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I've been reading posts and doing some research on oil and filter choices for 63-64-65 Riv's. I see comments about the possible need/value of adding zinc while others disagree. I've read that using the Diesel version of some oils is good. Some comments about high mileage and some about synthetic blends. Filters - I see negative comments about Fram with positives about Napa Gold and some others. I read a post that showed data on multiple different oils with ratings relating to the degree of protection showing that the higher the score (i..e. over 90,000 is excellent) but the oils that fit that profile appear to be mostly racing oils. If one should add zinc how much...because it appears to much is harmful.

 

So...I'm not coming away with any sort of consensus (which there may not be). I am looking to make sure that when I finally purchase my 63-64-65 Riv I know what good choices for oil/filter on. Weather where I live: Pacific NW.

 

Appreciate some clarity if possible.

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Look on their websites for the "specs" on the different oils produced by various companies.  The Data sheet for Mobil products is very detailed.  Most companies produce at least one variation that has a viscosity and the amounts of Zinc and Phosphate that are needed for flat tappet (good old push rod and hydraulic or mechanical lifter) engines.  The minimum you should look for is an oil rated at a minimum of 1,000 PPM - parts per million.  You can find these amounts in oils that are not just racing oils.  Mobil 1 Full Synthetic 15W-50 states specifically that it is designed for flat tappet engines; it's like 1200 / 1100 (or close to that.)  The nice thing about some of the oils is that you can buy a five gallon jug at WallyWorld for <$25.  NAPA filters are made by Wix, a good choice whether you buy the NAPA name or WIX.  If you look through the archives, you'll find other discussions on the subject.  Just don't fall for the guy who says " he uses XYZ and has never had a problem."  You need to be able to scientifically evaluate the oil and the wear on the parts. The research is on the web, dig it out and read about it. Believe what you've read about some of the Fram filters.  This is one area where you not want to be concerned about saving a buck. But you don't have to buy Gibbs Racing oils either.

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I believe using conventional oil is best. What I mean by conventional is oil that is NOT synthetic in any way. I use 10W40 conventional oil in my 63 Riviera original engine year round. I do not put in any additives in the engine oil. I use NAPA Gold filters because they are handy. Although, many have said FRAM is a bad oil filter I've never had a problem with ANY oil filter in 55 years of driving automobiles. I change oil every 120 days in my Riviera no matter how many miles I have on the oil in the pan. Keep it clean and keep it changed. 

Secondly, I use gasoline with no ethanol. I have to buy it and haul a long way in 55 gallon barrels. I think the Nailhead likes non ethanol gasoline best. I could be all wrong, but that is how I do it.

Red Riviera Bob

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2 hours ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

I believe using conventional oil is best. What I mean by conventional is oil that is NOT synthetic in any way. I use 10W40 conventional oil in my 63 Riviera original engine year round. I do not put in any additives in the engine oil. I use NAPA Gold filters because they are handy. Although, many have said FRAM is a bad oil filter I've never had a problem with ANY oil filter in 55 years of driving automobiles. I change oil every 120 days in my Riviera no matter how many miles I have on the oil in the pan. Keep it clean and keep it changed. 

Secondly, I use gasoline with no ethanol. I have to buy it and haul a long way in 55 gallon barrels. I think the Nailhead likes non ethanol gasoline best. I could be all wrong, but that is how I do it.

Red Riviera Bob

Hey Bob, what the nailhead's really like is good old fashion leaded Sunoco 260!  Unfortunately those days are long gone but my old 64 would fly on that gas!  

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Just mix in some race fuel Pat to bring back the days of old. AND it's GREAT for long term storage with NO side affects.

 

Tom T.

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Bob, Don,

 

What are the PPM's of the zinc and phosphate of the oils that you recommend?  If they're not at least 1,000 PPM, you're getting excess wear on the moving parts.  Today's oils are designed for today's  engines - overhead cams, closer tolerances, etc. so the producers have reduced the zinc and phosphate levels in these oils.  Older oils, especially, Pennsylvania crude, are really susceptible to crude build up.  The newer synthetic oils are not.  I bought an 85 Riviera coupe some time ago and the first thing I did was to change oil.  The old stuff came out black and thick.  I switched to a synthetic and the next oil change was worse than the first.  But subsequent changes kept producing cleaner and cleaner oil.  The synthetic oil was cleaning built up sludge from the engine.  The last one I did before selling the car produced oil that was almost as clean as it was when I added it.  

 

You can't measure or see what's happening to the bearings, lifters, and other moving parts unless you Take the engine apart and inspect them.  So trust todays technology to lead you down the right path.

 

The guy who does my non-DIY stuff told me that the engines built today last so much longer than those of yesteryear because of the advancements in lubricants.  Leonard Scott, well known (now deceased) Riviera guru used to say that any nailhead approaching 90,000 miles was probably getting close to needing a rebuild.  We've all seen them go much farther, but nothing like the 250,000 to 300,000 miles that new engines will go. Its all in the lubricants and how enginers can build tolerances around the capabilities of the lubricants.

