Sometimes we have a tendency to focus too much on the bigger aspects of something that we neglect the little binding ties that holds everything together. While it may seem negligible at first glance, the devil is, and always has been, in the detail, so as minute as it may seem, the big picture is the big picture for a reason. In some similar and very stretched length of the imagination, we tend to shell out the big bucks for the performance parts under our hood, such as forged internals, but forget to keep them properly lubricated. While it may seem like a minute detail, the type of lubrication we use for our vehicles moving bits is every bit as cardinal as the parts that goes into it. Of course, you can argue that oil is oil, and to a certain point, you’d be right. The motor oil or gearbox oil isn’t just going have the same viscosity as water the moment your odometer skips pass the recommended service interval. Furthermore, using the lowest grade motor oil will not really damage your engine in the short term. Not to mention the fact that most of us don’t always have the tachometer above the 5,000rpm notch during our daily commute. Nonetheless, using a proper and well engineered oil from the get go will do wonders for your vehicle’s grinding bits in the long run. Reduced wear and tear, less friction and a smoother feel while behind the wheel are all things to look forward too if you lubricate with the right oils. Personally, I’m very specific about the type of oils that go into my car. Only a certain brand of motor oil finds its way into the oil pan every 5,000km and ditto for the gearbox oil. How I came to select those specific brands for my car is through the usual petrolheads modus operandi. Ask around with other petrolheads or just the good old R&D. One of the big names in international lubrication of the motorsports industry is Torco. The brand’s logo can be found on a plethora of motorsports series such as drag racing, drifting and even circuit racing. Recently, we got to sample the full range of the Torco catalog along with its sister products just to see how much of a difference it really makes. The motor oil to be used was the Torco SR-1 series in a viscosity of 5W30. The local distributor also gave us a bottle of MPZ Magnetic Friction Reducer, a supplement, as he insisted, to be mixed into together with the motor oil. Next up was the Torco RTF Racing Transmission Fluid that would find its way into the manual gearbox along with a bottle of Lubegard gear fluid supplement. The test mule to be used was a Suzuki Swift Sport that had just scraped the six month mark off the factory floor. Luckily for us, he doesn’t baby it, driving it like he stole it. Bear in mind too that the car was bone stock, a perfect testing platform for a product review. At first, we all thought the motor oil suggested was a tad too thin. But the local distributor explained that the anti-friction additives would prevent the oil from losing its viscosity even under extreme heat. For starters, the SR-1 is a fully synthetic motor oil that is developed from a blend of synthetic oils. The target was to increase engine efficiency and protect the engine by primarily reducing friction among the moving bits. The blend of low-friction base oils reduces frictional losses and is claimed to increase power and torque by as much as three per cent. Furthermore, the use of a premium polymer ensures the viscosity is maintained, even under extreme thermal surroundings. Added to the SR-1 motor oil would be the MPZ Magnetic Friction Reducer. Race proven, the product is to be added to motor oil and can improve power and torque from one to three per cent. Just by acting to reduce the friction, fuel consumption is reduced as well. Although reducing friction might seem like a single task, we shouldn’t forget that just from that sole action, all the operating parts in the engines get a longer lifespan, less wear and tear and drops the engine operating temperature. The transmission fluid too was to be replaced with something from the Torco catalog. Once again, the RTF fluid was developed to reduce fluid drag. The fluid has exhibited impressive shear resistance and stability under high temperatures during testing and is particularly formulated to handle robust high-load and extreme use conditions. It was specially formulated to allow smooth operations even under the demanding conditions, perfect for those high-revving clutch dumps and racing use. In fact, the fluid is commonly found in the gearboxes of road racing and formula and open wheel racing cars. It’s commonly found in the gearboxes of Champ Cars, IRL cars, Winston Cup cars and even off-road vehicles. The final product was to be added together with the RTF for use in the manual transmission gearbox. Lubegard Gear Fluid Supplement can be used with all manual transmission, transaxles and final drives that require gear oil. The primary ingredient in Lubegard would be the liquid wax esters, a fine blend of high grade petroleum oil and synthetic base oils to prevent harmful deposits from forming on the synchros and gears as well as protection under high temperatures. The method of testing would be through a driving feel as well as a dyno graph to verify any increases in power and torque. After all the liquids were inserted, the car was run for two weeks to let the oils settle in before the dyno run. During that two weeks, the driver of the Swift Sport mentioned the improvement in driving feel of the car. He did mention that the acceleration felt nippier and was more willing to rev to the redline. In short, the engine felt lighter and revved faster. Although he did add that the difference wasn’t significant, it’s important to note that it was there nonetheless and testament to the product’s claims. While a butt dyno may not be the scientific method of proving power gains, the person that knows the car best would be the owner as he drives it everyday and is the most intimate with it. Plus, the changes were noticeable almost immediately after the change. Lighter and faster revving, quicker acceleration and smoother gear shifts could be felt by the driver. Not only does it make the car perform better, it makes the driving experience more enriching and a pleasure to push the car even more, especially with the knowledge that the Torco products are protecting the engine at the same time. On the gear shifting side, the driver acknowledged the smoother shifting compared to before. Perhaps the most significant improvement was to the fuel consumption. Whereas before on a full tank of petrol the car only managed 380km before the warning light did its thing, the light was now nowhere to be seen even though the mileage had surpassed the 420km. This was verified again by running two full tanks and the results were similar. Logic would dictate that the reduced friction lead to less power loss, thus enabling more power to reach the wheels and less fuel needed to produce the power required. After the two weeks had passed, the dyno run was on to get a more precise idea of the improvements. A few dyno runs later, the results were out. The before run charted a wheel-horsepower rating of 111.08hp while the after run netted a minute improvement of 112.81hp. Now although the difference is minute, bear in mind that all this is just from a change of motor and gearbox oil. The big difference though was in the torque. The before run saw 131.33Nm of torque at the wheels while the after run had a more pleasant improvement to 134.54Nm. not only did the torque jump up, the improvement was immense in the 2,500rpm to 3,400rpm range, as can be seen from the dyno graph. Simply put, the improvements came courtesy of the reduced friction that reduced energy loss throughout the drivetrain, freeing up more power. Torco has a full range of products and will surely have one to suit your vehicle. So if you’re up for destroying the devil in the detail, make sure your shafts are properly lubricated to enhance performance, and yes, that pun was intended. Video: <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vfNHgGMzwrI?fs=1&hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vfNHgGMzwrI?fs=1&hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object> For more information visit: www.oilguru.com.my Some of the machines lubricated by Torco on the fast lane.