Yet Another Zinc Oil Question

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Here
Okay joined today because I've had about enough of reading about flat tappet cams and what engine oil is suitable. First thing, is I've an old Y-block Ford engine with solid lifters. It was overhauled some time ago and has excellent oil pressure and flow. Valve spring pressures are not radical, stock cam etc. For the moment, let's leave aside the question of whether ZDDP or elevated zinc/phosphorous is even necessary. What I'm looking for is a readily available gasoline engine rated motor oil in 10w30 with a normal oil change interval of 5,000 miles or near enough, and doesn't cost $17 a quart. For many years I never paid any attention to it. The Zinc Question that is. Always been pretty good about oil change intervals. After a bit of reading on the subject, I then switched to Rotella T for a while, 15w-40, and it's a good oil - but after installing a new oil pump and gauge it looks to me the engineers got it right, the lightest viscosity oil that maintains good oil pressure when hot will also have good flow. Rotella has lots of "detergents", which is good, but I'd just prefer a modern high quality oil with a little extra zinc for peace of mind, and an additive package designed specifically for gasoline engines that has sufficient detergents/dispersants anti-foaming agents, corrosion inhibitors, blah blah blah. Maybe there is a "Diesel" oil that is also S (spark engine) rated, I dunno. I don't want to make a career out of this. I have VR1 10w30 dino oil in it now. Not outrageously spendy, has Zinc, but it is "racing oil" and per a phone call with Valvoline is only good for 3 months/3000 miles. The 3000 miles doesn't bother me, the 3 months does. It doesn't have an additive package designed for extended oil changes. I think once or twice a year is fine, I don't drive it that often. The problem seems to be that simply because a motor oil contains Zinc, that doesn't necessarily mean they are using a good quality oil to begin with. Marketing. "Break-in" oil is not really a good choice, and additives in a bottle aren't a panacea either, as motor oil is a carefully blended package yadda yadda. I don't want to install oil additives. I've had it reading these oil threads on the intertubes. I'm just a simple guy trying to do a simple job. When I was growing up we just grabbed a yellow can of Pennzoil and tried not to spill on the exhaust manifold because it smelled funny for a while.
 
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4,030
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WA
Originally Posted by Tedd
For many years I never paid any attention to it. I switched to Rotella T for a while, 15w-40 but after installing a new oil pump and gauge it looks to me the engineers got it right, the lightest viscosity oil that maintains good oil pressure when hot will also have good flow. It has lots of detergents, which is good, but I'd prefer a modern high quality oil with a little extra zinc for peace of mind, and an additive package designed for gasoline engines that has sufficient detergents/dispersants anti-foaming agents, corrosion inhibitors, blah blah blah
SN rated lubes for pcmo's are gonna have the zinc capped no matter the brand. Find a diesel 10w30 like Motorcraft Super Duty if you want higher zinc.
 
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7,982
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MI
Originally Posted by Tedd
What I'm looking for is a readily available gasoline engine rated motor oil in 10w30 with a normal oil change interval of 5,000 miles or near enough, and doesn't cost $17 a quart.
Others might suggest that the 3 month interval can be ignored (I don't know). Maybe inquire about Penngrade 1 oil @ $7 per quart delivered: https://www.amazon.com/Brad-Penn-Pe...3&hvtargid=pla-569805718203&th=1 Oops - kschachn, are we being led on a snipe hunt here?
 
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Colorado
The perfect oil for that engine: Mobil1 15w50 5quart cheap jugs at walmart, easy to get or order, made by a team of know-it-alls, high ZDDP, street qualified specifications, long drain, GM tells Corvette owners who race to use it. https://mobiloil.com/~/media/amer/us/pvl/files/pdfs/mobil-1-racing-product-guide.pdf The PDF file there has the zinc content info on an infographic near the end. The SN qualification says its for street engines, long drain synthetic too. If starting in cold weather, like below +10F, then use Mobil1 0w40, very suitable for you as well.
 
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640
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Colorado
I did see you "want 10w30" . If cold flow is needed, the Mobil1 0w40 is cheap and very effective, replacing old "10w30" out-dated weights.
 
