The differences observed in the 4-ball test are much more related to the additive package than the base stock...Head 'n Shoulders shampoo performs admirably in that test, but that doesn't make it a good engine oil. The guys you talked to were correct that a quality additive package can lead to good results in performance tests.
lsayre wrote:Pennsylvania crudes are all lousy per the same source. Too much natural wax in them, which means not enough available space between the molecules to hold a good quantity of the oil additives that are far superior to natural waxes.
I heard that paraffinic oils have a saturated molecular structure, which chemists attempt to recreate without impurities. PAO base stocks are a good example. PAO based lubes have outstanding extreme temperature performance and some other benefits, but the one area they lag is additive solubility. Why does L.E. use U.S. Mid-Continent paraffinic base oils to manufacture their lubricants?
While there are a number of major crude oil sources around the world, U.S. Mid-Continent is acknowledged as the best for lubricating oil. The Mid-Continent includes Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. By definition, paraffinic base oils contain a small amount of napthenics & aromatics which are a major group of unsaturated cyclic hydrocarbons. Aromatics can cause seal and hose hardness & loss of pliability. Both aromatics and napthenics reduce a lubricant's oxidation resistance, film strength and increase the volatility (evaporation rate). Lubrication Engineers utilizes an extra refining step to remove more of these undesirables. Other lubricant suppliers do not. In addition, each incoming base oil shipment is tested to our stringent quality control specifications which dictate a maximum allowable amount of aromatics and napthenics, along with other criteria. With the selection and use of Mid-Continent paraffinic base oils processed with an extra refining step, Lubrication Engineers oils have a chemical composition and performance similar to synthetic oils (PAO's) resulting in excellent oxidation resistance, low volatility, long life & few deposits and sludge. In addition they have greater additive solubility than PAO's, preventing "additive dropout" and allowing stronger doses of additives to be used when required by tough applications.
PA crude hasn't totally gone away either. Brad Penn is made in Bradford, PA...the same refinery that made the famous Kendall GT1 race oil. http://www.penngrade1.com/