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  #46  
Old 05-06-2002, 06:07 PM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Bo -

Thanks for removing my concerns on using this particular Amsoil product in my TDI. The kinematic viscosity comparison at 100 deg C is also interesting (and reassuring). I've learned a bunch reading this particular thread and others connected to it. The biggest lesson I learned is don't rely solely on product labels and marketing hype - get the facts. I am also reminded of the quality movement quotation: "In God we trust, all others bring data."

Thanks again!

- Wayne
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
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  #47  
Old 05-06-2002, 08:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Wayne:

I know this does not cover the exact TDI you have but I found a VW service bulletin approving synthetic 5W-30 in TDI motors.

Subject: Synthetic Oil, Usage Group: 17
Number: 99-01
Model(s): All with TDI Diesel Engine 1996 ) 1999 Date: Feb. 19, 1999

Service
Beginning Jan. 26, 1999, as announced in Warranty Service Circular V99-05, 5W30 synthetic oil has been approved and will be reimbursed under Warranty, when performing repairs or Free Maintenance for the models listed above.

When performing any service or procedure
which requires oil to be changed:

Always fill to appropriate level with 5W30
synthetic oil.
Be sure to utilize and claim correct quantity of synthetic oil depending on vehicle/engine class.

Note:
See Warranty Service Circular V99-05 for Part
No., quantity and ordering information.
Please advise your customers of this change
from mineral based oil to synthetic oil.
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  #48  
Old 05-07-2002, 12:27 AM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Bo -

Thanks for the offical VW reference giving the thumbs up to using 5W-30 synthetic oil in TDIs. One has to wonder if manufacturers "specify" not-so-common formulas in the hopes it will drive more owners into the dealership for routine maintenance. I understand Ford and Honda have begun to specify 0W-20. These threads help us stay ahead of the game.

- Wayne
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
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  #49  
Old 05-07-2002, 09:14 AM
kowached's Avatar
Rising Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 74
Manufacturers "specify" not-so-common formulas in the hopes...

Wayne,

I think that you are right on! I've been looking for "Euro" only fluids for my 540i with little luck. I'm pretty sure that I'll go with an Amsoil or Redline LSD 75W-90 Hypoid Oil for the rear axle, but I'm scared to run anything but the specified Esso ATF in the ZF 5-Speed auto transmission due to its complexity and $. I've got the filter kit ready to perform a trans service, but am kind of stuck with the fluid.

I have been trying to hunt down the following 2 fluids, please let me know if you have any sources.

Automatic transmission fluid for a ZF 5HP24 (A5S 440Z).
Recommended fluid: Esso ATF LT 71141 (BMW P/N: 83.22-9 407 807)

Final Drive Oil: Castrol SAF-XJ or SAF-XLS (BMW P/N: 83.22-0 002 094)

I have found the Esso ATF for $15-$30/liter, and have found no sources for the rear axle fluid.

I too feel like BMW has specified fluids not available in the USA to try to make me a prisoner of their dealerships. In case you are wondering BMW techs are instructed to recover and reuse this "Lifetime" ATF fluid any time they service/repair a trans. I beleive it was someone on this board that stated that the only lifetime fluid is in your spine. I like that statement and have been using it, I hope I haven't violated your copywrite.
__________________
Thanks,
Dave

1998 BMW 540i Sport
1995 E320
1992 400E
1989 BMW M3
1979 Triumph TR7 (1st car)
1986 BMW 735i (Sold)
1980 BMW 320i (Sold)
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  #50  
Old 05-07-2002, 05:28 PM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Dave -

I don't have any insight on where to source the fluids you mention but I share your concern for proceeding with caution. One counter-thought I had was to stop into a German vehicle (aftermarket) specialty shop as an alternative source of service (and parts, re: specialty fluids, etc.) to the dealership network. Those folks see a lot of specialty cars and oftentimes will have checked out and properly verified alternatives to factory recommended stuff. Another thought is to check out a BMW forum - maybe someone here can point you to one or a quick search on google will produce one. You can't be the only one with this question. Good luck!

- Wayne
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
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  #51  
Old 05-07-2002, 05:41 PM
kowached's Avatar
Rising Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 74
Thanks

Wayne,

Thanks for the pointers. I've tried a couple of BMW forums, but much to my dismay they are mainly non-technical talk about 3-Series cars. Kudos to this site and the members and moderators that make it what it is. I'm trying to start a technical revolution at some of the BMW E39 sites, but I plan to come here for reliable technical information for the foreseeable future.

There really is a great group of technically astute car nuts over here.

