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Old 10-17-2008, 09:56 PM
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They still make oil "like they used to" with zinc, moly

So, you're on your 3rd cam this year, since the new "and improved" motor oils don't have zinc or moly in anymore.

Well, I was researching motorcycle oils, and I found this.

I'll assume other oil companies make motorcycle oil with similar 'old school' additive packages. It's late so I'm not going to do any more research on this, but is anyone has a link to another maker of flat tappet friendly oil, let the rest of us know. And no, Shell Rotella has been reformulated, so it doesn't count anymore. Ditto with most of the other, if not all of the other diesel oils.

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Old 10-17-2008, 10:31 PM
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According to a few engine builders I know, lobe failures are due to a bad batch of poorly machined Chinese lifters that came out after Johnson went out of business. These lifters were off center, didn't spin and failed.

There are new car's still running flat cams today. So todays oil still needs to be compatible with flat cams.

I use Mobil 1 10-30. I gutted my t-stat and have my water pump bypass blocked off. It runs at 150-160.

Last edited by pitts64; 10-18-2008 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:23 AM
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I believe Valvoline VR-1 Racing oil still has Zinc and Phosphorus in it.
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:06 AM
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most "racing oils" still have the good stuff in it
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:28 PM
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Brad Penn makes some of the best oil anywhere and they make a "Break in" oil. See Sorry, forgot about this, look at, very interesting reading especially for those about to fire a new engine. I haven't used it yet but I will next week, this stuff comes in a 4 oz. bottle and "they claim" that it has 8-10 times the ZDDP that GM EOS has. And it's endorsed by Crower Cams, Howard,s Cams etc.....

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Old 10-18-2008, 05:16 PM
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Shell Rotella 30wt still has an acceptable amount of zinc. The 15w40 does not.

This information comes from a board member over at Team Chevelle that has had many different oils and additives lab tested.
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:38 PM
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I use Bruce Penn in my new ZZ4 engine. It is reasonably priced at $50.00 per case (12 qts).
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:48 PM
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I have been running Maxima Premium 4 10w-40 conventional in my flat tappet sbc's. Its about 21 bucks for a gallon jug, and readily available at all motorcycle shops, rated 'SG', wich has the highest level of zinc and phos.
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:01 AM
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:15 AM
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here is some really good stuff
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:06 AM
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A few thoughts regarding this subject...

First check there are MANY MANY virgin oil analysis posted on this site and used oil analysis. Both beneficial and surpising. I won't comment too much because everyone can go there and see for themselves just 'how much z and p' the 'new' oils have. Virtually every oil that's on the market has been tested in every weight.

Secondly, please realize that every batch of any oil SM rated is usually 800z and 700p which is almost less than half on the recomended 1300z and 1200p that is needed for a fairly agressive flat tappet cam with heavier springs pressures.

Thirdly, yes racing oils DO have around 1500-2000z and 1700-1900p in them however they lack the needed cleaning additives because in racing oil the increased cleaning agents reduce the effectives of the anti-wear additives (z and p) in high rpm engines. So very short oil interval changes are needed or sludge will results

Fourth, I've a firm believer in Brad Penn. Their oils have the necessary amounts of cleaning agents to allow a 3,000-4,000 oil change interval and 1500z and 1400p. Joe Gibbs also has some great street oils with large amounts of z and p but the prices for the oils is about $8-10 a quart, just not competitive.

For people with a new engine that don't have access to Brad Penn (it's hard to find). The best thing to do is to find some CI-4 diesel oil of anytype (hard to find since it has since been reformulated in 2007-CJ-4, but this will work as well since the CJ-4 diesel oil still has more z and p than conventional passenger car oils) and put in GM EOS, ZDDP Plus, or any other zinc and phosphorus boosting additive. Break it in on that, drain after the first 30 min, refill with the same and then change after 1500-3000, whatever you are comfortable with. If the nose pressure of the springs are less than 100lbs and the open is equal to or less than 300 (usually a mild hydralic less than .480 lift will take a spring similar but could be up to .510 in certain cases) I would use these off the shelf oils- Mobil 1 15w-50 synthetic around 1200z and 1300p, Valvoline VR-1 20w-50 around 1300z and 1200p, Kendall GT-1 20w-50 1100z and 1000p (not the old stuff, the new stuff made by ConocoPhillips)and the NEW Castrol Syntec 20w-50 (says Old Vehicle Formula on lable- be sure too look for this!). These oils should be fine without an additive such as GM EOS. Now some of the oil anlysis I have seen regarding these oils DON'T support these z and p levels as stated by the oil companies but I have seen some that do. All these are SM oils. The ratings are located on the back of the containers in the API 'doughnut'. Why all 20w-50 weights? I don't know exactly but I heard a good explanation that the API does not regulate or mandate certain z and p levels in the heavier weight oils because they are not 'energy conserving' which is noted by the 'starburst' doughnut on the back of the containers.

In my experience, I just rebuilt a 283 and a 327. Both have springs pressures of about 80 on the seat and 260-280 open. One was broken in on Pennzoil SAE 30 (SH rating- had some old stuff around- nothing else was added) and on Chevron DELO 15w-40 CI-4 (added CompCams break in additive).
After about 3,000 miles on the 283 with a hydralic 204/214 .420/.443 hydralic flat tappet, I run 5w-30 Quaker State only with seemingly no ill effects, now after 10,000 it might be a different story but for now things seem ok

On the 327, stock vortec heads with stock springs with a L79 Blueprint cam, I run VR-1 only with no ill effects.

Just trying to share knowledge, don't take my suggestions as facts. Run what you are comfortable with. There are a lot of myths, rumors, and facts floating around out there. Research the topic as much as you can; take and pick the info that you feel is legitimate. I've been researching this oil 'problem' for the last 6 months online. But defenitely check out - A LOT of great info and oil analysis to back it up.

Why am I not running Brad Penn? Well, the 283 and the 327, I went cheap and just re-ringed them, new bearings, new cam lifters, etc- no machine work, just wanted to get out cheap because the engines both had less than 50,000 miles on them. Also, I felt the springs pressures were not high enough to constitute using the Brad Penn, I have another 327 I'm putting together with a large solid lifter cam and will use it there. Yesterday I saw a case of Pennzoil for 46.00 and for $4 a quart- I picked up the Brad Penn for $50 a case so it's very competitive with current mass marketed oil prices

Last edited by GenYnNC; 10-19-2008 at 08:14 AM.
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