By: Edward "Buck" Parker
NASA Space Technology Hall of Fame, 2000
So, you still have tires and grip but the power is just not what it was-what happened? Well, the car did not fall off. the car is mechanical, and the parts do not change, so what does? Why would you lose power? Could it be your oil? Is it because the temperature is getting high? Is your motor going bad? Or is it just the driver? These are all valid concerns.
It’s Not the Driver
Well, you can relax. It’s most likely not the driver. This happens to many drivers who don’t know the secret! We are going to give you several things you can look at and think about that could cause your car to lose power.
How Oil is Rated
Let’s first look at the oil. When oil comes from the factory, there is a variance built in. Say you purchased a 30 weight. Legally, and by the manufacturing rules, that oil could actually be a 26 weight or a 34 weight the day you buy it. When oils are produced,they are set up and tested on two different temperature ranges, 40°C and 100°C, or in American terms, 100°F and 212°F.
Real Oil Temperatures
Many of our car’s oil temperatures reach upwards of 300°F. What do you think your oil viscosity (thickness) is when it gets this hot? Do you think the additive packages that give it lubricity and thickness are performing properly? What do you truly have working inside your engine? Do you have protection and power producing lubrication?
If you started with a 26 weight, you could be running something close to a 10 weight. That is almost as thin as water when your engine is that hot. Is this what you want protecting your investment? Is this what you want to race on?
Impurities in Oil
All conventional oils contain naturally occurring substances such as sulfur, sulfur compounds, reactive hydrocarbons,and other materials, all of which cannot be completely removed from the crude petroleum and thus end up in the final product. So, what happens to all of those substances in high heat?
High oil temperature in excess of 240°F (115°C) will break down petroleum oils and cause oxidation, which in turn forms deposits, varnish and increases wear. Low oil temperatures will cause formation of sludge, which can block oil passages.
Now let’s look at the engine. Since crate engines are so popular,we’ll use them as an example.
Crate Engines and Hydraulic Lifters
Many crate engines run hydraulic lifters. We decided to test different oils in a crate engine on the dyno. When we did, we found that there is a line you need to stay close to in thickness to ensure the lifters have a full pump and allow the valves to function properly opening and closing full and timely.
Depending on whether you're running a synthetic or mineral based oil, the situation changes with temperature. Oils that lose their viscosity and are thinner do not perform as well as ones that maintain their integrity.
Open Engines and Solid Lifters
On engines with solid lifters, open classes and high horsepower engines, you must be concerned with maintaining lubrication capabilities and not wearing or scoring the cam, lifters, crank, and cylinders.
When temperatures are high or low, when you’re running hard and high RPM's - you must be concerned about the oil maintaining its structural capabilities. You must be sure that the oil you put in is staying effective all the time—not just part of the time. If not, you lose power,and many times wear out your motor.
What about you drag racers? Many times in drag racing, especially when staging, the car will never get to full operating temperatures. It’s not unusual to begin a race at 160 degrees and finish at 185 degrees.
When you have multi viscosity oils designed around 100°-212°F, you must ask the question, “if I start with a 20W50 oil that starts at a 20 weight and reaches its optimum 50 weight at operating temperature of 212, then what viscosity is it at 165 degrees?”
If you’re a bracket racer where repeatability and consistency is optimum, you would need to question this because you all know that variables are not your friend. Also, many drag racers tell me they lose oil pressure sometimes when they launch and many times when they hit the brakes at the end of the track.
This is because the oil rushes away from the pick-up points momentarily. What is happening to your motor at that point? Simply put, your motor is lubricated when oil is pumped through all the areas between moving parts. When the pressure pumping stops, even for seconds, then the flow does too. At that point, you can have metal to metal friction. Over time, this can cause major issues.
Choosing the Right Lubrication
The above statements are facts that are documented by proven experts as well as racers the world over. Choosing the right lubrication process for your engine is premium to its performance and life. There are many great motor oils on the market,but none impregnate and truly become part of the metal.
There is one and only one proven solution that will help with any oil you choose, the XL-1 Engine Treatment. It physically treats your engine—the actual metal that comes into contact with each other. It treats the metal parts that rub together the most. Our XL-1 physically impregnates the metal parts and stops wear, reduces friction, and allows for less drag.
Just by pouring XL-1 in you motor, you increase horsepower and torque, reduce wear and drag, and give your engine the opportunity to last longer, run faster,and be more dependable for you at the end of the race.
Now, do you want to go racing without it? Racers say, "If you’re not running the Daytona1 Products, you’re getting beat by them!"
You can find XL-1 Engine Treatment on our website or at a Dealer near you.