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1931 Model A oil ?????


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Bought a 1931 Model A 4dr slant windsheild last week. Suppose to have a new engine in it with only 500-600 miles on it. Been reading on here and other forms about oil. Bought som 30w non detergent at Nappa and changed oil. Was at Advance Auto Parts and saw they had Shell 30w non detergent so I bought some of that. Then I have been reading that some run 10w40 oil in there in A's cause it has the additives in it to keep the inside of the engine clean. Thinking about going to this oil. I know you change the oil often in these with no filters. Was told by the fellow I got it from who only had it a short time to run 30w non detergent but I ain't so sure about that. So is the 10w40 a better oil to run in these engines than the 30w non detergent? A little :confused: Thanks

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From what I've always been told, straight 30w is the way to go. You can use detergent oil only if you have a freshly rebuilt engine, which you say you might have,but if you put detergents in a used engine it will loosen deposits which will circulate around unfiltered and maybe clog passages. This could be bunk but why take a chance?

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Lots of wrong info on oils out there.

Oil has more than one purpose. Of course it lubricates.

BUT it protects the engine.

Various additives prevent the build up of nasty chemicals and protect the babbitt metals.

Detergents take the very fine particles and keep them in suspension so they drain out.

With most straight non-detergent oils you are not getting the protection of the additives. You want to prevent the nasty chemicals.

About that change it every 500 miles. NOT. Modern oils are good for much longer intervals both in time or miles. My brother has had thousands of engines apart and he has never seen one fail be cause of old oil. Odds are much better that your engine is assembled wrong and will fail because of the incorrect assembly (sorry, but this is more true than you want it to be). Frequent oil changes are also not good for the environment or your wallet.

But a quality oil with additives and detergent and leave it in for a while.

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This debate will go on forever (unless we all end up in electric cars) but I will always run detergent oil whether it is an old engine or a new/rebuilt one. It doesn't just go wash all the crud out of your old engine and deposit it in all the wrong places. As A by the sea says, it keeps the particles in suspension so it is removed when you change the oil.

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  • 3 months later...

My mechanic told me that you could not use detergent oil in a Corvair engine because it would leak. Had to use non-detergent oil. Anyone hear of detergent oil being more leak prone in an engine?

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I ran 10w-40 hi-det. in my A for 16 yrs and never had a problem. One falicy is that detergent oil will scrub a dirty engine. That is not correct,while any oil will pick up some loose dirt it will not clean off sludge. Hi det. oil will,however,reduce the further buildup of sludge and will suspend water and chemical solutions in the oil. The viscosity only changes with heat,the hotter the engine the thicker the viscosity,so a multi-viscosity oil is easier on the engine. Ever try starting an A in cold weather with staight 30 wt. oil? I would suggest that you drop the pan and clean it out good and clean the oil pump. Also check to make sure that the rear main drain tube is open and clean. Most of the sludge is going to be packed in the oil pan. I'v seen some so full of sludge that they would not hold a full filling of oil. Not good for a Model A. Also make sure that the dip pans are fasten in correctly so the rods will dip enough oil. Also, I ran mine with the crankcase just a little overfull to ensure constant protection. It will not push it out though the rear main if it's overfull. Don't be to concerned about rear main leakage unless it pours out. All A's will leak,in a way designed that way ,to lube the front axle radius rod pivot. Ols addage..if something's not drippin' it needs fillin'!

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