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Hey,

I'm not sure if anyone was interested but I figured I would post some oil analysis data for this engine.

Fuel dilution is measured via gas chromatography, so this is an exact percentage vs. a calulation/estimation.

This was on a brand new unit.

A few comments. Stock oil and filter did not do a good job. Stock OEM map is surprisingly trimmed properly, it is not running rich nor lean, and the combustion dynamic is great. Poor ring seal and afraid I may have possibly not seated the valves correctly. This is a bit harder to do with a CVT vs a traditional transmission.

0001.jpg
PARTICLE COUNT (particles per ml) ISO 4406:99
ISO Code19/17/14
>4 Micron2776
>6 Micron1079
>14 Micron82
>50 Micron3
>100 Micron0
 

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I guess I dont know what I am looking at, maybe give us some info on how to read and interpret this. Tim
 

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I guess I dont know what I am looking at, maybe give us some info on how to read and interpret this. Tim
The oil is crap is what your suppose to be looking at I guess.

I use the BRP oil and oil filter with no issues.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Would be nice if I knew what I was looking at, it looks like it might have some valuable information.....if only we knew what it meant.
 

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https://www.blackstone-labs.com/services/report-explanation/
Different lab, but you'll get the gist. I used DOA to help ID a leaky high pressure fuel pump on my f150 and decide what oil was the most tolerant of it. Military has been using it for years to determine major service issues before things go boom. The thing that I liked about the report that I got through Amsoil was it highlighted out of spec findings that this lab doesn't seem to die those of us that are not petroleum engineers or chemists, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would advise against using a lab such as Blackstone and their interpretations. I can discuss that at another point.

2. Sand Shark, I'm sure you use the BRP oil and filter with no issues. But that statement does not mean that you are needlessly wearing down your motor at a faster pace or losing power with that oil and filter.

3. I will try and comment briefly. A brief background of myself, I used to test fuel and oil for big automotive OEM's, airlines and airplane manufactures. I have tested for the Shell Trackside Laboratory & Ferrari's Formula 1 team, Ford Racing, Lexus Racing. On Turbines and gear boxes, I have worked with Northrup, Lockheed, Boeing, Cessna and Bombardier.

Iron - represents in this engine, the lower end of the motor, crankshaft and some minor bearing material, although the bearing material from the actual races will be represented by lead. At 11 ppm with 130 miles this is not uncommon for such a small engine, especially after break in. Whether this wear continues later on, will be dependent on the ring seal and the oil filter to mitigate any fuel dilution. If the Rotax engine can be switched over to ethanol via tune, than you can virtually ensure the wear will drastically diminish. Anhydrous ethanol, which is what we have in the US per USDA regulation, is essentially non-corrosive to bearing materials, races, crankshafts and lower engine components. Gasoline or should we say Gasahol, is extremely corrosive to bearing materials. This engine in it's stock format is well built, it's wear will not be produced by high RPM's.

Copper - At 15, the read is good, as the engine is breaking in and I would be disappointed to not see some copper elevated in the beginning. It is unlikely to be an additive BRP uses but I would need to test BRP oil a bit further to determine that.

Lead - This early on in the engine's life, it is going to be the gasket making material, I used unleaded fuel and the amount would be far too low regardless. I fully expect this in the next sample to be zero.

Aluminum - In this engine, it's purely pistons and their associated wear.

Nickel - I am disappointed in myself for not getting some Nickel wear, at break in, seeing Nickel wear is indicative that the valve train has seated and was properly broken in, I may have not been as hard on the engine now as I wanted, also, forcing decompression on this engine is difficult as the CVT makes it near impossible. This will lead to increased wear and fuel dilution later on in the engine's life.

Silicon - This is going to be a mixture of dirt ingress, alloy from the cylinder heads and some gasket materials at break in. I would fully expect this to be substantially lower in the next sample. I do run the S&B particle filter now, so will be interesting to see how it performs.

Boron - is going to be from cooling system inhibitors as well as a normal oil additive, nothing much here.

calcium - this is going to be present from the calcium carbonate sulfinate detergent additive BRP is using in this contracted oil. Normal.

Mag- normal, dispersant likely in this oil, could be used as a light detergent.

