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Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines #4612067
12/23/17 10:19 AM
12/23/17 10:19 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Building3 Offline OP
Building3  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
I'd like some opinions please about this mixture for flat tappet 1960 era engines: Pennzoil conventional yellow bottle 20w-50 which has 800 ppm zinc mixed 50/50% with Pennzoil Racing GT 25w-50 which has 2000 ppm zinc. That would yield a zinc level of 1400 which is just about perfect for these engines. Any thought pro or con?

Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612078
12/23/17 10:27 AM
12/23/17 10:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
What kind of engine(s)?


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612083
12/23/17 10:31 AM
12/23/17 10:31 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,126
Virginia Beach
Astro14 Offline
Astro14  Offline
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,126
Virginia Beach
Unless you've got a high lift cam, and/or strong valve springs, you don't need that much ZDDP. A regular engine from that era will be fine on today's oils.


32 Packard 15W40
02 Volvo V70 T5 0W40 M1
02 Volvo V70 XC 0W40 Edge
05 MB S600 0W40 M1
16 Tundra 1794 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612091
12/23/17 10:38 AM
12/23/17 10:38 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,075
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,075
Kalifornia Kollective
I recently contacted Valvoline about this. This is what they said:

Broc, thank you for contacting Valvoline Product Support.

Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Blend motor oils are formulated with 830 ppm zinc and 770 ppm phosphorus. Although this oil is very capable of protecting flat tappet camshafts in stock pushrod V-8 engines, we do offer Valvoline VR-1 Racing 10W-30 and VR-1 Racing 20W-50 which contain 1400 ppm zinc and 1300 ppm phosphorus if higher levels are desired. VR-1 Racing oil is recommended for use in performance street engines, racing applications, and for use during the break-in of a new engine where the highest level of protection is required and modern emissions systems such as catalytic converters are not used.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us via phone at 800 TEAM VAL or by email at [email protected] for assistance.

Thank you and have a great day.
Michael
Valvoline Product Support


So I currently have only flat tappet motors at home. Wife's Jag is OHC, but nothing else and nothing I drive. I use Delo 400 15W-30 SD (severe duty) as my break-in oil on fresh flat tappet motors. It's 1,000+ PPM ZDDP, but according to all I have read, that's plenty.

Howards is my usual cam supplier and they specify Brad Penn oil which is 1,200 to keep the warranty, so I do that if using one of their cams. But, to me, it's always been about the cam assembly lube used - I only use Crane cam lube during assembly. And their recommendations are for break-in only.

Thing is all of these refiners are having to step back the ZDDP for most of their products. So they are doing alternative chemical strategies. Chevron claims 50% less wear with their new CK-4 HDEO's, even though they have less traditional AW compounds in them. I think most of the big refiners have had their labs working on organic calcium compounds and such with good success. And those will not show in VOA/UOA tests.

For flat tappet motors, it's all about the metal hardness of the cam lobe and the lifter face and the radius of the lifter face. Get any of those wrong, no oil will save you ... Ex was GM's soft cam cores in the late 1980's and onward for a while ...

If your engine is OEM stock or close to it, no sweat. I have over 220,000 on the Bronco now just running off the shelf oils. My last BBC Chevy truck left with over 400,000 and only it's second engine on mostly Chevron Supreme 10W-30 which, by modern standards, is nothing special.

If it's a Hi-Po street motor or a race engine, obviously that won't hold true. But that is due to much higher valve spring pressures. So then you are into oils for conditions. Follow your cam makers recommendations laugh

Last edited by BrocLuno; 12/23/17 10:39 AM.

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 Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Alex_V] #4612134
12/23/17 11:24 AM
12/23/17 11:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Building3 Offline OP
Building3  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Alex_V: stock Ford 289. One rebuilt, the other not; owners manual recommendation was for 10w-30. 1972 Mopar 440 4bbl original not rebuilt; owners manual recommendation was for 20w-40 or 20w-50 with one pint of Mopar sulfurized ester added at each oil change.

Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: BrocLuno] #4612137
12/23/17 11:30 AM
12/23/17 11:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Building3 Offline OP
Building3  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
BrocLuno: Thanks for forwarding that info from Valvoline. It would be nice, and easy just to use easy to find Valvoline, Pennzoil, etc. and not worry about it. I had one 289 rebuilt less than 1,000 miles ago so I probably want to keep a high zinc oil in that one for a while. The Mopar 440 original spec was to use 20w-40/50 and a pint of sulfurized ester so that may need more zinc. Any additional thoughts?

Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612185
12/23/17 12:20 PM
12/23/17 12:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 37,939
Ontario, Canada
OVERKILL Offline
OVERKILL  Offline
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 37,939
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Building3
BrocLuno: Thanks for forwarding that info from Valvoline. It would be nice, and easy just to use easy to find Valvoline, Pennzoil, etc. and not worry about it. I had one 289 rebuilt less than 1,000 miles ago so I probably want to keep a high zinc oil in that one for a while. The Mopar 440 original spec was to use 20w-40/50 and a pint of sulfurized ester so that may need more zinc. Any additional thoughts?


