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Discussion Starter #1
This thread attempts to discuss the best options for engine oil for our Rzr’s. This as much for the forums benefit as it is for my own. The first post will be reserved for conclusions while the next several will dig in a little. This is hardly a deep dive into tribology. If you really want to get deep into this head over to BITOG.

Recommendations:
  • If cost is no object, or you happen to (mistakenly) belong to the “I change it as often as the factory says to” club, you should be running either Amsoil’s 5W-50 UTV oil (argh, it galls me to say that) or Redline Powersports 10W-50. Both are Group IV-V oils.
  • Redline is a very solid choice, with good high temp viscosities and a great add pak. Amsoil hi temp viscosity looks even better, but the add pack, or at least the part the part will release, is weaker. I suspect strongly it’s still fine, but what we know of it does not appear as strong as Redlines. Let’s call that a tie. Or add a little Rislone ZDDP to the Amsoil for the win.
  • Since you should be changing oil frequently, as we suffer from fuel-based viscosity dilution compounded by a small oil crank case, I recommend one of two choices below changed every 25-30 hours:
  • Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 (non-turbo use)
  • Mobile 1 Advantage 15W-50 (all turbos).
Personally I’ll be adding 1oz of Rislone ZDDP additive #4405 per quart of oil (and no more!), which adds roughly 450 PPM zinc and phosphorous and gets us into the 1600-1700ppm range which is both pretty solid and pretty safe. Racing oil add pack levels here. But I don’t have a cat in my muffler anymore either. If you do you should skip this step, for these levels of zinc will harm your cat.

This is $25 and is easy and fast - just drop what’s in the oil pan every 25-30 hours, changing the filter every other. If you want to use one of the Group IV-V’s and change it more often too great, but non-diluted oil trumps “super oil”.

What this thread is not:

Please do not reply “My uncles mother-in-laws second ex-husband had a 1500HP Challenger with a 429 ZL-1 and it used Quaker State and pump gas” (Yes, I know. Intentional). On the other hand, if you have hard data please share and include the data points.

Why not Polaris Oil:

A VOA done on Polaris PS-4 some time back was not complimentary:
Polaris PS-4

Perhaps it’s been reformulated, but if they were delivering a less than quality oil then why would I think they are now? Meanwhile, on the PS-4 Extreme front, have you priced that stuff? I was going to buy a quart today just to send it off to a lab to have it evaluated, but at $18 a quart they are OUT OF THEIR MIND. I can order the Redline in with no shipping at my local O’Rielly Auto Parts, or the Amsoil in at my local Ace hardware. Either at lots le$$, and both represent top of the food chain oils. So no Poo oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Opinions:

While Poo’s Demand Drive seems to be just fine, it’s AGL is suspect (there are too transmission failure stories out there), and it’s PS-4 engine oil doesn’t look very good based on the only VOA (Virgin Oil Analysis) I’ve found for it. As has been mentioned, the single most important thing we can do for our Rzr’s is to change oil frequently, but it can’t hurt to make it more financially palatable and to up the quality of what we’re using.

I, as do many, use Rotella T6, a common/Group III synthetic HDEO, as my go-to powersports engine oil. It’s got a solid viscosity index, a great add pak (additives package), and is well respected at BITOG. I paid $22/gallon at Farm & Fleet, and it’s available at Wally world as well, so it’s also cheap. It’s also MA and MA2approved, so it can be run in wet clutch motorcycles.

