News:

www.W116.org
The #1 resource for our W116! Established 2004

Main Menu

Yet another engine oil thread - Brad Penn

Started by Casey, 21 May 2013, 03:11 PM

Casey

I've been using Mobil 1 full synthetic oil in my cars for a long time (without any additive), but don't feel all that pleased with it.  Although MB says oil should be changed every 5k miles, I don't feel comfortable waiting that long as the engines tend to start running less smoothly nearer the 3k mark, and I've noticed that if you push it out beyond that the oil level starts dropping over time as it seems to start burning some off.  I decided after the last change where I used up the last of my reserve that I would switch to an oil more appropriate for the older engines with high zinc/phosphorus levels.  Previously I'd been thinking about Amsoil, but when looking online I found some good reviews for Brad Penn, which is the oldest continuously operating lube oil refinery in the USA, and refines oil sourced locally in Pennsylvania, which is close to me.  I like that the oil comes from this country, and being fairly local to me is an added bonus.  They seem to have a good focus on zinc/phosphorus - this quote taken from their website:

"The Brad Penn® Penn Grade 1® High Performance Oils contain the higher level of anti-wear (ZDDP – zinc dialkyldithiophosphate) and enhanced film strength so critical to proper high performance engine protection. The Penn-Grade 1® oils "typical" 1,500 ppm Zinc (Zn) and 1340-1400 ppm Phosphorus (P) content provide the needed anti-wear protection to critical engine parts, such as piston/cylinder walls, roller cams under heavy valve spring pressure and especially those that employ a solid "flat tappet" type system. As important as the chemistry is to the Penn-Grade 1® oils, it is by no means the whole story. The unique base oil cut used to refine the Penn-Grade 1® High Performance Oils maintain a tremendous affinity to metal surfaces. This naturally occurring "metal wetting" characteristic enables the oil to stay put on your highly stressed engines and makes the Penn-Grade 1® High Performance Oil resist slinging for an extended period of time. Also, rest assured in knowing that the Penn-Grade 1® High Performance Oils are 100% Made in the USA."

It's only a partially-synthetic oil, which makes me scratch my head a bit, but in really thinking about it, I feel like there shouldn't be any reason not to use a natural oil - I think I've been telling myself that synthetic means better simply because it's typically more expensive, but that's probably not the whole story, and as others have said here before, these cars were designed for the non-synthetic oils available at the time they were made.  For some reason the oil is tinted a green color instead of the more typical yellow, which I guess is simply something to do with the source of the crude oil.

Anyways just curious if anybody else here has used this oil and has experience with it, and thought I'd let others know about this oil in case they'd never heard of it (I never had) as it seems like a good option for our cars.

This is what I ordered a case of to try:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009IFKG0W

John Hubertz

That looks like an interesting oil you've discovered.  I too have often thought "why synthetic" when it comes to the older cars in particular.  That stuff sounds top notch.

I can strongly recommend Shell Rotella 10-50 full synthetic - I've been running it for several years now in C280 and I find it to be superior to Mobil 1 in both performance and cost.  Another thing I like about it a lot is it stays clear until you get near oil change time - then it darkens and begins to drop a bit on the oil level.  I've also noticed superior cold-start performance as far as lifter pump-up vs other oils.  Good stuff - and cheap if you can get it on sale (vs other synthetics)

For my money, any good oil changed regularly is the way to proceed - but definetly spend the extra and get genuine filters.  I simply do not trust off-brand filters in a Mercedes Benz.
John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)
[img width=68 height=73][url="http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/max.jpg"]http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/max.jpg[/url][/img]

Casey

Quote from: John Hubertz on 21 May 2013, 03:24 PM
For my money, any good oil changed regularly is the way to proceed - but definetly spend the extra and get genuine filters.  I simply do not trust off-brand filters in a Mercedes Benz.

I've tended to use an assortment of brands in the past and figured brands like Bosch or Mahle were okay, but since the oil filter housings have a Mann emblem on them I bought a case of Mann filters as well. :)

I've also liked to buy genuine MB filters from the dealership but I'm not sure if they're any better/preferable.

