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E85 eating main bearings???

Discussion in 'The Distillery' started by bambinov8, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

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    I've been told that these bearings didn't look too bad. The coating rubs off with use and the shooting stars are a result of small particles getting caught in the "soft" layer a performace bearing has for that purpose. IE it's designed to catch those particles and embed them in the soft layer, the result is the shooting stars.

    FWIW when I tore the stock motor down the bearings looked new. You can see the stock main bearings used in that build look very good too. Some rub marks but overall real good especially with the hp and shock loads it was subject to.

    Anyhow those are the only motors I've done csi on. No hot spots on any bearings or journals. I've had the cam caps off a few times too during cam swaps. They look almost new and I haven't had a hot spot on any of the cams that came out.

    Edit: That motor had mineral oil used for break in. Then it was RP 5w-20, RP 5w30, and I think M1 0w-30 and M1 5w30 were thrown in too.

    Edit #2: Cam journals on stock head. IIRC this was with about 20k on them. The cam lobes just had wear marks, same as the followers in this pic. No measurable wear anywhere.

    IMG_0707.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  2. 2001Snake

    2001Snake It will be fast one day Established Member

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    So wait! You used 10w 30 in the stock motor?

    I would think that would be more of your problem tab the e85. How many miles did you put on the car with e85?
     
  3. bambinov8

    bambinov8 600WHP LOL Established Member

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    As unleashbeast mentioned before that shouldn't have mattered..ya I used 10w30 on the stock motor for 68k miles, never an issue ..put 11k miles on e85
     
  4. Jimmysidecarr

    Jimmysidecarr Semi user friendly Established Member

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    The internal bearing clearances on a Terminator engine(03/04) are the same as a 99 or 2001 Cobra engine, at least they were when I checked in 04.

    The 99 and 2001 Cobras were 5W-30 engines. Therefore running a 5W-30 or 10W-30 in an 03/04 will present absolutely ZERO viscosity problems or issues.

    A 5W-30 and a 10W-30 and a straight 30 are both functionally 30 weight oils at operating temps. The difference is how much each one thickens as it cools.
     
  5. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

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    To the OP: I was a little short in my answer to you. The reason 10w-30 is frowned upon in a mod motor has to do with the lubrication design and especially the oil pump.

    As you know the oil pump is front mounted. It is designed to control oil pressure during high viscosity situations (read cold motor) with a relief valve. Without the relief valve the powdered metal gears in the pump would fail causing catastophic engine failure.

    Using an oil with a higher viscosity winter weight will result in more pressure on the relief valve during cold motor operation. This will result in less flow of oil until the oil is sufficently warmed when compared to a 5w-* viscosity.

    All of this results in less oil flow. Less oil flow equals less lubrication. The rear mains and connecting rods will see the worst of it and over time the lack of cold motor lubrication will take it's toll. Another area that this will affect is the top end. Considering the history of your motor it would be prudent to inspect the valvetrain.

    Here is a link to Fords description of lubrication on the 3v. All mod motors use the same system. The 3v uses a weaker spring in the oil pump relief to keep pressure in operating limits for the cam phasers.

    Ford Service Manuals - DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION

    I don't want to get into an oil argument, I've had enough of those to last my entire lifetime. I do want the OP to have enough information about how the oil system works in a Ford modular motor. I stumbled upon this thread when checking the E85 forum. My visits to this site are usually to check out the market and E85 sections.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  6. MalcolmV8

    MalcolmV8 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    I read over the link you posted and it doesn't say anything about 5w-30 or 10w-30. Only how the oil flow goes through the engine etc.
    When you say 10w-30 is frowned upon what temps are you talking? below 0F? If you're talking average weather driving of 40F and higher I don't think it matters from all the service and owners manuals I've ever seen.
     
  7. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

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    The fluid specs are listed in a different section. I linked the oil flow in case my explaination of how the oil pump reacts to thick oil was difficult to understand.
     
