1953 Corvette engine oil specifications.

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Oddly 20 weight is specified for summer temperatures. I remembered my friends '54 Chevy Special also recommended 20 weight for summer. I wonder if this is still the correct viscosity of oil for these engines today? At least in good condition engines such as 5w20. Also note British manufactures such as Jaguar and MG suggested 30 and 40 weight for +32F and +80F weather. [Linked Image]
 
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I would not run 5W20 in it. Id run 15W40 heavy duty engine oil in it. You wont find any roller camshaft or roller rockers in that thing... all flat tappet stuff.
 
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5W20 would be a bit thinner & more shear prone than SAE 20-but it would work a lot better in cold weather. I would (like said above) 15W40 or straight SAE 30 HDEO in it-zero emissions equipment, not even a PCV valve, and a little lead substitute in the fuel wouldn't hurt anything either, due to the non-hardened valve seats.
 
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Originally Posted by Garak
The HTHS of a monograde 20 might be a bit higher than the 5w-20 and 0w-20 ILSAC options we see today.
Good point. Monogrades don't have any vii either. Isn't that true?
 
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Oil today is nothing like the oil offered back in 53. I have a 59 and run 0W-40 European Formula Mobil 1. The Car is used infrequently and runs great on this modern oil. No sludge, no varnish and it starts quickly. I take it to the redline with no effort.
 
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Originally Posted by OilUzer
Originally Posted by Garak
The HTHS of a monograde 20 might be a bit higher than the 5w-20 and 0w-20 ILSAC options we see today.
Good point. Monogrades don't have any vii either. Isn't that true?
They were 1950's Group I oils with almost no additive pack. Do you think they're anywhere near the full syn 20W's of today?
 
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The additive pack today will be much better, but the viscosity won't be there. I would suggest one jump a grade, or track down a modern SAE 20 or 20w-20, if such can be found. Castrol had the last 20w-20 I saw, just a few years ago.
 
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I remember reading somewhere that SAE 20 has an HTHS near 3.0-3.1 cP which is similar to modern ILSAC 5w30 or 10w30. Old tractors have similar viscosity/temperature charts. I have 52 Farmall Super C and I use Rotella 10w30. HTHS of 3.5 (near most SAE 30's) yet would be much better in cold weather. Higher ZDDP too.
 
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Originally Posted by bubbatime
I would not run 5W20 in it. Id run 15W40 heavy duty engine oil in it. You wont find any roller camshaft or roller rockers in that thing... all flat tappet stuff.
^^^^^^^ I agree one hundred percent. And like Garak said... A 20 back then probably had a HTHS of 3.0 I bet..
 
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Originally Posted by bubbatime
I would not run 5W20 in it. Id run 15W40 heavy duty engine oil in it. You wont find any roller camshaft or roller rockers in that thing... all flat tappet stuff.
And in 53 oils had nearly no ZDDP it worked fine.
 
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