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I know that we get a lot of question regarding oil on this forum. I was on another forum the other day and came across this link. It is very good information that I'm sure is going to change some peoples minds on what oil they use. Its a bit lengthy but is well worth the read. No information on ZDDP but it covers the more important basics of understand what oil to use and why.

Introduction to Motor Oil
 

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Several months ago (Dec. I think) Popular Mechanics had an excellent article about zinc in new oils and how it effected older engines. It went in to the science involved and gave specific recommendations. It talked about why you need to add zinc (zddp) for first run on a flat tappet engine, and why after that, regular oil still had enough zinc to be OK. I was unable to find it on line (old guy computer skills), but if someone does it is great reading.
 

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Strangely enough, the feds require oil to be backwards compatible with older engines and other oils. It has to do with attack on the homeland, last ditch military effort, yadda yadda, kind of like the interstate highway system having a straight stretch every 5 miles for landing planes on.

Point is, for most people & applications, most motor oils can work. Maybe not as long or in some of the severe duty :) that some of us put our cars through, but it'll get the job done.
 

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Strangely enough, the feds require oil to be backwards compatible with older engines and other oils. QUOTE]

From my research on this, I don't think this is true anymore or they're just justifying it by saying that old cars don't exist anymore in quantities that matter to their new standard.
That artical is a good one but was written before API SM was implimented. SM was mandated by the EPA to reduce the ZDDP to a max of 800ppm and that is NOT backwards compatible to our flat tappet engines. But who cares (but us), the actual quantity of flat tappet engines in the general population is very small (and getting smaller).
 

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I've referred back to this link on a few occasions:

Oil
 

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That was quite a read. Certainly interesting though.
 
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