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Old 09-09-2011, 02:32 PM
erich weaver's Avatar
erich weaver erich weaver is online now
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa barbara, CA
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Default "All About Oil" Webinar summary

I listened in on the "all About Oil" webinar the other evening that was presented by Mike Busch, of "Savvy Aviator" fame - Google and check him out if you are not familiar with his credentials. Thought I would pass along some highlights from his presentation:

Mineral (petroleum-based) oil is better than synthetic oils with respect to suspension of particuates, and also seals better

Synthetic oils have superior (less) friction characteristics and are longer lasting than mineral oil.

As long as we are relying primarily on leaded avagas, we cant take advanage of the benefits of synthetic oils. Our engines run rather dirty, and the oil has to be drained often to get rid of lead and particulates. Also, the superior lubricity offered by synthetics is less important in piston aircraft due to the relatively large clearances and slow RPM compared to turbine engines.

Multigrade oil offers faster lubing during cold starts.

Monograde oil offers better corrosion protection, as it is not as thin at room temperatures and will stay on parts longer.

Corrosion is the #1 reason for failure to make TBO. There is very little wear during steady-state flight conditions. The longer an engine sits between starts, the more wear/corrosion will occur due to lack of oil on mvoing parts. Engines are typically not worn out, they are rusted out! Therefore, monograde oil is preferred over multigrade unless you anticipate unpreheated, subfreezing cold starts. Alternatively, you could use multigrade in the cold season only.

Aeroshell W100 is the recommended monograde; Phillips x/c 20W-50 for multigrade use

Aeroshell 15W50 is specifically NOT recommended; this is a 50% synthetic blend and will not be as effective in suspending/removing particulates

Ashless dispersants (AD oils) are in oils to suspend particulates. There is no evidence to indicate that engines do not break-in as well using AD oils.

"Microlon" / /"Slick 50" NOT recommended; a Teflon product that is potentially harmful according to a NASA study. Dupont, where Teflon wasdiscovered has specifically said that Teflon should not be used in oil

"Avblend": no harm, but no demonstrated benefit either

"ASL Camguard": Recommended! Some reduction in wear, but very effective in reducing corrosion, even more so than the additives that are included in the Aerosehll Plus and Exxon oils, although those are good as well.

"Lycoming 16702": An antiscuff, boundary layer additive, same as used in the Shell 15W-50/Exxon Elite products. Effective, although Mike prefers Camguard. Regardless, if you are using the Phillips x/c 20W-50 oil, use either Camguard or the 16702 additive.

"Marvel Mystery Oil": Some effectiveness in unsticking valve lifters and not harmful, but otherwise not recommended as a standard additive.

"normal" consumption is quite variable; 1 qt in 4-20 hours is fine; do not want less than this as it may mean oil is not circulating properly. No advantage to having full oil. Pay attention to changes in oil consumption however, as this could mean future problems

All engines will run fine at half of maximum oil capacity, and most at less than half. 2/3 capacity, or 5-6 qts in an 8 qt engine is recommended (8 qts in a 12 qt engine; 1 additional qt if your oil consumption is high.

Air-oil separators are NOT recommended; they can hide important symptoms regarding oil consumption and also makes it hard for engine to purge itself of acids etc.

If using spin-on oil filter, change oil at no more than 50 hrs or 4 months; change at 25 hrs or 4 months if only using a oil screen. If significant metal found at oil change, reduce to 15-20 hr intervals.

Try to not let the engine sit with dirty, old oil; change it before a period of disuse rather than after.

Cut open the oil filter at every oil change or least at each annual. A small quantity of metal, approximately 1/8 tsp. or less is normal; more than this should be investigated further

If significant metal is found, send in to lab for analysis (about $100). Aviation Laboratories in Kenner, LA is recommended.

Oil analysis for microscopic wear metals can provide early warning of wear events. Blackstone Labs in Ft. Wayne, Indiana is recommended.

Ideal oil temperature is 180-200F; definitely want it above 170 to boil off water. Temperature on gauge is typically the temperature of the oil during the coldest part of its circulation cycle; temperature is typically about 40 degrees higher at hottest part of cycle, hence the above 170 requirement. Since water boiling temperature decreases at higher elevations, lower temperatures may be ok at altitude.

If engine not to be run for 6 months or more, a preservative oil ("pickleing oil") is recommended. Fill sump with preservative oil; fly or run up engine and then shut down. Install dessicant plugs and place dessicant bags in air intakes and exhaust.

Pre-heating of engine to minimize wear at startup should be done any time temp is at 32F or lower. Starting without preheat at 20F or lower is a very severe wear event.

Lycomings are susceptible to wear on cams and lifters due to their high position on engine and difficulty in getting oil to these parts. Use of a Nay Nozzle (sp?) that squirts oil on cam shaft can help this. Installation of the nozzle would have to be done at engine build or upon tear down, but is relatively cheap and worthwhile.

