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Yet another oil thread. Some of the info I have found is a little dated so I am posting this to get the best current thoughts


I have learned that for my flat tappet 1968 J code engine, I should be using an oil that has high concentrations of ZDDP (about 1,200 ppm). Other than the intake and carb, it is a stock engine. I have seen that using ZDDP as an additive is not as good as an oil with the ZDDP already refined into it.


I drive my car gently. In the spring through fall in the Chicago area. Mostly to and from shows and some cruising around town.


Seems like the Valvoline VR1 Racing oil 10w-30w might be best for my engine. Not sure why I need racing oil but not afraid of the cost or if I have to buy it online.


Thoughts? Thanks!
 

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I'm using Lucas Hot Rod and Classic, I have heard great things about Valvoline VR1 but it is hard to find in my area.
 

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I have been using the ZDDP additive for 20+ years in my '68, no issues yet. Where did you hear that it is not as good as oil with it included?
 

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"......Seems like the Valvoline VR1 Racing oil 10w-30w might be best for my engine. Not sure why I need racing oil but not afraid of the cost or if I have to buy it online......."
Mobile 1 15/50 has elevated ZDDP for older engines.
racing oil is great.

Great for a) engines subjected to racing stresses,
AND
b) great for engines being torn down after every other race.

If you're not doing both "a" and "b" then racing oil is not for your engine. It doesn't have an additive package designed for the long haul of street driving.

even just putting around town, your engine is going to be working, often at higher temperatures than any other motoring activity. Pick a quality synthetic oil. They are formulated to handle higher temperatures without breaking down, and / or having viscosity issues. As maladezo points out, Mobil 1 15w-50 is a good oil and many on the forum are using it in their classics (including me). Mobil 1 0w-40 will also work well, and it has enough zinc / phosphorus as well. These oils can be had for $25 for a 5 quart jug. No need to spend more.

But there are other quality oils, a lot of good choices.

Of equal or greater importance is your oil change schedule. Even if your miles don't add up to a lot, change the oil and filter before your can goes into winter storage. Out vintage engines have a fair amount of blow-by, and these combustion gases are very acidic. They combine with the oil and WILL have a detrimental effect on main and rod bearings if left to marinate all winter long.


Z.
 

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I noticed on an episode of CCC w/ Wayne Carini that in their shop they had cases of Shell Rotella T on the shelf.
What the heck is that all about?:surprise::grin2::wink:
 

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I agree with Z. At his recommendation I used Mobil 1 15-50 in my HiPo build for 2+ years.

Lucas Oil also has some good offerings at less weight if desired, yet at slightly higher price than that of the Mobil 1 which can be picked up at your local Wal-Mart for less than $25.

https://lucasoil.com/pdf/Zinc_Values_MotorcycleOil.pdf
 

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I started out using a ZDDP additive after rebuilding my engine, but now using the Mobil 1 15w-50. Never had any issues with the additive, but if I can run down to the local Wally World and grab a 5 quart jug of Mobil 1 and change my oil, then life is easier.
 

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"Best"? Mobil 1 FS X2.

But because I about have more cars than I can afford AND it sometimes goes on sale at a good price, Mobil 1 15W-50 is what I prefer in my old Fords. Not because of ZDDP, but because the overall additive package of these oils meets the ACEA A3/B3 specifications which means they are exactly what my engines require. In the case of the FS X2, it also meets 299.1 and A40 specs. Meeting these specs guarantees you these oils are the best for flat tappet engines, no issues with iffy claims of ZDDP amounts, and guesswork. There are other oils that meet these specs which would be every bit as good to use but Mobil posted a handy chart online (that they update) to make it easy to figure out which one you need, if you know the specs. Here- https://mobiloil.com/~/media/amer/us/pvl/files/pdfs/mobil-1-oil-product-specs-guide.pdf

It happens that Castrol also makes some fine oils that meet these specs with their GTX and Magnatec lines and sometimes they can be found on sale too. Most US-based oil brands don't seem to care to bother to try and meet 229.1 or A40 specs. No doubt there are some that probably would, but without the actual stamp on the bottle...
 

