Why did we close the book on Cams and Zinc?

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Older cars and the need for Zinc So we see more and more applications having "issues" such as cams in the hemi, bearings in the eco deisel, rocker arms failing due to oil pressure in some applications, and I'm sure there are more and more examples of this that I am unaware of. And to back up what I am saying every mechanic with an internet presence say the same thing because they deal with it first hand. And to back that up many of these applications are extremely high wear engines proven by many uoa's. And to back that up, manu's often change viscosity to try and correct the issue like fca has, they have also been known to spit of newer specs such as Ford, or even develop newer oils to deal with issues like Nissan (admititedly not their best effort), or partner up with oil manu's to make a high moly thick oil like fca did with srt oil. Despite all of the evidence, it seams many people just poopoo it and say nah just run spec oil you will be fine. But they are lumping everyone into the same boat with modern specs especially gf-5 and upcomng 6 and variants as in sn+. So at some point do we stop telling people to buy whatever API spec oil is the cheapest on the shelf, or try and solve these issues by either finding oils that choose to be stout with additives for aging engines or trying and solve some of these known and proven short comings by adjusting viscoisty, is there more reason to consider after market additives then ever before? Does one size fit all really fit all? Is a lspi friendly low saps oil really the best choice for a hemi because fca says so? Is an oil that is perfect for a high effecient 4 banger the best choice for a 8 cylinder just because they add vvt or cylinder deactivation devices? Same weight same low additives just dandy no matter what the application is?
 
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That article is old (2007) and has been circulated a few times (though I don't think on here). There's many different factors at play and that article seems to beat around the bush a bit. I have an oil here on my desk with just 850 ppm of zinc that showed <20 ppm iron in a hot solid flat tappet street engine with over .600" lift, around 650 lbs spring pressure, and turning 8000+ rpm. There's much more to it than just ZDDP. For any flat tappet cam with less than 300 lbs spring pressure over the nose, they'll never see the difference between 800 ppm and 1200 ppm. A lot of older engine builders like to blame modern oil as a scapegoat for their lackluster work. The first paragraph of that article goes way out in left field by saying that ZDDP contains manganese. ZDDP is just zinc, phosphorus, sulfur, and various alkyl groups catered to the use. Also, ZDDP does not cushion high pressure areas and definitely not a friction reducer. ZDDP makes a tribofilm that is a last ditch effort to minimize wear in mixed and boundary lubrication. ZDDP increases friction by way of its very function. If you want a high ZDDP oil though and don't care about API certs, check out JGR Driven's new GP-1 oil. It has ~1500 ppm Zn, ~1350 ppm P, ~200 ppm B, and ~400 ppm Mo in a syn-blend base oil with a strong pressure-viscosity coefficient. Change it every 3k miles.
 
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burla

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This from Amsoil when justifying or let's say educating people on their new formula.. Talking about the reduction in zinc... "Despite the reduction, there is no evidence to suggest modern engines using today's lower-ZDDP oils are suffering widespread wear." Are "we" sure about that for those who subscribe to that opinion? Why did "we" go over board on moly if there aren't any issues like we start seeing more and more in oil formulas such as amsoil ss and srt 0w40 and others? Seams like that is in conflict with the everything is hunky dorey opinion. All of the facts made in first post doesn't challenge this statement at all, as in no evidence there are issues with low additive oils in modern engines? None?
 

burla

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Let's say this, leaving cheap CATS out of the conversation for a minute, what downside did 2002 levels of zinc averaging 1200ppm have for more modern engines. And even when we had 1200ppm zinc, does anyone remember issues with CATS in the first place? Actually, I have never heard of one getting gummed up with the 1200 ppm zinc in 100k miles which was the standard for the change, has anyone? Was the real goal a simple reduction is zinc for whatever reason for whatever cost to the vehicle owners and not really trying to get CATS to last 100k miles? If we used 1200ppm zinc in modern vehicles would CATS start gumming up at disturbing rates? Would there be a downside to using 1200ppm zinc at all? Would there be a possible upside?
 
