Oil for 72 Corvette

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Sep 14, 2020
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Mobil 1 High Mileage 10W-40 has been updated by Mobil recently and has 900ppm zinc & 800ppm phosphorus. It no longer has "a bit more" as it did a few years ago.

Mobil 1 0W-40 has 1100ppm zinc & 1000 phosphorus.

Thank,s that's good to know. I only use it in my two generators and a pressure washer. I'm sure they are OK with this new formula. I guess it would be OK for a stock 72 Small Block Corvette, if not there are lots of other oils to use.
 
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I would try and learn more about the engine. Is it the original? Is it rebuilt?
1972 was the 1st year for reduced compression ratios.
If the engine uses a flat tappet camshaft, valve spring pressue may dictate the use of an elevated zinc oil.
Here is the new Castrol oil I really like: Castrol Classic Oil

Wally World has it.
If the oil change has been neglected, I might consider a short OCI with Shell Rotella T for its cleaning properties.

Enjoy the Vette! Here's mine:
View attachment 81536
Actually gm went with low compression and peanut plugs in 71. This is also the era when GM could not keep cam lobes. It was almost always the low performance 929 cams in the L 48 that rounded. The performance cams seemed ok.
 
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Actually gm went with low compression and peanut plugs in 71. This is also the era when GM could not keep cam lobes. It was almost always the low performance 929 cams in the L 48 that rounded. The performance cams seemed ok.
You're correct. '70 was the last year of the high compression engines. My mistake. I had a '70 Coupe with a '70 CRR 454. That's the LS6 out of a Chevelle. 4 to 6 mpg.
 
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Here is the new Castrol oil I really like: Castrol Classic Oil
That's the first I've heard about it. Nice to have another oil designed for flat tappet cams, instead of playing chemist with additives. (y) I've been using Valvoline VR1 in my old truck's 350.

On another note, I'd run away from that AC oil filter made by Champion, and instead go with Mobil 1 or Wix. That's based on what I've read here and on other forums. Also, both are more substantial (heavier) than cheaper AC, Fram, et al, if that means anything.
 
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You're correct. '70 was the last year of the high compression engines. My mistake. I had a '70 Coupe with a '70 CRR 454. That's the LS6 out of a Chevelle. 4 to 6 mpg.
I used to scour picapart for 69-70 impalas with the 300 hp 350. Those had the closed chamber heads with accessory bolt holes and were the cats meow 30 years ago.

Made a huge performance improvement over the 75 cc 882 and 624 heads that were so common.

Found a few that were damaged by dingalings putting taper seat plugs in them.
 
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Messages
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I used to scour picapart for 69-70 impalas with the 300 hp 350. Those had the closed chamber heads with accessory bolt holes and were the cats meow 30 years ago.

Made a huge performance improvement over the 75 cc 882 and 624 heads that were so common.
Those heads would have made a huge performance difference on the 307 that was in my 69 pickup. I always like the 300hp/350 as well as the 300hp/327. Net horsepower rating would probably have been 250hp or less, but I suspect they would be plenty powerful even today.
 
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Some of the 350 engines from 69,70,71 were commonly called nickel blocks because they had a greater amount of nickel in the casting, they were all 4 bolt mains and just above the timing cover to the right and below the intake manifold they had 2 vertical embossments that looked like parentheses. They were tougher and more heat tolerant, a lot of racers used them for those reasons. Probably not many around any more.
 
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I would try and learn more about the engine. Is it the original? Is it rebuilt?
1972 was the 1st year for reduced compression ratios.
If the engine uses a flat tappet camshaft, valve spring pressue may dictate the use of an elevated zinc oil.
Here is the new Castrol oil I really like: Castrol Classic Oil

Wally World has it.
If the oil change has been neglected, I might consider a short OCI with Shell Rotella T for its cleaning properties.

Enjoy the Vette! Here's mine:
View attachment 81536

You have a 72?
 
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Jul 23, 2021
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I'm interested in this as I may be getting a old truck with a 350 of that vintage. Not entirely sure what oil to use in it, but the current owner says he uses a 10w30.

For the OP, if I were changing really old oil that's sat for 2+ years, I'd do two oil changes in succession to get as much old oil and crud out. I'd do one OC, run it or drive it to circulate up to operating temps, and then do another OC. If money is a consideration I'd put a less expensive but good oil in for the first OC, like Supertech or Costco, and the 2nd OC would be a premium oil.
 
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Here's a good cite reference that gives the years of Corvettes and mechanical information, including oil weights and capacities.


For 1972 it states, for the 350 engine:
4.5 qts of oil with filter change.
Oil recommended:
Above 20°F: SAE 20W, SAE 10W-30, 10W-40, 20W-40
0°F to 60°F: SAE 10W 5W-30, 10W-40
Below 20°F: SAE 5W, 5W-20, 5W-30
 
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Here's a good cite reference that gives the years of Corvettes and mechanical information, including oil weights and capacities.


For 1972 it states, for the 350 engine:
4.5 qts of oil with filter change.
Oil recommended:
Above 20°F: SAE 20W, SAE 10W-30, 10W-40, 20W-40
0°F to 60°F: SAE 10W 5W-30, 10W-40
Below 20°F: SAE 5W, 5W-20, 5W-30
It was neat looking through the manual several posts up. I figured a 350 from '72 would have a much bigger sump. And I didn't realize 5W-20 existed back then.
 
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It was neat looking through the manual several posts up. I figured a 350 from '72 would have a much bigger sump. And I didn't realize 5W-20 existed back then.
The SAE grading system was different back then and you cannot compare today's 5W-20 oils to what was sold then. It was pre-HT/HS but back then 5W-20 would have likely had a value around 2.9 or 3.0. This is why the first Mobil 1 oil (5W-20) was marketed as a replacement for 10W-40.
 
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Oct 30, 2021
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253
I get the privilege of changing oils in a few of the family’s sports cars over the holidays. One of them is 72 corvette stingray with the 350 in it. Oil change history is… not good. It runs well but it’s been several years since it’s been changed, and unknown what oil. I was going to go with valvoline max life syn 10w-30 but is there any reason not to? Not sure if they’re syn blend would be a better fit. I doubt synthetic has ever been run through this. I was also going to pair it with an acdelco pf454 filter to keep it simple.
Always and forever Mobil1 for Corvettes
 
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