*Cracks open can of works* Lets talk oil... - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question *Cracks open can of works* Lets talk oil...

1988 TRX300FW

I know this has been discussed up, down, and sideways. Then back again. On every forum for every single internal combustion engine ever created. And opinions about oil are like the holes in your rear, everybody's got one. But in my defense my question IS pretty specific. So bare with me here...

I got Mobile 1 4T motorcycle oil, cause I love M1, and cause wet clutch. Afterwords my clutch started slipping, and has only gotten worse. I've ordered up new clutches and a new centrifugal clutch. As the M1 is motorcycle oil, and is designed for wet clutches, I suspect the oil isn't to "blame" but just unmasked already worn clutches. I suspect the old dirty (likely dino) oil the PO had in there wasn't nearly as "slick" anymore as the fresh new M1 synthetic, so while it's wet clutch friendly, it was still too slick for my old worn clutches. That's my theory at least.

So now I'm trying to decide if I want to go M1 synthetic again, dino motorcycle oil, or go the route of Rotella or HD oil that seems popular around here.

Problem is, my local Wal-Mart (I get a discount, and honestly it's the only place close that doesn't charge "auto parts store" prices) has a limited selection. But I'm not adverse to ordering online. Right now the only thing on the selves is Super Tech 20w-50 V-twin oil (all other MC oil i sold out), I bought some to soak my clutches in but I'm not going to run that. They don't have ANY multi-weight HD only, only 30W. And Rotella is only advertised as Diesel oil. So I'm confused.

The core of my question is about the Rotella. I've seen conflicting opinions on which one to use. As it's diesel oil, does it not have the friction additives that cause problems with wet clutches? I don't see a MC rated Rotella, but the price is good so I'm tempted. For those using Rotella, what one do you use, and you just get the regular Rotella diesel oil right? I'm not missing something here am I?

So my options "off the shelf" right now are M1 10w-40 MC oil, Super Tech 10w-40 dino MC oil, or Rotella. We have Wal-Marts on every corner, so I can drive around or order what's needed. About the only thing I can't get a hold of is multi-weight HD oil. I'm partial to synthetic's, as I've seen the long term benefits of their life long use in my BMW. 200K miles, and 20 years old, and ZERO signs of wear. Like NONE. But I'm not stuck on synthetic.

Honestly, I'm leaning towards Rotella T6 5w-40 or 15w-40 currently. I see on their site it's JASO MA rated. Seems strange to me for a non-wet clutch oil to carry JASO MA rating, but it does. Is it a diesel thing?

Last consideration is 5w or 15w. Not that it likely matters greatly, but I'm thinking 5w as I plan on some winter usage. Sub freezing temps. MC oils claim to be specially formulated for the higher temps of air-cooled engines. Wonder how that comes into play with an oil formulated for diesels?

Ok, as I've written this (and done some additional research as things occurred to me) I've really sold myself on Rotella T6 for my bike when I put the new clutches in.

Here's my findings and thoughts:
Rotella T6
Cheaper than other options
JASO MA rated for wet clutches
Synthetic
Easy to get, widely carried, and stocked by every Wal-mart. (who doesn't live close to one in the US?)
Strangely, the MAJORITY of reviews on the Rotella site for T6 are from Motorcycle riders. Weird, but true. Overall very positive reviews.
Lots of people here seem to like it.

Thoughts? Opinions? Feedback? I'm still posting this so the next guy who is confused about people using diesel oil in their ATV can benefit from what I've found and your guys input.

Thanks!

1988 TRX300FW Fourtrax
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 09:05 PM
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You've answered most of your own questions. :-)

Ya left out a couple points tho... Synthetic oils are NOT any "slicker" or slippery-er than conventional crude-based motor oils. Thats an unfounded old wives' tale. In fact, conventional oils containing friction modifiers are "slicker" than JASO MA synthetics are.

Synthetics can withstand a lot higher oil temperatures before the oil begins to break down and become compromised. Much, much higher than conventional oils can and for extended periods of time... they remain very stable when temps are cycled from lower to upper extremes indefinitely.

Synthetics also provide a relatively flat (and predictable) viscosity vs temp curve from well below zero to above 350 degrees. Crude based oils viscosity variations are consistent and flat only within a narrow target operating temp.