Zinc & Phos - ok, this is where it can get interesting. So often times I have seen guys ask the question, where's the zinc/phos/Moly. Using moly as an AWA is just bad formulating and poor engine design. Moly works by acting as a cushion, essentially absorbing the abrasions rather than your particular object. The down side to it is that it is masking other wear that can be critical for detection and it will wear other objects with time, it almost ends up becoming abrasive in most capacities with time. Once it is all used up, it no longer provides AW function either. The zinc and phos look to be normal and using the FTIR via the JOAP method, we can actually determine if there is AW function in the oil or if the additives are entirely used up. The FTIR is going to be the most interesting of all the tests, it is here that the big turbine manufacturers and AF/Navy are spending time. Most FTIR work is classified and for good reason. FTIR is also used by big Pharma. The applications to FTIR are endless.

Vis - it's on the low side, reminds me of Mobil's 40 weights. This is not related to sheer or fuel dilution, this is just not the greatest oil, let alone a 40 weight. This looks like a 30 weight and it's essentially new.

VI - not bad, but I'd like to see something better

Base Number is TBN for 1HasBeen. This is very very low for a fairly new oil.

Acid Number or TAN. This is normal and expected to be low. This is the only problem with ethanol as it can build acid rather quickly with a poor fuel, poor spark and poor oil selection.

FTIR - Nitration - 5 - great, near perfect combustion and spark, would like to see more miles and see where it ends.

Antiwear - this is going to be reflective of our zinc dialkyldithiophosphate pack. It's not great, not for fairly new oil.

Sulfation - can go into later, very long and little useful information in a spark based engine.

Glycol - this is going to be the coolant making it's way past the heads. Useful in FI ICEs especially as the boost gets turned up.

Soot - This is going to be a determining factor in allowing us to calculate the internal combustion dynamic and efficiency. Using the oxidation, nitration, sulfating, soot and a few other numbers, we can actually see things such as timing advancement or retard, spark ignition and combustion dynamic, internal resistance, fuel trims, O2 sensor function on ECU. There are a bunch of other functions but that can get lengthy.

WPPM - this is going to be an indication of spark and fueling in the engine. at 518, the engine looks to be igniting nearly all of the fuel that is coming into the combustion chamber, more to this but I am trying to keep short.

Fuel dilution - this is actually being measured by something called gas chromatography so we're looking at hydrocarbon chains in the oil rather than using flashpoint which is an outdated and ineffective way to measure due to modern fuel chemistry. at 2.7% this is rather high for 130 miles and will be the cause of the majority of the engines wear. Modern engines incur wear from two points, start up, and fuel dilution corroding the internals, as well as creating carbon deposits which retards timing and wears valve trains and internals at an accelerated rate. I personally with proper oil, fuel, filter, spark plug and air filter selection would expect to see this at 0.5% or less. One reason I am seriously disappointed in the lack of Wideband sensors being used for real time correction.

Hopefully, a bit more helpful now. I have seen a lot of posts in different places, with everyone chiming in opinions and so forth but none have any supporting evidence. If I didn't care about this X3, I'd buy the cheapest oil at Wal-Mart (supertech) and just change it every 3,000 miles. Today's oil won't cause an engine to self implode, but you can make a difference in how long it lasts and how long it can make its peak power.
 

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Thank you for the very comprehensive write up!

Which oil, fuel, filter, spark plug and air filter selection would you recommend?
 

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Good information.

I have good luck with the BRP stuff with the 4,169 miles I have on my X3 and will continue to use it.
 

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Sandman, you are certainly right. I would not stress about an engine that may not see more than 5,000 miles unless I were a professional driver or was broke.

I believe like anything in life, it's perceived value will affect how much we care. Some people choose to eat healthy and still die early, some don't, I suppose your mileage may vary.

With regards to the BRP oil. It is VERY VERY expensive for what it is. I believe many people do not understand it is rebranded oil. That and you're giving up fuel economy, peak power and response time.

