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View Poll Results: Best Brand of (multi grade) Oil or single grade
Philips66 X/C 20w-50 18 24.00%
Exxon Elite multi grade 16 21.33%
Aeroshell 15w50 30 40.00%
Aeroshell single grade 11 14.67%
Other brand 0 0%
Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-11-2006, 07:46 PM
rv9aviator rv9aviator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 1,505

By all means buy Shell oil. I don't care what type or weight. My friend is building an RV-9A and is a retired Shell employee. He needs all the money he can get.
Jim Wright
RV-9A N9JW 90919 SoldArkansas
"It's a brutal struggle for the biscuit."

Last edited by rv9aviator : 01-11-2006 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:43 PM
B25Flyer B25Flyer is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 358
Default Lube oil 101


All of the aircraft oil products are on the market today are pretty good oils, but they are not all the same.

There are lots of differences between them and what you use depends on what you are doing.

No one, I repeat NO ONE should be using straight mineral oils without ashless dispersant. If your mechanic is a hardheaded oldtimer who doesn't understand oil, and he insists that you use it for breakin, it is fine for one change, but never use it again.

So, Let there be no confusion, everyone should be using ashless dispersant oils.

The next question is the lycoming camshaft additive. It's in Aeroshell 15w-50, Exxon 20w-50 and the Aeroshell "plus" straight grades have it in the bottle. You can also add this from a bottle, but it is easiest to just buy it in the oil. There is no downside that I am aware of to using this product except the oil companies, and lycoming, charge too much for it.

The next question is Multi-grade. I am a firm believer in multi-grade oils in healthy engines. Engines that are in poor health may use less oil if you use heavy straight grades, but healthy engines should burn less multi-grade than straight grade.

If you live in the warmer climates the benefits may not be worth the cost, but up here in the frozen north, it is an engine saver. Even down south, anyone with an inverted system should be using the lightest oil possible to ensure quick delivery of oil to the pump on start-up and that means 15w-50.

Some engine installations that are poorly cooled, and/or highly stressed may be happier with heavy straight grades, but fixing the cooling problems is a better solution.

Synthetics are good and bad. Synthetic blends give the best of both worlds at a reasonable cost. Synthetics components in a formulation are more important in Multi-grades and offer little benefit in heavy straight grade oils.

Lots of things to consider. The best thing you can do for the lubrication of your airplane is fly it EVERY week. If you do that, it probably won't make any difference at all what kind of oil you use, your engine should live a long and happy life.

What do I use? Aeroshell 15w-50 in my RV-4 and Bonanza and Aeroshell 100W plus in my L-2 which has some blow by.

Doug Rozendaal RV-4
PetroBlend Corp. (Lube oil Blender)
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Old 01-11-2006, 11:05 PM
rv72004 rv72004 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 452

What experience have you had with" WYNNS FRICTION PROOFING "?
An AMO told me that it is very similar to the Lycoming additive and that it really does prolong engine life. Based on his experience.
It is a clear liquid and does not contain teflon or other strange ingredients .
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Old 01-13-2006, 06:47 AM
mahlon_r mahlon_r is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,070

When we do engine teardowns for an oil company or for the FAA we follow a very stringent protocol so that objective information can be derived for the test. We have currently been involved with the FAA who is testing various fuel under various conditions to see what those fuels can deliver in performance and also abnormal wear characteristics. Roughly the protocol goes like this:
Overhaul engine to new limits and record EVERY dimension and tolerance in the engine. This goes way beyond normal record keeping. Don't run engine in our test cell as even this small two hours could cause a variation in the protocol. FAA runs engine under exact protocol for 500 hours. Engine is returned to us and every tolerance is recorded. All this only establishes a base line. Engine is brought back to the original tolerances that it had after the first overhaul. re assembled and not test run and delivered to FAA. They run again for 500 hours under the exact same protocol and then we take it apart again and redo the cycle as before. After they do this several times they feel they have a good test and adequate data to make realistic observations. We have done similar assembly and testing for some of the oil companies being mentioned. Determining what is normal wear and what is abnormal is a very difficult thing to do, as the effects of external stimuli exist between aircraft to aircraft and operator to operator. My advice has always been If you use one brand of oil and don't have any oil related maintenance issues....then continue using it. Why would you change? It is working for you! If you have any oil related issues then change to another brand and see how that works. It may not be the oil?s fault but at least we changed something that could have been contributory and that is under our control. I don't know if that is good advice but it is the most practical I can give as I have never been able to tell which brand or weight is better then the next.
I can only say I have never definitively been able to blame any oil related issues on any of the subjects of the survey.
Good Luck,
"The opinions and information provided in this and all of my posts
are hopefully helpful to you. Please use the information provided
responsibly and at you own risk."
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:16 AM
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jonbakerok jonbakerok is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 361
Default Wish Exxon would change their oil can