I'd run a Euro 5w-40 or 0w-40 in the 289, the SBF is not a difficult application. I've had plenty of flat tappet 302's run obscene hours on whatever was on the shelf in 5w-30. The MOPAR would probably do well on the same oil, but if you want to be safe, a 15w-40 HDEO would be an excellent choice.


2018 RAM 1500 Big Horn EcoDiesel
2016 Grand Cherokee SRT
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612197
12/23/17 12:41 PM
12/23/17 12:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,171
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,171
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Building3
with one pint of Mopar sulfurized ester added at each oil change.


I have owned a ton of big block Mopars, none ever had any owner's manual.

This is the first I have heard of "Mopar sulfurized ester" oil additive?

Sounds like an EP lube additive. (like rear diffs use)


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: OVERKILL] #4612199
12/23/17 12:43 PM
12/23/17 12:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,171
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,171
Waco, TX
I've had plenty of flat tappet 302's & 351's run a very long time on plain ol' 15w-40 HDEO


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612274
12/23/17 02:14 PM
12/23/17 02:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Originally Posted By: Building3
Alex_V: stock Ford 289. One rebuilt, the other not; owners manual recommendation was for 10w-30. 1972 Mopar 440 4bbl original not rebuilt; owners manual recommendation was for 20w-40 or 20w-50 with one pint of Mopar sulfurized ester added at each oil change.


I agree with what most others have said. A 15w40 for the Mopar, and 10w30 or 10w40 for the SBF's. Extra high ZDDP isn't necessary unless the valve train is of high-perf specs. On the Fords if oil pressure stays high enough (15 PSI hot idle?) there's no reason to be afraid of a 30 weight. In all applications, I'd chose a syn blend - Maxlife, Rotella T5, or Schaeffer's (their syn blend "7000" comes in 10w30 and 15w40). If the Mopar has an aggressive cam and you cruise/generally putt around in it much I'd probably pick a 15w40 (maybe 5w40?) and use a Zinc additive.

However, just because the manual specifies the use of an additive doesn't mean it's necessary with today's lubricants. Just like the old idea of "thicker is better" that has been superseded by more resilient oils (example: "run a 10w40 so it only shears to a 5w20 in 3,000 mi." vs. the fact that modern 5- or 10-30's stay much closer to grade up to, or past, the 3K mark) whatever they were trying to accomplish with the sulferized ester may be irrelevant after 40 years of better chemistry.


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612351
12/23/17 04:32 PM
12/23/17 04:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,117
MT
jongies3 Offline
jongies3  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,117
MT
Why make it difficult? Run a HDEO like Rotella 15W-40 and call it a day, plenty of zinc and phos in it for flat tappets. I run it in all my old Ford V8's from 351's to 390 FE's without any problems.


2004 Toyota Tacoma 3.4 V6: Mobil 1 AFE 0W-30, FRAM TG-3600 filter
1969 Mustang Mach 1 5.8 V8: PYB 10W-30 Napa Gold 1515 filter
1997 Ford F-250 HD 7.3 Powerstroke V8: T6 5W-40 FRAM PH-3786 filter
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: jongies3] #4612444
12/23/17 06:41 PM
12/23/17 06:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Building3 Offline OP
Building3  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 101
Michigan
Thanks for the input from everyone. It looks like oil won't be a problem for these flat tappet engines. Like was said, make it simple and that is what I will do. Probably the Rotella 10w-30 for the 289 and 15w-40 for the 440 Mopar.

Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612754
12/24/17 07:34 AM
12/24/17 07:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Originally Posted By: Building3
Thanks for the input from everyone. It looks like oil won't be a problem for these flat tappet engines. Like was said, make it simple and that is what I will do. Probably the Rotella 10w-30 for the 289 and 15w-40 for the 440 Mopar.


Sounds like a good plan.


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612757
12/24/17 07:37 AM
12/24/17 07:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,803
Balearic Islands , Spain
FordCapriDriver Offline
FordCapriDriver  Offline
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,803
Balearic Islands , Spain
Rotella will serve them perfectly well.
If you want a lot of Zddp then go for VR1 10W-30 for the 289 or 20W-50 for the 440 Mopar.


1975 Ford Capri II Ghia 3000 V6, - Shell Helix HX3 20W-50 w/ 20% Rimula R4X 15W-40 HDEO.

1988 Ford Escort Mk4 Xr3i Cabrio, - Shell Rimula R4X 15W-40, w/ 30% Helix 3 20W-50.

Finnish expat in Spain.
Re: Oil Mixture for Flat Tappet Engines [Re: Building3] #4612886
12/24/17 09:38 AM
12/24/17 09:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 429
Florida, USA
vintageant Offline
vintageant  Offline
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 429
Florida, USA


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
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