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Latest News and Information in the World of Lubrication

Reprinted from The AMSOIL Magazine sent monthly to Dealers and Preferred Customers


Past issues of Auto Technology & Lubrication News

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[ May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 ]

May 2014

AMSOIL Synthetic Grease Helps Customer Achieve Punkin Chunkin World Record

Punkin Chunkin World Record

AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are manufactured for many applications, but customers continue finding new ways to benefit from AMSOIL technology.

Steve Seigars of Greenfield, N.H. certainly fits into that category. Seigars leads the Yankee Siege II team in the annual Punkin Chunkin competition in Bridgeville, Del. The original Yankee Siege "punkin chunker" was retired a couple of years ago. "It's a silly sport," Seigars said, "but it's a lot of fun and raises money for scholarships, children's hospitals and other organizations that benefit youth and the local community." His team consists of a core group of five to six members.

AMSOIL Synthetic Grease Ends Friction Problem

AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Off-Road Grease solved an ongoing friction problem in Seigars' trebuchet. "I finally found a grease that prevented scuffing on my sleeve bearings," said Seigars. "We have the world record for throwing a pumpkin with a trebuchet. Last year we tossed a pumpkin 2,836 feet."

Seigars found AMSOIL after taking a tribology course that taught him the importance of using synthetic grease to overcome scuffing of bearings.

The Trebuchet

The trebuchet is a gravity-driven machine. It raises a 25,000-pound counterweight 5 feet in the air as it rotates on a lever with a sling and pouch. Bearings inside the sleeve of the round shaft inside a pipe allow the rotation. When the trigger is pulled, the weight drops and the sling comes to a screeching halt at the end of the bearings. That sudden stop applies about 150,000 pounds of pressure, which pounds the grease out and causes metal-to-metal friction. "You have to have good lubrication at all points so there is not metal-to-metal wear," Seigars said. He had been seeing scuffing of the bearings in his machine after about 10 to 15 cycles, which meant the bearings were wearing quickly.

Seigars learned in the tribology course that he needed a synthetic grease with 5 percent moly additive in order to stop the bearing wear. Research online led him to AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Off-Road Grease. "The combination was the answer to premature wear," Seigars said.

The Competition

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) is a trademark nonprofit that hosts a signature pumpkin-launching event each year, fueling innovative engineering and science-based ideas that draw spectators from all over. About 105 teams enter the three-day event, typically held the weekend after Halloween.

According to the association's website, "Punkin Chunkin cultivates the odd, challenging and competitive quest for distance that inspires creativity, ingenuity, teamwork and passion."

Pumpkins can be launched using compressed air devices, such as cannons; catapults that use ropes and pulleys; and centrifugal-force machines that use a spinning arm to let the pumpkins fly.

Each team gets one shot per day. The longest shot at the end of the event is the winner. Winners earn a trophy and a donation to the charity of their choice. Seigars and the Yankee Siege II team won the trebuchet division last year with their record-setting 2,836-foot launch. The team chose the A.L.S. Family Charitable Foundation in Buzzards Bay, Mass. to receive a donation from the WCPCA.

The Trebuchet
April 2014

AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid

Synthetic CVT Fluid - click for larger image

CVTs require a unique transmission fluid with specialized frictional characteristics designed to ensure the belt or chain remains in contact with the pulleys without slipping. AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid provides outstanding metal-to-metal frictional properties and excellent protection and performance for CVTs throughout vehicle manufacturer-recommended drain intervals.

Package sizes include:
  • Quart Bottle
  • 2.5-Gallon Bottle
  • 55-Gallon Drum

Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) create unlimited gear ratios using a belt or chain running between two variable diameter pulleys. CVTs require a unique transmission fluid with specialized frictional characteristics designed to ensure the belt or chain remains in contact with the pulleys without slipping. AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid provides outstanding metal-to-metal frictional properties and excellent protection and performance for CVTs throughout vehicle manufacturer-recommended drain intervals. It is Warranty Secure and will not void your vehicle's warranty. AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid is a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) fluids.

Excellent Frictional Properties

The metal-to-metal frictional properties between the CVT's belt/chain interface and the pulleys are important, relying on the CVT fluid to prevent slipping. AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid provides exceptional metal-to-metal frictional properties to help prevent belt and chain slipping and help extend transmission life.

Outstanding Wear Protection

AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid is durable. In normal and severe service, it effectively resists wear to the transmission's vital parts, helping achieve long life.

Resists Heat

In elevated heat, Synthetic CVT Fluid's thermally stable formulation guards against the harmful effects of thermal breakdown. It resists the formation of varnish that can threaten transmission performance and life.

Superior Wet-Clutch Performance

AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid provides superior wet-clutch performance for outstanding anti-shudder durability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness.

Field Proven

Field testing was conducted to compare AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid and Nissan NS-2 CVT Fluid. Four vehicles (two equipped with AMSOIL CVT Fluid and two with Nissan NS-2 CVT Fluid) were driven 100,000 miles before the transmissions were torn down and inspected.

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Lab Tested
AMSOIL lab testing also reveals AMSOIL CVT Fluid met, and in some cases surpassed, the protection and performance of Nissan NS-2 CVT Fluid:
  • In FZG wear testing (ASTM D5182), Nissan NS-2 achieved a 7 stage pass, while AMSOIL CVT Fluid significantly surpassed it with an 11 stage pass.
  • In the JASO LVFA Anti-Shudder Durability Test, AMSOIL CVT Fluid lasted six times longer, translating into improved anti-shudder durability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness.
AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid is recommended for belt- and chain-type continuously variable transmissions requiring the following:
  • Audi/Volkswagen TL 52180, G 052 180
  • Dodge/Jeep CVTF+4®, NS-2
  • Ford CVT23, CVT30, MERCON® C
  • GM/Saturn DEX-CVT
  • Honda HMMF, HCF-2
  • Hyundai Genuine CVTF, SP-III
  • Kia SP-III
  • Mercedes-Benz 236.20
  • Mini Cooper EZL 799
  • Mitsubishi CVTF-J1, SP-III
  • Nissan NS-2
  • Subaru Lineartronic® CVTF (P/N K0425Y0710), NS-2
  • Suzuki TC, CVT Green 1, NS-2
  • Toyota TC
Not for use in eCVTs

For more information or to purchase AMSOIL Synthetic CVT Fluid.

