High horsepower, big torque and thousands of rpm. Your race engine works far harder than any street engine. To keep it all together, you need to take care of it. Regular maintenance can help prolong the life of the engine, so it can consistently deliver the power you need to get to the front of the pack. But, if you ask 10 people what’s best, you’ll get 10 different answers. The good news is that Quicksilver has done the work for you, developing a line of premium oils and filters that take the guesswork out of maintaining your race engine. To learn more, we sat down with Mike Horak, category director for powertrain products at Quicksilver.
Starting with the basics, what sets one engine oil apart from another?
MH – There are different API (American Petroleum Institute) standards that most oils meet, although some don’t. The big difference is with those that exceed the standards. Quicksilver publishes what’s in our oil, and those who know will recognize that these specifications place Quicksilver oil among the best on the planet. Our oils allow engines to produce maximum power, minimize wear and keep engines ready to rock after seasonal storage.
Quicksilver uses high-purity base stock oil rather than viscosity modifiers that break down at high temperatures. We use a heavy dose of pressure modifiers to withstand extreme conditions for heavy-duty, continuous wide-open-throttle use. We also use a mix of corrosion inhibitors, often completely missing from automotive and racing oils, to protect the engine from corrosion, which can cause stuck piston rings when it’s not running. Then there’s the ever-present question about zinc. Yes, there is more than plenty of zinc in Quicksilver oil – even for the aficionados.
Are boutique oils worth the money?
MH – Paying more doesn’t necessarily get you more. Because of the high-quality base stock, Quicksilver Premium Lubricants 25W-40 Performance Racing Oil can be specified for most crate engines. Many other engine builders recommend a 20W-50 weight oil due to the tendency of some oils’ viscosity to rapidly break down. Quicksilver oils don’t break down as readily, allow lower oil temperatures and deliver reliable horsepower. It helps when the engine, oil and filter are all matched to work together.
What’s going on inside oil filters?
Filters are designed to do a couple things. Clearly, they filter contaminants out of the oil. Quality performance filters, like the ones we make at Quicksilver, also minimize oil pressure drop and are built to endure different levels of vibration and different environments. At Quicksilver, we use a low-micron filter media for maximum protection, but you can’t just use a modest amount of low-micron media without restricting oil flow. Quicksilver filters have sufficient media area added to allow great filtration without bypassing high-volume oil pump flow. On top of that, Quicksilver filters have extra-thick cans, strong bonding and durable coatings to endure the harsh conditions in a racecar.
You mentioned matching the oil and filter. Is that necessary?
Oils and filters don’t have to be matched, but you don’t have to finish most races, either. Any circle track team’s engine would benefit from using Quicksilver oil and filters together. We also engineered our circle track engines to work together with our oil and filters. To prove our point, this past August we performed a tear down of a Quicksilver Circle Track 383 CT Engine. The engine had been raced for three seasons. The owner used Quicksilver filters and oil that were changed as recommended, and the factory seals were intact. The engine looked virtually new inside, compression readings were great and the valve springs were within new specification. Arguably, the engine was ready for another three seasons.
What kind of research is in the works to help Quicksilver continue to deliver quality products to racecar drivers and other motorsports enthusiasts?
Research and development are at the heart of everything we do. For example, we tested and published performance results for a variety of fuels to help racers make the best choice for horsepower and torque. Besides publishing our oil specifications, we also tested a variety of oil levels and viscosities, showing the delivered performance. Who else does this kind of thing? It’s unheard of.
Since 1950, Quicksilver has been an industry leader in providing premium parts, accessories and engine care products. Click here to explore the complete Quicksilver motorsports lineup, including engines, lubricants, parts and accessories.