Oil suggestion for air cooled VW.

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Jun 26, 2003
Columbus Ohio
I have a buddy who has a built VW engine. 2500 cc's, 150-175 HP. He asked me what kind of oil should be run in it, and quite frankly, I have no clue. He is perfectly willing to pay for high dollar synthetics. Perhaps redline 10w30?
Originally posted by sbc350gearhead: I have a buddy who has a built VW engine. 2500 cc's, 150-175 HP. He asked me what kind of oil should be run in it, and quite frankly, I have no clue. He is perfectly willing to pay for high dollar synthetics. Perhaps redline 10w30?
air cooled, right? what kinda conditions is this thing exposed to? Cold Temps? High Temps? Racing, or hard driving? etc, etc, etc...
Hi, a bit more data is sorely needed in order to make a serious suggestion In particular the engine's modified "structure" needs to be detailed and any modifications made to the oiling system such as: stock oil cooler still intact? If not what? extra oil cooler attached? If so what, where? Are any/all of the coolers thermostatically controlled? Sump capacity stock? How much? What is the installation and what air flow modifications have been made it any? And etc. Regards
Just to point out a side note (don't take this as anything more) I worked with Shawn Geers who was doing extremely well in Super Street VW dragging and now has moved up to Pro Mod. Anyway, he used and swore by Royal Purple. This was back maybe 6 years ago, but still. He would come in to work with camshafts that were nice and purple. ferb!
I am pretty sure that no additional oil cooler was added. The engine is a pro built engine, and actually has an oil filter. The filter probably added at least a half a quart to the engine oil capacity. Stock chassis. No additional ducting or air flow modifications. Hard driving and racing will be the norm. The car will primarily be driven in fair weather. The car is a regular(although modified) superbeetle. [ January 30, 2004, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: sbc350gearhead ]
I was a VW Camper bus owner until 88, I had VW's for years, bugs Ghias, buses, I found Mobil 1 to be the oil for mine, but I had friends that swore by Amsoil. My last two VW's (2L pancake) had oil filter from the factory. The dealership always said run the best 30w you can buy.
I'm told that Porsche and VW oil specs have always incorporated diesel-specs into them. Perhaps a synth is overkill, I would guess a normal HDEO like Delvac 1300 15w-40 would work well. As you probally heard, my Bosch mechanic uses Castrol RX 15w-40 in all customer cars that do not get his synth (Syntec 5w-50) air-cooled would get the same. Shell oil was factory-fill in old VWs, hmm, he could go with Rotella Synth 5w-40. If the dude wants to see some VW specs on the *front* of the bottle and is ok with Syntec, how about the Belgium 5w-40? It is good enough for me. [Big Grin] [ January 30, 2004, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
I'm an HDEO fan, but for this application and the owner willing to pay a little more for an oil, I can't suggest a 15w-40 for this application. I recommend Redline 10w-40 for street/racing this vehicle will be exposed to.
Hi, if no additional oil cooling is fitted and the filter is the only increase in capacity I would run a good 30 to 40 grade 4 cycle diesel oil. Some are available as a synthetic and these would be an excellent choice. Do not use a 2 cycle diesel monograde! These engines can be very hard on camshafts if roller followers are not fitted. A check to see if a "roller" bearing crank is installed would be worth it too - these usually survive best on monograde oils The reason for a monograde 30/40 is the VW's oil cooler setup. At a pinch a narrow range high HT/HS 15w-40 diesel oil ( preferably synthetic ) would also probably do the trick Some monograde racing oils ( Motul, Repsol etc. ) may also be available from motor cycle dealers. Basically you have to treat it like a little old Porsche 912 engine Regards Doug Hillary 02 Subaru Outback 2.5 AWD ( Delvac 1 ) 98 BMW Z3 2.8 ( Delvac 1 ) 89 Porsche 928 S4 ( Delvac 1 )
DH......Would a synthetic that doesn't use any VI improvers, work just as well as a straight weight? Such as redline/mobil 1 10w30? I am afraid to suggest a straight 30 (even a synthetic) due to the cold temps around here in the winter. The car probably won't see much use (if any) in the winter, but the possibility is still there.
Hi, sbc - I would tend to suggest a 20w-20 "monograde" diesel oil in VERY cold conditions I would install an oil temperature gauge to determine actual oil temperatures with this modified engine.Oil temp gauges are still readily available for these engines A 10w-30 synthetic with an oil temperature gauge installed to monitor actuals would be worth a try The VW oil cooler is the issue with mineral multigrades as the oil can run colder than many people think giving low viscosity and high cam loads Oil temps need to be 80C+ to avoid deposits and provide suitable cooling hence the need for care with the upper viscosity. While oil leaks can be a problem here too, the push rod tubes act as oil returns and operate as eight mini oil coolers because they are in the full fan induced air stream Sorry but I am in Brisbane for 10 days and 1200kms away from my other property where most of my reference material is kept. The original oil recommendations for all VW air cooled engines as I recall was 20-20w in winter and 20-30 or 30 in summer. 30 even here with our 40C+ summers - and VW was a best seller in Australia in the 1960's I hope this ramble helps Regards
Well, I do not know the difference between a 4 cycle and a 2 cycle diesal oil. And 20w20's aren't available around here, as far as I know. But most of the info you posted is quite interesting and useful. [Smile] [Cheers!]
Hi, the 2 cycle diesel oils are especially formulated with high ash levels etc. for the Detroit Diesel 53,73?,92 range of engines Many of these high efficiency engines are used in heavy trucks and in Marine applications These engines have a design oil "burn" rate of about 1ltr/1000kms They are shown as C?-2 etc I believe and are specific use only oils Regards
sbc... You could try Royal Chartreuse Oxygen-enriched Motor Oil...you know...since the motor is, like, you know, AIR cooled...sorry
Hi, Santo - yes, a flat 4 engine. If I recall correctly about 1622cc with twin port heads. The SuperBeetle was released about 1970? and had a curved w/screen, MacStrut front suspension, air extraction etc.etc. Unfortunately I cannot recall their weight but at a guess about 8-900kg Regards
1594cc on the '1600' models..and right, the SB came out in 1970, but the curved windscreen didn't come out till the 1973 model. I have owned MANY over the years, for stock I always recommended 30W in the summer, and 10w-30 in the winter. However, If messing with them today, I would also consider the HDEO 15w-40's.
[Cool] I'm old enough to remember when they were common. Most folks ran Castrol back in the day and changed it every 2k since they don't have a filter (only a screen) and didn't hold much oil. In the 21st century I'd go with 5w-30 or 10w-30 in the winter depending on how cold it gets and 15w-40 or 50 in the summer.
Dealt with Formula Vee racing and engine building in the 70's. Saw lots of worn post-race motors. Keeping them alive for a full race at 6000 RPM when the OEM spec was 40HP @ 3900 RPM was a challenge I think Mobil-1 15-50 would still be my choice for general warm weather use considering the power output you quote. In the winter.......... 10-30 but don't beat on it too much.
Mark... Agree completely with your recommendation... aircooled, high output...I think M1 15W50 is a great match.
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