Those of you who took the time to read my TK7 fuel additive story in the last issue of MotorTec will know the conservative, maybe even overly conservative attitude I have toward testing additives. Well here we are again and I’m about to give you my two-year run down on an oil additive that goes by the name of Oil Extreme (Marketed by Jet Set Life Technologies). As ever, there is much more to this story than one would expect so I am going to set the scene so you know how I became involved with doing a relatively exotic test on this product.
George French is an ex motorcycle racer from the 50’s and a long time buddy of ex motorcycle racer and ex Yamaha works rider Kenny Johnson. Kenny dates back to the days before another famous motorcycling Kenny, namely Kenny Roberts. Back to the days when Dan Gurney was just starting to make it in F1. Kenny, now retired, was the ‘K’ in K&N of K&N Filter fame.
Now those older readers who have followed the high performance scene for the last 25 years or so may be aware that I did a lot of testing on K&N filters back in the days when few knew what they did and even fewer how they worked. This in itself is another one of those stories where I was reluctant to believe ads proclaiming how good K & N’s were. Such doubts as I had were only strengthen when I was told that K&N did not even have a flow bench (that was almost 30 years ago). I reasoned that any filter company in business without a flow bench must be flaky but much to my surprise when I flow tested them on my bench they turned out to be really good. So I told the world and K&N made literally tens of millions as (I like to think) a result of my tests.
Informing millions about K & N’s attributes was to my mind a public service. That was the good side. The down side was that since I lived right on K & N’s door step many magazine editors figured I must be on the take and that no aftermarket filter could be better than the likes of that produced by big companies such as AC, Motorcraft etc that supposedly sunk millions into research. As a result of this, I found out, many years later, that some magazines had black listed my work as they felt results were being bought. Such conclusions might I add were reached without actually running any tests to see if mine were in fact valid. It really was a case with no trial, just a sentence!
Now let’s think about the logic here. If I were going to allow my results to be bought why would I spend almost a third of a million bucks on test equipment. After all it doesn’t take a third of a million bucks worth of equipment to deliver bogus numbers. What I especially found distasteful was the flak I was getting was from those guys who did all their testing with a typewriter! Things like this make me wonder about IQ’s in general and in the automotive publishing field in particular.
Still my usual state is too be quite oblivious to such things. I don’t particularly like to get involved in old wives tales, scandal and gossip any more than I can help. But I continued to write about K&N filters.
Now let’s skip forward a decade or so. George French of Oil extreme gets into the oil additive business by virtue of circumstances placing him in the right place at the right time with a genius oil chemist having a revolutionary oil formulating process. So George, never wanting to let an opportunity go by, bought the rights to this new technology and then came looking for me. Since I lived but 3 miles away at that time it obviously did not take him long to find me. I receive an invite for lunch to hear a proposal.
Here's about how the proposal went “David, my new company has got a super new oil additive that I want you to test and write up” My response to testing oil additives is not one of great enthusiasm, in fact sometimes it’s not even polite. “George, why do you want me to test this stuff what-ever it may be” George, never one to beat about the bush, gave it to me straight. “You made K & N millions and millions, I want you to do the same for me.” All this must have seemed simple logic to George so I felt it necessary to point out that K & N filters worked very well and that was why they made lots of money. I was simply the messenger that brought the news to the people so to speak. “George, if your additive does not work I would be the worst person to be testing it. If it fails to deliver a hundred thousand people are going to find out overnight and a few million more in the following weeks. Ask your self why some of the big additive manufactures have not asked me to test their products, it would be a sure way toward closing their business doors unless they were telling the real truth about what they make.”
