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Technical Which Zinc additive for H.A.M.B. engines?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ThisOneGoesTo11, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Hello:
    I'm FINALLY getting a H.A.M.B. worthy car --has a 1964 FE 390 in it, which zinc additive to use? I think the seller recently took it to a gas probably has 10W-40 in it...I just need to get it home, then dump that goo out and get some Joe Gibbs or Brad Penn in there. Trying to save the cam lobes. So it's a 60 mile drive, I want to pour in a bottle of something for insurance. Rislone....etc...

    What is the thinking here regarding zinc levels?

    On a related note:

    Here's a list of ZDDP, Phosphorus, and (elemental ) zinc? levels in some brands of oil..even the poster said it was not entirely cut/dry relating zinc levels to rpotection. But there probably needs to be a minimum level which we are not getting anymore from the newer oils.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  2. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 765


    I would recommend that you stay away from synthetic oils. They will find their way out of an older engine faster than you can believe! I personally use Lucas Hot Rod oil, it was recommended by a friend that was a hi performance oil engineer for Union 76 for many years. It has a very high zinc content and the proper other additives you need it is conventional oil and available in straight and multi weight grades!
    chryslerfan55 and alanp561 like this.
  3. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,128

    1. Maryland HAMBers

    I use Penn-Grade 1 in my flathead. It has all the goodies in it that my engine needs...
    I heard Penn-Grade 1 is essentially the modern version of the old Kendal GT-1, still made in the same refinery from the same Penn Grade crude.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,907


    I use modern cheap oil in mine, haven't had a cam failure in a long long time.

    I don't use fuel additives, either.

    I think most folks don't understand that you only need a little bit of zddp in your oil. The protective layer is very thin, and having more zinc won't make it thicker, it just takes longer to use up all the zinc. If you change the oil every few thousand miles, modern formulas work fine for stock engines.

    If you are running a high lift cam with lots of valve spring load, and spinning high rpm, then you might encounter problems...or not...

  5. I use Shell Rotella 15/40 with a 4 oz bottle of ZZDPlus
    chryslerfan55 and mad mikey like this.
  6. I would not worry about the 60 miles home. Just think of all the hundreds (thousands) the previous owner put on it using "gas station oil".
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  7. I use a 20W50 Kendall high ZDDP oil my local speed shop carries, like $6 a quart. Valvoline VR1 is another I like, have also used Brad Penn and liked it.
  8. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,658

    V8 Bob

    It's much better to use oil that is formulated with the higher ZDDP mix, versus adding an additive to regular oil. Too much ZDDP can do more harm than good. If you have to add something to oil, you're using the wrong oil. :)
    My choice is Valvoline VR-1 that is readily available in my area.
  9. dodgedifferent2
    Joined: Mar 8, 2006
    Posts: 116


    I run the Lucas additive to normal Quaker or pennzoil oil. Depending on the sale when I need oil. Most are manufactured by the same place just labeled different t.
    But I have roller cam so not too worried about the zinc with that.
    It's mainly for flat tappet
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  10. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,885

    from So Cal

    Screw the additives. Unless you've got a new, high lift cam in that 390 the zinc level in that gas station oil is sufficient to get you 60 miles home. In the future, use a heavy duty diesel engine oil that does not carry dual licensing (CJ-4 or CK-4 only, does not have SN or other S_ licensing) and forget the zinc additive snake oil. As Squirrel mentioned above, zinc only plates out at a very small thickness, higher levels o ZDDP will not result in a thicker film, it only provides longer protection (as the film is worn off additional zddp in the oil will replace it, until the zddp is depleted). Typical CJ-4 or CK-4 diesel engine oil has ~1200 - 1300 ppm of zinc, plenty for a standard 390, even with a mildly aggressive cam profile. Avoid diesel oils that also carry S_ licensing, as they will also have zinc level limited to 800 ppm.
  11. 41 coupe
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 290