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South Carolina
You do not need elevated ZDDP in that engine. SuperTech synthetic or conventional is light years ahead of what that engine had when new. Been using lowered ZDDP oils in my flat tappet Ford since API SL came out. No problems at 255k miles.
 
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6,498
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Los Gatos, CA
No offense meant, but your question is impossible to answer unless the valve spring pressure rate is taken into consideration. A good 10w30 might do the trick or a boutique oil might be required. If I ever pull apart one of my classics again I will stab a roller and be done with it. Here is a great post from the C3 Corvette Forum. Flat Tappet Cam Oils
 

Tedd

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Originally Posted by ka9mnx
You do not need .... ZDDP in that engine.
You're probably right. But, it's also at least possible that you're wrong. If it's all the same to you, I'd like to use an oil containing zinc, even if I "know" it's not necessary. It won't hurt anything, other than maybe my wallet. See where I'm goin' with that?
 

Tedd

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Originally Posted by mattwithcats
I suggest Shell Rotella T5 semi synthetic in 10W-30... https://rotella.shell.com/en_us/pro...eff1eb20/cs-ro-2019-t5-10w-30ssht-lr.pdf
I like that, but is it also rated for gasoline engines? One thing I noticed about Rotella T, it keeps the insides of engines sparkly clean. I've read Diesel rated engine oils don't contain the anti-foaming agents that gasoline engine oils do - because they don't rev very high. I have to admit I don't rev the Y-block too high either. I replaced the timing gear set this fall and had access to the oil pan. It was very clean, no sludge. Mobil 1 15w-50 and Rotella T seem to be good choices.
 
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131
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It's the same cast of characters over and over: Shell Rotella T4 which the Shell tech line will tell you is THE oil to use in flat tappet engines no matter that it does not have an "S" rating. PennGrade partial synthetic, Valvoline VR1, Joe Gibbs all recommended by the three engine different builders that rebuilt my flat tappet engines. Take you pick and pick the viscosity that works in your temperature range.
 
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397
Location
Rochester, New York
You will get many opinions here. The Valvoline VR1 you are currently running is good stuff. I agree that you shouldn't run it longer than 3k, But 3 months is a crock. If you're only putting 1k per year on the car. You can run for a few years with no problems. I know someone who has a 68 Galaxy with a 390. Rebuilt some time ago to pretty much stock configuration. Runs VR1 with no problems at all.
 
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862
Location
Indy
Originally Posted by Tedd
Originally Posted by mattwithcats
I suggest Shell Rotella T5 semi synthetic in 10W-30... https://rotella.shell.com/en_us/pro...eff1eb20/cs-ro-2019-t5-10w-30ssht-lr.pdf
I like that, but is it also rated for gasoline engines? One thing I noticed about Rotella T, it keeps the insides of engines sparkly clean. I've read Diesel rated engine oils don't contain the anti-foaming agents that gasoline engine oils do - because they don't rev very high. I have to admit I don't rev the Y-block too high either. I replaced the timing gear set this fall and had access to the oil pan. It was very clean, no sludge. Mobil 1 15w-50 and Rotella T seem to be good choices.
If you don't think Diesel engines don't have the ability to foam oil up you'd be horribly mistaken. HEUI pumps and HPOP's will foam the oil very easily, so I have to think that a qualified HDEO will have sufficient, or more than sufficient anti-foaming elements. For ease of acquisition and cost effectiveness, Rotella, Delo, Valvoline Premium Blue and Ford Super Duty would work beautifully. Of all these choices I'm pretty sure Super Duty has the heaviest dose of ZDDP. And you can find it at Walmart. I have recently seen VR-1 in 20w-50 in 5 quart jugs at Autozone, but not 10w-30.
 
