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Hot Rods What oil do you run in your hot rod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by testdepth, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. a50merc
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 968


    Castrol 10/30 with 2 oz. of Lucas Break in oil.

    Just my 3.5 cents

    Live Learn & Die a Fool
  2. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 896

    from arkansas

    I'm looking for a FAT girl. I know summer is coming and I'm getting the jump on a Purdy one. Brad Penn and throw out the plastic. lol
  3. Valvoline VR1 20/50 in both my Flatheads! I buy it at local NAPA dealer by the case.
  4. HarryT
    Joined: Nov 7, 2006
    Posts: 504


    Valvoline VR1 20/50 in my 401 Nailhead.
    olscrounger likes this.
  5. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,862

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Am I the only one that uses Amalie?
  6. Mobil 1 10 W 30 with a half bottle of Lucas ZDDP break in additive. Ford 390 engine.
  7. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,624

    scrap metal 48

    Brad Penn... It's called PennGrade now....
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    olscrounger likes this.
  8. Try Autozone. The one down the street from me shows to have it in stock.
  9. 36 Penny Coupe
    Joined: Jan 7, 2014
    Posts: 166

    36 Penny Coupe
    from VA

    figure8 likes this.
  10. johnold1938
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 351

    from indiana

    YEAP! 15-40 rotella-T for all your old stuff
  11. Joliet Jake
    Joined: Dec 6, 2007
    Posts: 482

    Joliet Jake
    from Jax, FL

    Castrol GTX straight 30 weight in all my SBC engines here in Florida.
  12. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 805

    Truckdoctor Andy

    What ever is in the barrel at work. Currently is Philips 66 All Fleet Supreme 15w-40.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  13. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,363

    anthony myrick
    from al

    Rotella 15-40 and Walmart 15-40
  14. SuperTECH 15W-40 HD ;)
  15. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,005

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Amalie 15-40 turbo formula.
  16. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 955

    Tickety Boo
    from Wisconsin

    For the flat hydraulic lifter engines, conventional Valvoline 10W-40 with 25% Lucas, the Lucas keeps a coat of oil on the cam for the 1st start up in Spring. Lost 3 cams on spring start up using full synthetic with no additives in my old engines, Lucas helps oil to cling to the cam over long Wisconsin winters..
    Montana1 likes this.
  17. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,796

    from nipomo, ca Good website read on this subject, they are Alliance Vendors here.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  18. Valvoline 50w racing.
  19. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 924


    Yep. Used to come in quart glass jars. We have other liquids that come in quart jars, but it's not for motors.
    racer-x likes this.
  20. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 114


    i live in Los Angeles, and i can buy Valvoline VR1 20w-50 just fine at O'Reilly's. i was running that but have since switched (back) to Mobil1, specifically 15w-50.

    Mobil1 15w-50 has as much zinc and phosphorus as any high Zn/P oil oil out there. some years back i called Mobil1 and talked to an applications engineer (i highly recommend that as general practice; app engineers are usually sufficiently nerdy and like to help) and was told about the Zn/P...

    but just recently i found an actual DOCUMENT with Mobil1 oils and Zn/P content.

    this is just FYI. not telling anyone what's better. what's (sort of) funny, is that we all say "i've had great experience with XXX" with all sorts of different oils. but it still true -- i think it sort of doesn't matter what oil you use (within reason...) and that all car nuts religiously change their oil and filter, do more routine maint on (now old) motors than they ever got in their day, and finally, today, chemistry is so much better all around that even mediocre oil is better than the best stuff of the past.
    jimmy six, Doctorterry and Johnny Gee like this.
  21. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 821


    Tomic, I do not know were you got your information, and the link you provided does not speak to the ZDDP additive pack and wither or not it is used in Mobile I. I would be interested in hearing about that. The reson the Zinc and Phosphorus, and it may just be the Zinc, were reduced in modern motor oils is because the have a bad reaction with catalytic converters. Like the destroy them if used over time. Thus the ZDDP additive pack was regulated to off highway use. That is why you see it in Racing Oils I believe.

    Also when this started having an effect on mostly flat tappet camshafts I became curious and did a little research. While the ZDDP additive pack added about 1,300 to 1,500 PPM to the oil some of the cam company's said that 1,250 PPM was the minimum amount of zinc needed to protect there camshaft's. I also found that the ZDDP additive pack was introduced at a specific temperature in the refining process. This specific temperature was the only way ( so I was told ) for the zinc to be incorporated or emulsified into the oil. Just dumping a can of zinc into you oil may not be of any benefit at all.

    In one of my talks with one of the camshaft manufacturer's I was also told that the real problem with failing camshafts was really in the aftermarket area. That the problem as they saw it wasn't really the camshaft and its lack of lube it was in High spring pressure's. Engines that use a lot of valve spring pressure are the ones that really need that added ZDDP, and that while it was beneficial to any flat tappet camshaft that the more stock or less spring pressure used the less problems they were seeing.

