oil for '72 Ferrari

Messages
62
Location
California
Hi, All, I just discovered this site and am extremely impressed with the knowledge reflected in the posts I read! So here goes. I have a '72 Ferrari Dino, 2.4 liter engine, 200 hp, 6000 miles since rebuild, 8.5 quart oil capacity. Cost to rebuild engine = ca. $9K. Cost to replace blown engine = ca. $20K. The car is driven once a month in warm weather (65-80* F)(So. Calif.)for about an hour, long enough for oil to fully warm. It is driven carefully, the engine revved to 6500 rpm a few times during the drive only after it is fully warm. It never gets humid where I live, and the engine never runs hot. I have been using dino oil, 20-50 W, usually Castrol GTX or Valvoline, and changing it annually, which is about 250 miles driven. As I see it, it would make sense to change to synthetic oil if it can offer me: 1) less damage on start up / warm up 2) more protection in the event I develop an oiling problem ( enough so the engine won't be toast before I notice something isn't right) 3) extended time duration between changes, since miles driven is a non-issue Do these apply, or, given the way the car is used, is a good dino oil just as good? If they do apply, is Mobil 1 15-50 W a good choice? Thanks mucho!
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
Cool and unique ride there. First off, forget about mineral-based 20w-50's if your interested in getting great protection for that engine of yours. 1) less damage on start up / warm up: Sure...as long as the additive package is strong enough to prevent wear until a hydrodynamic film has formed, then yes, a synthetic will flow better than a mineral based oil on startup. Given the temperatures you are operating in though, I feel the difference is too small to really make an issue though. 2) more protection in the event I develop an oiling problem ( enough so the engine won't be toast before I notice something isn't right): Yep, synthetics offer higher HT/HS numbers and have higher flash points, so if something does ever happen, you'll have a better chance of making it somewhere before the oil goes south... 3) extended time duration between changes, since miles driven is a non-issue: Both a synthetic and a mineral-based HDEO will offer long drain-intervals in an engine...but yes, in comparison to the 20w-50's you have been running, a synthetic will offer the capability to run longer intervals...but still, for optimum protection, no matter what you are running, I'd change every year...oil is pretty cheap. So for maximum performanc/protection: A synthetic oil with moly to aid in start-up wear. I suggest Redline 5w-40. Also, don't forget about selecting a good oil filter. BTW, if you want to stick with mineral oils, in my opinion, for the best performance/protection, your only choice is gonna be an HDEO 15w-40, but I feel the Redline is a much better choice.
 
Messages
47,824
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Hard to argue with Jelly. If you are changing the oil at 1 year or 250 miles, then select a good free flowing oil. Most modern oils should not be pressed too hard here. But, what viscosity does Ferrari call for? NOW and back in 1972? Why was the engine rebuilt? Anything different now with the clearances? Indeed lose the 20W-50 dino. Any assumed protection is pretty much a myth, backed by ancient Castrol advertising hyperbolae. A good dino 15W-40 such as Pennzoil or Chevron Delo 400 will protect as good, if not way better. If the engine is purpose built with loose tolerances and calls for a 20W-50 at your temps, then at least use a free flowing synthetic such as Amsoil 20W-50. One thing for sure you have a pretty huge sump capacity. THAT is a good thing (TBN droping in a year shouldn't be an issue)....but certainly must take awhile to warm that oil up. So yeah 15W max! I will say though that with a good synthetic in So Cal at those start temp you simply don't need a 5W for cold starts. A 10W or even 15W will serve you just fine. Not even 100% sure you need a 40, a 30 at 100°C may be fine - again depends on what Ferrari says.....and also pay the $20 for an analysis to see how your engine is doing!!!! [Cheers!] Now, what type of filter are you using?
 
