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Should You Use Diesel Competition Oil?

Should You Use Diesel Competition Oil?

April is here, and for those who love to spend time at the drag strip challenging their reaction time, on a dirt strip hooked to a sled, or tied down on a roller dyno grunting for power, the diesel competition season is upon us.

In the U.S. alone there are more than 400 different events that typically start the first week of April and carry us through October. So, whether you’re wrapped up in your own build, or just like watching others battle it out, there are plenty of opportunities.

Big power comes with a big price

Spend time in this competitive arena and you’ll soon learn that this hobby – which some call an addiction – isn’t cheap. Like all highly engaged enthusiasts, money is no object when it comes to getting the next fix. Competition is highly addictive and it inspires something in people to want more and more.

How much does one spend to play here? The sky’s the limit. But, to bring you back down to earth, I’ve seen trucks well into the $100,000 range.

When you spend that kind of money on your truck, you aren’t buying cheap parts from your local parts store; you’re buying custom parts from highly respected sources.

If you’re buying the best-of-the-best parts, why wouldn’t you want the best-of-the-best lubricants to protect those parts from failure? The answer, of course, is that you do.

Now, you may or may not be using the same oil in your competition truck as in your daily driver truck. If you are, pay attention – there is something better out there.

But first, if you are using a different oil in your competition truck, I’d love to know what convinced you to switch and how you decided to use the oil you’re using today. Was is based on your inner circle of influencers or product testing that demonstrated improved performance? I ask because I’ve met guys who know everything mechanically about turbochargers, for example, but who don’t realize that lubrication performance influences whether or not the turbo lives a long, healthy life. So, if your decision was the result of inner-circle influence, I suggest allowing real performance to dictate your decision.

AMSOIL has been the Official Oil of the Diesel Power Challenge and Ultimate Callout Challenge since their inception. We’re heavily involved in the turbodiesel pickup world, whether they be daily drivers on the street or a totally hot race truck on the track. We have products for both ends of the spectrum.

That said, if you’re on the competition end of the spectrum, do we have something new for you – AMSOIL DOMINATOR® 20W50 Competition Diesel Oil. It’s now available to help support competitors with additional confidence to push their truck even further.

This new diesel oil was built from the ground up for those who heavily modify their engine. How heavily, you ask?

  • More than 1,000 hp, but less than 2,000 hp

You’ll notice it’s a 20W-50, providing 50 percent more film thickness when compared to a 15W-40.* This, coupled with a boost in zinc, provides additional protection against higher cylinder pressures and wear. We built extra durability into this oil to outperform 15W-40 oils and other manufacturers’ 20W-50 oils.

Ultimately, you’re going to ask yourself this question: Should I run 20W50 DOMINATOR Competition Diesel Oil in my truck?If you care about the longevity of your engine while you compete, the answer is YES. Using a diesel oil capable of withstanding the intense stress these engines create is cheap insurance. This helps build the confidence you need to compete and gives you the protection you need to win!

*Compared to the 3.5cP HTHS limit for SAE 15W-40.

How Engine Wear & Deposits Kill Horsepower

Common Engine Wear & Deposits Will Kill Horsepower

Most people equate engine wear and deposits with a sudden, catastrophic engine failure that leaves you stranded alongside the road. In reality, wear and deposits are more likely to erode engine power and efficiency over time. Here’s how it works and what you can do about it.

Engine compression = power

For your engine to produce maximum power, the combustion chamber must seal completely during the compression and combustion strokes. Wear and deposits can prevent the valves or piston rings from sealing, allowing pressurized gases to escape the combustion chamber and take potential engine power with them.

To illustrate, imagine using a hydraulic floor jack. Pumping the handle will raise the vehicle as long as the release valve is tightly seated and doesn’t leak. A poorly sealed release valve, however, allows pressure to escape, causing the vehicle to sink to the ground no matter how much you pump the jack handle.

The same principle applies inside your engine. If some of the pressure created during the compression and combustion strokes is lost due to valves and piston rings that don’t seal completely, the engine will create less power.

engine wear identified

Wear & deposits reduce compression

Over time, deposits or valve wear can prevent the valves from closing completely, interfering with a good seal. Wear can also interfere with proper valve operation, disrupting optimum fuel/air flow.

If the piston rings do not seal tightly against the cylinder wall, pressurized combustion gases can escape past the rings and enter the crankcase, taking potential power with it.

Worn or stuck piston rings produce the same effect. The rings are designed to move freely in their grooves and press tightly against the cylinder wall. They should form a seal that prevents fuel/air from escaping. Ring wear can interfere with formation of a tight seal. Likewise, deposit buildup can cause the rings to stick in their grooves, also preventing a good seal. As a result, some fuel/air escapes the combustion chamber during compression, reducing power. On the combustion stroke, pressurized gases can blow by the rings and travel down the cylinder wall and into the oil sump, taking potential power with them. This is what’s meant when someone says an engine has lost compression.

