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What oil are you using?

This is a discussion on What oil are you using? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have been doing some reading on oils and there properties and was wondering what some of you here have ...

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    What oil are you using?

    I have been doing some reading on oils and there properties and was wondering what some of you here have been using and any suggestions on oils for a 100k + cars. I plan on some track days this summer and want the best protection and have seen Valvoline VR1 is highly recommended.

    Here is one link I found interesting ZDDP values and High Zinc Oils • Speed Talk

    Here's another: http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite/oils_and_zddp.pdf

    This is the oil
    Valvoline.com > Products > Motor Oil > Racing Motor Oil > VR1 Racing Oil (VR1)

    If you could list your recommendations what you do with your car(street/track, street only limited miles, or daily driver) and mileage of your car and change intervals.
    My mods listed below just bolt-ons with a Ls6 intake coming in spring
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    I have used Pennzoil Platinum Plus Synthetic since I purchased the car new in a 10W-30 weight. I change the oil once a year, which ranges anywhere from 1,000 miles to 4,000 miles. Car currently has 24,XXX miles on it so not a good correlation to high mileage really, but that oil seems to be highly recommended and many people use it, inclusive of site members here.

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    Penzoil Platinum as well, but in 5W-30.

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    Amsoil Dominator Racing Oil 10w30. Every 3k is when I change it which usually comes out to once a year. My car is not a DD it is a fun street and track car.
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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Mobil 1 Extended Performance 10w30

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    I was using Mobil 1 until my most recent oil change where I "heard" that Comp Cams recommends against Mobil 1 for the LS1 (they changed their formula or some such). I heard it from a source that I trust. So after recommendation from members who have posted in this thread, I switched to Penzoil Platinum. It's my first use of it, so we'll see how it goes (had it in for about a month and change now).

    My car is a daily driver approaching 90K miles. Engine still feels very "tight" and strong, despite daily WOT pulls through 1st and 2nd.

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    Has anyone used or considered Driven?

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Has anyone used or considered Driven?
    I've read good feedback on it but the Valvoline VR1 seems to be the biggest hit and is ranked 3rd on the list( ZDDP values and High Zinc Oils • Speed Talk ) the top 2 are short term racing oil only not intended for street use. The zinc content is what is the key, not to high or low but a happy medium. Also see that Joe Gibbs Driven has a oil just for LS based engines. Driven LS30 5W-30 Next Generation Synthetic
    Back when I was building bikes Mobil 1 & Amsoil were at the top and I used them with great success but as always products continually change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingls1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Has anyone used or considered Driven?
    I've read good feedback on it but the Valvoline VR1 seems to be the biggest hit and is ranked 3rd on the list( ZDDP values and High Zinc Oils • Speed Talk ) the top 2 are short term racing oil only not intended for street use. The zinc content is what is the key, not to high or low but a happy medium. Also see that Joe Gibbs Driven has a oil just for LS based engines. Driven LS30 5W-30 Next Generation Synthetic
    Back when I was building bikes Mobil 1 & Amsoil were at the top and I used them with great success but as always products continually change.
    Funny they don't even include any of Amsoil ' s racing oil on that list. If you look HERE it has higher Zinc ppm and their ZDDP ratings are the same when compared to the conventional VR1 racing oil. The conventional VR1 oil has higher Phosphate content though. Also Amsoil Dominator Racing Oil has higher phosphate rating in addition over the synthetic version of VR1. In my opinion conventional VR1 and Amsoil Dominator Racing Oil are fighting for the same spot as far as their ranking goes in top quality oils in both protection qualities and maintaining those qualities while under load. Yet for some reason the amsoil is still #5 only due to the psi rating, however being higher in Zinc, ZDDP, and Phosphate is much more important, to a point. Obviously, if the psi rating is really low it won't be a good oil to use because under load it won't work as well. However, once you get in the 90,000 and up range the psi rating doesn't matter as much and the actual ppm ratings are much more important. The only oil on that list that has all around higher values is Valvoline NSL racing oil (not street legal).
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 02-28-2014 at 09:45 AM.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    I was using Mobil 1 until my most recent oil change where I "heard" that Comp Cams recommends against Mobil 1 for the LS1 (they changed their formula or some such). I heard it from a source that I trust. So after recommendation from members who have posted in this thread, I switched to Penzoil Platinum. It's my first use of it, so we'll see how it goes (had it in for about a month and change now).