March 2014

Gaining Momentum:
Erik Buell Racing Continues to Shake up the Industry

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After 30 years, Erik Buell's drive to develop motorcycles on his own terms remains as strong as ever. That drive led him to found Erik Buell Racing (EBR) in 2009, a company devoted to building innovative superbikes that prove jawdropping performance is not exclusive to Japanese or Italian companies. Buell's pioneering attitude and commitment to American ingenuity mirror the values of AMSOIL INC. Fittingly, the two companies entered a partnership in 2011, making AMSOIL a sponsor of the EBR team's efforts in the AMA Pro SuperBike Series. This year the team will also compete in World Superbike, the first time an all-American brand will compete on this world-class level.

But the partnership goes further than sponsorships. AMSOIL personnel work hand-in-hand with EBR engineers to develop lubrication programs that maximize the tremendous potential of EBR motorcycles. Every bike that leaves EBR's East Troy, Wis. shop, including the new EBR 1190RX, contains AMSOIL synthetic lubricants as the factory-fill and the primary service-fill recommendation.

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"We are doing the very best for our customers when we ship with AMSOIL in the bikes and with a strong recommendation that they continue to use AMSOIL products." - Erik Buell

With peak motorcycle season starting soon and the racing season in swing, AMSOIL Magazine caught up with Buell.

AMSOIL Magazine: It's been five years since you founded EBR. What are you most proud of?

Buell: The people. We started as a tiny company, and it has been so inspiring to see how the young staff at EBR has stepped up to the task of building world-class motorcycles. And it's just as wonderful to have great suppliers and partners like AMSOIL who, without hesitation, put it all on the line to support EBR.

AMSOIL Magazine: What do you still want to accomplish?

Buell: Oh, there is so much more to do. We are busy with all sorts of new products, both for the EBR brand and also for customers of our engineering-consulting business. I just want more of the world to see and enjoy the many exciting two-wheeled products that can come from the minds at EBR.

AMSOIL Magazine: One of those exciting new products is the 1190RX, named by Ultimate Motorcycling as its most anticipated motorcycle of 2014. How does it continue your tradition of innovation?

Buell: There are a lot of unique technical innovations in the bike. Our biggest goals are always related not to any one invention or concept, but putting together a package of ideas where the sum is more than any one part. There are many chassis innovations, like the unique brake [the "inside out" system Buell pioneered that places the rotor outside the caliper for increased suspension effectiveness], magnesium subframe, split radiators, fuel in frame, etc., but the sum total is a lightweight, superb-handling motorcycle.

AMSOIL Magazine: How else does the bike break new ground?

Buell: In another area, since this has been our first time building our own engine, it was important to us to make a real statement of innovation. There is a package of technology in the powertrain aimed at making it a very "green" superbike. The results are a highhorsepower engine that also has a wide and flat powerband, with huge torque, yet is very smooth and easy to ride at part throttle, gets 51 mpg on the EPA drive cycle, emits only 25 percent of permitted HC+NOx exhaust emissions and, incredibly, only 6 percent of CO emissions. These are spectacular numbers.

AMSOIL Magazine: This bike delivers 185 hp and nearly 102 ft. lbs. of torque while weighing just 419 lbs. What do those numbers translate into on the road?

Buell: For us, again, it is a whole package. So big power, big torque and light weight make for speed, but we wanted the 1190RX to also be very easy to ride every day. So we made sure it had a very predictable power delivery, excellent ergonomics, stable handling, great dashboard, powerful brakes and lightweight wheels for the smoothest ride on bumpy roads. It is so fun to ride, no matter where you are riding.

AMSOIL Magazine: Why did you choose AMSOIL synthetic lubricants as the factory-fill lubricant for your bikes, including the 1190RX?

Buell: We have had such good results with AMSOIL, both in the quality of the products and in technical expertise. Because of that, we feel most comfortable that we are doing the very best for our customers when we ship with AMSOIL in the bikes and with a strong recommendation that they continue to use AMSOIL products.

AMSOIL Magazine: On the track, Larry Pegram, formerly of Team AMSOIL, joins Geoff May, Aaron Yates and Cory West this season. What influenced your decision to expand the team?

Buell: The factory EBR Hero/AMSOIL-backed team was headed overseas to run the World Superbike (WSBK) Series, which left a gap in the AMA [SuperBike Series]. Larry had been talking with me for a couple years, and called to say he wanted to switch to our EBR 1190 for 2014. It was a perfect opportunity. Larry is a great rider, and quite a personality as well (an Ohio farm boy with a cool TV show on Velocity called Superbike Family), and he has a very professional crew. His lead sponsor, Foremost Insurance, fits well as another partner – a hardworking, all-American, Midwestern company out of Michigan. AMSOIL has worked with Larry before, and he was happy to be back working with their technical group.

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Follow Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR all season on

AMSOIL Magazine: Why did you choose this year to broaden the scope of the team and compete overseas?

Buell: The team in WSBK runs an exhausting series, with races ranging from Australia to Europe to Russia to South Africa to Malaysia and even to the U.S. EBR and our sponsors, AMSOIL and Hero, are global companies, and since we finally had the 1190RX ready, with production sufficient for WSBK homologation, we decided it was time to move to that next level to maximize worldwide exposure. (Editor's note: AMA and WSBK homologation rules require a minimum quantity of produced units to guard against specialized bikes built only for racing.)