  8. UnleashedBeast

    UnleashedBeast Engine Lubrication Guru Established Member

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    True story!

    and Jimmy, we both know how base stock selection effects the cold thickening of engine lubricants. You just can't compete with true synthetics in this aspect. They thicken less.

    You know, I've played a lot of Spades "cards" in my day. You, like everyone else throws out diamonds, I don't have any, but I do have the deuce of spades.

    You've been trumped!

    Why 10W-30 is OK

    My link delivers. Enjoy! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  9. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

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    I'm just trying to show the op why his bearing spun. No games, no internet pissing contest.

    OP: The link I provided is a fairly simple explanation of how the modular motor lubricates. Good luck with your car, I hope you never have to go through those problems again.
     
  10. Jimmysidecarr

    Jimmysidecarr Semi user friendly Established Member

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    The OP has a Terminator Cobra, not a SOHC 3 valve modular.

    Anyone with a Terminator in one of the states or locations listed in this link should use a 5W-30 instead of a 10W-30 oil. Coldest Places in United States - Current Results

    In most of the lower 48 however 10W-30 and 5W-30 can be used interchangeably. Florida, Texas and Southern California are obvious examples of locations where 5W-30 and 10W-30 can be interchanged without concern, you could technically even use straight 30 weights in most regions of those states. Though availability of high quality high performance straight 30 weight oils is quite limited.:-D

    Though not found in very many local stores Royal Purple SAE 30 (part #01030, quart bottle)... still has Synerlec and an older API license which allows more ZDDP at a very reasonable price. However straight 30 thickens the most when cold so it would not be appropriate the colder states or even the medium states. Royal Purple and several other top performing synthetics have cold flow characteristics far beyond what most oils have.

    With that said, I use a 5W-30 in Spring, Texas.
     
  11. MalcolmV8

    MalcolmV8 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Jimmy, what is the temp you are recommending people switch from 10w-30 to a 5w-30? I ask because I live in the awesome (not really) kansas city MO and even though we see cold weather and snow I generally don't take my car out much when it's dipping in to the 30s because it's just pointless. Generally 40s and up I'll drive it.
    What's your temp cut off point?

    Also what's the downside to just running 5w-30 all the time? I mean it's only going to thicken to 5w when it's cold right? So if you're in texas and it's 90F out but the car hasn't been driven for a couple days it's still a cold start for an engine right? or is it not?

    That said ever since my engine rebuild I've run 10w-30 and in the prior winter I actually switched to 5w-30 just for the hell of it. Mobil 1 here.

    Thanks
    Malcolm
     
  12. UnleashedBeast

    UnleashedBeast Engine Lubrication Guru Established Member

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    Malcolm,

    Until winter temps drop below 0*F, and you are constantly cold starting the car in these extreme temperatures, a true synthetic 10W-30 will be no problem. I prefer above 32*F myself.

    The largest misconception about engine lubricants is SAE grade numbers used to classify lubricants. If you look at two lubricants, same or different brand, you will ALWAYS assume that 5W-30 is thinner than 10W-30. At least, those who don't know any different do. At operating temperatures, they are both the same weight, or at least very close depending on brand.

    The difference is how much they thicken when the fluid cools. Again, the first number denotes "cold" or "winter" weight, hence the "W". However, this number is the most misleading. Looking at the number alone, you would assume that the oil is thinner when it cools because obviously 5 (or 10) is less than 30, when in fact, it's the opposite.

    Then it comes to the overall formulation. Different base stocks will take a different approach to a final formulation. Since true synthetics naturally thicken less than petroleum base stocks, the formulation method is very different.

    Let's see how they vary.

    True synthetic base stocks can use a natural 30 grade base lubricant as the starting point, and normally...no viscosity improving polymers are added (especially in 10W-30 lubricants). The fluid naturally thicken less and doesn't require the use of VII (viscosity improving polymers) to prevent the fluid from thinning at operating temperatures less than the 30 grade, since a 30 grade was used as the base stock.

