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Another document I found talks about engine oil, so I'm passing the info, I think I did get these files from the lotus website, but I'm not sure. So I can't say it's official.

Engine Oil

In order to ensure the longevity and reliability of the vehicle, it is most important that only the specified lubricants are used. It is an entirely false economy to try to save money by using lower quality oils, which may degade before the next change interval and provide inadequate protection before the end of the term. High oil consumption may also result.
The engine is factory filled with a top quality mineral oil to be used during the running-in period until the After Sales Service. Once running-in has been completed, it is considered that fully synthetic engine oils represent the best value in terms of fuel economy and wear protection. A multigrade oil is designated with a low temperature viscosity grade (first number with ‘W’ for winter) followed by a high temperature viscosity grade. Oils with low cold viscosity, offer benefits in terms of fuel economy, ease of cranking and starting, and cold run protection. Oils with high hot viscosity offer increased protection at high temperatures and high rpm.

For the ‘Mk.1’ and ‘Mk.2’ Elise:
Choose a multigrade oil with viscosity in the following range:
Cold viscosity; 0 - 20W
Hot viscosity; 50 - 60
For use in temperate climates, Lotus specifically recommends the following fully synthetic products:
- Mobil 1 Motorsport 15W/50
- Castrol Formula RS 10W/60

For use in extreme cold climates, choose an oil with a low temperature viscosity of 0W.

For the Elise 111R/Exige ‘Mk.2’/USA Elise:
These models have been tested in all climatic conditions likely to be encountered with Texaco Havoline Synthetic 5W/40 oil which offers advantages in ease of cranking, smooth cold running and fuel economy at low temperatures, in combination with good wear protection at elevated temperatures and at high engine speeds. However, if a car is to be driven on track at maximum effort, or in conditions or a manner likely to result in very high oil temperatures being achieved, the engine oil should be changed for Castrol Formula RS 10W/60.

Lotus 900 series 4 cylinder engines and V8:
Choose a multigrade oil with viscosity in the following range:
Cold viscosity; 0 - 15W
Hot viscosity; 40 - 60
Lotus specifically recommends Mobil 1 Motorsport 15W/50, and Castrol Formula RS 10W/60.

In all cases, the oil quality grades which should be met are either European standard ACEA A3, American standard API SL/CF, SJ/CF, or international standard ILSAC GF-3. Check that this is printed on the oil container.

For further information, refer to your Owner’s Handbook.
 

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I have had great success with Royal Purple synthetic oil. We run in all of our Bonneville Race cars that sustain 30lbs++ boost for a full five mile per run. After a full season of running, the engine still looks fresh...Great Stuff
 

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Not all synthetic oil is really synthetic. The old adage you get what you pay for really applies when it comes to oil.

Synthetics can be broadly broken down into three types:

* Group III Hydrocracked:- Derived from normal mineral oil, technically not synthetic, but owing to lawyers getting involved can be sold as such. Lots of it on the market. Not bad stuff, but it's still Dino oil at the end of the day.
* Group IV Polyaphaolefins or POA's:- The real deal, made in the lab by guys in white coats. Mobil 1 is an example or *used* to be - they now mix in some hydrocracked basestock.
* Group V Polyol Esters:- The Rolls Royce of the synthetic world. Provides even better lubrication than POA's. Expensive but worth it if you're caning the engine. Motul, Redline, Amsoil, Silkolene and Royal Purple are examples. I personally use Motul 300V double ester.

The lawyer bit relates to a court case involving Castrol. They changed their formula from a group IV base stock to using group III. Mobil took them to court and unfortunately Castrol won. As a result a lot of companies changed their formula as well. So most of the so-called synthetics on the market today are based on inferior group III base stock. One major short coming of group III oils are their change in viscosity over time. This means for e.g. that a 40 weight oil will turn into a 20 weight oil. This is because group III oil doesn't have good shear resistance - meaning that the molecules get chopped up reducing the rated viscosity of the oil. Group V oils have excellent shear properties and maintain there viscosity for life of the oil. In addition group V oil provides excellent startup protection, lubricity and fuel efficiency. This is due to their attraction to metal surfaces. They are also excellent at preventing sludge and varnishing. Group IV oils are poor in this area and are often mixed with 10/20% group V base stock. Group IV and V oils are thermally more stable with good low and high temperature performance.

I certainly wouldn’t use anything less than a group IV oil, especially if your engine is mainly used on the track.
 

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Interesting - I heard about this case, but didn't know the particulars.

The question that comes to mind, then is: which synthetics are Group IV or V?

ed
 

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EdHahn said:
Interesting - I heard about this case, but didn't know the particulars.

The question that comes to mind, then is: which synthetics are Group IV or V?

ed
I have the same question. How do you find out which is which?
 

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One way is to only buy the brands I listed :up: Or contact the companies and see what they have to say. But if it seems to be to good to be true price wise, then it probably is...
 

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Over on an SVT Cobra website I have followed for the past 6 years, we had a ?petrochemical engineer go thru a multi page evaluation of oil. Mobil1 used to be a type iv lube, it is know a type III lube, but is still probably the best one out there. Here is my list I saved and rational for use

Group V: only needed for true racing
Redline
Motul

Group IV: Best for long drain intervals, towing, high temps, hard driving ie track days
Mobil1 Tri-synthetic (discontinued)
Amsoil
Mobil 1 Super-syn is closer to a group III lube but have multiple patents on a new molelecule that should keep it as a top tier product

Group III: cheap synoils. Buy only if the price is right as they are inferior to Group IV products which typically cost little more
Castrol Syntec
Valvoline Synpower
Pennzoil Synthetic
Havoline Synthetic, Exxon synthetic etc (some of the best priced synthetics around)

Group II: Highly refined mineral oils
Valvoline All climate
Pennzoil PZL turbo (Very good product except below 15 degrees)
Royal purple.

In conclusion, all these oils will do the job, choose your product based on need. Notice syn blends never mentioned, a 1% blend is still a blend. Ripoff
Group III's are fine but for typically no additional cost over Castrol, Valvoline, or Pennzoil you can use Mobil1 and have just about the best readily available oil around without kicking out $7-10 dollars per qt although these numbers may change due to increased fuel costs.
PS that article is MIA as this was created in 9/2002 and modified in 2003 when Mobil1 supersyn was released. And no, he doesn't work for Mobil or Exxon!!

:D Hope this helps!!
 

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When Manhattan Motorcars changed my oil they
intended on putting in Mobil 1's 10W - 30. I was
able to get the mechanic to change it to a Mobil 1
40 Wt. and then found out he used 0W - 40 instead
of the (Lotus recommended) 5W - 40. Told this to
the Lotus Rep (Mike Fisher) and he said, 'the 0W in
place of the 5W is not a big deal.'
 

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Ridgemanron said:
When Manhattan Motorcars changed my oil they
intended on putting in Mobil 1's 10W - 30. I was
able to get the mechanic to change it to a Mobil 1
40 Wt. and then found out he used 0W - 40 instead
of the (Lotus recommended) 5W - 40. Told this to
the Lotus Rep (Mike Fisher) and he said, 'the 0W in
place of the 5W is not a big deal.'
The M1 0W40 oil is very good and is factory fill on various hipo cars. It dynos very well too. Remember that the first number is more or less related to the viscosity when the oil is cold while the second is when it is hot. So 0W40 and 5W40 differ primarily in their viscosity at a cold start up. Mike's point appears to be that when the going get's tough, both oils have the same viscosity rating and that since both are from "real" oil companies and are well made then you should be fine.
 

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Once Royal Purple had a consumer line of products and a racing line. The consumer line was conventional oil, the racing line full synthetic. This was 4 or so years ago.

Now, they say both lines are full synthetic.


DLY
 

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Shell Rotella T synthetic

Found a very informative motorcycle site, with a great article on oil and additives, which led me to compare specs on oil. As it turns out, Texaco Havoline Synthetic, Mobil 1 and Shell Rotella T are all 'full synthetics' and specs are very, very close as far as Viscosity Index, Flash Point, Pour Point and Sulphur Ash Content. Havoline was basically unavailable locally and I found Mobil 1 at WalMart for around $4/qt. in 5-gallon jug. Now WalMart locally carries only 5W-30 and the price as gone up to over $6/qt, but I discovered they have Shell Rotella for $15-something for a 5-qt. jug. That's, as they say, a no-brainer.
In case you're interested (from mfr. sites):

Viscosity Index (higher is better)-
Havoline 170, Mobil 151, Shell 176

Flash Point (degrees F, higher better)-
Havoline 450, Mobil 439, Shell 431

Pour Point (degrees F, lower better)-
Havoline -38, Mobil -49, Shell -40

Sulfated Ash (% by weight, less better)-
Havoline 1.40, Mobil 1.35, Shell 1.47
 

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Vicar said:
I'm using Amsoil Synthetic 5W-40 European Engine Oil. This follows the Lotus recommendation. The only drawback is that the stuff is nearly $8/quart...

https://www.amsoil.com/storefront/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=8
This is what I've been using too. I'm not sure it's that much better than other quality synthetics like Mobil 1 or Royal Purple, but Amsoil's willingness to share technical data and test results such as the 4-ball wear test swayed me into their camp.

John
 

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I wished they had 0w40 I would buy that for sure.
 

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Mobil 1 5w40 -- which compound is better?

Any oil experts have an opinion on which of these Mobil 1 5w40 compounds is better for our Elises? (Note the differences in the viscosity test results.)


Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck 5W-40
SAE Grade 5W-40
Viscosity, ASTM D 445
cSt @ 40ºC 102
cSt @ 100ºC 14.8
Viscosity Index, ASTM D 2270 151
Sulfated Ash, wt%, ASTM D 874 1.35
Total Base #, mg KOH/g, ASTM D 2896 12
Pour Point, ºC, ASTM D 97 -45
Flash Point, ºC, ASTM D 92 226
Density @ 15ºC kg/l, ASTM D 4052 0.854

OR

Mobil 1 ESP Formula M 5W-40
SAE Grade 5W-40
Viscosity, ASTM D 445
cSt @ 40ºC 81.1
cSt @ 100ºC 13.35
Viscosity Index, ASTM D 2270 167
Sulphated Ash, wt%, ASTM D 874 0.63
HTHS Viscosity, mPa•s @ 150ºC, ASTM D4683 3,8
Pour Point, ºC, ASTM D 97 -39
Flash Point, ºC, ASTM D 92 236
Density @ 15ºC, kg/l, ASTM D 4052 0.85
 

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Any thoughts on which oil is the best replacement AND is available in the states? I couldn't find the Havoline anywhere.
 
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