Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline March 2009

  • Base oils are not all alike – Chevron, for instance uses Group II base oil which is a relatively new technology whose oxidation stability and low aromatics can compete with a synthetic.
  • A synthetic comes form the same crude barrel as a mineral oil – it is simply refined differently to remove more undesirable properties
  • There is no such thing as semi-synthetic! Mixing PAO base oil with mineral base oil only reduces the PAO performance characteristics to that of the lesser mineral oil.
  • What viscosity is best for an MG?? Good question and the answer is that if the engine is a recent rebuild and tight to use a 10W-30 which does two things. First, it has less drag increasing fuel economy and creates less engine stress due to less work required to move. For older MG’s the good ‘ol 20W-50 is probably best as the higher vis product simply seals better to reduce oil consumption and promote engine durability.
  • The MG transmission can also use a 10W-30 engine oil for the same reasons as the engine.
  • Do MG engines require zinc anti-wear additive supplements (ZDP)? The answer is that unless you are racing the conditions necessary for this kind of engine wear simply are not there. Modern lubricants are fine without additional cost of additives.
  • What is the “W” on multi viscosity engine oil? The “W” stands for “winter” as in the viscosity that engine oil seeks in cold weather operation. The higher number such as the “40” in 10W-40 is the summer weight or the viscosity the oil will seek in warmer temps.
  • What is meant by the word “viscosity”? Viscosity is simply resistance to flow and is measured and rated by timing oil flow in a large catheter against a standard.
  • Can synthetics make an older MG car leak? Well, yes – at least in some cases as synthetic PAO base oils are, by their refining, more “solvent” (much less waxy) than mineral oil lubricants and can actually shrink engine and trans seals somewhat.
    -- Ralph Arata

Renkenberger Spirit Award

The North American MGA Register (NAMGAR) Mission Statement says in part “…shall promote the enjoyment of the MGA sports car and its variants, encourage fellowship among MGA owners...” This relates to the personal or individual leadership traits that all organizations must have in order to remain viable and focused. Without that “personal bonding agent” that keeps everyone together, we would not have Chapters, Interest Groups, nor would we have a vibrant NAMGAR.
In every Chapter and Interest Group there are members who emulate the meaning of this statement, and the Board feels that recognition should be given to these


members. Many of these members act tirelessly on the local level to ensure others enjoy their MGAs and/or variants, and they actively promote fellowship among their members. Their actions would not necessarily be recognized on the National stage but their input on the local level is immeasurable. Also, their contribution to the success of their Chapter or Interest Group directly affects the success of NAMGAR.
The Renkenberger Spirit Award has been established to ensure those Chapter or Interest Group members who are enthusiastic supporters and promoters of their Chapter, Interest Group, and indirectly NAMGAR, are properly recognized.
This Spirit Award is named for NAMGAR co-founding members Len and Ruth Renkenberger in recognition of their vision and dedication towards the NAMGAR mission, for their role as early supporters of local Chapters, and as individuals whose contributions are still reflected in the character of NAMGAR today.
The Renkenberger Spirit Award will be initiated at the local Chapter or Interest Group level and be awarded to Chapter or Interest Group members who meet the criteria for the award as determined by their Chapter, Interest Group and NAMGAR guidelines as listed below.


  • Nominee must be a NAMGAR Chapter or NAMGAR recognized Interest Group member. (NAMGAR membership is not a prerequisite).
  • Nominations must be sent to the NAMGAR Chapter Coordinator and sent only by the recognized Chapter / Interest Group Contact.
  • One award per Chapter or Interest Group may be awarded once per 3 year cycle (for example if a Chapter gives an award in 2009, it cannot make another award until 2012).
  • The Chapter or Interest Group selects the award winner using its own internal guidelines.
  • An award will be donated by NAMGAR for the presentation by the Chapter or Interest Group, however the award will not be sent to the Chapter or Interest Group until after a write-up has been sent to the NAMGAR Editor (complete with a photo of the recipient) for insertion into MGA! magazine. NAMGAR reserves the right to decide what the award will be.
  • The write-up must be between 250 – 350 words and describe why the person is being recognized. Specific examples are required.
  • Recipients of the Renkenberger Spirit Award will still be eligible for nomination of the National NAMGAR “Mac Spears Founder’s Award”.
It is the responsibility of both NAMGAR and each Chapter or Interest Group to maintain documentation.
Submitted thanks to Russ Mehaffey

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