AMSOIL Magazine: What are your thoughts on EBR introducing the first all-American bike to WSBK?

Buell: We are really happy to have EBR competing in this premier international road-race series. There have been a number of American riders who have raced in World Superbike, but until now, never an American motorcycle.

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Harmful Motor Oils Prompt Investigations and Consumer Warnings

A rash of obsolete and contaminated motor oils have recently been popping up for sale at gas stations and convenience stores around the country, prompting state regulators and the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) to investigate, warn consumers and sometimes pull products from shelves. Due to stringent quality control measures, AMSOIL Dealers and customers enjoy the peace-of-mind of knowing they receive top-quality AMSOIL products with every purchase.

"Kane in Your Corner" Reveals Bad Motor Oils in New Jersey

News 12 in New Jersey recently broadcast a three-part "Kane in Your Corner" investigation that found obsolete and contaminated motor oils for sale at gas stations and convenience stores across the state. Because state authorities have not yet stepped in, the onus is on consumers to avoid these harmful products.

"The probability of getting some of this bad stuff is pretty high here in New Jersey," says PQIA President Tom Glenn.

As part of the investigation, News 12 purchased four motor oil brands (MaxiGuard, Black Knight, U.S. Economy and US Spirit) readily available in New Jersey and had them tested at an independent lab. The results indicated that all four were unsuitable for use in modern vehicles.

MaxiGuard Super Premium

While the MaxiGuard label indicated it's "a superior all weather motor oil," it also indicated it's an API SA motor oil, meaning it contains no additives and is unsuitable for vehicles manufactured after 1930. In addition to carrying a long-obsolete specification, lab tests indicated it did not meet the viscosity standards on the label and had significant levels of abrasive contaminants, including silicon levels more than 400 times higher than normal.

As part of the investigative piece, longtime New Jersey mechanic Kenny Wetzel noted that the MaxiGuard oil looked used right out of the bottle due to its black, cloudy appearance. "That looks like what we take out of a car when we change the oil," he said.

Black Knight

Black Knight Motor Oil was labeled as an API SB motor oil, meaning it contains only a minimal level of additives and is unsuitable for vehicles manufactured after 1951. Lab tests also indicated it was contaminated with significantly higher-than-normal levels of silicon. Its viscosity presented a mystery. Labeled "10-30," its viscosity tested significantly lower than 10W-30.

U.S. Economy

U.S. Economy Motor Oil did not carry an API specification, but test results showed it had silicon levels 10 times higher than typically found in new motor oil. Like Black Knight, its label also indicated a viscosity grade without a "W." Labeled "5-30," the label explained it means the viscosity can be anywhere between 5 and 30.

US Spirit

Not only did test results indicate US Spirit is unsafe for modern vehicles, the small print on the back label indicated it is "not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1930" and "use in modern engines may cause unsatisfactory engine performance or equipment harm." Labeled as an API SA motor oil and indicating "it contains no additive," lab tests revealed it is full of additives, but not the right kind for today's vehicles.

North Carolina and Michigan Authorities Remove Harmful Oils from Store Shelves

State authorities in Michigan and North Carolina have taken action to remove harmful motor oils from store shelves.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) has launched several investigations into harmful and obsolete motor oils, the latest coming against the Everclear brand. Everclear motor oils failed to meet viscosity claims and were not labeled in accordance with industry standards. The action extended to Everclear brand transmission fluids.

"The results for both the oil and automatic transmission fluid showed that additives were either absent or not at the correct levels," said NCDA&CS Standards Division Director Stephen Benjamin. "This issue, along with the presence of wear metals, indicates these products are likely recycled in origin. Any of these results would put the products out of specification and cause them to be pulled from shelves."

Last fall, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development removed a number of motor oils from store shelves, including City Star and Bullseye, due to their failures to meet the viscosity grades labeled on the packages.

API Reveals Nearly 20 Percent of Bulk Oils Fail Performance Standards

The problems aren't just limited to smaller oil distributors. Bulk motor oil testing performed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) indicates many motorists may be receiving substandard motor oil when they drop their vehicles off for an oil change. According to the API, it purchased and tested more than 1,000 samples from bulk motor oil tanks throughout North America over the past five years, and nearly 20 percent failed API performance standards.

PQIA Issues Advisory for Valvoline NextGen 5W-20 Motor Oil

In January, PQIA issued an advisory for Valvoline NextGen 5W-20 Motor Oil. After twice testing a sample of the oil acquired at a retail store in New Jersey, PQIA determined it did not meet volatility requirements set by the API and the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC). While the sample passed viscosity and elemental requirements for the API SN and ILSAC GF-5 specifications, its weight losses of 18.4 and 18.3 percent in the NOACK Volatility Test (ASTM D5800) are about 22 percent higher than the 15 percent maximum required for the specifications.

AMSOIL Quality

Customers buying AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils can be sure that AMSOIL performs beyond the specifications required by the industry. AMSOIL quality control samples all base oils before accepting them from the manufacturer. Then AMSOIL samples after blending and then again after bottling. You can be sure AMSOIL products are the best quality, always.

February 2014

Zinc Dialkyldithiphosphate Provides Proven Wear Protection

But its incompatibility with pollution-reduction devices severely limits its use in modern motor oils.

Dan Peterson
Dan Peterson
Vice President
Technical Development
AMSOIL Synthetic Z-Rod Motor Oil Bottle Larger Image

As today's automotive engines push the envelope seeking higher fuel economy and lower emissions, the demands placed on motor oil are escalating. This push for improved performance is nothing new. Racers and muscle-car owners have long looked for ways to squeeze more horsepower from their vehicles. This is often done in vintage cars by modifying the engine, while tuner enthusiasts usually focus on computercontrolled performance improvements. Whatever your preferred method, it puts more stress on engine components, and the oil must protect parts from wear even as they are pushed beyond the limits of OEM design. This is where the most recognized anti-wear additive, zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP), comes into the picture.

