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DavidEstrada
 
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What is the recommended oil for 1987 911 with 185K miles?

I recently bought a 1987 targa with 185K on it. I have researched the "which brand and oil weight" topic and have seen different recommendations plus all the info was a little old. The owners manual had all the pages stuck together so it wasn't much help. Can anybody give a little direction? Thanks in advance.
Old 02-22-2011, 09:27 AM
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oh my, you are opening a huge can of worms, do a search on oil and you will be surprised.

oh yeah, welcome to the board.

my 2 cents:

Valvoline VR1 Conventional ( DINO ) 20W50 Racing Oil ( if she leaks )
Brad Penn 20W50 (partial Synthetic, if she does not leak)

Jim
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:39 AM
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Flat Six
 
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Hoo boy . . .

Start here:

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

Note that HarryD updated his original post to summarize many (but not all) of the key conclusions that appear in the 79 pages that follow.

And thank goodness your trans is a G50 -- spare you from the Swepco 201 vs. Kendall NS-MP discussion.

Good luck.
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Last edited by Flat Six; 02-22-2011 at 10:58 AM..
Old 02-22-2011, 10:55 AM
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Maybe the best and easiest answer is...."whatever you have been using so far". We all like high ZDDP oils, but it's hard to gauge the ZDDP content as the oil companies can change anytime w/o warning....how do you know what you just bought?. Mobil 1 went from high to low to high again. Some brands never lowered their content and are a surer bet they are still high. But.....
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:04 AM
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Flat Six
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRACO A5OG View Post
Valvoline VR1 Conventional ( DINO ) 20W50 Racing Oil ( if she leaks )
Brad Penn 20W50 (partial Synthetic, if she does not leak)
+1 on both above, plus:

Kendall GT-1 (Dino, non-synth) 20W-50

Hard to find Kendall here on the west coast, but might be more readily available where you are (I'm assuming Arkansas?).

Some have explored motorcycle oils as alternatives (though I haven't, personally); I've ready Harley Davidson V-Twin oil has high levels of ZDDP and may be an appropriate alternative (high-load, air-cooled engines w/non-roller cam followers).
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Last edited by Flat Six; 02-22-2011 at 11:12 AM..
Old 02-22-2011, 11:08 AM
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durn for'ner
 
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Welcome, David!

This issue hits the core of vintage Porsche owners heart. Much like the Holy Grail, you will probably not find a general consensus, but hopefully be able to make an informed decision. Its a jungle of myths, personal taste, hearsay and a suspicious lack of scientific evidence. All backed up with a lot of money from big corporations wanting to make even more money. I think, however, that you will typically hear that newer, synthetic brands of oil contain too low levels of certain substances like Zn and Ph and hence will wreck inner parts of the engine prematurely. Whether that is true and to what degree, relative to driving stile and oil change frequency, I have not a clue - despite having read hundreds of pages.

Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:12 AM
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As noted above, lots of discussion, lots of passion. My story (Cliff Notes version):

Buy and use whatever you want. It used to be true that "oil is oil". But be aware that motor oils have changed and not for the better.

A bit of history:

Prior to the mid 90s most cars on the road had flat tappets to actuate thier valves. It turns out there is a huge amount of pressure on the tappet/cam surface when it is actuated. This effect was discovered in the '50's (I may have the wrong decade but you get the picture) and a minor outfit called SAE noticed that cams were wearing out very quickly.

SAE paid some PhD's to do some research. They published lots of research papaers and found out about these high pressures. They also found that a Zinc/Phosphorus additive known as ZDDP would provide protection to these parts at a resaonable cost. Gosh those guys were smart!

The SAE folks spoke with the API folks and asked if they could require ZDDP added to their required oil formulations to increase the service life of these critical components. Much to the pleasure of SAE, API agreed and based on the PhD recommendations, required about 1200 ppm of Zinc (Zn) and Phosphorus (P) added to oil formulations so the oil maker can get his product API certified.

This worked great but then in the 90's car makers went to more expensive Roller tappets which offered the advantage of lower reciprocating losses in the engine (i.e. better gas mileage). The use of roller tappets became standard in cars in the mid-90's.

