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Need to change the oil in the Cayman S. It’s due; I have done 5 days of track events on the same oil so actually, it is probably overdue. I do not want to push it, there are way too many oil horror stories posted here at P-9. And my 2006 CS is on its second engine so I am most likely on borrowed time anyway. Been running Castrol Syntec 5W-40 for a while now and it is probably perfectly fine. But there is always that little nagging voice in the back of my head that I can find better. So pulling out the old PC (and trust me when I say old…) I started the search for the mythical Porsche approved oil that will cure all ills, make you look younger, keep hair from falling out, last forever, keep oil starvation issues at a minimum and everything else we hope is in that bottle (or can) of motor oil.

So I started searching, I looked at P-9 , other Porsche related sites, searched Google, Yahoo, Bing and Cherry (just checking to see if you are paying attention), the oil manufacturers web sites and consulted a Oujai board. Really I left no stone unturned, or page unviewed. Hours later I was still looking at oil and oil related posts, forums, counter-posts, refutes, arguments and counter-arguments. Whew! I was searched out!

At that point, my wife looked up from her ever present iPad, pulled down her reading glasses and asked “What’cha doing?”

“Searching for oil”

“They found some; it’s in the Gulf…”

“No…oil for the Porsche.”

“There is some in the garage. You bought more than one case last time you changed the oil.”

“Well I am looking for better oil.”

“Really, better oil? Is that like looking for better shoes?”

“No…shoes are for collecting, but in the case of Porsche, oil is for debate!”

“Oh…a Porsche debate….I’m soooo excited!” And with that, she went back to her iPad and another episode of Real Housewives of New York. I went back to my search.

Wow! 0W-40, 5W-40, 5W-50 and some folks even take the risk and go with ….15W-50. Oh ****, there are too many options, where do I go? Street use, street / track use, track use…where is a Porschefile to turn? So I kept searching and reading. Then you take a look at all the brands that everyone talks about: Mobil 1, Royal Purple, Castrol, Motul, Redline, Amsoil, and a bunch of European brands that I have either never heard of or we cannot buy here in the good ole US of A. It is bewildering, everyone seems to have their own opinion and there are lots of opinions to choose from. So I did what anybody else in a similar quandary would do, I put all the choices in a hat and drew one out. No…actually I went with Amsoil, all the reviews are great, I could sign up for the preferred customer program and get a 20%+ discount and pick it up locally to save on shipping. How can I lose on that deal? I will let you all know how it lasts. Or if for some strange reason the motor hand grenades, I will blame the damn oil!

Does all the oil debate really matter? Well in one way it does and in one way it doesn’t. There are the preferred oils and change schedule that Porsche recommends and then there are the volumes of practical knowledge (on places like P-9) of folks that drive these cars on the street and track day after day. I figure with all the track events I do, I will most likely change the oil 4-6 time this year. There will probably be some of you that would change it more or less frequently based on usage, but I figure that 4 track days per oil change seems about right. I should probably invest in a spin-on oil filter adapter too, if you are going in this deep, may as well go in all the way. And speaking of changing oil, if any of you have the ability to safely put your Cayman up on jack stands or a lift (or better yet a friends lift…right Brad?) and you are not changing your own oil…shame on you. It is so easy…maybe the easiest oil change of any car that I have ever owned. Do it, save the money and get your hands and fingernails dirty!! Who knows, you might even learn something about your car by looking at it from underneath.

I am finally getting to the point where I know the risks and am somewhat willing to accept them, except for the $10K price tag on a new motor that is. Don’t get me wrong, I really do want this engine to last. I am planning on doing several mods to protect my investment; a deep oil sump is next on the list of mods, followed closely by an under-drive pulley and maybe an Accusump system. But if it pops? Well it is just the luck of the draw and I will probably say that I let the oil stay in just one track event too long. I am going to do track events; I am going to push the car. It is like the old saying - Just drive the damn thing…drive it like you stole it.

And one more thing, thank God I am not running R-rated tires, just street tires. That only seems to exacerbate the problem. And speaking of street tires, I am spending as much time searching for tires as I am searching for oil. I do not want to run race rubber just yet; have not done enough mods to the car yet to run them. But there are a lot of near R-rated choices: Bridgestone RE11’s, Dunlap Direzza Star Spec’s, Falken Azenis 615RT-K’s, Hankook Ventus R-S3’s, Kumho Escta XS’s, Michelin MPSC’s, Pirelli P-Zero System, Toyo R1A’s and Yokohama Advan AD08’s. WOW it is a very long list and I am probably missing a few. How do you decide? Just posting a question about tire preferences opens a whole other can of worms.