ZDDP is very good at reducing wear and improving oxidation stability. It also exhibits mild extreme-pressure (EP) protection. ZDDP contains both zinc and phosphorus components that work together to provide anti-wear protection and minimize lubricant breakdown. Specifically, ZDDP helps protect highimpact surfaces like camshaft lobes, lifter surfaces and rockers against wear. As temperatures rise and surfaces come closer together, ZDDP decomposes and the resulting chemistry is what protects the critical metal surfaces. When parts move during operation, any sliding or rolling motion takes place on top of or within the ZDDP anti-wear film, which reduces metal-to-metal contact. This is especially important in modified engines with flat-tappet camshafts because the engine is creating more horsepower than it was designed for, which puts more stress on the engine. The camshaft and lifters are responsible for triggering the precisely tuned movements of the valvetrain. Without the protective film barrier provided by ZDDP, the cams and lifters will wear from the force of operation, resulting in poor performance. All engines benefit from oils with superior film strength and antiwear properties, so why don't all motor oils have boosted levels of ZDDP? It's back to the goal of improving emissions systems performance. Generally, ZDDP used in high levels results in volatile phosphorus being transferred from the combustion chamber to the catalytic converter. Like with lead in 1970s gasoline, phosphorus can blind over the catalytic reaction sites in the converter, making it less efficient in turning carbon monoxide (CO) into carbon dioxide (CO2). The EPA mandates that catalytic converters operate as designed for more than 100,000 miles. As a result, ZDDP levels are now limited for newer motor oil specifications. The largest portion of the volatile phosphorus is generated right after you change your oil. So the more you change your oil, the more your catalytic converter is exposed to this volatile phosphorus. Conversely, longer drain intervals can limit the negative impact of volatile phosphorus on catalytic converters.

AMSOIL Synthetic Z-Rod Motor Oil Bottle Larger Image

Both engine technology and oil technology have evolved over the years. Today's performance engines have very different oil requirements compared to older engine designs from the 1960s and 1970s. Many new engines use roller cams, which aren't as sensitive to ZDDP anti-wear protection as older flat-tappet camshafts and solid lifters. Older engines equipped with flat-tappet cams require higher levels of anti-wear/mild EP (ZDDP) than today's engines. This area in an engine is exposed to extreme contact load. Since this load increases significantly when non-stock, high-pressure valve springs are used, the use of properly formulated motor oils is extremely important to reduce wear and extend flat-tappet and camshaft life, especially during the critical break-in period. Since the amount of zinc and phosphorus in oils formulated for today's automobiles has been greatly reduced and newer API oils are not designed specifically for older-style, modified engines, engine wear can be a major issue.

AMSOIL manufactures a complete line of motor oils tailored to meet the specific needs of classic cars and other vehicles requiring higher anti-wear/mild EP protection. AMSOIL Z-ROD® 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil (ZRT) & AMSOIL Z-Rod® 20W-50 Synthetic Motot Oil (ZRF) are designed with the level of anti-wear/mild EP required to safely protect older and modified engine designs such as those with flat-tappet camshafts. It is also designed specifically to resist rust and corrosion that attacks engines during periods of inactivity and storage. AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Synthetic Motor Oil (RD20, RD30, RD50, RD60) is formulated similarly, but more for true racing applications. This makes it the right choice for muscle cars, street rods and other high-performance vehicles with flat-tappet camshafts. AMSOIL Break-In Oil (BRK) is designed to work quickly in new and rebuilt high-performance and racing engines. This SAE 30 viscosity grade oil features a no-friction-modifier formula that helps induce controlled wear in rings to help mate and seat piston rings. It also has very high levels of ZDDP.

Whether you're a classic-car enthusiast, hot rodder, tuner or drifter, your equipment may require the protection provided by these products. Knowledge is power; but we want you to experience maximum power from your engine also!

Understanding European & German Car Motor Oil Specifications or Requirements

What does "SAPS" stand for and what is the significance for German and European auto warranty requirements? If you own one of these higher performing autos you might find this very interesting.

In this modern era of increasing differentiation it is important to understand why AMSOIL carries three different European oils. And why are two of them 5W-40? What's the difference?
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The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) helps establish motor oil standards in the European market. ACEA recognizes that European engines differ from U.S. engines in both design and operating conditions. As a result, the demands on motor oil are different as well.

The differentiator between various makes and models of European cars has to do with the acceptable levels of sulfated ash, phosphorus and sulfur (SAPS) in the motor oil.

Sulfated ash is the by-product of metallic compounds as they are burned. It can improve an oil's antioxidancy, anti-wear properties, Total Base Number (TBN), corrosion resistance, engine cleanliness properties and soot-handling ability.

Phosphorus is present in motor oil for its antioxidant properties.

Sulfur provides antioxidancy, anti-wear and engine cleanliness properties.

SAPS makes up a significant portion of a motor oil's additive content. Some emissions systems and aftertreatment devices, such as diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and catalysts, are sensitive to the SAPS content of oil and require lower-SAPS formulations to properly function for a long period of time.

So, how does an owner know which oil to use in their car? Check your owner's manual and use the chart below to match the correct oil with the proper specification your auto manufacturer listed in the owner's manual.

  • ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4
  • API SN/SM...
  • BMW LL-01
  • Mercedes Benz 229.5/229.3
  • Porsche A40
  • Renault 0710/0700
  • VW 502.00/505.00
  • ACEA C3
  • API SN/SM...
  • BMW LL-04
  • GM dexos2
  • Mercedes Benz 229.51/229.31
  • Porsche A40
  • VW 502.00/505.01
  • BMW LL-04
  • Mercedes Benz 229.51
  • Porsche C30
  • VW 504.00/507.00

Maximum Hydraulic System Protection

Certain hydraulic systems, including those installed in log splitters, skid steers and small tractors, are often operated seasonally or intermittently, then stored for extended periods. Although checking and changing hydraulic oil is sometimes an afterthought, fluid maintenance is important to ensure optimum protection and performance and maximum equipment life.

AMSOIL synthetic hydraulic oils can provide significant benefits and cost savings over conventional hydraulic oils.

Reduced Heat

The synthetic construction of AMSOIL synthetic hydraulic oils can reduce heat in hydraulic systems, leading to better viscosity retention; less varnish build-up, oxidation and component wear (including hoses); longer seal life; and better overall system performance.

Cold-Weather Performance

Mobile hydraulic equipment often sits in the elements while on a job site, causing many conventional hydraulic oils to thicken in the cold and lead to equipment damage such as excessive pump wear due to cavitation, blown hoses, broken shafts and extended warm-up times that waste fuel. AMSOIL synthetic hydraulic oils are formulated for better coldtemperature characteristics than petroleum oils, helping reduce or eliminate many of these issues.

All-Season Functionality

To eliminate some of the problems associated with temperature changes, many mobile hydraulic equipment owners switch oil viscosities with the seasons. AMSOIL synthetic hydraulic oils are high-viscosity-index formulations that can eliminate the need for seasonal changes. It's possible to run an AMSOIL ISO 32 or ISO 46 hydraulic oil successfully year-round in all but the most extreme cold conditions.

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Hose Life Preservation

Cold and heat wreak havoc on hydraulic system hoses and seals. Cold, thick fluid can cause pressure spikes and extremely hot fluid breaks down hoses and seals over time, leading to leaks and wasted hydraulic fluid. The superior cooling and flow properties of AMSOIL synthetic hydraulic oils help preserve hose integrity.

AMSOIL Synthetic Anti-Wear Hydraulic Oil

AMSOIL Synthetic Anti-Wear Hydraulic Oil effectively inhibits oxidation to help prevent acid formation and viscosity increase, resist carbon and varnish deposits and inhibit rust and foam (providing smooth hydraulic operation). It contains an effective zinc-based antiwear/ antioxidant additive that controls wear in high-speed, high-pressure vane and gear pumps while meeting the lubrication requirements of axial piston pumps with bronze-on-steel metallurgy.

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  • Maximum cold-temperature performance
  • Formulated for long life
  • Superior anti-wear protection
  • Contains rust, oxidation and foam inhibitors
  • Hydrolytically stable and readily separates from water
  • Available in ISO 22, 32, 46 and 68 viscosity grades
AMSOIL Synthetic Multi-Viscosity Hydraulic Oil

AMSOIL Synthetic Multi-Viscosity Hydraulic Oil's blend of high-viscosityindex base oils and performance additives provides all-season protection and reliable operation at a lower cost. Its proven wear resistance and varnish-control deliver maximum hydraulic system performance and life, and it is additionally tailored to promote energy efficiency and foam suppression.

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  • Provides all-season performance at a lower cost
  • Reduces maintenance costs
  • Resists varnish, viscosity loss and chemical breakdown
  • Increases system performance and responsiveness
  • Helps reduce energy costs
  • Available in ISO 22, 32, 46 and 68 viscosity grades
AMSOIL Biodegradable Hydraulic Oil

AMSOIL Biodegradable Hydraulic Oil (BHO) is a premium-performance, ISO 46 hydraulic oil that exhibits high biodegradability and low aquatic toxicity, along with superior oxidative stability, excellent low-temperature performance and outstanding results in laboratory and extended-duration pump testing. It contains antioxidants that prolong oil life and foam inhibitors that help promote problem-free operation.

January 2014

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil Outperforms Competition in New Study

Nine synthetic motor oils were compared to AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil (ASL). When it was all said and done, Signature Series demonstrated the best overall performance and cost-effectiveness.
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Since AMSOIL introduced the first synthetic motor oil to meet American Petroleum Institute (API) service requirements in 1972, many other synthetic motor oil brands have been introduced. Today, synthetics are widely viewed as superior to conventional motor oils, and demand continues growing, but how do other brands compare to AMSOIL?

A Study of SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils

Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil and nine other synthetic oils were subjected to five industry tests conducted according to American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) methodology. The overall annual cost of each oil was also compared. The study included synthetic motor oils exclusively for a number of reasons. First, most motorists now understand that synthetics provide increased performance benefits compared to conventional oils, so convincing consumers of synthetics' superiority is less of an issue. Second, while conventional motor oil sales remain flat, demand for synthetics continues to increase. Third, testing only synthetics facilitates an apples to apples comparison.


Testing examined several important areas of motor oil performance, including resistance to deposit formation, wear protection, high-temperature stability, resistance to acid formation and cold temperature performance.

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Four-Ball Wear Test results indicate significant differences in relative wear protection between oils. The top four performers limited wear scars to under 0.40 mm. AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil demonstrated the best wear protection in the Four-Ball Wear Test.
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AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil tested two numbers higher than the nearest competitor.
Each oil was subjected to the following ASTM test methodologies:
  • Thermo-Oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test (TEOST, ASTM D 6335)
  • NOACK Volatility Test (ASTM D 5800)
  • Four-Ball Wear Test (ASTM D 4172 Mod.)
  • Total Base Number (ASTM D 2896)
  • Cold Cranking Viscosity (ASTM D 5293)

Test results published in A Study of SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils describe and represent properties of oils that were acquired from November 2012 to December 2012. Results do not apply to any subsequent reformulations of such oils or to new oils introduced after completion of testing. All oils were available to consumers at the time of purchase. An independent, third-party lab conducted all tests. Formulations were coded to reduce the potential for bias, and samples were tested in random order. An appropriate number of trials of each oil were run to produce results at the 95 percent confidence level when compared to Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil. The 95 percent confidence level only applies when comparing AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil to the other 5W-30 oils. The 95 percent confidence level does not apply when comparing the other oils to one another.

