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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-21-2012 12:05 PM
1971BB427 I use Brad Penn 15-45 wt oil in all my older flat tappet motors.
09-21-2012 10:43 AM
xzero117 valvoline vr1 conventional and synthetic is becoming more and more common on my local auto parts stores
09-21-2012 03:16 AM
machine shop tom
Originally Posted by against all odds View Post
And again, the money difference between a ZDDP oil vs. "any old oil" is not that much.

i don't know for sure wether you REALLY need a ZDDP sufficient oil if you run flat lifters, but why not be safe for what amounts to a few dollars more?

It may be inconvenient---you may have to go mail order to obtain, Joe Gibbs, Redline, Penn etc. but still.
If you haven't figured it out by now.............................

09-20-2012 06:28 PM
against all odds And again, the money difference between a ZDDP oil vs. "any old oil" is not that much.

i don't know for sure wether you REALLY need a ZDDP sufficient oil if you run flat lifters, but why not be safe for what amounts to a few dollars more?

It may be inconvenient---you may have to go mail order to obtain, Joe Gibbs, Redline, Penn etc. but still.
09-20-2012 03:42 PM
spinn You have to be safe if in Toms case. When I build something and it ships out the door, it is going to be hammered right away. They almost never honor a breakin period for a engine or clutch.

Never flattened a cam. Intake leaks, after heat cycle bolts loosen, valve seals leak, header leaks claimed as internal problem, ring failures, bent rods, that kind of stuff.
09-20-2012 02:56 PM
machine shop tom I have to be picky on the oil I recommend. If a camshaft in an engine I build or machine fails because the oil used is not compatible with flat tappets, I get the grief. I will not stand behind an engine in which somebody has used something other than a dedicated, flat-tappet oil. Some can get away with using this or that, but I can't take that chance.

Before it was generally known that oil producers had reduced the amounts of high-pressure additives (zinc and phosphorus mainly) everybody was blaming camshaft and lifter manufacturers. Those companies really took a hit and replaced many components that failed through no fault of their own. Now that we know the whole story, things fall squarely on the shoulders of who ever is filling the crankcase. It's up to HIM or HER to become educated on this issue.

09-20-2012 01:32 PM
GMCTRUCKS Consider Royal Purple my niece is using it and the engine is super clean and it has over 100K miles on it.
09-20-2012 12:58 PM
against all odds Here are my (limited) thoughts on the whole ZDDP/flat lifter thing:

(Disclaimer: i don't know jack about engines and am not a "natural engine person." Yet i manage to get hi mileage out of anything i drive. 300,000+)

For any cheapskates like me, who are still in the stone-age running flat lifters:

My thoughts on oil are as follows: The oil should be considered an integral part of the engine---the oil is a part just like the crank, rods, pistons etc. And not an afterthought. Therefore serious consideration should be given to oil selection and application.

Now, given the small price difference between running a ZDDP sufficient oil vs. whatever oil is on sale at the auto parts store---even if you change every 3000 miles (not even sure if that's still required these days), the difference in money is not that much, wouldn't it make sense to be safe and run a verified ZDDP sufficient oil? It's like cheap insurance.

That is my personal thought regarding oil for flat lifter engines.

i don't think mobil syn 10w-30 has enough. i think certain royal purple 5 and 10-30s have enough and redline 5 and 10-30's have enough.

Given a little while, i can provide links to ZDDP sufficient oils.
09-20-2012 11:54 AM
xxllmm4 I have to agree with ap72 a lot of this info is hype. Take a look at this test Break-In Oil Please understand I'm not saying this test is gospel but I would think film strength of the oil would be a top choice when choosing an oil with a flat tappet cam. In this case if your looking for a value oil you can get the #9 rated 5W30 Chevron Supreme conventional, API SN = 100,011 psi film strength. I pay $12.99 for 5qt jugs at Bi-Mart. It beats most synthetics on the market.

Another interesting thing the film strength tests show is oil weight does not necessarily = film strength. I have also herd over at Bobstheoilguy that some weights in the same line of oil may be better than others. For example the 0w-20 may be the newest formula and may actual outperform the heavier weights.
09-20-2012 11:14 AM
ap72 I have a few flat tappet cams I have run fine without additives, on valvoline and Mobil 1. If its not a very aggressive cam it should be fine without it.

The other thing to remember is that ZDDP in itself is relatively meaningless. There are oils on the market that contain close to no ZDDP and can run a flat tappet cam just fine- they're made synthetic replacements for ZDDP.

Its always best to stay conservative (safe) but do some research into what you have and what you need- you may find that all the ZDDP hype is just hype in your case, or you may find it is an absolute requirement and need to get mail order oil.

Be sure to distinguish marketing and "my neighbor's best buddy" stories from facts too. I've heard of some neighbor's best buddies that have done some impossible things...
09-20-2012 09:58 AM
lmsport You need to use a SG,SH,SJ rated oil.
Most all the oil at the parts stores will be SM or SN and not suitable for older engines. SOmetimes, you can find motorcycle oil that has the correct API rating.
If it were me, I would use the Brad Penn.
09-20-2012 03:25 AM
machine shop tom Regular Mobil One 10w-30 does not have the proper amount of ZDDP for flat tappet camshafts. Using a ZDDP additive is not recommended by any oil manufacturer. There are plenty of oils now that are compatible with flat-tappet camshafts. Mobil One Racing oils, Amsoil Classic Z-Rod oils, Brad Penn, etc.

09-19-2012 03:19 PM
ap72 valvoline and Mobil 1 are both VERY good oils, about the best you'll find "off the shelf" in most areas.

If you have properly matched the honing process to a good set of rings then I'd use either now, if they still need some break in time I'd just stick with the valvoline- it certainly won't hurt anything.

I use both oils, and they're the only two brands I'll use. Good stuff.
09-19-2012 02:36 PM
vinniekq2 I use Lucas 50w mineral oil. If you use a vacuum pump Im not sure what your oil pressure would be?
09-19-2012 12:56 PM
Richiehd I like Mobil one in all my late model stuff, bikes, truck, wifes car. However, in my skiff with 350 with flat tappet solid cam I use the Brad Penn 10W30. It has the ZDDP in it. I did proper break in on this but I feel more comfortable using the Brad Penn. It is, I believe, semi-synthetic.
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