Old Sports Car Oil & Grease

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Hello, I am new to this website. Forgive me if I ask questions that have already been covered. I have a 1964 Shelby Ford AC Cobra. My questions will be relative to this old car that I have owned for more than twenty years now. Engine Oil Situation: I am told my car always used Pennzoil® H30 oil in the crankcase prior to my purchase and I used it up until 1998. In 1998 I changed to Mobil 1®. Did I mess up? Several years ago I had the opportunity to make an in depth inspection of the engine after the cooling fan quit in Tulsa rush hour traffic, three valve guides scored when I boiled a gallon plus of coolant mixture out. With the exception of the valve stem guides right next to the exhaust gas cross-over getting cooked the engine was in fine condition at nearly 50,000 miles. Everything was still standard except for 0.00025” taper in one cylinder. There was still phosphate coating on all the complete surfaces of the cam lobes. This is a solid lifter engine and it did have some road and drag track time on it. It will run up to roughly 7,500 rpm although power falls off slightly above about 6,700 rpm. In 1998 I changed to Mobil 1 in an effort to cut engine (oil and water) temperature. Lately I have had people tell me that Mobil 1 will hasten the failure of solid lifters and cam shafts. I have been told the Mobil 1 “used by NASCAR®” is not exactly like what civilians buy at Wal-Mart®, the claim is the “NASCAR version” gets some zinc and phosphorous organometallic compounds as additives to prevent among other things cam and lifter failure. Am I destroying my original 1964 engine with Mobil 1 now? Axle/Wheel Bearing Grease Situation: I have used Shell Darina® AX general purpose grease in all manner of devices since the late 1960s. The list includes but is not limited to everything from Model A Ford water pumps to front wheel bearings in Shelby and Boss Mustangs run hard. I have used it in my Cobra, including road racing application, since 1984. The disk brake rotors on the Cobra get really got, enough to change color occasionally, on a road race course. This means the hubs and bearings get extra ordinary heat and abuse. I have never had any problem with Darina AX even though Shell only rated it to 150°F. I started using it because a local racer in the employment of Ford Motor Company in the late 1960s used it in his Ford paid for and sponsored car. It is a non-soap material with no dropping point within reported ASTM testing. It is not water soluble as far as I can tell and has excellent rust protection ability. Although if seems to have quite a bit of oil separation it has long service life. My own experience is it will start to char before it melts if it gets really hot and by that time the elastomer in the seals decompose too. It is now obsolete apparently as my local Shell distributor could find nothing but a Darina AX2 listed. What little I could find on this material doesn’t show it rated for NLGI GC-LB service. Problem: Replace an old friend with some current product. There are many makers/marketers of NLGI rated grease advertised for wheel bearings. They all claim there materials are at least excellent and some claim to be the best. I go on the theory that 99.9% of all goods and services have only one true design or purpose and that is to separate the buyer from his money. I am a born skeptic. I have made a spreadsheet of reported test data and miscellaneous information on a small selection of brands and products. Easy to get to data is scare. I realize that reported test results must be taken with a few grains of salt (that 99.9% theory) but they are a place to start. The information I can not find concerns, do they work? Based on advertisements and data you would think that Amsoil® and Redline® racing greases make everything else obsolete, of course Timken® thinks their material is best when overall tribology is considered. Question: Does anybody have any real life experience to share with these technowonder greases? If is a lot of trouble to break down the rear hub carriers, clean everything, and put it back together on a Cobra. I only want to do it once to change grease types. Based solely on manufacturer website information I have narrowed the list down to Amsoil Series 2000, Redline CV-2, and Mobil 1. I want grease that work well in my application (including the occasional track use) and be commercially available for years. Comments? Dan Case
 
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I'm sure any modern grease suitable for the application will work well. If you are changing to one with a different base (i.e. lithium complex to aluminum complex) it is always a good idea to clean out any old grease first to eliminate the chance for incompatibility and subsequent failure.
 
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You could also dope your oil with VSOT...to top up the additives. High mileage oil contains a heavier additive pack as well.
 

