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Ultimate Motor Oil Thread or Why we hate CJ4/SM oils

Added 2/18/2009

For those who do not want to read it all, the Cliff notes answer is: SWEPCO 15W-40 or Brad Penn 20W-50. Ther are other oils out ther as well. If they are NOT API SL, SM or CJ4 rated, chances are they may be ok.

--------ORIGINAL TEXT STARTS HERE----------------------------
Since the introduction of the new CJ-4 / SM motor oils, there has been lots of discussion about what to do. For those of you who do not know, the latest motor oil formulations have significantly reduced the anti-wear additive ZDDP (provides phosphorus and zinc).

Per SAE papers, approximately 1400 to 1500 ppm of Zn and P are needed. This level needs to be adjusted based on the levels of detergents present as well to prevent premature wear of rotating parts like camshafts in cars that have flat tappets (like our older Porsches). [edited 11/3/2008]

Newer cars have roller tappets to help save fuel. As a side benefit, they do not require the level of ZDDP that non-roller tappets require. Until the advent of the CJ4 / SM grades now currently offered, the ZDDP Levels of quality motor oils provided the phosphorus and zinc we needed.

Much of this is discussed on Charles Navarro's Web page http://www.lnengineering.com/oil.html. Steve Weiner and I have discussed the impact of lowered ZDDP on engine longevity as well.

We have several threads here with much discussion as well:
New Shell Rotella 15W-40 now has boron

Has the formula for GM EOS chanaged?

AMSOIL and Lucas oil stabilizer

An Oil Additive that is worth using

Should we all be using diesel engine oil?

Amsoil 20/50 air cooled oil

Synthetic oils being redesigned - lower ZDDP

Oil choice (20W-50): Castrol GTX or Valvoline VR1?

These threads all advocate getting an oil with higher levels of ZDDP and boosting it using aGM EOS Oil Supplement. Unfortunately, since these threads started, GM has stopping selling EOS. Some of us have "stocked up" but for many, this option is not available and for those of us with a stockpile, the day will come when we run out.

Personally, since I have a stash of EOS, I am planning on using a good CJ-4 oil (Delo 400) until I need to do something else. 10 quarts of Delo and a bottle of EOS should keep my Tappets happy.

Per John Walker below-It also looks like Comp cams currently offers an additive to boost ZDDP in other oils:
Engine Break-In Oil Additive Case - 12 (12oz.) Bottles - PART #159-12

As a result of this lowering of ZDDP content, and as of this posting, the only choices I am aware of that provide adequate ZDDP Protection include (in no particular order):
Brad Penn Racing Oils (same as the old Kendall from the '70s);
SWEPCO 306;
Redline;
Royal Purple;
Castrol GTX High Mileage; and
Mobil 1 V-Twin MC 20w-50.

added 9/16/2007

Mobil 1 MX4T 10w40
Royal Purple Max Cycle 20w50
Amsoil m/c Harley V-twin 20w50
Castrol Syntec "Classic" 20w50

Added 9/22/2007
Valvoline VR-1 20W-50 -it is marked "Non-Street Legal".

There may be more but I do not know of them.

It looks like we may be in for some hard times.

Added 11/25/2007
This thread has grown beyond my expectations. From what I have read and elsewhere, the bottom line is that most (if not all oils) that are pre SM/CJ4 may be ok. As noted further down, some of the SL oils are too low and need to be avoided as well. If the label says it meets SM or CJ4, STAY AWAY. If you read the thread, some posters have noted that there may be some oils that are SM/CJ Compliant but offer the necessary level of Zn and P. IMHO, why take the chance if you do not need to do so?

Added 1/26/2008

A good summary of recommendations can be seen in post 668 by Charles Navarro. He says:
Quote:
To me, an ideal oil for a modern engine would be an API SJ rated with ACEA A3/B3 approval, at least for a Porsche approved oil. And yes, they do exist. Same goes for the VW approved oils. Motul makes one that I use in my new cars. You just would have to change your oil more often, that's all.
added 5/4/2008

Great link to some thoughts on oils for Covairs . Much is applicable to us here.

A big thanks to richardlw on showing it to us!

added 6/5/2008

I have been reading a number of threads here and on Rennlist. One issue that seems to come up is the frequent citation by many of information they find on a web site. I caution anyone using a web site (even the oil manufacturer ones) to verify the date of the information posted. You will find it astonishing how often the information is outdated and does not relate to products currently available.