Candidate Oils

The following nine oils were selected for the study:

  • Castrol Edge® with Titanium Fluid Strength Technology®
  • Lucas Synthetic
  • Mobil 1™ Extended Performance
  • Pennzoil Ultra™
  • Petro-Canada SUPREME Synthetic™
  • Quaker State Ultimate Durability™
  • Red Line High Performance Motor Oil
  • Royal Purple High Performance Motor Oil
  • Valvoline SynPower® Full Synthetic Motor Oil

All oils are 5W-30 viscosity and recommended for applications requiring API SN/ILSAC GF-5 specifications.


AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil displayed the best results in the Four-Ball Wear, Total Base Number and Cold Crank Viscosity Tests. Results in the NOACK and TEOST Tests were also impressive, proving Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil's excellent high-temperature performance. Other oils performed well in some tests, but not as well in others, illustrating the challenge inherent in formulating a high-quality motor oil that performs well in tests designed to assess optimum engine protection and life. In addition to delivering outstanding performance, Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides maximum cost-effectiveness - even at retail pricing. Because they buy at wholesale, Dealers and Preferred Customers receive even more value. In the end, no other oil demonstrated itself capable of providing the overall performance in these tests and cost effectiveness of Signature Series.

Click on picture for larger Cold Crank Viscosity Chart
Although synthetic motor oils are known to provide increased low temperature performance compared to conventional oils, results suggest performance differences between formulations. AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil demonstrated the lowest cold crank viscosity (3,727 cP).
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Results demonstrate a range of performance differences. Only Castrol Edge with Titanium Fluid Strength Technology and AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil limited total deposit weight to 5 mg or less.

AMSOIL 5W-30 Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil

AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil Demonstrates Outstanding Protection in Extreme Heat

AMSOIL Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil Bottle

Protection against extreme heat is of the utmost importance in motorcycle applications. The air-cooled V-twin engines used in Harley-Davidson motorcycles can get extremely hot, particularly when idling or traveling at low speeds.

If a motorcycle oil cannot withstand hot operating temperatures, its ability to provide adequate engine protection is compromised. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is formulated to withstand extreme heat conditions beyond the hottest temperatures motorcycles typically experience, providing peace of mind that motorcycles receive outstanding protection and performance no matter how extreme the operating conditions.

Dynamometer Testing

To demonstrate its extreme-heat protection qualities, AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCV) was subjected to a dynamometer test designed to simulate conditions even more extreme than the demanding stop-andgo driving conditions of a motorcycle rally or parade route.

A 2012 Harley-Davidson FXDB Dyna Street Bob motorcycle equipped with AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil was operated for 68.5 minutes at low speeds, with significant idle time broken by engine revving. Like most Harley- Davidson motorcycles, the Dyna Street Bob features an air-cooled V-twin engine, which relies on cooling fins arrayed along the cylinder walls to conduct heat away. To create the most-severe operating conditions possible, the electronic temperature controls, which safeguard the motorcycle when temperatures reach dangerous levels, were deactivated. The test subjected the oil and engine components to intense heat not normally experienced in the real world, with cylinder temperatures reaching more than 500°F.

The extreme temperatures were no match for AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil. After nearly 70 minutes of torturous testing and heat exposure, oil analysis revealed no change in oil viscosity and only minor levels of oxidation, TBN depletion and wear.

Not only did AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil prevent the engine from overheating and seizing, it did so without losing chemical integrity or ability to protect vulnerable engine components, demonstrating that it provides outstanding protection even in compromising and severe high-temperature riding and idling conditions not experienced by most riders.

Thermal heat motocycle image 1 Thermal heat motocycle image 2

As temperatures climbed to more than 500°F in the cylinders, an infrared camera revealed the redhot conditions that assaulted the engine components and oil.


As heat breaks oil down, the viscosity typically rises until it is significantly out of grade and must be changed. AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil showed no change in viscosity following the extreme-temperature test, demonstrating its outstanding resistance to thermal breakdown and its ability to provide excellent protection in the most severe conditions.

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AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil demonstrated outstanding oxidation resistance, allowing it to control deposits and keep motorcycle engines clean and operating at peak efficiency.

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AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil successfully maintained its Total Base Number (TBN), allowing it to effectively combat corrosive acids.

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Wear Metals

AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil demonstrated outstanding wear protection throughout the extreme-temperature test, with oil analysis results showing only trace levels of wear metals.

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AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil information

After 1.6 Million Miles 18 Wheeler Shows No Signs of Quitting

After 1.6 million miles on the original drivetrain and 1.1 million on the factory-rebuilt engine, Jerry Pruett and his AMSOIL-lubed Kenworth show no signs of retiring.
Jerry Puett's 1.6 million mile 18 wheeler

When AMSOIL Dealer Jerry Pruett of Woodhull, Ill. purchased his new 1999 Kenworth over-the-road truck in December 1998, he thought it might run forever if he installed AMSOIL synthetic lubricants. Now with more than 1.6 million miles on the drivetrain and over 1.1 million on the factory-rebuilt engine, "forever" still remains in sight.

The mileage is even more impressive considering how little work the truck has required. The Detroit Diesel Reliabilt® engine still has virtually all of its original components, including the turbo and fuel injectors. The truck accumulates 2,300-3,000 miles a week hauling loads averaging 27,000-35,000 pounds, with some up to 80,000.

