Oil for a flat tappet cam big block

Messages
20
Location
ames, ia
My friend just built a 454 chevy with a flat tappet cam. I suggested Rotella T synthetic 5-40, Mobil 0-30 with Red line break in additive, or just Red Line 0-30. The cheapest would be the rotella T but he just spent 4,000 on building this engine. What are your opinions?
 
Messages
47,526
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Well, what does the $4000 builder recommend for break in? What viscosity? I would use an HDEO with a break in additive for a few short runs and then go with Amsoil racing oil of the correct viscosity.
 
Messages
502
Location
Canada
I'd use the Rotella or any other HDEO plus a brand name break in additive. GM makes some break in additive too that is probably cheaper than Red Line or cam manufacturer brand.
 
Messages
392
Location
OR
I'm with Pablo, go with amsoil racing after the break in atleast their oil analysis have great numbers... and sorry to go off on a tangent but I just got back 2 VOA's on VR1 and Brad Penn- I'll post them this weekend. However, I'm VERY dissapointed in both oils- mainly due to their marketing. The VR1 is not even close to the Z & P advertised and the Brad Penn was short too. I'm refraining from giving the numbers right now just because a posted VOA lets the numbers talk. [censored], according to the VR1 VOA M1 HM has just as much z & p. I did complain to Brad Penn about the 'lower' levels of Z & P in my VOA and sent it to them. They called saying something like..."The unique cut of Brad Penn's base oils have a three pronged magnetized ability to bond to metal surfaces providing extra protection for even your lower levels z & p. Other oils simply have one head of magnetization, where even if they had higher levels of z & p, it still wouldn't protect as much..." I may have butchered that a little but that's the nuts and bolts of it. I didn't contact Ashland but no more pimpin' the BP and VR1 for me. Diesel or Amsoil Racing or Shaefers for me. Again sorry about the venting, I just thought that Brad Penn's stuff was atleast been a little better. And VR1 is just basically an SL oil in terms of z & p. (VR1 VOA was the street stuff- not the NON street legal version)
 
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Messages
43,650
Location
'Stralia
If they don't get the lifters correctly positioned over the lobes, it doesn't matter what the oil is...they are ultimately toast. If they get the lifters set correctly over the lobes, it doesn't matter too greatly on the lube... But a high add oil will certainly help
 
Messages
1,067
Location
Northern, NY
Some of the old-school engine builders used to break in the BBC cams with the inner valve springs removed. There are also special rocker arms available with a lower ratio to help break in the cam properly. Any idea what camshaft is in your friend's engine? Valve spring pressures? A mild performance cam in a BBC can get by just fine with a break in additive and good oil, but a "bottom of the page" camshaft with a lot of lift/duration requires much stronger valve springs; in this case you may want to consider breaking it in with the inner springs removed. In any case, it is important to start the engine on the first attempt and run it for 20-30 minutes above 2500 rpms.
 
Messages
1,267
Location
Tennessee
Wow, that's surprising about the VR1 not having the correct amount of Zinc. Knowing that, I'd be breaking in on an HDEO with a break-in additive (you'll probably be pushing 1500-1600ppm zinc). Some quick oil changes, and then stick with some Rotella-T syn 5W-40.
 
Messages
446
Location
York, PA
 Originally Posted By: genynnc
... and sorry to go off on a tangent but I just got back 2 VOA's on VR1 and Brad Penn- I'll post them this weekend. However, I'm VERY dissapointed in both oils- mainly due to their marketing. The VR1 is not even close to the Z & P advertised and the Brad Penn was short too.
What lab did you use? There is a very recent thread somewhere on here that suggests Blackstone returns very low numbers for Z & P compared to other labs. Don't know if its true or not but I remember several threads on VOAs where the Z & P numbers were lower than the manufacturers advertise and all were Blackstone reports.
 
Messages
11,184
Location
Bad Axe, MI
is this going to be a daily driver?? M1 10w30HM,TDT 5w40,0w40,15w50 oil all have good shots of Zinc and phos,over 1000ppm with nice HTHS and would work well too.
 
Messages
392
Location
OR
Blackstone was the lab... but is there an average on how much lower Blackstone's #'s are compared with others?
 
Messages
8,859
Location
Texas
 Originally Posted By: psiclone
My friend just built a 454 chevy with a flat tappet cam. I suggested Rotella T synthetic 5-40, Mobil 0-30 with Red line break in additive, or just Red Line 0-30. The cheapest would be the rotella T but he just spent 4,000 on building this engine. What are your opinions?
For a 4x4 cam (mentioned later) I would think that Rotella synthetic would be fine. Cams intended to preserve low-RPM power don't usually have obscene spring pressures and ramp rates. On the other hand, older Chevy engines are harder on the cam/lifter interface than Fords, AMCs, and Mopars due to their smaller-diameter lifters, and the BB Chevy is even worse due to the awkward pushrod geometry. So its probably best to err on the side of caution. Any HDEO (Rotella, Delvac, Delo, M1 TDT, etc.) will tend to have a bigger dose of Zn/P and other additives to do the same job. But there are also still SL rated passenger car oils out there that should do OK. Royal Purple is staying SL with most of its line, as are many of the "high mileage" oils like MaxLife... at least for now. Personally I would avoid the "Racing" oils if this engine is going to be driven on the street a lot because they tend to short-change the detergent/dispersant additives. They might be OK with a ridiculously short oil change interval.
 
Messages
446
Location
York, PA
 Originally Posted By: genynnc
Blackstone was the lab... but is there an average on how much lower Blackstone's #'s are compared with others?
Here is the thread I was talking about. No where near conclusive but it does seem to fit with alot of the low numbers seen in VOAs for multiple brands of oil, not just Brad Penn.
 
Messages
47,526
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
 Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Personally I would avoid the "Racing" oils if this engine is going to be driven on the street a lot because they tend to short-change the detergent/dispersant additives. They might be OK with a ridiculously short oil change interval.
I think you generalize a bit much here. While I certainly wouldn't use a "racing" oil for an extended OCI, most are fine for a 10K OCI (I've done it!), which I highly doubt the OP is headed for, and will be perfectly fine for 5-7K OCI with the protection of the HDEO's mentioned and the FM esters HDEO's don't have.
 
Messages
1,267
Location
Tennessee
I don't see on their website, but someone posted on here recently that they were told by Valvoline that VR1 wasn't meant to be ran passed 3k miles. Maybe that person will chime in.
 
Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
psi - There is no adjustment to 'set the lifters on the cam.' The problem is high spring pressures and aggressive cam ramps. Pablo has very good advice, and your original plan is far better than just grabbing any bottle of oil off of the Walmart shelf.
 
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