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In answer to your question, lets say the EPA and the impact on the Catalytic converters you mentioned are responsible. I mentioned a few times when I had my Jeep airbag recall done, my Jeep tech buddy and I talked about the cam and rocker arm issues. He was told by Chrysler field techs they feel the issue has to do with the lower ZDDP levels. Unfortunately their hands are tied and they aren't about to inform the public. Take it for what it's worth, that isn't the first time I've heard it. There are a few very well respected members here in agreement as well. Most of the problems they're seeing are with engines that idle a lot, and see severe service. A bump up from a 20 to a 30 grade oil was also suggested along with a ZDDP additive. With regards to cats "gummed up" with 1,200 ppm zinc at 100K miles. I have my doubts, I think in an engine that consumes very little oil there's nothing to worry about.
 
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It's a conspiracy between the EPA and Tesla to ruin the durability of internal combustion engines, making electric cars more attractive. But anyway... I have noticed on my 2001 Dodge Ram diesel, that the iron wear rate decreased by about 30% when I started boosting the ZDDP with Redline Break-In oil additive. I got really disgusted with the low Phos of CK4 oils, and started supplementing it. The Cummins in my Dodge has slider cam followers, so is a good candidate for wear. But ZDDP is also good for decreasing wear in the ring belt. And many DOHC engines with 6+ feet of timing chain would probably benefit from high ZDDP. ZDDP has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on reducing LSPI events in controlled tests. I didn't have much of an issue with ZDDP content when API specs allowed 1000 ppm of Phosphorous, but when they decreased max Phos to 800, and put a minimum Phos content of 600 in the spec, I took that as tacit admission they were getting close to trouble.
 
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Years ago it was Amsoil's position, and likely Mobil's as well, that higher ZDP levels are ok if the Noack volatility was very low. The 90's formulations of both Amsoil and Mobil 1 had higher levels of ZDP and very low Noack. While Noack remains low on the better synthetics, alternative AW additives have replaced ZDP. I think part of the issue is that not all engines require high levels of ZDP. The JGR oil RDY4WAR suggested is a good option for an engine that needs a higher level of ZDP.
 
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I'm going to start using this; Redline break-in oil. These are the specs and chart showing what it adds per qt. Increases anti-wear level per quart when using One Bottle (16oz.) Capacity - Phosphorus - Zinc 15 quarts - 610 ppm - 736 ppm 12 quarts - 763 ppm - 920 ppm 10 quarts - 915 ppm - 1104 ppm 8 quarts - 1145 ppm - 1380 ppm 7 quarts - 1307 ppm - 1577 ppm 6 quarts - 1525 ppm - 1840 ppm 5 quarts - 1830 ppm - 2208 ppm 4 quarts - 2288 ppm - 2760 ppm 1 quart - 9160 ppm - 11040 ppm Half Bottle (8oz.) when treating: Capacity - Phosphorus - Zinc 12 quarts - 382 ppm - 460 ppm 10 quarts - 458 ppm - 552 ppm 8 quarts - 572 ppm - 690 ppm 6 quarts - 763 ppm - 920 ppm 5 quarts - 915 ppm - 1104 ppm 4 quarts - 1145 ppm - 1380 ppm One Quarter Bottle (4oz) when treating: Capacity - Phosphorus - Zinc 6 quarts - 382 ppm - 460 ppm 5 quarts - 458 ppm - 552 ppm 4 quarts - 572 ppm - 690 ppm 3 quarts - 763 ppm - 920 ppm Bottle (16oz) contains: 33.8 grams total ZDDP (zinc dialkyldithiophosphate) 17,000 ppm, 7.8 grams Phosphorus (P) 20,500 ppm, 9.4 grams Zinc (Zn) 16.6 grams Sulphur (S)
 