I really wish that the 1997 E420 Sportline that I test drove back to back with the 1998 BMW 540i Sport was comparable, but I couldn't believe the difference in two cars that are supposed to be closely matched. The support at MercedesShop was the main reason that I was looking at Mercedes over BMW to begin with…
__________________
Thanks,
Dave

1998 BMW 540i Sport
1995 E320
1992 400E
1989 BMW M3
1979 Triumph TR7 (1st car)
1986 BMW 735i (Sold)
1980 BMW 320i (Sold)
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  #52  
Old 05-07-2002, 09:57 PM
Human Spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 56
Dave -

I'm surprised to hear about the BMW forums being a bit 'lighter' than others. I've driven various MB products for about 8 years now and only recently became aware of this forum. As I learn more about this forum, I too am amazed at the depth and breath of knowledge shared, the maturity of the members and the civility of postings, etc. I say amazed, but not surprised - it fits with what I have come to love about the Mercedes products. Honest, high level engineering, designed-in value, consistent execution and excellent parts support and availability.

Due to links in this forum to the VW forums (tdiclub.com, vwvortex.com), especially in diesel discussions, I came to appreciate the same depth and breath of knowledge shared by the VW community. Last month I decided to purchase a New Beetle TDI diesel. The support I knew was available from the VW forums was a big factor in my decision. Since the New Beetle has been produced for about 5 years and the original TDI diesel since 1996; every issue one could run into seems to be covered.

Motor on!

- Wayne
__________________
04 GMC Yukon XL Denali, Black, 12k
02 New Beetle, TDI, Reflex Silver, 24k
89 300TE, Arctic White, 214k

90 300E, 142k (sold)
87 300TD, 128k (sold)
83 300D, 314k (sold)
79 300TD, 266k (sold)

Share your knowledge -

Wayne
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  #53  
Old 05-19-2002, 07:29 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Bo, I hope you don't mind, but I posted some of your comments on another forum about synthetic oils, and a guy from the UK posted a nice response with some questions that nobody can seem to answer. I'm just curious as to your thoughts:

"In the UK there are three well-known 'fully synthetic' brands, Mobil 1, Castrol RS, and Shell Helix Ultra. Of these three Mobil 1 has the highest profile, with Castrol RS running close (Syntec is unknown here). Shell Helix Ultra is less well known and less widely distributed. This probably represents the relative marketing efforts (or budgets). Amsoil is not available in the UK as far as I know, but I think Valvoline and Redline my be if you look hard enough.

Mobil 1 for normal use is Tri-Synthetic 0W-40. Castrol RS, until a short time ago, was 10W-60. Apart from any other considerations, I did wonder what chemistry was used to give this oil such a wide viscosity rating. Now RS is 0W-40, just like Mobil 1. Helix Ultra was 5W-40, but this recently changed to 5W-30 (but with a kinematic viscosity of 12.1 cSt at 100 deg C, which makes it hovering on the 30/40 boundary).

I was aware that the carrier oil in Mobil 1 was mineral (why do they use so much of it - up to 20% - when the actual additive package is only 2-4% of the carrier, and why isn't the carrier synthetic?). I wasn't aware that one of the three base stocks in Mobil 1 - if I have interpreted these threads correctly - is also a mineral oil. Does anyone know the mineral to synthetic (including carrier oil) percentage is in Mobil 1? I have also read that Castrol switched from Mobil to Shell as a supplier of 'synthetic' base stocks in 1998, and that both Castrol and Shell use the hydrocracked (hydrocracked, hydroisomerised, slack wax stream, depending on who's telling the story) base stocks so are not really synthetic as we might like to call them. As for the less well known or cheaper brands, who knows?

Oil and filter change intervals in the UK are, for recent cars, between 12,000 to 15,000 miles or yearly (and getting even longer). I run both my cars on a yearly change interval as neither now reaches the 12k interval. Shorter change intervals are not at all common, most people seem to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. I use Mobil 1 in both cars, particularly for its better cold start circulation and for its ability to retain in spec over longer mileages. I'm also a sucker for advertising. Whilst there are advantages in a yearly change, the downside is the astronomical price of the quality synthetics in the UK, at around £34 for 4 litres. As a litre is just over a US quart, this translates to around $13 a quart, tax paid. When I read of the $4 a quart paid in the US I begin to realise that someone is paying through the nose for this stuff.

