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1996 Volvo 855GLT, 1993 MB 190e 2.3 8v, 1998 Subaru Outback SUS, 1991 BMW 525, 1998 MB C230
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i use 10-40 or 10-30 depends on whats in the garage...
 

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1985 500SEC
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1,155 Posts
Why Synthetic? I just use Castrol GTX 10w-30. I thought putting synthetic in an older car ruined the engine.
oh boy, ..i hope synthetic doesn't ruin old engines...:eek:

What my mechanic explain to me is, It is always best to use synthetic oil, but is not really recommended on old engines because synthetic oil is thinner than normal oils, and can leak thru old gaskets and cause minor oil leaks.

He went on to say if i dont notice any leaks, then there is absolutly no problem for using synthetic, he actually recommended it.

Also, the pentosyn synthetic 10W-40 was recommended to me by 3 certified mercedes shops, i called them up and asked them what was the best oil to use in a '90 190E and they all recommended Synthetic either 10W-40 or 10W-30
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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48,625 Posts
W126 thread 20w50... friction at start up worries me paste:
mtbguy
BenzWorld Junior Member

mtbguy's Avatar

Date registered: Oct 2008
Vehicle: 87 911, 97 Toyota, 77 240d (sold), 560 SEL
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 38

If you're in Florida I'd use the Brad Penn 20/50 semisynthetic oil. (Or if you cant get that at least the "synthetic" Rotella in $15 gallon jugs at Walmart). The "synthetic" Rotella is actually not a true synthetic its really a highly refined dino oil , but I guess no one has sued them yet on the marketing misnomer. Even better would be one of the pricier boutique oils like 20/50 Amsoil if you want to be really good to the engine. It rarely gets below freezing in Florida, and almost all of these cars now have at least 100-150,000 miles which by default generally requires going up in viscosity. Also most 20/50 oils leave a pretty good film on everything unless you let the car sit for two weeks without starting it. I have an older 911 Carrera and have read every oil thread I could find on the various Pelican/rennslist and other oil forums. I've probably spent 20 hours researching oils. Look up the name Charles Navarro at a company LN Engineering if you want more info. There are alot of documented cam failures of cars with brand new engine rebuilds (flat tappet engines) in very short distances with the "modern" SM oil formulations. The previous SL formulations were much better.

Many of the new oils lack the proper ZDDP additives which are crucial to lubrication (ESPECIALLY) in the older engines like those of the W126 series. The US government decided a few years ago to mandate longer lifespans of catalytic converters from 84 months/80,000 miles to 100,000 miles and the way of accomplishing this for automakers and oil manufacturing companies was to modify the oil formulations. Any oil that has a star on the label today and says "energy conserving" means it has less ZDDP than older formulations. Avoid these oils. They may save you 0.5 mpg but shorten the lifespan of your engine.

Most 20/50 formulas (dino/synthetic or "racing") are exempt from the lower ZDDP requirements, as are diesel oils. So if it were my car I would use one of these. The newest Mobil 1 SM formulation has only half the ZDDP of earlier SL formulations. I have emailed their engineering department and received very evasive answers and reasons for some of the changes. Supposedly Mobil one is responding to complaints of low ZDDP in their oil and I read recently that one of their oils (I think it is the 15/50 Extended Performance) was going to be, or just had been reformulated. Don't go out and buy that one just yet based on hearsay though. Many of the endurance racing teams have quit using Mobil One in the last few years due to problems.

I no longer use Mobil One in my four cars because of this, although I may use the extended performance one again if I am convinced they have upped the ZDDP to higher levels again - say 1200-1400ppm. I've been very happy with the Brad Penn product and liked it better than the Rotella in my SUV, which worked okay also. Most oils break down and lose much of their viscosity as they have been used a few thousand miles, (another reason to avoid a 0/30 wt type in Florida) and the Brad Penn seems to have no viscosity breakdown compared to many other oils I've used. I also have used Amsoil in the past and it was pricey but completely maintained its viscosity as it aged. Both the Brad Penn and Amsoil 20/50 racing oil rec'd great oil analysis results when sent off for testing after 5000 miles.

If you want the best answer, take a few ounces of oil from your next oil change and spend $20 and send it off to Blackstone labs for oil analysis. the will give you a detailed printout of the analysis and make recommendations as to oil change interval and if they think the oil is working for you. They will send you little vials to your mailbox and you just drop it in the mail to them.