Next webinar: "All About Cylinders", October 5 (free)

Mike can be reached for questions at

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Old 09-09-2011, 02:46 PM
panhandler1956's Avatar
panhandler1956 panhandler1956 is offline
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Location: Ohio
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Default Sticky!!! No pun intended...

Wow Erich, thanks for that summation! I wanted to do the webinar, but didn't have time!
Kudos to you for typing this up.
Brent Owens
EAA Chapter 9 Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Columbus, OH
RV-8 'Contrary Mary' flying
N784DE S/N #82614
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:47 PM
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ccsmith51 ccsmith51 is offline
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Default Good info...

Thanks for sharing!!
Chris Smith
Maule M5-180C (Sold)
RV-6 O-360 CS (Sold)
RV-4 O-360 FP (Sold)
Full-time in the other type of RV....
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:55 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
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Thanks, you just saved me a quart of oil each change, and gave me an additional 10--15 hours between changes.

That equals more fuel $$$

Gonna make this a sticky, for easier finding in the future.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:42 PM
terrye terrye is offline
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Default Ney Nozzle
Terry Edwards
RV-9A (Fuselage)
2018/2019 VAF Contribution Sent
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:09 AM
turbo's Avatar
turbo turbo is offline
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here is the link to the show, plus much more. very important info, thanks.
TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2019
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,100+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle 320 hrs, gyro sold,35,000 miles flown in 2015
Stuart, Fl / S WINDSOR,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI
RV HOTEL LOCATION oct thru may.
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue= your answer to all your aches and pains. 'suffering is optional"
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:38 PM
tacchi88 tacchi88 is offline
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Posts: 194
Default 15/50

I'm a little mixed up about "15/50 not being recommended". At the top of Lycoming's list of lubricants is 15/50. I started using it when it was first introduced, in the mid 80s and at the same time, a bulletin issued by Lycoming stated that using it is forbiden,
My experience was lower consumption and cooler oil temps. and now Lycoming has 15/50 on top of the list. What happened?
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:00 PM
kauaikarl kauaikarl is offline
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Location: Van Nuys, CA
Posts: 62
Default 15w-50

Shell 15w50 is OK but I like the ExxonElite 20w50 better. The idea that synthetics don't suspend particles is not true. All synthetics are not the same.In general, synthetics have a natural detergency or the ability to suspend particles.Extra detergents or dispersants don't necessarily have to be added to the oil blend. Only Shell knows what percentage synthetic the 15W50 is. When it first came on the market there were problems with seal swelling in CS props because Shell hadn't done their homework on the seal swell properties of the oil. They have corrected this problem. I've been using synthetics since the mid 70's and they work fine with leaded fuel....we still had leaded fuel in cars back then. What doesn't work in airplanes is a 200-hour oil change just because the oil is synthetic. Special filtration is available for land and water vehicles that can extend oil drain intervals but without this filtration the normal airplane oil change intervals should be followed. One nice property of a synthetic not usually mentioned is the ability to withstand much higher temperature and still keep lubricating...
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:01 PM
erich weaver's Avatar
erich weaver erich weaver is online now
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Your claims are contrary to those of a very experienced and widely recognized authority. Opinions are fine of course, and perhaps you are entirely correct, but I am left wondering if you have experience that goes beyond your own personal use or perhaps some literature that backs up what you are saying. I would also encourage you to watch the webinar if you haven't already so that the reasoning and logic details that I left out of my summary below are clear.

Best regards,

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Old 01-30-2012, 10:08 AM
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boomer boomer is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Ladonia,Tx
Posts: 153

The webinar made the following points:

1. Synthetics: OK but not worth the extra cost since we change our oil frequently in aircraft piston engines. In other words we don't need the extra oil life.

2. Multi-grades: are inferior to single grades in corrosion protection since they do not "cling" to metal parts as long after the engine is shut down. Avoid them for this reason unless the temperature requires multi-grades for cold weather starting. In that case use Phillips.

I found that when I went from Philips multi-grade mineral oil to Shell 100W at the end of my engine break in period, the oil took much longer to drain into the oil pan after flight. When I shutdown with the Phillips, I could check my oil level immediately. With the Shell, it takes a few hours to get a good reading on the dip stick. This indicates (as stated in the Webinar) that the single grade Shell sticks to metal parts much longer than the muli-grade Phillips.


>Shell 15w50 is OK but I like the ExxonElite 20w50 better. The idea that synthetics don't suspend particles is not true. All synthetics are not the same.In general, synthetics have a natural detergency or the ability to suspend particles.<
John Banister
RV-8 Engine (IO-360), Prop (CS)
Flying Since Aug, 2011
2017 Dues Paid
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