64 Cobra

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Johnny, Pennzoil® 707L is in my spreadsheet. I looked over what data was available for every brand that I could think of and a few I found in Internet references. There were companies/materials I never hear of like Power Up® Thixogrease™ that looked pretty good except for the NLGI GB-LB rating. The engine oil situation could be much more serious. Perishable cups, cones, and seals for axles is one thing; damaging my original engine is another. I wonder if the current Pennzoil HD30 still has all the old style additives? Dan Case
 
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Dan: Sorry to say the current Pennzoil HD30 meets current specs. Has a lot better base stock than the old oil but does not have the zinc and phos levels of the old oil. Pennzoil does make an oil called GT 25W50 which they classify racing oil that would work in your application quite well. Might want to give it a try. Your local Shell distributor could also get this for you. Good luck
 
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I think a modern synthetic diesel oil might be the ticket for your engine. Amsoil 15W-40, or ACD (10W-)30 would be well suited with relatively high Zn and P levels. I doubt, however, M1 is destroying your engine, but those lower SM levels are something to be concerned about IMHO. As for grease - if you are going back to ground zero, so to speak and fully clean the bearings, etc. Amsoil Series 2000 grease is fairly amazing stuff.
 
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Dan, first of all [Welcome!] to BITOG. Wow, nice car. I will give you my .02 worth starting with the grease. Of the three greases you listed, I personally would use the Amsoil Series 2000. I have seen some very good results with this grease. However, if your going to switch to a synthetic grease you might have to replace the grease seals on your wheel bearings. If your looking for a very good conventional wheel bearing grease I can highly recommend Pennzoil 707L. Your local Shell distributor should be able to get this for you. I have heard the same thing you did about solid lifter cams on older cars, and we all know they are taking as much zinc and phos out of the oil as they can. I would be very tempted to use Red Line oil in your application. It has plenty of zinc, phos, plus a load of moly. I hope this helps in some small way.
 

64 Cobra

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Update: Pennzoil® HD30 Oil Based purely on the MSDS information posted on their corporate website the HD series of single grade oils have their highest levels of organometallic zinc compounds; higher than what they list for the “GT” series. It took a while to call all this up and read it. Does anybody sell the zinc organometallic “oil conditioner” anymore? Ford Motor Company use to but I have not found any in years. Mobil 1 Synthetic® Oil I contacted ExxonMobil directly on this. I asked specifically if the retail product Mobil 1 Synthetic oils had enough of the organometallic zinc compounds to be suitable for use in an engine like my original one in the 1964 Cobra; more specifically the mechanical lifter / camshaft wear issue. I got a prompt reply back that did not say yes or no but that two of their extreme service oils have the necessary compounds in sufficient amounts to do some good but they do not recommend any of their synthetic oil products in pre-1980 engines. Wheel/Axle Bearing Grease Starting Point I am starting from absolutely clean bare everything with all new cups, cones, and seals. I only want to go down to this level on clean once. This is a disassembly and clean down to the last piece. (Also includes removing all paint as applicable. Magnaflux® and or MPI testing of everything that carries load, replacing anything questionable, refinishing, etc.) My only concern with Amsoil® products is the unfortunate incident a friend had in his SCCA Solo race car. He started his engine one day and it made horrible noises. He pulled the dip stick and it was covered with jelly. He pulled the engine apart and there was no liquid oil in the engine, it was all a stiff jelly. Needless to say stiff jelly does not lubricate well or pump through the oil system. After a prolonged struggle with Amsoil, they claimed he had a gasket allow coolant into the crankcase and it was the water, antifreeze, and the additives in the antifreeze that reacted with the synthetic oil to form what he found. My friend got no help repairing his engine. Dan Case
 
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Dan: I would suggest you do the following: Go the the front page of this site and look under site sponsors. There are two that you need to contact. 1. Specialty Formulations. Owned by Phil Legate (BITOG name MolaKule). Phil designs and makes some of the best additives I've come across. He has a couple that would be just right for your Cobra. I highly recommend you contact Phil. 2. Dyson Analysis. Owned by Terry Dyson (BITOG name Terry). Terry knows more about how to read analysis than anyone I know. He also has vast experience with high performance cars. You should also contact him. Whatever these two tell you, you can take it to the bank. I don't use Amsoil nor have I ever been associated with Amsoil, but I believe what Amsoil told your friend is true. The only thing I know of that can turn oil to jelley is antifreeze, and if that was the case then it is not Amsoils fault. I might add one more thing. I worked for Pennzoil for 21 years and there is no way I would use HD30 in your Cobra. Just not enough film strength for me. If you want a mineral oil I still recomment the GT 25W50 Racing Oil. Good luck
 

64 Cobra

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quote:
I might add one more thing. I worked for Pennzoil for 21 years and there is no way I would use HD30 in your Cobra. Just not enough film strength for me. If you want a mineral oil I still recomment the GT 25W50 Racing Oil. Johnny
Never had a problem with HD30 but most was oil purchased before 1988. Used HD30 street and either GT or HD40 for road course time. I don't recall any problems with Pennzoil® HD or GT oils or anything I used that was labelled Ford. I have used Ford, Valvoline, and Pennzoil mineral gear oils in different various applications for decades without incident either. My only problems with oils were in the 1970 and 1980s. Valvoline Racing Oils - piston skirts scuffed to destruction, everything else ok Quaker State Racing Oils - rod, main, and cam bearings erroded away down to the underlay, everything else ok Quaker State multigrade - gummed up 289 engines badly. We completely redid an engine in a car that was being driven 100 plus 60 mph highway miles per day. We had to dig the head bolts out and all the push rods were clogged shut. All the push rods, rocker arm studs, rocker arms, cam, etc were so worn they had to be replaced. Even the distributor gear was ruined. The gunk was up to about two inches deep in places. The owner would not switch oil because he had several cases that he bought at the local military PX. In less than two months the engine was completely gummed up again and all passages just about plugged. The whole valve train got replaced again. Quaker State was contacted and they claimed we contaminated the oil with this gunk. Yeah right. After the next rebuild he went to another brand oil (Ford I think) and drove the car another several years, including some high speed chasing of me in my car, without incident. Castrol something. Had a 1978 Courier we bought new that then had 80,000 miles that used no measurable amount of oil between 3,000 mile changes of Ford's premium of the day. One change I could not find any Ford and used Castrol (new filter of course). In two days the engine was a smoking so bad I could not stop at a drive in window at the fast food joint. It was now a two quart a week (about 250 highway miles at the time) engine. I went to the Ford dealer and they said that is what happens to that engine when Castrol oil was used behind Ford oil. They told me they would find the oil rings collasped into their grooves and gummed up. I got Ford oil back in it and drove it another 30,000 miles before selling, it eventually got to be a one quart per 3,000 mile engine after a few oil changes.
 
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I would think that this would apply.... Quote from Mobil: Fully Synthetic Motor Oil Used by Professional Racing Teams Now Available to Car Enthusiasts FAIRFAX, Virginia (November 4, 2003) - High-performance automotive enthusiasts will soon be able to get the same boost and protection that professional race car drivers get thanks to the introduction by ExxonMobil of its new proprietary racing oil -- Mobil 1® Racing 0W-30. The new formulation will be available to the public in early Spring 2004. Previously available only to professional racing teams, the Mobil 1 Racing formula combines the best of Mobil 1's patented SuperSyn™ technology with boosted levels of anti-wear additives, giving maximum protection and minimizing internal friction for exceptional power output. The specially designed high-performance motor oil is recommended for professional and amateur horsepower enthusiasts because it provides the performance drivers want from their high-powered engines every time they get behind the wheel. "We developed Mobil 1 Racing for people who live to drive high-performance cars," said Tom Olszewski, technical services advisor at ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties. "Whether they put Mobil 1 Racing in their Honda Civic or Grand Prix GTP supercharged engine, drivers are going to notice a difference in how long their engine lasts and how well it performs under extreme driving conditions." Professional racers have been enjoying the benefits of Mobil 1 Racing for years and right now 74 percent of NASCAR drivers use Mobil 1 technology. Uniquely engineered to help deliver maximum horsepower in all engine types, Mobil 1 Racing minimizes engine drag and friction while delivering exceptional high-temperature protection. Mobil 1 Racing 0W-30 also incorporates anti-wear technology to help protect supercharged, turbocharged and high-revving engines with outstanding shear stability and a robust additive package to extend engine life. Compared to conventional racing oils and higher-viscosity synthetic motor oils, Mobil 1 Racing provides faster flow to critical engine parts to provide the ultimate in performance. Additional information about Mobil 1 and other ExxonMobil lubricants can be found at www.exxonmobil.com. Mobil 1, SuperSyn and ExxonMobil are trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ExxonMobil News Media Desk: (703) 846-4467 I can recommend Redline grease from my personal experience. Very good stuff.
 

