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Behind-The-Scenes Video: Why Driven Racing Oil Is Different

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Huntersville, NC – This new, three-and-a-half minute video details how Driven Racing Oil™ separates itself from the competition in the lubricant industry.

Driven Racing Oil is not like most oil companies. While many utilize a base chemistry and apply it across as many applications as possible, Driven takes the opposite approach. In this video, Lake Speed Jr., Driven’s Certified Lubrication Specialist, explains how the brand provides application-specific engineering. This technique provides the end user with the knowledge that each product is created just for his or her needs. It doesn’t matter if the product is for a high-level race team or a street enthusiast; Driven’s attention to detail remains the same. Speed goes on to talk about how Driven is always evolving, thereby allowing it to serve customers’ needs more quickly and accurately than some of the bigger oil companies. He also details how a customer calling Driven will speak directly with the individual who formulated the product, an unheard of occurrence at most companies. Finally, he looks toward the future and gives viewers a glimpse of what’s coming next.

All videos from Driven Racing Oil are available on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/drivenracingoil.

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What’s In It? HR Conventional 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil

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In the factory performance glory days of the late 1960s and early 1970s, most car manufacturers recommended 10W-40 viscosity oil for Big and Small Block muscle car engines. Driven’s HR Conventional 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil is the perfect choice for these classics, as it uses conventional petroleum base oils to provide excellent compatibility with “old school,” cork-and-rope seals. It treats cars with older engines the same way oils did when those immortal horsepower monsters rolled off the showroom floor. This oil is also designed with a secondary-style ZDDP which provides excellent wear protection for cams, lifters, rocker arms, distributor gears, pushrods, wrist pins and cylinder bores.
The oil features a 10W-40 multi-grade formula that provides for easier starting and less start-up wear than straight-grade or heavier-viscosity oils. It also includes the same anti-wear package that the U.S. military employs for storage and transport of combat vehicles and equipment. HR Conventional 10W-40 Oil features unique lubricant technology that prevents rust or corrosion caused by extended periods of storage – or by the use of Ethanol-blended fuels – making it perfect for classic American muscle cars that only see the street in ideal driving weather.

What’s In Driven’s HR 10W-40 Conventional Oil?

Ingredient

Function

Petroleum Base Oils Provides fluid film to lubricate and cool the   engine components
ZDDP Provides anti-wear, corrosion and additional   anti-oxidation protection
Anti-Wear Additives Protects internal engine components from   adhesive wear due to metal-on-metal contact
Dispersants Suspends contaminants and combustion   by-products in the oil to allow them to be carried to the oil filter.   Prevents sludge formation.
Antioxidants Prevents the chemical breakdown of the oil
Friction Modifier Reduces friction between rubbing and sliding   parts
Corrosion Inhibitor Prevents rust and corrosion due to moisture   and acids that invade the engine from the fuel, combustion and atmosphere
Seal-Swell Agent Conditions the seal materials to prevent   leaks
Viscosity Index Improver Improves the viscosity characteristics of the   motor oil
Pour Point Depressant Allows the oil to flow and pump in cold   weather to reduce wear at start-up
Foam Inhibitor Reduces the tendency of the oil to foam

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The End Of “Backwards Compatibility”

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Since the beginning of the API engine oil licensing system, each and every new specification has been considered “backwards compatible.” This is a fancy way of saying the newest oil is as good as or better than the previous oil.

The exact statement made on API’s MotorOilMatters.com website is as follows:

“For automotive gasoline engines, the latest ILSAC standard or API Service Category includes the performance properties of each earlier category and can be used to service older engines where earlier category oils were recommended.”

Since the outbreak of failed flat tappet camshafts a decade ago, this “backwards compatibility” has been called into question by engine builders, camshaft manufacturers and consumers. Within the last year, an asterisk has appeared on the statement of “backwards compatibility” on the Petroleum Quality Institute website that says the current API SN and SM oil specs may not be suitable for some flat tappet engines.

That asterisk marks a significant shift in thinking. The stakeholders in the API (the vehicle OEMs and oil companies) are slightly acknowledging that one oil specification cannot cover the requirements of all gasoline engines ever built. That really does sound like a ridiculous idea when you put it down in black and white.

