Finally, An oil mixture that helps with Piston Slap.

Discussion in 'Modifications And Maintenance' started by PRA4SNO, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    Its not much of a "mixture", but it really worked on my car.

    I have a MY02 Wrx wagon with 128,93X miles. The mods are very close to stock, catless uppipe, sti catback, pnp'd td04- intercooler elbows-throttle body, the rest is suspension stuff.

    I have been getting piston slap during start up since I got out to california, almost a year ago now. I had switched over to Mobil 1 5w30 before I moved, and had done several oil changes with it. I change my oil earlier than most, probably 2k-2.5k jus because I look for excuses to work on my car. Over the summer I had gone to 10w30 mobil one to cope with the intense heat here in the desert.

    Anyways, I noticed that the mobil one wasnt providing good start up protection, could hear a rougher start, and had piston slap for 10-20 seconds while the motor warmed up. The cooler the weather got, the worse it got.

    I tried running pennzoil 10w30, for I'd say...2 weeks, before I got frusterated and started researching a fix, vs taking random advice from "ase certified mechanics" who knew nothing about subaru.

    I checked around with the shops who build subaru motors here in california, and asked what oil they run in them to prevent piston slap. They all said 10w40 rotella T, or when not available, valvoline 10w40 hi mileage syn blend. The reasons were simple, they both come in gallon jugs, they have compounds that are very good for the rod bearings we have, which arent exactly stellar where longevity is concerned, and it resists sheering very, very well.

    Then I talked to Martin (dynapar) today, and he recommended using a Lucas oil treatment in conjunction with the oil I was swapping out. I went and got some from the shop, and then when looking at it, realized its the EXACT stuff the motor shops had talked so highly of. Its very thick. Martin used the comment "like honey". I spilled a few drops on my oil fill nozzle, and an hour later it was still fighting gravity.

    So far the piston slap is nearly gone. From startup, I get 3, maybe 4 taps before it completely subsides, vs the 10-20, sometimes 30 seconds of noise. When I immediately begin driving it after start up, I used to get tapping at lower rpms, (1200-1800). Those are now gone, even with a completely cold block. She feels like a brand new motor, and I blame a lot of this on the horrible spark plugs that I replaced along with the oil.

    I'm just throwing this info out there. More of a documentary of how foolish money can be spent, when 3 hours worth of sitting on my butt researching is the actual solution.
  2. Vector
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    Vector Rally Organizer

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  3. Shibbs
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    Shibbs The Daywalker

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    Nuh-uh. Bob is a plumber!
  4. readymix
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    readymix CULL THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF!!! Staff Member

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    I've been preaching Rotella-T 5w40 for years now. Don't come in here and pretend this is something new. Maybe if you guys would listen instead of parroting the typical Mobil1 nonsense that gets tossed around by elitist asswipes, you'd have a slap free motor that runs smooth every mile of the 3000 between oil changes.

    Yeah, that's right I'm getting tired of it. And I'm not going to be nice about it anymore.
  5. Shibbs
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    Shibbs The Daywalker

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    Does Rotella-T still have Zinc in it?

    EDIT: Sorry, at work. Can't search.
  6. AWDimprezaL
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    AWDimprezaL has more posts than you

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    Indeed, thats why I use it in my oldsmobiles, flat tappet camshafts love it.
  7. readymix
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    readymix CULL THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF!!! Staff Member

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    What does it matter? It still has better wear properties than that overpriced dinosaur piss Mobil1 stuff that everyone falls all over themselves trying to talk up. And it doesn't degrade nearly as much over the life of the oil change. My car runs just as smooth at 3000 miles as it does the day I change the oil. Ask Mushashi, I got him running it in his 240 SR motor and he is hooked on it now too.
  8. Paul Revere
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    Paul Revere BANNED

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    If I did switch to Rotella do I have to do anything special from converting from synthetic? also do you recommend that weight for everyone Jason?
  9. Shibbs
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    Shibbs The Daywalker

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    I know that M1 is overpriced garbage. I DO however, love my Royal Purple. The only thing that I'm NOT too crazy about with the Rotella is that its a no or low detergent oil. I know its not a big deal if you change enough, but its still nice knowing that it cleans.
  10. Shibbs
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    Shibbs The Daywalker

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    I'll admit, I used to fall for the Mobil1 BS.

    [​IMG]
    :(
  11. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    I have heard from several independent researchers that royal purple has worse sheer qualities than even Mobil 1.

    Jason, relax. Your high horse isn't justified. I was stating that from the shops I spoke to, those were the two brands they recommended. I for one, had never even see rotella T on the shelves at a store, I hadnt heard any of their own advertising, and I certainly was never present for one of your sermons. ****, if we all knew that running rotella T would save us a nuisance like slap down the road, by god, we could all be saints, but the shame is that the advertising worked.

    To my point. I have heard several times, here, and on other boards: Why is my car making a tapping noise at cold start, etc. I was offering the solution for my vehicle, as well as trying to save someone 3 hours of poking around before I was able to find your mystical lubricant. Look at the bottom of the original post. I should have mentioned that the car had a slight slap before I bought it, the mobil one just exposed the tapping noise more at about 2k into the oil change.

    If we all knew things like this, we could save ourselves a lot of trouble. I see eye to eye with you on just about every technical, as well as O/T discussion that has been had on this board. I'm slightly confused as to why offering this solution to a problem people have is such a burden for you to bear. Many peoples motors have issues that need to be fixed, so we fix them.

    Also, where the "foaming" from air is concerned. Your engine isn't a differential. I have at no point added lucas to my differentials, and definitely not as a transmission lubricant.
  12. Snowbum
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    Snowbum Well-Known Member

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    Very nice!!! I'm glad you got that slap fixed
  13. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    I can easily have this entire thread deleted if it isn't proactive for anyone. The last thing I'd like is for another technical thread to be added to the subaru world wide web that isnt constructive.
  14. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    ^yeah, now I just need to track down my clutch.
  15. AWDimprezaL
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    AWDimprezaL has more posts than you

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    Piston slap, though annoying, if it goes away when warm its not gonna hurt anything. Any thicker oil would have done the same, personally I think its just a coincidence that your slap kind of went away, because there is very little oil in the cyls when the engine is cold. The added weight of the oil took up the space.
  16. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    It is annoying, all I was trying to correct was the nuisance it was providing and this combination helped.


    Mods-You have permission to delete this thread whenever you see fit. Sooner the better.
  17. AspitFire
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    AspitFire Well-Known Member

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    no offense but read the entire article before you post about it, here i will quote it for you. second to last paragraph on the page.

    "WOW!, It even makes a good motor oil foam up! I know, there's no gears in a motor... Really? what about the oil pump? It's gear driven, also pumps with gears. Ok, Toyota's have gears, boy wouldn't that be a mess?, Alright, here's the biggy.. What about the Ford PSD's? The high pressure pump on a PSD (95-97) is
    500psi @idle 1200psi@3300 RPM 3600psi @full load acceleration. The HP oil pump is only used to control the HEUI injectors. It does not lube the engine, But at these pressures, it foams like a devil. It is then returned to the sump. So, think the oil is being whipped up any in that? On a PSD, This runs the injectors and add a little air to that system, Now you really have problems."


  18. KSAL
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    KSAL Well-Known Member

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    OK so what if my car has slap all the time... its loud when it starts and then gets substantially quieter when warm but never fully goes away?? Anything to fix that... im not searching only because the topic is up and being talked about now.
  19. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    thanks for posting that josh. I did completely miss it.

    I will keep an eye on my oil, and if it is a problem, I'll replace it. There is quite a lot of good information out there about the lucas oil stabilizer, but again, it can be misleading, just like mobil 1 for example.

    thanks again.
  20. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    and again, mods, if you'd like to delete this, feel free. I dont see that its adding anything positive to the community.
  21. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    KSAL-Sometimes mine didnt seem like it went away completely either. Whatever I did today, whether it was introducing a 'foaming oil' mixture into my motor, or put in something worthwhile, the noise is nearly completely gone, including from a cold start.
  22. idget
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    idget Shut up Mike Staff Member

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    Are you talking about the sti? You have forged pistons, right?
  23. KSAL
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    KSAL Well-Known Member

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    ohh no no.. sorry in the forester... and same situation in my gf's 02 TS (hers is way worse though). Piston slap is loud at start and then gets a bit quiter but is still noticable all the time
  24. qstarin
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    qstarin Well-Known Member

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    lol.

    I've just been starting to consider what oil to run in my wrx motor. Had read that Mobul 1 was the crapz.

    This thread at least gives me brand name to search and read more about.

