Trends in Engine Design

There are a couple of important trends we need to discuss as it relates to high-performance engine oil, demands on engine lubrication, the search for more power, and the role of high-performance lubricants: the shift to steel pistons and turbocharging.

To begin with, the shift to steel pistons improves fuel economy because steel pistons allow higher combustion pressures to be applied, which improves performance. On the other hand, they make the oil and cooling water run hotter, potentially increasing deposit formation in piston ring grooves. Therefore, it’s critical to protect engine parts with antioxidant additives.

Furthermore, turbochargers play a key role in modern engine technology because they create higher engine performance. As a result, it allows engines to be downsized while boosting output. While turbochargers reduce exhaust emissions, they’re also very sensitive to deposits.

Reducing Friction Impacts Fuel Mileage and Horsepower

Many consumers don’t pay attention to the oil that local quick lube shops put in their vehicles, but they should. For one thing, the base oil and additive composition can have a significant impact on turbocharger and piston deposits. For instance, light base oil components with lower boiling points could be transformed into the vapor phase in the engine, causing turbocharger, piston, or oil mist separator deposits.

Friction in engine components results in a loss in engine efficiency. The largest amount of friction happens between the piston ring and the cylinder liner. When you reduce this steel-on-steel friction, you lower operating temperatures. You also improve fuel economy and increase torque and horsepower within the engine.

VP Break-in engine oil for high-performance engines

Understanding Oil Design for High Performance Engines

It’s important to understand how lubricating oils are stressed. As an illustration, the racing industry provides some valuable insights. As a matter of fact, they blend the best high-performance engine oils used in open-wheel, dragster, and road racing cars to withstand several demands. These include lateral G loads, high compression, and dry-sump systems. In dragsters, the extreme internal forces flatten the crankshaft bearings and destroy valve springs during a pass. As a result, race teams have to rebuild the engine after every pass. Oil can lose its ability to lubricate, protect, and cool because of foaming and a lack of physical separation of metal parts.

They manufacture race oil with additives to combat this. Examples include zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP, or zinc and phosphorous), moly, boron, and other anti-wear additives. Heat and pressure often help activate the anti-wear additives, creating a sacrificial film that protects engine parts. They also use anti-foam and ZDTP additives to improve oil performance, along with friction modifiers to unlock hidden torque and horsepower gains.

As racers and performance enthusiasts search for affordable power, they often turn to bolt-on mechanical systems and overlook fluid. VP Racing Fuels has nearly 50 years of formulation expertise. VP believes that fluids (fuels, coolants, lubricants) are key performance parts that can unlock power gains if applied correctly.

VP Engine Assembly Lube for high-performance engine builds

VP’s Unique Approach to High Performance Lubricants

VP has analyzed various approaches to develop the best high-performance and racing engine oil. It’s resulted in three design paths aimed at maximizing lubricant performance:

  1. To begin with, we use select base oils with polar characteristics. This improves the ability of the oil to cling to metal components by improving viscosity.
  2. Next, we include a balance of multiple anti-wear chemistries beyond ZDDP in the oil that adhere to metal surfaces and create a protection layer.
  3. Finally, we add unique friction modifiers that reduce fluid-to- fluid friction and surface friction between the oil and moving metal components. This unlocks horsepower and torque.

VP Oils Put To the Test

Lubricant design is a science. VP uses a 3-pronged approach to develop superior engine oils. The result is remarkably stable oils that allow race engines to achieve extraordinary performance and durability.

For example, multiple engine builders, including Al Moody Race Engines, have performed dyno tests of VP’s engine oils. Their tests have revealed real gains in horsepower. Many of these same engine builders have also performed documented video teardowns. They’ve inspected wear on engines ranging from 355 cubic inch dirt track motors to 3,000hp big block marine engines. Upon inspection, the engine internals look virtually new and you can reuse them beyond traditional replacement intervals.

VP Formulates More Than Premium Engine Oil

Here’s the great news: VP doesn’t limit its oil formulations for race engines only. We also apply the same technology to a full range of engine oils for classic cars, street performance, diesel racing, and Nitro drag racing. VP lubricants are available in conventional, synthetic blend, and full-synthetic versions.

VP also offers a range of Hi-Performance full synthetic and conventional gear oils. This includes full synthetic SAE 75W-90LS and 75W-140LS, and conventional SAE 80W-90LS and SAE 80W-140LS to maximize the performance of drivetrain components. VP also designs a GL-4 SAE 80W-90 gear oil to protect sensitive brass and other metals found in classic/vintage manual transmissions and gear sets.

Whether you are driving a turbo-charged commuter, street muscle car, or a weekend drag car, your current engine oil may not be delivering the protection or power you think. In fact, it may cost you money in the long term. For maximum power, performance, and protection, turn to VP for the best high-performance and racing engine oils.

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