I switched to Exxon from Shell 15/50 primarily because it was cheaper to mail order and they claimed it had better corrosion protection. Those are both big issues here in Houston (it's amazing how hard it is to find an oil vendor here at the oil capitol of the world!). Anyway -- I've been using their oil analysis, so now I guess they've got me. But I have pet gripe.

Elite comes in these jugs that have a giant opening that won't fit into the filler tube of a Lycoming. It's a nuisance. You have to use this special filler nozzle that you can only get from Exxon and carry around a spare along with your spare jug of oil.

Normally, the only time I'm putting oil in the plane, the cowl is off. But I still have to use this stupid nozzle that I have to clean up afterwards. Why would they go to the trouble of inventing an odd size oil can that doesn't fit into the standard filler tube on the worlds most popular aviation engine? Weird!
Jon Baker
RV6A sold, RV4 in-progress
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:10 PM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,688
Default Thanks Thanks


Thanks to ALL for the great post, info and humor (and you smart A's know who you are )

KEEP the info and poll going; so far the poll is showing Aeroshell and a general trend to semi synthetics. There is a theory that the group is always right. If the poll sample is valid.

It is clear from the comments that price makes a difference. It is also clear brand loyalty takes over and may be a little superstition or common sense, "If it ain't broke don't fix it". Clearly to me the demise of engines are often from mis-use and/or dis-use more than the oil brand and weight.

The only thing I could find negative about the Synthetic blends is from ECI's web site and info from RAM, a large aircraft modifier engine builder in Waco TX. They recommend using all stock oil based lubricants and not to use semi synthetic oils.

"..service history are much less favorable for engines that have a history of of being operated on synthetic blends and semi-synthetic oil products."

It may be related to old feelings, issues and opinions related to the all synthetics products (Mobil One) or the fact they work mostly with large single and twins, which by and large have Continentals and / or turbocharged engines. May be Continentals do not work as well on the synthetic blends as Lycomings? They also suggest single grade for low use planes?

Thanks George

Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 01-13-2006 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 04-16-2006, 03:09 PM
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kevinh kevinh is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 1,419
Default Best price for Aeroshell by mail order

A follow up to this great thread:

Does anyone know of a webstore at will ship me a couple of cases of Aeroshell oil? Oil change coming soon...

UPDATE: A bit of froogling found sells a case of 15W50 for $58. Free shipping for over $100 ordered.
-kevinh, Track my RV-7A, flying, alas, sold in 2013 after 450ish hours. (I'm now building something different)

Last edited by kevinh : 04-16-2006 at 07:06 PM. Reason: fully specify brand
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:47 PM
michael2 michael2 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Steinhatchee, Florida
Posts: 122
Default lubrication

I use Phillips 20W50 in my RV-9, 0320, my Cub C-75, and Shell 100 in my airboat which has a oil guzzling C-0470. Multi-grade does not work well in this engine. I always stock up on Phillips 20W50 at SNF, $25.00 a case. Shell 100 was $34.00 a case at SNF. I usally buy Aero Shell 100 at Sam's for $34.00 a case.
RV-9, N92GC
Cub, NC88583
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:01 PM
jhallrv4 jhallrv4 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 139

I use AeroShell 15w50, because the flying club I belonged to used it in all the aircraft, and had no problems all the years I was a member. I have used it in all my subsequent aircraft, and now use it in my -4. My oil analysis people have only the hightest praise for my 50 hour samples, and that's all I need to hear. I do fly regularly, and it shows in the oil. I would most likely get glowing reports if I used some other brand, but I'm big on not fixing, or even messing with it, if it aint broke.

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