# Olds 455 - 10w-60 Engine Oils (Redline & Pennzoil Synthetics)

One of the flaws is that the oil drain back holes in the heads are too small. At high rpms it can suck the pan dry but fill up the valve covers.
Used to drive my boat by the oil gauge. When the oil pressure started dropping, back off the throttle!

VR1 20w-50 Viscosity Index @ 212F = 20.5
Mobil1 15w-50 Viscosity Index @ 212F = 18.0
Redline 10w-60 Viscosity Index @ 212F = 25.9

With the above info. Would Redline 10w-60 give the highest oil pressure at a hot cruise?
BTW, you are not quoting viscosity index, you are just quoting viscosity, the VI (Viscosity Index) is a calculated value based on the difference between the 100C and 40C viscosities.

BTW, you are not quoting viscosity index, you are just quoting viscosity, the VI (Viscosity Index) is a calculated value based on the difference between the 100C and 40C viscosities.

Thank you for the clarification.

VR1 20w-50 Viscosity @ 212F = 20.5
Mobil1 15w-50 Viscosity @ 212F = 18.0
Redline 10w-60 Viscosity @ 212F = 25.9

I have noticed lower oil pressures with the Mobil1 as that coincides with the above numbers. I wouldn't be surprised to see a 5-10 psi increase with Redline at a hot cruise.

How does Redline get such a vast viscosity swing from a 10 weight to a 60 weight?

How does Redline get such a vast viscosity swing from a 10 weight to a 60 weight?
The number in front of the W is just the Winter grade of the oil, it's not the same as the number after the W, which is the "hot" grade, as measured at 100C. The oil is much, MUCH thicker when it's cold.

So, for example, in J300, we can see that 10W-xx requires the oil to be below 7,000cP at -25C on the CCS test and below 60,000cP at -30C on the MRV test:

Redline is likely using a significant amount of PAO in their base oil blend in order to achieve this, but they are also using VII's to pad the product up to the 25.9cSt hot viscosity.

Redline is likely using a significant amount of PAO in their base oil blend in order to achieve this, but they are also using VII's to pad the product up to the 25.9cSt hot viscosity.

Is that a "bad thing"? Can any harm come from that?

I only run the car in temps above 50F. So the cold start will never see anything below 50F.

Is that a "bad thing"? Can any harm come from that?

I only run the car in temps above 50F. So the cold start will never see anything below 50F.
Nope, not bad at all.

I do not think his cam is on the small side for the type of driving the OP is doing.
You're right.
How come the valve seat angle is 60 degrees?

Don't get hung up on oil pressure, higher is not better. The biggest mistake teenage/young street rodders who weren't educated on engine building dynamics would make is to order a 'high pressure' oil pump, a bigger mistake they would make is opt for the 'high volume' option pump from their local auto parts store. I saw quite a few oil starving situations upon tear-down due to 'high volume' pumps on a stock sized sump. You just watch for steady pressure, a sudden drop is indicative of an issue. But higher is not better.

The M1 15W-50 seems like a solid choice. Good luck

Don't get hung up on oil pressure, higher is not better. The biggest mistake teenage/young street rodders who weren't educated on engine building dynamics would make is to order a 'high pressure' oil pump, a bigger mistake they would make is opt for the 'high volume' option pump from their local auto parts store. I saw quite a few oil starving situations upon tear-down due to 'high volume' pumps on a stock sized sump. You just watch for steady pressure, a sudden drop is indicative of an issue. But higher is not better.

The M1 15W-50 seems like a solid choice. Good luck
Sometimes it's the "good old boys" too because that's what they remembered from "back in the day".

Not only that, but you are just wasting power thrashing the oil blasting it through the relief. Machine shop put an HV/HP pump ('m sure at his request) in a stock clearance'd SBC we were putting together for my buddy's dad and it had the stock SBC relief spring in it. Thing would make 80psi of oil pressure cold and be on the relief hot by like 2,500RPM, it was ridiculous, just wasting power and overwhelming the relief on the pump.

When we put together the roller motor a couple of years later we convinced him to go with a standard pump and things were where you wanted them to be. That engine is still going AFAIK, though he ripped off the Holley EFI setup and put a carb on it because he didn't like being unable to "tinker". Can't teach an old dog new tricks sometimes.

I have an Olds 455 engine. These engines only had 2 bolt mains and a cast crank. They are low RPM torque monsters (shifting at 5,200 RPM but making 550 Ft Lbs of torque) but they suffered from weak cranks and weak main block webbing. The cranks and bottom end would "flex" under heavy loads and RPM and wipe out main and rod bearings. In order to avoid spinning & wiping a main bearing or rod bearing, extra main & rod bearing clearance has to be built into the rebuilds.

So typically an Olds 455 rebuild will see .003" on the rods and .004 - .0045" on the mains. This allows the engine to live but requires one to run a 50 weight oil. It's common for these engines to see oil pressures of 15-20psi hot idle and 45-50psi hot cruise (180F+ oil temps).

I noticed I get better hot oil pressure with the Valvoline VR1 20w-50 oil than I do with Mobil1 15w-50. I looked up the specs:

VR1 20w-50 Viscosity Index @ 212F = 20.5
Mobil1 15w-50 Viscosity Index @ 212F = 18.0

I am considering trying Redline 10w-60 which has a Viscosity Index @ 212F = 25.9
It has the highest VI at 212F out of all the oils I found. Pennzoil 10w-60 is close with a VI @ 212F = 23.2

I would estimate maybe a 5-10psi increase in hot oil pressure with the Redline 10w-60. Any pros/cons with running that oil?
Run a girdle... less flex and then you can tighten up on those clearances.... I wonder if the fancy aluminum pans, when compared to stamped steel, can also help with block rigidity.

