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Captain Charles

Camguard

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I don't think it is tested or approved by Rotax. I would not use it, and personally with the Rotax I don't see the need like with other aircraft engines.

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Don't use it. Just stay with what's recommended and you won't be tearing down your engine early. If you do the prescribed maint. and when you're supposed to do it there is no reason you should not get 3K - 4K hrs. on your engine. You need to use a good motorcycle oil, but preferably Aero Shell Sport Plus 4. Car oils don't have the additive package that is needed and neither does a standard aircraft oil.

Go rogue and pay the price later. Of course all those guys thinks it's Rotax's fault.

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Roger, at one time, Amsoil Motorcycle and Mobil 1-4T were recommended.  I still use both of these oils.  Both are full synthetic 10W-40 and are for motorcycles with wet clutches.  I use MoGas 100%.  Do you feel the AeroShell is better than these?

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Dick,  I would use the Aeroshell if I were running 100LL. It will do a better job of keeing the lead in suspension, so it doesn't settle in the engine.

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Camguard isn't designed for rotax. That clutch is likely where the most havoc would be seen, which will cause other issues down the line.

Aeroshell and rotax did a LOT of testing, and use the best formulation from those tests now. The issue with using the older oils is the formulas do change, and that accepted oil list list used to change after someone found out.

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I find it very hard to get information about motor oils for Rotax engines that is anything other than anecdotal or is provided by Rotax.

As Dick noted above, Rotax used to approve Mobil 1 Racing 4T (a full synthetic four-stroke motorcycle oil that meets requirements of JASO MA/MA2).  JASO certified motorcycle oils meet requirements for engines that use a common oil for engine lubrication as well as lubrication of the gearbox and wet clutch.  That might be why Rotax previously allowed motorcycle engine oil in 912 series engines.  They bear a strong resemblance to motorcycle engines.  Also, many (maybe all) premium motorcycle engine oils are formulated with ZDPP, an additive that reduces friction and is believed to damage catalytic converters. 

Now, Rotax has an internal oil standard, RON 424.  From Rotax documentation, "The ROTAX® Norm 424 (RON 424) is a BRP-Rotax internal standard, which is only available on special request via the ROTAX® Authorized Distributor and will not be disclosed to third parties without prior consent."  So, is that different than JASO MA oil (which would justify using only Shell Sport PLUS4) or just a marketing ploy between Rotax and Shell (that would not preclude other oils)? 

Regarding changes in formulation, review of the Material Safety Data Sheet for AeroShell Sport PLUS4 shows ZDPP at 1-2%, highly refined mineral oils at 80-95%, and calcium long chain alkyl salicylate at 1-3%.  Given the variability of the ingredients, I don't see how it is possible to claim that the formula for AeroShell is somehow more stable over time than the formula of other oils. 

The Material Safety Data Sheet for Mobil 1 Racing 4T is also available online.  It also shows an ingredient that appears to be ZDPP (although with slightly different nomenclature) as well as a few others.  Like AeroShell, a range is provided for each ingredient. 

Ultimately, I strongly suspect that every motor oil is will vary in formulation over time.  I suspect this is due to fluctuation in the cost of ingredients.  I also suspect that the manufacturers can vary the formulations somewhat and maintain compliance with JASO (and other) requirements for motorcycle oil.  I have no reason to believe that Shell does not vary its formulas over time, provided the oil sold in the red bottle still meets all requirements for engine protection.

So, where does all this get us?  I strongly suspect nobody knows.  The prevailing wisdom is to use motorcycle oil in the 912 series engine due to the need to lubricate the engine itself as well as the gearbox and wet clutch.  To me, this makes sense.  Motorcycle oils still have ZDPP as an anti-wear additive that was reportedly removed from automobile fuel due to damage to catalytic converters.  Also widely believed is that semi-synthetic oils keep lead in suspension better than full-synthetic oils.  Anecdotal images of engines run on 100LL and full synthetic motor oil are consistent with this belief.  So, like Tom suggested, an engine that burns 100LL may be cleaner over time with a semi-synthetic oil than with full synthetic oil.

Ultimately unanswered, however, is the question of whether a 912 engine run solely on Mogas is at any risk of premature wear as a result of regular use of a premium full-synthetic motorcycle motor oil recommended for motorcycle engines (eg., Mobil 1 Racing 4T) in comparison to regular use of Shell Sport PLUS 4. 