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The "racing oil" designation allows the refiner to market the oil without having to limit the amount of zinc and phosphorus. If the oil is marketed as "ordinary" engine oil then it's subject to the government limiting these additives due to potential damage to exhaust catalysts on newer cars.

IMHO, step number one in selecting an engine oil is to choose the right VISCOSITY. The factors that dictate the correct choice are bearing clearances, ambient temperature range during use, and severity of use. Generally speaking, if stock bearing clearances are maintained then go by the manufacturer's recommendation for viscosity. In almost all cases, Ford recommended a viscosity for vintage Mustangs of 10W-30 for the majority of uses, 10W-40 if the ambient temperatures regularly exceeded 70 or 80* and a 5W-20 if the temperature regularly was below freezing. Consult the owners manual for your exact vehicle.

The next choice is whether to use a conventional or synthetic oil. In simple terms, a synthetic oil has the base stock chemically manipulated to desired properties, one of the main ones being to provide a molecular structure where all the molecules are the same size, which spreads out the load bearing properties over a greater range. This also results in lower friction between surfaces. Synthetics also withstand a higher engine oil temperature without breaking down. Conventional oils, today, are much better than what they were years ago and are suitable for use most of the time and are significantly less costly, which may be desirable if you change your oil frequently or if you don't put many miles on and change it only a couple times per year.

The last factor is quality. There are many different facets to judging oils from the content of the additive package to shear strength, viscosity index, etc. Google is your friend here.

Last but not least, the American Petroleum Institute classification system designates into what vehicles an oil is suitable for use. API classifications beginning with "S" are for gasoline engines and "C" for diesel engines. Some oils are "dual" class. It is advisable to NOT use an oil in an engine for which it wasn't formulated (eg. using a diesel oil in a gasoline engine) or using a "dual" class oil in an engine type not listed first (eg. using CF4/SL in a gasoline engine). The additive packages of these oils are specifically designed to work with the particular engine type, such as types and amounts of detergents, dispersants, anti-acid agents, etc.

Also, if you DO choose a synthetic oil, make sure it contains a minimum of 1000 ppm of zinc/phosphorous/ZDDP. I recommend this regardless of whether you have a flat tappet camshaft or not... flat tappets aren't the only engine components where surfaces slide against another... bearings, pistons/rings, etc., are still rubbing against another part. The anti-wear properties of zinc and phosphorous is exactly what they are put there for.
 

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Growing up, my dad didnt buy a car until the current car was beyond economical repair. I remember weekends when he pulled the heads, took them to the machine shop on base for a valve job and had it back on the road Sunday afternoon. Except for tires, I never remember him taking the family car to a repair shop or the dealership.

As the engine wore, he would go from 10w30 to 10w40 to 20w50. When he couldnt slow the oil consumption using 20w50, we got a new car. New car to us was a car that was 1-2-3 years old. He didnt buy new.
 

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I used the Valvoline VR1 10w-30 as my break in oil for the rebuilt 302. After about 1 day of minor clackyness engine quieted down and runs great & strong. Due to the HOT 90's temps of late spring and summer typical of Northern Virginia + our sometimes choked traffic I'm going to switch it soon to Lucasoil 10w-40 Classic which also has high ZDDP. Amazon doesn't seem to have the VR1 in 10w40 and it's not at auto stores at all.

Car runs about 2/3 up the temp gauge in low 80's in stop and go heavy traffic so this might be a good weight until I can get a better radiator in there for good. Planning to stick with full dino oil until the motor is truly broken in. Probably only has about 300 actual miles to date (odometer went south).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I used the Valvoline VR1 10w-30 as my break in oil for the rebuilt 302. After about 1 day of minor clackyness engine quieted down and runs great & strong. Due to the HOT 90's temps of late spring and summer typical of Northern Virginia + our sometimes choked traffic I'm going to switch it soon to Lucasoil 10w-40 Classic which also has high ZDDP. Amazon doesn't seem to have the VR1 in 10w40 and it's not at auto stores at all.

