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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2011, 05:15 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Hey Blue, check out this great oil article-really

If you go to http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/Consumables.html you can read quite a bit about auto, truck, and motorcycle oils. Click on "all about oil" in the first paragraph.

Let me know what you think Blue and others. I found it quite interesting as it is written by a non-oil-professional who learned everything he could about the truth about oils in 80 hours and he found a ton of stuff that will truly surprise you. Get this: Best "full synthetic"
Shell Rotella T $14 a gallon at Wal-Mart. Best PURE synthetic (big difference) AMSOIL.

Full synthetic (as we know it) is 30% synthetic and 70% petroleum grade III.
Synthetic blend oil is pure crap. Read why.

Some motorcycle slant, but still very relevant. Blue, I know you are a voracious reader and like being confident of your true knowledge of any subject. I think you will enjoy this piece! Let me know if I guessed right

BIll
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2011, 08:04 PM
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Fudman Fudman is online now
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Great find! The "All About Oil" is well written in plain english. Not sure I need to know any of this but it is very interesting and informative.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2011, 06:17 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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I've seen this before. An interesting article. I also own a motorcycle and have been riding since 1975. These days I've been running Shell Rotella 15w-40 conventional in my FJR1300. Prior to that, on my Suzuki Bandit 1200, I also used Shell Rotella after initially having very good experiences with Quaker State 10W-40 conventional. Now on to Mobil 1 of any type. I've NEVER EVER had a good experience with Mobil 1 in my motorcycle engines. Each time I've tried it in 4 different engines, the engine each time was slightly noisier. These was simply more mechanical noise present. I tried 10-40, 15-40, 20-50, and the more expensive M1 for motorcycles. Each time, over 20 years, same experience. Each time after about 100-200 miles, I'd get spooked by the noise and drain it and go back to QS 10-40 or more recently Shell Rotella. So why did I try it again over the years? Well, other folks had good experiences with it.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2011, 06:34 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Hey Elmer! Thanks for the affirmation! I was sent this by my friend of maybe 30 years who likely taught me everything I know today about cars, ham radio, & electronics. He is a very multi-talented individual who reads and then does. If it's electrical or mechainical, he will just tear into it without a schematic or a DIY because he knows he will understand what is supposed to be happening and why-intuitively. He's in his 60's now and drives a 1300 cc Yamaha Venturer motorcycle (probably about a 1976) that has close to 300,000 real miles on it that he bought used 25 years ago. He re-built the transmission in his driveway and that's about it. When he finds articles like this and forwards them to me, that means there is something special about them. In this case, it was because it was written by a guy who spent a whole 80 hours learning everything he could about oils with a slant toward oil for bikes, but it all applies equally to cars. He has no backing by any oil maker. No dog in the fight so to speak. And when he discusses how synthetics came to be and then how they evolved just in terms of what a full synthetic now must be to be called a full synthetic, I was blown away! 30% synthetic content=the label "Full synthetic" today. Full synthetics virtually do not exist on the shelves you and I would have access to except Amsoil and a couple others we will likely never see that are PURE 100% made in a petri dish! Amsoil has always had a strong following and this proves it is for damn good reason. Then he explains whether we even need a pure synthetic in the first place. He rates Shell Rotella T as the best synthetic out there regardless of cost and it just happens to be $14/gal. at Wal-Mart! The part about what really happens with multi-viscosities, all witten in a language we can all relate to. I really feel like I can talk about oil and be confident I really know what's up with Mobil 1 or Castrol, or any others. I posted on Bimerforums and likely one or two people there will even read because they are realy not about fact-but opinion That's painting with a broad brush, but folks here seem to really enjoy "digging" for FACTS. I love it. I hope Blue reads because that means the real word will get spread :-)

Bill

Last edited by 540iman; 02-05-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2011, 07:44 AM
haolibird haolibird is online now
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Nice info.

Affirms what my filter mfg. taught me.
Delo 400 is one of the best oils there is.

As a trucking company manager, I know all about having oil anylisis done on engines, and the qoute about the brands sold at truck stops was spot on.

Even though the "Oil thread" has been beat to death, this was a great article/write up.

Thanks IMan.

Tom
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2011, 07:46 AM
haolibird haolibird is online now
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OK, I know more about trucks than I do about spelling.

How 'bout "Analysis"?

T
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2011, 09:38 AM
Jim Rolando Jim Rolando is offline
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Good interesting information! My brother in-law is a petroleum engineer and this sounds like him when we talk about something other than the most recent Cabernet releases. But, it makes more sense to reading than listening.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2011, 10:04 AM
mancho mancho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
...I posted on Bimerforums and likely one or two people there will even read because they are realy not about fact-but opinion That's painting with a broad brush, but folks here seem to really enjoy "digging" for FACTS. I love it...

Bill
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Agreed. This is why I hang out at the fest
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2011, 04:47 AM
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"Since it's designed for diesel motors, they don't care about no stinkin' catalytic thingies, and CAFE is a place where you get a cup of joe and a donut."

