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Oil for 69 Mini Cooper #4204254 09/16/16 10:48 AM
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carock Offline OP
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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.

Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204262 09/16/16 11:03 AM
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Popsy Offline
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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.


96 Barchetta, 300V 5W40 | Forfour 95, M1 0W40
Mazda 6 2.3, Castrol 0W30 | Colt Ralliart, 300V 5W40
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204268 09/16/16 11:06 AM
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rooflessVW Offline
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I had a '98 in Germany that got GTX 20W-50 year round.

A 20W-50 or HDEO 15W-40 would be my choice today if I still had it.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204277 09/16/16 11:20 AM
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bmwpowere36m3 Offline
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15W-40 HDEO, 15W-50, or 20W-50...

I run a HDEO or M1 15W-50 in my motorcycles as well wink

Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204301 09/16/16 12:22 PM
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I would see if anyone on a mini forum ran a lighter grade without trouble. And Yes a 4T motorcycle oil comes to mind.


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#8 60864mi-Subaru Idemitsu 0W20 + SOA Filter
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204306 09/16/16 12:34 PM
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FordCapriDriver Offline
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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.


1975 Ford Capri II Ghia 3000 V6 - Repsol Elite Super 20W-50
1988 Ford Escort XR3i Cabrio - Repsol Elite Super 20W-50

Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204446 09/16/16 04:51 PM
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SR5 Offline
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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.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Valvoline DuraBlend 10W40 SN & A3/B4 semi-synthetic + Valvoline V06 synblend media filter
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204454 09/16/16 05:15 PM
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fdcg27 Offline
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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.


18 Accord Hybrid 20K HGMO 0W-20
17 Forester 30K VME 0W-20
12 Accord LX 115K SSO 0W-20
09 Forester 119K M1HM 5W-30
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204577 09/16/16 08:16 PM
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Silk Offline
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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.


1987 BMW R65 - Penrite VTwin 20-50
2005 Nissan Expert - 5W-30 Castrol Edge
1996 Volvo T5 - Penrite HPR15 - 15W-60. Ryco syntec filter.
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204637 09/16/16 10:37 PM
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FranklinJL Offline
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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


2018 Tundra 1794
2013 S63
And a few other fast cars....
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204663 09/17/16 12:04 AM
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FordCapriDriver Offline
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15W-40 HDEO will be ok yes but just make sure you have enough oil pressure


1975 Ford Capri II Ghia 3000 V6 - Repsol Elite Super 20W-50
1988 Ford Escort XR3i Cabrio - Repsol Elite Super 20W-50

Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4204664 09/17/16 12:09 AM
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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


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4205822 09/18/16 03:03 PM
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Nickdfresh Offline
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I would use a good HM 20W-50 and call it a day. They're much better than they were in 69'...

Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4205847 09/18/16 03:51 PM
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Kamele0N Offline
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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)

Last edited by Kamele0N; 09/18/16 03:55 PM.

2008 Toyota Yaris 1ND-TV 1.4 D4-D Tech9 5W30 C3 VW 504/507
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD Elf Evolution NF900 5W40
Re: Oil for 69 Mini Cooper [Re: carock] #4205886 09/18/16 04:47 PM
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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.


2010 Lincoln MKZ-Mobil 1 5W-30
1970 MG MGB Roadster-Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
1974 Austin Marina GT VR-1 20W-50
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