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Blackstone oil analysis on your race engine. What numbers?

Because of a recent failure and suspicions I had a Blackstone oil analysis done several times on the 3.3L (3.0L core) race engine this year.

Because most of their numbers are for street engines, has anyone done these tests? Can you share your Lead/Tin/Copper numbers (ie bearing wear)? (With mileage or hours?).

I'll share mine later but don't want to influence results or get opinions at this point. Thanks!

Chris
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:06 PM
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Really no one has done this?
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:41 AM
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I'll get on this shortly.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:54 AM
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Blackstone oil analysis

Here is mine. Background: '87 3.2, track use "only" (means ~50% of mileage is on track, remaining 50% is driving to/from track). This past winter I resealed the top end and replaced the cams. After 100 miles with breakin oil and another 100 with B-P 20w50 I changed again (had to pull engine again). That is the oil that is in the most recent report below.

I, too, have unexpectedly (at least to me) high copper numbers this time. I am also surprised at the unusually low (relative to past analyses) numbers for Molybdenum, Boron, Phosphorus, and Zinc. I used Mobil 1 prior to 2009, B-P 20w50 since then, which could explain some of the changes seen in the results from 2009 on, but not the most recent changes.

I am no expert and have no idea what, if anything, this all means.

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Old 10-12-2010, 01:38 PM
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Alot of people say that the intermediate shaft bearings always show copper. So that may be what you're seeing- the shaft bearings beginning to shed some copper? Or else it's your rocker arm bushings settling in. Did you rebush those?

Lastly, what's up with the boron disappearance?
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:49 PM
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Okay well here is mine. Engine is a 3.0L base (3.3 now) run 100% W2W racing. I'm going to open it up this winter and see what condition the bearings are in. I'll report back.




Lead tin, and copper were definitely up from the first sample... ...but interestingly lead and tin are higher than yours, but copper is lower... Huh...

Wondering what would happen with those numbers if I saw a straight sample of unused oil. This stuff I'm running is a non-public version from Mobil made for racecars. Can't buy it.

I changed the oil and will take a sample of the numbers after a weekend run.
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Last edited by cstreit; 10-12-2010 at 02:13 PM..
Old 10-12-2010, 02:08 PM
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Kevin -- yes, the rockers were rebushed. I like that explanation! I am puzzled by the Boron (and Moly and Zinc) as well. I assume these come from the oil, not the engine. So, using the same oil, where did these elements go?

Chris -- your oil is clearly different stuff. Your numbers for Moly (>1000) vs mine (<100, and 3 this time) are dramatically different, and your Calcium levels are similar to what I had when I used Mobil 1 (V-twin).
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:13 AM
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Have you guys ever thought of sending an oil sample to another lab just to validate the Blackstone results?

I work at a plant where we have a lube program for critical equipment such as compressors and turbines. Recently we were notified that several pieces of equipment had high water in the oil. We initially believed and reacted to the findings, but then decided to get a second opinion. The results from the other company were very different, no water. We notified the first company of the erroneous results. This was over a 2 month period that we were getting erroneous results and the company had no clue.

Point being, it might be worth getting a second opinion before putting a lot of time into an engine tear-down. I have also read somewhere a few people had issues with Blackstone's findings. I don't know the details and I am not saying that Blackstone is "bad". I am saying it's probably worth validating the results through another company.
Old 10-13-2010, 08:12 AM
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Good suggestion on crosschecking with another lab. I will do that next month when I change the oil again. Doing a (belated) search, it appears Staveley has a good reputation. Other recommendations?
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:18 PM
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Interesting to see the B-P sample has less zinc and phosphorus than M1.

Chris,

Do you use leaded fuel in your car? That could explain the lead in the oil. Your numbers look really good otherwise. These numbers really go through the roof if something is failing.

-Andy
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:16 PM
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Andy,

Are you familiar with these, how did you come to that conclusion? (not challenging you, just curious). I use unleaded.

The oil I'm using is a special formulation from M1, not the kind you get at the store. It was graciously donated to me by Mobil who released some of it for amateur racers. It has very high ZDDP levels for these cars.

What concerned me was that the first oil sample that I took which had one weekend on it showed a certain level of those metals, then the next weekend showed higher levels with the same usage. Mind you I did not change the oil so I guess the levels would go up naturally. I ran one more weekend after that on a fresh oil change so i guess we'll see where that comes in.

I'm going to open the case this winter and see where the bearings are. This should give me a comfort feeling with the numbers and what they may/may not mean.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:53 AM
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I've looked at alot of reports for cars and aircraft engines. I've seen examples of aircraft engines that are starting to destruct and they show levels in the 100 plus PPM. The best use of the oil analysis is to get a history on your engine by doing continuous samples at regular intervals. That way you can spot trends. That being said, it's never a bad idea to take your race engine apart to inspect for damage before something breaks.

-Andy
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:12 PM
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The M1 vs BP numbers I was refering to are in Mikes oil analysis.

-Andy
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:13 PM
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I'm getting lead levels of 230 PPM. Two tests at 20 hour intervals and frresh oil both samples. Trouble?
Old 10-17-2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTL View Post
Lastly, what's up with the boron disappearance?
My boron numbers with Brad Penn are also low. On my virgin BP sample, I got a reading of 3ppm for boron.
I think his decreasing B numbers are from his switch from Mobil to breakin oil (brand not specified) to BP.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtc View Post
I think his decreasing B numbers are from his switch from Mobil to breakin oil (brand not specified) to BP.
Actually my initial two samples with BP had Boron of 58 and 35, respectively. The M1 Boron was in the 150 range. I did not have an analysis done of the BP 30w breakin oil I used, and the latest sample was presumably the same BP 20w50 racing oil that produced higher Boron readings earlier.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:10 AM
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Any update here Chris?
Old 01-29-2013, 01:18 PM
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Not really. I ended up just refreshing the engine just to be safe. There was no measurable wear found so I had to conclude that it was just the oil I was using at the time.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:53 PM
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I have no knowledge about this from the automobile industry. But, I know we use what is called SOAP (Spectrometric Oil Analysis Program) in aviation.

I guess this is what you guys are taking about. For this to be of any real use, I believe you have got to include it in a regular maintenance schedule, after certain hours of runtime - continuesly.

Also in the bearings etc. on turbine engines are certain traceable materials. This enables you to pinpoint exactly where the wear is at.

If we could somehow ( maybe the race teams use it in endurance racing, would make sense) get that knowledge about our engines. Then this would really start to make sense

Just my 2C
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:19 PM
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