George agreed that all made sense but insisted that since his product worked he would be in the K & N arena not the glass green house the manufactures of non-functional additives are in. I was still less than enthusiastic toward the idea of testing this oil additive. This prompted me to make my own ground rules to sweeten the deal for me while possibly making it less than palatable for George. Why would I do this? Because I still was not convinced that this additive would work. Sure I could see George believed it would but I did not want to have a month’s income in the balance based on what he believed. So here was the non-negotiable test deal I offered. I build a special test motor to test the additive at George’s expense and that he pick up the full cost of my time and the dyno bill regardless of the test outcome. Also I got to keep the test motor after. Why such a hard bargain? Simple, if the additive did not work, and remember few do, I at least profited out of it. This was especially important as I had plenty of other stuff to do and I support far too many charities as it is.
When George readily agreed to pick up the tab for the entire costs of this test I knew he seriously believed in his product. I felt the least I could do at this point was to give him the benefit of the doubt and start the ball rolling.
Oil Extreme – How Does It Work?
As you are all aware there are additives out there by the ton and the universal claim is they reduce friction. Oil Extreme makes this claim but they are more than happy to tell us about the differing principles involved so you can better understand why it works (I have assumed at this stage, for the sake of argument, that it does).
Friction is a complex subject. It’s negative effects are generated at a microscopic mechanical level and at a molecular level. Surface finishes and oils deal mostly with friction caused by the mechanical interaction of two surfaces. On a microscopic level two surfaces running over each other are not that dissimilar to two files rubbing together. Indeed as one microscopic peak meets another the pressure can be so high that they momentarily weld together then tear apart. If this weld is large enough then the ‘wound’ from tearing it apart will be rougher than the surface irregularities that generated it in the first instance. The result is that surfaces get rougher, generate more heat and eventually seize. Breaking in a motor too quickly exaggerates this unwanted process. Returning to our file analogy blunting the files is a process of removing the tops of the teeth and clogging a process of filling in the space between the teeth. When this takes place the file slides over a mating surface with far greater ease.
The rubbing surfaces of our motors, when magnified, look a lot like the surface of a file. They act in much the same way also. If the ‘file teeth’ like tops of the surface finishes can be removed/smoothed and the space between teeth filled, the friction generated will drop. When blending an oil package oil companies seek to cut friction by this and other means. Some additives help the break in procedure to be more effective. Zinc diaikylidiophosphate (hope I spelled that one right!) or ZDDP for short, is an example worth mentioning here. It, like a number of other compounds, works by reducing the microscopic welding process thereby allowing the break in to smooth the surfaces. This is the key additive in many cam break-in lubes and it really does work. Our own tests show it to be about 5 times as effective as Moly grease based cam lubes which themselves are also about 3-5 times better than straight motor oil. But like most things ZDDP has some unwanted side effects such as causing a crazed surface on the lifters after extended use. It also appears to contaminate catalytic converters so the amount that can be added into oils is use limited.
Chlorinated paraffin’s are also great at cutting the incidence and severity of microscopic welding. This, it would seem, is a key ingredient in the highly advertised Prolong additive. The problem with chlorinated paraffin’s is they have a propensity for turning into hydrochloric acid when combined with combustion product blow-by. This will corrode bearing material on a mid to long-term basis. Then there are those PTFE particle based additives such as Slick 50. Although I have yet to see any positive results from most additives there has been one PTFE additive that I have so far done an extended mileage test on that has produced a positive result apparently well outside of experimental error. I mention this because it demonstrates that it is just as bad to dismiss all without tests, as it is to accept all.
Now lets talk about Calcium Petrolium Sulfonate. This, when dissolved in the oil acts as an acid neutralizer and is used in most oils to perform that function. The problem is that only so much Calcium Petrolium Sulfonate will dissolve in the base oil. Anything in excess of a certain relatively small amount stays in the oil as a gritty abrasive compound. This, as you can imagine defeats the object of the exercise.