Hope this helps!
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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48,625 Posts
Oil

Oil
What motor oil is best for my aircooled Porsche?
(or any high performance engine)
by Charles Navarro
Last Updated 11/11/08

The purpose of proper lubrication is to provide a physical barrier (oil film) that separates moving parts reducing wear and friction, but there are many surfaces within an engine that operate with metal-to-metal contact, again popular belief, that are very highly dependant on a strong and robust anti-wear film. The top piston ring operating in sliding contact with the bore operates in a mixed lubrication regime consisting of both boundary (metal-to-metal direct contact) as well as hydrodynamic (oil film between moving surfaces) lubrication. The majority of non-corrosive wear occurs where boundary lubrication exists, especially at cam lobes, tappets, cam follower/buckets, and rockers. Oils contain dispersants, friction modifiers, viscosity modifiers, anti-foam, anti-corrosion, antioxidant and anti-wear additives, all of which can affect the strength and durability of anti-wear films. The focus of this study is on the levels of zinc and phosphorus found in motor oils and their interactions with other additives, more exactly, the zinc (Zn) and phosphorus (P) that makes up the anti-wear additive ZDDP, zinc dialkyl dithiosphosphate, as the ZDDP level is causing concern for all older engines, including aircooled Porsches, with modern oils.

What general characteristics make motor oils specifically well suited to an aircooled or other high performance engine? Aside from recommendations issued by Porsche, what makes a good oil? These oils must be thermally stable, having a very high flashpoint, low noack volatility, and must “maintain proper lubrication and protect vital engine components under the extreme pressure and the high temperature conditions” found in aircooled Porsches. Porsche recommends and uses Mobil 1 0w40 as a factory fill in new vehicles and their 15w50 has been a popular choice used by many in the aftermarket in aircooled models. What was once considered a 'safe' oil is no longer as many of these lubricants have been reformulated for many reasons, not limited to allow for protection of emissions controls and for longer drain intervals.

Even prior to the introduction of the API's SM standard, there was concern that current API SL standards from back in 2003 may inhibit the backwards compatibility of motor oils, specifically referring to the limitation of ZDDP, which is "the most effective combined anti-wear and anti-oxidant additives currently available." SAE 2003-01-1957, Effect of Oil Drain Interval on Crankcase Lubricant Quality, Shell Global Solutions. The authors continue to state that oils are required to provide longer protection in severe operation but that an oils performance is "limited by environmental considerations." Furthermore, they state that it is hard to predict the effects of these reformulated oils in just a single oil change and may only be evident over an engine's lifetime. It is hard to know the full extent of the potential damage these new SM oils will have on our performance engines so chose your lubricants carefully.

Porsche’s recommendation in hand, our initial analysis from 2005 and 2006 and from virgin oil analyses going back to the 1990s, we found that then recent SH/SJ formulations of Mobil lubricants tested, including Mobil 1, have had higher Zn and P content than SL or current SM formulations. Even current "re-introduced" formulations are not the original formulations many shops and owners were used to. Aside from reduced Zn and P levels (now restored in certain products), many products with "adequate" Zn and P still use high levels of Ca detergents, well documented in various SAE publications as known for causing more wear than Ca/Mg or Ca/Mg/Na detergents, as previously used in oils like Mobil 1 15w50, back when it was API SH/SJ rated and prior to reformulation. This confirms the industry wide trend of the reduction of Zn and P from motor oils and switch to Ca-based detergents, with the eventual reduction to 0.06-0.08% or even worse, the elimination of these additives, which are essential to an aircooled Porsche engine's longevity.

Many Porsche repair shops have acknowledged that these newest SM and CJ-4 motor oils are not sufficient for protecting any Porsche engine. With longevity and the protection of vital engine components in mind, many shops are recommending non-approved motorcycle or racing oils, or the addition of oil supplements at every oil change, for their higher levels of protection.

Oil companies have been cutting back on the use of Zn and P as anti-wear additives and switching to alternative zinc-free (ZF) additives and ash-less dispersants in their new low SAPS oils since Zn, P, and sulfated ash have been found to be bad for catalytic converters. One such ZF dispersant/anti-wear additive is boron, which does not foul the catalysts in the particulate emissions filters or catalytic converters. For most owners, the reduction in longevity of a catalytic converter is a small price to pay considering the many thousands of dollars it costs to properly rebuild a Porsche engine. It is worth noting that most Porsches have lived the majority of their lives with high Zn and P oils as found in API SG-SJ oils as late as 2004, and we never hear of problems with their catalytic converters.