In the early 2000's, the USEPA (for what ever reason) became concerned that the Zinc and Phosphurus in the oil would partially exit the engine via the tail pipe. This is a big deal since these two elements tend to kill the catalytic converters and, in theory diminish their service life. As a result EPA wanted the reduce the Zinc and Phosphorus in motor oils.

Fortunately (for EPA), car makers had already gone to roller tappets. Again the PhD's went to work. The clever PhD's found that the roller tappets do not exert the high pressures that flat tappets do. They did some more reaserch and found that for car with Roller Tappets, you could safely reduce ZDDP to a much lower level with no adverse impact on cam service life.

This change was codified in the API SM/CJ4 (and newer) oil standards. And while some formulations are permitted to have higher Zn and P, the cost of ZDDP relative to base motor oil is much higher and if the oil maker wants to save some money (i.e. increase profit or lower price) he merely needs to reduce the use of this relatively expensive additive and still claim conformance to API requirements.

Older engines (pre-mid 90's) STILL need high levels (around 1200 ppm plus correct level of detergents) of Zinc (Zn) and Phosphorus (P) to protect cams and other high pressure surfaces.

Use 20W-50 or 15W-40 oil. Brands frequently sugggested here, in no particular order, include:

Brad Penn 20W-50
Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Kendall GT 20W-50
SWEPCO 15W-40
Royal Purple
Redline
Motorcycle Oils

There are others as well.


So my friend, is oil, oil? Believe and act as you desire. You know where I stand.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:28 AM
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Nice thing is that almost ANY straight 30 weight will have high ZDDP and be pretty cheap. Straight 30 will never be a call-out for modern cars, hence 30 wt can "violate" the low-ZDDP mandate of modern oils. Most of us don't drive our cars all year round, maybe only summer months...and our Cali brothers drive year round in temperate climate, where straight 30m can conceivably be used too.

Don't forget, straight 30 was official Porsche recommendation right thru the later 70's. Porsche didn't trust these "new fangled" multi-weight oils ! Even my later 80's owners manual says straight 30 is OK if the ( then) recommeded 20W-50 or so...couldn't be found.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:42 AM
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You're going to find out real quick how sensitive to oil everyone is 'round these here parts.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flat Six View Post
And thank goodness your trans is a G50 -- spare you from the Swepco 201 vs. Kendall NS-MP discussion.
Oh no, G50 is not immune to the debate. The Mobil 1 SHC/Delvac vs. Redline vs. Amsoil vs. Royal Purple vs. whatever favorite flavor of syn. vs. dino debate never ends.

BTW I used plain old Valvoline 80W90 dino in the G50 and Kendall Special Limited Slip last season in the '79 and they're both great to me!

Back on topic.........
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:54 AM
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I use Mobile 1 15W-50, living in Atlanta. It's pricey, and I change the oil and filter every 5k miles since it's easy and quick and I like to do it myself.

The nice thing is that I use the same oil in my '05 Supercharged 911S, so I can comfortably buy in bulk when the 5 quart jugs are on sale at WalMart, where prices seem to be consistently lower than elsewhere.
CATTMAN
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:45 PM
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Harry, I wrote down your recommended list but could tell me a little more about the Royal purple and the Redline? What type within the brand? Syn or dino? Than you very much. You are a great help. Nick
Old 02-22-2011, 06:57 PM
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Mobil One. That is what it left the factory with
Old 02-22-2011, 07:04 PM
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It had ZDDP back then, though. Times have changed.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryD View Post
As noted above, lots of discussion, lots of passion. My story (Cliff Notes version):

Buy and use whatever you want. It used to be true that "oil is oil". But be aware that motor oils have changed and not for the better.

A bit of history:

Prior to the mid 90s most cars on the road had flat tappets to actuate thier valves. It turns out there is a huge amount of pressure on the tappet/cam surface when it is actuated. This effect was discovered in the '50's (I may have the wrong decade but you get the picture) and a minor outfit called SAE noticed that cams were wearing out very quickly.

SAE paid some PhD's to do some research. They published lots of research papaers and found out about these high pressures. They also found that a Zinc/Phosphorus additive known as ZDDP would provide protection to these parts at a resaonable cost. Gosh those guys were smart!

