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#4612375 - 12/23/17 05:00 PM Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L
turboseize Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 236
Loc: Germany
Over the last 50.000km, my classic SAAB 900 turbo 16 had developed lifter tick. First on startup only, then also in idle when the oil was not steaming hot. 600km long distance on the Autobahn, and the hydraulic tappets were silent. Then drive 15 minutes through town, and they'll start to clatter. Or blast up a mountain pass and stop on the summit - peferct, silent idle. Now cruise downhill, and in the valley there will be noise...
At km 534000 I had the transmision rebuilt. That is, I had a transmission frankensteined - with parts from three different gearboxes, including my original one, as new parts were nearly unobtainable. In this process, the gearbox housing, which doubles as the oil pan for the engine, was changed as well. I think the sump of this "new" gearbox housing may not have been spotlessly clean, and that some crud came loose and now blocks some oil passage to at least one of the hydros. For lack of time to take care of the issue properly, at 600,000km I chose to try a thinner oil and switched to Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 (had been running 0w-40 for the last 190.000 before that). ( Here is a link to the last UAO discussed on BITOG.)
And it worked: the hydraulic tappets are now quiet. There is some clatter at start-up, but it quickly fades away and after a few seconds the engine is completely silent again.
But how does it wear now with the ultra thin oil?

I was not afraid for the bearings - the manual specifies 10w-30 and 10w-40, and given how bad early VII were and that early multigrades often had HTHS as low as 3.1, I assumed that the Shell AV-L should do fine. After all, as an ACEA C3 oil, it must have a HTHS of at least 3.5...
I was not so sure about the valve train (DOHC with flat tappets,, hydraulic elements and timing chain).

Well, here's the analysis:


OIL Shell Helix Ultra Professional 0w-30 AV-L
MILES IN USE 5901 (9494km), 8 months
MILES 379737 (610997km)
SAMPLE TAKEN 17/10/20 (date format for the civilized part of the world: 20.10.2017)
FILTER: Purflux LS 245

wear metals (mg/kg)

IRON 14
CHROME 1
TIN 1
ALUMINUM 2
NICKEL 0
COPPER 6
LEAD 1
MANGANESE 0
pq-index <25

pollution (mg/kg)

SILICON 6
POTASSIUM 1
SODIUM 6
WATER (%) <0.1
IR-GLYKOL negative
FUEL (%) 0.89


Additives (mg/kg)

CALCIUM 1597
MAGNESIUM 9
BORON 266
ZINC 831
PHOSPHORUS 636
BARIUM 0
MOLYBDENUM 1
SULPHUR 1545


state of oil:

visc. @40°C (mm2/s) 59.76
visc. @100°C (mm2/s) 11.66
VI 194
OXYDATION (A/cm) 3
NITRATION (A/cm) 2
SULFATION (A/cm) -
dispergency* (%) 97
SOOT INDEX** <0.1
BN N/A


* the german word was "Schmutztragevermögen", hope I translated that right.
** the lab has introduced the "Rußindex", an in-house tool to check for soot in
gasoline oil, as soot from direct-injection engines will not show correctly in the
standard test for diesel oils

And here is the original report. From left to right: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, Shell Helix Ultra 0w-40 (twice), Aral Super Tronic 0w-40.




Soo... what happend? Wear seems ever so slightly higher. But the usage profile has changed, a few more cold starts, and a female starting driver who has a hard time coping with 32 year and 600.000km old synchromesh (we re-used my original synchronizer rings, because new ones are not available and mine, despite having the highest milage, were the best out of the three donor gearboxes). So she sometimes pulls the cold engine to 3500/min; or mercilessly lugs it when hot... but obviously, nothing broke yet.
Looking at all five UOA I have done on this engine, both the Shell AV-L and the Aral seem to show slightly higher wear metals. The AV-L is a 0w-30 and the Aral is on the thinner side, just barely making it into 0w-40 territory. But it might also be the modern additive pakage with reduced ZDDP.
Another possibility is that there really is no increased wear - differences are very small, ad I do not how how precise and accurate the lab is. Also, you do not need to be a statistics genius to figure out that n=5 might be a bit low when you have tons of confounding variables...

So, to sum it all up:
1) It is important that there is enough and reasonably fresh oil in the engine
2) Which specific oil you run seems secondary.
3) You'd need WAY more data to be able to conclude whether one oil is better than another.
4) No, modern oil does not kill ancient engines.


For a deeper discussion, see my blog: https://turboseize.wordpress.com/2017/12...sches-motoroel/
Text is in german, but google translate might help. If it doesn't feel free to ask - I'll do my very best to answer.


Edited by turboseize (12/23/17 05:07 PM)
_________________________
Life ist too short for boring cars.

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#4612410 - 12/23/17 05:57 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
SR5 Offline


Registered: 07/07/15
Posts: 4456
Loc: Down Under
Thanks TS,

What catches my eye about the two SHU oils is that the 40 grade has more zinc, but it looks like the 30 grade makes up for this by adding more boron.

