280zx turbo oil

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6
Location
MINNESOTA
I have a 1981 280zx turbo with 28k miles on it. I just replaced the original turbo with a rebuilt unit including new turbo gaskets and oil hose. I have also replaced the oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket and oil pump. The oil pan was clean, no sludge whatsoever after 40 years. My question is what oil should I use? I'm leaning towards Valvoline VR-1 synthetic 10W-30 because of the high zinc and phosphorous and it's a flat tappet cam. Or, should I be looking at M1 or PP and use a ZDDP additive? Keep in mind this is a hot air turbo and not water cooled.
 
Messages
7,758
Location
North Carolina
Do not worry about your camshaft; the engine does have flat tappets but the camshaft and springs are not agressive.

These cars do just fine on a modern oil. Have you turned up the boost yet?
 

16HC

Thread starter
Messages
6
Location
MINNESOTA
Do not worry about your camshaft; the engine does have flat tappets but the camshaft and springs are not agressive.

These cars do just fine on a modern oil. Have you turned up the boost yet?
No, keeping it stock as a cruiser for now. Still chasing down miscellaneous gremlins. Thanks for the input.
 
Messages
7,758
Location
North Carolina
No, keeping it stock as a cruiser for now. Still chasing down miscellaneous gremlins. Thanks for the input.
Hey no problem.

Definitely replace every single vacuum line. When you check and adjust the valves, check for chain stretch and maybe move the cam gear a notch. The gear has three positions to accommodate some stretch.

A fresh fuel pump, 1" pipe plug, and a manual boost controller are all you need for 12psi. Its a hoot.
 
Messages
7,758
Location
North Carolina
Here's my old 280ZXT, with a freshly rebuilt engine and new paint.

20121222_164746.jpg


20121222_164806.jpg


I kept it like this for a year or so with just a schneider cam, 12psi, and a built transmission.

When I sold the car it had a Holset hx35 feeding it 20psi and a flashed 300zx ECU.
 
Messages
25,171
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I have a 1981 280zx turbo with 28k miles on it. I just replaced the original turbo with a rebuilt unit including new turbo gaskets and oil hose. I have also replaced the oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket and oil pump. The oil pan was clean, no sludge whatsoever after 40 years. My question is what oil should I use? I'm leaning towards Valvoline VR-1 synthetic 10W-30 because of the high zinc and phosphorous and it's a flat tappet cam. Or, should I be looking at M1 or PP and use a ZDDP additive? Keep in mind this is a hot air turbo and not water cooled.

This engine does not have a flat tappet cam in the conventional sense, it is an OHC with slippers close to valve springs, these do not take anywhere near the stress a flat tappet would normally take even with weaker valve springs (there is not much of a multiplier involved). They have not much more pressure than a shim and bucket would have.
Mobil 1 0w40 or Castrol 0w40 has more than enough additives to prevent wear on these and that is what I run, whichever is cheaper at Walmart.
 
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