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Originally Posted by oldhp
I'm going to start using this; Redline break-in oil. These are the specs and chart showing what it adds per qt. Increases anti-wear level per quart when using One Bottle (16oz.) Capacity - Phosphorus - Zinc 15 quarts - 610 ppm - 736 ppm 12 quarts - 763 ppm - 920 ppm 10 quarts - 915 ppm - 1104 ppm 8 quarts - 1145 ppm - 1380 ppm 7 quarts - 1307 ppm - 1577 ppm 6 quarts - 1525 ppm - 1840 ppm 5 quarts - 1830 ppm - 2208 ppm 4 quarts - 2288 ppm - 2760 ppm 1 quart - 9160 ppm - 11040 ppm Half Bottle (8oz.) when treating: Capacity - Phosphorus - Zinc 12 quarts - 382 ppm - 460 ppm 10 quarts - 458 ppm - 552 ppm 8 quarts - 572 ppm - 690 ppm 6 quarts - 763 ppm - 920 ppm 5 quarts - 915 ppm - 1104 ppm 4 quarts - 1145 ppm - 1380 ppm One Quarter Bottle (4oz) when treating: Capacity - Phosphorus - Zinc 6 quarts - 382 ppm - 460 ppm 5 quarts - 458 ppm - 552 ppm 4 quarts - 572 ppm - 690 ppm 3 quarts - 763 ppm - 920 ppm Bottle (16oz) contains: 33.8 grams total ZDDP (zinc dialkyldithiophosphate) 17,000 ppm, 7.8 grams Phosphorus (P) 20,500 ppm, 9.4 grams Zinc (Zn) 16.6 grams Sulphur (S)
Thanks for sharing that info.
 
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Originally Posted by oldhp
I'm going to start using this; Redline break-in oil. These are the specs and chart showing what it adds per qt... ... Bottle (16oz) contains: 33.8 grams total ZDDP (zinc dialkyldithiophosphate) 17,000 ppm, 7.8 grams Phosphorus (P) 20,500 ppm, 9.4 grams Zinc (Zn) 16.6 grams Sulphur (S)
You would be miles ahead to just use Red Line HP 5w-30 instead of trying to blend in an additive. Note that ZDDP has a sweet spot that varies depending on the oil it's in and the use of the engine. More is not always better. The anti-wear effectiveness of ZDDP resembles a stribeck curve. If you overdose it, wear will go back up. This is due to the fact that ZDDP increases friction between the parts it encounters. If dosed too high, it can increase it to the point that it becomes somewhat abrasive, defeating its own purpose. In new oil testing somewhat recently, it was found that this sweet spot moved from one engine to another and also varied depending on the other additives in the oil, especially calcium.
 
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I personally don't think zinc/oil is the issue. Late model gm and Chrysler camshaft failures start with the lifters seizing up and deciding they're solid lifters. No magic oil or additive is going to eliminate failed parts and/or maintenance neglect. This is coming from someone who typically likes thicker oil and higher zinc.
 
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Originally Posted by TiredTrucker
How much does Molybdenum compensate for lower ZDDP? There are some oils that, while having lower ZDDP, also have a boatload of moly.
ZDDP and MoDTC cooperate very well. ZDDP lowers the activation temperature of MoDTC while MoDTC counters the increased friction from ZDDP. MoDTC also enhances the glass tribofilm of ZDDP to reduce wear even at temperatures as low as 30*C. "Wear results as a function of temperature also show the same complexities, Fig. 4. When ZDDP and MoDTC additives are used together, Zn phosphate glass, formed from the ZDDP additive, is not the only tribofilm species having anti-wear performance ability [7]. The presence of S- and N-containing species formed from MoDTC has also been suggested to reduce wear. The wear values measured in these tests were very low but a clear difference could be seen when the additives were used compared with wear obtained with just base oil (001A)." "The effectiveness of MoDTC in reducing friction at low temperatures was seen to increase when the ZDDP was present in the lubricant." https://www.academia.edu/1316512/ZD...fect_of_temperature_and_ZDDP_MoDTC_ratio
 
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SR5

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It's seems that most Euro A3/B4 oils that carry tough OEM specs like MB 229.5, BMW LL-01 and Porsche A40 also have about 1000 ppm Zinc, and do so without exhaust cat issues. However the MB spec also demands that Noack volatility is below 10%, so it's a high quality and low volatility product. Standard GF-5 oils seem to be about 700 ppm zinc. I'm sure many here know this already, but ZDDP was originally developed as an oil anti-oxidant to allow Group I oils to last longer by resisting oil oxidation, then they discovered it was a good anti-wear agent to protect the engine, and recently some research has shown ZDDP to be a powerful quencher of LSPI events. So that's three big positives if used in reasonable levels. Given that both the Euro OEM oils mentioned above and the global spec Ford 913-D oil (with elevated ZDDP for cam chain protection) both tend to be formulated with 1000 ppm zinc, this seems a reasonable level to me. It looks like the sweet spot for MB, BMW, Porsche and Ford engines when when not limited by API/GF-5 restrictions.
 
