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Technical How often do you change the oil?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, May 16, 2019.

  1. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,787

    jnaki

    upload_2019-7-1_4-29-37.png
    Hello,

    In my brother’s first car, the 1951 Olds 2 door sedan, we were changing the oil every 5000 miles. He drove all over the place because it gave him some first time, teenage freedom. His group of teenagers all did stuff together and cruised to the mountains, beaches and Mexico. But, when he got the new 1958 Impala in late 1957, we changed the oil at 3000 and put in the good old STP additive for more protection during the drag racing episodes.
    upload_2019-7-1_4-30-50.png
    The filters, air and oil, also got changed regularly. Changing oil was a valued teenage thing to do. It was my job as a pre-teen to get that done at home. How many times did I use that pour spout to poke a hole in one end? Endless… When I started to drive the Impala, I drove over to a friend’s gas station work place to use the lift and buy his oil. It was much easier. But, most of the Impala maintenance was done at home, and sometimes at the high school Auto Shop.
    upload_2019-7-1_4-31-30.png 1962 high school in the alley next to the Auto Shop
    The 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery was another story. It needed oil like it was going out of business. A can of Valvoline almost every other day was used. I took it all over to an expert Flathead mechanic and to my dad’s expert in Los Angeles. (even the Autoshop teacher) They were completely puzzled as the Flathead did not show any leaks on the motor, trans, or any fittings.

    I kept that motor pretty clean and sanitary. There was no smoke coming out of the exhaust, either. So, where was the oil going? They all felt badly for me and my dad’s friend gave me a case of oil as a consolation for being stumped in the mechanics. I needed several cans to get back to Long Beach from Los Angeles.

    Jnaki

    I found out that a gallon of reclaimed oil was a lot less expensive than a can of Valvoline. So I “changed the oil” almost weekly as a daily driver. On those long 100 mile, two way surf trips to South Orange County, I had to pour in at least a gallon to get back home. That was the strangest thing we had ever encountered in our hot rod years.
    upload_2019-7-1_4-34-0.png
    My spare tire got less of a workout than my spare gallon of reclaimed oil for those long surf trips up and down the coast. There was always some gas station that had reclaimed oil, just for that purpose. I must have been the only person driving around with a spare gallon container of reclaimed oil behind the seats.

    On one of our 100 mile South Coast OC forays to the secret military base surf trip, we parked in a secure location near some homes. As we left, the sedan delivery looked like a normal neighborhood car, parked as usual. When we got back for lunch, the passenger door was ajar. The rear door was also resting on the locking mechanism.

    Something was not right. Upon inspection, we had been robbed. All of our clothes, shoes, jackets and lunches/drinks were gone. My friends lost their wallets, but I had my wallet in a sealed plastic sleeve taped under the seat.

    The only thing that was left inside of the sedan delivery was a gallon of reclaimed oil for the long trip home. I guess those robber/idiots did not know the value of a gallon of reclaimed oil.
     
    Baumi likes this.
  2. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,969

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Oil / filter and change interval per the takeout engine mfg recommendations, or perhaps a little longer ifn you have some newer, extened life oil. Gary
     
  3. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,221

    sunbeam
    Member

    Before I retired I used an analysis service. This around 2005 that the tech said the with oil improvements you are draining better oil at 5000 miles than you were at 3000 miles 15 years ago. I have noticed that newer cars have increased oil in the engine very few 4 quart systems. My daily drivers have oil life systems I change oil at 5000 miles and the systems say the oil is at 50% life but I have very few short drives.
     
  4. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,639

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    On my '51 Ford, I religiously observe the factory instructions to have the chassis lubed every 1000 miles. This is usually once a year. Since I don't have the gumption to crawl around under the car with a grease gun, I have this done at the local reputable repair place, where they can put it up in the air and do it right. I always have them change the oil and filter when they do this, even though the factory says every 2000 miles. It adds a minimum to the cost, as I bring my own filters because they don't stock them. About 3 years ago, I bought a dozen Wix filters on close-our from Rock Auto for less than $2.00 each.

    I believe that the reasons the front suspension on almost all of these cars are all worn out is because nobody obverves the proper lubrication protocol. The oil changes are a bonus.

    On my dailys, I usually go 5000 between changes. I feel I can do this as I have few short trips. I read of an extenasive test by "Consumer's Reports" several years ago that concluded that modern oil doesn't start to deteriorate significantly until it has about 8000 miles on it. I know that the 3000 interval is mainly to benefit the oil companies bottom line, but I ain't brave enough to go 8000. BTW, "Consumer's Reports" is one of the few periodicals I pay any attention to because they do not take advertising from anyone. Their operation is funded entirely by the members.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  5. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,059

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    my DD has an oil leak from the intake that I do not want to fix. I add a quart a month. oil on the dipstick is always clean. I wasn't paying attention to mileage and figured I'd better change the filter. never saw such black sludge inside a filter. must have had 10,000 miles on that filter. :eek:
     
  6. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,358

    clem
    Member

    I would like to hear more comments on this and what the kerosene does or doesn’t do !
    I am also curious as to how to flush all the gunk out of a tired old flathead.
     
  7. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,276

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    On all my hotrods.1000 miles.Religiously.


    Lifeblood.
     
