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High lead content in my oil analysis?

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High lead content in my oil analysis?
Old January 4th, 2013, 07:56 AM   #1
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High lead content in my oil analysis?

I've taken apart and put back together most everything on the car by now, but I have not been inside the engine myself, so I need some help from you more experienced guys.
I send an oil sample to Blackstone Labs at each oil change and I have a concern that I'm hoping someone can help me with.
I had gotten a high lead result two times ago, but it was also after I had been at the track and running a roughly 50/50 mix of 93 unleaded and 112 leaded race fuel, so I (nor the guys at Blackstone) were too concerned about it. I only put 2k on the car since then with 2 more weekends at the track. The first weekend, I was running the 0W-40 I always had, and ran mostly leaded 112 as usual. After that weekend, I decided to switch to 15W50, so I did a drain and fill, but did not change the filter since there had only been about 500 miles since my last oil change. After 1.5k more miles and another track weekend, where I did NOT run any leaded fuel (pumps were broken, so only 93 straight from the local gas station), I just did a complete oil change and sent off the sample. By the way, the car is tuned for 93, but I run the mix just as extra insurance against detonation, so running just 93 should not be causing any issues. The car also ran just fine with no hint of detonation or hesitations. I got the results yesterday and I still have a very high lead content. Since there shouldn't be near the amount of lead from fuel, I'm getting a little concerned.
In our engines, what is made of lead, that if it were wearing, would cause the lead content to be high in the oil analysis?
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'03 Silver - Arrow rebuild with M&M headers, Mopar race exhuast, Quaife with 3.33's, 6 spokes, SCT tune from VS, Woodhouse engine & tranny mounts, MGW shifter, K&N intake, AB's wires.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #2
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Lead could be a component in an alloy, but not as a stand alone metal.

It would be important to know what the exact values are each time. If they are simply reporting any value over normal as high, then the information may be misleading.

For instance, when you were running leaded fuel, if normal is 100 (or whatever), and you came back 500, then it is high.

When you went back to non leaded fuel, if normal is 100 and you came back 120, then it is high.

But 120 ain't 500. See my point?
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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Since the re-build on the motor for a spun bearing (found this issue after I just bought the car, but it was re-built by Arrow under warranty), here are the lead readings:
2,800 miles = "2" (no hard driving, track days, or leaded fuel)
6,770 miles = "3" (hard driving and track days, but NO leaded fuel)
10,624 miles = "469" (hard driving and track days WITH leaded fuel)
13,426 miles = "613" (not much hard driving but a couple of track weekends (one with
some leaded fuel and the last one with NO leaded fuel)
(drain and fill after the first weekend with leaded fuel)

According to their report, the "universal averages" of lead is "60".
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #4
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Lead is certainly used in engine bearings. A wee bit of info here if you want some visuals.

Federal-Mogul - AE Bearings

What would IMO be a flag that there is a bearing problem, as opposed to just residual from using the leaded fuel, is if something else popped up besides lead. If you had a bearing failure pending, you would see other things like copper or aluminum or tin or something from the aluminum or bronze in the bearings. Are they normal?
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:02 AM   #5
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Magnesium is a little high (and higher than past readings), while Phosphorus and Zinc are a little above the averages, but have been steady since day 1. Everything else is either at or below averages and has been steady or seen a decline from the first oil change.
Aluminum has been steady and is slightly above average. (8 while avg is 6)
Copper has actually come down and is slightly below average. (3 while avg is 4)
Tin has been steady and is slightly below average. (0 while avg 1)
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:05 AM   #6
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Based on your data, I would chalk it up to the lead in the race-gas.

To confirm, use 100-104 UNLEADED race gas as your anti-knock insurance... See what the oil looks like after a couple changes.

Traces of zinc and tin are beneficial in engine oil, so a little lead is probably just fine too.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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I would think that you are OK then. One comment about those averages, is that it may be industry wide i.e. all passenger cars whereas a Viper is a performance car. You might ask them about that, if they compile data based on vehicle type and use, or if it is all pooled and generic, short of diesel versus gas, etc.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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If the engine is all stock, there is no lead to speak of contained. Viper bearings, except for 2008+ Rod Bearings, are aluminum and do not contain a babbit layer which would contain lead.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 01:13 PM   #9
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Thanks guys!
I'll keep an eye on future reports and the Viper will only go to the track probably once a year now (for the NARRA event at Road Atl), since I bought a dedicated track car anyway.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowDawg View Post
I was running the 0W-40 I decided to switch to 15W50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TowDawg View Post
Phosphorus and Zinc are a little above the averages, but have been steady since day 1.
Assuming those are both Mobil 1, they are chosen because they have high ZDDP (Which contains Zinc and Phosphorus)


I have gotten the Blackstone report once, myself; but, didn't know really how to interpret it versus what can go wrong, so, didn't send any more samples in.
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