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  #1  
Old 03-25-2002, 09:05 PM
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Oil Analysis Results - Please comment!

Hey there. Just did my first oil analysis, wondered what any of the experts on here thought.
'99 E300 Turbodiesel
Oil is Amsoil Series 3000 HDD 5w-30
5200 miles on the oil
35,000 miles on the diesel engine - still breaking in
sampled through the dipstick
analyzed at Oil Analyzers, Inc..

Soot <1.0
OXD <1.0
NOX 7.1
TBN 9.2
h20 <.05
Fuel <1.0
viscosity @100C 10.9

Fe 42
Cr 2
pb 1
cu 2
Sn 1
Al 14
ni 1
ag 0

Mn 1
Si 6
B 32
Na 2
MG 38
CA 4371
Ba 0
P 1251
Zn 1323
Mo 18
Ti 0
V 0
Cd 0

ANy comments would be appreciated! The guy at oil analyzers said he believes that the wear metals - iron and aluminum and chromium are due to the engine still breaking in at 35k.

Note- this is also the first installation of the series 3000 oil. The previous owner had used the OEM oil, then castrol syntec, then quaker state for some reason, then syntec again. In any case, there may be some cleaning going on with the new installation of the Amsoil.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2002, 09:53 PM
Jackd
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Here's the opinion of a former motor oil man.
What you got is a fairly simple basic lab analysis which is missing several important points.
Soot,Oxidation, NOX, TBN. H2O, Fuel content, Visc. are all indicative of a fairly healty oil. All results are very acceptable.
I see no result for coolant content,, total acid number (TAN), nothing on Ph, foam stability, flash/pour point. These are normally tests/result made on serious oil analysis.
At 35,000k, your engine is not what is considered in the feild as a ''still beaking-in', engine. The result show fairly high content of Fe, Ca, Zn,P (I assume Pb for lead) for such a new oil
Fe (iron) come from cylinder walls, camshaft, lifters
P (or Pb) and Zinc normally come from the bottom end of the engine (mostly crankshaft bearings) and show a seriously high content for such a new oil.
Don't think that Amsoil has cleansed the enside of the engine and that the use of other oil has contaminated the engine. At 35,000 with regular oil change, this engine is still as clean as new.
The results can also be biased by how the oil sample was taken. If you took it through the dip stick hole after the engine as cooled down a bit, all residues have drained/deposited at the bottom of the pan. An oil sample is normally taken from a hot engine which has been stopped for less than 10 minutes.
You may believe at Amsoil as being a miracle oil that will do wonder (I don't) but I respect your opinion.
As I sometime say, I'd rather have my engine bath in frech mineral oil than in a 10,000mi oil synthetic (Amsoil or any other) oil.
Sorry for the long post
JackD
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2002, 10:02 PM
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thanks

Jack thanks for your reply. I think part of the problem was my sample method. It had been sitting for maybe 15mins cooling down, and I think i stuck the tube(thru the dipstick) all the way to the bottom of the oil pan and drew it up from there (i cut too long of a tube, sorry, first time!)

Also, just wanted to mention my car is a DIESEL. I've heard that these engines regularly take this long for everything to seat etc.

No amsoil is not a miracle oil, but it is one of the best synthetics out there. It has a lot of detergents in it. The car was previously run on OEM oil, syntec, then quaker state(dino). It was run for an estimated 12-15k on original oil(per mercedes' FSS service intervals, despite being a diesel) (i wasn't the owner at this point), so I believe it to have possibly been pretty gunked up inside. Diesels are hard on oil..

Any thoughts?
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2002, 10:34 PM
Jackd
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With oil changes done at Mercedes recommended interval and with only 35,00k, your engine is not gunked-up inside.
If you scraped the bottom of the oil while taking the oil sample, it is quite possible you picked-up more debris than you should have.
Diesel engine are not significantly harder on oil than a gas engine.
Diesel engine will generally produce more soot and have more fuel contamination, but remember, diesel engine do not have high rotational speed to deal with, (RPM) which tend to foam and heat engine oil in a gas engine. In addition, diesel engine generally contain more oil than a gas engine (not sure if it is the case with Benz's.)
Whatever oil you use, I would suggest to discard it as per Merc. prescribed interval AT THE LATEST. If those merc. engineers prescribed oil change say at 12,000mi, be assured they have reasons for it, whatever oil you use.
JackD
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2002, 10:45 PM
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thanks. I am trying to be careful, thats why as you will note i changed my oil at 5,000 miles instead of the 10-15k miles interval mercedes recommends. Maybe i'm paranoid. This time i'm going to sample at 5k again and leave the oil in, and check the results again at 10k if the 5k results are acceptable. I bet they will have cleaned up since this test, as I do think that I probably could have taken a better sample.