Messages
509
Location
Las Vegas, NV
First off I would like to say: [Welcome!] That is one neat car! I agree with Pablo and Jelly that you should use a synthetic oil. My suggestions in order of preference are Amsoil 20W-50, Castrol Formula RS 10W-60, Mobil 1 15W-50 and Castrol Syntec 20W-50. I would NEVER put a conventional oil in a fine car such as your Ferrari Dino! I also think you should change the oil once a year and get an oil analysis done with your next oil change. [ February 19, 2004, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
 
Messages
2,480
I disagree. The engine is 32 years old. Just KEEP on doing what you're doing. The 20-50 is fine...changing it out 1/yr. is fine. Nice car by the way! I'm surprised nobody mentioned to use a 5-30...or even better a 5-20. [Big Grin] Not to be a smart *** , but why risk oil leaks? Why double/triple the cost with synth. if you're using the car so infrequently? I would just stick with the conv. 20-50...
 
Messages
310
Location
Northern California
I'm going to go against the grain here. Given you are not tracking the car, I would say run a good mineral oil in the factory recommended weight (probably 20w-50) and if you are worried about it, change it twice a year. Now advice you didn't ask for. The Dino is a very fun car to drive. As far are Ferrari's go, they are not very collectable. Why are you letting this thing languish in the garage? You should be driving this at least a couple of thousand miles a year. Take it out, drive it to work once in a while, enjoy it!!!! This is coming from someone who helped put 10,000 miles on a 1965 Lamborghini 350GT in one year and there were only 126 of those made. Cary
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
With this car, I would consult some real experts. [LOL!] Remember this is the Internet and you will get a lot of opinion, not necessarilly always fact. I don't know this car or what any seal compatibility issues there might be etc. I tend to agree with Dr. T [Big Grin] I'd keep doing what you are doing and get with the boys in Italy on this one. I'm sure they have a web site and e-mail.
 
Messages
22,187
Location
Colorado Springs
quote:
Originally posted by haley10: With this car, I would consult some real experts. [LOL!] Remember this is the Internet and you will get a lot of opinion, not necessarilly always fact. I don't know this car or what any seal compatibility issues there might be etc. I tend to agree with Dr. T [Big Grin] I'd keep doing what you are doing and get with the boys in Italy on this one. I'm sure they have a web site and e-mail.
I agree with Haley 1000%. People here may be able to give advice to "Joe-Bob" about oil for his Civic or something, but you have an over 30 year old Ferrari. I know for a fact that many older European sports cars are not to use synthetic oil for whatever reason. Consult an expert for your vehicle! In the mean time, I agree with Jelly; try a 15w-40 mixed fleet oil. They will have superior viscosity protection and superb anti-wear properties. Or, you may want to go with valvoline racing oil.
 
Messages
22,187
Location
Colorado Springs
quote:
Originally posted by vvk: I don't know about Valvoline, but Castrol GTX 20W-50 would probably be my choice.
[Roll Eyes] You all diss Valvolivne at any chance, yet it produces analysis results equal to any other dino out there. And their 20w-50 and 10w-30 racing oils are top quality oils used extensively in the racing community. (I know someone will say, no way, they all use synthetic. I'm talkin weekend warriors/SCCA/autocrossing)
 
Messages
1,759
Location
Elizabeth City NC
I am with the stick to what you are doing crowd. I have a TR3 with 125,000 miles on the 20w-50 GTX and I know there are better oils but this car is use to it. It starts every time and runs great,no consumption so I find no reason to change to a synthetic. The specs on the delo 400 are not as good as Castrol GTX 20w-50 so I am unsure of why anyone would consider that type of oil. It suppose to be more shear stable but even if 50w oil shears it would not shear much, 40w maybe. Also at 1000 miles are less a year I would think 0 shear would be normal.
 
Messages
5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, going by an old catalogue I have here the oil should be a 15w-50 or a 20w-50 But that was for normal use - and you are NOT using it normally!! So yes Mobil 1 15w-50 would be good for your use Even better considering all aspects of your use and especially the possibilty of cold start valve train wear I would use either of these oils if the car was mine; Shell Rotella T 5w-40 synthetic HDEO or, Mobil Delvac 1 5w-40 synthetic HDEO These oils offer signaificant advantages over the original recommendations Regards
 
Messages
47,824
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
I don't quite understand some of the stick with what's been working comments. He just had the engine rebuilt. I asked "why?" He says (basically) he needs an oil that flows better at start up for better low usage, cool protection. Sorry, but a dino 20W-50 is not that type of oil. He says he wants an oil that may protect better in the event of something extreme happening..... In most cases a synthetic is better for these situations. What was recommended in 1972 may not be what he needs for his newly rebuilt motor.
 
