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#3158796 - 10/17/13 12:38 PM Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain?
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
What would be the best choice for lowest wear on engine timing chains?

The GM High Feature V6 (LLT 3.6L) made for the past 10 years has had some failures (stretching, elongation) and GM says its some combination of poor oil lubrication and materials needing hardening (carbonitriding was introduced after July 2010). Affected vehicles have been the Lambda chassis Acadia/Enclave/Traverse/Outlook, Cadillac CTS and ATS, 5th Generation V6 Camaros, Opels, Saabs, etc. Of course other engines suffer from this as well, some more than others.

What can be done to lube those chains better? GM issued recalls on past Traverse/Acadia/Enclave/Outlook/Cadillac LLT v6's to cause the OLM to call for more frequent oil changes. I know my 2011 Camaro v6 already came from the factory with the more-frequent oil change OLM settings, as this car drives me crazy with how much it wants OLM oil changes.

Are more frequent oil changes really the answer? GM says it is. However, maybe the managers at GM are ignoring findings that say wear rates are actually worse with fresh oil. Reference: http://papers.sae.org/2003-01-3119/
http://papers.sae.org/2007-01-4133/
"In one of our previous studies it was observed that engine oil samples collected from fleet vehicles after 12,000 mile drain interval showed 10-15 % lower friction and more importantly, an order of magnitude lower wear rate than those of fresh oils." ... "As in the previous study, the results showed [in this new field study with taxi fleets] that the aged engine oils provide lower friction and much improved wear protection capability. These improvements were observed as early as the 3000 mile drain interval and continued to the 15000 mile drain interval."

So whats the best strategy?

Is the high-moly Mazda 0w-20 (600 ppm moly) or Scheaffer 5w-30 synthetic (300 ppm moly) the answer? There are high-zinc ZDDP (with catalytic convertor destroying phosphorous) oils out there like Quaker State Defy 5w-30 synthetic blend and Royal Purple HPS 5w-30, along with Euro spec oils with high ZDDP. Are they the answer here?

Does the 4-ball wear test cited by Amsoil in their recent 5w-30 http://www.amsoil.com/lit/g3115.pdf comparison measure wear performance close enough for the kind of mixed-boundary-layer slapping, sliding, metal-to-metal interface between sprocket teeth and chain pins?
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#3158799 - 10/17/13 12:40 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: FetchFar]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 18953
Loc: Sunny Florida
All data we have indicates the OLM once recalibrated is fine now.

Using a high end synthetic is more than enough 'insurance' for you.
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#3158800 - 10/17/13 12:41 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: FetchFar]
nitehawk55 Offline


Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1084
Loc: Ontario , Canada
Easy for GM to blame it on the lube , I'd be more inclined to say poor design/materials .

Honestly don't know what oil might help if any .
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#3158805 - 10/17/13 12:45 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: FetchFar]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41775
Loc: New Jersey
Id imagine that given the constant contacting of the chain on its sprockets, that this might be a good application to use MoS2 solids, like LM.

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#3158814 - 10/17/13 12:54 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: FetchFar]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
What's the cause of the timing chain wear? The 2.0L on my Tracker has been known to have the hydraulic tensioner gum up and sieze, and then the chain gradually loosens and stuff breaks/wears quickly.
My strategy has been to run synthetic in it to prevent the tensioner for getting stuck and maybe clean up any varnish/sludge from when I ran conventional oil in the first 5 years. I also have run some PYB as well as its supposed to be a decent oil to reduce buildup.
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#3158818 - 10/17/13 12:57 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: JHZR2]
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
Does adding MoS2 to engine oil ruin other properties in a high-end synthetic oil? In other words, can I really just mix that in and not expect other properties of the synthetic oil to be messed up (like anti-foam, VI, etc.)?

I see the Mos2 Lubricant (Anti-Friction) - Lubro Moly LM2009 by Liqui Moly additive.

Thats why in my original post I noted that Mazda 0w-20 (dealerships) has a ton of moly already smartly blended in, yet I don't know if they really have been able to achieve high levels of anti-wear performance over say German Castrol, Amsoil, Pennzoil Ultra, etc.


Edited by FetchFar (10/17/13 01:04 PM)
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#3158825 - 10/17/13 01:02 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: IndyIan]
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
Indylan, you raise another good point, which causes me to wonder if engine flushes (5 minutes idling before oil change) would help clean out sludge.

From what clues GM and the victims of timing chain stretching have been able to provide, it appears that the chain surface needed better hardening, as they did add carbonitriding to the newer chains as of July 2010. However, some people still claim there is a role lubrication plays in this. GM has blamed sludge or dirt, yet there are accounts of people with very clean engines who changed oil frequently still getting the excessive chain wear.


Edited by FetchFar (10/17/13 01:07 PM)
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'07 BMW 530xi N52 engine, E60 chassis, 255 hp
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#3158863 - 10/17/13 01:35 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: FetchFar]
440Magnum Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 8754
Loc: Texas
If I owned one of those vehicles, I'd just budget to replace the timing chain and guides early, using the updated parts. No particular oil is assured to save a too-soft metal in the chain components from early wear. You could try loading up with ZDDP (eg., one of the Rotellas or some high-mileage oils), but I really don't think that's going to help when the metal itself is soft. ZDDP works for contact between two HARDENED metal surfaces, such as a cam lobe and lifter face. It requires the high contact pressure to work.

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#3158872 - 10/17/13 01:40 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: 440Magnum]
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
MoS2 additives then instead of ZDDP ? The physics might be complicated, but I'm hoping the metal surfaces are at least hard enough, and having a sticky mass of MoS2 would save the wear. Anybody ever have the side effect of sticking rings mucked up with MoS2 additives? Kind of like drug companies offer you a drug, and you hope the side effects aren't worse.


Edited by FetchFar (10/17/13 01:41 PM)
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'11 Chevy Camaro LS, 3.6L V6, Zeta chassis, 312 hp
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#3158889 - 10/17/13 01:50 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: FetchFar]
Michael_P Offline


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 1784
Loc: .
Quote:
Easy for GM to blame it on the lube , I'd be more inclined to say poor design/materials .


I totally agree. I have seen Ford Modulars and other engines with long timing chains go 300,000 miles on pee pee oil on extended OCI's with no issues.

On a side note, I have seen VW timing chains and sprockets head south fast with the wrong oil and OCI more than once.

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#3159067 - 10/17/13 04:46 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: nitehawk55]
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: nitehawk55
Easy for GM to blame it on the lube , I'd be more inclined to say poor design/materials .


Some have speculated that the GM HFV6 engine design doesn't flow enough oil on to the chain, and thats really at least part of the problem. Another person I know is trying to get inside GM via an engineer there to find out what the V6 lacks, if anything, although the inside engineer said in the past that there was a "larger design issue" yet to be resolved in that engine, not clear what that means. ... As I said, as of July 2010 GM did improve the surface hardening (carbonitriding), and it makes you wonder if all or just some engine makers already surface-harden their chains.
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'07 BMW 530xi N52 engine, E60 chassis, 255 hp
'11 Chevy Camaro LS, 3.6L V6, Zeta chassis, 312 hp
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#3159077 - 10/17/13 04:54 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: 440Magnum]
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
440Magnum, Lets say I decided to use the mopar-approved SRT-speced oil Pennzoil 0w-40. I'd like to, since its speced high and Penske Indycars use it, kind of like an extra torture test. Does anybody know if a using a 40 oil like that in an engine that normally sees a 30 oil will run into a problem with the oil jets which squirt the underside of the pistons and cylinder walls, as in will the thicker oil not get eough mass up there?
_________________________
'07 BMW 530xi N52 engine, E60 chassis, 255 hp
'11 Chevy Camaro LS, 3.6L V6, Zeta chassis, 312 hp
'40 Chevrolet Special Deluxe 2-Door Town Sedan

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#3159091 - 10/17/13 05:17 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: JHZR2]
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
I put in half a bottle (half the recommended amount on the instructions) of the German company's Lubro Moly MoS2 from NAPA autoparts. I made sure nobody saw me dump it in there. I wore a fake moustache and big sunglasses to make sure I was not recognized.
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'07 BMW 530xi N52 engine, E60 chassis, 255 hp
'11 Chevy Camaro LS, 3.6L V6, Zeta chassis, 312 hp
'40 Chevrolet Special Deluxe 2-Door Town Sedan

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#3159102 - 10/17/13 05:31 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: FetchFar]
fdcg27 Online   content


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15695
Loc: OH
I don't think that any oil or additive will help in resolving a basic design problem.
Used oil may offer lower friction and lower wear rates but it isn't clean nor is it at original viscosity.
Some engines may tolerate this well.
You don't have one of them, so more frequent changes might be your best bet.
Good luck with this one.
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#3159143 - 10/17/13 06:23 PM Re: Oil Choice for Lowest Wear On Engine Timing Chain? [Re: fdcg27]
FetchFar Offline


Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 831
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: fdcg27

Used oil may offer lower friction and lower wear rates but it isn't clean nor is it at original viscosity.
.


I only care about wear rates, (the rate of losing engine metals per revolution). Clean oil is academic or a religious matter to some. A good synthetic maintains viscosity well, so not a problem there either. Limits of course, yet those limits are way out. One could make the case for use of engine flush 5-minute pre-oil-change to make sure sludge is cleared out. There are just no good reasons to change the oil often in a modern car with a decent oil filter and air filter. Like real estate is "location, location, location", engines are about "wear, wear, wear".


Edited by FetchFar (10/17/13 06:28 PM)
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