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      03-04-2016, 01:01 AM   #1
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BE Bearings | Free Oil Analysis Results

I want to say thanks again to everybody who participated in the BE Bearings free oil analysis tests. The results will all be posted as soon as they are available.

While we're waiting for everybody to submit their oil and wait for the results, I'll share with you a little bit about the cars that were selected for the free oil analysis.



As you can see, this is a very diverse group of cars. Many cars are heavily commuted, some heavily tracked, and one with a spun bearing. It doesn't get much better than this.

For the car with the spun bearing, I sent in the sample to Polaris and Blackstone so we can compare the results of each company on the same sample of oil.

As results become available, I'll be sure to post them.

-- UPDATE --

I spoke with Polaris data analysis guys for about 30-minutes on the phone. Since there's this new theory that fuel dilution in the oil is the true cause of bearing wear (not reduced clearance), I wanted to get more information about the gas chromatography tests Polaris performs, and what the expected ranges may be.

Fuel dilution is a function of oil viscosity. As such, the fuel dilution results will depend on the oil viscosity results. Because of this, the fuel dilution results will often be marked "estimates" instead of actual numbers.

One percent (1%) is the smallest amount of fuel dilution they can measure. Anything measuring less than one percent (< 1%) is considered negligable, or not to exist.

I hope this answers the questions that might be generated by these results.
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Last edited by AutoTalent; 03-04-2016 at 08:41 PM.
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      03-04-2016, 01:16 AM   #2
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You show Castrol TWS 10w40. Should that be 10w60?
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      03-04-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White 13 View Post
You show Castrol TWS 10w40. Should that be 10w60?
Fixed. Thanks.
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      03-04-2016, 08:42 PM   #4
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I have received the first Polaris results. I'll be posting the first results immediately after this post. Before I do, I'd like to explain a little that I learned today. I spoke with Polaris data analysis guys for about 30-minutes on the phone. Since there's this new theory that fuel dilution in the oil is the true cause of bearing wear (not reduced clearance), I wanted to get more information about the gas chromatography tests Polaris performs, and what the expected ranges may be.

Fuel dilution is a function of oil viscosity. As such, the fuel dilution results will depend on the oil viscosity results. Because of this, the fuel dilution results will often be marked "estimates" instead of actual numbers.

One percent (1%) is the smallest amount of fuel dilution they can measure. Anything measuring less than one percent (< 1%) is considered negligable, or not to exist.

I hope this answers the questions that might be generated by these results.
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      03-04-2016, 08:44 PM   #5
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Vehicle: BMW M3
Miles on engine: 14000. Vehicle with 48000 miles, engine replaced due to spun bearing at 34000 miles.
Miles on oil: 3000
Oil: Liqui-Moly 10W60
Type of driving: 60 minutes daily in Los Angeles stop-and-go rush hour driving.
Track days: 2, advanced group driver who drives very aggessively
Notes: Car has Alekshop oil cooler and occasionally reaches 280+ degrees-F oil temperatures during track events.
Analysis results: 2 (warning) due to measured oil viscosity is a little low for the specification ratings of the oil itself.

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      03-05-2016, 07:46 PM   #6
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I'm not sure what you mean by, "Fuel dilution is a function of oil viscosity."

Fuel dilution can cause oil viscosity to go down, however it typically take 4%-6% dilution for this to occur, and it's not the only cause of low viscosity. An oil can wear down to a lower grade simply from being run through an engine, typically an engine with tight tolerances. This type of wear is called "shear". As the oil is squeezed through contact points, the Viscosity Index Improvers in the oil are ripped apart, and this causes the viscosity to go down. Because these results show little dilution and a fairly good TBN, I believe that the lowered viscosity is not from fuel dilution but instead from shear.

I would argue that 18.8cST isn't really all that low anyway, as it's only one grade lower than spec.
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      03-06-2016, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XxMerlinxX View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by, "Fuel dilution is a function of oil viscosity."
That's what the guy at Polaris told me. He said when they measure fuel dilution and get a percentage result, it's not a number that stands alone by itself. He said the dilution value will depend on the oil viscosity. For example, let's say you have a 60 weight oil and measure 1% dilution. If that same measurement were done on 40 weight oil, the percent of dilution would be different, even though the GC measurements were the same. Therefore the percentage of fuel dilution is a function of oil viscosity.