Although Calcium Petrolium Sulfonate gets the job of neutralizing acid done, any oil really needs more than the normal limit of solubility allows. This is where Oil Extreme technology comes into the picture. By the use of a complex and undisclosed derivative process (it is often better in some instances to keep the a process secret rather than patent it) Oil Extreme has been able to increase the amount of Calcium Petrolium Sulfonate in solution by a substantial amount. Their process, which produces a calcium petroleum sulfonate complex apparently produces the dissolved calcium concentrations the oil companies would like to see in their oils. We can get some idea of the extent of the increase by comparing the Total Base Number or TBN. This number is an indicator of the oils remaining useful life and decreases due to oxidization and as acidic compounds from blow-by are absorbed by the oil. A typical quality grade oil tops out with a TBN of around 8. 5 compared with Oil Extreme’s 320 in the concentrate form. When added to the oil in your Motors sump this dilutes to about a 20 TBN. That represents an increase of some 235%. The oil companies would like to be able to do this but at present cannot due to apparently lacking the technology required. At this stage it would seem that Oil Extreme is doing just what the big oil companies would like to do if they knew how. But there is more.
In addition to neutralizing acid the Oil Extreme process also produces a Calcium Petrolium Sulfonate base compound that acts as a high-pressure lubricant and asperity filler. The result is a claimed reduction in friction.
After finding out the above and a lot more about Oil Extreme it seemed that a test was more than warranted. Now was time to consider what was needed for a test motor.
Why a Special Test Motor?
OK lets pose the question – why a special test motor? The answer here is that if an ‘off the shelf’ motor having characteristics not intimately known is used the results could be significantly skewed to make Oil Extreme look better than it really is without us knowing. My purpose here was to see if oil extreme worked.
The main claim toward making more power by using Oil Extreme was from its supposed ability to reduce friction. Now for a moment let us assume that it would do just that. Also let us assume that an off the shelf ‘rebuilder’ motor was used to do a before and after test and this motor was a little on the rough side but still acceptable for day-to-day street usage. Let us assume that one or two of the pistons were on the tight side and that the same applied to a bearing. Also a couple of rods were less than dead straight causing the pistons to be very slightly cocked over in the bores. A couple of intake valves were tighter in the guides than should be and that all the springs had been shimmed to bring up the delivered spring load to compensate for aging, sagging springs. All this done without actually testing that the springs needed this. If they didn’t it then there was more spring in the motor than needed.
If you are following what I’m saying here you can see that this could be a motor with higher than normal internal friction. If the oil extreme did it’s job even to a moderate degree it will wake up this motor quite a bit because it has a higher than normal friction problem to fix. In such a motor even a small reduction in friction could result in a 5% increase in output. If we now reasonably expect to see a 5% increase in every motor we are going to find the ProStock engine builders are very disappointed. When they pour the additive into their low friction motors a gain of only 0.5% may occur. Something this small won’t even show up amid signal noise.
Starting with a high internal friction motor also has another downside. Such a motor will tend to make more hp the more it is run on the dyno as friction knocks of offending edges so to speak. Because I wanted to establish realistic changes that relate directly to a race motor it was, of necessity, a case of building a motor for the job. To my mind this motor had to be one that gave no advantage to Oil Extreme. In other words I did not intend to give George’s product one bit of an even break. I was going to build to favor the motor’s ‘before’ status by assembling a test unit with the lowest friction I knew how and run it on a top quality oil. If any power gains were seen then it was a fair bet that Oil Extreme was doing something positive.
The Test Motor.
A class of race motor where friction is of paramount importance is a two-barrel or restricted unit. I had an idea that I was going to find the time to build and drive a two-barrel class dirt car so I targeted a build spec that leaned heavily in that direction.
The greatest source of friction in a motor is from the piston and ring assemblies. I started the build right at the piston and for this component chose Manley’s lightweight flat top forging for a bore size 30 thousandths over the standard Chevy 4 inch bore. This piston, part # 590030-8 weighs in, complete with pin at a slim 497 grams and is explicitly intended for 2-barrel motors where cylinder pressures are lower than normal due to restricted breathing. The fact that as a 2-barrel piston the Manley piece had a slightly thinner crown would not preclude its use in a moderate 4-barrel application as was intended here. To help piston reliability I planned to limit the CR to 10/1 and to use a thermal barrier coating on the piston crown.