In addition to protecting emissions controls, there are many other design considerations in formulating engine lubricants, which include improving fuel economy and longer drain intervals. Many believe that the EPA has banned zinc and phosphorus in motor oils. This is not true. In response to modern engine design and longer emission control warranties which are required by the EPA, manufacturers have turned to reformulation of oils to do this, as well as to improve fuel economy by reducing fiction. High friction can result in areas with boundary lubrication or where high viscous friction forces and drag may occur with hydrodynamic lubrication in bearings. The use of friction modifiers, such as moly (there are many different species of Mo-based friction modifiers, help to reduce friction in metal-to-metal contact with the formation of tribofilms characterized with their glassy, slippery surfaces. Lower viscosity motor oils are key to increasing fuel economy by their reduction in drag where high viscous friction occurs in hydrodynamic lubrication. While lower viscosities improve fuel economy greatly, they also reduce the hydrodynamic film strength and high temperature high shear viscosity of the motor oil, factors both of which are key to protecting high performance engines, especially aircooled ones.

However, it is worth noting that these new API guidelines do not need apply to “racing,” “severe duty,” or any motor oils that do not carry an API “starburst” seal or clearly state for off-road-use only. Motor oils meeting “Energy Conserving I or II” standards should be avoided as well as those with an API SM or ILSAC GF-4 classifications. The European ACEA A3/B3 "mid-SAPS" classifications, which place a cap on P levels at 0.10-0.12% but allow for higher Zn levels, to be better in taking into consideration wear and engine longevity, setting much lower wear limits, while still limiting emissions and protecting emissions control devices. It is common to find API SJ rated oils, particularly those meeting Volkswagen's stringent 505.01 standard for PD TDI engines, to also meet ACEA A3/B3 requirements. The current ACEA A3/B3 classifications require higher high-temperature high-shear (HTHS) viscosities, stay in grade sheer stability, and tighter limits on evaporative loss (noack volatility), high temperature oxidation, and piston varnish. This makes oils meeting these ACEA standards that much better for your Porsche, especially since wear limits are much more stringent for valve train wear, 1/6th to 1/4th the wear allowed in the sequences for API's newest SM or CJ-4 standards. Of particular interest is the upcoming ACEA E9 standard to supersede the API CJ-4 standard in Europe, creating a classification for low ash oils that are low detergent and are very effective in controlling wear in legacy engines.

Failure to use the right oil, use proper filtration, or observe proper changing intervals can affect the performance of even the best motor oil. This also includes changing the oil too often (needlessly bad for the environment and your wallet) or not often enough. Against conventional wisdom, engine wear decreases as oil ages to a certain extent, which means that changing your oil more frequently actually causes engine wear; these findings were substantiated by studies conducted by the auto manufacturers and petroleum companies, leading to drain intervals increased from 3,000mi/3 months to 5,000-7,500mi/6 months in most domestic vehicles, using mostly non-synthetic oils. Based off of extremely long drain intervals recommended by most European manufacturers, some in excess of two years and 20,000 mi, some users have found it best to reduce those intervals by half or even a quarter. Porsche for the 2008MY has reduced their extended drain intervals significantly to one year/12,000 mi, which is actually less miles than Porsche recommended back in the 1990s with 964 and 993 based aircooled 911s. Based on UOAs provided to us by our customers, new Porsche owners should consider reducing their drain intervals further to no more than 9,000 mi or one year and some shops recommend changes every 5,000-6,000 mi or six months.

Vehicles with track time or sustained high oil temperatures or RPMs should have their oil changed after every event (or every other event). This translates to a total of about 10 hours max, with vehicles with 12 qt or higher oil capacities- engines with smaller capacities must be changed more often. Vehicles subjected to very short drives or sustained operation in heavy traffic should indeed be serviced more often. Likewise, vehicles not driven often but driven hard a few times a year can probably go a year between oil changes, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use a good oil! Regular used oil analysis is the best way to determine ideal drain intervals for your driving habits - one good rule of thumb I have seen quoted is to change the oil with the TBN (total base number) is reduced by 50% of the original total (requiring you to also know your oil's virgin TBN). Another common recommendation is to change the oil once it's TAN (total acid number) equals the TBN. Other factors to consider are fuel dilution and shearing out of grade when determining your drain interval. With this knowledge in hand, using a quality motor oil with proper filtration and regular service is the best thing to do for your engine and to protect your investment.

