The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => A7 & A10 Engine => Topic started by: a101960 on 17.05. 2013 14:39

Title: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: a101960 on 17.05. 2013 14:39
I have just ordered some of this. http://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-1123-silkolene-comp-4-20w-50-synthetic-ester-based-4-stroke-engine-oil-for-high-performance-motorcycles.aspx  A it is a full synthetic 20/50 oil for classic bikes. I have posted the link in case any one else is interested in using full synth oil in their bike. Silkolene have developed this oil specifically for old air cooled motorcycles. Anyway check out the link and read all about it for your self.

John
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: muskrat on 17.05. 2013 15:16
 Only if you have done a full rebuild and all internal parts were cleaned. It would be the same if you switched to a diesel type oil, high in cleaning agents that clean off all the old built up crud and blocks everything up.
http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/28601/switch-to-synthetic
Cheers
Oh no an oil thread!!!
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: A10Boy on 17.05. 2013 15:26
I was going to say don't use full synthetic for running in, I never have but apparently it glazes the bores and it will always use oil.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: bsa-bill on 17.05. 2013 15:47
I'd have no hesitation using a Synthetic in my bikes, both have however been fully cleaned internally as Musky remarked and have filters fitted.
The one factor against would be cost maybe, depends if I thought I could safely extend the change period, although fully synthetic in my rovers would last the full 12,000 between services and never needed topped up, amazing stuff (in modern engines)
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: a101960 on 21.05. 2013 17:37
As a follow up to this topic I thought that I should mention that I had a PM from another board member who quite rightly was worried about the ZDDP content (if any and the ratio) of Silkolene Comp 4 fully synthetic oil. This concern was very valid because it has been the habit of oil companies to steadily reduce the ZDDP content in oil in recent times, and most full synth oils do not have ZDDP in sufficient quantities (if at all) to protect the cams and followers in our type of engine. So, just to be sure I contacted OPIE OILS who I purchased my oil from and this is their response:

Hi John,

Thanks for the mail.

The Silkolene Comp4 20w-50 has plenty of ZDDP, it has around 1400 ppm and a good ester content too. It is aimed at the competition/fast road market as oils designed for sports use, so still has good levels of ZDDP, this is why it is also suited to classics and some vintage. You can also tell by the spec the oil meets, reduced levels of ZDDP started to occur with API SM spec, anything prior to that has plenty. The Comp 4 is API SL/SH.

We use this oil in a rebuilt but standard 1931 Austin 7, with gauze filter.

In short, the Comp 4 20w-50 is ideal for your 650 BSA Rocket and you can use it with confidence.

Regards

Guy


If anyone has considered using full synth oil then that information should provide some assurance. I thought that it would be good to bring this matter to your attention because not all oils are the same. Of course other full synth oils are available but it would be prudent to check out the specification before you buy. I know that you guys in Oz for example have a suitable Penrite oil for instance, but we do not have that over here. So far as I know the Comp 4 Oil is the only full synth oil on sale in the UK that is compatable with our old engines. I am sure someone will soon put me right if I am wrong in this assumption!

John

Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: muskrat on 21.05. 2013 19:57
 That's good info John, thanks for posting.
Cheers.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Sparky on 02.06. 2013 19:48
And as an addendum to the above discussion, ZDDP is also available as an additive to restore or suppliment the level in whichever oil you may be using.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 02.06. 2013 20:38
So far as I know the Comp 4 Oil is the only full synth oil on sale in the UK that is compatable with our old engines. I am sure someone will soon put me right if I am wrong in this assumption!

John



Don't know whether right or wrong. I've been using this in another marque of British 650 twin and it doesn't seem to have destroyed the engine yet.

http://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-866-motul-300v-le-mans-20w-60-racing-engine-oil.aspx (http://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-866-motul-300v-le-mans-20w-60-racing-engine-oil.aspx)
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes/FOR THOSE WHO LIKE MONO GRADES
Post by: Rgs-Bill on 03.06. 2013 21:23
RGS-Bill here. For those of you who like the single weight mono oil with very little detergent, (so the sludge trap can work properly) , (some still do not have filters fitted on their bikes), and that is a problem when using detergent oils, the sludge trap can not work because the metal particles are in suspension in the oil, waiting for the filter to remove them, not being flung out in the sludge trap.
  There is a company called Brad Penn, who bought out the original Kendal green oil, mono weights, 30 wt, 40wt, 50wt, 70wt, this is the oil that was recommended for these bikes when they were originally built.  Very low in detergents, high viscosity index, and ZDDP ratings in the 14 to 15  Parts Per Million, to protect the followers and the case hardening also on the cam lobes.  I am not sure if it is available in the UK, but they have a website  where you can find out where to order it.  I have used this for many years, ever since Kendall quit making it, and have no wear problems at all, other than normal for the miles covered with my machine. I run straight 40wt for my Seattle climate, average temps for riding in the 60's, some say for hotter climates run the 50 wt mono grade, 40wt for winter, 50 wt for the summer.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Dynamo Regulators Mike on 05.06. 2013 09:51
As has been noted before a centrifugal filter, a.k.a. here as a sludge trap, cannot spin particles out unless they arrive suspended in the oil.  *ex* But the trap tube could well fill sooner if particles do not drop out of suspension so readily elsewhere in the engine. So it is better to to have a filter in the system as well if using high dispersant ('detergent') oils. Then the sludge trap acts as the last line of defence before the relatively vulnerable bearing shells. This is the system used in a vast array of modern engine with maintenance intervals in many thousands of hours.