The reliability of the drivetrain is also notable. Though the clutch has been replaced a couple times, the transmission hasn't been touched. "I've done nothing to the transmission. All the gears in it are at 1.6 million miles," said Pruett. The differential gears are also original to the truck.

Pruett runs SAE 60 Super Heavy Weight Synthetic Racing Oil (AHR) in the transmission. He uses Severe Gear® SAE 190 Synthetic Gear Lube (SRN) in the differentials, although AMSOIL primarily recommends 75W-90 Long Life Synthetic Gear Lube (FGR) in over-the-road applications. "A little bit thicker oil couldn't hurt with the high miles," said Pruett.

AMSOIL Helps Increase Life of Defective Engine

The truck was originally equipped with a Detroit Diesel engine that, unknown to Pruett, contained a manufacturing defect known to cause catastrophic failure early in the engine's service life. Pruett initially installed Shell Rotella during the break-in period. "I wanted the rings to seat prior to switching to AMSOIL," he said. At about 140,000 miles, he installed Series 3000 Synthetic Heavy Duty Diesel Oil (HDD).

With 506,000 miles on the engine, the number three piston failed. "In talking with the mechanics, I found out there was a defect on these engines, and some blew around 300,000 to 375,000 miles," said Pruett. "In one instance, a rod came through the engine and punctured the computer. I felt my engine lasted as long as it did because of AMSOIL." When the mechanics removed the cylinder heads, the original hone marks were still visible on the cylinder walls. "The mechanic said the engine was not wearing out; the oil was doing a great job. Had it not been for the piston failure, it could have run forever."

Detroit Diesel Reliabilt® Engine

Despite the engine warranty having expired 6,000 miles earlier, Pruett presented his case to Detroit Diesel. "I felt Detroit Diesel was taking advantage of me. Other guys using any old oil were receiving warranty coverage because their engines failed sooner. I told them I was using the best oil in the world and, because of that, the engine lasted longer," said Pruett. "To have that engine last past the warranty was a surprise to them, I think." Detroit Diesel agreed to provide Pruett a factory-overhauled engine at cost, in addition to $4,500 for installation.

The factory-rebuilt engine has since powered the truck for 1.1 million miles, requiring virtually no repairs. "I haven't even pulled the cylinder head off this thing," Pruett said. "I didn't replace the water pump until accumulating over 900,000 miles. Usually a water pump lasts 350,000 miles on a good day." As with the previous engine, Pruett installed Shell Rotella during the break-in period prior to switching to Series 3000 Synthetic Heavy Duty Diesel Oil.

The lone repair required was replacement of the camshaft at about 100,000 miles, barely out of the break-in period when still using Shell Rotella. Pruett believes the camshaft was original to the engine and not replaced when the engine was factory re-built by Detroit Diesel.

With close to 800,000 miles on the engine, Pruett switched to higher-viscosity 15W-40 Synthetic Heavy Duty Diesel and Marine Oil (AME) to guard against excess oil consumption common as engines age.

During a routine 31-point inspection completed when Pruett had a faulty sensor replaced, the mechanic remarked how nice the turbo looked. "They thought it had only been in for a couple months," said Pruett. "It was 12 years old." Pruett credits the Donaldson Endurance™ Heavy-Duty Air Filter for the turbo's longevity. "I was sold on the air filter from day one," he said. "Throttle response was quicker, it boosted the horsepower a little bit and turbo noise decreased."

100,000-mile Oil Changes

Pruett also uses the AMSOIL DUAL GARD® By-Pass Oil Filtration System fitted with two EaBP110 By-Pass Oil Filters. Regular oil analysis continually indicated the oil was suitable for continued use, allowing Pruett to establish an oil change interval of once per year, or about every 100,000 miles, based on historical data. The EaBP110 By-Pass Oil Filters are changed twice a year, or about every 50,000 miles. Practicing extended drain intervals saves a considerable amount of money each year compared to using conventional oil and standard drain intervals. "Some guys are spending up to $1,200 a year on oil changes when they could be spending half that with AMSOIL," said Pruett. "They're throwing their money away."

Excellent Fuel Economy

Additional savings are realized each time Pruett fills his diesel tanks. "The truck really kind of scares me; it runs so good. I'm still getting about 7 mpg," said Pruett. During a run from Indianapolis, Ind. to St. Louis, Mo., the truck achieved 9.7 mpg. "The truck is capable of that mileage if I can just keep my foot out of it," said Pruett. He has used AMSOIL Diesel Concentrate (ADF) since day one, which not only helps fuel economy but, according to Pruett, has contributed to the fuel injectors lasting as long as they have. He also keeps AMSOIL Cold Flow Improver (ACF) on hand and uses it when conditions dictate.

No End in Sight

Pruett's truck serves as a rolling billboard for AMSOIL. It's covered in AMSOIL decals, along with the contact information for Pruett's AMSOIL Dealership. He shares his AMSOIL story with truckers at every opportunity. Pruett turns 62 in January and has thought about retiring, but, unfortunately for him, his truck has not. "I really want to see how far this truck can go, so I keep on trucking away."

Rare Parts Uses AMSOIL Synthetic GreaseEach part manufactured by Rare Parts Inc. is sent out with an AMSOIL decal.
AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Truck, Chassis & Equipment Grease

Manufacturer Installs Only AMSOIL Synthetic Grease in its 'Rare Parts'

A California manufacturer of steering and suspension parts installs AMSOIL synthetic greases exclusively in its Diamond Series specialty parts.
Rare Parts Steering & Suspension

Rare Parts Inc. of Stockton, Calif. was the vision of Lyle Burgess, who began operating a wheel alignment service in 1957. He realized the steering and suspension parts he needed were hard to get and the industry lacked a steering and suspension part manufacturer that offered complete coverage. Parts were becoming obsolete. In 1981, Burgess founded Rare Parts.