 

Go to Russ Martin's website and read his opinions of Fram filters and Fel-pro head gaskets. You can also find filter reviews on line written by the Filter Doctor that tell you why some filters are better than others.  Card board vs metal in the by-pass chambers! Guess which one (painted orange) uses cardboard?

 

Ed

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On 9/30/2018 at 7:49 PM, RivNut said:

Look on their websites for the "specs" on the different oils produced by various companies.  The Data sheet for Mobil products is very detailed.  Most companies produce at least one variation that has a viscosity and the amounts of Zinc and Phosphate that are needed for flat tappet (good old push rod and hydraulic or mechanical lifter) engines.  The minimum you should look for is an oil rated at a minimum of 1,000 PPM - parts per million.  You can find these amounts in oils that are not just racing oils.  Mobil 1 Full Synthetic 15W-50 states specifically that it is designed for flat tappet engines; it's like 1200 / 1100 (or close to that.)  The nice thing about some of the oils is that you can buy a five gallon jug at WallyWorld for <$25.  NAPA filters are made by Wix, a good choice whether you buy the NAPA name or WIX.  If you look through the archives, you'll find other discussions on the subject.  Just don't fall for the guy who says " he uses XYZ and has never had a problem."  You need to be able to scientifically evaluate the oil and the wear on the parts. The research is on the web, dig it out and read about it. Believe what you've read about some of the Fram filters.  This is one area where you not want to be concerned about saving a buck. But you don't have to buy Gibbs Racing oils either.

 

I was able to find the specs for the Mobil 1 synthetic oils. They have 6 (out of 31 listed) oils that are 1000 or above for phosphorous and zinc. The rest are below 1000 for both numbers. They are: (phosphorous/zinc)

 

Mobil 1 X2      5W-50     1000/1100

Mobil 1            15W-50   1200/1300

Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck  5W-40   1100/1300

Mobil 1 Racing 4T  10W-40   1100/1200

Mobil 1 V-Twin   20W-50   1600/1750

Mobil 1 0W-40   1000/1100

 

I just picked up a 5 quart jug of 0W-40 for $25.47 at Walmart today.

 

Bill

 

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27 minutes ago, Riviera63 said:

 

I was able to find the specs for the Mobil 1 synthetic oils. They have 6 (out of 31 listed) oils that are 1000 or above for phosphorous and zinc. The rest are below 1000 for both numbers. They are: (phosphorous/zinc)

 

Mobil 1 X2      5W-50     1000/1100

Mobil 1            15W-50   1200/1300

Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck  5W-40   1100/1300

Mobil 1 Racing 4T  10W-40   1100/1200

Mobil 1 V-Twin   20W-50   1600/1750

Mobil 1 0W-40   1000/1100

 

I just picked up a 5 quart jug of 0W-40 for $25.47 at Walmart today.

 

Bill

 

 Good choice.  😎

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On 10/5/2018 at 3:49 PM, Pat Curran said:

Hey Bob, what the nailhead's really like is good old fashion leaded Sunoco 260!  Unfortunately those days are long gone but my old 64 would fly on that gas!  

Pat, I was told by a reliable source that synthetic oils make our railheads leak the oil. Do you know anything about a synthetic oil leaking more than conventional oil in the engine.?Thank you Red Riviera Bob

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I’m sorry, but I don’t Bob.  I have never used synthetic in one of my old cars.  I do use synthetic in my daily drivers and they have never leaked a drop.

None of my old cars ever needed an engine rebuild but I would be tempted to use synthetic after a fresh rebuild though.  I don’t believe in mixing the two types so I would only do so after a rebuild.

I have never heard of synthetic causing a nailhead to leak.  If the engine was built properly with the right materials and gaskets and seals are done right, it shouldn’t leak.  I have nothing to back this up, just my opinion.

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5 hours ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

Pat, I was told by a reliable source that synthetic oils make our railheads leak the oil. Do you know anything about a synthetic oil leaking more than conventional oil in the engine.?Thank you Red Riviera Bob

Synthetic oils will clean up old sludge.  If you've got sludge blocking some existing leak, you'll eventually clean it up and the leak will reappear but if your engine is properly sealed, you won't have any leaks.  

 

You're apparently not part of the population that believes that if you don't have some leakage, not everything is getting properly oiled. 😎

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Synthetic oil comes from imaginary dinosaurs. I use both.

 

If a car is 50 years old or 5 months old and you change its diet you could have a problem. You are always ahead when you let someone else experiment.

 

My mineral oil cars get a steady diet of Texaco Havoline oil just because it says Texas on the label and it makes me imagine an American Indian riding through his oil field in a Cadillac. If that ain't reason enough maybe you ain't gettin' it right.