The piston’s compression height was 1.55 inches and this was to be used with a stock stroke of 3.48 inches and a stock length 5.7-inch rod. All the numbers stack up to a crank centerline to piston crown height of 8.990 inches so the block height, normally 9.025 was decked to 8.985 leaving the pistons 5 thousandths out of the hole. With the Felpro competition head gaskets I intended to use this left the piston to cylinder head face, or quench clearance, at a net 33 thousandths. Just as a matter of interest I have found that with a stock cast crank, stock rods and a close fitting hypereutectic piston that with 26 thousandths clearance piston to head contact starts at about 6400 rpm. I have never pushed the envelope to the limit with stiffer aftermarket parts such as forged race cranks etc but I have used down to 24 thousandths with better rods and crank. Because the Manley pistons were a solid 15% lighter than stock I felt it was more than safe enough to use selected stock rods lightened and shot-peened for the intended 7,000 redline required of this motor.
For the Manley pistons 1/16 -1/16 - 3/16 ring requirement I used Total Seal (look for an upcoming 10 year study on these) rings part # 36900300-08. The bore prep for this motor was important as it needed to be as low a friction as possible (a prime requirement no matter what but especially important for this test) The block was deck plate honed using the stone/brush type honing head. With this type of head the nylon brushes that follow the stones tend to get much of the fine honeing grit out of the finish thereby producing a less abrasive finish.
Now here is my 8 hp SB Chevy bore prep. After honing use one of those green pot scouring pads and Gunk engine cleaner and scrub the bores in a vertical pattern. The cleaning pads are too fine to remove any measurable amount of metal but they do remove the nasty sharp edges from the top of the honing pattern. The Gunk engine cleaner helps break loose any grit still in the finish and when washed off leaves a mild oily film that will protect the bores long enough for you not to panic about rust the moment the water from hosing it down hits. WD40 the bores and machined surfaces after this operation.
Next, using a very fine stone (400-600 grit) remove the sharp edges from the corners of the rings. Here you are looking for a chamfer of some 2 thousandths of an inch – no more. Next using the green scouring pads, polish the rings, especially the out side diameter.
At this point the gap to use on the top ring needs to be addressed. Because a Total Seal second ring is being used do not suppose that the ring package becomes insensitive to the gap used on the top ring. My own experiences indicate that the reverse is more likely to be true. The Total Seal second ring really does seal and for all practical purposes nothing gets by it. If there is a lot of blow-by from the top ring the space between the two rings can become overly pressurized. Under certain conditions this will lift the top ring from the bottom face of the groove and temporarily cause high-pressure gases to come around the ring. Another point to note here regarding pressure build up between the rings is the volume contained. If the piston does not have a reservoir groove between the top and second ring groove cut one. The cross section of the Manley piston shown earlier shows this groove.
Although I feel the gapping of the top ring is not the big issue often made of it I have to say I have had better results by paying more attention to the top ring end gap when using Total Seal rings (which, if not budget constrained, are the rings of my choice) then less. My motors consistently show zero blow-by for extended time periods on the dyno. I have run some motors the equivalent of a Daytona 24 hour race and they still show zero blow-by. Also there is the leak down issue. It is especially important if a motor is to be used for dyno testing over a long period that the leak down be contained to very narrow limits. Using Total Seal rings I don’t remember anything outside of 2% on post test leak down tests even after extended test periods.
The rest of the motors bottom end was straight forward enough. Rods were bushed for the fully floating application, fitted with ARP rod bolts, beam polished, resized and balanced. The crank was ground 30 under to give 2 ½ thousandths clearance on the mains and 2 thousandths on the big ends. The whole rotating assembly was balanced at Jerry Goodales Specialized Motor Service (SMS).
