Shell Rotella T name and formulation change

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by malignity, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    As you guys are probably aware, the "classic" Shell Rotella T that many of us know and love is gone and off the shelves in the states. I didn't believe it myself until I looked, and sure enough couldn't find the classic bottle, just T4. I guess some places still have the old stuff, but it's old new stock according to the store manager I spoke with when looking for it.

    I wanted to verify that "T4" was the new replacement which it does appear to be according to the T4 bottle, but it seems the entire T series (T4, T5 and T6) has undergone formulation changes; namely CJ to CK certification, and it's not playing too well with some bikes. I guess rekluse no longer recommends it according to this: https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Tech...-T-15w40-now-called-Rotella-T4,1314916?page=1

    Shell Rotella T was my go-to oil; literally used in all of my power equipment, from bikes to quads, to lawn mowers to log splitters. You name it, Rotella T was what I used for as long as I can remember in literally almost everything on my homestead. I loved it because it was good and was cheap, and I never felt guilty changing her out after 200 miles if I needed to.

    Has anyone here experienced problems with the oil after the formulation changes? Just curious... I have no idea what I'm going to switch to that's comparable in both price and performance. :cry
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  2. Hipster

    Hipster Long timer

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    This could be why the local Walmart had T6 on sale.
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  3. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    What makes things interesting is that T4 is still claiming JASO-MA certification despite rekluse saying to stay away from the entire new product line. I can't say if the others still have the certification because I didn't check... Though I don't run a rekluse, if one of the most reputable clutch companies on the market is saying to stay away, I guess there's probably a reason.
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  4. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    does this mean the zinc is gone?
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  5. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    I can't say. I did email Shell to ask if indeed the classic was discontinued and what changed, but got no response -- that's what caused me to start digging and looking for external sources. There's a few other things I found on the formulation change, but the only one I can find relating to bikes is the one I posted.
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  6. C Squared

    C Squared Now with TURBO!

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    Taking a guess, I would think they changed the friction modifiers in it and while great for engines maybe not so much for a recluse?
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  7. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

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    Advace Auto Parts have lots of T6 for sale. Even "on sale" now for under $23 plus the $7 rebate.
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  8. flexiflyer

    flexiflyer Been here awhile

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    I had the same question back when the "update" was obvious on the shelf. Lots of guys on bobistheoilguy had it as well (in regards to zinc/phosphorous). When shell was contacted the answers were this basically

    "Hi @______-, we can assure you that our new T4 formulation contains the same amount of zinc (around 1200ppm). –The Shell Rotella Team"

    "Hi _______, thanks for your question. All Rotella T4 products have the same amount of zinc/phosphorous. – The Shell Rotella Team"

    "You can use our Rotella T4 15W-40 engine oil or Rotella T6 5W-40 (synthetic, good for high and low temperatures). These two grades meet the JASO MA specifications and are safe for wet clutches. Also the zinc is 1200 ppm in both. Thanks for your interest in Shell products!"

    And the spec sheet also shows no change in that regard. I still have a jug of the old formula left, but, tried out the T4 in a friends '86 GSXR oil boiler. No issues and that bike would show any quickly.

    http://pqiadata.org/Shell_Rotella_T4_15W40_4192017.html

    and if I understand it correctly, CK4 is a good upgrade from CJ4. Its the CK4/SN rating, which means dual rated for gas/diesel, that the zinc is limited in volume
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  9. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 PITA but useful

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    I almost tried T4-T6 in the bike even though it's JASO MA2 rated. I had a guru tell me he has seen camshaft and tappet wear with the Rotella oil. I listen to my guru! Stayed with Suzuki Ecstar oil.
    #9
  10. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale let's be bad guys

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    http://rekluse.com.whsites.net/support_faq_install.shtml
    What oil do you recommend?
    Let's start with oils we do not recommend. Any oil formulated for automotive use is not recommended and in general, should not be used in motorcycle applications. This includes conventional and synthetic oils formulated for automotive use. Modern automotive oils do not contain the anti-wear additives necessary for proper lubrication in a motorcycle engine and may contain high quantities of friction modifiers that can cause excessive clutch slip. That said, in most cases the oil you use should work fine in all Rekluse clutches However, some riders may find they experience clutch squeal, clutch chatter or have problems with clutch slip. If you experience these problems, we recommend trying Shell Rotella T, a heavy-duty, conventional diesel engine oil.

    At Rekluse, we have found Shell Rotella T (15W-40) provides excellent clutch performance and often eliminates customer complaints of clutch problems. Why do we recommend conventional diesel engine oil over synthetic? In general, we have found conventional oils perform slightly better at reducing clutch noise vs synthetic oils. However, many Rekluse customers get excellent performance with synthetic oils.

    The bottom line: If your current oil is working fine, keep using it. If you're hearing some clutch noise or your clutch feels soft or slips, give the Shell Rotella T a try.
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  11. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave Reaver made me do it...

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    From the FAQ at rekluse.com:

    What kind of oil should I use?
    We have been performing ongoing testing of oils over the last 12 months given some of the advancements which have been made including the updated JASO-MA2 classification. What we have learned is there are many good motorcycle specific oils available from companies like, AMSOIL, Bel-Ray, Maxima, Motul, Nils, and Spectro (listed in alphabetical order). The best oils we have tested meet the spec of JASO-MA or JASO-MA2 which signifies that the oil is fit for use in wet-clutch motorcycles. It is important to note that some synthetic oils have this certification and some don’t.

    For bikes with separate oil for the transmission and clutch, there are increased options due to the number of transmission specific oils available meeting the JASO standards.

    We advise against using any oil that does not have JASO MA or JASO-MA2 certification—especially full synthetics intended for automobile use—as they typically contain friction modifiers that will reduce clutch performance even to the point where it can cause clutch-slip.
    #11
  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I googled: "Shell Rotella T6 changed" which led me to a Subaru forum that has some factual information wherein several folks have done the legwork on the changes via talking directly to shell tech lines
    . To save typing effort I will say, sum up, that I came away still using T6 in my bikes and a bunch of other engines. I have not seen the oil on sale of recent? Walmart always seems to have the better price when I do a search and given it sells out often I do a ship to store to get my T6 stash.
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  13. RichK

    RichK Long timer

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    If I read this thread correctly, Rekluse was against the use of the new Rotella until it had a proper cert?

    Wierd because I thought I initially read they were having issues with it.
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  14. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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  15. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

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    Why do you guys suppose the 5 gal bucket is quite a bit more expensive than buying 5 individual 1 gal containers? Normally one gets a cheaper price by buying in quantity; also less packaging.
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  16. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    I've been using Delvac heavy duty diesel oil for years. Used to use Rotella T, and the Rotella T full synthetic back in the day.

    Charles.
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  17. Prototype4342

    Prototype4342 Long timer

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    T4 and T6 still JASO-MA rated. T5 is not.
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  18. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    That's how I read it too. I don't think they lost the certificate, just the formulation changes seemed to be causing issues for some reason. I don't know what changed though and was hoping someone else might have more info.
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  19. Boatman

    Boatman Membership has it's privileges ;-)

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    I always shake my head when I see that also. Some years my business goes through 50 gallons, sure would be nice to buy the 5 gallon buckets. At least for the same price per gallon.
    #19
  20. Davethestick

    Davethestick Been here awhile

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    I've been finding Delvac 15w-40 on sale for $2.50 a qt at my local wally world, ive got quite a stash of about 10 quarts.
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