John Hubertz

I became a believer when I ran across a thread on collapsed Fram filters on another MB forum.

Check this short youtube video:

[w202 oil filter collapse](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqsn7CH0a8Q)
John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)
[img width=68 height=73][url="http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/max.jpg"]http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/max.jpg[/url][/img]

oversize

#4
Unfortunately oils are different in each country so they're difficult to compare.  Personally I like semi-synthetic as it's the best of both worlds and more affordable than fully synthetic.  Plus the fully synthetic seems too thin for an older engine.  I tried Castrol and Penrite before I started working for a dealer that used Shell.  I found Mobil 1 to be far too thin and way too expensive.

Now I use Shell Helix HX7K 15W-50 which seems to work well.  The old Shell Helix Plus was coloured green and I found it to be excellent, but sadly they stopped production.  They've returned to yellow coloured oil (Helix Ultra fully synthetic used to be red) probably because some nong thought it was coolant!
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

oversize

The manual says a 6.9 only needs an oil change one every 12 months or 15000km.  Personally I'd halve that and do it every 6 months or 7500km.  More than that and I think you're wasting your time and money
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

Squiggle Dog

I've been using Amsoil 15W40 Synthetic Heavy Duty Diesel & Marine Oil, which has 1267 ppm of phosphorus, and 1377 ppm of zinc. It sounds like Brad Penn is a decent oil from your description.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! [url="https://challenge22.com/"]https://challenge22.com/[/url]

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Beastie

I use fully synthetic, for better or worse. People warned me that it would leak out of an old engine but I found that the mineral oils were doing that already anyway. :P ;)

The main advantage I find with it is that it doesn't degrade over time like mineral oils do. I don't cover a lot of miles in my cars so I often end up changing the oil based on how old it is rather than on distance traveled. If the car isn't getting used regularly, I don't have to worry as much about the synthetic oil going all manky.

I use a locally produced oil called Penrite. I use it largely because it's local, it's reputable, they supply my work with the oil we use and also because the company offers a small range of products designed specifically for the W116 so I feel like it's a good idea to support them.

The semi-synthetic stuff is fine, especially if you change your oil as often as you say. I personally think Mobil 1 is overkill and I think just about any oil in the right weight should be perfectly fine but the ones with extra zinc are certainly the best option.

The one you've chosen looks like a good choice and seems like great value. The high zinc is the main thing to look for. And the correct weight. After that it can really be up to you just choosing a brand that you prefer from a supplier that you trust and want to support.
1979 280SEL

"She's built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro."

TJ 450

#8
More than anything the oil just needs to be the correct weight for the conditions the engine is being used in.

I use Penrite 15W-60 these days, and it is now a full synthetic with full ZDDP which is apparently required for older engines such as these.

As to what brand, that's just a matter of personal preference, as long it's good quality, as it's all marketing really (even if some brands may live up to it).

The oil consumption when using Mobil 1 is to be expected, as it is designed for modern engines with tight tolerances and as such is very thin in viscosity to aide flowing at cold starts. This is fine if the engine is able to deal with that, but for these engines one needs to factor in oil consumption due to wear etc.

I've never had any issues with oil leaks getting worse using synthetics though.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

oversize

Black coloured oil can be a sign of degraded oil, or oil carrying deposits from the engine.  If the oil doesn't change at all during its normal life span, I'd be a little concerned that it isn't cleaning the engine internally and keeping the deposits safely in suspension until the next change
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

Squiggle Dog

Quote from: oversize on 22 May 2013, 04:05 AM
Black coloured oil can be a sign of degraded oil, or oil carrying deposits from the engine.  If the oil doesn't change at all during its normal life span, I'd be a little concerned that it isn't cleaning the engine internally and keeping the deposits safely in suspension until the next change

