Freaked my Dad out today over oil - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Freaked my Dad out today over oil

Ok so I've searched through archives and looked at other sources online before posting this question. Seems to be a bit of controversy.

Today I was talking to my 63 y.o. Dad about another thread I have going right now about cams, flat tappets and the whole zddp shenanigans and how there isn't that much protection on older motors. Well my Dad has several engines he's concerned about all the sudden. Most everything he owns are flat tappets. Scratch that- everything he owns besides for his new truck are flat, including a straight six 55 chevy truck, 53 Chevy belair, 64 impala 283, and (I'm guessing Flat) 84 caprice 305.

Somehow the whole zddp thing evaded him. He is now wondering if he should add an additive like Lucas to all his oil changes or if there is a better way. He won't go to synthetic oils on these, FYI. I'm sure he'll stick with conventional.
I'm sure he'd switch brands of oil as long as it wasn't too expensive.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 07:21 AM
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There are many oils available with zinc. The most critical time of need is during break-in. I assume that he covered that years ago. So he can go either route. Use one of the oils that still contain zinc or add it back to whatever he's using.

Mike

1965 Impala SS 396
1967 SS427
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 08:55 AM
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Lucas supports drag racing which is my idea of fun. But that said, I still use GM's formulation of ZDDP additive called EOS (Engine Oil Supplement).

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/na...Fc1bhgodYZcOWg

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 11:32 AM
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I have good luck using the Brad Penn 10w 30. It's a partial synthetic with high amounts of zinc. I have even heard of people using Delvac because it has good lubricating properties and is readily available, but I have never tried it (seems to weird to put oil designed for diesel engines in a SBC to me).
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 11:56 AM
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People used to use diesel oils (those with a CD or CE designation such as Shell Rotella) because after 2004 no Otto cycle engine had sufficient levels of ZDDP to prevent excessive wear. Unfortunately in 2014 the EPA required catalytic converts on all engines that have a diesel engine (even farm tractors and construction equipment). As a result there is no longer any ZDDP in any of the motor oils sold today except for Brad Penn (used to be called Kendal-GT), and Joe Gibb's racing oil. If you own an old semi truck there are still 55 gallon drums of the old formulation of Rotella in the storage rooms of most major truck stops because they go through so much oil they have warehouses full of old stock, but it is rapidly being consumed. Since it has been over a year since I last checked it could all be gone by now that I think of it.

Actually all racing oils are high in ZDDP (you can tell because it states it is illegal to use it in any vehicle equipped with a catalytic converter on the car, which is all cars made after 1974), it is just that most racing oil doesn't have the buffering agents and detergents needed for a street car except for Joe Gibb's. Racing oil is generally a one use (in the case of a top dragster they go through 17 gallons of motor in four seconds: goes in as 50 weight motor oil and comes out zero weight from fuel wash). No need to worry about detergents in that case.

You don't want regular store bought racing oil in your motor unless you intend to change it every six months or after a couple of hundred miles of driving.

So you have to add a supplement (which voids any warranty on the oil from the refiner) or run a roller cam like the rest of the world has been doing for the past thirty years. With an oil supplement you can run any brand oil you like; I just don't recommend synthetics as being cost effective in an older engine. Some claim the seals won't hold it, but that isn't true. An old engine leaks with synthetic motor like a Harley because the seals are worn and synthetic is very thin and slippery. It just gushes out past the valve cover gaskets, the oil pan gaskets an all of the oil seals. Chevy realized this in 1985 when they redesigned the SBC motor to use a one piece rear main seal and center bolt valve covers to stop oil leaks.

Big Dave
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 05:39 PM
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My 2 cents.
Brad, you probably already get that it is advisable to use the zddp additive or an oil with it or zinc already in the oil as mentioned above. I totally agree with them.

In all discussions on the topic, the irrefutable fact should be that having the zddp/zinc absolutely helps lubricate. The only argument is really, "how much" and "what happens if i don't use zddp".
As noted, it's extremely helpful during those break-in miles. After that there seems to be enough empirical data to create different camps of opinion based on a particular persons experience and exposure.