Over this last decade of “compromised compatibility” these same engine builders, camshaft manufacturers and automotive enthusiasts have all received an education on motor oil that most of them did not ask for. The word “Zinc” took on new meaning in automotive circles.
Apparently “Zinc” was more than just an ingredient in your multi-vitamin, and if your motor oil was deficient in the proper quantity and type of “Zinc” your camshaft would end up deficient of a few lobes.

In response, special “Zinc” additives and specially formulated “high-zinc” oils appeared on the market in response to the situation.

However, most automotive enthusiasts and engine builders have been burned in the past by “snake oils” that promise the moon but deliver mud in the eye, so the market was slow to accept these products. Even today, many enthusiasts still doubt the idea that “new oils are bad
for old engines.”

HRMaybe the announcement by Porsche this April will change all of this and signal the death knell for “backwards compatibility.” The famous brand just announced its own line of “classic” motor oils designed for the needs of older engines. The text from the Porsche website reads like a copy of what Driven Racing Oil said when it released its “Hot Rod” motor oils 8 years ago. Driven was the first company to market specially formulated break-in oils and high-zinc oils designed specifically for older engines.

Here is a sample from what Porsche has released:

“This engine oil has been developed by experts with the specific aim of meeting the demands of air-cooled engines. The thermal load is higher than in water-cooled units, which means that the engine oil has to work harder to cool the engine down. The traditionally high power output per litre of the engines also results in high compression and high pressures. A compact and lightweight engine design means that the connecting rods will be short in relation to the piston stroke, which in turn means high lateral piston forces and correspondingly high demands on the lubricating film stability of the oil. In short, the older flat engines in particular can’t just use any old oil.

Modern oils use highly efficient detergent/dispersant agents to thoroughly clean the engine and reliably remove dirt, which can be too much of a good thing for a classic Porsche engine. It is true that additional deposits should be prevented and oil-soluble contaminants such as soot, water and dust kept suspended until they are drained off through the oil filter or removed during the next oil change, but at the same time it is important that the deposits which have built up over decades are not suddenly dissolved and that seals are not corroded.

1Since not every classic Porsche is in everyday use, the engine oil also had to meet other demands: classic vehicles are often left stationary for long periods of time and only moved intermittently and for short journeys, which means that condensation can form in the oil if the engine does not heat up fully. Aggressive combustion residues can cause acidification of the oil fill, resulting in the corrosion of engine components. The alloys, metals and sealing materials which were used at the time are at particular risk. Porsche therefore paid particular attention to this aspect when developing its Porsche Classic Motoroil. The special formulation incorporates a high alkaline reserve, which neutralises any acids that may form. Additional corrosion inhibitors also protect vulnerable components, even during longer stationary periods.”

Does any of that sound familiar?

Hopefully the announcement by Porsche will create awareness that specialty oils are not “snake oils.” In fact, oils designed specifically for the hardware and the application are better than a generic, one-size-fits-all API specification. The sooner this idea is embraced, the sooner engine builders, parts manufacturers and enthusiasts can stop worrying about the chemistry of motor oil and just go back to using oil. Then, Zinc can just be the stuff in your multi-vitamin and the stuff that keeps your cam happy.

Can Nanotechnology Make You Faster?

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Scientists are advancing the chemistry of lubricants at an amazing rate. But be careful. Not all of these “advancements” are actually good for your engine.

By Jeff Huneycutt

When you say nanotechnology, most of us picture pointy-headed scientists in lab coats peering into microscopes and scribbling into their notepads. In the movies, nanotechnology is often portrayed as some miracle science the hero will use to keep volcanoes from exploding or cure all the zombies.

But nano just means small. In fact, it means one billionth of something. Normally, in science the unit of measure is the nanometer, which is one billionth of a meter, or 1/25,400,000 of an inch, depending on which side of the pond you live. Incidentally, your fingernail grows about one nanometer a second — which is both cool and kind of weird when you think about it.

Over time, nanotechnology has essentially come to mean working with chemicals or materials on a molecular level. And the successes in nanotechnology are definitely pretty cool. Nanotechnology has allowed such inventions as flexible body armor that helps our police force stay safe, lithium ion batteries that make portable handheld tools incredibly powerful and long-lasting, and even synthetic bone that surgeons used to help people recover from traumatic injuries. Heck, did you know that the carnauba (palm-tree wax) in your favorite car wax that keeps the swirls from showing up in your paint is only a couple nanometers wide?