Any information you may receive related to this web site is provided merely as friendly suggestions, not as expert opinion, testimony or advice. Neither LN Engineering nor Charles Navarro endorses or sponsors any information, products or methodologies you may find herein.
 

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1988 190e 2.3 8v 5spd- manual
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i was using castrol... but i had a oil change, and they told me to go with mobile1 10w-40, i went to mobileoil.com and they recommend 0w-40 for my 88 2.3 8v... see in strauss they recomended the high mileage but i only have 23000+ miles on it and recently i have been having a leak from the oil cap, i bought a new oil cap and it is still coming out... this is what it looks like



 

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1990 MB 190e, automatic, 6cyl.
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63 Posts
Blackstone labs

Fantastic suggestion regarding the oil analysis.
I requested 2 kits , one fo rthe jag and one for th ebaby Benz.
Thank you for these most informative posts...
a.
:thumbsup:

As for the oil my egine was burning a bit of oil so I switched to 20/50 weight, and it is much better.
I do try and avoid oil with detergent, but with the info from the previous post I will be even more diligent with my choice.
 

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1995 C220
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43 Posts
oh boy, ..i hope synthetic doesn't ruin old engines...:eek:

What my mechanic explain to me is, It is always best to use synthetic oil, but is not really recommended on old engines because synthetic oil is thinner than normal oils, and can leak thru old gaskets and cause minor oil leaks.

He went on to say if i dont notice any leaks, then there is absolutly no problem for using synthetic, he actually recommended it.

Also, the pentosyn synthetic 10W-40 was recommended to me by 3 certified mercedes shops, i called them up and asked them what was the best oil to use in a '90 190E and they all recommended Synthetic either 10W-40 or 10W-30
It can't be thinner if it's the same wt.
 

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99' CLK320, 2011 e350 Bluetec
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I use Amsoil 5W-40 in my 1992 2.3 with 125k miles. No oil leaks or consumption.
AMSOIL European Car Formula 5W-40 C-ESP Synthetic Motor Oil

Their Euro oils have different SAPS blends for different MBs. ( I have 3 MB now, and they use different SAPS models - affects the different emissions systems).
Visit oil manufacturer sites, like Amsoil or Mobil, and use their oil selector. Make sure what you use is APPROVED by MB t0 their 229.5 spec.

Hope that helps.
 

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1995 C220
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43 Posts
I use Amsoil 5W-40 in my 1992 2.3 with 125k miles. No oil leaks or consumption.
AMSOIL European Car Formula 5W-40 C-ESP Synthetic Motor Oil

Their Euro oils have different SAPS blends for different MBs. ( I have 3 MB now, and they use different SAPS models - affects the different emissions systems).
Visit oil manufacturer sites, like Amsoil or Mobil, and use their oil selector. Make sure what you use is APPROVED by MB t0 their 229.5 spec.

Hope that helps.
On it,thanks for that.
 

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'85 300D Turbo, '91 420SEL, '92 190E 2.6, '09 C350, '12 E63 Wagon
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On newer models I noticed a slight ticking at idle when the dealer switched from Mobil 1 0W-40 to a 5W-40 formulation, more specifically the W204. I also noticed slight ticking in the S212 and confirmed at the last service they use 5W-40 at the dealerships now. The W204 was serviced at Rusnak and the S212 was serviced at Fletcher Jones Newport Beach. Haven't driven either much but I moved the W204 back to 0W-40 for all ambient temperature use. I noticed that 0W-30 is now also listed as an available viscosity, but I'm not willing to switch to -30 weight. It didn't used to be there....
 

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Outstanding Contributor
'85 300D Turbo, '91 420SEL, '92 190E 2.6, '09 C350, '12 E63 Wagon
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3,543 Posts
i was using castrol... but i had a oil change, and they told me to go with mobile1 10w-40, i went to mobileoil.com and they recommend 0w-40 for my 88 2.3 8v... see in strauss they recomended the high mileage but i only have 23000+ miles on it and recently i have been having a leak from the oil cap, i bought a new oil cap and it is still coming out... this is what it looks like








Is that an original Mercedes part? Just curious....
 
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