Diesel engines are a bit different in this regard as the instant you pour in fresh, clear oil, it turns black. Even the very smallest trace amounts of soot left on the engine after the old oil is drained out will dye the new oil black. An independent Mercedes repair shop that I used to live near said that they regularly get complaints from owners that say "I thought you changed my oil, but I checked it and it's black!" They also used to replace a lot of broken oil filter housings because there was a Jiffy Lube down the road that used to always find some way of breaking them.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! [url="https://challenge22.com/"]https://challenge22.com/[/url]

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Casey

Yeah oil in a diesel will blacken right away but it stays thin - as it gets towards the end of the cycle it gets thicker and sticks to the dipstick more.

Jiffy Lube tried to tell me I needed a new oil filter housing for my 1986 300D because that design used two bolts on either side of the lid, and one of them had been lost and replaced with an aftermarket nut and bolt that worked fine but didn't quite match.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if they were the ones who put it there in the first place.  Once I took my 1976 240D to Jiffy Lube and after the oil change black smoke started coming into the cabin through the vents - they'd broken some plastic parts and exhaust gas tubing, and smokey exhaust was going straight into the ventilation intake.  Not 2 minutes down the road, I went straight back and complained, where they proceeded to deny breaking anything.  After pointing at the obviously broken plastic parts and indicating that prior to coming in I was able to both drive and breath at the same time, they "fixed" it using duct tape and denied any responsibility, putting down my car for being old.

I've also never noticed synthetic oil to actually leak out of the engine any more than any other oil.  If the Mobil 1 was leaking, I never noticed.

Just goes to show you're often better off doing things yourself.  Especially for something simple like an oil service.

ptashek

Quote from: Casey on 21 May 2013, 03:42 PM
I've tended to use an assortment of brands in the past and figured brands like Bosch or Mahle were okay, but since the oil filter housings have a Mann emblem on them I bought a case of Mann filters as well. :)

I've also liked to buy genuine MB filters from the dealership but I'm not sure if they're any better/preferable.

From what I know Mann was the OEM filter supplier for the W116. Their oil and air filters fit perfectly, and the workmanship looks high quality too.

Also, I couldn't agree more on the DIY aspect of oil/filter change on our oldies, on petrol engines at least. As long as there's recycling/collection facilities nearby one would be insane to not do it themselves. It's one of the simplest maintenance tasks, right after filling up washer fluid ;)

I'm using Castrol Magnatec 15W-40 in my 450, and everything runs just fine. No leaks, no rattling, perfect oil pressure (cold/warm/idle/load), and the engine is burning far less of it than the factory specs allow.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE

Squiggle Dog

Speaking of oil... I just checked the date on my Amsoil sticker and realized it's been 5,500 miles since my last oil change, which was in December. It's hard to believe I've put that many miles on my car in five months, and I don't even have a job, so it's not like I drive to work every day. I guess driving from Arizona to Washington and back, driving to Tucson and back twice, driving to Flagstaff and back, and just general driving around adds up.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! [url="https://challenge22.com/"]https://challenge22.com/[/url]

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

carl888

I use Penrite Racing 10/10 5W-30 in everything on the street.  It's a full synthetic and for me, sadly, who has 7 cars with manual valve adjustment, has the ZDDP additive, which I believe to be very important.  I'm not saying the your engine will destroy camshafts if you don't have it, just that the engines were designed with ZDDP in mind.

You may question the 30 weight oil, it's just that in each car, by 2,000 rpm I have double the minimum oil pressure.  I don't want a 50 weight oil struggling to get around the engine with most of it going back to the sump via the bypass valve at high rpm.  A great read is http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/ which explains that more oil pressure is not good (the analogy being that if you fill your sump with concrete, the pressure would be very high, but the bearings would not receive the correct flow of oil)

Oil is a contentious subject at best, the only thing I can say about using a 30 weight, is that when I was using the 300 TD as my oil test bed, the car picked up 1mpg per 10 parts drop in weight.  ie, going from a 20W-50 to a 5W-30 picked up 2mpg.