But what has happened is that with each success in the nanotechnology sector, many of us have come to believe that anything labeled “nano” is practically a miracle in a bottle. Marketers have taken advantage of this, turning “nano” into a buzzword and slapping it on practically everything. But the truth is, nano only means small, it doesn’t always mean better.

Recently, two scientists, Boris Zhmud from Applied Nano Surfaces in Sweden and Bogdan Pasalskiy from Kyiv National University in the Ukraine, took a long, hard look at some of the newest nanoadditives being used in lubrication to see how they worked in motor oils. Specifically, they looked at a handful of nanoadditives that scientists have held up as the most promising in laboratory tests: fullerenes (sometimes referred to as “micro ball bearings”), nano diamonds, boric acid and PTFE.

Unfortunately, a running internal combustion engine is worlds apart from a typical clean room laboratory, and Zhmud and Pasalskiy found that these nanoadditives did not work nearly as well in what you might call real-world environments. In fact, in a presentation they made at a recent major tribology conference (scientists who research oil and other lubricants,) they said that one of the problems with the nanoadditives they looked at is the university researchers developing these nanoadditives often aren’t aware of other factors that can affect a lubricant’s performance outside the laboratory.

For a little more clarification we turned to Lake Speed Jr. of Driven Racing Oil. Speed has been around racing all his life, but he is also a certified lubrication specialist. That means he is one of the few people on the planet who can understand pointy-head science speak and translate it into “gearhead” for the rest of us.

“The nanoadditives have promise, but they really aren’t there yet,” Speed says. “Yes, in some applications they may have some benefit, but that doesn’t mean they are an improvement in every application. It’s just like I tell people all the time, there is no best oil. There is only the oil that works best for your application.”

What Speed warns against is falling for the marketing hype. “You’ve got all these different brands of oils to choose from, and while we’re trying to choose we see, ‘Hey! This one says it’s got micro ball bearings. That sounds like a good thing!’

“Well, there are nanoadditives that do act like very, very small ball bearings, and it is easy to visualize how ball bearings would work to cut friction. So you can see why the marketing department would jump on that concept. But what happens in the real world of your engine is that not all of those parts are smooth. And those particles that act like tiny roller bearings get caught in the crevices and jam up. Then everything starts loading up and starts getting in scraping and now you have damage to the components.

“It may work well in a lab in a straightforward test,” Speed continues, “but a running engine is a very complicated and complex environment.”

The same thing holds true for another nanoadditive with the very impressive name of “nano diamonds.” Nano diamonds contain extremely hard diamond-like particles that are also extremely small. The idea is that the nano diamonds embed into sliding surfaces, making them more resistant to wear.

Studies have shown that motor oils using a nano-diamond additive package actually do help cut friction at first, but over time the friction comes right back greater than before. This is because the nano diamonds act as a lapping compound. In a new engine they serve to knock off the rough edges quickly, which helps to reduce friction. But the nano diamonds never stop grinding away at the material, and you wind up with advanced engine wear in a very short time. Also, that wear produces extra metal particles which get caught in the oil and will wind up causing damage throughout the engine.

“We already have additives like ZDDP films or Moly that you can put into the oil that will have a similar surface-smoothing property to the nano diamonds to reduce friction–but they won’t destroy the surface finish,” Speed says. “Unlike the nano diamonds, ZDDP or Moly packages aren’t removing material to cut the friction, so there is no damage. And that’s the key difference. Even though it’s neat to say you have diamonds in your engine, we already have stuff that will do the same job much better. It just doesn’t have that space-age name.”

Another nanoadditive is known as PTFE. PTFE is actually a great additive for certain applications such as greases, dry-film lubricants and chain oils. It does a nice job of creating a film between sliding surfaces that often stop and start—known as “stick-slip.”

But while PTFE may be an excellent nanoadditive for the spray you use to lubricate your sliding glass door, it is a poor option for the oil in your engine. Among other things PTFE will clog an oil filter. It’s unlikely you will find a major brand motor oil using PTFE, but you should watch out for it in aftermarket engine treatment products.

Speed says that while there are issues with many nanoadditives, that doesn’t mean performance lubricant specialists like Driven Racing Oil aren’t keeping an eye on the horizon for nanoadditives that can be useful to horsepower enthusiasts.

“The key is to match the strengths of the nanoadditive to the application–which is true for any oil,” Speed says. “A great example is boron, which is a great friction reducer, plus it works well with other additives like Moly and ZDDP. The problem is the carrier for boron is boric acid, and an acid will corrode things. It is especially damaging if you have yellow-metal in the engine like brass or bronze bushings (typically found in lifter bushings and valve guides).

