How does the oil lubricity tester work? Let’s find out!

How does the oil lubricity tester work?  Let’s find out!


the purpose of a lubricity tester is to measure the film strength or the ability of an oil and oil attitude to provide lubrication so when I began looking for a product that could test this capability of these different oils and oil additives what I discovered was it just wasn’t much in the market that was within my budget that I could purchase the products in the market for around $1,000 or so just did not seem like they could provide a reliable test results so I decided to build my own now the way the system works is this is a wheel race out of a bearing set this wheel race will spin at 800 rpm during testing this allows for a tremendous amount of friction on a bearing that is not moving this is a bearing out of a bearing set that has been removed and this bearing is going to be applied directly on to this spinning wheel race which again provides a tremendous amount of friction the amount of weight that’s applied is right at 14 pounds of downward force but we consider the very small amount of surface area on the bearing it actually translates into tens of thousands or even potentially over a hundred thousand pounds of force being applied to a very small area and that’s how you’re able to determine film strength so a lot of people do not like this test and here’s why what they’ve seen on YouTube or other sort of oil additive demonstrations is the one-armed bandit approach now the one-armed bandit approach is pretty simple what you’ll see is an individual will apply the bearing on top of the wheel race and then you’ll see an individual that has a device similar to this in which they can apply force using their hand and what they will do to manipulate the test is if they want a product to win they won’t apply very much force to the arm if they want a product to lose they’ll apply a whole lot of force applying a lot more downward pressure obviously you can make a certain product win every single time another thing they will do is they will allow a bearing to burn in and what that means is they will allow the bearing to build up some heat to sort of get into the bearing when they’re applying the downward force and then they will let off they will add some lubricant or they’ll make sure that this is thoroughly coated and because it’s provided a fairly stable area that’s been etched in it then will be very difficult to get a reliable result because that provides a very stable platform for that oil to sort of embed itself so during my testing process to avoid any manipulation I never touched this arm during the test so my procedure is pretty straightforward the first thing I do is I clean off the wheel race using a 1500 grit that removes any sort of old oil additive that was been tested on the wheel race it also allows the additive I’m testing to have something to stick to a 1500 grit gives it some roughness that allows that product to stick to the wheel race the second thing I do is I always use the same exact name-brand bearing from a bearing set then I insert the bearing in the bearing holder I then apply the product to both the wheel race as well as the bearing I then apply the weight of the bearing on top of the wheel race at this point I don’t touch any of this part of the device then I will allow the wheel race to spend for 30 seconds I always time it after 30 seconds I shut off the device I remove the bearing from the bearing set and then I assess the damage

54 thoughts on “How does the oil lubricity tester work? Let’s find out!

  1. Can you test different engine oil brands to see which one is better/more relevant to his
    declared characteristics? For example Bardahl XTC C60 (Fullerene + Polarplus). There are always very discordant opinions about the same oil, it would be interesting to see which one lasts longer, which one resists better to heat, which one leaves less sludge, etc…
    Thank you for your high quality, ad free contents.

  2. Can we get a series of not necessarily traditionally used lubricants? Bacon grease? Lard? coconut oil? Butter? water? gasoline? Or maybe non fluid (at room temp) lubricants like lithium grease or moly? A spreadsheet of non standard substances tested on your machine seems like fun.

  3. I used to do these tests at work using the same process, Calibrated weight and time. We did have an ammeter hooked to the motor to check out the load at start, middle, and end. It was hooked into a controller which controlled the start/stop and took the amp reading automatically. Maybe you could do the same, doesn't need to be as fancy, just hook up a simple ammeter then see what load you get with different oils? That way you have more than a visual result.

  4. I just love to watch your videos and you have helped me with some choices for different products that I may not have made previously. As a driver, I see a lot of Motorkote being pushed to Owner Operators. When I saw your water test a few months ago, I was pretty excited to see that they were on your radar. Could you do more tests on MotorKote so that I can see if it is as good as it says for lubricity and I'm curious how long it would last without oil/Motorkote mix in the crankcase. Keep up the great work and I'll definitely keep watching!!

  5. Can you test using diesel oil such as Rotella or Delo 30 wt in a small engine as apposed to the typical SAE 30? Alot of people are recommending this but I'm curious to see if it's actually superior, does it actually prevent wear better due to its heavy duty additives? Thanks for all of the great videos.

  6. Try Extralube ZX1 on your lubricity tester. C60 Nano-Carbon Buckyballs are supposedly the secret sauce in this lube…

    http://www.team-zx1.com/c60-micro-lube-trigger-spray.html

  7. I read somewhere that adding water to the oil would create less scoring on a lubricity tester. Have you tried this? Then again, the guys at amsoil claim that head and shoulders works better than most oil additives on the rig, (as I'm sure you know) and you proved that was BS. Thanks for that.