  8. Daily drivers 8 to 10 K. Roadster once a year. Fairlane once a year. Motorhome 5K.
     
  9. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,560

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Kerosene would increase the solubility of the oil, i.e. allow it to hold more contaminants. This would only be useful for a short time, as the kerosene would 1. cause a decrease in viscosity, leading to more metal to metal contact, and 2. would be susceptible to oxidation, probably even act as a catalyst to drive oxidation. So if you're going to try it, just use it long enough to flush the engine and drain it out. Actually, since there is usually a substantial amount of oil retention (oil remaining inside the engine) when draining it, kerosene left over would degrade the new oil and lead to shortened life. I would advise against it. Use a good quality oil with good detergents and dispersants and change it regularly, and you would have no need for adding kerosene.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,122

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You take it apart, and carefully clean it.
     
  11. Every pass. Nitro pollutes the oil. Turns it into a milk shake. I buy Lucas 70wt by the drum.
     
  12. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 598

    deucendude
    Member
    from norcal

    The hoods on all my cars were sealed at the factory.
     
  13. Garpo
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 228

    Garpo

    My clean out method is to purchase the cheapest oil pack I can find (there is always something on "sale") Put this in the motor and drive 50 miles Drain and refill with favorite lubricant.
    Did this twice to a motor that had a failed gasket, water in the oil, lots of porridge. Took 24 hours to drain the mess. Then, when gasket fixed did the above treatment First run still showed signs of water, second cleared it.
    Went for years after that.
    Garpo
     
    clem likes this.
  14. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,655

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I use this rule on my skivvies as well.
     
    firstinsteele, Truck64 and racer-x like this.
  15. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,358

    clem
    Member

    Now this sounds more logical to me, Thanks.
     
    Blues4U likes this.
  16. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,358

    clem
    Member

    This is exactly what I thought, defeats the original purpose of using oil. - Thanks.
     
    Blues4U likes this.
  17. My avatar and my old 40 coupe ran flatheads with no oil filters. Dropped the oil after every long trip or about 4 months of around town driving. Use 5 qts Walmart 20-50 with ZDDP additive.

    On my LA roadster show trip I changed it on my way back after about 5500 miles. Although dark it still looked good and you could still see through it .....

    When I went to Bonneville I changed it when I got home. It was dark and once changed I did a quick change about 2 months later. Oil was clean .....
     
  18. Clyde Walker
    Joined: Aug 11, 2016
    Posts: 20

    Clyde Walker

    Totally agree on the engine temperature. Many people run them cool doing a good bit of damage.
     
    firstinsteele likes this.
  19. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,626

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    So reading about Zinc & Phosphorous in modern oil, or lack of it, and flat tappet cams I bought 6 quarts of Valvoline VR1. About 5 bucks a quart. Except, it's "Racing Oil" and they tell me 3,000 miles or 3 Months.

    Who makes an extended drain interval oil (by time) that contains the zinc & phosphorous AND sufficient dispersants AND doesn't cost $12 a quart, so I can change it once a year or so?

    I'm just a simple guy trying to do a simple job. I expect once a year would be OK, but I called Valvoline and asked andthat's what they said so...
     
  20. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,728

    RmK57
    Member

    Mobil 1 or Castrol Edge. Both have oils formulated for flat tappet engines and are synthetic to boot.
     
    Truck64 likes this.
  21. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,626

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Can you be more specific? "Mobil 1" for example has thirty seven (37) different oils near as I can tell, and none of them mentioned zinc or phosphorous or flat tappet cams.
     
  22. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,728

    RmK57
    Member

    Truck64 likes this.
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    I change the oil once a year in my 400 powered 60 Poncho.
     
  24. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,626

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    The Mobil 1 15w50 looks promising. I guess. I've always used Dino oils. My Y-Block doesn't leak. Much. I'd like to keep it that way. But at least it doesn't cost too much more than VR1.

    That Castrol Edge is from 2013, I looked at a blurb from them and the table said "ZDDP enhanced - No"

    I'd like conventional oil, $2 a quart say, that says "For Flat Tappet Cams" but I never got a Pony either, so.
     
  25. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,728

    RmK57
    Member

    Up until recently Iv'e been using Quaker state 20w-50 conventional oil which has a little over 600 ppm of zinc. I run it in a 512 stroker Ford with a .600 lift solid flat tappet cam. My cam and lifters are like new after a few thousand miles, so how much is there to this zinc thing anyways?
     
  26. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,626

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    I don't think it matters, not in low spring pressures anyway. Some people claim it does. Some people claim the additives in a bottle make a given oil worse, which may be true, oil manufacturers are pretty insistent about adding shit to their oil package. "Too much" zinc/phosphorous is also bad.

    So my quest for an extended drain interval oil that sez right on the bottle "contains extra zinc" or whatever. I ran Rotella for a while, and it's good oil. I remember the days when Castrol was good enough, and Anti-freeze was green. Now they have 50 bazillion different oils at 8 bucks a quart and pink, yellow, red, blue, purple and orange anti-freeze, and don't mix it. Wankers.
     
  27. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 894

    Ziggster
    Member

    Changing oil every 3K - 5K miles is a wives take. I remember mentioning this to a bunch of Mercedes engineers back in the mid-2000's. They laughed at me when I told them this was "standard" practice here in NA. Apparently, over in Europe it is common practice to change it every 15K-20K miles! I use Mobil 1 synthetic, and change my daily drivers every 12K - 15K kms.
     
  28. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,509

    6sally6
    Member

    Had a "bud" once that thought that was the shift light!!:eek:
    6sally6
     
  29. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,626

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Their oil standards are different, and maybe more importantly, the sumps hold way more oil.
     
  30. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,626

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    "Honey, the gravy boat light thingy was on today. Is that bad?"
     

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