“So if you’ve added acid to the oil while trying to get boron in there, that means you will need more acid neutralizer to balance it out. And that means you’ve just thrown another additive into the mix that isn’t actually helping lubrication. It all comes back to having pros and cons to all these additives, and you have to see it in the totality of what it is actually doing.

“That’s why understanding your application and matching the properties of the oil to it is so important,” he continues. “Boron can actually be good in very specific applications. Say I have a Pro Stock engine and I’m running four passes before draining the oil out. In that situation using a motor oil with a boron additive might work well. The boric acid won’t have a chance to be harmful to the engine because it is changed so often and the engine’s lifespan between rebuilds is so short anyway. So if the boric acid gets me a little more horsepower, then I’m okay with that. In that situation you can make the additive work, but you wouldn’t want to use boric acid in an application where the oil isn’t changed extremely often.

“When choosing any motor oil, no matter what additives it may be using, the key is to look at the application first and let that dictate the chemistry. Only after you have determined what best meets your application should you look at the brand.”

New Video: What Makes Driven Different?

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If you think all oil companies are the same, you need to take a few minutes and watch our latest video. Lake Speed Jr. explains why Driven Racing Oil is different and the how the company takes a unique approach to solving lubricant challenges.

Technology Makes Carb Defender Fuel Additive Different

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This video takes a closer look at the technology that separates Driven Carb Defender from all other Ethanol fuel additives on the market. Carb Defender is specially formulated for the anti-corrosion needs of carbureted engines.

Watch: Driven Carb Defender Technology Explained

Other Driven Racing Oil videos are available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/DrivenRacingOil.

FAQs For Classic Vehicle And Street Rod Owners

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1: How often should I change my oil?

Quite simply – it depends. This certainly isn’t the ideal answer, but it is the most honest one. Temperature plays a major role in the frequency of necessary oil change intervals. Every 20°F increase in oil temperature beyond 220°F shortens the life of the oil by 50%. This means cars that run very high oil temps will have much shorter oil life than cars that have moderate oil temperatures. Interestingly, the same also goes for low temps. It may be surprising, but low oil temperatures (below 180°F) can also shorten oil life. In fact, low 120°F oil temps pose greater risks to your engine than 260°F oil temperatures do. The reason is because low oil temps allow more moisture and fuel dilution to build up in your engine.

Street rods that see many miles of highway driving at moderate oil temperatures can expect to go up to 5,000 miles between oil changes.

Owners of street rods that only see short-trip driving should change their oil every 3,000 miles, or at least once a year. It is important to always change the oil in the fall before you put your street rod away for winter storage. You want to drain all the moisture, fuel dilution and used oil out of the engine before you stop driving for the season. Make sure the crankcase has been refilled with fresh oil, and then you are good to go when the weather warms up in the spring. The oil will not go bad just sitting in your crankcase over the winter.

2: Do I need break-in oil, and how long do you use break-in oil?

While every engine can benefit from break-in oil, it is a must for flat tappet camshaft engines. Even roller cam engines benefit from break-in oil because the piston rings still need to break in, and a better, faster ring break-in means more power and less fuel dilution in the motor oil.

Driven recommends changing the break-in oil after 30 minutes if you have a flat tappet engine. You will then need to refill with break-in oil for the next 500 miles. After both the initial break-in and 500 miles of driving, you can then use an oil made specifically for flat tappet engines.

For non-flat-tappet engines, we recommend running the break-in oil for 500 miles. After that time you can install whichever oil you prefer.

3: What viscosity oil should I run?

The “technical” answer is to use the lowest viscosity possible for the engine bearing clearances, oil temperature and horsepower output. Most people don’t know all of this information though, so the “practical” way to determine the correct viscosity is to do one of the following:

1—Run as low a viscosity as will yield 25 to 30 psi oil pressure at idle when the engine is warmed up. This is more oil pressure than the engine needs, but it is not excessive. Oil pressure is one of those areas where moderation rules. Too much or too little is not good. You need moderation in oil pressure to prevent engine damage.

2—Use  one viscosity grade lower synthetic oil than you currently run if you utilize conventional oil. This gives you the same high-temp protection as your conventional oil, but you gain all the benefits of a synthetic. For example, a street rod running conventional 20W-50 motor oil can safely switch to a synthetic 10W-40 and actually improve the protection of the engine.