I wonder if the use of biodiesel has thrown off any results also - should be noted that a few tanks of World Energy's biodiesel mixed at a 20% blend with regular petro diesel, were run in the car during the life of that oil. Burn the bean baby!
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2002, 11:21 PM
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Just a comment on your method of sampling. Going through the dipstick tube will most likely contaminate the sample. Warm up the engine and then pull the drain plug as soon after shutting off the engine as possible. Take the sample from the main stream of oil. You must keep in mind that these samples are talking ppm so any minute contaminant will affect the outcome.
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2002, 12:53 PM
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Your results compared to what? A baseline is needed to know if your readings are normal or not. The baseline would have to come from the same type of engine run under controlled tests with monitoring to establish the relevant data needed to do further analysis. For example, Mack truck diesel engines in the 70's and early 80's would show large amounts of material from the bearings that in other diesel engines would indicate a failure was about to happen, if not already. However, these readings were normal for Mack engines. Except in the case of a really high reading that is so far out of the norm that a problem has to exist that should be repaired or something is found where it should never be (like coolant in the oil) a baseline is needed to do a valid comparison. As Jackd wrote, some key things were not tested. Also, the way the test sample was taken is at issue and will invalidate test results.

Here in San Antonio is located Southwest Research Institute that tests oils and filters for many manufacturers, including M-B (one of the premier testing facilities in the world, if not the best). I've used the info from Southwest to help with diagnosing problems in the past because there was a baseline database to use as a comparison point (as well as having some fluids tested by them). Recently, I was looking for info on M-B oil filters and came across a scientific paper presented or published by Southwest scientists (I don't recall which) about testing done on the oil filter for a late 1990's M-B. I did not pursue what this info was because it did not apply to what I was looking for - I suggest you may want to look for this info since it may help you with the knowledge you seek.

I completely disagree with Jackd about diesel engines not being as hard on oil as gas engines. Diesels have about a 20 to 1 compression ratio versus about 9 to 1 for gas engines causing a lot of force on the pistons, piston pins, rods, crank, engine block, etc. (listen to the sound of any diesel engine when its cold compared to a gas engine, all that noise from a diesel is about the force created from the combustion from the high compression ratio - anyone with knowledge will tell you that a gas engine with say a 12 to 1 compression ratio will not last as long as one with a 9 to 1 because of the strain the engine is under). This is why the diesel engine's components are built much stronger than a comparable gas engine (displacement, output, etc.) and the bearing surfaces are significantly larger (30% to 50%) when compared to gas engines.

The bearing clearances and piston clearances on M-B diesel engines are also much tighter than many Detroit gas engines - in fact the worn out spec for M-B diesel engines are close to the max spec allowed for many new Detroit gas engines. Tight tolerances means M-B diesel engines take longer to fully wear in and polish bearing surfaces such that particulates found in the oil reach a plateau - your engine should have reached this point or will so soon (depending on how the engine was broken in and driven since).

Also, diesels must use better oils than gas engines. Using an oil only rated for gas engines (using a very good oil filter to filter out damaging particles) will wear out a diesel faster than if an oil rated for diesels is used (all other things being equal). On the other hand, using a diesel rated oil in a gas engine (esp. the better dino diesel oils like Chevron Delo, Mobile Delvac, or synthetics with diesel rating like Mobile 1, Amsoil, Red Line, etc.) will lengthen the life span of a gas engine (all other things being equal).