    My car is a daily driver approaching 90K miles. Engine still feels very "tight" and strong, despite daily WOT pulls through 1st and 2nd.

    Whats so different about Mobil 1's formula that it isn't good to use? When did it change? I've been using it (5W30)for 7 years now.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    Funny they don't even include any of Amsoil ' s racing oil on that list. If you look HERE it has higher Zinc ppm and their ZDDP ratings are the same when compared to the conventional VR1 racing oil. The conventional VR1 oil has higher Phosphate content though. Also Amsoil Dominator Racing Oil has higher phosphate rating in addition over the synthetic version of VR1. In my opinion conventional VR1 and Amsoil Dominator Racing Oil are fighting for the same spot as far as their ranking goes in top quality oils in both protection qualities and maintaining those qualities while under load. Yet for some reason the amsoil is still #5 only due to the psi rating, however being higher in Zinc, ZDDP, and Phosphate is much more important, to a point. Obviously, if the psi rating is really low it won't be a good oil to use because under load it won't work as well. However, once you get in the 90,000 and up range the psi rating doesn't matter as much and the actual ppm ratings are much more important. The only oil on that list that has all around higher values is Valvoline NSL racing oil (not street legal).
    I do agree with the quality of Amsoil as my car is full of it other than motor and wouldn't be afraid to run it there also as stated above ran it in a built high H.P. Inline 4cylinder bike that was bored 205cc and it handled it with no issues. Just looking for ideas on what's used and what works. Keep it coming

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    Whats so different about Mobil 1's formula that it isn't good to use? When did it change? I've been using it (5W30)for 7 years now.
    They changed their base stock to a lesser quality a few years ago, so it's not better than other stuff on the shelf anymore.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Yep I am going to be switching all other fluids to Amsoil.

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    Amsoil is always a safe bet. Unfortunately, it is hard to come by in our area unless I order it on line.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    A couple things to keep in mind with the VR1 racing oil.

    One....it's not all synthetic. Not that it matters much, just means more frequent oil changes for some.

    Two....the high zinc content that Valvoline claims in their VR1 from my understanding is that it's in the 20W-50 viscosity only. That's how it's sold on the shelf without the "off road use" warning because that viscosity doesn't comply with recommended viscosity from the car manufactures. The 10W-30 VR1 has less PPM's of Zinc to comply with todays cat converters as it's the recommended viscosity for newer cars.


    I use the 20W-50 VR1 in a few cars here. An air cooled VW, and 3 different classic muscle cars. However in our LS powered vehicles I prefer to run Penzoil Platnum 10W-30.

    I believe the recommended PPM's of Zinc for flat tappet engines is in the 1200 PPM range, and you'll hear that from quite a few of the cam manufactures. This doesn't apply so much to roller cam engines (such as the LS1) however there are other areas in the engine with high friction/high load that could use the extra lubricity that zinc provides such as piston walls and piston skirts. So although a roller cam engine "CAN" get away with less Zinc content, it's not a bad idea to have it anyway in my opinion.

    Amsoil is good stuff, and since my classic cars generally only get the oil changed once a year I was thinking of trying their Synthetic high Zinc content muscle car oil.
    However the difference in price between VR1 and Amsoil makes me just a bit hesitant. $6 a quart vs $9 a quart can turn away some people. I figure with once a year change intervals the difference isn't too bad. I'm just not so sure I'd be getting any better protection than the VR1 provides, with the only real difference being Amsoil is a synthetic.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Amsoil is always a safe bet. Unfortunately, it is hard to come by in our area unless I order it on line.
    Our local Napa's out here carry it for $9 a quart.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 02-28-2014 at 02:28 PM.