Pennzoil - decent formula but like most grocery store oils, skips on the base stock and add pack. Would be a good choice if limited to grocery store oils. Rotella - Rotella performs well in these applications and I really dislike saying this because it will likely be misinterpreted at some point, but it is formulated for heavy duty boost applications. Those applications tend to also apply to FI ICEs in racing and automotive engines. However, the Rotella does not deal well with certain aspects of smaller engines. My 6.7L PSD is almost 7 times that of the X3. It's oil capacity is also 4 times higher and it is not stressed in the same manner.

The oil recommendation on this engine is difficult to address. 1. There are different weights we must look at depending on your intended use. 2. Like a base tune, we have to test to see if it performed well in your application.

Of all the boutique oils that one could pick from, I'd start with Renewable Lubricants Bio-SynXtra's formula. Next would be Amsoil or NPT. If you are racing or seriously pounding the machine, RLI's 10W-30 and 15W-40 formula's are the strongest in the pack. I am currently racing on RLI's 15W-40 but plan on switching to the 10W-30 formula now that I am running different fuel. I should have a sample here within the next week to post to see the performance. I see these catch can's becoming a thing on the X3 as on other cars but an oil and fuel that provide good ring seal and chemistry removes any need for a catch can.

Air filter - Dry air filters in this vehicle,(anyone even making an oiled one?) and cheap cheap cheap. Ideally you want to keep the air filters fresh, as the air filter has performed it's duty more, it will become more clogged, restricting air flow and ultimately retarding timing on the engine. Which leads to increased fuel dilution, less power and decreased performance as a result. The air filter is the most important of an ICE as it is the first line of defense for the motor from foreign particle ingress. I am running the S&B particle filter, I do not know the performance of it in testing, I am hoping it performs well but would need to see more Rotax engine's without the S&B to make that determination.

For fuel - I am not sure if there are standalone E85/flex fuel tunes that do not require injectors to be swapped. However, if it is within your reach, I would be running E85/FF through this engine. Ethanol is an incredible fuel that we have been convinced by foreign governments and sleeper agents that it is not. I provided the research and background for a documentary with Jason Bateman a few years back and my only regret was how much they still didn't want to say for fear of reprisal. Ethanol does not corrode bearings, engine components or pumps, etc. There have been limited issues and people mistake it for one thing or another and then that's it. Anhydrous ethanol vs hydrous ethanol (found in Brazil) will not corrode or destroy anything. Further more, the issues with ethanol and oil are that it actually does not break down the oil. Gasahol or race gasoline are the equivalent to paint thinners for oil. I often have to recommend a drain on EDI on flex fuel engines because the Ethanol will thicken the oil into a grade above. I do not mind fuel dilution from E85, it does not harm and wear lower end materials like gasohol/race gas will, you should be able to run twice the interval on E85 without even testing the oil. Ethanol is really a cleaning agent in engines, meaning your valve train, piston, piston rings, stay clean of power robbing deposits left by gasohol. Especially on DI applications, it's why Ford has added port injection because their DI engines are gunking up by 80,000 miles and are drastically losing performance, fuel economy and run rough. On E85, the only wear that the engine will suffer from is start up. That is quite literally it. For the nay sayers, there is no such thing as 10% ethanol proof or resistant. We have fought and are fighting wars to defend our access to oil when a friendly, high performance, American made alternative sits in our backyards. On that note, the ethanol is not made from the grain which is what the animals eat. If ethanol had it's own engine design based on a compression ignition vs. spark ignition, with a 16:1 piston, it would get better fuel economy than gas. This has been proven in labs. E85 is making close to 75,000 with gasohol, 112,500 and race gas at 114,000 BTU's, yet due to the fact that you basically can not detonate it you make some crazy numbers in other areas. The raw energy in the end proves to matter little. I would however not keep E85/FF from the pump for more than a few months just sitting around, these machines are not designed to automotive standards and hence I do not know how sealed the tanks and fuel components actually are.

If you run pump gasohol, Shell makes the best 93 formula (V-Power), followed closely by Mobil's 93. Ignite and VP Racing fuels have always tested and performed great. Mixing in some E85 at the pump to make it E20 will also help your engine stay clean and ultimately make more power. I believe most here understand why FI performs well with Ethanol.

Spark Plug - This can be determined when it is time to switch with the FTIR. I opted to run the Brisk spark plugs that Evo sells. Ethanol requires a better spark and I have previously used Brisk plugs in automotive applications. On FI applications, the plug defiantly makes a big difference.

