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Old November 11th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #1
mikefocke
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Just Suppose

that there was someone in the Porsche world who understood the specific metallurgy of our M96 engines and would take a sample of your oil and analyze it and tell you, based on seeing hundreds/thousands of other samples from running engines and the oil characteristics of a certain number of failed M96 engines, if there was a increasing statistical probability of a certain kind of failure in your engine. IOW, the value of this characteristic in your oil sample or the slope of this change in your oil's characteristics between samples is typical of what we see in an engine about to have failure Q. (Sally's engine, which just had failure X, had exactly the same change in characteristic Y of her car's oil as yours is exhibiting.)

This isn't the typical oil analysis done from the oil's perspective without regard to what engine the oil came from but rather is an analysis of the way the trace content in the oil tells specific things about what is happening in a M96 engine. This trend data may be the only way that forecasts of potential problems can be identified and forecasted in advance of an actual issue. This would help ease the mindís of owners knowing that the wear occurring within their engine is being traced and evaluated by specialists that also watch and create trend data for hopefully hundreds of other M96 engines that could become part of the same program.

Would you be interested in paying for an oil analysis and thus contributing to the data base assuming you got a written M96 oriented analysis? Would you be willing to do it repeatedly if the value of trendlining your engine and its oil was increased the more times the analysis of your oil would be done (IOW you'd get a better prediction from multiple samples versus just the one and the data base gets better at predicting)?

Assume for this discussion the cost was $30 per analysis. And assume the process of getting the oil sample done was no more complicated than it is using existing labs and is thoroughly documented so that the DIYer can obtain a clean sample.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #2
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Assuming that a sample would'nt be needed every other week sure I'd be curious to know what was or might be happening to my engine.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Old November 11th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #4
BloodThirsty
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Of course. These failures have me on pins and needles. My 01 just turned over 30K. I keep thinking any time now ................
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Old November 12th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #5
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An educated guess is that failures are more related to cooling issues than oil related issues. As a motor re-builder my experience told me that engine failures that occur suddenly are nearly always related to an issue of cooling rather than lubrication. The type of failures that I've seen documented in these series engines seem to bear this out. Oil related failures where there is no contamination from coolant entering through head gaskets or cracks typically occur gradually until a rod bearing lets go - where the inertial forces are the greatest from the pistons changing directions (think about jumping up and down 3500 times per minute).

So while an analysis of the oil might show a trace of coolant as an early warning, I think it's likely that we Porsche owners simply need to expect that our relatively highly stressed engines will suffer the same type of failures as race cars - although at approximately 1/10th the rate, with race engines being rebuilt every 1000 miles or less.

Lastly, a common thread of motor failures I've read about here and on Renntech seems to be conservative driving habits (perhaps only to state that they never did anything to make it happen). I strongly feel that a high performance motor needs to be run hard once warmed up, and that relatively high revving engines last longer when driven hard.

So if you want a long lasting engine but don't want to floor it, get a Corolla!
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Old November 12th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #6
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I couldn't agree with you more.
That's been my mantra with every one of my Porsches through the years.
Daily driver, weekly AX'er, monthly DE'er yearly BRBS'er.
Every chance I get I drive them hard, but without abuse.
Maybe the proof is in the pudding:
One of my Boxsters ('98) just turned over 176,000 miles while the other one ('99) only has 75,000 miles on the odo.
Do I worry about them blowing up? Not much, although lately with this paranoia I've thought about it once or twice.

Regarding the oil testing I think that they're not going yet to try to predict an engine's demise but rather catalog and analyze the data from those who participate so that when/if their engines blow they can go back and look at any telltale sings in their particular previous oil's analysis. It's gonna be a long study.
Happy Boxstering,
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Old November 12th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #7
BoxsterLewis
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I agree^
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Old November 12th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Suppose

We all send in a sample each time we change our oil, cost say $30 and we do this for 5 years, if someone has a failure, there may be indicators in the oil samples. This could be very helpful as indicators of future failures. Just add the cost to each oil change, everyone on the same intervals (5000 miles for example). I think it would be worth it to see if there is anything to it. It may indicate sooner than five years. It would surely prove whether it is wear of certain parts or something else (cooling). I would spend $60-$100 a year to possibly find out if I was going to have a failure, good investment! I agree these cars need to be exercised!!

Steve
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Old November 12th, 2008, 04:01 PM   #9
ppbon
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A cheaper way to do this is by saving the $30 and keeping a sample of oil every time it's changed.
This sample would be sealed and dated.
If/when the engine blows, you have the history in the samples.
Happy Boxstering,
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Old November 14th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppbon View Post
A cheaper way to do this is by saving the $30 and keeping a sample of oil every time it's changed.
This sample would be sealed and dated.
If/when the engine blows, you have the history in the samples.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

But you don't have monitoring of the oil that can lead to forecasting failures prior to their occurrence. Once you have a failure who cares if the oil shows the traces? Sure it could be used to gain the "control" used to forecast when failures are occuring by the administrators of the program, but thats about it.
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