SR-5 in a 500hp Honda S2000
Shawn Church here from Church Automotive Testing
. Just wanted to relay a story to you about some Torco product that I thought you might appreciate.
My personal weekend car is a 2000 Honda S2000. I bought it new almost 12 years ago and it has made the progression from a daily driver to a fully modified weekend canyon carver and occasional track toy. It is currently supercharged with a Kraftwerks kit running about 16 psi of boost, fueled with E85, and full engine management from Hondata. The internals of the motor are all stock with the exception of some aftermarket camshafts from IPS. It still passes smog and produces just under 500 hp at the wheels.
Over the years I've tried just about every oil under the sun. Non-synthetic, synthetic, ester, single weight race oil, etc. Outside of a few oils I decided I wouldn't use based upon their performance, I'd never really seen much difference from any of them. The engine would always burn about 1 qt every 1500-2000 miles of regular use, or a half-quart minimum with one day (100 miles) at the track - despite high performance PCV valves, catch tanks, etc. Strangely enough, despite having worked with you guys several times in the past, I had never used one of your oils, I guess because the testing was always blind and I didn't want to have any bias so I never asked which oil was which.
Anyways, with close to 85000 miles on the engine now, and a good 20000 of that on the track or at high rpm in some other venue, I had noticed my oil consumption starting to edge up (possibly due to dilution from the E85). I had already moved up to a 40wt oil from another manufacturer (with a color in their name) but nothing was helping with the oil consumption. I then decided to move up to a 50wt oil with the expectation that I might lose a little fuel economy and perhaps some power too. During my search I came across Torco SR-5 5w50 synthetic. The specs on paper looked great and since I only put about 6-8k miles a year on the car these days, I figured that a race oil would be fine, so I bought a case of 12 quarts from a local distributor (Amber Fuels) and went for it.
After the oil change, the first thing I noticed when we started the car and warmed it up was that the engine noise was substantially reduced. In all my years and oils with this car, I'd never experienced this. I chalked it up to the heavier oil and forgot about it. Next, we put it on the dyno. I was certain I was going to lose at least 5 hp at the wheels, maybe more given the viscosity increase with the new oil. After getting things up to temp and making my first dyno pull, I was shocked to see that my power had actually gone up by about 5 hp. I was now making more power than ever before on this engine. We made a few more passes and the power was extremely stable. Checking the dipstick showed that the oil looked and smelled good as well.
The reason I was changing the oil at this time was because I had a track day the following week. After the good results on the dyno, I was hopeful that I could reduce my consumption, but wondered if the higher power didn't suggest otherwise. I took the car out to the Streets of Willow Springs for a full day of lapping. I did 4 sessions of 8-9 laps each for a total of about 65 miles on track, plus 220 miles of driving to and from the race track. I checked oil before I left, after each track session and after I returned. I even checked again the next day. And, while a dipstick is not a precise measuring device, I saw no oil consumption. Zero, zip, nada. I'm sure I burned a little bit, but the amount was so small as to be negligible. Great for any car on the track, but for this car in particular, simply awesome. I don't know much about how an oil is supposed to allow optimal piston ring function as you claim (or sub-optimal for the other guys), but it sure seems to work.
So, consider this a note of thanks from me, as well as a facepalm on my part for not trying your stuff sooner. I may even try and move down to a 40wt and see if that holds up and returns even more power, but at this point I couldn't be happier with the SR-5 oil. I have a number of customers with older S2000s as well that often experience oil pressure drops on track as their oil heats up, especially with aftermarket oil coolers and such that increase overall oil volume and tax the pump. This leads to VTEC not activating and a loss of performance. I plan on recommending they try Torco SR-5 immediately to help with that problem. Thanks a million and if you'd like to use this letter, please feel free to circulate it.
Shawn Church Church Automotive Testing