How to find out the ZDDP

Joined
Jun 20, 2022
Messages
8
I'm running an old flat tappet V8 so obviously I'm looking for a high zinc oil.
But the question is, how do I actually find out the ZDDP of an oil? Will any multi purpose oil that's also meant for diesels work? I'm looking at 10w40. Can I just use a Shell Helix or a Fanfaro with the right viscosity?
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
641
Location
Maryland
I'm running an old flat tappet V8 so obviously I'm looking for a high zinc oil.
But the question is, how do I actually find out the ZDDP of an oil? Will any multi purpose oil that's also meant for diesels work? I'm looking at 10w40. Can I just use a Shell Helix or a Fanfaro with the right viscosity?
Look at the VOA Section here!
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
23,003
Location
Upper Midwest
Flat tappet engines do not need very high levels of ZDDP once they are broken in. The Helix oil with VW 502 00 approval is a good choice.

Here is a listing for ExxonMobil oils:
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
12,886
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I'm running an old flat tappet V8 so obviously I'm looking for a high zinc oil.
But the question is, how do I actually find out the ZDDP of an oil? Will any multi purpose oil that's also meant for diesels work? I'm looking at 10w40. Can I just use a Shell Helix or a Fanfaro with the right viscosity?
I like this Castrol GTX Classic for my '60s high compression, flat tappet V8 engines.
Mild camshafts with stock springs will live a long time on a decent 10w30. But if you pump up the spring pressure, higher ZDDP is good insurance.

If I ever pull one of these engines apart again, I will stab a hydraulic roller and be done with it.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
40
Location
USA
In addition to the Virginia Oil Analysis threads mentioned above (see https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/forums/virgin-oil-analysis-pcmo-hdeo.11/) many oil manufacturers will publish product data sheets (PDS) or similar technical data sheets listing properties of their oils, including Zinc and Phosphorus (ZDDP) data. However, not all manufacturers publish these, and some may not include ZDDP data

In the US, a 10w40 viscosity isn't super common among your "off the shelf" higher ZDDP options, such as from Valvoline VR1, Castrol GTX Classic (US version), Kendall GT-1 Competition, which are 20w50 or 10w30, etc. Though according to the Mobil site linked above, the high mileage version of Mobil 1 10w-40 does have 1000 ppm ZDDP, if 1000 ppm ZDDP is enough for what you're looking for. Otherwise you'd likely need to consider a more boutique offering (given low sales volumes, all high ZDDP oils are boutique, but I mean a boutique such that you can't go out to your local big box or parts store and get it)

Only because it was announced recently, I will mention that Motul recently launched a 10w-40 higher ZDDP oil - Motul Classic Eighties 10W40

Technical data sheet here, doesn't list out each element specifically but says "high Zinc, Phosphorus (ZDDP content >1800 ppm)"


I presume a lot of your boutique / racing / hot rod oils offer a 10w-40 higher ZDDP option (Driven, Redline, etc)

I know PennGrade1 does, here's their PDS


In terms of just picking up a diesel oil for higher ZDDP. first, in the US at least, 10w-40 isn't a common diesel oil viscosity (15w-40 is most common). Second, someone can likely explain better than I, but many diesel oils have lowered their ZDDP to retain their dual rating (gas and diesel) due to API changes. While I haven't seen a recent VOA, Shell Rotella is reportedly one of the diesel oils that, rather than keep an API gas rating, retains higher ZDDP levels. From the Mobil site linked above, it appears some of the Mobil diesel oils also retain higher ZDDP. So don't just assume a diesel oil will be high ZDDP, check the PDS or VOA
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
12,886
Location
Los Gatos, CA
While I haven't seen a recent VOA, Shell Rotella is reportedly one of the diesel oils that, rather than keep an API gas rating, retains higher ZDDP levels.
I have run Rotella T 15w40; the detergent pack is great. But there are better choices out there. The Corvette Forum has used a lot of Rotella and other oils. The numbers on our blocks are important! Rotella has gone outta favor.
 

FCD

Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
3,882
Location
Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
I'm running an old flat tappet V8 so obviously I'm looking for a high zinc oil.
But the question is, how do I actually find out the ZDDP of an oil? Will any multi purpose oil that's also meant for diesels work? I'm looking at 10w40. Can I just use a Shell Helix or a Fanfaro with the right viscosity?
I assume you live in Europe, Most of our A3/B4 10W-40s have an ok Zddp level for flat tappet cams.
Shell Helix is on the lower end of the scale as far as ZDDP ( 950-1000ppm ) if you want a high ZDPP 10W-40 for example, Valvoline Maxlife and Total 7000 both have 1200-1300ppm which is more than enough.
 