The next item’s of interest in the motor was the cam and valve train. Some time previously, while talking to Bill Metzker of Lazer cams I found out he had some very tight lash solid profiles with initially gentle opening ramps. These were designed for race use where the rules called for a stock spring to be used. The profiles allowed good rpm to be attained without the high spring loads and the consequently higher friction brought about by high spring loads. I elected to use Lazer’s tight lash profiles and had Bill grind a cam with 230 degrees @ 50 thousandths lift on the intake and 235 on the exhaust. On my cam doctor this related to about 280/285 degrees at the 4 thousandths lash point and just over 500 thousandths lift with a 1.6 rocker ratio. These profiles were ground on a 108 LCA with 4 degrees of advance.
The Lazer cam was used with Comp Cams lightweight solid lifter part # 807-16 operating through a set of Comp Cams Chrome Moly pushrods and 1.6/1 ratio Magnum ball pivot/roller tip rockers. The springs were from Lazer and were really inexpensive. I have had much experience both on motors and a Spintron with this type of spring and have found they delivered a good force per unit weight thus allowing good rpm for minimal spring loads.
The heads were ported 186 casting; the intake a port matched Victor Jr. and the carb our own much-modified Holley dyno unit with high gain boosters and about 980 cfm. The sparks department was handled by an HEI equipped with an MSD module so was good to way above our 7,000 rpm redline.
The oil pump was also a special. Here our MotorTec staff has come up with a SB Chevy pump based on the stock unit that absorbs about half the power of a stock pump and delivers more oil while doing so. I won’t detail this yet as we are looking to sell this design to a pump manufacture. The pan itself was our usual Moroso unit.
When everything was assembled the motor turned over at about 33 lbs-ft complete with valve train. To put that into perspective most small block short block assemblies take that much to turn them and a whole lot more by the time the valve train is taken into account.
For our dyno testing we used John Baechtels West Tech facility. I arrive with the test motor on the appointed day and John and I got on with loading it on John’s Super Flow 901 dyno. By the motor was ready to fire up.
An extensive break in procedure was done prior to starting our tests. This involved an initial break-in using a quality Valvoline multigrade mineral oil. The motor was fired up and run for 20 minutes no-load to break in the cam. This oil was then dumped and the contents of the System One stainless steel mesh filter were checked for debris. The filter showed the build and break in had produced little in the way of debris. After this the motor was refilled with Valvoline and run between 2000 and 3000 on a cycle program that varied the load from light (about 45 lbs-ft) to almost non-existent. After about an hour of running the motor was shut down. At this point the filter was again checked for content, the head torque checked and the valves very carefully lashed to 4 and 6 thousandths on Intake and Exhaust. While the motor was still warm a cylinder leak down test was done. This showed all cylinders to be in top condition with leak down less than 1½ % in every cylinder.
At this point the motor was re-fired and given another hours running with a little more load and rpms up to 4000. After this the oil filter was again checked to see if there was any debris accumulation of any consequence. There was not so we began making some ignition and carb calibration pulls. The idea here was not just to get maximum output but good repeatability. Sometimes the two are not one and the same. I won’t go into details here about what it takes to minimize cyclic variations on a dyno motor but suffice to say that by days end we could repeat numbers from one pull to the next very well. By making 5 pulls and dropping the best and worst we were able to contain most results within about 1%, which for dyno test repeatability, is excellent.
By the end of the day we had made some 70 to 80 calibration pulls. While the motor was still hot the Valvoline mineral oil was dumped, the filter cleaned of what minimal debris it had collected and the sump refilled with Mobil 1. Why Mobil 1? Because it is pretty much accepted as an industry standard for a quality high performance oil. If anything beats Mobil 1 (and there are only a few that will) you can rest assured that it is an excellent product.
At this point it might seem that we are ready to start testing but that is not the case. The first business to deal with on the start of the second day’s testing was to determine that the motor was in fact fully broken in. After being warmed to the test temperature the first few pulls were made. The Mobil 1 did indeed show a little more output than the Valvoline mineral oil but that was totally expected. The implication here is not that the Valvoline is inferior oil but that the Mobil 1 is really good. As a point of reference we use Valvoline as a break in oil because it is among the best low cost mineral oils out there.
