Still Puzzled on Aircooled VW Oil

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Nick1994

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I know I've asked about it a while back, but I'm still unclear as to what oil choices to use. Even the aircooled VW forums everybody talks about basically every oil under the sun. It's a 1970 VW Beetle with a 1500 single port. It won't be driven in our extremely frigid winters here in Phoenix
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and probably not driven in our 110 degree heat, although I'd like an oil that can handle the heat. I know VW's oil recommendations from 45 years ago is quite out of date, so I don't really see the benefit of single grade oils.

What would be the perfect weight? Does an engine like this need a thick oil at startup? Would a synthetic oil help the engine run cooler? I'm thinking a 40 weight oil, and maybe I can mix it with a 50 weight, I just don't know.

I'm open to synthetic oils but it doesn't have to be. It leaks oil like 99% of old VWs out there do although it isn't excessive leaking.

Also I know the oil "filter" is just a metal screen and synthetic won't really help with extended drain intervals but this csr gets maybe 2,500 miles a year on it so a yearly OCI is probably fine. I'm not really interested in choosing an oil that's a little cheaper than another, so just because one oil is $16 instead of $25 doesn't matter at all, I just want what'll make it run the best/ make it last the longest.

Thanks guys.
 
If it has not had synthetic oil in it for past few years, using synthetic now might start it leaking badly. I had two of these engines and I ran 10W40 and 10W30 conventional oil back in the 70s. Best thing they have is a large oil cooler. I don't think over heating the oil is a problem but the book says to change the oil every 2,000 miles. The valves need adjusting often as well.
 
Originally Posted By: WobblyElvis
If it has not had synthetic oil in it for past few years, using synthetic now might start it leaking badly. I had two of these engines and I ran 10W40 and 10W30 conventional oil back in the 70s. Best thing they have is a large oil cooler. I don't think over heating the oil is a problem but the book says to change the oil every 2,000 miles. The valves need adjusting often as well.


2000 oil change is because there is only an oil sceen, no oil filter. The 15-40 Rotella should work fine.
 
It has 15w40 Rotella in it now, and I have no complaints. Just wondering if there's better out there.

I once heard (don't know if it's true) that if I used a 10w40 it would shear badly. I have some 10w40 MaxLife NextGen, is that usable? Once again, $$$ isnt a consideration for oil for this car. I want what would be the best for it.
 
Current spec 10w40 shouldn't shear and is still a great choice.

I'd recommend any full synthetic 40 grade oil. Whether it's 0w, 5w, 10w... not much of any issue unless there was an oil psi problem. 5w50 is another option.

Install a Frantz filter and you can go further with the oil change interval.
 
my dad had a 70 and a 74.he bought both brand new. both went well over 100k with just basic maintenance and pennzoil 10w40. we took many trips across az and nm in july and august to tx in those cars.

he was worried about the 70 so @120k he pulled the engine out and apart.it was perfect.the 74 was totaled in a head on crash with 145k on it.

i personally would run a 15w40 in one myself.
 
Ok so seeing as how there's lots of recommendations on here for a 40 weight and lots for a 50 weight on other sites, would I have any benefit mixing half my 10w40 MaxLife with some 20w50 Castrol GTX and make some custom 15w45?
 
IIRC, Doug Hillary had an SAE 30 recommendation for these (will try and dig it up).

A workmate had great success with M1 15W50, and in context, any of the manufacturer's "V-Twin" for air cooled big twins would probably be a go to as well.
 
On my data system it is saying

10w-40 API SG for moderate climate

Which is like a motorbike oil. Modern 10w-40's will handle that engine fine, as will the 15w-40 you've put in it. Because you have no full flow oil filter you will be changing the oil out long before it has even thought about shearing so don't panic.

I like the semi-synthetic 10w-40 personally as you get the benefit of the improved high temp performance and low deposits from the synthetic and the good seal compatibility and cushioning of the mineral oil - for the price of a mineral oil.
 
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