Bernie

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42 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

My mineral oil cars get a steady diet of Texaco Havoline oil just because it says Texas on the label and it makes me imagine an American Indian riding through his oil field in a Cadillac. If that ain't reason enough maybe you ain't gettin' it right.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hQibx6FDRU

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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For the most part the rope seals will start leaking with synthetic oil & when you change back to Dino oil the leak doesn't stop. So the ONLY remedy is to replace them with the more modern seals. IF the car smokes a little on start-up with synthetic it will smoke more.

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On 10/7/2018 at 6:09 PM, telriv said:

For the most part the rope seals will start leaking with synthetic oil & when you change back to Dino oil the leak doesn't stop. So the ONLY remedy is to replace them with the more modern seals. IF the car smokes a little on start-up with synthetic it will smoke more.

Tom- my car is NOS MO King. I figured 10W 30 or 40 conventional oil is the way to go. I'm not brand loyal, but I tend to use Pennzoil. seems to me if you change the oil & filter often you won'thave problems.However, Im open to suggestions if a better engine lubrication method is known.

Red Riviera Bob

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Pennzoil was purchased by Quaker State a few years ago, and now both are part of the Royal/Shell group. Might as well cut out the middleman and buy Shell.

Have you read anything about Pennsylvania grade crude having a high level of paraffin in it?  Apparently, the parrifin has been related to the build up of sludge. 🤔

I sometimes wonder if I'd spend less time reading, I wouldn't be aware of this stuff and I'd have a more stress-free life.

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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14 minutes ago, RivNut said:

I sometimes wonder if I'd spend less time reading, I wouldn't be aware of this stuff and I'd have a more stress-free life.

 

Ignorance is bliss. ;) 

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On 10/7/2018 at 8:59 AM, Red Riviera Bob said:

Pat, I was told by a reliable source that synthetic oils make our railheads leak the oil. Do you know anything about a synthetic oil leaking more than conventional oil in the engine.?Thank you Red Riviera Bob

 

Increased leaking at seals has been a problem with synthetics since the earliest days.  It's because of how they are made and what they contain (chemically).  Unlike distilled conventional oil, which has a broad range of hydrocarbons in it from light weight to heavy, the synthetic oil is a narrow distribution of molecules all the same (because that is how they are synthesized to be). 

 

The lighter molecules in conventional oil help keep the seals soft and even swell a bit, so less likely to leak.  (The heavier molecules in conventional oil give you carbon and sludge -- the big advantage of synthetics.) You don't have the light molecules in synthetic oil to soften and swell the seals.  The oil guys have put in more additives that are designed to help with this problem.  I don't know how successful they are.

 

I put Mobil 1 fully synthetic 10W40 oil in my '63 Riv for the first time last month.  I have not had much opportunity to drive it since then, but I will.  I will report back if the slight oil leaks that I have (front and rear main seals, mainly) get worse or stay the same.

 

 

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I just can't justify the extra cost, nor the perceived benefit of synthetic oil in my classic cars, given the fact they only rack up maybe 1000 miles before the oil is changed.  I'll spend extra money on ethanol-free gas instead...

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11 hours ago, KongaMan said:

 

Ignorance is bliss. ;) 

 

That was exactly my thought as I read. I frequently say "Many people live more blissful lives than I". Makes my Wife cringe.

 

I am getting ready to do a major synthetic fluid change on the modern BMW, which specifies them. Everything that lubes in liquid form is going to be flushed at least once. The non-events from that and my mineral oil efforts on the old cars can't be calculated. And, in lubrication, the non-event is the indicator of success.

 

The molecular level cause for a rope seal leak are interesting. I have done a lot of work with micro sized suspended solids in heat transfer fluids. When we look at high efficiency heat exchanger passages we look at two particles jammed together in a passage rather than the size of one flowing through alone. That could be similar to the synthetic seal action. So much for bliss!

Bernie

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2 hours ago, EmTee said:

I just can't justify the extra cost, nor the perceived benefit of synthetic oil in my classic cars, given the fact they only rack up maybe 1000 miles before the oil is changed.  I'll spend extra money on ethanol-free gas instead...

 

I agree 100% about the cost and this is why I only tried it this year for the first time.

 

There may be benefits that we are not aware of in the old engine.

 

 

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On 10/7/2018 at 2:21 PM, RivNut said:

Synthetic oils will clean up old sludge.  If you've got sludge blocking some existing leak, you'll eventually clean it up and the leak will reappear but if your engine is properly sealed, you won't have any leaks.  

 

You're apparently not part of the population that believes that if you don't have some leakage, not everything is getting properly oiled. 😎

I was under the impression if the oil and filter are changed every 3000 miles or every 90 days sludge would not be a problem. I'm okay with being wrong on my assumption that changing oil and filter often minimizes sludge problems. If the engine is leaking oil the oil gets all over the place and I don't like that. I'd rather have an engine that does not leak oil and change oil and filter often so may be the engine will last longer. Still I could be wrong.

Red Riviera Bob

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