Rob J

What motor oil are you Nailhead guys using?

Recommended Posts

Just curious as to what viscosity oil you guys are using in your 401-425 Nailhead engines?

I just picked up an 88k mile 65 that hasn't ever been rebuilt.

Any of you guys using a ZDDP additive to your nailheads? I wonder if it is really necessary.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually buy Texaco oil for all the cars. I was raised in the 1950's and buying Texaco gives me the image of an American Indian riding off into an oil field sunset; head dress, Buick convertible, and all. Maybe a Caddy, but nothing less.

It may be a fantasy but it sure makes me feel good. I would love to see them get my oil money.

Bernie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No matter what brand you buy, unless it's something that's been on the shelf for 25 years, you're not going to find an oil that's designed for flat tappet engines. Overhead cams do not require the same type oil that the older engines do; the only thing close is over the road diesel engines.

At the ROA event in Branson last week this same topic was brought up. This is what was said. "Look at what the NASCAR guys are using" Theirs are the only modern engines still running flat tappet cams that need the ZDDP. The gentleman that was relating this to us said that a chemical engineer that he met recommended that he use the oil that Joe Gibbs had developed for his race car engines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 10W40 "high mileage" non-synthetic oil in my '63 with about 96 k miles on it. It has never been rebuilt. I change it every 3 k miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. It has enough ZDDP. Not really high levels, but enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK Riviera people: I usually get what Wal-Mart has, a 10-40 or so. I ALWAYS add a quart of Marvel's Mystery Oil and a fresh filter as part of each oil change. This being said now.............

HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER, because these cars are old and they sit for long periods of time with out being started. They have carburetors and in order to start most of these cars you have to pump the living daylights out of the gas. Result? A crankcase that has lots of gasoline which can easily kill the engine.

The solution? Start your car as often as possible, let it warm up to operating temperature and always always always check the oil and make sure it's clean clean.

For some reason the 425's are lousy and the 364 and 401's seem to hold up much better especially now that they are so old, have been out of daily service for a long time and are laying dormant. This is just my experience. Mitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't let them sit. Strive for 15 miles per week minimum. This will also maintain your car at its highest value.

Cars that don't get used don't need to- stop well, cool well, start well, steer well, and on and on.

This leads to deferred maintenance (benevolent neglect) and all those things are repair jobs the new buyer deducts from the value should you decide to sell.

Splashing hot oil inside engines, transmission , and rear ends is just the greatest thing you can do for your car!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that fuel in the oil is a big drawback on these older cars.

It is good to drive them often. BUT, a bunch of short trips is actually worse than not driving them at all. You need to get the engine and oil quite hot and keep it hot to drive off the fuel and the water vapor in the oil. This is really hard to do in the winter. If I drive the Riv, I try to drive it at least 20-30 minutes minutes, not shorter trips than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/10/2011 at 12:42 AM, lrlforfun said:

OK Riviera people: I usually get what Wal-Mart has, a 10-40 or so. I ALWAYS add a quart of Marvel's Mystery Oil and a fresh filter as part of each oil change. This being said now.............

HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER, because these cars are old and they sit for long periods of time with out being started. They have carburetors and in order to start most of these cars you have to pump the living daylights out of the gas. Result? A crankcase that has lots of gasoline which can easily kill the engine.

The solution? Start your car as often as possible, let it warm up to operating temperature and always always always check the oil and make sure it's clean clean.

For some reason the 425's are lousy and the 364 and 401's seem to hold up much better especially now that they are so old, have been out of daily service for a long time and are laying dormant. This is just my experience. Mitch

Mitch, do you put the one quart of Marvel Mystery oil in place of one quart of your regular oil? By example, your engine calls for 4 quarts of oil with a new filter. In this case you would put in 3 quarts of your regular oil and one quart of Marvels Mustery oil.

thank you

Turbinator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK Bob: I put in 4 quarts with the fresh filter and let it warm up. Then I check the oil and usually top it off with the quart of Marvels. The Marvels, fresh oil and driving these things as often as possible is the best recipe to keep 'em up.   Don't forget that carb too because now the gas tanks are dropping like flies and that contamination eventually gets to the needle-n-seat allowing lotsa gas to get into the crankcase which is disastrous.  Mitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also use the VR1. I can only imagine that it bodes well with my engine. It's quiet, idles fine, but I also change my oil pretty often since I work at a shop and have the basic knowledge and means to do it myself, which helps keep the cost of oil changes down. I prime my oil filter with Marvel Mystery oil, and change the filter every other oil change.