4: Do I need to do anything special for winter storage?

Using an oil with storage protection additives is recommended. Some motor oils have extra rust and corrosion inhibitor additives that make them better suited for wintertime. Also, it is important to change the oil before you put your street rod away for the winter. You don’t want to store the engine on used motor oil. Fresh oil with extra corrosion inhibitors provides excellent winter storage.

5: Do I need to use a “high Zinc” oil after break-in?

You do if you have a flat tappet cam or very high valve spring pressures on a roller cam. Flat tappet and aggressive roller cam engines require higher levels of ZDDP than modern, stock engines from the factory. As a result, these engines need a steady diet of high Zinc oils.

We know this is a lot of information with lots of variables to take into account to protect your vehicle’s engine. Fortunately, Driven Racing Oil is a one-stop shop for everything from break-in oils to high Zinc motor oils with extra rust and corrosion inhibitors. We can provide everything you need to keep your muscle car or street rod engine running in peak form.

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Driven Racing Oil Syncromesh Transmission Fluid

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Huntersville, NCDriven Racing OilSynchromesh Transmission Fluid is a specially formulated, advanced synthetic lubricant designed to far exceed the lubrication requirements of synchronized manual transmissions and transaxles.

Synchromesh Transmission Fluid from Driven protects gears, bearings and internal clutches in extreme temperatures. It outperforms conventional oils and delivers outstanding performance in the extreme environments experienced by applications such as track day cars and race vehicles. This transmission fluid reduces friction, heat and wear, while improving shifting characteristics and lowering operating temperatures. Designed to exceed performance requirements for General Motors, Chrysler, Honda and Mini Cooper synchronized transmissions, Synchromesh Transmission Fluid features advanced synthetic base stocks, multifunctional performance additives, corrosion inhibitors, a foam suppressor and a shear stable viscosity index improver additive. It provides excellent synchronizer performance and compatibility with yellow metals, such as bronze, brass and copper components found in manual transaxles and transmissions. Driven Racing Oil Syncromesh Transmission Fluid is recommended for manual transmissions that require automatic transmission fluids, multi-viscosity motor oils or straight grade motor oils. It is also ideal for 2-cycle gear boxes. Not for use in engines, hypoid rear axles or limited-slip applications.

Driven Racing Oil Carb Defender Race Concentrate

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Huntersville, NC– Designed for carbureted engines that use Methanol, E85 or Oxygenated race fuel, Driven’s Carb Defender™Race Concentrate prevents corrosion and deposits in the fuel system and intake tract.

Driven’s Carb Defender Race Concentrate delivers specially formulated additives that protect against carburetor corrosion and induction deposits. Special corrosion inhibitors work to prevent damage and diminished performance caused by fuels containing Methanol and Ethanol, as well as the moisture these fuels attract. This powerful new additive controls combustion chamber residue, plus cleans and protects surfaces of the fuel system and intake tract. Carb Defender Race Concentrate also contains a multi-functional lubricant so “top lubes” are not required. Just one bottle of additive treats up to 55 gallons of fuel, and the bottle features a handy view strip to let users measure out doses for as little as five gallons of gas. Driven Racing Oil™ Carb Defender Race Concentrate works with Methanol, E85 and race fuels, and it is compatible with spec fuel and water tests.

Driven Racing Oil BR40 Break-In Oil

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Huntersville, NC New BR40 Break-In Oil from Driven Racing Oil™ is specially formulated to provide your engine with the proper foundation for maximum durability and performance during the critical break-in period.

Driven’s new BR40 Break-In Oil features a conventional 10W-40 viscosity that’s perfect for motorcycle, classic muscle car and European sports car engines. BR40 not only delivers maximum scuffing protection, it also contains an anti-wear formulation that doesn’t rely on friction modifiers, which helps promote proper ring seating. Ideal for use in flat tappet and aggressive roller cam engines, the BR40 blend is formulated to improve ring seal without increasing wear, and is good for dyno testing, a night of racing or up to 400 miles on the street. With no Zinc (ZDDP) added, the BR40 Break-In Oil is best used with Ethanol-blended fuels, pure Methanol fuels and oxygenated race fuels. Just combine BR40 with a proper break-in procedure, and you can be sure that you’ve done everything required to ensure both maximum engine performance and service life.