More recently I’ve been considering oil bearing coking and the kind of temperatures turbo bearings see, so I’m now leaning towards a 50-weight oil with a strong 150c viscosity. Yet I change it often and prefer easily available oils, so I’ve arbitrarily decided I prefer something I can buy anywhere, someplace like Walmart, in the $20-$25 gallon range. This makes Mobile 1 Advantage 15W-50 interesting ($25 for 5 Qt. at wally).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Things To Know:
  • Engine oil and gear oil are rated differently, so we can’t compare them. SAE J300 for the former, J306 for the latter.
    • You’re going to see tables companying J300 and J306. Be careful, I’ve never seen one that wasn’t using the “hot” viscosity (100c) as the relative comparison point. I’m certain the average gear oil will have a much lower VI as well, so it’s going to be thicker than such a table would suggest at startup and initial roll.
  • Synthetic oils are rarely “true synthetic”, and haven’t been for many years. For purposes of this thread please accept that when I reference a “True Synthetic” I refer to Group IV or V Esther or PAO based oils like Redline makes today, and Amsoil and Mobile at least used to make.
    • I’m not certain Amsoil no longer makes a true/group IV synthetic, but I find it odd they no longer are willing to state they do. (Opinion: There lower tier oils are probably Group III and they don’t want to admit it, while at least some of the “Signature” oils are still Group IV/V.)
  • When I speak of “common synthetic/Group III” I’m referring to dino oils that have been modified via a process that US courts have allow to be called “synthetic”. I don’t buy into Amsoil’s diminished product & marketing obfuscation, and their no longer best-in-class tech support, but this link is fairly accurate:
  • Oils with lots of viscosity improvers, as common/group 3 synthetics tend to have, can have a wide range of cold to hot viscosities. But that characteristic can vary between quite short lived in a gearbox/differential/transmission (viscosity sheer) to acceptably lived (hasn’t worn out before the oil get dirty) in a common engine.
    • Be wary of Group III’s in transaxle like configurations (like a motorcycle. Hmm.. I need to ponder on continuing to use T6 in my Vmax.)
  • Engine oils (J300) are rated at warm temperatures. When you look for oil specs you typically see ratings at 100c and 40c (104f) degrees. Neither is very cold, right? There is a minimum pourability measurement that’s part of J300 that addresses freezing and below, and I’ll be looking at that too.
    • If you are regularly starting your Rzr in cold weather this is easy: Use Rotella T6 5W-40.
  • Polaris won’t tell us much about their oils, but we can infer at least one thing: API SM and SN exists to prevent catalytic converter poisoning. In that our Rzr’s have cat’s, it’s possible PS-4 is at least relatively similar to API SM as well. Maybe. Sorta. Could be. Or not.
  • Engine oils need to at least reach 100c intermittently. If they didn’t they couldn’t boil off any water condensate and that can create engine acids. Meanwhile, something along the lines of 150c (272f) is about the upper temperature limit you want to see before the oil starts to fail. Turbo oil at the bearings can see higher though if not cooled down.
  • Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oils (HDSEO) don’t require SM/SN certification. Which means they can, and usually do, include a lot of ZDDP (zinc). This is true of many powersports specific oils too (but not Amsoil’s. Odd.)
    • ZDDP is an important anti-ware component, and exceptionally helpful in resisting wear at startup as well.
    • Rotella T6? It’s an HDEO, and well respected for its additives package.
  • FOR SM/SN rated auto engine oils, ZDDP is limited to 1200ppm in oils 40 weight and over and 800ppm for anything 30 and below (I think). Unrated Powersports oils? They can much higher. Look at the Redline Powersports 10W-50 in the tables below: Zinc is 2125ppm. Twice the anti-wear! Phosphorous is way up there too.
    • You can have too much ZDDP. I’m not a tribologist, but my reading suggests you want to start backing off ZDDP about 1700PPM or so. (This can be disputed, but I don’t have the expertise to do so)
      • I assume Redline knows what it’s doing using 2100ppm.
    • Personally I’d rather not use something with only 800ppm ZDDP, but oil technology is evolving and there are plenty of oils using proprietary FM’s (friction modifiers) that probably work just fine.
    • It’s here PS-4 has the opportunity to stand out. Old VOA’s have shown this is exactly where the oils historically fell on its face.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oil Analysis:

Let me say this is largely a discussion of viscosity with some add pack information thrown in. One should not overlook additives packages, a key component of wear and oils ability to clean, but my expertise here is limited. (ok, it’s limited everywhere)

Here’s a table for your consideration:
647439


You may reach other conclusions, but here are mine:
  • Relative to Castrol, T6 is certainly the lower temp champ and handles 150c better as well. I’ve no further interest in Castrol Edge 10W-40.
  • Castrol Supercar 5W-50 looks nice at 100c, but its not great when cold, nor great at extreme heat (150c). And it’s expensive. The Amsoil and Redline both trailer it in every way, and frankly M1 looks better in almost every category too.. See ya Castrol.
  • Looking at Mobile 1 Advantage 15W-50, I see 40c temps essentially tied with Redline’s 10W-50. Redline handles subzero better, and extreme heat better, but looks at M1’sD97 pour point. No worse than Castrols 10-W-40. So I’m putting the concern of M1’s 15W being a bit thick aside. (That’s not really a surprise, I’ve seen a number of comments that it’s a 10W oil save for naming).
  • M1’s 100C handling is better than T6 (as we’d expect), but also better than Castrol. This is also true of its extreme heat (150c) handling. Of the Group III pseudo synthetics this is relatively good. Remember, though, it’s likely to sheer down as hours build.
  • Amsoil and Redlines Powersports 10W-50 are the real deal, but a Group IV/V was gonna do that. They are also 3 times the price of M1 from Wally world. If you don’t mind the cost either are very very strong oils, with Redline appearing to have the stronger add pak and Amsoil the better extreme heat viscosity.
  • For all intents and purposes M1 is an upper 10W mid-range 50 weight oil. But it’s an SN rated oil and is limited in how much zinc it can have. How much? Max of 1200, and reputedly it’s really got 1100ppm. Easy to fix with Rislone ZDDP, although 1200ppm is still pretty good.
  • I’m a little surprised Redline met MA specs and has Moly in it. I see it doesn’t make MA2, but still, I’d have that the moly would have been hard on a wet clutch. Pretty substantial add pak from what little I know of that art.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Present day thinking:

The data says I’ve been doing it wrong and should change oils. I’ll keep using T6 5W-40 in my cars, trucks, mowers, and etc, but for the turbo Rzr I’m going to buy M1 from wally world and add ½ bottle (about 6 ounces) of RISLone’s ZDDP additive. For the bike I’m going to move to T6 15W40 to minimize sheer, and I’ll have it tested mid-summer. For the Rzr I’ll have about $25 in oil and additives, have around 1800PPM zinc and phosphorous, and be starting at what amounts to a high 10W mid 50 weigh Group III synthetic oil. I already idle for at least a minute at each shut down, and that will continue.