After the warm up 5 controlled dyno pulls were made. The results of the best and worst were tossed and the curve produced by the average of the other 3 runs was developed. After this the motor was run for another hour at about 4000 rpm with a relatively heavy load of some 200 lbs.-ft. Once this was done another 5 pulls were made using the same procedure as before to see how well the motor repeated. After going through the same procedure and averaging it was found that over 90% of our data points were within 1lb.-ft or 1 hp. None were outside the 1% range.
Satisfied we now had a consistent motor Oil Extreme was added to the sump after a like amount of Mobil 1 had been drained. This kept the overall oil level consistent for both the before and after tests. We were told it takes time for the Oil Extreme to react to the surfaces it is supposed to treat and that the motor would require the equivalent of 50 miles to do this. To meet that need the motor was run at about 3000 rpm with some 45 lbs-ft of load for an hour.
After the Oil Extreme had supposedly worked it’s way into all the asperities (surface irregularities) it was going to, we started our test pulls. Right from the first one it was apparent that the motor was up on power. Uncomfortably so from my viewpoint. After the 5 runs had been done, the best and worst dumped and with the remaining averaged the results looked as per the graph Fig 1. George French sat in on the tests and apparently anticipated just the type of results seen hence the 'I told you so' look seen on his face in the photo to the left. The problem here is that if the results had been a little less spectacular than we had seen I might have been able to accept them without further question more easily.
Strip Down Time.
Before pulling the motor off the dyno leak down tests were done. These showed excellent ring seal with the worst cylinder a little over 1%. But the most interest was generated when the motor was stripped to the bare block. The rings and cylinders proved to be in were in extremely good condition. The bores were glass smooth without a trace of any scores and there was no measurable step at the limit of ring travel even when checked with our 40 millionth resolution bore gauge. Indeed the bores had what for all practical purposes was zero bore wear and a very smooth surface. However it was not the lack of wear that made the biggest impression but the slickness of the bores surface finish. The rings, when checked with a high-powered magnifying glass exhibited similar characteristics.
Apart from the bores the cam and lifters also exhibited unusual signs. First all the lifters showed the perfect break in pattern. The finish was glass smooth as were the cam lobes. An unexpected feature of the cam finish was that the surface hardness had gone up about 5 points harder than is normally found on a fully broken in flat tappet cam.
The bearings looked almost as they did when they came out of the box i.e. perfect but that was to be expected considering this motor had only top quality oil in it and the bearings were never really put to the test with only some 430 hp to deal with.
After the strip down those of us that went through the parts and checked for wear all agreed that the internals were significantly better than normal.
Reservations – They Were Still There.
Such tests as we had just performed are done on a regular basis by the oil industries own R&D centers. They are certainly better equipped to do such tests. The standard procedure involved is to do an A-B-A test rather than the more simplistic A-B test we did. This is accomplished by running the motor with scrubbing oils that after a time remove the additive down at the molecular level. After the additive is removed the before test can be re-run and used to establish that the base line has not significantly altered. Unfortunately I was not in a position to do that but before putting anything down on paper I made it a priority to do some further testing and investigate the findings of others. I can tell you know that George was not altogether pleased about the ‘luke warm’ reaction to my own tests. As far as my intent to further investigate Oil Extreme he actually started the ball rolling by giving me an article from another magazine.
Grassroots Motorsports – and More.
Grassroots Motorsports is a magazine that caters to the more budget constrained road /slalom racer than the drag racer. It could well be described as SCCA orientated. As such it has a lot of good stuff but the reprint of the article that George French gave me was really outstanding. This story, which appeared in the July/August 1998 issue was written by David Wallens and was one of the best articles of it’s type I have read in a long time. (For a back issue call 904-674-4148). Simply because of the apparent excellence of the research done for this feature I placed a great deal of credibility on it’s contents. Although there was far more too the story basically David Wallens reported that when tested in a 1987 L6 BMW (you know this must be fully broken in) power increased through out the rpm range with peak HP going up from 149.2 to 153.4. Like me, the author seemed a little on the conservative side when it came to accepting results from just one dyno test. So he delved a little further and found a chassis dyno shop that reported similar results from their tests and supplied a load of positive numbers as examples.