Oil filter - I had my X3 decently built by a vendor and I kept asking if they could get the Mr. RPM unit but it appeared there were communication issues between the two. I'm not sure why Mr. RPM would not sell them the adapter but, oh well. With a paper filter, there is not much variance, buy the cheapest. With an automotive filter however, the Purolator and XP filters are really made to handle modern fuel dilution in engines. If anyone has the Mr. RPM or can help there, I'd love to know. If you could run an automotive filter, you would just have to determine your needs, for racing, a lot of people do not seem to understand that a standard automotive filter has a bypass flow valve that will open and close depending on the pressure. You'd have to look at the bypass flow valve settings and see. For racing and I mean actual racing (non-stop redline) then you would want a filter with no bypass flow valve. If you are just occasionally drag racing or just riding intermittently hard, a standard bypass flow valve setting would do. I have a patent for glass media filtration with a few guys that we made that had I found someone that could install it on the engine would have ensured never having to change the oil ever again, except maybe yearly due to oxidation of the base stock. The original application for the filtration units was for the F135 but we ended up getting the filters to work on many more applications. Also, if anyone can help with the Mr. RPM would be greatly appreciated. I'd love to test the automotive filters on here.

I apologize for the lack of structure. Hope some of the information is interesting.
 

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Sandman, you are certainly right. I would not stress about an engine that may not see more than 5,000 miles unless I were a professional driver or was broke.

I believe like anything in life, it's perceived value will affect how much we care. Some people choose to eat healthy and still die early, some don't, I suppose your mileage may vary.

With regards to the BRP oil. It is VERY VERY expensive for what it is. I believe many people do not understand it is rebranded oil. That and you're giving up fuel economy, peak power and response time.

Pennzoil - decent formula but like most grocery store oils, skips on the base stock and add pack. Would be a good choice if limited to grocery store oils. Rotella - Rotella performs well in these applications and I really dislike saying this because it will likely be misinterpreted at some point, but it is formulated for heavy duty boost applications. Those applications tend to also apply to FI ICEs in racing and automotive engines. However, the Rotella does not deal well with certain aspects of smaller engines. My 6.7L PSD is almost 7 times that of the X3. It's oil capacity is also 4 times higher and it is not stressed in the same manner.

The oil recommendation on this engine is difficult to address. 1. There are different weights we must look at depending on your intended use. 2. Like a base tune, we have to test to see if it performed well in your application.

Of all the boutique oils that one could pick from, I'd start with Renewable Lubricants Bio-SynXtra's formula. Next would be Amsoil or NPT. If you are racing or seriously pounding the machine, RLI's 10W-30 and 15W-40 formula's are the strongest in the pack. I am currently racing on RLI's 15W-40 but plan on switching to the 10W-30 formula now that I am running different fuel. I should have a sample here within the next week to post to see the performance. I see these catch can's becoming a thing on the X3 as on other cars but an oil and fuel that provide good ring seal and chemistry removes any need for a catch can.

Air filter - Dry air filters in this vehicle,(anyone even making an oiled one?) and cheap cheap cheap. Ideally you want to keep the air filters fresh, as the air filter has performed it's duty more, it will become more clogged, restricting air flow and ultimately retarding timing on the engine. Which leads to increased fuel dilution, less power and decreased performance as a result. The air filter is the most important of an ICE as it is the first line of defense for the motor from foreign particle ingress. I am running the S&B particle filter, I do not know the performance of it in testing, I am hoping it performs well but would need to see more Rotax engine's without the S&B to make that determination.