    41 coupe
    from bristol pa

    Zinc additives are impossible to find in my area. STP has zinc in it.Any of today's Oils will be fine, just don't use Synthetic .
  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,217

    anthony myrick

  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,194

    jimmy six

    Check the actual recommended oil for your car. I found 20w was mine (56) it's hard to find so I went to 5-20 non synthetic with 1/4 bottle of Lucas additive with no problems in 7 years.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  14. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,595


    I add about 5-6 ounces of Lucas oil TB zinc plus to 9 quarts of Quaker state 20-50. It should bring up the Zinc levels up to around 1300-1400 ppm. I have around 140 closed, 390 open spring pressure on a SFT cam. In 3 years of racing and cruising it hasn't gained any valve lash so I guess it's doing it's thing.
    chryslerfan55 and Atwater Mike like this.
  15. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,682

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Wow another oil thread. :D
    Why not just use a zinc containing oil like Brad Penn ?
  16. Scruffy49
    Joined: Sep 23, 2018
    Posts: 29


    Any tractor trailer oil will do. We use them in wet clutch OHV motorcycles too. I’m at 41k miles on an engine designed to grenade by 25k...
  17. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,069

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    The sky is falling..?
    I used (sold the car) nothing but Castrol 20-50 GTX in my "daily driver" Studebaker. If I wasn't on a bike, I was in my 59 Lark (2dr. wagon). About 97+ thousand miles with ZERO, yes NO oil related problems. Stude engines are ALL solid lifter/cam combinations (unless modified by owner).
    About every 5 or 6 oil changes I put some Lucas oil additive in...well, just cause..! But again, not even close to every oil change.

    And diesel oils aren't what they used to be with their oil package, so there's no real help there like there was in the 80's.
    And yea, sorry to the anti-synthetic oil guy above, I'm doing that (Mobil 1) too, despite your comments not to. No problems so far..!

    Just use a good grade modern oil, change it at normal intervals, you shouldn't (I can't guaranty everything !) have any problems.

    zzford and chryslerfan55 like this.
  18. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,409

    from jackson nj

    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  19. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,141

    from Austin, TX

    Valvoline VR-1.
    3340 likes this.
  20. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,885

    from So Cal

    Sorry, but that is a farce. The zinc level in STP is less than in standard passenger car motor oil. You'll actually dilute the zinc level in your oil if you use STP.
  21. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,885

    from So Cal

    Yes and No, the level of zinc was restricted but CK-4 only engine oils still have 1200 - 1300 ppm of zinc. That is fine for older engines. If they carry the SL license, then they are limited to 800 ppm. Just read the label, look for CJ-4 or CK-4 only.
  22. dan31
    Joined: Jul 3, 2011
    Posts: 1,052


    x 1000001 for Brad Penn oil [ I counted up all the other oil threads]. :) It really is good stuff.
    TagMan likes this.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,696


    You can buy a zinc additive from any Chevy dealer
    Rottela 15w-40 works
    Do a google search there are still quite a few “performance oils” that have zinc in them
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  24. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282


    I use Lucas hot rod oil in my older engines they run fine with it.
  25. I used Rotella 15-40 with some Lucas oil stabilizer in a hot 383 stroker with a brutal flat tappet cam for a few years . engine was raced and street beat for 2-3 years. No problems at all. I use the same in the coupes blown 406, big roller cam is very happy. always use a good oil filter as well, just common sense.
  26. Dangerous Dan
    Joined: Jul 10, 2011
    Posts: 357

    Dangerous Dan
    from Graham Wa.

    ZDDP plus, google it
    chubbie likes this.
  27. This is the only information that we need to know about this.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  28. 1940Coupe
    Joined: Aug 16, 2017
    Posts: 210


    Use Joe Gibbs in my flathead
  29. Valvoline VR-1. 10-40 wt. Been running it, and nothing else, in my flat tappet blower motor for over 10 years.

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