Rotella has sufficient amounts of ZDDP additives in it for motors having flat tapped camshafts. So its ideal for use in ATV motors and most other small motors too. Many other motor oils do not have ZDDP in them nowadays (or contain only trace amounts) because most vehicles come from the factory with roller cams.

It is JASO MA approved for wet clutches AND it is an Extreme Duty motor oil. Not heavy duty, Extreme Duty! Its film strength/lubricity characteristics stand out under very high loads and pressures. Which equates to an extended product lifecycle when used in properly maintained motors.

Finally, its cheap and readily available. There are no sales gimmicks or false marketing claims being made... that other (more expensive) synthetic oils must resort to, to coax your money out of your wallet... The fact that it works well in Diesel motors too means that we only need to stock one brand in the oil closet.

So is this the official Rotella oil thread?

Does it work in CanAms too? :-)


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 12:36 AM
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Personally > I had about enough of oil talk
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retro View Post
You've answered most of your own questions. :-)

Ya left out a couple points tho... Synthetic oils are NOT any "slicker" or slippery-er than conventional crude-based motor oils. Thats an unfounded old wives' tale. In fact, conventional oils containing friction modifiers are "slicker" than JASO MA synthetics are.

Synthetics can withstand a lot higher oil temperatures before the oil begins to break down and become compromised. Much, much higher than conventional oils can and for extended periods of time... they remain very stable when temps are cycled from lower to upper extremes indefinitely.

Synthetics also provide a relatively flat (and predictable) viscosity vs temp curve from well below zero to above 350 degrees. Crude based oils viscosity variations are consistent and flat only within a narrow target operating temp.

Rotella has sufficient amounts of ZDDP additives in it for motors having flat tapped camshafts. So its ideal for use in ATV motors and most other small motors too. Many other motor oils do not have ZDDP in them nowadays (or contain only trace amounts) because most vehicles come from the factory with roller cams.

It is JASO MA approved for wet clutches AND it is an Extreme Duty motor oil. Not heavy duty, Extreme Duty! Its film strength/lubricity characteristics stand out under very high loads and pressures. Which equates to an extended product lifecycle when used in properly maintained motors.

Finally, its cheap and readily available. There are no sales gimmicks or false marketing claims being made... that other (more expensive) synthetic oils must resort to, to coax your money out of your wallet... The fact that it works well in Diesel motors too means that we only need to stock one brand in the oil closet.

So is this the official Rotella oil thread?

Does it work in CanAms too? :-)
Let say, synthetic retains it's "slick" qualities longer? I've seen enough research and reports to feel that's a fair statement.

I did answer my own questions more or less, but was still putting it out there to see if my thinking was correct. I almost cut the whole thing down to just the last part, but I left it as is in case anyone else gets the same question in their head as I did. Mainly "What the heck are these guys smoking putting DIESEL oil in their wet-clutch ATV's???". Once I understood it's properties better, it made sense. But I was at Wal-Mart just the other day and looked at a couple of jugs. (after reading on here people saying they used it) The bottles make it seem it's ONLY for DIESEL. I was thinking maybe there was another line that my Wal-Mart just didn't carry.

I mean, unless someone you TRUST tells you it's great for ATV's and motorcycles how would you even know to question the bottle?? Who thinks "You know what, that diesel oil is pretty cheap, think I'll try that stuff!" LOL

I could not find any blurb or even mention from Rotella anywhere about using it in anything but a diesel. Even on the spec sheets.

And BTW, the T6 Multi-vehicle 5w-30 is NOT JASO MA/MA2, so don't get that one!