Both look to be working well and much the same.
_________________________
Penrite Vantage 10W40 SN & A3/B4 + Wesfil-Cooper Z154

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#4612428 - 12/23/17 06:18 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
SR5 Offline


Registered: 07/07/15
Posts: 4456
Loc: Down Under
And look at that retained TBN for the SHI 0W40 A3/B4 after 10,780 KM (6,700 miles) it's 9.71 that's better than the starting TBN of most ILSAC oils.
_________________________
Penrite Vantage 10W40 SN & A3/B4 + Wesfil-Cooper Z154

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#4612447 - 12/23/17 06:45 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: SR5]
turboseize Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 236
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: SR5
And look at that retained TBN for the SHI 0W40 A3/B4 after 10,780 KM (6,700 miles) it's 9.71 that's better than the starting TBN of most ILSAC oils.


Sulphur free fuel. cool
_________________________
Life ist too short for boring cars.

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#4612526 - 12/23/17 08:36 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: turboseize
I think the sump of this "new" gearbox housing may not have been spotlessly clean, and that some crud came loose and now blocks some oil passage to at least one of the hydros.


What type of oil filtration does this engine/gearbox use?
Originally Posted By: turboseize

And it worked: the hydraulic tappets are now quiet. There is some clatter at start-up, but it quickly fades away and after a few seconds the engine is completely silent again.


Glad to hear of your success!
_________________________
"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4612598 - 12/23/17 10:35 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
KL31 Offline


Registered: 06/03/16
Posts: 549
Loc: South OZ
Originally Posted By: turboseize
Originally Posted By: SR5
And look at that retained TBN for the SHI 0W40 A3/B4 after 10,780 KM (6,700 miles) it's 9.71 that's better than the starting TBN of most ILSAC oils.


Sulphur free fuel. cool


That TBN does look ridiculously high doesn't it! Would Sulphur free fuel make that much difference? Either way, looks like OCI is too short given the results.
_________________________
95 MX-3 2.5L|Shell Helix Ultra 5W40|Wix 51356
04 Focus 1.8L|Wesfil Cooper WZ63|Valvoline MST 5W30
05 Kluger 3.3L|Wesfil Cooper WZ418|Magnatec 10W30 Semi Syn

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#4612676 - 12/24/17 03:40 AM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: Linctex]
turboseize Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 236
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: turboseize
I think the sump of this "new" gearbox housing may not have been spotlessly clean, and that some crud came loose and now blocks some oil passage to at least one of the hydros.


What type of oil filtration does this engine/gearbox use?



No shared sump, if that was your question. wink This often gets misunderstood, as early SAAB gearboxes specified engine oil also as a gearbox lubricant. But the two are separated completely.Gearbox has no filter at all, engine just a regular full flow (screw-on canister).

Classic SAAB have a pretty unique drivetrain set-up: FWD, with a longitudinally mounted engine to make room for double-whishbone suspension. But the engine is mounten backwards: timing chain and belt drives face the firewall, clutch faces forward.
The gearbox is under the engine, driven by a triple chain, and the upper side of the gearbox housing is dented in to act as an oil pan for the engine.
Hence "oil pan" as a code word for gearbox/transmission amongst classic SAAB enthusiasts. cool

That's how the engine/gearbox assembly looks like (note the not-quite-stock exhaust header):




This is my gearbox/oil pan (view from above) at 534.000km.



Some varnish, but no sludge or coked oil. Unfortunately, I do not know how clean the replacement "oil pan" was... but the hydraulic lifter ticking started to creep in just shortly after the gearbox job.



Edited by turboseize (12/24/17 03:53 AM)
_________________________
Life ist too short for boring cars.

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#4612680 - 12/24/17 03:57 AM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: KL31]
turboseize Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 236
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: KL31
Originally Posted By: turboseize
Originally Posted By: SR5
And look at that retained TBN for the SHI 0W40 A3/B4 after 10,780 KM (6,700 miles) it's 9.71 that's better than the starting TBN of most ILSAC oils.


Sulphur free fuel. cool


That TBN does look ridiculously high doesn't it! Would Sulphur free fuel make that much difference? Either way, looks like OCI is too short given the results.



There are two different ways to measure TBN, Oel-Check uses a method that always seems to read a bit high. But TBN has definitely decreased; being an MB 229.5 approved oil, virgin TBN of the SHU 0w-40 must have been greater than 10.

Based on TBN retention (also look at 7.something of the low-SAPS Aral on the far right) and oxidation, longer intervals should definitely be doable. But as I attribute my lifter noise problem to some stuff that shouldn't be there where it is, I am a bit reluctant to compromise cleaning ability...
On the other hand, why the [censored] does "dispergency/Schmutztragevermögen" of the oil read as near virgin, then?