64 Cobra

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beanoil, Thanks for the tips but ExxonMobil's e-mail to me this week said they have discontinued the Mobil 1 Racing 0W-30 oil when I specifically asked about it and they still said they would not recommend any of their synthetic oils for pre-1980s engines. Two of my many contacts these last few days indicated that ExxonMobil is trying to distance themselves from older engines because of preceived issues with the older pre-1980 metallurgies involved. Who knows. In the mean time I have ordered an oil test kit to see where things stand now. Dan Case
 
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1 use redline oil in the engine is it a 427? if so [Eek!] [Eek!] 2 use redline grease in all bearings or better yet call them ask for Roy you will get the best engineered product bar NONE. he's someone who knows his **** bruce
 

64 Cobra

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Bruce It's a 289 powered 1964 Cobra. The person I have been trying to get information out of at Redline either doesn't know or doesn't want to let any information out. I did mention to Redline that I am not the only one interested. There are more than twenty other people in our original car owners group that are watching to see what I turn up and which product(s) I choose. We have backgrounds from a retired firemen to aerospace engineers, racers, and professional vintage race car restorers. We also not only have Cobras but all of us have everyday cars, trucks, and some race only cars. Potential customers want more information than sales pitches. Dan Case
 
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quote:
My only concern with Amsoil® products is the unfortunate incident a friend had in his SCCA Solo race car. He started his engine one day and it made horrible noises. He pulled the dip stick and it was covered with jelly. He pulled the engine apart and there was no liquid oil in the engine, it was all a stiff jelly. Needless to say stiff jelly does not lubricate well or pump through the oil system. After a prolonged struggle with Amsoil, they claimed he had a gasket allow coolant into the crankcase and it was the water, antifreeze, and the additives in the antifreeze that reacted with the synthetic oil to form what he found. My friend got no help repairing his engine.
A racing engine simply isn't covered by any oil company's warranty, so I struggle with this one. If the crankcase was filled with "jelly" that does sound like water intrusion. I can't understand how this would be an oil failure????? Believe me, Molacule's company, Mobil1, Redline, etc will not give you a new engine in this situation. As for oil, you seemed to rule out the 15W-40. Is there a viscosity you have settle on? Have you heard anything on the Amsoil Series 2000 Racing Grease?
 

64 Cobra

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Pablo, Outside on comments of this site I have not found anybody with experience with the Amsoil Series 2000 Racing Grease. In the spreadsheet I have compiled of published test results and other miscellaneous characteristics it compares very well. The trouble with the comparison is some brands, even highly regarded ones, keep their results under lock and key apparently. I have been designing, inventing, and building equipment for use in our production plants since 1987 and I usually write off potential parts and materials suppliers that won't advertise to the world data that will help in making decisions. Well informed decisions have always served me beter than guesses. Dan Case
 
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"The person I have been trying to get information out of at Redline either doesn't know or doesn't want to let any information out." Dan as I said ask for ROY. Who did you talk to? bruce
 
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