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imho, if not turbo di or diesel , full saps a3/b4 api sl is a good choice regardless of what om specifies. I excluded tdi and diesel since I'm not familiar with them and haven't done much research. I think the sn and dexos stuff is just good for tdi and weak otherwise.
 
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Originally Posted by RDY4WAR
If you want a high ZDDP oil though and don't care about API certs, check out JGR Driven's new GP-1 oil. It has ~1500 ppm Zn, ~1350 ppm P, ~200 ppm B, and ~400 ppm Mo in a syn-blend base oil with a strong pressure-viscosity coefficient. Change it every 3k miles.
Or just use one quart only as an "oil supplement" to nearly any SN oil of your choosing
 

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Originally Posted by Red91
I personally don't think zinc/oil is the issue. Late model gm and Chrysler camshaft failures start with the lifters seizing up and deciding they're solid lifters. No magic oil or additive is going to eliminate failed parts and/or maintenance neglect. This is coming from someone who typically likes thicker oil and higher zinc.
This. The Euro marques appear to believe that higher levels of ZDDP can be beneficial (see: Full SAPS lubes like M1 0w-40) for certain applications. Of note, the SRT 0w-40 isn't a full-SAPS lube and does not enjoy the increased levels of ZDDP. Some of the Euro lubes have a good sized dose of moly, others don't. And of course there are the various moly types. All that said, applications where higher levels of ZDDP are generally regarded to be significant aren't in the bearings (posited in the OP) or in roller mills (like the HEMI) but rather in sliding flat tappet or cam-over-bucket mills with high rev ranges. Rollers are supposed to roll, and historically, they did. We didn't experience lifter failures with the SBF's or later roller SBC's. Guys building SBF's and running higher spring pressures and far more aggressive camshafts didn't experience it either. What will kill a roller lifter is it stopping rolling, because it doesn't do well as a flat tappet sub-in. What can cause it to stop rolling can be myriad but particulate binding up the needles in a needle-bearing style, a float event, that hammers it, or varnish all stick out in my mind as readily viable scenarios that could all lead to a roller that doesn't roll, and as soon as that happens, that lifter is on the road to failure and all the ZDDP in the world isn't going to stop it.
 

burla

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I'm not sure anyone would disagree with zinc not compensating for a bad design, or if a bad design is to blame for every failure. With the potential upside of more protection, and no legitimate potential downside as 1200ppm wasn't gumming up CATS, why not opt for more protection? Zinc levels aren't tied to fuel mileage, so other then the broken argument of protecting CATS, I haven't heard of any reason not to run 1200ppm zinc. They are making every oil to spec for low sap applications and di turbo's, I'm not sure those formulas serve guys running older engines where they have much different concerns like cam shafts, and bearings, and lifters and so on. If I owned a di turbo or low saps appl I would be very happy with the latest specs, but the older engines have vastly different issues and I'm not sure these dumbed down formulas to prevent lspi or other issues facing those applications serve the old v8 crowd at all. Even 4 and 6 cylinders that aren't the modern shaved down tolerance machines of today. But yet there are next to no options for people in that crowd because the only thing you will find on the shelf is api dumbed down formulas. Most boutiques are even following suit, some have these lower additives throughout their entire lineups, only a few have lineups outside api low additive rules for 20 and 30 weight oils. Just saying with no downside, and a potential upside, maybe guys with older style engines should be looking in places other then the status qou shelf.
 
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I'm pretty certain the answer you're looking for as far as old(I'm presuming you're referring to mid 80's back) v8's is vr1. Yes it cost more, but you get your zinc.
 
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