April 2024 – Lubrication Fundamentals Write-Up and Photos

April 2024 – Lubrication Fundamentals Write-Up and Photos

Words by “Paige” Turner –  Images by Manual Phocus

Thanks to JOCO board member and webmaster extraordinaire Tomas Bromander for organizing this event that took place on Saturday, April 13. Twenty or so JOCO members and invited guests gathered at Amalfi’s Restaurant on NE Fremont to listen to William “Chip” Shields from Fleet Fuels explain types of oil, their properties, and their various benefits. (Fun fact: Lubricants account for approximately 40% of your engine’s cooling, the other 60% is through your water/antifreeze mix.)

Just to start things off on the right foot he provided complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and some wonderful examples of Amalfi’s fare. There was a cheese pizza, a meat pizza, cheese bread, raw veggies and dip, all very delightful to the taste.

In the seminar’s introduction, he pointed out that there are several brands of oil (Castrol included) that are, in fact, produced in-house by the company whose name appears on the label. However, some lubricants that carry a “major brand” label may not, in fact, be refined by the name on the label. This is significant because the quality one thinks one is buying because of the name on the label can vary from one batch to the next because different contractors will produce and distribute the product. Essentially, those brands have only one thing in common, and that is the container’s label.

Chip introduced his specific brand of lubricants from Schaeffer Oil, a family-owned enterprise founded in 1839 and still privately held by the founder’s heirs. Schaeffer’s founder began his business making soaps and candles from rendered animal fats, later adding oils and greases to support the U.S.’s westward expansion brought on by the California gold rush. The company is still headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and currently has twelve distribution centers around the U.S. Part of Schaeffer’s business model has always been selling directly to the consumer.

Of course, it goes without saying that lubricants have undergone some significant changes in the 255 years since the 1769 invention of Cugnot’s Steam Tractor. At the time of Schaeffer’s founding transportation looked a bit different. The steam engine was king of the hill, and aviation was confined to hot air balloons (courtesy of the Montgolfier brothers in November 1783), and the later development of hydrogen-filled gas bags the Union army used for battlefield observation during the Civil War. Personal vehicles were almost universally horse drawn, at the time.

Fast forward to the present. Nowadays internal combustion engines are manufactured with increasingly tighter tolerances, so the question becomes what do we use in our (roughly half-century old) car engines that were designed to use a single weight oil? Interestingly, Shaeffer still offers some single weight oils for the purist, however Chip also noted that a modern high-quality 20w/50 will serve as a perfectly acceptable substitute and will provide benefits that were unavailable in previous generations of the same product (single weight or multi-viscosity). The “secret” is that “liquid moly” (molybdenum disulfide) is added to the oil. Liquid, because a powder form of molybdenum will “settle” out of the oil, possibly clogging either passageways/galleys and/or the oil filter.

Why “moly”? During the demonstration, it was shown that oil, by itself will lubricate to a certain point, but that too much friction (and the attendant heat) will cause the oil to overheat and cease to provide lubrication, at which point the moving metal will seize/bind and gall. None of which are good things. (The demonstration device looked a bit like a rock tumbler – a chassis with an electric motor driving a fixture that holds a piece of metal resembling a roller bearing.) The demonstration progressed through synthetic blend lubricants, full synthetic, and synthetic with molybdenum added. Not surprisingly, as the demo progressed through the various types of lubricants (read: engine oil) it became increasingly difficult to stop/seize the rotating metal. The last step was their premier lubricant blended with “moly” and once treated – even with the oil bath removed – would not “stall” or “freeze” no matter how much pressure was applied to try and stop the piece from rotating. The implication being that even if you accidentally lost all oil pressure, it would not result in a catastrophic engine failure.

At the conclusion of the seminar, Chip also pointed out that any order $500.00 or more is eligible for free shipping. This could also include combined orders, so that several people can benefit using the same order. For those who may want to learn more about Schaeffer’s lubricants, contact William (“Chip”) Shields at Fleet Fuels, 324 29th Ave. SW, Albany, OR 97322. Mobile: 503-351-0000, or email chip.shields@fleetfuelsnw.com. Websites and more information are here: www.fleetfuelsnw.com and www.schaefferoil.com .

Support our Partners