I wish I could do a tire testing day with all those tires and a team to swap them out session after session. Or just me and a bud with a decent jack and a cordless impact wrench. That would work too. But just to let you know, I am leaning towards the Dunlaps or the Hankooks.

See you all next month.
 

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I'm with you on how easy the oil changes are! For me, hands-down the easiest car I've done.

On recommendation by Charles Navarro at LN Engineering, I'm using Castrol Syntec 5W-40. This was just ONE of the oils he recommended as an alternative to Mobil 1 Synthetic. At a discussion about Boxster/Cayman IMS issues, he also recommended changing the oil every other track day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I used to change oil after every other track weekend (so four track days total per oil change). I did a 5th day on this change, but will be changing the oil when I put in the deep oil sump (I hope next week).
 

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I once recommended that new threads about oil or oil changes should require moderator approval, because the subject has been discussed to death. :)

Apparently even the moderators want more discussions like this one. :pc:
 

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The only way to know for sure how frequently to change the oil is oil analysis.
Okay, so how do the results of the analysis help in deciding how often to change? Where is the data, and what is the source?

John
R in the pipeline
(ONVESL)
 

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Been running Castrol Syntec 5W-40 for a while now and it is probably perfectly fine. But there is always that little nagging voice in the back of my head that I can find better. So pulling out the old PC (and trust me when I say old…) I started the search for the mythical Porsche approved oil that will cure all ills, make you look younger, keep hair from falling out, last forever, keep oil starvation issues at a minimum and everything else we hope is in that bottle (or can) of motor oil.

I am finally getting to the point where I know the risks and am somewhat willing to accept them, except for the $10K price tag on a new motor that is. Don’t get me wrong, I really do want this engine to last. I am planning on doing several mods to protect my investment; a deep oil sump is next on the list of mods, followed closely by an under-drive pulley and maybe an Accusump system. But if it pops? Well it is just the luck of the draw and I will probably say that I let the oil stay in just one track event too long. I am going to do track events; I am going to push the car. It is like the old saying - Just drive the damn thing…drive it like you stole it.

And one more thing, thank God I am not running R-rated tires, just street tires. That only seems to exacerbate the problem. And speaking of street tires, I am spending as much time searching for tires as I am searching for oil. I do not want to run race rubber just yet; have not done enough mods to the car yet to run them. But there are a lot of near R-rated choices: Bridgestone RE11’s, Dunlap Direzza Star Spec’s, Falken Azenis 615RT-K’s, Hankook Ventus R-S3’s, Kumho Escta XS’s, Michelin MPSC’s, Pirelli P-Zero System, Toyo R1A’s and Yokohama Advan AD08’s. WOW it is a very long list and I am probably missing a few. How do you decide? Just posting a question about tire preferences opens a whole other can of worms.

I wish I could do a tire testing day with all those tires and a team to swap them out session after session. Or just me and a bud with a decent jack and a cordless impact wrench. That would work too. But just to let you know, I am leaning towards the Dunlaps or the Hankooks.

See you all next month.
Rob:

My take... 5w40 is about as heavy as you should put in it. I have heard that thicker will muck up the variocam and other bits. Maybe in very hot Texas weather at the track, you might go 5w50 if there is such a thing. I've read that the newer Porsche engines have smaller oil channels made for thin oils. I would never put 15w50 in a Cayman engine.

Pure synthetic is a good idea because it just works worlds better than standard oil. I wouldn't feel bad about Castrol 5w40. Good stuff. So is Amsoil for that matter. I use Total 5w40. I would only use an oil on the Porsche approved list, which is pretty massive. I think Castrol is on the list and maybe Amsoil.

You won't be able to tell the difference. The important thing is to get those oiling mods done pronto! The Gen 2 Cayman engine has 5, count em, FIVE oil pumps. The Gen 1 has 1 oil pump. The danger is the oil not returning to the sump and the pump pumping foam instead of oil. The pump needs to pump liquid, not gas, or the oil won't get to where it needs to.

Do all you can to make sure the sump stays sufficiently full around the oil pickup with foam-free oil. That's the key, not the brand of oil. Your wife is right on that score. It IS like "better shoes".

I've got a set of Nitto NT-01s. They've held up really well so far. I drive them to the track and drive them home. My next "mod" is a tire trailer. Good street tires that can hold up to track temps and stresses are quite expensive. I think a set of good R tires is a good investement. I never run my street tires on track and they never get torn up.

I wouldn't feel too secure about your engine running a lot of track time on street tires expecially if you've change the suspension. You've read the stories and you've already lunched one engine. Get the mods!