I like to play the "better safe than sorry" route because it's really not that much extra money considering the potential consequences.

Also, I'd like to add that Royal Purple brand oil has an offering with high zinc content.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 07:23 PM
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I personally believe a lot of these old Chevy's kicking around today are only running because their valve springs are too weak to exert more than a hundred pounds of pressure on a flat tappet. With some of my BBC builds I was running 470 pounds over the nose spring pressure to keep the valves closed at 7,800 RPM where I shifted.

I would remove the inner and the second valve spring running only the outers on a normal triple valve spring break in the cam with a pan full of GM EOS; and still wipe a cam lobe occasionally. It was this habit of wiping cam lobes, and Harvey Crane bending my ear that forced me to convert over to a roller cam back in the late sixties when oil still had lots of ZDDP in it. I haven't run a flat tappet cam in any of my motors since then.

I also tried to warn others that a stiff valve spring and flat tappets is asking for problems in a lot of engines that I built for customers. But no mater how stupid they were being about the issue they were still paying me to build their motor with "Their favorite cam choice". Those engines received by 50/50 guarantee of fifty feet or fifty seconds of dyno time to prove the engine worked when it left my shop. After that all bets were off. All I did with those motors was to screw them together correctly.

Big Dave
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 06:35 AM
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I've used Lucas Hot Rod Oil 10w30 that you can get from Summit racing, here's a link,
http://m.summitracing.com/parts/luc-...FbTm7Aod7SMAqA
From all I read, the zddp levels fall within the recommended ranges, the price is comparable to any of the oil on the shelf at the parts stores, $25.97, and you don't have to buy and mess with zddp additives (although shipping probably makes up for the savings of not buying additive). I think they have it in 10w40 as well if you want it heavier.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 11:35 AM
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Excellent point about stock valve spring pressures versus performance oriented cams and spring pressures.
That is absolutely going to be a very big factor in everyone's individual experience and stories of "...awww I've never used an additive and my motor is fine" and the guy who didn't and wiped a cam lobe within 1000 miles.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
I personally believe a lot of these old Chevy's kicking around today are only running because their valve springs are too weak to exert more than a hundred pounds of pressure on a flat tappet. With some of my BBC builds I was running 470 pounds over the nose spring pressure to keep the valves closed at 7,800 RPM where I shifted.

I would remove the inner and the second valve spring running only the outers on a normal triple valve spring break in the cam with a pan full of GM EOS; and still wipe a cam lobe occasionally. It was this habit of wiping cam lobes, and Harvey Crane bending my ear that forced me to convert over to a roller cam back in the late sixties when oil still had lots of ZDDP in it. I haven't run a flat tappet cam in any of my motors since then.

I also tried to warn others that a stiff valve spring and flat tappets is asking for problems in a lot of engines that I built for customers. But no mater how stupid they were being about the issue they were still paying me to build their motor with "Their favorite cam choice". Those engines received by 50/50 guarantee of fifty feet or fifty seconds of dyno time to prove the engine worked when it left my shop. After that all bets were off. All I did with those motors was to screw them together correctly.

Big Dave

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 11:10 PM
 
 
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Valvoline 10w30 racing oil-silver bottle. 1200+ on the zinc and phosphorus.
Visit this link as it is very informative
https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/201...-test-ranking/

Last edited by boyd66k20; 02-09-2018 at 11:15 PM. Reason: added link
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 02:20 PM
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Don't use high ZDDP in the Caprice if it still has a cat. That's the reason the ZDDP levels were dropped.

FWIW, I run good oil in all my flat tappet classics, and I supplement with a few ounces of Lucas break in. I did the math a few years ago to figure out the amount needed on an oil change. I bought it in bulk before the classic oils with high ZDDP were available. Cheaper this way anyways. Although... I don't think there is a lot to worry about in an engine that has seen a lot of service. ZDDP is essential on break in, but the requirement goes down after and you continue to use the engine. Better safe than sorry, though...


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