My $0.02 worth!
Tom
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2002, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for your .02 tom! Very helpful. If you'll read the first line of the thread, i've noted that its my very first oil analysis. I'm not trying to diagnose etc, this is the establishment of my baseline. People were just speculating on the high content of certain wear metals. As far as the testing method goes, i've gotten plenty of instructions now, i'm sure my next test will be the UTMOST representation of the homogenous full temp oil in my engine :-)

As far as jackd's replies on oil - I also heartily disagree. Diesels are undoubtedly harder on oil for the reasons of soot, high compression, etc. As far as I know, thats why diesels are usually recommended to use a stronger CH-4 oil instead of the standard that gassers use.
Also - on jackd's comments on rpm range - thats nonsense. My redline is 5500 rpm, and my diesel makes its most hp around 4000. On average it probably revs twice as much as my gas engined tahoe (5.7l v8), which barely EVER makes it over 2000 rpm. (80mph=2000 rpm).
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2002, 03:08 PM
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This Mobil Delvac 15W40 at 335 hours on a cat 3406E, The engine has 1600 hours on it, just for reference. Next time i will take it to 500 hours.

T.B.N. De Aceites Usados ASTM D 4739 mgKOH/g 7,17
Viscosidad Cinematica 100°C Ac. Usado NVC 424-91 cSt 13,56
% de Agua por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0,18
Oxidación por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 12,22
Nitración por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 0,00
Sulfatación por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 0,00
Combustible por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0,00
Glicol por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0,00
Hollin por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 22,00
Fe NVE 135 ppm 37,9
Cr NVE 135 ppm 2,1
Pb NVE 135 ppm 3,3
Cu NVE 135 ppm 32,9
Sn NVE 135 ppm 0,0
Al NVE 135 ppm 1,2
Ni NVE 135 ppm 0,8
Ag NVE 135 ppm 0,1
Mo NVE 135 ppm 0,2
Ti NVE 135 ppm 0,0
V NVE 135 ppm 0,6
Si NVE 135 ppm 5,2
Na NVE 135 ppm 177
B NVE 135 ppm 66,7
Mg NVE 135 ppm 470
Ca NVE 135 ppm 2065
Ba NVE 135 ppm 3,0
P NVE 135 ppm 1379
Zn NVE 135 ppm 1417
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2002, 04:28 PM
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Now for more information, this is mobil 1 at @7000 milles, on my 2001 F150 5.4 gas engine with 13000 milles. Note the TBN, this oil is shoot, should have changed it 2000 milles ago, next time i will try at 5000 milles, any ways i got to confes, i really don´t care too much, this is my daily transportation an it gets changed every 2 or 3 years with maybe 100k milles on it, so is gonna be the next owner problem anyways. Don´t have too much time for it. Sorry it is in spanish, not too complicated any ways.



104105 T.B.N. De Aceites Usados ASTM D 4739 mgKOH/g 0,51
206102 Viscosidad Cinemática @ 100 °C ASTM D 445 cSt 15,50
750041 % de Agua por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0,00
750042 Oxidación por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 15,91
750043 Nitración por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 32,00
750044 Sulfatación por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 38,00
750045 Combustible por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0,00
750046 Glicol por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0,00
750047 Hollin por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/.1mm 78,00
750161 Fe ASTM D 6595 ppm 52
750162 Cr ASTM D 6595 ppm 3
750163 Pb ASTM D 6595 ppm 136
750164 Cu ASTM D 6595 ppm 11
750165 Sn ASTM D 6595 ppm 0
750166 Al ASTM D 6595 ppm 11
750167 Ni ASTM D 6595 ppm 2
750168 Ag ASTM D 6595 ppm 0
750169 Mo ASTM D 6595 ppm 11
750170 Ti ASTM D 6595 ppm 0
750171 V ASTM D 6595 ppm 1
750172 Si ASTM D 6595 ppm 20
750173 Na ASTM D 6595 ppm 9
750174 B ASTM D 6595 ppm 18
750175 Mg ASTM D 6595 ppm 756
750176 Ca ASTM D 6595 ppm 1535
750177 Ba ASTM D 6595 ppm 0
750178 P ASTM D 6595 ppm 742
750179 Zn ASTM D 6595 ppm 1309
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2002, 07:21 PM
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LightMan:

I applaud your effort to understand your engine's condition using an oil test. My point is that for the results to have relevance beyond comparing your engine's results now and later with another test(s) on it, is comparing the test results of your engine with test results from the same engine (actually engines) tested scientifically (both on engine stands and in vehilces, like when an oil company tested their oil in NY taxis - a very rough environment). By refering you to the existence of Southwest Research Institute, the hope was that you would look for info from them, another testing facility, or M-B's own tests (however, the public release of this info from any source may have never occurred because it is a trade secret, unless a company did it on its own without M-B's input or $).

