By Hib Halverson
Driven Racing Oil products are new to the Zip Corvette catalog. Driven was originally part of Joe Gibbs Racing. A number of years ago, JGR developed engine oil and drive axle lubricants for its NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series and Xfinity Series racing teams. These products were so effective in NASCAR that Coach Joe Gibbs decided to widen the product line into lubricants for both racing and high-performance street use and, then, take his premium synthetic lubricants retail. Driven Racing Oil proved quite successful and is now a separate company with Joe Gibbs Racing its largest customer. That it’s good enough for JGR, is an excellent reason for Zip customers to consider using Driven Racing Oil in their Corvette engines and rear drive units (RDU).
A common thread with Driven Racing Oil products is use of a new type of premium synthetic base stock developed in 2013 by ExxonMobil. Called “SpectraSyn Elite 150” and known by lubricant chemists as metallocene polyalphaolefin (mPAO), it uses metallocene catalyst technology. Driven Racing Oil’s mPAO base offers an improved viscosity index, better shear stability and enhanced low temperature performance, none of which are available with PAO-based synthetic or petroleum based lubricants. The cost of an mPAO base stock is higher than conventional PAO base stocks and that’s why ExxonMobil doesn’t use an mPAO base in its own, Mobil 1 product line.
At the 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Show (SEMA) in Las Vegas, Driven Racing Oil introduced its newest engine oil for Corvettes. Over the last year or so, Research and Development Manager, Lake Speed Jr. and the rest of the folks who bring Driven products to market have been working on engine oils formulated specifically for high-performance, gasoline-directed-injected (GDI) engines such as the LT1, LT4 and the coming, 750-hp LT5. Driven Racing Oil’s new “DI” series engine oils are available in four viscosity ranges: 0W20, 5W30, 0W40 and 10W60, but the only one suggested for use in current Corvette GDI engines (LT1/LT4) is “DI30”, the 5W30.
Lake Speed told the Zip Parts Blog that all Driven’s new DI engine oils start with a even-further-refined, lower volatility version of the mPAO base stock. Less volatility reduces the amount of crankcase oil vapor flowing though the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system and into the intake charge air. A reduction in oil vapor in the intake charge means less “coke” deposits on the backsides of intake valves which can be a problem with direct injected engines. Also, because oil vapor can increase the engine’s tendency to detonate, less vapor is a detonation hedge. Those two features, alone, are a good reasons to switch any C7 to DI30. The Driven engine oils for GDI applications, also, have an advanced additive package with better soot-suspending properties to reduce soot-induced wear and improved resistance to oil-driven abnormal combustion events such as detonation or low-speed-pre-ignition. Driven Racing Oil DI30 will be available from Zip Products in January 2018.
Port-injected Corvette engines should use Driven Racing Oil’s LS30, a 5W30 engine oil developed specifically for GM Gen 3 (LS1 and LS6) and Gen 4 (LS2, LS3, LS7 and LS9) V8 engines. For aggressive street use in hot weather or track use, in Gen 3/4 engines, Zip Products recommends Driven DT40, a 5W40 oil. We have tested DT40 along with AC UPF48R oil filters with excellent success in an LS7 engine in a C6 Z06.
Driven Racing Oil has two gear lubricant products Zip Products recommends for use in the new and rebuilt rear drive units it sells for use in 1963-2013 Corvettes. The first is a break-in gear lubricant with a petroleum base stock which is to be used for the first 500-miles of light-load driving. Driven 80W90 Break-In Gear Oil was originally developed by Joe Gibbs Racing for break-in of the ring-and-pinion gearsets in NASCAR rear ends. It allows gear teeth to break-in quickly while improving their surface finish. By polishing the gear teeth, micro-pitting is eliminated and that improves gear durability. The resulting smooth gear surface can carry more load and last longer.
Once a new or rebuilt rear drive unit from Zip reaches the end of its 500-mile break-in, then the lubricant should be changed to Driven Racing Oil’s, full-synthetic, mPAO-based, 75W90, gear lubricant. It exceeds the performance requirements of API GL-5, the lubricant specification for hypoid rear axle gearsets. Driven 75W-90 provides consistent limited slip differential performance in both the clutch-type limited slip and Quaife differentials used in Zip’s new or rebuilt Corvette RDUs. It delivers great performance, excellent temperature stability and outstanding durability. in extreme environments like road racing, autocross, drag racing and track day cars it is an ideal drive gear lubricant. Driven 75W-90 does contain a modest amount of the same friction modifier used in GM’s “Limited Slip Axle Lubricant Additive” which should reduce the frequency of situations requiring more limited slip additive to eliminate limited slip clutch noise.
Driven Racing Oil: Premium Synthetic Oil
By Hib Halverson Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632
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