(Check out our 5 Ways to Boost Horsepower for Under $500)

AMSOIL Signature Series helps prevent the problem

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides…

  • 75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear*
  • 90% better protection against sludge **

Its outstanding performance helps prevent deposits and wear that rob engines of horsepower, helping preserve that like-new feeling you crave when driving.

FIND AMSOIL PRODUCTS FOR MY VEHICLE

*Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-20, in ASTM D6891 as required by the API SN specification.

**Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN specification.

Announcement – Banks Performance/AMSOIL Partnership

Known for Being The Pinnacle of Performance, AMSOIL and Banks Make for Logical Partnership

Much more to be published on this in the future of course – here’s just a little about the two firms.

Endorsement To Better Serve Customer Base

Banks Power has recently endorsed AMSOIL as the lubricant of choice. As the premier design and manufacturer of power enhancing products for diesel and gas powered vehicles, Banks Power is well-known and respected in the diesel enthusiast community. Similar to AMSOIL, the company’s fundamental principles combine old fashioned business ethics and service with leading technology. Customers expect elegantly engineered products, superior construction, scientifically proven performance and competitive prices.

amsoil and banks performance partmership

Technological Achievements

Banks company history is studded with technological achievements. Including Gale’s pioneering work in turbocharging marine engines in 1969; the premiere of twin-turbo small block Chevy engines in 1978; the invention and patent of the Banks OttoMind electronic fuel management module in 1997; transmission control systems; and the recent invention and patent of the iDash DataMonster, the only instrument to calculate, log and display an exclusive suite of engine parameters, including manifold air density.

Engineering

First and foremost, Banks is an engineering firm. Established in 1958 Banks has grown to 100+ employees on a 12 acre campus. The mechanical engineering department is staffed with world class automotive experts who design and test the latest high performance equipment. In the Race Shop, special project vehicles feature cutting edge diesel and gasoline development, multiple turbo applications, mind-boggling horsepower and head turning style. Sophisticated electronic engineering technologies are applied to engine improvement in the rapidly growing Computer Systems Engineering Department. Gale Banks Engineering Designs turbocharged engines from the centerline of the crankshaft out.

Amsoil as included differential oil with banks products

“Banks Protected by AMSOIL”

Banks Protected by AMSOIL endorsement will appear on all digital media reaching millions of enthusiasts who have yet to experience the AMSOIL difference.

Creating further valuable exposure, Banks is offering its new differential cover bundled with four Easy Packs of the AMSOIL Severe Gear as the first fill lubricant coupled with a flyer with information on how to buy or find AMSOIL products.

Five reasons to use motorcycle oil in your bike

You can use Car Motor Oils in your Bike if you Add Two More Wheels.

You wouldn’t want to buy a used bike if motorcycle oil wasn’t used.

Impressive performance happens when you are using the right oil in the right application.

Len Groom | TECHNICAL PRODUCT MANAGER, POWERSPORTS

The results of a study from lubricant additive manufacturer Infineum caught my eye recently. A survey of 1,000 bikers revealed that fewer than 60 percent are using a motorcycle specific oil in their motorcycles. Interestingly, more than three quarters of respondents think they’re using a motorcycle oil. Clearly there’s confusion in the market that requires clarification.

Let’s start with why you should always use motorcycle oil in a motorcycle engine. I’ll boil it down to five key reasons.

1) Motorcycles run hotter

In general, automotive engines are water-cooled. A typical automotive engine can reach 235ºF (113ºC) during operation, which is plenty hot. Motorcycles, however, run even hotter, particularly big, air-cooled V-twins, like your average Harley Davidson. They rely on air flowing across the engine for cooling, which is inherently less efficient at dissipating heat. This configuration poses additional challenges in stop-and-go traffic when there’s little airflow, particularly on hot summer days. In fact, testing of a 2012 Harley Street Bob in our mechanical lab demonstrated an average cylinder head temp of 383ºF (195ºC).

Heat that intense causes some oils to thin and lose viscosity, which reduces wear protection. High heat also hastens chemical breakdown of the oil (called oxidation), which requires you to change oil more often. In extreme cases, the bike’s temperature sensors can shut down the engine if it gets too hot.

2) High rpm destroys lesser oils

Motorcycles tend to operate at engine speeds significantly higher than automobiles. Your average metric sport bike easily eclipses 10,000 rpm. Some have even pushed 20,000 rpm. Your car or truck’s redline doesn’t even come close. The hydrocarbon chains get ripped to shreds.. You can feel the after-effects through the peg and handle bars.

High rpm places additional stress on engine components, increasing the need for wear protection. It subjects oils to higher loading and shear forces, which can rupture the lubricant film and reduce viscosity, both of which increase wear. High rpm also increases the likelihood of foaming, which can reduce an oil’s load carrying ability, further inviting wear.

3) Increased power density = increased stress

Motorcycle engines produce more horsepower per cubic inch than automobiles. They also tend to operate with higher compression ratios. Increased power density and compression lead to higher engine temperatures and increased stress. This places greater demands on motorcycle oil to fight wear, deposits and chemical breakdown.