My other coments were not meant to "pile on" with comments from others. I've done a lot of testing (college - chemistry was tough - and real world for a variety of things) and know the need for standard procedures that need to be followed to get accurate data that can be analyzed and the same procedures followed in the future for useful comparisons with past tests.

Good luck with future tests and I look forward to reading the results!

Buciraco:

Interesting test info. Although comparing gas to diesel engines is not directly related, it is interesting to see the differences. Why did you have the oil tested? Is the Mobile Delvac synthetic or dino oil?

Tom
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2002, 08:03 PM
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The mobil Delvac is dino, i use a lot of mobilgard 450, high tbn, @14, couse the sulfur content of diesel in this country is very high.
Any ways i have to keep track of a fleet of 25 units, crew boats and tog boats, as you can imagine i do usu a lot of oil, @ 15000 gallons a year, so oil is a very high expense for me. Since I buy mobil, they let me test the oil for free, so you can´t imagine the amount of test i do a year, and for any thing that crosses my mind. Needles to say i am kind of disapointed at Mobil 1, very low TBN for very few milles.
Actually a have te results foa an A160 mercedes, Mobil 1 did a lot better on that one.

The oil on the A160 had 7500 milles, the car had 15500 milles
Note the fuel in the oil.

104105 T.B.N. De Aceites Usados ASTM D 4739 mgKOH/g 3,00
750032 Viscosidad Cinematica 100°C Ac. Usado NVC 424-91 cSt 16,04
750041 % de Agua por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0
750042 Oxidación por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/cm 6,25
750045 Combustible por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 19,42
750046 Glicol por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 % p/p 0
750047 Hollin por IR Aceites Usados NVE 751-96 A/cm 0
750161 Fe NVE 135 ppm 20
750162 Cr NVE 135 ppm 4
750163 Pb NVE 135 ppm 201
750164 Cu NVE 135 ppm 6
750165 Sn NVE 135 ppm 6
750166 Al NVE 135 ppm 22
750167 Ni NVE 135 ppm 2
750168 Ag NVE 135 ppm 0
750169 Mo NVE 135 ppm 2
750170 Ti NVE 135 ppm 0
750171 V NVE 135 ppm 1
750172 Si NVE 135 ppm 12
750173 Na NVE 135 ppm 11
750174 B NVE 135 ppm 35
750175 Mg NVE 135 ppm 1463
750176 Ca NVE 135 ppm 992
750177 Ba NVE 135 ppm 0
750178 P NVE 135 ppm 942
750179 Zn NVE 135 ppm 1220
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2002, 08:15 PM
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MrTcana and Lightman have both added valuable comments to this discussion.
However, I can not agree on the reported fact that diesel engines are much harder on oil than a gasoline engine. If you re-read my previous comments, I did not say that diesel engine are not being as hard on oil as gas engine. I said:''Not significantly harder on oil than a gas engine''. I can't argue on the fact that compression ratio on a diesel engine is much higher than in a gas engine and that pressures are much higher. It is a fact. But, diesel engine have much larger crankshaft/bearing journal and piston surface skirt area to spread the load. This result in a similar pressure/sq area on those parts. As for RPM, I personnaly have never seen a diesel engine regularily spin at 6,000-6,500RPM. My Mercedeswill cruise at 70MPH at 3,600RPM. It will hit 6,,700RPM if pushed My Honda will do about the same. As a general rule, diesel RPM are lower than a gas engine benefiting from higher torque at lower RPM than a gas engine.
JackD
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Old 03-26-2002, 08:49 PM
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I will agree on the mecanical point of view, but from the quemical point, oil on a diesel engine has to deal with a lot harser enviroment, specially the byproducts or diesel cumbustion, solfur is a killer, it used to be that the sulfur content on diesel fuel in here was more that 1% p/p way over the limits of any manufaturer, actually at those levels they recomend changing oil every 50 hours. an engine with 4000 hours was in great shape but the ring where literally gone. Now since 4 or 5 years ago the goverment had to comply with the intrenational standars of no more than .5% p/p wich is rigth onthe limits of wath engine manufactures will allow. I am not sure but i think the sulfur content of american diesel in no more than .1% p/p.
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Old 03-26-2002, 09:38 PM
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Sulfur content is max 0.05% /wt in Canada. Not sure about US regulations
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