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#4560306 - 10/31/17 03:00 PM Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE
ACHiPo Offline


Registered: 09/04/17
Posts: 16
Loc: Bay Area, CA, USA
I'm having a Ford FE engine built, and the builder strongly recommends hydraulic flat tappets for the best reliability. He's had good success with Honda Motorcycle Oil (GN4), which, from my research has less that the desired 1200 ppm zinc and 1000 ppm phosphorous.

Two oils that have historically been used for this type of application are Shell Rotella T4 15w40 and Chevron Delo 15W40. The information that I've found online on current configurations on these two oils has been confusing to say the least, so I decided to contact Shell and Chevron to get what they have to say about the current formulations.

I'll post more complete data later, but in a nutshell the Shell Rotella T4 15W40 still has acceptable zinc and phosphorous, whereas the Chevron formulation has zinc and phosphorous below 1000 ppm, but says their new anti-friction additives are still acceptable for flat-tappet applications.

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#4560312 - 10/31/17 03:06 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
oldhp Offline


Registered: 06/28/12
Posts: 1622
Loc: USA
Shell Rotella 15W40 plus 1 can cam break-in lube. Don't let it idle at start up, keep at least 2000 RPM. Follow what engine builder says on changing out oil early to get start up metals out. I would also run cam lube every oil change.
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#4560314 - 10/31/17 03:07 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada


Edited by StevieC (10/31/17 03:12 PM)
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#4560317 - 10/31/17 03:10 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4208
Loc: Atlanta
What kind of ramp profile and spring pressures are you running?
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  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
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#4560330 - 10/31/17 03:21 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
Kool1 Offline


Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 906
Loc: California
Sorry as I can't contribute an answer to your question, but I have a question to you.

I'm helping a friend work on his boat with a rare engine. It's a Ford 427 side oiler and it is in need of a complete rebuild. His dad had got it from his friend who had it in an AC Cobra that was wrecked in the 1960's.

We pulled the engine last week and started pulling the heads off. I have most of the engine apart and will send it out shortly for the rebuild. I have used Bacas in South San Francisco for my performance work but they closed down. I've used Dino Fry in the past but he is also gone.

Being in the S.F. Bay Area, I was wondering which machine shop you are using and if you would recommend them?

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#4560345 - 10/31/17 03:55 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: Kool1]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10963
Loc: Idaho
I grew up in Millbrae and I knew those guys. I remember when Fry worked at the Chevrolet dealer. All guys are getting old and retiring. Bruno got bought out by
Reggie Jackson and all that .
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#4560355 - 10/31/17 04:05 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36441
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Is there not a roller conversion for this engine that would mitigate the issue of having to be concerned about ZDDP levels? Something from Crane or Crower perhaps?
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#4560361 - 10/31/17 04:10 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: OVERKILL]
2015_PSD Offline


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 7234
Loc: SE Texas
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Is there not a roller conversion for this engine that would mitigate the issue of having to be concerned about ZDDP levels? Something from Crane or Crower perhaps?
^^^ This! I would definitely look into a roller cam setup; plenty of them at Summit Racing .
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#4560379 - 10/31/17 04:35 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
ShotGun429 Offline


Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 426
Loc: Dayton,Ohio
We do alot of FE's here at the Speed Shop. We use Lunati Roller cams and lifters with good results. If it must remain a Flat tappet, Brad Penn (now Penn Grade) oils are recommended.

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#4560388 - 10/31/17 04:47 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: OVERKILL]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4208
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Is there not a roller conversion for this engine that would mitigate the issue of having to be concerned about ZDDP levels? Something from Crane or Crower perhaps?


Crower (and probably others) makes a solid street roller and pin oiled solid roller lifters. It is what I run.
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  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100

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#4560431 - 10/31/17 05:42 PM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
heyu Offline


Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 349
Loc: Ohio
Cen-Pe-Co Oil , OR Brad Penn for any older high performance engines, Valvoline also makes a high zinc oil VR1 20w50 but i have never tried it
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#4560848 - 11/01/17 05:01 AM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: Kool1]
ACHiPo Offline


Registered: 09/04/17
Posts: 16
Loc: Bay Area, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: Kool1
Sorry as I can't contribute an answer to your question, but I have a question to you.

I'm helping a friend work on his boat with a rare engine. It's a Ford 427 side oiler and it is in need of a complete rebuild. His dad had got it from his friend who had it in an AC Cobra that was wrecked in the 1960's.

We pulled the engine last week and started pulling the heads off. I have most of the engine apart and will send it out shortly for the rebuild. I have used Bacas in South San Francisco for my performance work but they closed down. I've used Dino Fry in the past but he is also gone.

Being in the S.F. Bay Area, I was wondering which machine shop you are using and if you would recommend them?

My engine is a side-oiler as well, but it is a new BBM casting. Iím actually using an engine builder back east. Iíve heard good things about Tom Lucas of FE Specialties in Auburn, CA but I donít have any personal experience with him.

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#4560850 - 11/01/17 05:06 AM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: OVERKILL]
ACHiPo Offline


Registered: 09/04/17
Posts: 16
Loc: Bay Area, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Is there not a roller conversion for this engine that would mitigate the issue of having to be concerned about ZDDP levels? Something from Crane or Crower perhaps?

There are rollers available, but this builder has had reliability issues with many of the hydraulic roller lifters. Heís been building FEs for 50 years, so Iím trusting him at this point. I suppose given that I should just use his recommended Honda GN4 oil as well, but it seems safer to find something with ZDDP levels closer to the levels when the engine was designed.

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#4560855 - 11/01/17 05:14 AM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: DuckRyder]
ACHiPo Offline


Registered: 09/04/17
Posts: 16
Loc: Bay Area, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
What kind of ramp profile and spring pressures are you running?


Not sure about the ramp profile, but Iíve been told itís fairly mild with stock springs and rockers. The cam is very similar to Comp Cams grind XE274H.

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#4560876 - 11/01/17 05:55 AM Re: Oil Research for Hydraulic Flat Tappet Ford FE [Re: ACHiPo]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4208
Loc: Atlanta
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Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100

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