Correct zinc and Phosporus levels for muscle cars

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12
Location
Menlo Park, ca
Can I assume that too much of anything is not good? So much jargon going on about our muscle car engines with flat tappet cams not having enough zinc and phosphorus, make me wonder if one can add too much additive to their oils bringing the numbers too high? What is the optimim zinc levels? I assume that whatever the zinc is, phosphorus would be 100-200ppm less? No more, no less? What also confuses me is the talk from all these oil mfg's saying that the zinc and phos levels are only a part of the equation and that our special formulas allow those number to be a little lower yet our oil properly protects your flat cam. Is there an optimum zinc level? 1200-1500?
 
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34,933
Location
NY
I did some research on Red Line Break in Oil Additive and mentioned it a few times in some posts. This is from some correspondence I had with them. The Engine Oil Break-In Additive can be used to supplement the anti-wear protection that has been reduced in some oils. One ounce per quart would increase the phosphorus level by about 575ppm. This might be helpful for your flat cam engine. I would imagine 2 oz per qt of oil and you'd be GTG. HTH
 
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392
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OR
Just from my experiences over the past year or so... I run Quaker State 5w-30 SM (with no additive) every oil change in a my 67 Chevelle Malibu with a 283. My cam is a Elgin hydrallic flat tappet, .420"/.444" on a 112CL 204/214 duration @ .050. Broke it in on Quaker State 10w/30 and Comp #159. My springs specs are almost stock, 80lbs. closed/ 240 open. The lobe design is very easy on the valvetrain when compared to new cam manufacuter lines (Lunati Voodoo, Comp Xtreme, Crane Z Cams, etc...) I also broke in a 327 for a friend. We used Rotella 15w-40 only. It was a L-79 blueprint grind, again hydrallic flat tappet. His spring pressures were 100lbs. open and 300lb. closed. He runs nothing but HDEO oils. Everythings fine, again another older, 'lazier' cam lobe profie. I also have a 55 210 chevy. I put in a Comp Xtreme mechanical flat tappet .488/.510 230/236 @ .050 on a 110 CL in a 327. My spring pressure is 130lbs. closed/ 294lbs. open. The xtreme energy line from Comp has crazy fast ramps. I broke the cam in on Brad Penn 10w-30 and BP is the only oil the engines see. I read somewhere that Z & P isn't as critical with spring pressures remain under 100lbs. closed and 300lbs. open. I have kind of followed that and everything's worked out well... at least I think? (The engines are all still relatively new with less than 10K on the clock so that's a remaining variable)
 
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4,431
Location
Massachusetts
 Originally Posted By: genynnc
I read somewhere that Z & P isn't as critical with spring pressures remain under 100lbs. closed and 300lbs. open. I have kind of followed that and everything's worked out well... at least I think?
I'll agree with this. Look at the millions of 2.5L and 4.0L Jeep engines driving around on SM.
 

cmayna

Thread starter
Messages
12
Location
Menlo Park, ca
Good info, thanks. I am currently running Brad Penn in the goat. They claim 1500ppm zinc though tests from Blackstone came back listing it at 1100+ppm. I'm running Royal Purple in the daughter's Mustang with a Blackstone report coming back also at 1100+ppm. Both reports lists the phosophrus at 930+ So I guess I'm good to go.
 
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13,132
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By Detroit
Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil is for street and track and runs about 1300-1400 of phosphorus and zinc. Redline breakin additive can be used to boost other oils zddp.
 
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229
Location
Greece
Hi everybody, I hope this isn't out of topic. I have a bottle of the Redline break in additive and I noticed that if you live the bottle still for over a week a thin layer of a creamy substance goes to the bottom of the bottle. Is this the ZDDP?
 
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747
Location
miami fl
 Originally Posted By: genynnc
Just from my experiences over the past year or so... I run Quaker State 5w-30 SM (with no additive) every oil change in a my 67 Chevelle Malibu with a 283. My cam is a Elgin hydrallic flat tappet, .420"/.444" on a 112CL 204/214 duration @ .050. Broke it in on Quaker State 10w/30 and Comp #159. My springs specs are almost stock, 80lbs. closed/ 240 open. The lobe design is very easy on the valvetrain when compared to new cam manufacuter lines (Lunati Voodoo, Comp Xtreme, Crane Z Cams, etc...) I also broke in a 327 for a friend. We used Rotella 15w-40 only. It was a L-79 blueprint grind, again hydrallic flat tappet. His spring pressures were 100lbs. open and 300lb. closed. He runs nothing but HDEO oils. Everythings fine, again another older, 'lazier' cam lobe profie. I also have a 55 210 chevy. I put in a Comp Xtreme mechanical flat tappet .488/.510 230/236 @ .050 on a 110 CL in a 327. My spring pressure is 130lbs. closed/ 294lbs. open. The xtreme energy line from Comp has crazy fast ramps. I broke the cam in on Brad Penn 10w-30 and BP is the only oil the engines see. I read somewhere that Z & P isn't as critical with spring pressures remain under 100lbs. closed and 300lbs. open. I have kind of followed that and everything's worked out well... at least I think? (The engines are all still relatively new with less than 10K on the clock so that's a remaining variable)
those spring numbers are typical for regular street engines that wont see the high side of 5500 rpm. I have a flat tappet solid crane that has 140 closed and 360 open spring specs and I wind it up to 6700 rpm. I still have the breakin oil after 1 year and about 2000 miles. on top of that the cam was a used cam I recieved from a buddy many years ago. I put new lifters on the used cam and cranked it up and let it idle about 1000 rpm on its intial startup. I wasn't worried about wiping any cam lobes I recently worked at a performance shop that had a line of muscle cars with wiped out cam lobes from all manufactures. Some people know how to make things work and some are just learning
 
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NW Ohio
Now this is a thread in the best BITOG tradition! Lots of useful info exchanged, no subjective fluff and no verbal abuse! Kudos to all!
 