The SAE folks spoke with the API folks and asked if they could require ZDDP added to their required oil formulations to increase the service life of these critical components. Much to the pleasure of SAE, API agreed and based on the PhD recommendations, required about 1200 ppm of Zinc (Zn) and Phosphorus (P) added to oil formulations so the oil maker can get his product API certified.

This worked great but then in the 90's car makers went to more expensive Roller tappets which offered the advantage of lower reciprocating losses in the engine (i.e. better gas mileage). The use of roller tappets became standard in cars in the mid-90's.

In the early 2000's, the USEPA (for what ever reason) became concerned that the Zinc and Phosphurus in the oil would partially exit the engine via the tail pipe. This is a big deal since these two elements tend to kill the catalytic converters and, in theory diminish their service life. As a result EPA wanted the reduce the Zinc and Phosphorus in motor oils.

Fortunately (for EPA), car makers had already gone to roller tappets. Again the PhD's went to work. The clever PhD's found that the roller tappets do not exert the high pressures that flat tappets do. They did some more reaserch and found that for car with Roller Tappets, you could safely reduce ZDDP to a much lower level with no adverse impact on cam service life.

This change was codified in the API SM/CJ4 (and newer) oil standards. And while some formulations are permitted to have higher Zn and P, the cost of ZDDP relative to base motor oil is much higher and if the oil maker wants to save some money (i.e. increase profit or lower price) he merely needs to reduce the use of this relatively expensive additive and still claim conformance to API requirements.

Older engines (pre-mid 90's) STILL need high levels (around 1200 ppm plus correct level of detergents) of Zinc (Zn) and Phosphorus (P) to protect cams and other high pressure surfaces.

Use 20W-50 or 15W-40 oil. Brands frequently sugggested here, in no particular order, include:

Brad Penn 20W-50
Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Kendall GT 20W-50
SWEPCO 15W-40
Royal Purple
Redline
Motorcycle Oils

There are others as well.


So my friend, is oil, oil? Believe and act as you desire. You know where I stand.
Well played and accurate..:>) +1

Karl
88 Targa
Old 02-22-2011, 07:16 PM
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Sooo.
I'm having my 89 Targa 3.2 rebuilt. New main bearing # 8, main bearing set, cam shafts, LN piston cylinder kit ( to 3.4) exhaust and intake valves, and valve guides. Do I still have to worry about ZDP since most everything is new? I run Amsoil in it now.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Triesch View Post
Harry, I wrote down your recommended list but could tell me a little more about the Royal purple and the Redline? What type within the brand? Syn or dino? Than you very much. You are a great help. Nick
Hi Nick:

Glad to appear to be helpful

Royal Purple and Redline are both brands. Unless you have some special circumstance, I would go with a 20W-50 or 15W-40 oil.

Personally, I use Brad Penn 20W-50.

Frankly, I think the whole dino vs synth is a bunch of hoo-hah. The line between the two is very blurred. For most folks I do not think it really matters which type you use, especially if you change your oil every 3-5,000 miles. From what I can gather, the Synthetic oils shine in highly stresssed applications (racing) and when you are seeking longer oil change intervals.

Then again, I did not stay in a Holiiday Inn last night so my opinion is worth exactly what you just paid me for it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Leaman View Post
Sooo.
I'm having my 89 Targa 3.2 rebuilt. New main bearing # 8, main bearing set, cam shafts, LN piston cylinder kit ( to 3.4) exhaust and intake valves, and valve guides. Do I still have to worry about ZDP since most everything is new? I run Amsoil in it now.
Yep, ZDDP is what will keep your cams from wearing down prematurely.

You should verify that Amsoil has enough ZDDP (look for about 1100 ppm (0.11%)of Zinc and Phosphorus). You should ask for the Product Data sheets from the vendor to verify.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:28 PM
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DavidEstrada
 
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Hey thanks, great explanation.
Old 02-24-2011, 05:08 PM
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PLHarr
 
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My understanding is that the Amsoil ARO 20W50 runs out at 1266ppm Phosphorus and 1379ppm Zinc. I use it in my '84 3.2 and have not had any problems with leaks and seems to keep the running temp in check OK.

That being said, just keep it topped up, changed regularly and use any of the top recommended oils listed and you should be fine.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:35 AM
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What ever happened to original fill, Shell Rotella? If Porsche engineers used it why cant we?
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:28 PM
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