One comment that is less of an issue these days since Rotella and I presume the others have reformulated their oils. Rotella used to have a much higher zinc (ZDDP) than it does today. This is one of the better additives that was used for antiwear and was especially effective on the old school camshaft pushrod engines before roller lifters. This is one of the reasons why it is effective in a motorcycle engine. For various reasons ZDDP and other antiwear ingredients have been reduced greatly. Now I need to find something else for my 69 GTX 440-4barrel.

So this article is a bit dated now on the diesel motor oils.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2011, 05:17 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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fab car and plenty fast, stump-pulling torque, and value exceeding inflation...but, oh to have been born a "hemi" eh? $$$
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:04 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Hi Bill,
Thanks for thinking of me.

At first, I thought it was just yet another oil opinion, so I hesitated to read it, especially after seeing the first page (executive summary), which appeared to me to be just more unsubstantiated opinion.

But I was wrong! It's only when you get to the good stuff that the data starts flowing!


Here are my ad-hoc temporal comments as I read it (top to bottom):
- Yes, it has a motorcycle bent ...
- The "energy conserving" admonishment was clearly surprising, shocking in fact ... I will need to dig up more on that topic ... especially since he mentions the "clutch" will slip ... but maybe the beemers are different with respect to motor oil contacting the transmission.
EDIT: Later on he talks about 'wet clutches' so some bikes are different than our E39 with respect to the problem with "energy conserving" oils.

- The author connects viscosity with the reputedly bad "energy conserving", which at least bolsters those with the opinion that the viscosity spread doesn't come without a cost (but it's as-yet unsubstantiated and doesn't distinguish between dino juice and lab juice)

Moving on to the "all about motor oil" ...
- I knew about cracking but I was unaware of the "clay solvent" methods he listed for getting rid of unwanted chemicals from the crude oil.
- It was VERY interesting to find out that "synthetic" is not a technical term, but, only a marketing term (i.e., the big lie). Very interesting.

"[In 1999, the courts] decided that the word "synthetic" was a marketing term and referred to properties, not to production methods or ingredients [for motor oils]"

- Wow. All this time, I thought "synthetic" meant "synthetic"! Now I realize it means (practically) nothing!

- So now we have the term "traditional synthetics", which seem to only be oils from Delvac-1, AMSOil, Redline, and Motul 5100. I just bought two cases of Mobil1 at Costco. I guess it's NOT "truly" synthetic then.

- The "Iran" aside was interesting, and if true, an enlightening argument. But that's an aside.

- At this point, it wasn't any longer a surprise that "semi synthetic" didn't mean any more than synthetic does (i.e., all part of the "big lie").

- Another epiphany! The viscosity improvers, as I had always suspected, don't come for free. This quote was enlightening (if true):

"there are two catches [to multi-weight oils]: first, [viscosity improvers] ... are not lubricants, so the more of them that you add the less oil you have sitting around lubricating things ... Secondly, these VII molecules can be broken into pieces".

- Then he goes on to say what everyone else has said for a while ...

"Synthetic oils made from pure PAOs and/or Diesters ... are far less subject to viscosity breakdown"

- So what this tells me, since I minimize the viscosity spread as much as I can (and I have the temperate luxury to do so here in California), is that I don't have to minimize the spread if the "synthetic" oil I'm using comes from PAO or diester stock.

- WOW! I've been "calculating" the viscosity spread all wrong!

- I used to simply subtract, so a 10w40 would have the same viscosity spread (to me) as a 20w50 ... but he DIVIDES!

"10w-30 oil increases its viscosity at high temperatures by a factor of three ... 10w-40 oil increases ... by a factor of four ... 20w-50, which sounds a lot like 10w-40, only increases ... by a factor of two and a half, so it requires fewer of these molecules than even 10w-30. 15w-40 also increases ... by about two and a half, so this oil is also substantially more stable than 10w-40"

- I'm going to have to ponder that calculation above for a while as I've been minimizing my viscosity spread (he likens it to maximizing "stability") using the wrong calculation!

- It's interesting that the viscosity breaks down within a thousand miles in hard driving circumstances. If true, that's truly scary and makes the minimizing the viscosity-spread factor (or whatever to call it) much more important!

- As another OT aside, I found it enlightening that Albert didn't get a unit of measure named after him ...

- Even though the guy explains stuff well, I didn't get this sentence at all
"You can see ... there's only three choices for oil: 20; 30 or light 40; heavy 40 to 60."

- This sentence bolstered what I always thought:
"in fact if it's got the API seal on it, it's probably about the same as any other similarly rated automotive oil."

- Yet another revelation! I wasn't aware that an oil with an API rating could actually be non rated! Only if it has the "API seal" is it definite that it was rated what it says it is. The article didn't clarify for me the difference though, in what the seals actually look like (there's a pic, but I wasn't sure what it was telling me).


- The argument for NOT using racing oils was convincing - especially as I see people "thinking" if it's good for the track, it must be great for the street.

- Another revelation (of sorts). I hadn't realized the base oil will last your engine! I knew the additives were temporal; but I didn't realize the longevity of the base oil!