Much like the story of AMSOIL INC., an ever-expanding company born from the vision of its founder A.J. Amatuzio, Rare Parts Inc. has flourished and grown over time. Today, Danny Burgess, a machinist who grew up in the business alongside his father, is president of the company.

Rare Parts is committed to providing American-made parts and designs and manufactures obsolete and current parts for virtually any application. The company offers complete coverage for any vehicle make, model or year.

"We offer products from the late 1920s to present, and if we do not have it we will build it," Danny Burgess said. "We build our own inventory and custom projects from the classic street rod enthusiast to custom fabricated agricultural harvester parts."

The Diamond Series line is manufactured to exceed original equipment manufacturer and other aftermarket product specifications. Examples are larger forgings for increased strength, improved internal designs, better wear characteristics, greaseable parts, tighter machining tolerances, proper heat treatment of ball studs and mating components and other changes in key areas, according to Burgess. Every Diamond Series part is designed, tested and inspected in the Rare Parts Inc. facility before it leaves the warehouse.

Rare Parts Steering & Suspension Parts

The parts are pre-greased with AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Truck, Chassis and Equipment Grease (GPTR).

"We only produce high-quality steering and suspension parts here in the USA and we wanted to pair them with a well-known highquality grease that also is made in the USA," Burgess said. "Since being registered as a retail-on-the-shelf account by our servicing Dealer, we have been using AMSOIL grease exclusively for about six to eight months. We also run AMSOIL products in our manufacturing equipment.

"Our experience with AMSOIL grease is that it holds up very well at high temperatures and reduces friction (turning torque) in some of our ball joints and idler arms. Reduced turning torque reduces steering effort and increases the life of the parts."

AMSOIL Synthetic Greases

Dan Peterson Dan Peterson
Vice President
Technical Development

Oil Additives Can Offset the Careful Balance of a Well-Formulated Motor Oil

An overabundance of anti-wear agents, for example, can lead to reduced resistance to corrosion.

I don't get up on my soapbox very often – partly because I have put on a few extra pounds and don't want to break the box, and partly because it's just not my personality. Not a lot of things really get to me, but when I come across something that does, you don't want to be with me in the car for a long drive. One of these things is engine oil additives. The last time I stopped by the local parts store to pick up a tool for a brake job on my Ford Fusion, I stood in the aisle for a full 10 minutes looking at the huge display of engine oil additives. I was not in a hurry, so I picked up a dozen or so and read the marketing claims.

Wow; it seems almost any internal engine problem in the world can be solved simply by using an engine oil additive. "Restores engine life, eliminates dry starts, eliminates engine noise, restores parts' surfaces AND compensates current wear!" Now I see why people buy all these oil additives. Too busy or just not interested in taking care of your vehicle? Just wait until you have a problem and then buy a solution at the local parts store and you are back in business. Our instant-gratification culture pushes us into believing in quick solutions. In reality, there are very few quick solutions that can correct years of neglect in any area of life, including your internal combustion engine. Very few, if any, engine oil additives solve engine issues overnight or somehow restore engines to their original condition. So how do you get the longest, trouble-free life out of your engine? Use a highquality, trusted brand of synthetic motor oil regularly and don't add any engine oil additives. Formulating a motor oil to perform all the critical jobs required by your engine is a balancing act. You can't just focus on improving one property without testing and evaluating the impact on all critical oil properties. Many times, use of additives improves one property, but causes other properties to take a nosedive.

Formulating synthetic motor oils is a core strength developed over the past 40 years at AMSOIL, and it is not an easy task. Motor oils need to protect engines against abnormal wear, excessive varnish, sludge, rust and corrosion and damaging foam. Motor oils also need to remove heat, help meet fuel economy standards, keep engine seals from leaking and keep catalytic converters working effectively over their projected lives.

Many negative outcomes derived from using engine oil additives have been documented over the years, including accelerated corrosion, excess oil thickening in cold temperatures and increased deposit formation. Most of these negative outcomes are relatively complicated chemical interactions, but just like your family is interconnected, so is the chemistry in your motor oil. When you add Uncle Buck to your family for a week, you and the kids all have a lot more fun staying up late and listening to stories, but he upsets the family balance. The kids have black circles under their eyes from staying up too late, you argue with your spouse about a few choice new words the kids picked up and you have to clean up cigar butts all over the garage when he finally leaves. Seems fun at first, but a week-long visit proves having Uncle Buck live with you for good isn't such a good idea.

The chemicals in motor oils are all interconnected and work together like a family unit to provide all the important properties required to keep your engine operating well. Most motor oils are designed with a measured amount of wear protection and deposit control. The problem comes when you add a whole bunch of extra or new wear protection or deposit control, and it ends up creating corrosion or destroying cold temperature properties. Motor oils that perform well have some Uncle Buck built in, but at an appropriate level that does not upset critical chemistry in other areas designed to keep your engine running smoothly over the long run.

If you want a more detailed explanation by industry experts, a recent Noria announcement outlined that "Aftermarket oil additives can backfire." In the book, "Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication," the following description is listed:

"Increasing the percentage of a certain additive may improve one property of an oil while at the same time degrade another. When the specified concentrations of additives become unbalanced, overall oil quality can be affected. Some additives compete with each other for the same space on a metal surface. If a high concentration of an anti-wear agent is added to the oil, the corrosion inhibitor may become less effective. The result may be an increase in corrosion-related problems."

It's a much fancier way of saying too much of your Uncle Buck is not good for your marriage. Next time you talk to someone who is contemplating using one of those flashy new engine oil additives, tell them about the importance of maintaining the critical balance in motor oil and what can happen when it becomes unbalanced.

AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils