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#4501255 - 08/29/17 12:32 PM Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car
trackit Offline


Registered: 08/29/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
I recently bought a 2013 MX-5 Miata. It's naturally aspirated, and has a stock motor with 61K miles on it. I'm looking for an oil recommendation for predominately track and autocross use.

Street driving is limited to driving to and from motorsports events. I expect annual mileage to be no more than 6K miles per year. Despite the low mileage, I plan to change the oil at least twice a year, maybe more, mainly because a large percentage of the miles will be accumulated under high-temperature hard-driving conditions.

Mazda specifies a 0w20 oil for this car. I want to stick with that viscosity. The previous owner exclusively used Motul 8100 ECO-lite full synthetic 0w20 oil. It's expensive at about $18 a quart. I'm looking for something less costly that will be well-suited to my planned use and oil change interval.

I appreciate any suggestions you might have, and any insights you could share about picking the right oil for a given use.

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#4501268 - 08/29/17 12:42 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
glock19 Online   content


Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 762
Loc: Virginia
If you really want to stick with 0w-20, I would go with Red Line. It's also expensive at @12.50/quart, but it has a NOACK of 9.
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#4501308 - 08/29/17 01:14 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
trackit Offline


Registered: 08/29/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
NOACK = a test procedure for measuring volatility

Thanks glock19. I had to look up NOACK in the glossary/acronym thread. Now I'll have to spend some time understanding what the numerical value means. Where could I find that number for other oils, like the Motol 8100 ECO-lite oil, for comparison purposes?

The reason I want to stick with a 0w20 is partly because that is what Mazda recommends. But also because I'd read elsewhere that increasing the viscosity of the oil will result in higher oil pressures to maintain the flow of oil to all parts of the engine, and it may cause higher oil temperatures, and churn as the oil pump's bypass valve opens and dumps oil into the sump. So less oil is being used to lubricate.

But I do not know how truthful that is. I figured I'd start studying the topic, but maintain the manufacturer's recommended oil type and viscosity until I understand a lot more about it.

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#4501317 - 08/29/17 01:21 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
aquariuscsm Online   content


Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 18170
Loc: Dallas,Tx USA
Maybe "bump up" to a 5W20? Thicker base oil but still within the spec 20wt.
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#4501334 - 08/29/17 01:37 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
trackit Offline


Registered: 08/29/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
My understanding is that the first number, 5w vs 0w, affects lubrication at cold startup, with the lower weight oil providing better lubrication when the engine is cold, and having little to no effect at hot-running temperature.

Are there other factors or properties of a 5w oil that would make it a better choice than 0w for track/autocross where the majority of the time is spent at high oil temperature?

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#4501361 - 08/29/17 02:05 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
09_GXP Offline


Registered: 12/14/10
Posts: 430
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
I run Redline 30wt Race oil in my NC that is stock with "only" a tune to run 100 octane street legal fuel. The car seems to love Redline fluids so if you want to stick with 20wt I'd go with Redline 0w20. It will keep the same viscosity but it does have a higher HTHS for protection.
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#4501415 - 08/29/17 03:13 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13466
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: trackit
I recently bought a 2013 MX-5 Miata. It's naturally aspirated, and has a stock motor with 61K miles on it. I'm looking for an oil recommendation for predominately track and autocross use.

Street driving is limited to driving to and from motorsports events. I expect annual mileage to be no more than 6K miles per year. Despite the low mileage, I plan to change the oil at least twice a year, maybe more, mainly because a large percentage of the miles will be accumulated under high-temperature hard-driving conditions.

Mazda specifies a 0w20 oil for this car. I want to stick with that viscosity. The previous owner exclusively used Motul 8100 ECO-lite full synthetic 0w20 oil. It's expensive at about $18 a quart. I'm looking for something less costly that will be well-suited to my planned use and oil change interval.

I appreciate any suggestions you might have, and any insights you could share about picking the right oil for a given use.



How many track events do you plan on doing per year? Autocross isn't particularly hard on oil since the runs are so quick and don't involve sustained periods of WOT. I wouldn't alter the oil type or schedule for autocross unless you are doing it every weekend for multiple months out of the year. Track days will work the motor much harder since it's 15-20 minutes of sustained WOT 5-6 times in a given day.

Something like Red Line 0w20, as others have said, might work. I would run it for half the race season, pull a sample for analysis, and see how it is holding up. Be sure to pay for TAN & TBN as those will be good metrics for the change interval.
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#4502308 - 08/30/17 01:37 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
bigt61 Offline


Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 3117
Loc: Virginia
Run at least 5W-30 or 0W-40 M1 if you're going to track it. That lightweight stuff is for fuel economy, not WOT high RPM work.
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#4502664 - 08/30/17 07:36 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: 09_GXP]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5516
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Originally Posted By: 09_GXP
I run Redline 30wt Race oil in my NC that is stock with "only" a tune to run 100 octane street legal fuel. The car seems to love Redline fluids so if you want to stick with 20wt I'd go with Redline 0w20. It will keep the same viscosity rating, but it does have a higher HTHS for protection.


^^^^ This smile

Is nearly shear proof and can handle heat smile

I would not change it just because ... Run it 6 months at events and then sample the oil, send it in for analysis. Based on what they find, change or not. Maybe spin on a new filter and top up.

Make sure you run magnetic drain plug. You want to see any Fe fuzz that the engine is throwing off ...

You want the highest HTHS 20 you can find. I'll bet Redline is close to it. Motul is great oil, but their ECO fluids are thin. Not what you want at temp and at redline on the tack at full throttle ...
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#4503093 - 08/31/17 08:28 AM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: dparm]
trackit Offline


Registered: 08/29/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: dparm

How many track events do you plan on doing per year? Autocross isn't particularly hard on oil since the runs are so quick and don't involve sustained periods of WOT. I wouldn't alter the oil type or schedule for autocross unless you are doing it every weekend for multiple months out of the year. Track days will work the motor much harder since it's 15-20 minutes of sustained WOT 5-6 times in a given day.

Something like Red Line 0w20, as others have said, might work. I would run it for half the race season, pull a sample for analysis, and see how it is holding up. Be sure to pay for TAN & TBN as those will be good metrics for the change interval.


Autocross is nearly all year long here in the DFW area. Four autocross clubs, about 45 events per year, sometimes two per weekend. I'm going to Lincoln for SCCA Solo Nationals next week.

I've done 11 track events so far this year, with 4 more scheduled through the end of the year, and one tentative. SCCA Club Trials, HDPE's, and TNiAs. No racing. I got to run COTA for the first time yesterday with Track Night in America. That was fun.

Thank you for the oil analysis recommendation.

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#4503108 - 08/31/17 08:42 AM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: BrocLuno]
trackit Offline


Registered: 08/29/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno

I would not change it just because ... Run it 6 months at events and then sample the oil, send it in for analysis. Based on what they find, change or not. Maybe spin on a new filter and top up.

Make sure you run magnetic drain plug. You want to see any Fe fuzz that the engine is throwing off ...

You want the highest HTHS 20 you can find. I'll bet Redline is close to it. Motul is great oil, but their ECO fluids are thin. Not what you want at temp and at redline on the tack at full throttle ...


Thank you.

Motul 8100 ECO-lite lists the HTHS viscosity at 150C at 2.7 mPa.s, no specification for NOACK.
Redline 0w20 lists HTHS viscosity at 150C as 2.9, NOACK 9
Redline 5w20 lists HTHS viscosity at 150c as 3.0, NOACK 8

Now time for me to study what that really means. smile

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#4503211 - 08/31/17 10:54 AM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5516
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
What it really means is the higher the HTHS (high tempurature high shear [resistance]), the better. In any chosen grade range, for motors that will spin and run hard, the highest HTHS is always the best smile

I'd take the 5W-20 in that group you show smile
_________________________
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4503217 - 08/31/17 11:00 AM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: BrocLuno]
trackit Offline


Registered: 08/29/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
Thanks BrocLuno. I'll start with that, and pull a sample for analysis in 6 months.

And thanks to all of the rest of you for your explanations and suggestions.


Edited by trackit (08/31/17 11:10 AM)

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#4503444 - 08/31/17 02:29 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
trackit Offline


Registered: 08/29/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
What are the implications in terms of engine protection and lubrication qualities, especially for high RPM and high-operating temperature use, of the slightly different viscosity numbers of the RL 5W20 vs 0W20 oils? The numerical differences are very small.

RL 5w20

ACEA Service Class A5 B5
API Service Class SN/SM/SL/CF
SAE Viscosity Grade (Motor Oil) 5W20
Vis @ 100C, cSt 9.0
Vis @ 40C, cSt 53
Viscosity Index 147
CCS Viscosity, Poise, @ C [email protected]
Pour Point, C -45
Pour Point, F -49
NOACK Evaporation Loss,1hr @ 482F (250C), % 8
HTHS Vis, cP @150C, ASTM D4741 3.0


RL 0w20

ACEA Service Class A5 B5
API Service Class SN/SM/SL/SG/CF
SAE Viscosity Grade (Motor Oil) 0W20
Vis @ 100C, cSt 9.1
Vis @ 40C, cSt 48
Viscosity Index 172
CCS Viscosity, Poise, @ C [email protected]
Pour Point, C -60
Pour Point, F -76
NOACK Evaporation Loss,1hr @ 482F (250C), % 9
HTHS Vis, cP @150C, ASTM D4741 2.9


And as an aside, if I look back through posts from a few years ago, I see that the HTHS vis @150C for RL 5w20 was 3.3, whereas now it is listed as 3.0. Why such a big change over a few years time?

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#4503535 - 08/31/17 03:59 PM Re: Oil for NC MX-5 Miata track/autocross car [Re: trackit]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3970
Loc: New England
Interesting that the HTHS for RL 5W20 was 3.3 a few years back, that is higher than most 5W30s I have looked at. Not sure why it changed...

My take is that the very cold temp properties of the 0W20 mean next to nothing to you in Texas.
The slightly higher HTHS of the 5W20 means a slightly higher minimum oil film thickness for better protection if your engine gets extremely hot, and its slightly lower NOACK means slightly lower nasty engine deposit potential for the same condition. Unless you are dead set on 0W20 due to Mazda's recommendation (and I'd guess that they also recommended an SN oil, which Redline is not), I think that 5W20 suits your needs a little better.
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