Nothing is going to beat this short of a real Group IV being changed frequently.

BTW, when I get a VOA result of PS-4 Extreme in my hands I’ll be posting it on BITOG and adding a link here to that post. I’m also going to post a UOA of the M1 at some point with around 25 hours on it so we can see how both how much its viscosity dropped due to sheer or fuel dilution.

Next Steps:
I’m considering a remote oil filter. This would let me get an oil temp sensor installed, and like to know where I’m at there. This would ease changing access, allow a larger filter thus increasing oil capacity, tell me if I needed an oil cooler or not, and allow an easier path to installing one if needed.


Hopefully this helps somebody! At the very least I learned I wanted to change my own directions.

atb,
-d
 

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Have used Amsoil in all my powersports for 15 years or so. Never one ounce of problems with oil. Change it at 50 hours. Our engines work very hard at high revs. Do not try to run any oil to long. Oil is vey cheap compared.
 

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I will go you one better.
I have used various brands for 24 years in all my Polaris powersports, and lots more years than that on other makes and have never had an oil related problem.
Has anyone ever reported an engine problem that was directly attributed to the oil?
I have seen lab tests of Amsoil and Polaris PS4 both used in the same motor back to back and the results showed the PS4 protected the motor as well to slightly better than the Amsoil.
If it protects your motor as well as the 'best' the formula doesn't matter..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All:
Data please folks. I do not want to be rude, so forgive me, but these are personal stories. Which I'd hoped to avoid. Plenty of those oil threads out there. Mind you sharing a link to the Amsoil vs PS4 labs tests referenced would be pretty cool, and much valued hard data too.

Let's also not forget my suggestion is to change often using easily available higher grade, but not highest possible quality, oils. If you want the best I've offered what some mild study showed it to be, but I'll not debate there are endless candidates. And if you're to suggest them, again, please bring the data. Post #4 is an example.

My thanks and appreciation.

Rocket:
Sadly, I've seen several failures. Mostly to associates, but I've had some family suffer from not too bright things too. Re oil inadequacy, let me just say two strokes can be unforgiving. Airplane engines too. And if you don't change it it will go boom sooner or later. But now I'm answering stories with stories, so I need to shut up now.

All the best,
-d
 

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dafish,
I guess I should have been more detailed in my question.
How many Polaris motors have you seen fail because of an oil inadequacy problem?

Also, the wear metals tests I saw were done by an independent lab and ordered by a rancher that uses Rangers in his daily work.

I guess I will take actual independent usage data based on real life tests of motors that have been tested after actually using a product over the empirical specifications of what 'should possibly' be better.
JMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rock: None. I'm of the opinion anything can fail, but who knows? If nothing else I'm probably better off upgrading to the M1 then the T6, so the mental excersize helped at least me. :)

It sure would be nice to see that wear data!! I'd be tickled if you'd try to get it! It would be good to know which Amsoil "level" he was using too. If you don't mind asking...

Sir, everybody has an experience. Without data and the law of large numbers real results get lost in the noise. And even then conclusions can be misleading. Lets use your farmer story as an example: Your farmer was testing. He appears to agree any engine will wear, and he's managing his oil maintenance through data (I'm sure not gonna argue that's good).

Moving on, Poo oil showed equal to Amsoil, sometimes better? That's at least a less oft used thought, but OK, lets go there. I certainly agree there will be use cases where oils aren't pushed to there performance boundary's, and in such a case a guy running a solid maintenance plan will have great results as a result of his management. A Ranger might very well fall into that "not pushing the oil's boundaries" area, and I think we've already seen the farmer was managing his maintenance well.

Should we then conclude Poo oil is thus the equal to Amsoil? In that use case it would appear so. Will that be common? I dunno. I do know I'll take the larger safety net myself.

Does such an experience in turn mean Poo's oil is equal to Amsoil for all users? That would be something of stretch conclusion despite the positive experience. (OK, I'm being too gentle. No, that's a false conclusion).

As I hope to have shown then, data analysis and interpretation, including real world experience, is part art, part science, with conclusions oft caveated by use case.

But hell man, lets agree on this: Regular maintenance is always going to trump using a "super oil".

atb
-d
 
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