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    FBJ - what's your take on the ZDDP additives?

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    A couple things to keep in mind with the VR1 racing oil.

    One....it's not synthetic. Not that it matters much, just means more frequent oil changes for some.

    Two....the high zinc content that Valvoline claims in their VR1 from my understanding is that it's in the 20W-50 viscosity only. That's how it's sold on the shelf without the "off road use" warning because that viscosity doesn't comply with recommended viscosity from the car manufactures. The 10W-30 VR1 has less PPM's of Zinc to comply with todays cat converters as it's the recommended viscosity for newer cars.


    I use the 20W-50 VR1 in a few cars here. An air cooled VW, and 3 different classic muscle cars. However in our LS powered vehicles I prefer to run Penzoil Platnum 10W-30.

    I believe the recommended PPM's of Zinc for flat tappet engines is in the 1200 PPM range, and you'll hear that from quite a few of the cam manufactures. This doesn't apply so much to roller cam engines (such as the LS1) however there are other areas in the engine with high friction/high load that could use the extra lubricity that zinc provides such as piston walls and piston skirts. So although a roller cam engine "CAN" get away with less Zinc content, it's not a bad idea to have it anyway in my opinion.

    Amsoil is good stuff, and since my classic cars generally only get the oil changed once a year I was thinking of trying their Synthetic high Zinc content muscle car oil.
    However the difference in price between VR1 and Amsoil makes me just a bit hesitant. $6 a quart vs $9 a quart can turn away some people. I figure with once a year change intervals the difference isn't too bad. I'm just not so sure I'd be getting any better protection than the VR1 provides, with the only real difference being Amsoil is a synthetic.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Amsoil is always a safe bet. Unfortunately, it is hard to come by in our area unless I order it on line.
    Our local Napa's out here carry it for $9 a quart.
    I became a dealer just so I can get Amsoil products cheaper lol. I get the Dominator Racing Oil for quite a bit cheaper than $9 per quart because of that.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    FBJ - what's your take on the ZDDP additives?
    I have no issue with them, the good stuff that is. I've never seen it sold on the shelf of the local stores, most of that I would consider snake oil, since technically they can't legally sell that over the counter since the EPA says it ruins cat converters.

    The good stuff is what cam manufactures sell you when you buy a flat tappet cam. I should say it's what they recommend, and they likely won't warranty the camshaft unless a bottle is purchased from them.

    Also GM sells it as well, called "EOS" or engine oil suppliment. I used to by that by the case and use a bottle in every brand new engine I started. Good stuff. Some people will run cheaper oil and just use a bottle of this at each oil change. However I think the price difference balances out to be the same in the end since the EOS is about $12 a bottle anyway, so you can just about spend extra on the Amsoil and not run the additive....

    Lately I've been buying the break in oils from Joe Gibbs for fresh engines and not using the EOS, and from there use a high zinc concentration oil afterwards.

  19. #19
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Here's another little tidbit of info. Not that this means a whole hell of a lot but I find it interesting.

    A couple years ago I bought a 502 crate engine from Scoggin/Dickey. This is a roller cam engine already. Among the thick booklet of paperwork they sent with the engine I read that they specifically recommended breaking this engine in with 20W-50 Valvoline VR1 racing oil. I think that says a little something about that oil...

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    I became a dealer just so I can get Amsoil products cheaper lol. I get the Dominator Racing Oil for quite a bit cheaper than $9 per quart because of that.
    I've thought about that, but for me it seemed like a pain in the butt having to order it all the time and then waiting. I like the fact that I can run up to the store at any time. There is also a little mom and pop store called 7th Avenue that carries it as well as Napa.

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