Old Quaker State Story

adm

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Jul 31, 2009
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Just wanted to pass this on. Back in college, in 1973, a frat buddy had a 1968 Mustang GT notchback with a 390 4V and a C6 with about 100K. One day on the highway, a motor mount let go and yanked the throttle open. He had to throw it into neutral to avoid wrecking and, of course, blew the engine. When they tore it down, besides the damage, the motor was as clean as a whistle with no sludge build up and no noticeable wear. The car had been in the family since new and they had always used Quaker State. I remember Quaker was getting a bad rap (no pun intended) even then, that lasts to this day. It doesn't reflect on today's Quaker, but at least in this 390, there were no issues with this oil.
 
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Alot of people are afraid to use Pennzoil. Funny, it's the best selling brand ever.
 
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Oil like everything else, has finite life. I would speculate that the vast majority of "stories" concerning the bad oil, does not tell the whole story of bad service by the operator.
 
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I know QS is a fine dino oil today and if I used dino wouldn't be affraid to use it,BUT, I had a 64 Valient purchased with 13,000 miles and in the same model year. I changed the QS every 2,000 miles. When the engine had some 50,000 miles, 1967, I pulled the valve cover to adjust the mechanical lifters and sludge was every where. I scopped it out with a spoon. After that I used Valvoline for several years. Much better result.
 
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motor oil is incredibly better than in 60s or 70s...Pennzoil or QS take a backseat to nobody now
 
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 Originally Posted By: tig1
I know QS is a fine dino oil today and if I used dino wouldn't be affraid to use it,BUT, I had a 64 Valient purchased with 13,000 miles and in the same model year. I changed the QS every 2,000 miles. When the engine had some 50,000 miles, 1967, I pulled the valve cover to adjust the mechanical lifters and sludge was every where. I scopped it out with a spoon. After that I used Valvoline for several years. Much better result.
yeah but their again tig,you dont know about the first 13000 miles of service.A lot can happen in 13k.
 
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 Originally Posted By: lexus114
 Originally Posted By: tig1
I know QS is a fine dino oil today and if I used dino wouldn't be affraid to use it,BUT, I had a 64 Valient purchased with 13,000 miles and in the same model year. I changed the QS every 2,000 miles. When the engine had some 50,000 miles, 1967, I pulled the valve cover to adjust the mechanical lifters and sludge was every where. I scopped it out with a spoon. After that I used Valvoline for several years. Much better result.
yeah but their again tig,you dont know about the first 13000 miles of service.A lot can happen in 13k.
Like JohnnyZ said. In the 60s QS did have a bad reputation. My Valiant was still under warrenty when i bought it so no reason to believe it was sludged. Again QS today is a good product, only telling it the way it was then.
 
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My grandfather was an off the boat German and was very frugal. My dad remembers him changing the oil in their car every 5 or 6 thousand miles with Quaker State 10w40 in their old Ford wagon. Keep in mind this is the late 1960s. As far as my dad knew, they never had any major engine problems.
 
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 Originally Posted By: GMFan
My grandfather was an off the boat German and was very frugal. My dad remembers him changing the oil in their car every 5 or 6 thousand miles with Quaker State 10w40 in their old Ford wagon. Keep in mind this is the late 1960s. As far as my dad knew, they never had any major engine problems.
Something about those Germans in there frugal and organization ways. My German grandfather was also the same way but followed the owners manual to a "T". I remember one time of him rescheduling a vacation because his oil change due mileage would put it in the middle of his vaction. He did not want to change it early and did not want to do it on the road. Also, heaven forbid he went past due while on a road trip. Only guy I knew that would organize a "junk" drawer.
 
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Some cars had sludge ..millions of others did not. Most of them probably used either PZ or QS. You only hear about the problems. Success is silent.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
Some cars had sludge ..millions of others did not. Most of them probably used either PZ or QS. You only hear about the problems. Success is silent.
Very true...
 
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Much of these stories come about from a combination of situations. Cars were pushing for cleaner emissions in the middle to late 1970's and this lead to lean burning, hot running, poorly controlled, carbureted engines. At those times oils were simply solvent refined (Gp.1) products and were unable to handle the conditions. This was actually a world-wide issue and not just a North America situation. Pennzoil and Quaker State oils are now, and have been previously the top sellers in our market. This naturally would dictate that there would be more issues with their product. I remember reading of the 'Black Death' in Germany as the motojournalists would refer to the sludge and contaminant issues that were showing up on a regular basis. It isn't now nor has it ever been a issue with 'paraffinic' oils. Given the two choices of base fluids, paraffinic or napthenic, the paraffinic is by far the superior choice. What has changed is the refining techniques, the severity of refining, the cleanliness and stability of modern engines, and of course the superior chemical additive technology that has transpired since the late 1980's. When a engine is destroyed by sludge in today's market it is usually the result of neglect. There are situations where a poor design leaks through the QA reviews but considering the complexity and gross volume of product being produced it is amazing that there are not more documented issues. We are truly light years ahead of anything from the 1970's and early 1980's with regard to lubrication technology.
 
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My dad had a 1967 Mustang 289 he drove from 1970 to 1978. I have no idea what the maintenece schedule was on it; but my mom said it ran great at the end with something like 150k miles on it. QS was a popular oil in the 1970's. I'm sure tha car saw it's fair share of QS oil.....
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
Some cars had sludge ..millions of others did not. Most of them probably used either PZ or QS. You only hear about the problems. Success is silent.
Thats an excellent way to put it Gary!
 
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Remember, too, that the most popular grades of that time were 10W-40 and 20W-50, both of which had boatloads of VIIs adding to the problem. I recall something about a bulletin from GM advising against the use of 10W-40 in some of their engines as it caused the ring packs to get gummed up...anyone else remember this?
 
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GM put that bulletin out in around 1984, when they 'banned' the use of 10W-40. However, it WASN'T because of gumming up ring packs - it was to get people using 30-weight oils to improve mileage numbers.
 
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i was a havoline 10w40 person in the seventys and early eightys. heck all we just about buy around here was havoline. rember the blue and white cans then the good looking gold cans.i only used havoline supreme. you had to have a metal spout to puncture the cans. steve
 
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