Rover V8 engine oil analysis

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#1
I took my Cobra replica to Goodwood Revival and Motul lab were offering a free engine oil analysis.
Engine is Rover 3.9 with added va va voom.
They gave me a kit comprising sealable bag containing a syringe, tube, bottle, and instructions.
In the car park I sucked up a little oil via the dipstick tube, gave it to them one morning and got my results that afternoon.
A very efficient technical chappie gave me a comprehensive read through over a complimentary coffee.
The test has highlighted elevated copper and iron. I know my rockers are wearing, and the iron probably from corrosion as the oil although only having done 2500 miles has been in since before covid- too long !
I was very happy to see no contamination from blow by.
The advice was to change the oil, and do so on an annual basis.
I asked about using a flush, this was advised, but not with a dirty engine. My oil is darkening now, but not very dirty.
Here is the report. 11B2D2F4-00F4-4D30-90E1-F7C751F9B84D.jpeg ECC55D7D-877B-4666-B790-8743914095B8.jpeg
 
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GRTV8

Well-Known Member
#2
A little unsettling seeing those wear readouts- even minuscule. Just don't thing my engine is slowly wearing away like the sands on the sea shore
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#3
Wear is inevitable when parts rub together, bear in mind we are talking ppm here, parts per million !

When the tide comes in it will be an excuse to build better, faster, stronger ;)
 

PeterZRH

Well-Known Member
#4
Is there any concern while you have reasonable oil pressure and no noises from the bottom end? These, like most OHV American V8s go on and on and just get baggier with time. As long as the cam and timing remain accurate and compression is reasonable I don't think you can feel the difference. So a "worn" engine can still be 30-50,000miles from absolutely needing a rebuild.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#5
Absolutely no concern. First time ever I have had any oil analysed, I did it for the fun of it, and out of curiosity. I know I have worn rockers, but that will get looked at in due course. I built the engine, I may, if I get bored have a look at squeezing some more ponies out of it, but the car has 240 bhp per tonne which is quite entertaining as it is.
 

Gargo

Active Member
#9
Very Good, I always find this interesting.
I see there is no soot contamination, but you comment that the oil is darkening. Did they shed any light on why the oil is darkening?
With no contamination why the recommendation of an oil flush, did they give a particular reason? Was it because the engine has not had the oil changed for the 2500miles in 3 years? :rolleyes:

Also, now you've done it once with no surprises will you start doing this again, i.e. do you think it is worth paying for? Oil analysis, not Goodwood which I think you do.

I watched on YT and my computer's speakers are now bust.
My partner kept telling me to take my ear protectors off. I tried to explain that race car exhausts are loud and can damage your hearing, I'm not sure she heard me!
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#10
Very Good, I always find this interesting.
I see there is no soot contamination, but you comment that the oil is darkening. Did they shed any light on why the oil is darkening?
With no contamination why the recommendation of an oil flush, did they give a particular reason? Was it because the engine has not had the oil changed for the 2500miles in 3 years? :rolleyes:

Also, now you've done it once with no surprises will you start doing this again, i.e. do you think it is worth paying for? Oil analysis, not Goodwood which I think you do.

I watched on YT and my computer's speakers are now bust.
My partner kept telling me to take my ear protectors off. I tried to explain that race car exhausts are loud and can damage your hearing, I'm not sure she heard me!
Ha ha very good :)
I think I used a darker oil than usual, it may even have been Motul, can't remember.
I asked him about a flush, as I always use one, he confirmed that it was a good idea. I asked about dropping the oil pan and cleaning it right out every couple of years or so, he said that what I was already doing was sufficient.
I do think the service is worth paying for, although I suppose if you did get a scary result it would mean hauling a motor before you planned to.
If I spread a bit of oil on my finger it is not really that dark, just looked it in the bottle.
If the service is offered again to GRRC members next year I'll have another go on fresher oil.
It nearly cost me a new frock....... my able assistant manged to get oil spots on her dress during the extraction process, god knows how, anyway it came out with a little aftercare and harmony was restored, phew !
 

