Oil for 69 Mini Cooper

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537
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California
Thread starter
The 1969 Mini Cooper uses a gearbox that shares the oil with the engine. The clutch is completely separate like any normal car. Would it be better to use a motorcycle oil or a car oil for this application? Any oils that might be recommended? Cost is really not an object as the car only gets an annual oil change with about 2500-4000 miles per year here in sunny Southern California.
 
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1,242
Location
Brittany / Canada
I think 20W50 oil was recommended at the time. The same engine in other cars without the share sump with gearbox did good with 10W30 oil. I suspect that now oils are much better, any shear stable oil will do. Maybe M1 15W50? Or Valvoline VR1.
 
Valvoline VR1 20W-50 , or Brad Penn if you want to, a 15W-40 HDEO like Shell Rotella would be ok ( as long as you have sufficient oil pressure ) , don't use synthetics in an A series engine most of them already leak enough on regular old Dino 20W-50.... also with such low yearly mileage it's pointless running a synthetic oil.
 

SR5

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5,476
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Down Under
The first thing that came to my mind was VR1 20W50, but I sure good old GTX 20W50 would work fine too. Or split the difference and go red bottle Valvoline MaxLife 20W50. If you wanted synthetic (no need in my view) then M1 15W50 If you wanted to go a little lighter then a HDEO 15W40 Yes a good 4-stroke motorcycle oil makes sense, but around me motorcycle oils are over priced and many of my friends run Delo / Delvac 15W-40 or M1 5/15W-50 or Edge 10W-60 or GTX 20W-50. My uncle had one of these cars, he use to take me for a few "hot laps" as a young boy. I still remember smiling my head off as I held on tight.
 
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17,302
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OH
These were the cars for which the 20W-50 grade was originally developed, although the grade later became the default recommendation for summer in every German car up into the nineties including my BMW. When I've asserted this in the past, I've had various Euros deny this, but I have the OMs from enough old Germans that we've owned to back this up. Even funnier, while the original and real Mini was of course a BMC product, like yours, the current car is a BMW. That said, I'd bet that a modern 15W-40 or M1 15W-50 would work well. Nothing wrong with 20W-50 in a good weather only car, and depending upon where in Cali you live, good weather predominates anyway.
 
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5,570
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New Zealand
I don't remember using anything special back in the day, but these days would be happy with a 15W-40 HDEO in a Mini. 20W-50 seems to be a non prefered engine oil in the US, and I'm not sure what range you can get, but down here it is still in common use, and we can get a wide range, from no brand supermarket oils to high priced synthetics. I'm fussy what 20W-50 I put in my BMW motorcycle, and always find something new to try.
 
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120
Location
AZ
I had a 69 mini cooper for about 10 years....I ran 20/50 race oil, then switched to rotella. I think it ran better and had less consumption with the diesel oil
 
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6,237
Location
Kalifornia Kollective
Shared gearbox means bad shearing issues. More than the grade is at state here. I would look first to an oil testing program that allows for shared sump duty. Allison off-road fluids pass engine tests, but also supplementary transmission testing in some of the toughest environments out there (generally earth moving, summer temps, etc.) http://www.allisontransmission.com/parts-service/approved-fluids/off-highway-fluids would be where I'd start smile I have never had a bad oil off one of Allison's lists smile
 
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3,510
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Slovenia EU
Originally Posted By: carock
The 1969 Mini Cooper uses a gearbox that shares the oil with the engine. Would it be better to use a motorcycle oil or a car oil for this application?
YES I would use motocyle JASO Mx (A or B) in that car!!!!! Or as a substitute you might also use any STOU oil for agricultural equipement ( API GL4 specd for transmission)
 
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1,321
Location
US
A lot of them ran a long time on fairly unremarkable 20W-50 or SAE30. I have a decent amount of experience with the "big brother" B series engine. I run 20W-50 VR-1 in the engine(Brad Penn is also highly recommended) and whatever 20W-50 is cheap in the gear box. If you want to get caught up on ZDDP content to keep your flat tappets happy, those oils are two of your best choices at least in 20W-50. Considering that you have a shared sump, I'd think about something that can keep all the [censored] in suspension. I don't have to worry about that in the MG when it comes to the transmission(as I said it goes along with whatever 20W-50 I want to toss in-when I put the new one in next week it's getting filled with Supertech), but I'd think either of the oils I suggest would do a decent job of that.
 
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4,825
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Taiwan
Car/truck oil. Either 20W50 (Castrol GTX was, IIRC, favorite) or, these days, 15W40 HDEO which hopefully will still have a decent amount of zinc. Main point with m/c oils (as well as the zinc) is to keep friction modifiers off the wet clutch, which you don't have. Maybe look in to improved magnetic "filtration", though it will probably have a basic mag drain plug as standard.
 
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88
Location
Houston, TX
Hi carock, Give us a call at (800)237-8645 and we'd be happy to discuss the original specifications for your 1969 Mini Cooper and provide the appropriate oil recommendation. -The Shell Rotella Team
 
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1,242
Location
Brittany / Canada
I'd very much like to hear what the Shell Rotella Team has to say about the original specifications and their recommendation, may be useful for some of us wink
 
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8,598
Location
Florida
Tractor Supply sells Mystic 15w50 synblend CJ-4/SM oil. This might give you the advantages of an HDEO, but still have an XXw50 grade that performs well in your car.
 
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