 

I think I might be overkilling it, but I do drive it quite often. The oil stays that amber color for awhile. When I first got the car the oil would blacken immediately after use and this annoyed me so I decided to start changing oil more often and now its stays a good color for a while. At this point I change the oil 2-3 times a year depending on usage

Edited by offdensen (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/12/2019 at 11:05 PM, lrlforfun said:

OK Bob: I put in 4 quarts with the fresh filter and let it warm up. Then I check the oil and usually top it off with the quart of Marvels. The Marvels, fresh oil and driving these things as often as possible is the best recipe to keep 'em up.   Don't forget that carb too because now the gas tanks are dropping like flies and that contamination eventually gets to the needle-n-seat allowing lotsa gas to get into the crankcase which is disastrous.  Mitch

Mitch, thanks. Understood. I start the car often in the Winter and let idle for 10-20 minutes. Too much salt on the roads  after snow fall. Even if the roads are dry it takes some rain to wash the salt off the road. I undercoated per exact directions with POR 15. I missed spots inside the metal frame supports. I have a plan to get the insides as well.

Thanks again for the tip on 4 quarts, new GOOD FILTER, and top off with Marvel. I use only ethanol free gasoline.

Turbinator

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, offdensen said:

I also use the VR1. I can only imagine that it bodes well with my engine. It's quiet, idles fine, but I also change my oil pretty often since I work at a shop and have the basic knowledge and means to do it myself, which helps keep the cost of oil changes down. I prime my oil filter with Marvel Mystery oil, and change the filter every other oil change.

 

I think I might be overkilling it, but I do drive it quite often. The oil stays that amber color for awhile. When I first got the car the oil would blacken immediately after use and this annoyed me so I decided to start changing oil more often and now its stays a good color for a while. At this point I change the oil 2-3 times a year depending on usage

Sir, I’m pretty much in the same boat as you for frequency of oil changes. I’m lucky to have a lift to get under the car. I’m too big, too arthritic, and starting to age a bit for to crawl under the car, but I can if necessary.

Turbinator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/13/2019 at 1:34 AM, crowvet said:

Sir, I checked out the Joe Gibbs 15W-50 oil. The benefits they advertise seems as though is what I’m After. The 9.00 and change a quart is a sticker shock. I’m just accustomed to paying lesson for engine oil. Then again I once bought 6 bottles of Budweiser for $1.50 and a pack of Marlboros for .30. Times and things change.

Turbinator

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johnrex let me know about the Mobil 1 Synthetics a few years ago, after he'd returned from the SEMA exhibits and sat in on a discussion of oils for older engines with flat tappet cam shafts (like you have in your nailhead).  I've been a user ever since.  That coupled with a Wix filter and I feel safe under any driving conditions.  (Wix also makes the NAPA Gold filters).  Here's a blurb that I found on a Q&A part of the Mobil 1 website.  I buy the high mileage 10W40 myself.  Wally World sells it for between $25 and $30 depending on what's on sale at the time.  No shipping, no waiting. 

 

Q:

 “For an older, flat tappet, performance motor with inherent cam wear issues is there any benefit to mixing high ZDDP Mobil 1 Racing™ 4T 10W-40 to Mobil 1™ High Mileage 0W-30 oil? The 15W-50 creates TOO MUCH oil pressure. It would be nice if you had a product for 'Classic' cars, high ZDDP, 0W-30 and 0W-40. I have used nothing but Mobil 1™ for 15+ years.”

 

A:

Mobil 1™ FS 0W-40 already contains a higher level of ZDDP (1,000 ppm) that could benefit your flat tappet engine. We also have a Mobil 1™ High Mileage 10W-40  (1,000 ppm); see our table listing the phosphorous levels for all Mobil 1™ synthetic motor oils.

 

Mobil 1 10W-40 High Mileage Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 qt. Image 1 of 1
 
 
Mobil 1 10W-40 High Mileage Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 qt.
Average rating:4.96out of5stars, based on75reviews75 reviews
Walmart # 551650781
$26.68
$0.17 / fl oz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Sir, I checked out the Joe Gibbs 15W-50 oil. The benefits they advertise seems as though is what I’m After. The 9.00 and change a quart is a sticker shock. I’m just accustomed to paying lesson for engine oil. Then again I once bought 6 bottles of Budweiser for $1.50 and a pack of Marlboros for .30. Times and things change.

Turbinator

Yes very expensive, I am not familiar with the Mobil 1  or Valvoline products being recommended, But I have owned a auto repair shop for 42 years. I have seen the Joe Gibbs product in action. I validate its cost in a classic car by how often I actually have to change the oil. Once a year if that. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/10/2011 at 4:34 PM, pyntre said:

Brad Penn 10w40 The Green Oil...:cool:

Sir, a while back there was Kendall Oil that was green. I dont know where Kendall went, but the Brad Penn oil is green alright.

Turbinator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Sir, a while back there was Kendall Oil that was green. I dont know where Kendall went, but the Brad Penn oil is green alright.

Turbinator

 

As I understand it Brad Penn oil comes from the source that Kendall did back when it was green.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now