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Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet #2427719 11/07/11 03:09 PM
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tundrawolf Offline OP
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Hello, I am interested in some good synthetic oil for my freshly rebuilt stroker 1400cc VW Beetle motor. I am going to be running it a tad lean so the heat will be there. I believe it is a flat tappet system, although the lifters (I am running hydraulic) don't seem to be completely flat. I am running a custom short duration high lift cam and forged connecting rods, but I am not building this motor for power, rather for gas mileage. I am honestly not thrilled with conventional oil due to the temperatures happening in even a normally operating aircooled engine. I am leaning towards Royal Purple based on my friends' experiences with it. Any advice is appreciated.

Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2427721 11/07/11 03:11 PM
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addyguy Offline
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Rotella T6 5W-40, or another HDEO 5W-40 is all you need, and far cheaper than RP.


2010 Kia Soul 2U - 2.0L I-4, auto; 153k miles.
Castrol GTX 5W-20; Motomaster MPH 9688

2009 Pontiac G5 - 2.2 I-4, auto, 121k miles.
Oil/filter TBD
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2427733 11/07/11 03:22 PM
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45ACP Offline
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Straight 30.

Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2427746 11/07/11 03:40 PM
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bullwinkle Offline
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+1 on the straight 30, preferably an HDEO such as Delo 400.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7 (MC), 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2), 11 Express 3500 6.0 (Fram PH10060 for now)
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2427785 11/07/11 04:29 PM
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CATERHAM Offline
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Rotella T6 5W-40 would be a good choice.
Would not recommend a straight 30wt oil, besides you want to run a synthetic.

If you have your heart set on RP then you could go with their PCMO 5W-40 although it's ZDDP level may be lower than you'd like. I don't know if they have a HDEO version.


-'74 Lotus Europa, 5W-50 & VSOT
-'96 BMW 328i, 50/50 TGMO 0W-20/M1 0W-40
-'94 Caterham 7, FUCHS 0W-20
-'18 Tesla Model 3 - FF diff' oil
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2427962 11/07/11 06:59 PM
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vintageant Offline
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1925 Alvis HDEO 15W40
1937 Alvis Speed 25 20W50 w LM MoS2 & LM MOS
1970 VW Peking - Paris Rally Beetle HDEO 15W40 w LM MoS2
1987 Porsche 924S HDEO 15W40
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2428020 11/07/11 07:39 PM
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JRed Offline
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Rotella T5 10w-30? Redline 5w-30? Valvoline VR1 whateverw-30?

Mobil 0w-40?

There are many possibilities, few of which will likely keep that engine alive longer than another.


06 Subaru Impreza WRX - Sold. The only mechanical thing I'll ever love.
07 Toyota Prius - Devourer of Oil
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2428117 11/07/11 08:33 PM
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Best F100 Offline
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Count me on the straight 30 wt side. Around 2008, there was a guy called Barkerman from California on this forum.

He had a Datsun 510 with over 500,000 miles on it using Delo straight 30. After the first 300,000 miles, he started using Delo straight 40 wt.

I guess you don't have to have a 5W or 10W for start ups in hot California weather to have a long engine life. Go run that straight wt - and don't look back!

Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2428282 11/07/11 10:19 PM
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Blkstanger Offline
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I ran the Rotella T6 5W-40 in my Baja Bug 1600 DP for many years. great oil for Air cooled VWs.


99 Jeep WJ 4.7 205,000mi. Maxlife 10w30, Fram Ultra.
15 Ford Escape S 2.5, 81,000mi. Castrol Edge 5w30 Fram Ultra.
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2428475 11/08/11 03:22 AM
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berniedd Offline
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I ran only Shell Rotella or Caltex Delo oils in the my VW Bug for the 30 years I owned it. I overhauled it (my labor) only thrice in those 30 years till I sold it to make way in my garage for a Honda. Those oils are very good, change every 2500 miles if you don't have an aftermarket oil filter in it.

Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2428505 11/08/11 06:58 AM
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jorton Offline
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What grade RP are you looking at?


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti


Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: CATERHAM] #2428580 11/08/11 09:16 AM
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Garak Offline
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Originally Posted By: CATERHAM
If you have your heart set on RP then you could go with their PCMO 5W-40 although it's ZDDP level may be lower than you'd like. I don't know if they have a HDEO version.


They do. The 5w-40 should be okay for ZDDP, but they also have the new HPS line, which appears to be like the old regular line in that it has more ZDDP than the SN/GF-5 limitations that it's new API spec line face. They also have 10w-40, 15w-40 HDEO, and 20w-50.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2428735 11/08/11 11:56 AM
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mechtech2 Offline
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Tappets are NOT flat. They are slightly convex so they turn and wear more evenly. [They end up flat or concave, though!]

Forged rods? A total waste for your needs.

Stock VWs like this have no oil filter. And they have a small sump. So SHORT OCIs are required. Like not over 2k.

I'd use a dino - It'll be just fine for those low miles.
If the engine is put together right, I'd use a 5-30 or 10-30.
You DID say fuel economy was what you are after.

Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2428772 11/08/11 12:19 PM
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Jeff_in_VABch Offline
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A 1400cc is a stroker?

What mm piston/cylinder are you using? 69mm crank?

Make sure the oil cooler bypass is working to prevent the oil cooler from blowing out. If this valve jams open you will not get your oil cooled. Gotta be sure it's working.

Also, Im sure you are using an oil filter, but if not, there are oil pump covers available with an outlet pipe, which allows an oil filter to be added.

I used to work in a foreign car parts store that had a full line of VW perfomance parts and a machine shop back when I was in college. Pretty interesing stuff. That was 30 years ago, Im guessing VW engine building is becoming a lost art nowdays.


Interests - motorsports/engine building/tuning
Background - Performed work at refineries and several oil blending plants.
Occupation - Mech Engr
Re: Older aircooled VW Beetle, flat tappet [Re: tundrawolf] #2429766 11/09/11 11:41 AM
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VWguy Offline
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Hi, what's your bore and stroke combination to obtain 1400cc? Are you working with a 40hp, 1200? That's fine, but what does the cam grinder recommend? I don't know of any vw cam grinder that will stand behind their product if a synthetic is used for initial break-in. Even the local trans builders here in SoCal don't like the use of syn gear oils. I know some things are hard to change.
There has been an article or two by HotVW's on high mileage motors over the last decade or so. Not a very "news worthy" subject for them, as advertising $$ dictates magazine subJect matter.
Personally, I built a budget 1600cc engine for my '71 bus 2 years ago and had Web Cams regrind the stock cam/lifters and with there blessing used Shell Rotella 30wt for initial break-in and now using the old school Rotell 15w-40, ci-4+, with a 7qt capacity. Its been a good engine so far.
I'm thinking that if you want to run a syn oil in a custom hi mpg motor, attention to detail is paramount. Things such as vw's small oem 21mm oil pump, tighter bearing clearances than the normal vw machining, and your thin 30wt syn oil.
Please keep us posted. Also you have heard of the two popular vw sites, "thesamba" and "shoptalkforums", haven't you?
Bill

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