  8. New subscriber here. I love the tests you’re doing. I’ve used a product called Cerma in the past and have wondered if it is actually working. It’s an oil additive that makes claims similar to other products out there. I would love to see it tested on this machine and in a motor test like you’ve already done with other additives. Here’s their web site. https://www.cermastore.com/

  9. Can you test full grove bearings against traditional style half grove bearings for which one lubricates the best in a crankshaft?

  10. Do you replace the race at all? Just wondering if it would wear enough to affect the circumference over time. Wouldn't really matter comparing results performed one after another much but it's nice to compare results from different videos. Obviously the bearing takes the bulk of the wear but I'd imagine the race does wear somewhat

  11. Royal Purple has a video on Youtube using a similar device testing their oil vs other leading competitors and their oil came out on top. In the future I would love to see you test their claims to see whether or not their oil really is the best.

  12. Very curious how plain drugstore mineral oil usp with no motor additives would perform on the lubricity tester, compared to ATF or a Powersteering fluid for hydraulic purposes.

  13. mr project farm, i'm a college student in a project to build this kinda tester machine.. can you help me about the basic arm length to preasure ratio and the relation to how much kg(pound)should we put as the rear weight ? i kinda confused about it

    thank you

  14. I've got a video idea for you how about to see just how long the oil lasts and also to see if it really does what it advertises for instance Mobil 1 extended performance states that you can go 15,000 miles between changes and Mobil 1 annual performance stage that you can go 1 year or 20000 miles whichever comes first between changes I'd like to know if that's true and if you ever tried what does it look like?

  15. You put a lot of thought into this device. But having watched this and some other test you have done with it where you resurface the bearing race with an angle grinder. I feel that this test is flawed. A quick swipe with a grinder is not going to put any kind of uniform surface on the race. Plus you have no way to check it . So every test you do could be a little different . So when some of the tests you do you do show only a slight difference . Just what caused it ? The different lubricant or the poorly surface bearing race ?

  16. Apparently, Amazon Basics has an engine oil. I'd love to see a comparison with your setup against mobil 1 and others. Youtube Scotty Kilmer did a video where he did some good research, but no testing. Love all your videos!

  17. Bravo on the build, looks great. I think it'd be quite interesting to see some diesel fuel tests: US diesel fuel vs. high sulphur diesel (if you can get it) would be super cool to get a baseline on lost lubricity. Then lots of people add 0.5% 2stroke oil to diesel, would be interesting to see what this does, especially as a comparison. Personally I'd be curious about adding 0.5% high sulphur gear oil as well as the losses from 20% water emulsion (which is a reasonably popular trick for improving diesel engine efficiency).. Keep up the good work!

  18. Love your videos, was thinking Diesel motor oil on your machine. A lot of guys are using it in their gas engine's with success..

  19. I've been searching and asking, and cant seem to find an oil test on your page. Where you test the top synthetic oils.
    Royal purple HPS, amsoil, redline, Mobil 1,Castrol, valvoline, pennzoil etc. Will you pleeeease do one!? Like lubricity and flow and cleaning etc

  20. I’d be interested to see how a new vs 3000 vs 5000-10000 mile oil comparison played out. To keep it legitimate you’d have to use the same vehicle to wear the oil. Not sure how that work out on your side. Might not want to push your own personal vehicle that far

  21. The only problem I have with your configuration is the way that the wheel race picks up oil from the plastic cup. If the cup is a little more or less full, the wheel race can pick up more or less oil which would influence the size of the oil wedge between the bearing and the oil wedge and so your results. Maybe a positive displacement pump attached to the same motor (for consistency) that drops oil on top of the race just after the bearing/race contact point? Have you tested your lubricity tester with the same oil at 2 very different levels?

  22. What would the result of this Lubricity test be without any lubrication at all? Your baseline is always 10w30; perhaps a baseline of purely bearing to raceway would also be a fantastic comparison baseline. Great Videos!

  23. you have a weight at the end und a fixed arm length
    So how many Newton Metres or Kilogramme-Force Metre do you use, thanxx

  24. I have one question that someone has most likely already asked, but I couldn't find it so… the wheel race gets sanded every time to remove old stuff. But then it gets smaller in diameter thus making less circumference, making less distance go by the next bearing after each test. Am I correct?

  25. I'm actually a PhD scientist and I really appreciate your consistency in testing. Sir, you are a scientist. One thing I'd like to point out is, it would be ideal to run the test at least 3 times in order to have a concrete result.. it's part of GLP

  26. I remember seeing this test when Prolong Super Lubricants was selling their products on tv in the 80's. I would love to see you do that same test again because I never believed that they couldnt get the bearing to fail.

  27. Any chance you looking into testing diesel oils? I’d really like to see shell rotella, delo mobile 1 amsoil etc.
    thanks for all your great videos.

  28. you're an evil genius… but I don't like the test because it's like dragging a fork across my front teeth. or fingernails on a chalkboard for normal ppl.

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