... then he delved into motorcycles ...

- And he finally concluded with some nice references (most of which are known to most of us but some are new to me):
- All about the new CJ-4 oils.
- Oil viscosity defined.
- API Service classifications.
- Everything you ever wanted to know about oil
, but were afraid to ask.
- Here's what an additive package manufacturer has to say about oils.
- Chevron talks about base oils and GF-4 oils.
- Consumer Reports tests oils for 4,500,000 miles in NYC taxis.
- Lubricants primer
by Red Line.
- All about oil
by Ed Hackett, a college professor.
- Oil Advice
from Mike Guillory, a petroleum engineer.
- More Oil Advice. Jeff Di Carlo also has an opinion.
Check out the articles in MCN Jan-Feb '03. MCN '94 includes viscosity breakdown testing.
- Another article that includes viscosity breakdown testing.
- The history of synthetic oils, only *slightly* self-serving.
- Oil additives = snake oil? (yes)
- More on oil additives = snake oil
- Mobil wants your money, as does Shell, Valvoline, AMSOil and Spectro Oil.
- Are Harley oils the best?
- FAQs about commercial oils answered by Shell.
- Are diesel oils really ok for motorcycles?




Last edited by bluebee; 02-06-2011 at 07:52 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:36 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Blue...you are correct that he jumps to what is important to motorcycles without really saying so as you picked-up with the wet clutch reference which is, of course, a motorcycle-only reference as far as BMWs go at least.

I think the salient points that I look away that surprised me were similar to yours in that fully synthetic is just a marketing term and not a true descriptive term as long as you have at least 30% synthetic content.

However, as long as the 30% is combined with a type III petroleum base produced in the preferred manner, this need not be an unnecessary concern. Today's full synthetics can be good as evidenced by Rotella T...who wudda thunk Shell *might* be a better quality synthetic than Mobil 1. Depends on what you are after.

Wide, multi-viscosity oils may not retain that wide range as long as we all think. It has been a while since I read article so it is time for a re-read as I always catch much more the second time, but seems like he said some oils that start as say 20W-50 are not so after as little as a few hundred miles!

Of course the question does remain "what does all this have to do with LL01"? I don't think we will know that, but feel safe to say that there is so much "hype" in oils that as long as you avoid excessive paraffins and some other basics, you have a great chance of your motor lasting an incredibly long time regardless of brand- substance within brand far more important. He spent a lot of time NOT taking a pro or con stance about any brand really, but just brought some basic facts into a lay person's terms so that we can speak from a perspective higher than before we read. I thought you would appreciate Blue. When I read, the first thing I thought is that Blue needs to add this to her overall knowledge which you are gaining rapidly (I respect that in you) and that you will retain bits and pieces as you feel appropriate to what you may have read elsewhere. :-)
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:50 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
I hope Blue reads because that means the real word will get spread :-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
you will retain bits and pieces
My revelations:
  1. Synthetic refers to "properties" and not ingredients nor how it's made (same with semi-synthetic, i.e. "the big lie").
  2. The stock oil lasts the life of the engine; viscosity breaks down fast.
  3. "Synthetic oils made from pure PAOs or Diesters hold viscosity longer.
  4. Minimize viscosity spread by DIVISION (not subtraction)!
  5. Just because it says API SM doesn't mean it has been tested to be an API SM (I still need a better description of the visual-identification cues to understand how to reliably tell the difference)!
I think I'm going to cross link this immediately to the threads:
- How to choose the right motor oil for your E39 (by quality, cold-start, warm viscosity, slipperiness, and cost)
- BMW-approved oils (1)

Now I need to change my recommendations!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf all_about_motor_oil.pdf (262.7 KB, 184 views)

Last edited by bluebee; 02-06-2011 at 07:59 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2011, 08:15 AM
abqhudson abqhudson is offline
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"You can see that, based on this, really there's only three choices for oil: 20; 30 or light 40; heavy 40 to 60."

1. 20
2. 30 or light 40
3. heavy 40 to 60

Maybe there are more than three choices in there.
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2011, 09:27 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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15w anything is too heavy for cold starts in our engines. To state the bleeding obvious
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  #16  
Old 02-06-2011, 06:19 PM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
fab car and plenty fast, stump-pulling torque, and value exceeding inflation...but, oh to have been born a "hemi" eh? $$$
Don't I know that.. They made 5 Hemi GTX ragtops. 3 Auto, 2 4 speeds. Far more rare than a hemicuda convert but does not pull the same $$$.
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2011, 11:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Minimize viscosity spread by DIVISION (not subtraction)!
The example given in the quoted article shows how to compare the viscosity range between ...
  • API 20w40 --> 40/20 = 2 (best)
  • API 10w30 --> 30/10 = 3 (not as good)
  • API 10w40 --> 40/10 = 4 (getting worse)
  • API 5w30 --> 30/5 = 6 (even worse)
  • etc.
However, how do you calculate the viscosity spread for a 0w40?

You can't divide by zero?
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