Oil For Old Small-Block Chevy

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Hello All, As you can see in my sig below, I've got a 1990 Corvette with the first generation small-block Chevy 350 in it. I'm the third owner of the car and I can tell you that it has seen nothing but M1 5w30 since it came off the assembly line in late '89, at least up until I owned it. I was running Redline 5w30 for the first coouple of years that I owned it, then Redline got to be more money than I was willing to pay for it. I then converted back to M1, same viscosity up until last year. I tried M1 0w20 in it and I really didn't care for it. The oil pressure is fine, but valve train makes more noise than I remember and I don't think it has the film strength to seal the pistons in the upper revs (engine is stock). It also seemed like it was burning some of that oil, so back to 5w30 for the old v8. I've been reading a lot on this forum about how good the Pennzoil synthetics are and I'm thinking about giving it a try. The car is driven daily during the nice months of the year, but does see some autocross and a little bit of drag racing at grudge night. I do not plan on changing the oil back and forth for the racing. Given this, what do you folks recommend? Thanks, Adam.
 
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If you want to remain with a synthetic, I would use whichever was cheapest--M1 or Pennzoil Platinum. Another choice might be Quaker State Ultimate Durability (usually about $21 for 5 QTs). How was the M1 working for you before switching to Redline? Any reason not to stay with M1?
 
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Originally Posted By: 2010_FX4
If you want to remain with a synthetic, I would use whichever was cheapest--M1 or Pennzoil Platinum. Another choice might be Quaker State Ultimate Durability (usually about $21 for 5 QTs). How was the M1 working for you before switching to Redline? Any reason not to stay with M1?
+1 PP has 10 dollar rebate and few bucks less. both pep boys and walmart has em for cheap right now. i would use PP
 
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M1 5w30 EP, or PU 5w30 would be my picks for that engine. The Corvette version of the 350 had roller lifters by then, and even if it didn't its well broken-in, so no need for high Zn/P formulated oils. If you want to experiment a little, I'd see no harm in running M1 0w40 (or PU 0w40, but it seems harder to find unless you want to raid a Dodge dealer and hide the "Mopar" branded oil bottles from your GM friends ;-) . A 0w40 would give you little more viscosity margin for the track days, but there's minimal windage/shearing/pumping power penalty like a 15w50 or other racing oil might give you. See what your oil pressures look like with the 0w40.
 
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Originally Posted By: Bottom_Feeder
Curious why you tried 0w20 in a 20+ year old car...?
If there was a high ZDDP version of a 0w20 out there, I'd try it in one of my 45 year old big-blocks. I've got a huge oil pressure and volume surplus to throw at a thin oil on those engines:-)
 

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Originally Posted By: 2010_FX4
If you want to remain with a synthetic, I would use whichever was cheapest--M1 or Pennzoil Platinum. Another choice might be Quaker State Ultimate Durability (usually about $21 for 5 QTs). How was the M1 working for you before switching to Redline? Any reason not to stay with M1?
M1 before Redline was just fine, the car saw 111K trouble free miles to that point and the engine ran like it was still brand new, as you would expect. Switched to Redline for additional performance and because I was planning to use it heavy in autocross. No reason not to use M1, been usig it a long time and in many differnt vehicles to great success. Just hearing a lot about Pennzoil synthetics and will test other waters if others endorse, which they seem to with PP and PU.
 

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Good question and I figured someone was going to ask it. I tried by the recommendation of educational portion of this website. You know the "oil university"? The guy who wrote heavily endorsed the idea of using 20 over 30 weigth oils, and in general was talking about backing off the viscosity according to the oil pressure. I'm using M1 0w20 in my truck with great success, can't tell the difference it and the 5w30, at least in terms of how it runs and the pressures. I've backed off of that with the 'vette, did not run as well.
 

Matchlight

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Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Originally Posted By: Bottom_Feeder
Curious why you tried 0w20 in a 20+ year old car...?
If there was a high ZDDP version of a 0w20 out there, I'd try it in one of my 45 year old big-blocks. I've got a huge oil pressure and volume surplus to throw at a thin oil on those engines:-)
Which is part of the reason that I used it in my 'vette, that engine has huge oil pressure with 5w30 when you start it up in the morning. Even in the summer, the oil pressure practically pegs upon start-up. Cruising it highway speeds, it's up there almost at 80 psi, which is the limit of the gauge.
 
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Originally Posted By: Matchlight
Good question and I figured someone was going to ask it. I tried by the recommendation of educational portion of this website. You know the "oil university"? The guy who wrote heavily endorsed the idea of using 20 over 30 weigth oils, and in general was talking about backing off the viscosity according to the oil pressure. I'm using M1 0w20 in my truck with great success, can't tell the difference it and the 5w30, at least in terms of how it runs and the pressures. I've backed off of that with the 'vette, did not run as well.
Are you using real oil pressure gauges and not just the dummy gauges GM puts on the dash?
 

Matchlight

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Originally Posted By: Brenden
Originally Posted By: Matchlight
Good question and I figured someone was going to ask it. I tried by the recommendation of educational portion of this website. You know the "oil university"? The guy who wrote heavily endorsed the idea of using 20 over 30 weigth oils, and in general was talking about backing off the viscosity according to the oil pressure. I'm using M1 0w20 in my truck with great success, can't tell the difference it and the 5w30, at least in terms of how it runs and the pressures. I've backed off of that with the 'vette, did not run as well.
Are you using real oil pressure gauges and not just the dummy gauges GM puts on the dash?
Dummy.
 
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I would go for PU or PP 5w30 or M1 0w-40. Your '90 350 is nowhere near the first generation of 350 engines. The first one was introduced in 1967.
 

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Originally Posted By: Coprolite
I would go for PU or PP 5w30 or M1 0w-40. Your '90 350 is nowhere near the first generation of 350 engines. The first one was introduced in 1967.
You are correct, however the overall design and layout of the engine was the same from 1968 to 1985 at which point they added things like a one piece rear main seal, roller cam shafts and some other minor things. 1967 was the odd ball of the 350's because it used the earlier "small" bearing journals and cartridge oil filters. All of the small-block V8's from 1955 until LT1's were introduced in '92 were refered to as the generation 1 small-blocks, at least by GM. Heck, they continued to use the "1st generation" up through the 2003 model year vans.
 
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