Apart from giving me a little more confidence
in my own tests results, the Grassroots story prompted me to follow their
example and do some simple chassis dyno testing. Just for the record a Dynojet inertial
chassis dyno has very good repeatability. If the test’s starting conditions are
repeated closely the readings will follow suit. This means the results produced
are realistic even though we are looking for relatively small amounts. First
candidate for this test was my wife’s 3.1 V6
To support the Pontiac test or not as the case may be, I got Gil Mink, our special projects editor, to run a similar test on his 4x4 1994 Chevy Truck. Like the Pontiac this is a very well maintained vehicle with about 95,000 miles on it, most of which were from long trips. This produced the results in Fig 3. Again an increase but only small. Once again we were looking at a motor with low friction because of an extended mileage and the use of a quality synthetic oil for most of it’s life.
At this point we could see that Oil extreme was working but for a better idea of what it would do across the board we still needed a wider range of tests especially on newer vehicles. Here Rick Daniels of K&N came to the rescue. Since the purpose of every dyno test is logged on their computer the results of other Oil Extreme tests could be found from a data search. As it happens the K&N facility is popular with many magazines and we were able to find some other tests on newer vehicles. A Car and Driver magazine test on a mildly modified Audi netted the results seen in Fig 4 and yet another test on a 22,000 mile old Ford 1.3 Aspire produced the results in Fig 5.
So much for road motors. At this point I started researching what sort of results racers and engine builders might be getting. A good a starting place as any here is Indy Car Driver Arie Luyendyk’s experience with oil extreme. Treadway Racing, owner of Arie Luyendyk’s car put in 2 ozes per quart of Oil Extreme on final qualifying morning for the 1999 Indy 500 and even though he had been down a mph for two weeks another shot at the pole resulted in the increase speed required to gain pole spot. He was leading the race until, at the half way point, a back marker took out the car in an accident. Just before this the commentator noted Arie was 4 mph faster than the next fastest car.
Oil Extreme is also finding it’s way into Winston Cup and other pro oval track racing series. It’s worth pointing out pro teams in such events only make decisions based on dyno tests. Winston Cup/Busch driver ‘front row’ Joe Nemechek, after dynoing Oil Extreme, reportedly never starts a race now without it in the sump. He is far from the only one using Oil Extreme.
DG Motorsports in
So far all these racers fall into the high output category. The Dodge Neon series leaders all reported a power increase with Oil Extreme and it was used by the first three in the championship in 1999. I called Eddie Crutchfield who builds Dwarf car motors and he reported an average increase of 3.7 hp plus a substantial drop in wear over the season. Then there were the results seen by a couple of rotary builders. The numbers were very big for just an additive. Far more so than with a regular piston motor. I suspected that, due to the continual high speed of the rotor seals over the case surface that friction could be high. That meant cutting friction could have a substantial impact on the output of a rotary. Well it looked as if that theory was right because the reported increases from two sources were phenomenal to the point I am not going to quote them until I hear back from enough other rotary motor builders to back this up. If any rotary builders care to test Oil Extreme and let me have the results I will be happy to publish them.
After all the research put into it there seems little doubt on my part that Oil Extreme works. The results of all the tests at hand lend credence to the fact it works by virtue of reducing friction. Because well cared for motors polish mating surfaces within the motor friction on high mileage units can be expected to be less so it came as no surprise that Oil Extreme showed less of an increase on well serviced high mileage motors. Where friction was a factor i.e. newer or even new units and rotary motors the power increase was higher. As a high-pressure lubricant Oil Extreme seems to deliver well as is apparent from the substantial reductions in valve train parts failure. In terms of power gained per $ spent this additive delivered better than almost any modification that can be done to a motor other than maybe adding a nitrous kit. That makes it a bargain when the cost per hp is considered. However power aside its use can be justified from the point of view of reduced wear alone. One point I should make here before wrapping this up is that it experience to date shows that it is important to run the motor long enough for the Oil Extreme to react with the metal surfaces within the motor. There is a short time after it’s introduction into the sump where it will actually show a small reduction in power. I add this last piece of info for drag racers who may want to test to establish for themselves the worth of Oil Extreme.