Messages
310
Location
Northern California
I'm going to throw in a few additional cents here. Contrary to the belief of many on this board, cars ran fine on 20w-50 mineral for years. There are literally hundreds of thousands of BMW's, Mercedes and Volvo's, not to mention V-8 Ford, Chevy and Chryler's that have gone more than 200,000 miles with no problems on mineral 20w-50. Given that this car is never seeing weather below 50F, start up lube is not an issue. I would say if anything, this car will rot from not being driven enough.
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by Drew99GT: You all diss Valvolivne at any chance, yet it produces analysis results equal to any other dino out there.
Bull. You need to go read all the Valvoline UOAs that have been posted here. Valvoline consistenly shows poorer numbers than other oils. Take a look at the VOAs too. Valvoline consistently shows lower additive treat rates than other oils. I always thought Valvoline was one of the best oils you could buy until I found this site and started seeing the numbers. I'd use WalMart's SuperTech oil before I'd use Valvoline.
 

Pantdino

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
California
Thanks for all your responses, and I'm going to try to answer your questions. The engine was rebuilt in 1986 for $14,200 because it dropped a valve into the combustion chamber. When the heads were machined the shop cut too deep, ruining the heads. A law suit ensued, etc. Very ugly. Engine rebuilt to very high standard at Ferrari dealer. The factory workshop manual specifies a clearance between crank main journal and main bearing as 0.0016 - 0.0035" with the rod bearings about the same. I don't know how that compares with modern cars. The workshop manual calls for Shell Super Motor Oil (no weight mentioned) for temps to -15*C and Shell X 100 10W30 for temps below that. But it specifies the engine must not be run hard with the latter oil. I called Ferrari of Orange County, where the service rep told me they use Agip 10-40 at $8 a quart in the older cars and Shell Helix 5-40 at $18 a quart in the '96 and later ones. I asked if the former was synthetic, and he said, "semi-synthetic." When I asked him if you could use the Shell Helix in the older cars, he said yes, if you wanted to spend the money. I checked the web regarding Agip oils, and they don't make a semi-synthetic oil, so he must be using Super. I called an independent repair shop that specializes in Ferrari 8 cylinder cars, who said he uses Castrol GTX 20-50 in the carburated cars and changes the oil every 1000 miles. He said there was no point in spending the extra money on synthetics unless it's a very pristine car. The logic of that fails me, because it's still going to cost about $12K to rebuild the engine, no matter what the car looks like. These responses from the professionals don't surprise me, and it's why I'm very interested in the opinions of members of this site. Sorry to say it, but most mechanics know almost nothing about oil, their preferences being based on anecdotal experience or the recommendations of an oil company rep. And I doubt that anyone at Ferrari is spending any time worrying about what oil is best for a car they made 30 years ago. Thanks for all your input!
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
If it were my Ferrari I'd use Shell Rotella 15w40 and change it every six months regardless of mileage.
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: If it were my Ferrari I'd use Shell Rotella 15w40 and change it every six months regardless of mileage.
You'd actually pick Rotella over Delo, Delvac, or Long-Life? Mind if I ask why?
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
The viscosity of oil depends on the temps the engine is operated in and the machined clearances ask the machine shop or the rebuilder. A 20w/50 racing oil or a 15w/40 heavy duty oil would work fine . Mobil 1 would work. I'm sure if an oiling problem occurs the engine has a great chance of being damaged reguardless of oil choice unless a low pressure oil switch is used. In warm weather there is very little to be gained with syn oil in startup. You should have a goal to drive the crap out of the car . That is why Enzo builds cars.
 
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