I started this thread with a focus on Zinc and Phosphorus, Mr Navarro has reported there is much more to the story and you need to be sure you understand the entire additive package. Like I posted ablove, there are good oils out there for us. Sadly, few of them will be found at our FLAPS (friendly local auto parts stores).

***addition**

I have been taken to task about the lack of suitable products at your FLAPS. But it is not all gloom snd doom, I know they can be found but you need to look and read the labels.
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Last edited by HarryD; 02-18-2009 at 06:21 PM.. Reason: Add more oils with good protection/Add Note about CJ oils/add note about pre SM/CJ oils -- Add note about Corvair Oil Selection -- Added more on need to be careful about available web data
Old 09-15-2007, 10:55 PM
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I found Valvoline 20W50 VR1 Racing oil on the shelf the other day. Here's what their website has to say about it.

VR1 Racing Motor Oil's exclusive chemistry is designed to reduce friction and enhance power. It is among the most popular engine lubricants in all types of racing including CART, stock car and drag racing. It is recommended for engines burning gasoline and full or partial alcohol fuels in track and street service.

* High performance and protection for today's engines that run at high RPM
* New ashless anti-wear additives combined with ZDDP provide ultimate wear protection
* Enhanced anti-foam system helps protect the engine even during extreme stress
* Enhanced additives protect against high-temperature deposits for a cleaner engine
* Friction modifiers help improve horsepower output
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:39 AM
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"* New ashless anti-wear additives combined with ZDDP provide ultimate wear protection"

That screams boron based anti-wear additive with lowered ZDDP levels IMHO. I guess it's VR1 not-street-legal from now on :-) Granted, the non-street legal has about half the detergency, so you can't go very long without an oil change, say no more than 3000 mi with it!

I'll add to the list oils we've run and are happy with, wear-wise:

Mobil 1 MX4T 10w40
Royal Purple Max Cycle 20w50
Amsoil m/c Harley V-twin 20w50

I'm sure there are others that aren't coming to mind right this minute. I use the Brad Penn and Swepco products very happily, and I have a few customers running the Brad Penn in their race cars with excellent visuals upon tear down (356 & 914).

I'll also add the caveat that I don't recommend running Castrol GTX for more than 3,000 mi either. In our field testing, it broke down rather quickly (consumption of detergents, Zn, and P) compared to other oils.

Oh, and I will go as far as to say that if an oil has SM or CJ-4 on it, I wouldn't use it unless you have definative proof that the formulation hasn't changed or has good levels of Zn and P before using it.

For those with water cooled engines, there are plenty of SL or earlier API spec oils on the approved list. I run a Motul factory-approved oil in my VWs- W8 passat and V10 tdi T-reg, since I plan on keeping both past the warranty period like with our Porsches!
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:08 AM
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I also hear that Castrol is coming up with a "Classic" line of oils with SG levels of Zn and P - the new Castrol Syntec "Classic" 20w50 is already on their web site. I'm figuring this is the first clear response to our demands for an appropriate oil for older cars in mind from the big oil companies.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:10 AM
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For the third year in a row I recently poured Euro Mobil 1 0w40 in my Carrera.

Are you saying the ZDDP levels are too low in that oil ? I canīt seem to find the content specifics for that particular oil.

That oil cost a small fortune, better not have to emty it out now.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:17 AM
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It looks like M1 V-twin is almost $10 a quart! I'd better save up for the next oil change.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:20 AM
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from the competition cams website....

Engine Break-In Oil Additive Case - 12 (12oz.) Bottles
PART #159-12


DESCRIPTION:


COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive

Time marches on . . . and generally that’s a good thing. But unfortunately, over time, some of the good stuff can get left behind. COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive brings back the good stuff, delivering a specially engineered blend of extreme pressure break-in additives that have been removed from current off-the-shelf motor oils. Delivering added protection during the break-in process and beyond for all engine components, including the camshaft and lifters, COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-in Oil Additive is compatible with any petroleum, synthetic or blended motor oil.


COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive extends the durability of internal engine components, protecting against premature camshaft, lifter and valve train failure. Best of all, COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive has proven to deliver long term benefits with new or rebuilt engines through continued usage. Simply pour in a bottle for initial break-in, run the engine for approximately 1,000 miles, drain the system thoroughly and then refill with clean oil and another bottle of COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive at each oil change. Part #159-12 consists of one dozen 12 oz bottles of engine break in lubricant.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:46 AM
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During the last oil change I used Swepco 502 oil additive. I called Swepco and the guy said it has a high level of Zn. Can anyone confirm about this? I did notice a reduction of valve train noise.
The oil I'm using is M1 15-50 (the new formulation with low Zn). Does anyone think this is an "ok" combination? or should I go with one of the oils listed above?
Old 09-16-2007, 07:48 AM
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Thx for compiling the threads, Harry.
Old 09-16-2007, 11:21 AM
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Harry:

Nice work, sir. I hope this becomes a "sticky" so people can get a quick reference to current oil information.


Hcoles:

I would ask the Swepco engineering personnel whether 502 specifically contains ZDDP or simply Zn. One must have both Zn & P for protection and thats what ZDDP is.........
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:47 AM
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All,

I would like this to be a sticky as well. Moderators?

Others have done the real "heavy lifting". I am glad to be able to share the resource here.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john walker's workshop View Post
from the competition cams website....

Engine Break-In Oil Additive Case - 12 (12oz.) Bottles
PART #159-12


DESCRIPTION:


COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive

Time marches on . . . and generally that’s a good thing. But unfortunately, over time, some of the good stuff can get left behind. COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive brings back the good stuff, delivering a specially engineered blend of extreme pressure break-in additives that have been removed from current off-the-shelf motor oils. Delivering added protection during the break-in process and beyond for all engine components, including the camshaft and lifters, COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-in Oil Additive is compatible with any petroleum, synthetic or blended motor oil.


COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive extends the durability of internal engine components, protecting against premature camshaft, lifter and valve train failure. Best of all, COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive has proven to deliver long term benefits with new or rebuilt engines through continued usage. Simply pour in a bottle for initial break-in, run the engine for approximately 1,000 miles, drain the system thoroughly and then refill with clean oil and another bottle of COMP CamsŪ Engine Break-In Oil Additive at each oil change. Part #159-12 consists of one dozen 12 oz bottles of engine break in lubricant.
John,

Do you have a price and source for the stuff by any chance?
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:29 PM
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try googling competition cams. case of 12 about $119. speed shops probably have it in stock by the bottle. i know jim green's speed center in lynnwood wa has it.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:56 PM
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http://store.summitracing.com/egnsearch.asp?N=700+400114+115+4294925094
Old 09-16-2007, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john walker's workshop View Post
try googling competition cams. case of 12 about $119. speed shops probably have it in stock by the bottle. i know jim green's speed center in lynnwood wa has it.
john,

Thanks. So the pricing is about the same as EOS. That is good news.
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:18 PM
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Has anyone tested the new Mobile 1 15-50? It claims to have increased levels of anti wear ingredients for older/high performance engines. It's in a plain bottle now, no Extended Performance or any other descriptive comments on it.

-Andy
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryD View Post
Some of us have "stocked up" but for many, this option is not available and for those of us with a stockpile, the day will come when we run out.
No time soon, thankfully...

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Last edited by WolfeMacleod; 09-16-2007 at 09:36 PM..
Old 09-16-2007, 09:34 PM
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Don't Panic - There is plenty of ZDDP available

For those chasing a zinc and phosphorous (ZDDP) concentrate I have an alternative to the GM EOS. The ZDDP-500 as in the photo has 24,500ppm Zinc which is about 4 times the ZDDP concentration of the GM EOS. The 500mL container of ZDDP-500 willl treat 50 litres of engine oil (mix ratio of 1:100) which boosts the zinc level by about 250ppm. Cost is US$ 38.00 plus postage.

Cheers, Paul
zddp ["at"] ozemail.com.au


Last edited by CruiseControl; 02-22-2009 at 06:44 PM..
Old 09-17-2007, 02:37 AM
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I currently have some of Paul's product here and we will be running it in our cam/lifter spintron shortly. It looks like a great replacement for GM EOS.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:55 AM
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Seems EOS is making it's rounds on Ebay. One seller has a case listed and it's at $228 with 6+ days to go.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:02 AM
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