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4,030
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Originally Posted by 69Torino
Originally Posted by Tedd
Originally Posted by mattwithcats
I suggest Shell Rotella T5 semi synthetic in 10W-30... https://rotella.shell.com/en_us/pro...eff1eb20/cs-ro-2019-t5-10w-30ssht-lr.pdf
I like that, but is it also rated for gasoline engines? One thing I noticed about Rotella T, it keeps the insides of engines sparkly clean. I've read Diesel rated engine oils don't contain the anti-foaming agents that gasoline engine oils do - because they don't rev very high. I have to admit I don't rev the Y-block too high either. I replaced the timing gear set this fall and had access to the oil pan. It was very clean, no sludge. Mobil 1 15w-50 and Rotella T seem to be good choices.
If you don't think Diesel engines don't have the ability to foam oil up you'd be horribly mistaken. HEUI pumps and HPOP's will foam the oil very easily, so I have to think that a qualified HDEO will have sufficient, or more than sufficient anti-foaming elements. For ease of acquisition and cost effectiveness, Rotella, Delo, Valvoline Premium Blue and Ford Super Duty would work beautifully. Of all these choices I'm pretty sure Super Duty has the heaviest dose of ZDDP. And you can find it at Walmart. I have recently seen VR-1 in 20w-50 in 5 quart jugs at Autozone, but not 10w-30.
Agreed. And at only $20 for 5qts, that Motorcraft oil is a relative value. T5 10w30 is about the same price but for only 4qts. Any lubricant has the potential to foam when agitated, even diesel oils. And the higher the viscosity, the more stable or persistent the bubbles/foam is. A diesel crankcase would be a hot mess without a defoaming agent of some kind. Just check out the PDS of a diesel lube, they all have an anti foaming agent.
 
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1,835
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Northeast Nebraska
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
Originally Posted by Tedd
For many years I never paid any attention to it. I switched to Rotella T for a while, 15w-40 but after installing a new oil pump and gauge it looks to me the engineers got it right, the lightest viscosity oil that maintains good oil pressure when hot will also have good flow. It has lots of detergents, which is good, but I'd prefer a modern high quality oil with a little extra zinc for peace of mind, and an additive package designed for gasoline engines that has sufficient detergents/dispersants anti-foaming agents, corrosion inhibitors, blah blah blah
SN rated lubes for pcmo's are gonna have the zinc capped no matter the brand. Find a diesel 10w30 like Motorcraft Super Duty if you want higher zinc.
Not only are SN oils capped but from what I've been seeing over the last couple years is some are starting to use the lower end of ZDP but at the same time are adding more moly and some are adding titanium. This is one reason why I'm using Valvoline Advanced in my 5.7 it's still using the upper limits of ZDP plus moly and titanium.
 
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4,925
Location
Kansas
I took an interest to this post because I will be overhauling a 292 Y-block in my 1960 Ford panel van next year. I'm currently rounding up some replacement parts for it for the past few weeks. These are old-school engines that have some interesting quirks to them. One thing that about them is that the camshaft has to be removed to get the lifters out. Also, there are two intake manifold ports that sit on top of each other on four places on the head and intake manifold, verses regular V8 engines that have four of them beside each other. I'm not sure what those engineers were smoking. Anyway, I'd be curious if the guy who overhauled your engine reused the mechanical lifters or if new ones were installed. If you have new ones, with a chance at them being soft Chinese-made, you might want to use a good diesel engine oil in there. If the lifters were factory and your overhauler reused them, I probably wouldn't worry that much about them. New valve springs or were the old ones reused? Again, if they were reused, you probably don't have too much to worry about. BTW, I recently found out that the desired factory intake manifold for this engine is the 4V unit from 1957. It will take the standard Holley carburetor. The aftermarket go-to place to buy part for this engine is Mummert's. They seem to have just about anything that you could need for this engine.
 
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640
Location
Colorado
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
SN rated lubes for pcmo's are gonna have the zinc capped no matter the brand. Find a diesel 10w30 like Motorcraft Super Duty if you want higher zinc.
Not 40 and 50 weight ones. Example: Mobil1 15w50 is SN and has high zddp, 1200 ppm, up there high. Cheap in 5 quart jugs at walmart. (The M1 0w40 at walmart would also work well in this application, another SN oil at 1000 ppm zddp, somewhat high.)
 
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