1988 TRX300FW Fourtrax
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 02:46 AM
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as long as ya are talking oil,,. i ran the 2000es with 10w40 pennzoil, bought it in 2008. never slipped, when changing gears, or any other time. TILL.. i had a shop due an oil change in Jan-Feb, 2016, instead of me. by that time i had found out, here, i should be running JASO oil. i sent 10w30, for them to replace, the oil i had in it, cause i was going to change to oil out again, in a month, to what it needed. warm weather thing.. besides the 10w30, might collect some dirt, before i could change the oil. the shop warned me, the clutches would slip, if i used this oil. i told them, to do it anyway. sure enough, the clutches did slip. i checked the oil, it was least 6oz. lite. that didnt help.. so i checked it again, then i noticed, the clay dirt was missing, on the adjustment nut. it locks the adjustment screw down.. once i did another another adjustment check, like the one i had done, 3mts before. it quit slipping.
tis amazing an oil change, can change the adjustment locknut, and knock off the clay, around it.. Who Knew
Castrol 10w 40, jaso ma-2, dont say anything bout extreme, nor heavy, duty.. i doubt this applies, in my case.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedFTed View Post
i noticed, the clay dirt was missing, on the adjustment nut. it locks the adjustment screw down.. once i did another another adjustment check, like the one i had done, 3mts before. it quit slipping.
tis amazing an oil change, can change the adjustment locknut, and knock off the clay, around it.. Who Knew
Castrol 10w 40, jaso ma-2, dont say anything bout extreme, nor heavy, duty.. i doubt this applies, in my case.
This is exactly why i try to do everything myself. Cant trust anyone, or they are not educated enough to fix it right, or butcher it putting it back together.
As for oil... I have always put 20W50 in the summer as its hotter out anyway, and once that oil is worn a bit its still somewhat thick. Synthetic...i use Lucas, only because of price. Usually change any oil often enough that even if it is a bad brand its not in there long enough to matter. The motor will tell you if the oil is crappy, or worn out so to say, buy the noises & performance IMO.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 10:31 AM
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if it looks dirty, when ya check it,, it is

clymers manual,service manual..
"what a good giff, the good lord gee us,not to see ourselves,as others see us"
hard to talk to morons. even more so, when related..
"ya should get 3 people ta smile or laugh every day" all will feel better
"sometimes, when drinking 5 or 6 bud's, nipping JB, Jim Beam, cinnamon in between, i start thinking sideways,,i have too though, ta match the way i walk" ed
"those that dont study history, are doomed to repeat it"
"I HOPE i aint wrote nutting else stupid" "funniest comedy dont need curse words" "teach how to think, not what to" ed
"Genius can be measured,not stupid" Albert Einstein
"when you get to old to learn, then what good are you" ed
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedFTed View Post
if it looks dirty, when ya check it,, it is
I'm a fan of that thinking too. I hate finding black oil in the stuff I buy. The sticky on this sub-forum about oil goes into how it's not necessarily lost all it's properties, as it can be black, but not saturated enough yet to degrade performance.

However, I bet not many of us have the equipment handy to test. So my rule of thumb is if it's black, change it. Can't go wrong by being safe!!

Synthetics handle suspended particles better, and can absorb more before degrading, I personally like the extra margin. But it's impossible to tell when it goes from "ok" to not ok. I just change it. That's my motto.

1988 TRX300FW Fourtrax
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 06:54 PM
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I use cheap oil from my local motor spares store and replace as per the service manual recommendations.
No issues to date..
A lot of the cheaper or non branded oils are from the same leading manufacturers/suppliers just labelled up differently on the bottles. You pay for the name 90% of the time.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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I use cheap oil from my local motor spares store and replace as per the service manual recommendations.
No issues to date..
A lot of the cheaper or non branded oils are from the same leading manufacturers/suppliers just labelled up differently on the bottles. You pay for the name 90% of the time.
Honestly if they carried SuperTech 10w-40 synthetic that was JASO MA certified I'd be more than happy with that. They have it in dino version, labeled motorcycle oil. But it's $8 a quart. I have no problems with "cheap" in house oil. Pretty much it's all the same anymore. Any modern oil is ok if changed at suggested intervals. I've seen bad things happen to clutches using non-JASO MA oils in wet clutch setups, so that and approximate weight are really my only requirements. The Rotella is the cheapest thing I've found that checks all the boxes. Why I'm excited.

Some report ok results using normal oil (non-JASO MA), but while it works for awhile sometimes, I've never seen it not cause clutches to go bad over the long run. There are exceptions of course, but I used to be huge into bikes that was my experience.

I'll report back on my experiences after I get some miles on the Rotella with my new clutches.

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