Car runs about 2/3 up the temp gauge in low 80's in stop and go heavy traffic so this might be a good weight until I can get a better radiator in there for good. Planning to stick with full dino oil until the motor is truly broken in. Probably only has about 300 actual miles to date (odometer went south).
I wound up buying the Lucas Classic Car oil 10W-40 of of Amazon today. Will be here Tuesday.


Thanks to all for their input!
 

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racing oil is great.

Great for a) engines subjected to racing stresses,
AND
b) great for engines being torn down after every other race.

If you're not doing both "a" and "b" then racing oil is not for your engine. It doesn't have an additive package designed for the long haul of street driving.

even just putting around town, your engine is going to be working, often at higher temperatures than any other motoring activity. Pick a quality synthetic oil. They are formulated to handle higher temperatures without breaking down, and / or having viscosity issues. As maladezo points out, Mobil 1 15w-50 is a good oil and many on the forum are using it in their classics (including me). Mobil 1 0w-40 will also work well, and it has enough zinc / phosphorus as well. These oils can be had for $25 for a 5 quart jug. No need to spend more.

But there are other quality oils, a lot of good choices.

Of equal or greater importance is your oil change schedule. Even if your miles don't add up to a lot, change the oil and filter before your can goes into winter storage. Out vintage engines have a fair amount of blow-by, and these combustion gases are very acidic. They combine with the oil and WILL have a detrimental effect on main and rod bearings if left to marinate all winter long.


Z.
A little misconception there on the "racing oil." VR1 is excellent oil to run in any engine not being raced, and not subjected to frequent tear downs. I even run VR1 in my boat. There are no additives missing to keep it from being ran in any of these motors on the street, every day.
 

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Lucas classic car oil? Never heard of it. Had to look it up. Not even an API approval, much less one that actually means something to us like an ACEA. Wow. Totally random oil. Says "Classic car" on the label I guess, so... um. Wow. I looked on Amazon and it costs more than the top of the line Mobil 1 FS X2 that meets the very stringent Porsche high performance oil specs (along with being the best choice of oil in the world for classic Mustangs). And it doesn't even claim to meet anyone's specifications. At all.
I went back and reread the title of this thread. I feel like I have possibly grossly misunderstood the context and meaning of the word "best" here. So never mind. I guess. Moving along.
 

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This "article" is part BS, part salesmanship with a few truths thrown in. Always consider the source with the source of the source claims, notice how they don't cite any source material for their claims. The biggest issue with oil claims and anecdotes is that it can take 10's of thousands of miles and years to prove true or false and even then there are other factors just as important.

The BS ...have the customers try an oil change using a high-detergent diesel oil for roughly 100 to 200 miles. The reason behind this is that detergents tend to strip away ZDDP from the valleys or crevices created in the cylinder wall during the honing process. . This writer does not understand "detergents" and diesel owners would love to hear how they must not have any wear coating in their cylinders.
Look at an analysis for VR1 and you'll see "detergents" as high or higher than some modern diesel oils. Ive read the journal paper some oil makers like to cite but the truth is there is only a slight difference in the heat needed for ZDDP to be effective when high levels of detergent are present. Meaning only that either Delvac or VR1 should not be used for short heat cycles. Anyone that really "needs" VR1 is going to get things to proper temps and you should too. None of this "I let it idle for 15 minutes or 5-10 miles to the Dairy Queen every week" BS. The Lucas and others with crazy high ZDDP is actually the worst when short tripped.

API certs and stamps shouldn't matter from a reputable company. If they are blended for older cars they couldn't pass API certs anyway so they dont pay the big money to even try. Who has seen an API stamp on a recent bottle of VR1?

The "Best" might be what makes you feel good for the lowest price.
 
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