Larger sumps could decrease oil temps which would lead to thicker average running oil visc. Remote filters are a way to increase capacity and cooling dwell time. A larger pan or front mount oil cooler are other options.

MPT and Torco have some 10w60's too.

With oil viscosity shearing, and fuel dilution, oil visc is hype. Blending batch accuracy might not be all that great too. So, you can't really quote datasheets much. On paper, nothing can be trusted. You'll need to UOA your ol' oil to see how the visc is holding up. Monitor oil psi and temps too.

I second the Mobi1 Vtwin Harley stuff(also Castrols/Valvolines vtwin) and is also ~20.8cst, which on paper is thicker than VR1. You might not need a 60.

I don't see any negatives with running a 10w60 if you 'think' you need it. How much oil pressure do you need/want during hot engine runs?

Redline, and others, have racing 60-70 grade oils that are 25-35cst. You can spike your more available and cost effective M1 or VR1 with a 10-30% and get some added visc. The other option is something like 45cst STP or Lucas synthetic oil treatment, or 250cst Schaeffer 132, or 450cst BG RF7(pn 107)... a pint goes a long way in your sump for added visc. The STP is at walmart, like the 20w50 synth biker oils and M1 15w50. You'll need to shop online for Schaeffer's and BG products, or LiquiMoly Viscoplus.

So, pick your mod(s) and go. I don't care for the cost of some boutique brands when VR1Synthetic Mobil1/Castrol/Valvoline 20w50 or 15w50's can usually be found locally. I'd use easily locally sourced M1 15w50, and a dual ph8a filter along with deeper sump. Stef's makes one of those 8 quart aluminum pans with 3/8" gasket rails... or use the various brand girdles

Bill Trovato is the nations best Oldsmobile engine builder. http://www.btrperformance.com/about_us.html

He recommends the extra clearances to prevent wiping out the bearings. Only other way to tighten up the clearances is to run a forged or billet crank and to upgrade the 2-bolt mains with a girdle (\$4,000 for parts and machining). With a forged crank and girdle, you can run tighter clearances but still not as tight as modern engines.
He's pretty popular in my neck of the woods.

I would run driven 15w-50(HR1 for conventional or HR3 for synthetic) or their gp1 20w50.

on oil pressure per rpm looks good, rule of thumb is 10psi per 1000rpm and your right there.
what and for the journal sizes on that 455 crank I wouldn't worry at all about the higher tolerances. should run fine.

The Olds 455 has many flaws from the factory

I have the 7 quart oil pan and restricted cam bearings. That limits the amount of oil going to the upper end and keeps the oil down down in the mains and rods, where it is more needed.

It is also INTERNALLY balanced vs externally balanced (factory). The internal balance helps to prevent crank flex and stress. I am also running lightweight forged pistons and forged Eagle rods.

If you run the factory .0025" - .003 on the mains, at my power levels, you are guaranteed to wipe out the main bearings in a short while. The reality is the factory Olds 455 engine had a VERY short life. It would spin rod and main bearings within a few thousand miles if racing the engine. Most Olds 455's that were raced did not live long without wiping out a bearing.

The guys that race Olds 455's today, run the larger clearances and the engines live a long life, even if raced hard. Bill Trovato explains all this in his book: https://www.amazon.com/How-Build-Max-Performance-Oldsmobile-V-8s/dp/1613250738

View attachment 139834
OMG
is that a K&N filter on there?!?!? Hold on tight, gonna hear both sides real soon.

Sometimes it's the "good old boys" too because that's what they remembered from "back in the day".

Not only that, but you are just wasting power thrashing the oil blasting it through the relief. Machine shop put an HV/HP pump ('m sure at his request) in a stock clearance'd SBC we were putting together for my buddy's dad and it had the stock SBC relief spring in it. Thing would make 80psi of oil pressure cold and be on the relief hot by like 2,500RPM, it was ridiculous, just wasting power and overwhelming the relief on the pump.

When we put together the roller motor a couple of years later we convinced him to go with a standard pump and things were where you wanted them to be. That engine is still going AFAIK, though he ripped off the Holley EFI setup and put a carb on it because he didn't like being unable to "tinker". Can't teach an old dog new tricks sometimes.
You’ve described a scenario that has been repeated too many times. These high volume-high pressure pumps by-pass oil straight back to the oil pan without being filtered. Might as well not run an oil filter. I eliminated the bypass on the last big block Chevy I built and used racing oil filters.
If a L88 427 survived with a factory stock oil pump most anything running will as well.
The W30 455 Olds came from the factory with a cam that was radical enough that power brake booster was nonexistent on these cars. They had the snot ran out of them without those wide bearing clearances and lived. I’d rethink that old school approach for longevity. Better machine work, ARP rod bolts and fasteners, full floating wrist pins and forged pistons, and precision balancing will keep one together rather flooding the bearings with old school heavy oils. In my opinion….

Or run this block…

Buddy of mine who is a ford tech has a Hurst Olds with 455 rocket with nitrous, I’m scared to even sit in it

Nothing to add other than I was a stupid teenager with a 73 Olds Cutlass with a 455. Beat that poor car with Valvoline straight 30 or 40 and a can of STP for "more protection". I was in So Cal, so I suppose it didn't hurt anything. I loved that Olds motor!

Or run this block…
That’s an impressive block.

I loved this line, talking about stock blocks, in the article, “From what we’ve seen here, with the girdles and a good tune-up, you’re limited to about 800 horsepower, naturally-aspirated.”

Yeah, only 800. Boy, who could put up with that limitation…

The 350 Olds diesel blocks make a great race engine platform. Will except big bore and is a thick reinforced block to begin with. Most were in the bone yard after 3 or 4 years so hard to find now…

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