    Petroleum base lubricants have to take a different approach. Since they don't have as good of natural cold flow performance, VIIs are required. The formulators will select a lighter base stock for better cold flow performance. To prevent the fluid from thinning past the 30 grade, the VIIs are used to prevent thinning. These polymers expand when heated, and increase viscosity at higher temperatures. This allows a lighter base stock to be used, but still keep the desired 30 grade during normal operation.

    Now, what's the downfall of petroleum's method? SHEARING!!!

    VII's wear down fast. The base stock, once all VIIs are used up, will naturally return to the lubricants 20 grade base stock performance. It no longer has the expanding polymers to maintain a 30 grade lubricant.

    This is why I love true synthetic 10W-30. It has very good cold flow performance for southern winters, uses zero VII, and will not shear.

    Final thoughts. Do not classify Mobil 1 syn as a true synthetic. Exxon Mobil uses a blend of highly refined petroleum and true synthetic. The mixture percentages I do not know precisely, but you are not buying 100% true synthetic lubricant like Exxon Mobil wants you to believe. They use a refined petroleum base stock called VISOM.

    In all fairness to Mobil 1, all the other big boys do it too. Pennzoil, Castrol, Motorcraft, etc...
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  13. MalcolmV8

    MalcolmV8 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Thank you for that detailed explanation. I was right on track with the temps :)

    As for mobil 1, I know it's not a true 100% synthetic as I've read it has a petroleum base despite the bottle saying "full synthetic". It is however convenient to get at local walmarts and auto parts stores and I have plenty of vehicles, bikes and others to fill so it just sorta fits. I've also yet to ever find any info that says I will suffer any additional engine wear or issues from running it. I've personally run many engines over the years very hard on it and never found signs of abnormal wear on tear down.

    My Cobra motor got torn down at 26k which I know is very low miles but it's a toy car and that's 26k miles of running the piss out of it and the bearings and journals looked like brand new on tear down.

    Lots of great info in this thread. Appreciate all the time and effort the knowledgeable guys are putting into it.
     
  14. UnleashedBeast

    UnleashedBeast Engine Lubrication Guru Established Member

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    Malcolm,

    Do yourself a favor. When buying Mobil 1, only use their 5W-30 or 10W-30 Extended Performance formulation. As of 2010, it was still 100% true synthetic. That may have changed, but I don't think the mighty VISOM would be worthy or reliable for 15,000 mile warranties from the Mobil 1 camp. The good news is, EP is only 5 bucks more in the 5 quart jug.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  15. MalcolmV8

    MalcolmV8 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Thanks, good to know. I never go 15k miles. 3 to 5k miles in the Cobra and 5k miles in the daily drivers. Blackstone lab reports showed I could go longer than 5k in most my vehicles (I think TBN was around 7 still) but cheap insurance.
    I did have one AWD 302 Ranger I built that I ran the snot out of for approx 160k miles and from about 60k miles on it would all but deplete the oil by 5k miles. Blackstone reports would say change immediately at 5k miles lol.
     
  16. UnleashedBeast

    UnleashedBeast Engine Lubrication Guru Established Member

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    It's not just about TBN and the increased change interval ability.

    It's more about the superior base stock having a lower frictional coefficient for improved efficiency and lower NOACK Volatility for decreased oil accumulation in oil catch cans, supercharger inlets, intercooler, intake manifolds, and intake valves.

    Was the PCV system deleted on this custom vehicle build?
     
  17. turbov6joe

    turbov6joe Defensor Fortis Established Member

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    Subn
     
  18. 03cobrarocks

    03cobrarocks New Member Established Member

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    apperinatly I was understimating how important oil choice was....

    Subn becuase going e85 soon
     
  19. MalcolmV8

    MalcolmV8 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    I don't believe so but it's been a four or fives years since it's been gone. It may not have been functioning correctly.
     
  20. UnleashedBeast

    UnleashedBeast Engine Lubrication Guru Established Member

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    Were the valve covers plumbed back into the intake manifold, or did you just have small air filters capping them off?
     

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