are very expensive and in my view unnecessary if you have a engine in good order.
I think the modification Don mentions to adapt the flange for a modern cartridge filter is worth considering and I know from our discussions that Andrew Maclagan is certainly convinced of the improvement since he performed it . He maintains there is a significant reduction in the fine metal debris on the sump plug when he drains the oils since this modification.Seems a logical adaption to me if you have rebuilt the bottom end with modern bearings and as a "heavy user" he can speak from the experience of doing high mileage in his car.We both use normal (cheap) multigrade oils however.
However, like Don said, I expect no problems with the vane cleaner on the Aprilia but I will be performing regular oil changes as recommended under the engine bay by Lancia...

« Last Edit: 03 February, 2008, 03:04:12 PM by Scarpia » Logged
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