My next set of "new shoes" will be Michelin Pilot Super Sports on new to me Champion wheels. Can't believe I actually ponied up the dough for these wheels. I was looking for some decently light 18" wheels and these popped up on the classifieds. They're gorgeous and I've always wanted some. PSS look to me to be the next wave of tech for street tires. Great cornering and better ride than PS2 at a better price. I'm hoping my car will have a bit more civil ride than with the 19's without sacrificing much fun factor.

I know no one wants to hear that their engine is at grave risk at track days in unmodified form, but it seems to be the truth. You are not the first to trash a Cayman engine and you won't likely be the last. Some guys have done it just hitting a lot of exit ramps hard on street tires. Almost all of the '06 cars are out of warranty now. Quit worrying about brands of oil and tires and... Get the mods.

:cheers:
 

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The oil one is easy, take one of the oils from the Porsche approved oil list and if it is readily available to you then use it.

Tyres I also don't think is difficult. You decide on N-spec or not. If you wanted N-spec before then PS2's were the all rounder and for me PZeros gave better dry grip and good for track work, but not the most comfortable. The Super Sports now trumps all, from what I read, and that makes it very easy to choose...great comfort, little tyre noise, great grip (close to cups) and good wear rate.
 

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The oil one is easy, take one of the oils from the Porsche approved oil list and if it is readily available to you then use it.

Tyres I also don't think is difficult. You decide on N-spec or not. If you wanted N-spec before then PS2's were the all rounder and for me PZeros gave better dry grip and good for track work, but not the most comfortable. The Super Sports now trumps all, from what I read, and that makes it very easy to choose...great comfort, little tyre noise, great grip (close to cups) and good wear rate.
I'm completely with you on oil, not so much on tires. Tires are a very significant factor in determining the personality of a car. In fact, I'd go so far to say that what most people think of as "new car feel" is mostly new tire feel. I think we're on the same page about the PS2s too, but if those aren't one's cup of tea the alternatives all have noticeable strengths and weaknesses, as you've noted with the P-Zeros. I'd lump the Bridgestone RE050A N-1 and the Continental SC-3 N-0 in that same category, better handling but worse NVH. There's also the aging factor, the PS2s age well, the SC-3s age poorly. Personally, I think this forum would be more valuable if we spent more time talking about tires (well, to a reasonable point) and less time talking about oil. :cheers:
 

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Have you visited the site....'bob is the oil guy'? Interesting read; also Penn Ultra looks good,
I'll admit it, I'm an oil freak. I'm a mechanical engineer by training so tribology just gets my gears going - smoothly.

I come to Porsche from the world of turbocharged Subaru engines. The boosted Subaru EJ motors are known to be particular about the oil they use. I have seen first-hand how different oil brands produce vastly different UOA (Used Oil Analysis). While most people fill and forget, I've been on a pursuit for the best UOA. For my old EJ205 motor, I found that Castrol SYNTEC 0W-30 European Formula AKA "German Gastrol" greatly outperformed Mobil 1. The Subaru community is also quite fond of Pennzoil Platinum, Rotella T, Amsoil, etc.

Back to the subject at hand: Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40 is Porsche A40 approved. Pennzoil Ultra has become the oil du jour over on the BITOG forums as the stuff is highly regarded by just about anybody who has used it. I just put it in my wife's Lexus IS250 and will report back in ~10K miles with a UOA. I'll probably use it in my Cayman S when I finally get one.

You probably won't find it at AutoZone but you can buy it online directly from Pennzoil.
 

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I'm completely with you on oil, not so much on tires. Tires are a very significant factor in determining the personality of a car. In fact, I'd go so far to say that what most people think of as "new car feel" is mostly new tire feel. I think we're on the same page about the PS2s too, but if those aren't one's cup of tea the alternatives all have noticeable strengths and weaknesses, as you've noted with the P-Zeros. I'd lump the Bridgestone RE050A N-1 and the Continental SC-3 N-0 in that same category, better handling but worse NVH. There's also the aging factor, the PS2s age well, the SC-3s age poorly. Personally, I think this forum would be more valuable if we spent more time talking about tires (well, to a reasonable point) and less time talking about oil. :cheers:
You're right on that and I should have made it clear that those are the two tyres I know well, and for me it would always be a choice between them, until the PSS's came along. Let us not forget how important pressures are as well. Still with the current readily available N-Spec tyres what one person likes another may not, because as you say the car can change personality with them.

All of the guys I have recommended switching to PZeros from PS2's and Bridgestones have loved them and commented on how much planted the car feels, but this is only in our dry conditions over here and maybe in the wet they aren't as good as others.
 
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