Remember 20w-20?

Messages
232
Location
Norwich CT
I may be dating myself a bit here, but I remember this viscosity being popular in the 1970's. What was its application, and what did 20w-20 really mean? Thanks
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Ken: It meets the 20W cold cranking spec, and it meets the SAE 20 spec when hot.
If that's the case, then this would be no better than 5w20 oil, in fact much worse! It would be too thin when hot and too thick when cold compared to a viscosity like 10w30.
 
Messages
14,013
Location
Retired | Wausau, WI
Remember, the W stands for winter. This is the weight of the oil when tested at 0 degrees. That's why won't see a 30W, 40W, or 50W. They don't work at 0 degrees, so there is no need to test them at that. Patman: Your are correct. The 5W or 10W would work better.
 
Messages
100
Location
Keller, TX
Would a 20W-20 oil be OK to use in an 02 Accord (Honda recommends 5W-20), in the summer time only in Texas typical lows 75F-80F Highs 95F-105F. I would think since a single grade would not have any VI improvers it would be a more stable oil and less likely to break down and since it rarely gets below 75F at night here I shouldn't need the 5W. Any opinions?
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
20W-20 is an old spec. It's not made in service category SL; SJ is the best you'll probably find, so it doesn't meet the requirement for your engine. VIIs are not anything to avoid, just something to not abuse or overuse. Ken
 
Messages
3,203
Location
Southeastern, PA
20W-20 Wow, I had forgotten about that one. I remember having it at the garage where I worked, altho I don't remember using much of it. That was back in the days of oil cans. I can still hear the sound of "tapping the can". [Smile]
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
When I was in college, I recall that G.M. specified 20W-20 for my 64 Chevy Biscayne and my dad's 61 Buick LeSabre for mild climates. I still don't understand how 20W-20 is any different than straight 20 weight. "Both" behave like a cold 20 weight when cold, and both behave like a hot 20 weight when hot. (Duhh...) Makes about as much sense as the Circus-Circus Casino in Las Vegas. So, what am I missing here?
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by Ray H: When I was in college, I recall that G.M. specified 20W-20 for my 64 Chevy Biscayne and my dad's 61 Buick LeSabre for mild climates. I still don't understand how 20W-20 is any different than straight 20 weight. "Both" behave like a cold 20 weight when cold, and both behave like a hot 20 weight when hot. (Duhh...) Makes about as much sense as the Circus-Circus Casino in Las Vegas. So, what am I missing here?
I remember 20w20 quite well. My dad swore by Havoline 30wt, but I remember him telling me one time that if he lived "up North" he'd use 20w20 in the winter. For what it's worth, I believe the only difference between an oil labeled 20w20 and 20 was the 20w20 actually had a pour point depressant blended in, where the straight 20 didn't. This didn't affect the cold or hot viscosity, but it would make the 20w20 have a lower pour point.
 
Messages
1,933
Location
Oklahoma
Here is some current 20W20 data , 2003 Conoco HD Fleet SJ,SH Pour Point -40F Flash Point 466F [Smile] cst @ 40C 66 cSt @ 100C 9.01 Sulphated Ash 1.0 TBN 8.0 VI 112
 
Messages
72
Location
Saskatoon
If you think 20W-20 oil is weird, I have a can of Valvoline All-Climate Heavy Duty SAE 10W-20W-40 motor oil! It is rated SF, SE, CC, and it claims to "Save Gas"! [Confused] [I dont know] Carl
 
Messages
1,856
Location
PA
quote:
Originally posted by cak446: If you think 20W-20 oil is weird, I have a can of Valvoline All-Climate Heavy Duty SAE 10W-20W-40 motor oil! It is rated SF, SE, CC, and it claims to "Save Gas"! [Confused] [I dont know] Carl
Did you say "CAN" haha man my dad used to have actual castrol GTX cans [Smile] I remember oil coming in cans and Im not that old, but now I really feel old, **** wow thanks [Big Grin] I remember 20W-20 as well but was too young to know anything about it [Wink] [Duh!]
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
When I was 17 I bought Slick 50 (I didn't know better) and it came in a can! Not only that, but I had to mail order it and it was $50!! [Eek!]
 
Yeah, I remember oil being sold in 1-quart glass bottles with a metal spout at filling stations. The oil was bulk, and the jars were the property of the station. Take-away oil was sold in 1 qt. or 4 qt. metal cans. Later, paper replaced metal for the can's sides - you had to be careful when opening these with an oil spout not to crush the can. Cars used alot more oil back then.
 
Messages
100
Location
Keller, TX
Yea I remember how I could never seem to get the metal spout in without the can collapsing. Also don't forget about the good old Cook's Re Re-fined oil in the blue cans. Kevin
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by williar: Yeah, I remember oil being sold in 1-quart glass bottles with a metal spout at filling stations. The oil was bulk, and the jars were the property of the station. Take-away oil was sold in 1 qt. or 4 qt. metal cans. Later, paper replaced metal for the can's sides - you had to be careful when opening these with an oil spout not to crush the can. Cars used alot more oil back then.
I remember those big tins as holding 5 quarts. Sure do remember the oil in those glass bottles, and refilling them from the hand-crank pump over that square oil tank. Didn't cars get 1000 mile oil changes in those days, 10,000 mile tuneups and lucky to get 10,000 on a set of tires? 10-30 was something new? 12 volt electrical systems were something new. Of course, I was just a kid then. Ken
 
Top