5 Star Award Or Not?
Before we awarded the TK7 fuel additive a 5 star award a lot of soul searching was done. The clincher for the TK7 additive was the tests done by Caterpillar on their test diesel engine. This test more than supported our own very extensive tests. In the case of oil extreme we had no source as reputable as Caterpillar. Apart from our own tests (which, by the time this write up was near completed, actually amounted to more than you have read about) a considerable number of positive tests had been reviewed. Tests that I felt were from reliable sources. It was the shear volume of these plus MotorTec results that finally tipped the scales in favor of giving a 5 star award to Oil Extreme oil additive.
Amassing all these positive results convinced me that Oil Extreme worked. Indeed at the end of the day it looked to be one of those rare deals like K&N, i.e. a product that really did deliver.
1) Our tests and everything else that MotorTec could find indicated that Oil Extreme really is ‘Pour In Power’.
2) Oil Extreme’s formulation is said to promote the filling of surface asperities in the manner shown here.
3) MotorTec’s test motor was nominally a 425 hp unit designed more for dyno repeatability than out right power.
This 331 inch small block Ford motor built by Madcap
5) The manly pistons used in our test motor weighed in at 497 grams with pin. That is light for a 4.03-inch (102.36 mm) piston. This piston is made in the proven M75 alloy developed by TRW many years ago.
6) The test motor used Total Seal rings that reduce blow by to a minimum and contribute measurably towards output. Consistant ring seal is important for a dyno test motor that must have repeatability.
7) These two items are worth hp when it comes to bore preparation. Whatever motor you are working on you can expect about a hp per cylinder.
8) Making sure our baseline was as accurate as possible meant paying a great deal of attention to the test procedure. The techniques used gave very good repeatability.
9) Valvoline mineral oil was used to break in the motor because it’s good stuff and cheap. The oil used while testing Oil Extreme was Mobil 1 because it is an accepted industry standard as far as quality and function are concerned.
10) Here’s George French right after we completed our tests with an ‘I told you so’ look written all over his face.
11) Fig 1: Here are the results of our tests. As can be seen the Oil Extreme clearly increased the output. The average hp was up by 8.5 while average torque climbed by 9.1 lbs.-ft. These results were better than expected!
Fig 2. Here are the results from K&N’s Dynojet
chassis dyno using a
13) Gil Minks 1994 Chevy 4x4 was also a high mileage well maintained test machine with expected low friction. It showed a small but positive increase.
14) This modified Audi produced a consistent increase through out the rpm range. Peak power was up by 4.3 hp with the average increase of about 3 hp.
15) This ford Aspire was one of the newer vehicles that test results were available for. With only 22,000 miles on it the internal friction may not have reached its lowest long-term level. Adding Oil Extreme produced a significantly larger increase than was seen on all the high mileage vehicles.
16) Arie Luyendyk attributed the move from second spot on the grid to pole in the 1999 Indy 500 to the increased power seen from the use of Oil Extreme. When just a couple of thousandths of a second count it only takes a small change in output to make the difference.
How Much Does it Cost.
Oil Extreme Power/Cost/Installation Comparison.
This chart shows that in terms of what you spend for what you get Oil Extreme, although more expensive than most other additives, produces, (because it works) an extremely good value for money return. On our SB Chevy dyno test the power and torque bought are better than even Nitrous Oxide injection which is normally considered the cheapest form of HP that can be bought. Even if the worst Oil Extreme results are used and we assume only 2.2 hp increase the cost works out at 8.8 hp per $100 spent this still makes it cheaper than ignition or cylinder head mods. As for the ease of applying nothing comes close.