    While I do not know if any of the above is true, here is something I do know. There are many, many engine builders that will not build a Big Block Chevy ( if they have to guarantee it) with a flat tappet camshaft, they will only use roller cams and lifters. This for certain was not always the case, and is a somewhat recent happening. If you stop and think about that BBC stock use quite a bit of lift and thus are using stiffer springs in there stock engines. Add some lift to a BBC and the added stiffer springs and I think you are just looking for trouble. I have run many 396 chevy engines, I have also lost more camshaft lobes in those engines than in any others. Once I started using a oil with the old ZDDP oil additive pack those problems went away.
    figure8 likes this.
  22. jimmy bruns
    Joined: Jun 21, 2011
    Posts: 68

    jimmy bruns
    from Chatsworth

    20W50 Lucas Hot Rod and Classic Car.
  23. triumph 1
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 345

    triumph 1

    VR1 20-50

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  24. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,822


    Engines do run on alcohol in some cases.
  25. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 114


    oh, it's in the chart: on that link above,

    3rd page, 3rd item from the bottom. mobil1 15w-50. "nominal phosphorus" 1200 ppm, nom. zinc, 1300. the recommendation says specifically for flat tappets. there's higher Zn/P oils on that list, but are very low viscosities.

    ZDDP is some (long-fangled name) of a molecule made from zinc (Zn) and phosphorous (P). i was using the standard chemistry shorthand names (laziness). i suspect but don't know that there are now many molecules that bring Zn and P properties into oil. i think when a manufacture states "zinc" or "phosphorous" they mean ZDDP or one of its analogs. there's a lot of secret formula crap in here.

    for reference the spec sheet from Valvoline on the 20w-50 VR1 race oil is 1400 Zn and 1400 P.

    exactly! and further -- i had though that Zn/P was banished entirely, but it's not -- all of the Mobil1 (at least) oils recommended for new cars contains both. the lowest in a quick read of their chart is 650/750.

    i think you nailed it again -- from what i read too, yup, it's the metal on metal wiping force, on the face of the tappet, that's the problem area, and stiff springs increases that badly.

    my interests are generally in engines with no options for roller cams possible. but the next motor i make/have made i want to get away from flat tappets. even at the lower power levels i have it's really limiting to have to use a limited subset of the great stuff out there.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  26. jmikee
    Joined: Mar 1, 2007
    Posts: 189

    from washington

    Lucas hot rod and custom 10-30
  27. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,551

    jimmy six

    I'm reading many are using a -50 oil; do you drive a lot of miles after start up? For me from past experience I found a short drive engine should not use any 50 wt combo oil. I know how I use my cars and have gone to a lighter weight because of coating on the intake manifold on injected engines I rethought all my use. This is from the location of the PCV hose.
    The only place we now use 20-50 is a dedicated 1/2 dirt track 422" all iron SBC seeing 4500-6800 lap after lap. It's Chevron Delo.
    Factory recommended oit for my 56 was single 20w.
  28. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 114


    oh right! good point. without good reason, thick oil is bad news.

    factory spec for mine is typical 30 weight (1961). but my engine builder said he specifically clearanced it for 20w-50, and he clearances engines very precisely. he recommended Valvoline VR1 20w-50 so that's what i ran.

    i have a blue light on my dash that stays lit until the oil is up to 130F, which is where the oil pressure drops down into the high-normal range.

    but this past winter it got LA-cold (40 degrees, lol) and careful not to rev it up etc as always, it pooped out the oil filter gasket, 1000 feet from home. only lost a quart and pressure stayed up, was able to unscrew, push it back, idled it warm and drive home.

    long story short, research into current oils led me back to Mobil1 15w-50 because it has a much better viscosity index (VI) AND the aforementioned zinc and phos.

    VI is a scale 0 to 100 of basically how little the viscosity DOESNT change with temperature. so i guess a block of paraffin is lousy (solid cold, to thin liquid hot) and 100 would be whatever was the best oil back in the 1950's or whatever. 100 today would be poor.

    VR1 is 132. Mobil1 15w-50 is 160. i can tell you at 50F on VR1 i get over 75 psi at 1500 rpm; with the Mobil1, 65 psi. once warm (> 130F) peak is around 55 with the relief open.

    the moral of the story isn't that mobil1 is better or vr1 bad, at all. it's that once you step away from factory-stock, you gotta be careful, choose wisely and measure, measure, measure.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  29. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,551

    jimmy six

    tomic...that's great for your engine as you know what it's clearances are. We know our race engines too and have seen oil temps of 240-250 without any crank/rod problems. Your use of a "cold" light for your oil is commendable. Most would never think of it. Your experience with cold oil and pressure is one of the reasons for me going to a lighter oil. I do let my engine warm a bit and drive ez for the first few miles.

    So far for me using a 10-30 makes sense for an engine that had a factory recommendation of 20w and rebuilt to factory specs. Prior to winter I decided to use a 5-20 which oil companies say will be better on startup and act as a 20 during normal operations which for me will probably never be over 170*.

    Today's modern engines run hot by our old standards; I feel old guys with old car/engine combos still want to see 160* and above that start to panic. My car still has 7 psi cap and no recovery system. I'm sure I don't run it long enough to heat cycle it enough to get out all the condensation every time I use it.

    You are sure right about So Cal this winter it has been cold and I'm up using my car on the weekends at 5:am on weekends.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  30. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,617

    from SW Wyoming

    I run 15w40 Rotella in my '66 428, but who knows what was run in it before that. I have a question, concerning a buildup of a sludge that I found today when I pulled the valve covers off. This engine only has less than 40,000 miles on it from new, and is really clean inside, save for a deposit right under the breather that had the consistency of no.2 grease. I wondered if it had just settled out there while it sat, but it is toward the front (uphill side) of the engine, and only on the left side where the breather is. It had built up enough that it plugged off the drainback hole in the end of the head. I pulled the right side (has PVC on that side) off and it was as clean as a new motor there. Anyone seen this before? Any ideas why this would happen?
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

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