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Technical Just how long will I have to use the high zinc oil

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junkyardjeff, Jan 14, 2016.

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  1. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,424


    I hope to install a new cam over the winter and was wondering if I will have to use the high zinc oil forever or just long enough to make sure its well broken in,I broke in the present cam right before the oils changed and had no problems since with the low zinc oils.
  2. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,252

    Rusty O'Toole

    What does the cam manufacturer say?
  3. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,881


    Well, depends.
    Mild street cam and matching springs on a hydraulic cam, you might be ok with regular oil after break in.
    High lift cam with matching springs on a hydraulic cam, I'd keep throwing zinc at it.
    Roller cam, you're fine with just straight oil.
    Cam failures are hit and miss, you hear stories both ways.

    Get some miles on it and it's up to you. Talking oil is like talking politics.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    from OHIO

    Hyd and solid flat tappet cams.... Forever
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  5. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    ABSOLUTELY !!!!!!! You will need to either run something like Lucas Hot Rod and Classic Car oil, or dump in a zinc additive............forever. There are other high zinc oils on the market, but I've only used Lucas and various zinc additives.

    Oil today ain't what it was in the past. If you cheap out, you will pay the price eventually.

  6. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,866


    Look around, all those older Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokees have the 4.0 6 with flat tappets... The engines go 300K miles with no special oil....Low stress valve train...
    57 HEAP and gas pumper like this.
  7. Valvoline VR-1 Racing Oil and WIX filters for me. Best protection and least expense of any Hot Rod.
  8. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,832


    Zinc is cheap insurance.
  9. HRBOB34
    Joined: Oct 1, 2009
    Posts: 329


    I like brad penn oil
    Never had a problem with older style engines!
    Better to spend a little more on good oil, then lose an engine
  10. As already said, any flat tappet cam, needs Zinc. A failed cam lobe and lifter doesnt stop there, the metal will go thru the oil system and cause damage to all other internal parts.
    GOATROPER02 and hipster like this.
  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,832


    Um, not to be rude, but the word "than" without the comma makes your last sentence work better.
    Deuced Up! and chopper99 like this.
  12. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,576

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    So let me get this straight.
    According to what you have written.
    1) It's better to spend a little more on good oil.
    2) And then you will lose an engine.
    :confused: Even after spending money on good oil ? :D :D
    Jet96 and chopper99 like this.
  13. 270dodge
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 742

    from Ohio

    The dreaded spelling police.
  14. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,960

    from Dublin, OH

    Isn't an education a grand thing?
    chopper99 likes this.
  15. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531


    It's a poor mind that only knows one way to spell a word.
    chopper99 likes this.
  16. Oldb
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 168


    I would stick with the zinc just to have one less thing to worry about.
    For any oil questions you might have, and perhaps information you had not even thought to think about visit

  17. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,604


    Watch out for the zinc additives that say zinc on the front but when you read the back it says " contains no zinc ". I had 3 cam failure's in a row. One ran for 15 miles and flattened 7 lobes. We now use Edelbrock break in oil and add zinc to that, we have not had a problem since.
  18. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,074

    from Ioway

    "Let's eat, Grandma!"

    "Let's eat Grandma!"

    Punctuation matters, folks. ;)
    pat59, 270dodge, ClayMart and 4 others like this.
  19. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,262


    Cornfield Performance X2. VR-1 the cheapest and best way to go.
  20. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,074

    from Ioway

    Is there a product I can buy without any drama, pour the contents directly into the crankcase with the oil, and forget about it till the next oil change? I'm just a simple guy, trying to do a simple job.
  21. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,998

    Dave Mc

    if you always use Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oil - API CJ-4 , you will have no worries
    Atwater Mike and da34guy like this.
  22. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    naw, too old and stringy...
    Truck64 likes this.
  23. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,832


    STP blue. Not only that, but you can still buy oil that has zinc in it for the same price as regular oil. Shell Rotella T comes to mind, and I know there are guys that are going to say Rotella removed the zinc, but the truth is that they removed some, not all. I run Rotella plus STP in my flat tappet engines.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    gas pumper and Truck64 like this.
  24. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,951

    gas pumper

    Me too. Along with Synthetic oil. For years and no problems.
  25. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 918

    Joe H

    Stock camshaft, Ok without after break-in, anything else, add additive of your choice. Very mild camshaft, but not stock, go for half a bottle each oil change.

    Mostly comes down to how radical the cam is and how much do you want to spend at each oil change. Comp Cams makes a good additive thats not to expensive, can be had about anywhere, and you can use it with any quality oil brand you like.

  26. Dangerous Dan
    Joined: Jul 10, 2011
    Posts: 357

    Dangerous Dan
    from Graham Wa. I have used this product in all my flat tappet cars and old tractors, never a problem.
  27. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,067

    Jalopy Joker

    do a search here, debate on zinc has been covered over & over. need to know more about a motor than putting in a new cam, what year/condition of motor, what cam/lifters type, etc
  28. tricky steve
    Joined: Aug 4, 2008
    Posts: 380

    tricky steve
    from fenton,mo.

  29. Wal-Mart Supertech 15-40 and 20-50 (heavyduty) has the right zinc-phosphorous already. Works great!
  30. Someone touched on high lift flat tappet cams and I think there lies the rub. With your higher lift cams and the spring pressure that comes with them you are going to need a better buffer to keep things from wearing out. But once you go past the point of no return even roller cams have a tendency to knock the lifters out. And there is no amount of zinc in the world that is going to cure that.

    There is no pat answer to the question it depends on the various parts that are being used. I lean toward older cam grinds that relied on ramps and duration as opposed to lift to get mix into my combustion chambers and I get by just fine on off the shelf oil. I have been told by more than one cam guy that it is the break in that is important, so I do use a good quality break in lube then after that I use a good quality oil and run with it no problems, knock on wood. I don't run store branded oils they are generally second rate and I do keep fresh oil and filters in my stuff.

    But I think the key is with me that I use the best quality bit n pieces that I can afford to start with and I am not running mega spring pressure. So what works for me may not work for you. ;)
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