jp928

Well-Known Member
#11
Interesting, first time I have seen any one do this in a very long time. The ones I have done usually show what they consider to be 'normal' values for each element. The item I find interesting is silicon - this is commonly a sign of either silicon sealers used too liberally on gaskets , or ingestion of grit or sand past the air filters. Water looks high also.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#12
Yes the silicon caught my eye, I am very sparing with that on assy, so I wonder if that is part of the oil make up ?
The water I missed, fortunately the Glycol is 0.0, so as I run 50:50 Glycol / distilled water I am happy that it is not coolant, and as it is not highlighted that one is a mystery.
 

jp928

Well-Known Member
#13
One idea I have seen on checking for dust/grit getting in to the engine - smear the inside of the air cleaner case with clean light coloured grease. After doing some mileage check the grease foreign matter. the water may be condensation thats not being driven off because you are doing mostly short trips - next long trip , check to see if oil level drops?
 

jp928

Well-Known Member
#15
Wow! The silicon level would immediately make me suspect the effectiveness of that filter. I recently attended a presentation by an engineer who worked with a big US diesel engine maker, and showed a film they made about their work on extending the life of their engines working in difficult industrial sites. The upshot was that the biggest single advance was the employment of paper element air filters, and the regular inspection and replacement of them, replacing oil bath type air cleaners. Is there space there for a US style pancake filter housing?
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#16
Wow! The silicon level would immediately make me suspect the effectiveness of that filter. I recently attended a presentation by an engineer who worked with a big US diesel engine maker, and showed a film they made about their work on extending the life of their engines working in difficult industrial sites. The upshot was that the biggest single advance was the employment of paper element air filters, and the regular inspection and replacement of them, replacing oil bath type air cleaners. Is there space there for a US style pancake filter housing?
No, I can barely fit that filter in the bonnet scoop space.
Somewhere I have compression test readings from previous times, I 'll do another test, it will be interesting to have a comparison.
I assume you are thinking the silicon may be from dust, I think that's unlikely, the filter is multi layer and if I had that much of an issue ring / bore wear and blow by would be evident.
 

jp928

Well-Known Member
#17
Do an oil change, and Repeat the oil test in a year, see if the silicon level is similar after similar miles on the new oil.
This ISO5011 air filter comparison makes interesting reading - the better a filter is at removing dust, the more restrictive it is. In fitting the big Ryco A1705 elements in the standard housing I am going for the biggest filter area possible to reduce restriction and delay plugging.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#18
I have long known that the OEM air filter that modern vehicles use is not just something thrown on one afternoon after a return from the pub by the designers.
All the go faster cold air induction kits beloved by boy racers usually result in a performance drop :eek:
It was perhaps predictable that the K&N did flow more air, but it was shocking to see it's withering performance regarding filtering dust.
For a P6 the larger Montego paper element filters appear to be the way to go.
For my little car, I am stuck with the ITG, nothing else will fit. The good thing is the car never travels on unmetalled roads, something you upside down fellas have to contend with no doubt.
 

Gargo

Active Member
#19
My oil is darkening now, but not very dirty.
I was just doing some reading there. The darkening of oil is due to the oxidation of the oil, as a result of the heat cycles. "... just like how oxygen causes a cut apple to brown", with the heat accelerating the process.
So, as in your case, the oil can have little or no contamination but the oil will still darken.

With regards to the air filter. I agree with Cobraboy, if the oil is not getting contaminated then the bores, valve stems etc are still good; therefore the filter is doing its job.
The quality foam filters, which I'd say ITG is one, do require maintenance. They need regularly cleaned and then oiled, they are not fit and forget.
If you're storing an engine for a number of years, remove the foam filters as they eventually turn to dust.....
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#20
Yes they need looking after, I think I am on my third or fourth with this car. Shockingly they burn readily as well, we had a case of a DCOE Weber equipped car at work that spat back and ignited the foam, I made calls to ITG and Pipercross asking if they used fire resistant foam - they don't !
 
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