4) Must also protect transmission – prevent viscosity loss

Many motorcycles have a common sump supplying oil to both the engine and transmission. In such cases, the oil is required to meet the needs of both the engine and the transmission gears. Transmission gears can shear the oil as it’s squeezed between gear teeth repeatedly at elevated rpm, causing some oils to lose viscosity. Many motorcycles also incorporate a wet clutch within the transmission that uses the same oil. Motorcycle wet clutches require a properly formulated lubricant that meets JASO MA or MA2 frictional requirements.

5) Storage invites corrosion

Whereas automobiles are used almost every day, motorcycle use is usually periodic and, in many cases, seasonal. These extended periods of inactivity place additional stress on motorcycle oils. In these circumstances, rust and acid corrosion protection are of critical concern.

While a good passenger car motor oil (PCMO) hits many of these performance areas, it doesn’t get them all.

PCMOs usually contain friction modifiers to help boost fuel economy. Furthermore, PCMOs don’t meet JASO MA or MA2 requirements. If used in a motorcycle, they can interfere with clutch operation and cause slippage. And no rider wants to deal with a slipping clutch. Likewise, motor oils have no natural rust or corrosion resistance. Instead, corrosion inhibitors must be added to the formulation, and typical motor oils don’t contain them.

AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is designed for the unique demands of motorcycles. It’s formulated without friction modifiers for precise, smooth shifts. It also contains a heavy dose of corrosion inhibitors to protect your engine against rust during storage. And it’s designed to resist viscosity loss due to shear despite intense heat and the mechanical action of gears and chains.

Ensure your customers are using AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oil in their bikes for the best protection this riding season.

And people who use car oil in their bikes probably use the term “drive” when referring to riding.

What’s the Difference Between Horsepower and Torque?

What’s the Difference Between Horsepower and Torque?

Rather than offer a technical explanation few people will understand, let’s talk about what torque and horsepower feel like.

You’re idling at a stoplight. Or maybe an IHRA starting line. Someone rolls up to you and revs their engine. Gives you the nod. It’s on.

You wind up the engine, the light turns green and you dump the clutch. Instantly the visceral force of the engine kicks you in the chest and slams you back in your seat. The tires smoke and scream. Your chest shakes as if home to a hive of angry hornets.

That’s torque. It’s the sheer grunt and force that transforms your vehicle from placid show horse to ferocious stallion.

This 15-second video illustrates.

As the rpm climb, horsepower takes over. Streetlights zip by, the expansion joints in the asphalt go from, “clack…clack…clack” to “clackclackclack” and the engine effortlessly pulls through the gears toward redline and a seemingly endless horizon. You could drive forever.

That’s horsepower. It’s the speed that carries you to victory. Or to the next stoplight once you return to reality.

Your dyno map to success

You can see the relationship between torque and horsepower in just about any dyno map. Here’s one I grabbed from the boys at Engine Masters – Presented by AMSOIL, a great YouTube show for gearheads.

Notice how torque is higher at low rpm, and horsepower is higher at high rpm. The two meet at 5,252 rpm. That’s because of the following equation:

Horsepower = Torque x Engine rpm/5252

Because torque and rpm are divided by 5,252, torque and horsepower are equal when the engine speed is equivalent to 5,252 rpm.

What, exactly, is torque?

Simply put, it’s a twisting or turning force applied to an object such as a wheel or crankshaft. In automotive applications, torque measures the engine’s ability to perform work. The force created by displacement of engine cylinders spins the engine crankshaft, and the transmission applies this torque to the wheels, moving the vehicle. The more force applied to the crankshaft, the more torque developed and the more work the vehicle can do.

And horsepower?

While torque measures turning force and the engine’s ability to perform work, horsepower measures how fast the engine can perform the work. Engine horsepower ratings indicate how much power an engine can produce similar to how light bulb wattage indicates how much power the bulb will use.

The amount of horsepower an engine can deliver is directly proportional to the level of torque generated by the crankshaft, which is directly proportional to the total displacement capacity of the engine.

(Did you know the term “horsepower” owes its origins in part to beer? Get the story here.)

As they say, there’s no replacement for displacement.

Because there is a limitation on the maximum displacement an engine can generate based on the size of the vehicle into which you stuff the engine, there is also a limitation on the amount of torque the engine can produce, which in turn sets a limit on the engine’s maximum horsepower.

Which is better?

That’s a question no one can answer except you. While both are necessary to drive your car or truck, the answer depends on what you’re trying to do. For most casual motorists, neither is better than the other. They just want their family sedan or SUV to navigate the grocery store parking lot and highway with ease.

But if you’re hauling a load of supplies or trying to win the trailer-pull competition at Diesel Power Challenge, you want the added grunt of a high-torque engine. If you’re trying to set a personal best lap time at the local track, you want an engine designed to maximize horsepower.