Driving profile might change back to almost exclusively long-distance driving again in a month or so. I just bought the wife (aka "beginning/student driver) her own car, so that I can get mine back. cool
I am really tempted to try double intervals, then. Perhaps with a PAO-based full-SAPS, first. But the lifter keeps worrying me, and I have not made up my mind yet.


Edited by turboseize (12/24/17 04:06 AM)
_________________________
Life ist too short for boring cars.

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#4612692 - 12/24/17 05:21 AM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
NGRhodes Offline


Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 324
Loc: West Yorkshire, UK
The 0w-30 looks really interesting, that real world VI is impressive, combined with the high HTHS it seems really robust oil.

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#4612694 - 12/24/17 05:33 AM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
turboseize Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 236
Loc: Germany
And at 24€/5 litres, is is dirt cheap, too.

BUT VI has taken quite a hit: according to th efdata sheet, VI of the virgin oil is 204!


Edited by turboseize (12/24/17 05:34 AM)
_________________________
Life ist too short for boring cars.

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#4666357 - 02/14/18 11:08 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
zeng Offline


Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 2183
Loc: Malaysia
Originally Posted By: turboseize
I am really tempted to try double intervals, then. Perhaps with a PAO-based full-SAPS, first.

I would speculate 20k km OCI with ulsg is entirely doable with this C3.

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#4669382 - 02/18/18 08:19 AM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
Popsy Offline


Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 893
Loc: Frogland / Brittany
As always TS, I immensely enjoy reading your posts, and also your blog, even with my very very limited German.

I do not have a definite opinion, but maybe you could try an oil like Total Rubia TIR 9900 FE 5W30 for the summer season, based on its supposed cleaning abilities (and also price/base quality), if you can get it. I think the online shop where you used to buy your oil has it.

Otherwise, maybe an more moly-loaded oil? But apart from the Motul 300V series, nothing comes to mind that could be obtained easily.

Anyway, report looks very good.
_________________________
96 Barchetta, Motul 300V 5W40 | 98 Barchetta, Quartz 9000 energy 5W40
05 Forfour 95, SHU 0W40 (gf's car) | 10 Colt Ralliart, 300V 0W40

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#4708628 - 03/27/18 04:20 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: zeng]
turboseize Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 236
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: zeng
Originally Posted By: turboseize
I am really tempted to try double intervals, then. Perhaps with a PAO-based full-SAPS, first.

I would speculate 20k km OCI with ulsg is entirely doable with this C3.


20k might well be possible.

After five UOA with virtually virgin oil after 10Mm, I have now decided to extend my OCI.

That is, when the car was due for it's scheduled 620.000km service, she received fresh gearbox oil and new stabilizer bushings, but we did not change the engine oil. I just took a sample. (Sample is in the mail, probably will get the report only after easter holydays).
10Mm already is an extended OCI - the handbook says 7500km (even shorter in sever service), so 10Mm OCI is already 33% longer. But then, early 80s 10w-40 seem to have bee utterly [censored]...
I am not sure yet how much I will extend OCI. I will double them, but whether I take the official service schedule as baseline ( 7,5Mm * 2 = 15Mm) or my currrent intervals (10Mm *2 = 20Mm) is something that I will decide on the fly, probably on the grounds of gut feeling, colour (dirt) and smell (fuel dilution). Also, this time I paid the extra 20€ to get TBN. Seeing TBN after 10Mm with this low-SAPS oil might also influence my decision... we'll see.








By the way, that is how the AV-L looks like on the dipstick after ~10.300km:



During the current interval, the engine did not take a single drop of make-up oil. I had overfilled slightly (to about "x" of "max"), so we have a tiny little bit of oil consumption. Not much, though - space between min and max is one litre.



https://turboseize.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/blutprobe-statt-dialyse/


Edited by turboseize (03/27/18 04:29 PM)
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Life ist too short for boring cars.

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#4711195 - 03/30/18 07:50 AM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
zeng Offline


Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 2183
Loc: Malaysia
Glad to hear that you're giving extended OCI (beyond 10,000 km) a try.
I'm absolutely sure your forth coming 10,000 km UOA will be as like before.
I have a suggestion for your consideration ,
That is at 15,000 km interval (266,000 km odometer), do a blotter spot test and upload a 48-72 hour blotter spot pictures for 'guessing', 'speculation' or 'discussion ' in this thread.
Scenarios:
a) If you don't feel comfortable, after blotter spot test is done, replace the oil subsequently or a day later. Upload 48 hr picture ;
b) If you're comfortable, base on the forthcoming discussion and then decide for yourself as to when (in between 15,000 km and (20,000 km) you want the oil replaced.

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#4724873 - 04/12/18 03:55 PM Re: Shell Helix Ultra 0w-30 AV-L, 9494km, Saab B202L [Re: turboseize]
turboseize Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 236
Loc: Germany


Edited by turboseize (04/12/18 03:58 PM)
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