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Tom and Fred.  Good information.  Firstly, I said I use MoGas and not 100LL so this is why I do use full synthetic oil.  I recall perhaps it was Roger who presented the wear testing results from  Mobil 4T.  (Perhaps Amsoil motocycle was included too?)  Besides the results showing that these oils contained a healthy amount of ingredients needed for lubrication of the wet clutches found in motorcycles, the test which I thought was most relevant was the "3 ball" test.  As I recall, Mobil (and perhaps the Amsoil) was listed as one of the top performers.  As Fred indicates though, there has been a long period of time since these tests were published and better testing or time weighted results may tell a different story now.  Also, Shell has deep pockets and does heavily promote the use of it's products wherever specialty vehicles are raced or operated.  Until shown otherwise, I believe that Mobil synthetic oils are still premium oils and that the 4T should be a reliable lubricant when used in Rotax engines that burn MoGas.

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Dick, I certainly have no reason to believe that 10w-40 Mobil 1 Racing 4T motorcycle oil will provide anything other than excellent protection of your 912.  But, what do I know?

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FredG: MSDS doesn't show a complete list of ingredients. Oil is VERY complex. See the various types of additives and the purpose they serve.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_additive#Types_of_additives

Also, I am not talking about minor formulation changes. I am talking about major ones. For years, oil for a rotax was quite experimental. Recommendations were based on field experience and best guess.

Now, Rotax and Aeroshell spent a lot of money developing the formulas they have now. I understand your aversion to "follow what the priesthood says", but topics like this don't pop up because someone wants to experiment. They want to know what has been tested. They want to know what is safe so they don't have to spend 10,000 to fix an engine because of a bad guess. Aeroshell sport plus 4 is a KNOWN variable with a lot of history already in Rotax. People LIKE known and predictable variables. Doesn't preclude curiosities, but again, it's aviation, curiosity is expensive.

The other oils have had a history of working as well. But we have far less support from the factory anymore if you chose to run a different oil.

Could Rotax one day run its customers through the ringer in the name of profits? Sure. Would I love to experiment with alternatives? Of course. But paving the way to new frontiers is vey expensive and I don't know anyone on this forum willing to push the boundaries if there is a risk of a large bill.

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Fred, I bought a LOT of Mobil 1 4T oil so if someone does come forward with evidence this oil is NFG for my Rotax, I've got a number of years supply of motor oil for my lawn mower!  :shoot_me-1022:

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Corey, thanks. What I am averse to is the idea that the 912 is an engine unlike any other engine and that it needs an engine oil unlike any other oil (even those oils that meet to the same JASO standard as does Shell Sport4).  When it comes to known variables, I find it hard to believe that Mobil 1 Racing 4T is not a known product. 

Regarding MSDS, clearly they don't list every ingredient.  What they do show is that the ingredient proportions are not fixed, even for Shell Rotax Sport Plus4. This suggests to me that the argument that other oils kept changing their formulas (while somehow still maintaining their certifications) while Shell is formula constant is speculation. 

I remember when Rotax authorized use of Mobil 1 Racing 4T and a few other oils and all I ever heard was how the 912 would run way past TBO, no problem.  If the 912 needs just one special oil, how was it possible that it was so reliable before that oil was even on the market? 

I have no problem with being safe rather than sorry.  My engine has AeroShell Sport4 in it right now.  But, bluntly, I see no daylight between what Rotax has done with Shell and the requirement for one and only one oil and pure marketing hype. 

Dick, I have never seen a shred of actual evidence that Mobil 1 4T is a problem for the 912.  My guess is that I never will.

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23 hours ago, Runtoeat said:

Tom and Fred.    Firstly, I said I use MoGas and not 100LL

I could have sworn you post said 100LL initially, but going back and looking now it clearly says Mogas.

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Fred: It's not that the oil isn't reliable. It's probably fine, and fine for a long time to come. But if there's a problem with aeroshell oil vs a problem with another one, you're much more likely to get help with the recommended fluid. And, if formulation DOES change in one of these oils, how do you tell?

Here's an old SB illustrating what I mean:

image.png.42a46f8217fdb33ecb218876e1f13901.png

 

It's just a big giant unknown. What formulation change? Were there perhaps issues found with these oils? At least with aeroshell, it's specifically tested with Rotax.

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On 1/17/2018 at 2:35 PM, FredG said:

I find it very hard to get information about motor oils for Rotax engines that is anything other than anecdotal or is provided by Rotax.

 

I have never owned an engine for any type of vehicle where the vast majority of oil information was *not* either manufacturer-provided or anecdotal from users/mechanics.  What other information would you use or expect?  

I kind of scratch my head as to why some operators are always trying to "build a better mousetrap" and go off the reservation from the manufacturer recommendations on oil.  Nobody knows the engine and what's best for it than the engineers that designed, built, and tested it for tens of thousands of hours.  The only reason to go against that advice would be if you subscribe to some conspiracy theory about the engine maker wanting their engines to fail at a premature date to force you to buy a new one...

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