Best not try to use heavyweight (at lower temperatures) mono-grade oils with a paper filter. It could rupture the element or by pass defeating the object and releasing clouds of debris into the system.

The film strength with synthetic oil is much greater. I believe this maintains the low wear characteristic previously added with the ZDDP. So less of a problem than it might be. In practice I have seen very low wear rates using mineral 20W50 and paper filter. The next 50,oo miles will tell  ;)

Another definite tick for synthetic, but not as far as 5W50 and the like which may add to leak issues.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: RogerSB on 28.01. 2019 05:39
Re ZDDP, whatever your tipple - have a look here:-

https://www.duckhams.com/range/
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: worntorn on 28.01. 2019 06:55
As has been noted before a centrifugal filter, a.k.a. here as a sludge trap, cannot spin particles out unless they arrive suspended in the oil.  *ex* But the trap tube could well fill sooner if particles do not drop out of suspension so readily elsewhere in the engine. So it is better to to have a filter in the system as well if using high dispersant ('detergent') oils. Then the sludge trap acts as the last line of defence before the relatively vulnerable bearing shells. This is the system used in a vast array of modern engine with maintenance intervals in many thousands of hours.

Best not try to use heavyweight (at lower temperatures) mono-grade oils with a paper filter. It could rupture the element or by pass defeating the object and releasing clouds of debris into the system.

The film strength with synthetic oil is much greater. I believe this maintains the low wear characteristic previously added with the ZDDP. So less of a problem than it might be. In practice I have seen very low wear rates using mineral 20W50 and paper filter. The next 50,oo miles will tell  ;)

Another definite tick for synthetic, but not as far as 5W50 and the like which may add to leak issues.

What Jim Comstock found with his scar testing was that the film strength of the synthetics wasn't generally very good compared to many conventional oils but
the friction was much lower than with conventional oils.
For example, the oil I've been using for some time now, Valvoline VR1 conventional 20/50 had relatively high film strength showing failure at 205 lbs load.
It also had a fairly high friction rating of 4.84, not great.
The full synthetic version of VR1 20/50 had about 30% lower film strength showing failure at 145 pounds load.
It's friction rating was wonderful, not even measureable , it was so low.
Jim was searching for an oil that had both high film strength and low friction. He eventually found several that fit the bill.
Some were synthetics, others were semi synthetics.


Glen
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 28.01. 2019 08:05
Trust me, I’m an oil importer.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SkALNbRu7BU/VKk1I2xlakI/AAAAAAABMaU/ybvQsHO9Kz8/s1600/The+Godfather+-+behind+the+scenes+(14).jpg
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: bsa-bill on 28.01. 2019 13:10
Quote
Trust me, I’m an oil importer.

Ah but Olive oil (and an unusual use for butter if I recall)
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: RogerSB on 28.01. 2019 16:02
Trust me, I’m an oil importer.

No! No! No! He's only an actor!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b8v957t4gh3lm2n/260%20-%20Historic%20Oil%20Brand%20Duckhams%20is%20back%20-%20ZDDP%20%E2%80%93%20What%20does%20it%20all%20mean.pdf?dl=0
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: RDfella on 28.01. 2019 17:27
Be environmentally friendly - use castor! It's horses for courses - as Bill says, with no oil filter using a detergent oil is unwise. As I've stated in previous posts - use the oil recommended by the engine maker. You wouldn't put gear oil in an automatic gearbox, or a straight 40 in a modern car requiring 5/10, so why think we know better? Old design engines run cooler with greater clearances than modern engines, so it stands to reason they require different oils. Even diesels require different oils, depending on whether they're normally aspirated or turbocharged.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 28.01. 2019 17:55
Be environmentally friendly - use castor! It's horses for courses - as Bill says, with no oil filter using a detergent oil is unwise. As I've stated in previous posts - use the oil recommended by the engine maker. You wouldn't put gear oil in an automatic gearbox, or a straight 40 in a modern car requiring 5/10, so why think we know better? Old design engines run cooler with greater clearances than modern engines, so it stands to reason they require different oils. Even diesels require different oils, depending on whether they're normally aspirated or turbocharged.