    So, I got something out of it.
  25. TheHoboMan
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    TheHoboMan Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the Rotella 5w40, been using this stuff for a while now.
  26. wall of tvs
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    wall of tvs Well-Known Member

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    The 5w-40 is a group III synthetic, sir.
  27. Dynapar
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    Dynapar Well-Known Member

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    Well I am glad to hear that you got rid of the noises. If the Lucas isnt working out for you than dont put it back after your next oil change, I highly doubt any damage will occur from running a small amount of it for a standard oil change interval.
  28. Soupboy
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    Soupboy Well-Known Member

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    I've given up on oil. It's either syn or its not (you can't be partially syn as that's akin to being partially ghey like Chet :laugh:) and 99.999% of either flavor is made the exact same way, from the exact same source inputs on the exact same damn equipment.

    So it comes down to who has the larger marketing department and/or cheaper shelf price and who YELLS THE LOUDEST ON THE INNARWEBZ.
  29. mayhem83
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    mayhem83 Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the question about zinc and Rotella T, yes, it still has the high pressure lube additive. This has been removed from most oils that are marketed for passenger cars as most cars no longer have flat tappet valve train.

    Rotella T is marketed as an oil for diesel engines. It does not have any widespread marketing. I will not say that everyone should use it because the owners manuals do not call for that weight oil. I can tell you I run Rotella T in my diesel pick up, v-twin motorcycle, v-8 powered rallycar, Subaru ice race car, lawn mower and 4 stroke outboard.

    Just my 2 cents.
  30. Scuba Steve
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    Scuba Steve Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I've read this entire post...let's get back on track. As KSAL asked, I'm faced with the same issue. Sarah's stock WRX has 82K on it and the motor sounds like complete crap. There's so much piston slap it's embarassing and it never completely goes away even when the motor is warm.

    Hell, my motor with 132K sounds beautiful..and 1 billion times better than hers.

    We both use Mobil 1 Synthetic and always have. Both cars get oil changes at 3K or less.

    (btw- mobil 1 synthetic is only 24.00 for 5 quart container at wally world)

    So the question is.....will another weight/brand oil help reduce her piston slap issues? Will Rotella T 5w40 help??
  31. readymix
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    readymix CULL THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF!!! Staff Member

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    Rotella T is $18/jug at Wally world.
  32. Scuba Steve
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    Scuba Steve Well-Known Member

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    a quart??? you mean for 5 quarts?

    the few bucks doesn't matter. However, I'd like to find a solution to her piston issue....besides a new block!!
  33. readymix
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    readymix CULL THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF!!! Staff Member

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    So far, with my car, I haven't had any slap issues except on ultra-cold startups (below 0). Otherwise, it is nice and smooth from 0*F and above. And I can't really say that it was slap, since it makes a whole slew of different sounds on cold start when the temperature is really low. So, take my 'slap' diagnosis with a grain of salt.
  34. readymix
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    readymix CULL THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF!!! Staff Member

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    Actually, I think the Shell Jug is 4qts. I just buy 2 or 3 at a time anyway.
  35. AWDimprezaL
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    AWDimprezaL has more posts than you

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    Most subarus will slap and never have an issue. Hell remember that tom8K9 kid? his 1.8 slapped like an SOB and that was when i first saw that car, two years before he bought it, and he beat the living piss out of that thing.
  36. webcrawlr
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    webcrawlr Well-Known Member

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    If it works for you that's great. I'd be interested in seeing a UOA at your next change. Other then a complete tear down that's the only way your going to know if it's doing the job or not. A before UOA would obviously be nice as well.
  37. Paul Revere
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    Paul Revere BANNED

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    Thank you Tom.

    And thank you Jason.
  38. mayhem83
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    mayhem83 Well-Known Member

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    Quick answer is...maybe. The high pressure lubricant can help to cushion the piston to bore clearance. Rotella T is available in gallon containers at wallyworld and fleet farm. For the money, it's something I would try.

    In the end however, oil cannot fix true mechanical problems. An engine can run a long time with piston skirt wear. As soon as you start loosing compression or have considerable oil consumption it is time for a mechanical fix.
  39. Back Road Runner
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    Back Road Runner Well-Known Member

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  40. Hallywood
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    Hallywood Well-Known Member

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    Mobile1 is the shiznit, wtf are you talking about....;)
  41. Gearhead Graphics
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    Gearhead Graphics Vendor

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    I also have piston slap pretty bad in my 02 wrx. I run Amsoil 10w-30, and its loud when cold, but you can still hear it after the cars been warmed up ad driven for a while. Kinda annoying. I should maybe run thicker oil? Switch to Rotella?
  42. PRA4SNO
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    PRA4SNO Well-Known Member

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    my cars slap is a lot quieter. try it out, it cant hurt anything but your wallet.

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