We can no longer choose our favorite brand to put in our muscle cars, race cars, and lawnmowers. Each engine is a 4-stroke, but the engines and the motor oils themselves are more special. It is up to you to decide which oil suits your muscle car, which oil your race car will run on, and which oil your lawn tractor will run on.
Matching up the engine with the oil chemistry for the application is the key to selecting the correct oil. Recall your lawn tractor. If you are just cutting the grass, the factory-recommended oil works fine. However, if you are racing the lawnmower, take out the blade. Then drain the oil, and then add some racing oil.
The Engine’s Operation Determines The Oil Type.
TBN is required for cars that make a short trip to work five days a week, but not race cars that run 50 laps per weekend. What is TBN? TBN stands as Total Base Number. It is used to measure the oil’s acid-neutralizing power. While you might not realize it but corrosion wear is one of your engine’s most significant forms of wear. Reducing corrosive wear is a key factor in engine longevity today. It’s true, that many older engines were not worn out. Instead, they corroded.
Engine-killing acid production is most severe in short-trip driving. Water is a byproduct when combustion occurs, so water vapor eventually makes its way to the crankcase of your engine. The water vapor builds up when the engine is not running long enough for it to heat enough to evaporate any water vapor. As the engine cools down, water vapor condenses, and now there is water in it. The water is combined with the sulfur and partially burned fuel to create a highly corrosive chemical combination.
Oil engineers have devised detergent and dispersant additions to prevent corrosion. TBN values of oil determine the power of additives. A dispersant and detergent package that is very strong will have a high total BN value. This indicates that the oil can be used for frequent short trips.
OK, So Why Not Use High TBN Oil For Your Race Car.
The compression ratio of a race engine should be lower, and the cam must be smaller to turn a regular engine into a racing engine. You do the exact opposite. It increases the engine’s contact pressures. So oil engineers add more additives to protect against wear and pressures in the engine. This anti-wear, EP additives are sacrificial materials that protect race engines from adhesive wear. Molybdenum Disulfide (ZDP) and anti-wear additives (EP additives) act like armor to protect your engine components from adhesive wear.
Race performance oil filter offer more anti-wear additives to resist adhesive wear. However, the lower levels in Detergent & Dispersant will require more frequent oil changes to stop corrosive wear.
Daily drivers are more likely to experience corrosive wear. Therefore, you need a higher oil level for your daily vehicle. Additionally, your daily car’s engine has lighter camshafts.
For older muscle cars that do short trips but spend extended time sitting in a garage, higher TBN oils are required to protect them from corrosive damages. Many older muscle cars are equipped with “old school” pushrod valvetrains, and sounding camshafts. Now, what can you do? It’s not too late, the oil engineers have just the right mix of increased antiwear additives (TBN) and TBN for your hotrod — enough ZDP for the camshaft and sufficient TBN to protect the engine during winter storage.
You might also consider a drag racing lawn tractor. Use a racing engine oil and watch the oil closely. Drag racing has a lot of bad aspects. You can achieve low adhesive wear, low corrosive wear, and a smooth drag racing engine by using a high-quality racing oil that is changed frequently. It is important to monitor the oil. The oil is good as long it smells normal and looks good. The oil should not become dark or smell like fuel. These are all signs that fuel dilution has occurred and chemicals have been used to attack the oil. The best defense is to send in troops with the correct weapons to protect the engine.
This is something that takes some thought and effort. Since engines, especially race engine engines, cost a lot, spending a little more money on your oil will pay off in longer engine life.