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22,584
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
 Originally Posted By: cmayna
Can I assume that too much of anything is not good? So much jargon going on about our muscle car engines with flat tappet cams not having enough zinc and phosphorus, make me wonder if one can add too much additive to their oils bringing the numbers too high? What is the optimim zinc levels? I assume that whatever the zinc is, phosphorus would be 100-200ppm less? No more, no less? What also confuses me is the talk from all these oil mfg's saying that the zinc and phos levels are only a part of the equation and that our special formulas allow those number to be a little lower yet our oil properly protects your flat cam. Is there an optimum zinc level? 1200-1500?
Sweeeeeeeeeet collection!!!!!!!!!!
 
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1,267
Location
Tennessee
This question is just as popular as the 20 weight vs 30 weight debate, but there is even LESS examples out there to decide an answer. Most of the engines that have been used as an example are under 10,000 miles young. I consider my 86 F-150 with the EFI 5.0 and flat tappet cam with 123,400 miles (happened to notice today) to be low mileage. I ran Castrol GTX 10W-30 in it for about 15,000 miles, but then got hooked on the great results and price of Rotella Synthetic 5W-40. Not to mention... I was just wanting to be on the safe side of the line if it does come down to mattering anything about zinc and phosphorous for these "old flat tappet engines". Was GTX 10W-30 causing any noise or consumption? No. I simply changed because I think the question remains, how important is zinc and phosphorous? I've seen claims of engines dying in 3k miles because of these new oils, and I've seen engines 'going forever' on today's oils regardless of the ZDDP levels. If anyone has any studies/tests done or book marked, please share. I've never seen any, just read many people's opinions.
 
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13,132
Location
By Detroit
 Originally Posted By: cmayna
Can I assume that too much of anything is not good? So much jargon going on about our muscle car engines with flat tappet cams not having enough zinc and phosphorus, make me wonder if one can add too much additive to their oils bringing the numbers too high?
I believe that too much zddp can cause pitting of the bearings or some horrible thing like that. The number would be pretty high but I would not run anything higher than what is in Redline, which IIRC is around 1600 ppm. I have a 9500 mile OCI on 2200 ppm zinc and phos. Didn't kill my engine, but not sure what long term use like that would do.
 
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8,859
Location
Texas
 Originally Posted By: cmayna
Can I assume that too much of anything is not good? So much jargon going on about our muscle car engines with flat tappet cams not having enough zinc and phosphorus, make me wonder if one can add too much additive to their oils bringing the numbers too high? What is the optimim zinc levels? I assume that whatever the zinc is, phosphorus would be 100-200ppm less? No more, no less? What also confuses me is the talk from all these oil mfg's saying that the zinc and phos levels are only a part of the equation and that our special formulas allow those number to be a little lower yet our oil properly protects your flat cam. Is there an optimum zinc level? 1200-1500?
I think you're close- I'd say maybe 800-1200 PPM is "optimal." I do think the oil mfgs are making progress with other additives to take up the slack in place of Zn and P. And remember that unless you're running a *really* agressive cam grind that requires insanely stiff springs, you really aren't going to be in the lubrication regime where ZDDP is protecting you once the cam and lifters are initially broken in. I am personally leery of additives because I figure the oil company engineers get paid more than I do to figure out what add packs work well together and which ones fight each other. I just started my '60 Coronet R/T (440 Magnum, stock grind) on its first fill of SM rated oil, but it *is* SM rated Rotella T Synthetic. My other 440 (same cam grind, but a recent build engine) has about 18k miles on SL and SM rated oil (Mobil 1, then a fill of RP that I'm going to evaluate next.) No cam problems yet, will post the UOA on the SM rated RP at about 1k miles. There are lots of race-geared oils out there that have scads of ZDDP, but I would really hesitate to run them in a street muscle car because at a certain point I suspect they sacrifice detergent and solvent additives to get more ZDDP in suspension. Race apps don't really need detergency since the engines get used for a couple of seasons at most, not for 200,000 miles.
 
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392
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OR
 Quote:
I put new lifters on the used cam and cranked it up and let it idle about 1000 rpm on its intial startup.
Yep, I did this too... but mine was on accident (whoops! to long of a story to tell)... all ended up well though- even with SM engine oil. Again, the spring specs were mild.
 
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13,132
Location
By Detroit
 Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
There are lots of race-geared oils out there that have scads of ZDDP, but I would really hesitate to run them in a street muscle car because at a certain point I suspect they sacrifice detergent and solvent additives to get more ZDDP in suspension. Race apps don't really need detergency since the engines get used for a couple of seasons at most, not for 200,000 miles.
Fortunately Valvoline VR-1 is not like that, but is fully streetable in your hot rod or grandma's grocery getter. The other Valoline racing oils are for race only.
 
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1,267
Location
Tennessee
I could have swore someone said Valvoline VR-1 was a 3000 mile oil because of the low detergents. Which, is fine, but the price is too high if that is true. Hard to beat HDEO's.
 
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