Maybe I understood him wrong, but that's how I understood what he was telling me.
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      03-07-2016, 01:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoTalent View Post
That's what the guy at Polaris told me. He said when they measure fuel dilution and get a percentage result, it's not a number that stands alone by itself. He said the dilution value will depend on the oil viscosity. For example, let's say you have a 60 weight oil and measure 1% dilution. If that same measurement were done on 40 weight oil, the percent of dilution would be different, even though the GC measurements were the same. Therefore the percentage of fuel dilution is a function of oil viscosity.

Maybe I understood him wrong, but that's how I understood what he was telling me.
If that's how Polaris finds the fuel dilution percentage, then they're doing it wrong. They need to look at three different factors which are viscosity, flash point, and fire point. If they're just looking at viscosity, they might as well not even bother.
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      03-09-2016, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XxMerlinxX View Post
If that's how Polaris finds the fuel dilution percentage, then they're doing it wrong. They need to look at three different factors which are viscosity, flash point, and fire point. If they're just looking at viscosity, they might as well not even bother.
flash point and fire point are both very inferior and inadequate methods to measure fuel dilution in oil accurately. It's what people use when they do not have deep pockets or can not justify the investment in a chromatograph for their line of work. Even smaller oil analysis labs like blackstone can not afford one. Polaris labs do have one and they certainly know what they are doing. You seem limited by what you use for your application to make such a poor comment but it does not mean other places work within your framework.
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      03-09-2016, 11:55 PM   #10
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According to the OP, Polaris stated they derive fuel dilution from only the viscosity degredation, which is inferior to literally any other way of figuring it out. I also never said there weren't better methods, but as you pointed out, a gas chromatograph is expensive. I don't work for Blackstone, so if you meant that as some sort of barb, you missed.
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      03-10-2016, 02:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XxMerlinxX View Post
According to the OP, Polaris stated they derive fuel dilution from only the viscosity degredation, which is inferior to literally any other way of figuring it out. I also never said there weren't better methods, but as you pointed out, a gas chromatograph is expensive. I don't work for Blackstone, so if you meant that as some sort of barb, you missed.
When somebody says "a function of" that means there is a dependency on something (viscosity). It doesn't mean dilution is solely derived from viscosity. I gave an example that said: fuel dilution would change as a function of viscosity even though the GC measurements were the same. In this case, the "GC" I referred to is the "Gas Chromatograph," which is the measuring tool used by Polaris.
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      04-15-2016, 01:47 AM   #12
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Were there any conclusions drawn from this for or against fuel dilution playing a role in the bearing failures??

Thanks for any insight.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      04-15-2016, 09:00 AM   #13
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Not to be off topic, but when will these bearings be available again?
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      04-24-2016, 03:07 PM   #14
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Vehicle: BMW M5
Miles on engine: 16000. Original motor replaced at 84000 miles.
Miles on oil: 5150
Oil: Mobil-1 0W40
Type of driving: Doesn't don't drive much, 20 mile stop and go round trip to work and errands around town. Only taken it out of town 3 times on long trips. Daily commute sitting and idling half the time.

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      04-24-2016, 03:08 PM   #15
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Vehicle: BMW M5
Miles on engine: 78000
Miles on oil: 7500
Oil: Castrol TWS 10W60
Type of driving: Used for daily commute in stop and go San Francisco bay area, CA traffic daily 90 miles/day. Spends about 2 hrs/day in traffic. Never been tracked.

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      04-24-2016, 03:09 PM   #16
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Vehicle: BMW M3
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Miles on oil: 6400
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Type of driving: All city driving in Boston.

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      04-24-2016, 03:10 PM   #17
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Vehicle: BMW M5
Miles on engine: 67500
Miles on oil: 7500
Oil: Castrol TWS 10W60
Type of driving: Car owned by a little old lady and was babied all its life. Engine spun a bearing at 67500 miles. Engine sat for a while before being disassembled. Oil in pan was already empty from dealer intervention. This oil sample was taken from the oil remaining in the oil filter.

Both Polaris and Blackstone oil samples were ordered for comparative purposes. As you can see, they practically mirror each other.



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      06-13-2016, 08:13 PM   #18
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Anymore results on the samples?
Looks like there is some fuel dilution on the M5 motors??
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      06-13-2016, 08:57 PM   #19
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I'll be sending in my first sample on the new bearings here soon.
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