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#3279119 - 02/12/14 09:17 AM An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers?
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 1459
Loc: Midwest
From 2009, lot of good basic info:

http://www.zddplus.com/TechBrief10%20-%20Oil%20Base%20Stocks.pdf

Amsoil vs. Mobil debaters, take note of 1972, 1973, 1977. Amsoil may have been first w/ a diester base product by a year (1972), but Mobil was actually first to use PAO base with Amsoil following Mobil's lead in 1977 and reformulating to PAO... or so it appears.

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#3279179 - 02/12/14 10:19 AM Re: An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers? [Re: LoneRanger]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33792
Loc: New Jersey
Will be interesting to hear Doug and Tom's input on this wrt dates.

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#3279183 - 02/12/14 10:20 AM Re: An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers? [Re: LoneRanger]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 12541
Loc: Chicago, IL
It's form 2008 so obviously it's a bit out of date.
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#3279294 - 02/12/14 11:43 AM Re: An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers? [Re: LoneRanger]
Wilhelm_D Offline


Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 818
Loc: Tacoma, WA
Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
From 2009, lot of good basic info:

http://www.zddplus.com/TechBrief10%20-%20Oil%20Base%20Stocks.pdf

Amsoil vs. Mobil debaters, take note of 1972, 1973, 1977. Amsoil may have been first w/ a diester base product by a year (1972), but Mobil was actually first to use PAO base with Amsoil following Mobil's lead in 1977 and reformulating to PAO... or so it appears.


The blurb states:

"Amsoil™ reformulates its product to the higher performance PAO/ester blend"

I am not sure that PAO/ester is "higher performance" than diester per se. I worked with a number of diester-based synthetics in the late 60s into the mid-70s that were pretty darned good. The main problem was expense - they were not cheap to formulate.

There were also motor oils based on polyalkylene glycol (PAG), neopentyl polyol esters, alkylated benzenes, and others. Some of them had compatibility issues with seals, gaskets, and in the case of PAG other motor oils.

A lot of the information I read about the history of synthetics is not very accurate.

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#3280387 - 02/13/14 08:15 AM Re: An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers? [Re: LoneRanger]
Tom NJ Offline


Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 1629
Loc: New Jersey & Virginia
The Amsoil synthetic was introduced in 1972. The reformulation to PAO/Diester took place in 1979.

My recollection is that Mobil 1 was released in the USA in 1974, but they did introduced it in Europe about a year earlier. IIRC, the European product was about 80% PAO with about 10% each of two polyol esters (TMP C7 and PE C7), while the USA offering contained PAO with a single POE (TMP C8C10). They switched the ester portion to a diester (DTDA) around 1980, and then back to POE (TMP C8C10) in the 90s. They began introducing Grp III+ in the early 2000s, and by 2006 were mostly Grp III+ with PAO and AN and very little POE.

Not that this has any value beyond historical trivia.

Tom NJ

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#3280394 - 02/13/14 08:23 AM Re: An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers? [Re: Wilhelm_D]
Tom NJ Offline


Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 1629
Loc: New Jersey & Virginia
Originally Posted By: Wilhelm_D
I am not sure that PAO/ester is "higher performance" than diester per se. I worked with a number of diester-based synthetics in the late 60s into the mid-70s that were pretty darned good. The main problem was expense - they were not cheap to formulate.


I agree, those early all diester synthetic oils were quite good (Amsoil, Pacer, Zonex, Red Line, Neo, etc.) Hatco ran one through a double Sequence III engine test and had 0% viscosity increase! The SE specification was 400% max.

Tom NJ

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#3282481 - 02/14/14 10:33 PM Re: An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers? [Re: LoneRanger]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14658
Loc: Midwest
The whole debate of who was first in synthetics is somewhat silly in my view.

It took many years of chemistry development by many people to arrive at where we are.

But for Trivia purposes, here is another historical view:


Synthetic Oil Development by LePera
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#3282821 - 02/15/14 09:57 AM Re: An oldie but a goody, req'd reading for BITOG'ers? [Re: MolaKule]
Tom NJ Offline


Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 1629
Loc: New Jersey & Virginia
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
The whole debate of who was first in synthetics is somewhat silly in my view.

It took many years of chemistry development by many people to arrive at where we are.

But for Trivia purposes, here is another historical view:


Synthetic Oil Development by LePera


Thanks Phil - that was the first "History of Synthetics" type article that I have found no fault with.

And the winner is.... "the Army is recognized for leading the introduction of synthetic oils for automotive engine and powertrain applications."

Tom NJ

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