Most of the effects of detergent occur only in fevered minds.

The oh so clever makers went spectacularly bust nearly 50 years ago. The oil they recommended wasn’t very good and is not available now, thank God.

My iron-head 650 does not run cooler than anything, thank you very much!
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: worntorn on 28.01. 2019 18:06
TT is correct, those old iron headed bikes run hot as hell.
I watched two of them seize up within 100 yards of each other while attempting to climb a mountain grade last summer.
I wondered then if some modern low friction, high film strength oil might have saved them.
The A10 ( plunger Goldflash) was running some monograde mineral oil of some sort. Don't know what the other bike was using for Lube.
Heat is the enemy of all air cooled engines and is especially there in the iron head/iron barrel machines.

Glen
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 28.01. 2019 19:26
I wondered then if some modern low friction, high film strength oil might have saved them.


Glen

What usually stops them seizing is correct mixture and timing and keeping the revs up. And a generous bore clearance.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: trevinoz on 28.01. 2019 21:23
And by the 70s the recommended oils were multigrades. Same engine and filtration. Funny about that.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 28.01. 2019 22:49
Back when a new Rocket was the thing to buy, the same oil went into A10s (sludge trap, no filter) as went into cars (filter,  no sludge trap).
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: mugwump on 29.01. 2019 01:54
My 1958-59 Constellation hand book states that if a modern multi grade oil with detergents was to be used when the bike had been using a monograde then only 50 miles should be covered with the new oil. The engine and oil tank should be drained. Re-fill with the multigrade and then a further 100 miles covered before draining again and rinsing out the oil tank and changing the filter. It warns of the possible danger of loosening sludge.etc.etc. 
The oil debate has been going for quite some time!
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: muskrat on 29.01. 2019 03:21
G'day fellas.
The way I look at it. Particles/sludge/crap caused by the running of a motor falls to the sump and is pumped back to the tank. Some of this is fine enough to get through the strainer in the tank to be pumped into the crank where it is hopefully trapped. If a filter is placed on the return line (before the rocker feed pipe) there should be no "sludge" to be pumped into the crank. So in that respect it doesn't matter if you use mono or multi grade oil. I prefer multi as it's thin enough when cold to get working and thick enough when hot. 40/70 at the moment to fill the gaps (that shouldn't be there) and the 30-45C days.
Cheers
ps: I won't use synthetic anything!
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 29.01. 2019 06:33
It’s commendable that Enfield gave the subject that much thought.

And Enfields had a filter.

If your bike has an effective centrifugal trap, it will always collect carbon black from the oil.  Paper filters don’t trap that stuff.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: edboy on 29.01. 2019 17:26
the sadly missed esso 20/50 was a lovely looking oil in a nice 5 ltr tin.not been around for 20 years.
i m using castrol 10/40 synthetic and cartridge oil filter. recommended to use after 500 mile run in.
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 31.01. 2019 12:32
And by the 70s the recommended oils were multigrades. Same engine and filtration. Funny about that.

Quite true Trev,
But the 20w50 you bought back in the 70's is nothing like the 20w50 you get now days.
Half of the compounds that go into modern 20w50 were not even invented / discovered back in the 70's and half of what was in there then is now banned, like all copper compounds.
Next 20w50 is not a TYPE of oil, it is a VISCOSITY GRADE and that is all it is.
I can get Agtrans in 20w50 Rotella in 20w50 and Valvoline in 20w50 and they are all totally different oils.
You can get 20w50 without detergent additives or with normal levels of detergents or with higher levels of detergents.

Putting a high detergent oil into a BSA prevents the oil tank sludging large particulates out of circulation.
If an oil ank has the outlet at or very near the bottom then it is a resevior .
If it has the outlet higher up the tank it is a settleing tank
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: stev60 on 01.02. 2019 07:00
I wondered then if some modern low friction, high film strength oil might have saved them.


Glen

What usually stops them seizing is correct mixture and timing and keeping the revs up. And a generous bore clearance.
How much is timing and mixture so important, maybe forget the oil  a bit and just look at the  color of the pipes of some bikes its a giveaway, Ive given my A7  a good thrash now and then but in 2000kms there is no color in the pipes from the head, some ive see are blue halfway round the turn, that cant be correct timing and probably lean running. just a thought
Title: Re: Synthetic oil for classic bikes
Post by: duTch on 01.02. 2019 09:15

 Hey Steve ( and anyone else who responds to quotes);

 how about  checking that what *you* are writing is not included in the quote- *please*... makes it really friggin hard to read and happens a LOT so quite often I just scroll past....

Thanks in advance