For fuel - I am not sure if there are standalone E85/flex fuel tunes that do not require injectors to be swapped. However, if it is within your reach, I would be running E85/FF through this engine. Ethanol is an incredible fuel that we have been convinced by foreign governments and sleeper agents that it is not. I provided the research and background for a documentary with Jason Bateman a few years back and my only regret was how much they still didn't want to say for fear of reprisal. Ethanol does not corrode bearings, engine components or pumps, etc. There have been limited issues and people mistake it for one thing or another and then that's it. Anhydrous ethanol vs hydrous ethanol (found in Brazil) will not corrode or destroy anything. Further more, the issues with ethanol and oil are that it actually does not break down the oil. Gasahol or race gasoline are the equivalent to paint thinners for oil. I often have to recommend a drain on EDI on flex fuel engines because the Ethanol will thicken the oil into a grade above. I do not mind fuel dilution from E85, it does not harm and wear lower end materials like gasohol/race gas will, you should be able to run twice the interval on E85 without even testing the oil. Ethanol is really a cleaning agent in engines, meaning your valve train, piston, piston rings, stay clean of power robbing deposits left by gasohol. Especially on DI applications, it's why Ford has added port injection because their DI engines are gunking up by 80,000 miles and are drastically losing performance, fuel economy and run rough. On E85, the only wear that the engine will suffer from is start up. That is quite literally it. For the nay sayers, there is no such thing as 10% ethanol proof or resistant. We have fought and are fighting wars to defend our access to oil when a friendly, high performance, American made alternative sits in our backyards. On that note, the ethanol is not made from the grain which is what the animals eat. If ethanol had it's own engine design based on a compression ignition vs. spark ignition, with a 16:1 piston, it would get better fuel economy than gas. This has been proven in labs. E85 is making close to 75,000 with gasohol, 112,500 and race gas at 114,000 BTU's, yet due to the fact that you basically can not detonate it you make some crazy numbers in other areas. The raw energy in the end proves to matter little. I would however not keep E85/FF from the pump for more than a few months just sitting around, these machines are not designed to automotive standards and hence I do not know how sealed the tanks and fuel components actually are.

If you run pump gasohol, Shell makes the best 93 formula (V-Power), followed closely by Mobil's 93. Ignite and VP Racing fuels have always tested and performed great. Mixing in some E85 at the pump to make it E20 will also help your engine stay clean and ultimately make more power. I believe most here understand why FI performs well with Ethanol.

Spark Plug - This can be determined when it is time to switch with the FTIR. I opted to run the Brisk spark plugs that Evo sells. Ethanol requires a better spark and I have previously used Brisk plugs in automotive applications. On FI applications, the plug defiantly makes a big difference.

Oil filter - I had my X3 decently built by a vendor and I kept asking if they could get the Mr. RPM unit but it appeared there were communication issues between the two. I'm not sure why Mr. RPM would not sell them the adapter but, oh well. With a paper filter, there is not much variance, buy the cheapest. With an automotive filter however, the Purolator and XP filters are really made to handle modern fuel dilution in engines. If anyone has the Mr. RPM or can help there, I'd love to know. If you could run an automotive filter, you would just have to determine your needs, for racing, a lot of people do not seem to understand that a standard automotive filter has a bypass flow valve that will open and close depending on the pressure. You'd have to look at the bypass flow valve settings and see. For racing and I mean actual racing (non-stop redline) then you would want a filter with no bypass flow valve. If you are just occasionally drag racing or just riding intermittently hard, a standard bypass flow valve setting would do. I have a patent for glass media filtration with a few guys that we made that had I found someone that could install it on the engine would have ensured never having to change the oil ever again, except maybe yearly due to oxidation of the base stock. The original application for the filtration units was for the F135 but we ended up getting the filters to work on many more applications. Also, if anyone can help with the Mr. RPM would be greatly appreciated. I'd love to test the automotive filters on here.

I apologize for the lack of structure. Hope some of the information is interesting.
Great post. A lot of it was very interesting! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Great info. I just bought the Donaldson Blue DBA 5225 Ultra Web Nanofiber air filter $33. The S&B one looks like it but is $75. Any ideas on these. I'll be switching to Amsoil. I have 2500 miles on in two months in dusty UT, NV, AZ. I think I will be investing in Particle Separator soon.
 

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Great info. I just bought the Donaldson Blue DBA 5225 Ultra Web Nanofiber air filter $33. The S&B one looks like it but is $75. Any ideas on these. I'll be switching to Amsoil. I have 2500 miles on in two months in dusty UT, NV, AZ. I think I will be investing in Particle Separator soon.
Where did you find that filter for $33? It's not washable/cleanable though is it?
 

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I looked it up this morning and I thought it was $33 then. Amazon raises prices I think when they get searches! I don't think it's washable.
 
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