On a personal note I think that these discussions and the technical details are extremely interesting. As for what oil to use, it's up to the individual to read all this stuff and then make a choice. I don't believe that anyone would see much difference between a high quality mineral or a high quality synthetic oil in normal use. Both types seem to be merging into blends anyway. I don't eat at a certain well-known food franchise because I disagree with it's philosophy and I can get better food elsewhere. Despite what might be seen as disingenuous motives from Mobil I'll continue to use Mobil 1 as there are few better oils available elsewhere."
__________________
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #54  
Old 06-11-2002, 12:52 AM
PDXRacer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Synthetic Oil

Has anyone checked into Neo Oil?

http://www.neosyntheticoil.com/

My friend used it in all his cars and motorcycles. He also sold it in his motorcycle shop for years (He has since sold the shop).
I purchased one of the cars he ran Neo in and when it was totaled, took the head off to see the condition of the cylinders and found the factory hone marks still very visible and no vertical wear on the walls or on the rings.

Thanks for the very informative thread.
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  #55  
Old 06-11-2002, 10:22 AM
Don Stevens
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Posts: n/a
NEO is a good product

From what I have read and heard, NEO is a good product but to be perfectly honest I have not studied it hard enough to argue one way or another if it is good for street cars. I believe it is more of a racing oil.

Don
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  #56  
Old 06-11-2002, 05:10 PM
PDXRacer
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Posts: n/a
Neo Oil

Thanks Don.
I did the numbers and came up with it costing about half as much as Mobil1 over the 20,000 miles Neo says you can run on an oil change.
Of course, doing the filter change at regular intervals helps to extend the life of an oil change. So you have to figure that every time you change the filter, you add a volume of oil equal to the filter volume, thus adding fresh additives to the existing oil.
The specs look impressive, so it was just a thought.
Thanks again for wealth of information provided.
Mark
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  #57  
Old 06-11-2002, 07:37 PM
Don Stevens
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Posts: n/a
Long Drain Intervals

Mark,

You mentioned the specs look good. Where did you see the specs?

Your practice of changing filters and replenishing the additives with makeup oil is exactly what I do with Amsoil. An important step though is oil analysis. You need to verify that the oil is indeed holding up and that some other problem with your car, like pollution control malfunction, is not depleting the additives faster than you think.

I have 20000 miles on my Amsoil in my 200,000 mile BMW right now and I am going on to 25000. I have my oil analyzed every 6000 or so and have just done the 18000 mile results.

I am under the impression Neo is $8.00 per quart or so? I buy my 25000 mile Amsoil for about $4.50/qt and can show any readers how to buy it this inexpensively as well.

Don
www.syntheticoils.net/dstevens
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  #58  
Old 06-11-2002, 11:19 PM
PDXRacer
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Posts: n/a
Neo Oil cost and specs

Hi Don,
I was looking at the Neo web site and found the info. The link below will take you to the page with the options to look at the specs for each oil. Granted they don't give much info on that each page, but they seem to have little tidbits all over the web site. As I am on a T1 I am able to look at all the pages as fast as I want. So time is not an issue when it come to 30 pages to look over.

http://www.neosyntheticoil.com/oilover.htm

There are several places to purchase the oil and one has the 20w50 oil for $9.97 per qt or you can get bulk discounts. The gallon size is $35.88 or 8.97 per qt or the 5-gallon size (about 3 year’s worth of oil changes) is $172.86 or $8.64 per gallon. If you can go 20k to 25k on an oil change, then that works out to $43.20 for the first change (oil only) travel 20k and it works out to $60.48 for oil with a filter change every 5k. Figure the total oil cost divided by the number of miles and get 0.003024 cents per mile. Factoring in the cost of recycling would only be once a year because a half-qt would not be worth taking in, so I would just wait until the next oil change.
With Mobil1, $4.97qt here X5qts=24.85. Since I would never consider going over 5000 with the new Mobil1 that’s $99.40 with no filter change between changes. Total oil change cost per mile would be 0.00497 cents per mile (not exactly twice, but close). Then figure all the extra time in recycling the oil, the fuel to take the oil in and the extra time and it works out to be much more expensive to use Mobil1.
I'm sure you can say the same things with Amsoil, but it would be much cheaper as the oil is not as expensive as Neo.
Mark
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  #59  
Old 06-12-2002, 01:55 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 2,632
How good is the Shell Rotella T synthetic 5W-40 for both a high-performance gasoline engine and diesel engines?

Seems to be similar to Delvac 1, and maybe a little cheaper. The Salinas, Calif., WalMart had it 1-gallon jugs for $18.

I rubbed some between two fingers and compared to Mobil 1 15W-50 (between two finger on the other hand) it felt slicker, even after I wiped my hands.

:-) neil
1988 360TE AMG
1993 500E
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  #60  
Old 06-15-2002, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Amsoil XL-7500 series oils going to Group III

Read it at

http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?threadid=128406

Eventually, all main stream "synthetic" oils are going to use Group III base stock.
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