Aircraft oil

Discussion in 'Oil' started by btsom, May 11, 2011.

  1. btsom

    btsom Active Member

    Did a search, nothing came up. Read lots of "oil" pages, none mentioned aircraft oil. At the risk of being told "We told what WE like, do what you want, it's your bike" I'll ask anyway.

    I know of 2 easily available synthetic blend piston aircraft oils, both less expensive than M1 V Twin syn. One is Aeroshell 15-50 and the other is Phillips XC 20-50. These are made for air cooled aircraft engines so they are made for high heat. The duty cycle of aircraft engines is typically hour after hour of 60% output or higher, no loafing down the road at relatively low percentage of output until climbing a hill or passing. Typically, we are comfortable with "overkill" when it comes to engine protection, hence the concern for the best there is for lubrication. Are there any oil experts here who can compare the formulation of the aircraft oils mentioned above with the best of the V-Twin formulations on the market, especially the anti wear additives important to Harley engines? Also, would anything in these oils disqualify them for use in the primary case?
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    This topic has come up before but aircraft engines usually operate in a very different temp than the bikes will so using an oil that is designed for aircraft isn't the best choice.
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Airplane engine may be air cooled but the air is colder at altitude than at ground level unless there is a strong temperature inversion and also the engine cooling fins are moving through the cooling air a LOT faster than the typical speeds we cruise at on our bikes.
  4. btsom

    btsom Active Member

    Light aircraft also operate in the summer when the temp is 100 degrees and climb at full power and low speed, often for 30 minutes or longer getting to that altitude with the cooler, smoother air. While the bike engine may never get to the altitude with the cooler air, I assure you it has a less stressful duty cycle and doesn't generate extreme high heat for extended periods of time at maximum power output as does the aircraft engine.
  5. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    Donny Peterson did an article on using aircraft oil. He didn't recommend it.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    Sound like you are set on the aircraft oil... One thing I would check out BEFORE i'd use it:

    How much anti-wear does it have in it and what kind...

    If it compares Other anti wear Synthetics IT is probably good....

    Does your oil mentioned ,,, call out these API # SM/SL/SJ/SH/SG/CF... and suits the requirements for ACEA A3.
    That is what is on My Redline 20/50 oil..

    IF so and has the anti-wear in it, I would have NO Problem using them...

    The EPA is really Tough on the use of anti wear chemicals in oil of today... The 20/50, 20/60 are about the Only weights I know that HAVE a Lot of anti-wear in them AND I have been Told that are ALLOWED to have the anti-wear in them....

    Modern oil requirements in an oil article I have read a while back, saying that they are manufacturing oil for Throw away motors... Asking the motor companies to build their motors for their engineered oil...(no anti-wear chems.)

    Now you can take this as "Hear Say" but I did put the # and the API shown on My product I use in My HD's.


    Another thing I wanted to say is : aircraft engines REQUIRE rebuilds after so many hours and HD's don't..

    That might make a difference also.
  7. cromedome

    cromedome Active Member

    Aircraft oil is typically changed at 25 or 50 hours, has 6to 10 quarts in the crank case, is an "ash less dispersant" blend",which is designed for 100LL fuel which still has some lead for anti-knock and to prevent valve guides from sticking, for an engine that spends hours running at 2500 rpm or less with all most no cycle of rpm up-down like a bike engine ..along with several other major differences.
    Mobil Syn is my choice for the HOG, Phillips for the airplane....
  8. btsom

    btsom Active Member

    Thanks Kemo, you broke the code for me. Though I couldn't find Donny Petersen's aircraft oil article, what I did find convinced me of his overall knowledge, so if he recommends against it, that is good enough for me. Bubbie, thanks for the info, I wasn't "set" on acft. oil, just inquiring. I got pointed in enough fruitful directions that it was easy to see that there are important differences. What I hadn't considered was the lead still being used in aviation fuels and that creates the need for different and conflicting properties in aviation oil vs V-Twin oil. There was confirmation that airplane engines run very hard, very hot, and under high stress most of the time. Those were the reasons I thought acft. oil MIGHT be better, but not it isn't because of other reasons. Thanks all for the input.
  9. IBA Harley

    IBA Harley Active Member

    One of the things I enjoy most about reading forums is the stuff people come up with. Never would've occurred to me to even consider anything other than motorcycle oil in my motorcycle. :)
  10. sharpscuba

    sharpscuba Banned

    It is called aircraft oil for a reason, not aircraft and motorcycle oil. Just saying.