FCD

Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
3,882
Location
Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
A 15W-40 Truck oil would also work just fine, for example : Shell Rimula R4X 15W-40 has 1200-1250ppm of ZDDP , i've used it many times, another one would be Mobil Delvac MX 15W-40.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
214
Location
Brazil
Like FDC said, most API SL / ACEA A3/B4 or E7 for Diesels, always tend to have high ZDDP. I would look for a HDEO SL / E7 / MB 228.3
 
  • Like
Reactions: FCD
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
18,632
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
I'm running an old flat tappet V8 so obviously I'm looking for a high zinc oil.
But the question is, how do I actually find out the ZDDP of an oil? Will any multi purpose oil that's also meant for diesels work? I'm looking at 10w40. Can I just use a Shell Helix or a Fanfaro with the right viscosity?
What engine, cam, what car?

An old V8 + high zdp oil are not necessarily obvious bedfellows.

My current, modern Ford is a flat tappet (though OHC), and many Nissan's are flat tappet. Modern lowered phosphate oils are tested for API certification (EOLCS) using such an engine mockup
per ASTM D6891. Yes, spring open force is much less, but in OHC the lift is not leveraged so there is greater face velocity and acceleration at the tappet-to-cam contact zone.

If you are running a performance flat tappet cam with "stronger" open pressure to widen the RPM capability and prevent valvetrain float, then you may wish a higher % phosphorous - as old pushrod engines may have spotty lubrication at the cam and upper pushrod ball. Just know that it isn't a panacea, I have rebuilt many engines and most have had 2 or 3 lobes wiped in under 100K miles and a shot timing system.. An that was running with high zdp doped lubricants ( API SD/SE) and factory, light, valvesprings. The takeaway: oil wont crutch bad metallurgy.

IF you are running a high velocity cam profile, you have two choices:

1) Run a motor oil with suitable zdp doping
2) Add a break in lube from a top cam manufacturer

Mercury Marine Quicksilver 25w40 has high treatment rates, there may be others.

Then you have Various 4T Motorcycle/ATV oils from Valvoline, Castrol etc, many which have adequate doping but may be low on beneficial moly.

See here >

I prefer option #2 but many wish to trust a fully formulated product and not play
"mad scientist"

- Ken
 

Versus

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 20, 2022
Messages
8
What engine, cam, what car?

An old V8 + high zdp oil are not necessarily obvious bedfellows.

My current, modern Ford is a flat tappet (though OHC), and many Nissan's are flat tappet. Modern lowered phosphate oils are tested for API certification (EOLCS) using such an engine mockup
per ASTM D6891. Yes, spring open force is much less, but in OHC the lift is not leveraged so there is greater face velocity and acceleration at the tappet-to-cam contact zone.

If you are running a performance flat tappet cam with "stronger" open pressure to widen the RPM capability and prevent valvetrain float, then you may wish a higher % phosphorous - as old pushrod engines may have spotty lubrication at the cam and upper pushrod ball. Just know that it isn't a panacea, I have rebuilt many engines and most have had 2 or 3 lobes wiped in under 100K miles and a shot timing system.. An that was running with high zdp doped lubricants ( API SD/SE) and factory, light, valvesprings. The takeaway: oil wont crutch bad metallurgy.

IF you are running a high velocity cam profile, you have two choices:

1) Run a motor oil with suitable zdp doping
2) Add a break in lube from a top cam manufacturer

Mercury Marine Quicksilver 25w40 has high treatment rates, there may be others.

Then you have Various 4T Motorcycle/ATV oils from Valvoline, Castrol etc, many which have adequate doping but may be low on beneficial moly.

See here >

I prefer option #2 but many wish to trust a fully formulated product and not play
"mad scientist"

- Ken
I got a bit busy with life, sorry about the late reply folks.

1971 Ford 429 4V, stock cam. As far as I'm aware these had flat tappet cams.
Spring pressures are 76-84 @ 1.810 according to the manual.

The car is driven all year round and the temperatures range from -15C to 35C. Most people here run 10w40 oil. I followed that and used Millers 10w40 for classics, the car seemed happy with it however I'm looking for a less overpriced option. Valvoline is available here, seems alright.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,084
Location
Ontario, Canada
I got a bit busy with life, sorry about the late reply folks.

1971 Ford 429 4V, stock cam. As far as I'm aware these had flat tappet cams.
Spring pressures are 76-84 @ 1.810 according to the manual.

The car is driven all year round and the temperatures range from -15C to 35C. Most people here run 10w40 oil. I followed that and used Millers 10w40 for classics, the car seemed happy with it however I'm looking for a less overpriced option. Valvoline is available here, seems alright.
With the stock broomstick cam, you'd be fine with anything TBH. If you can get a Euro 5w-40 that's cheap, that's what I'd go with, or an HDEO even in a 15w-40, though a 5w-40 would be preferable.
 
Top