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Marvel Mystery Oil


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Which ever product you choose, make sure that you're getting at least 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of zinc in your crankcase. Marvel mystery oil doesn't provide that, and I'm not sure that any straight weight 30 oil has it either. Today's oils are not designed for flat tappet engines; without the zinc (ZDDP) your camshaft will go flat. Look at what the NASCAR guys are doing for lubricants - Brad Penn, Joe Gibbs both have their own oils now with the needed zinc.


Joe Gibbs Driven - Racing Oil and High Performance Products

They might be expensive but they're a lot cheaper than a tear down and rebuild.

Personally, I use Mobil 1 synthetic 0w-40.

Other choices are good diesel oils like Rotella or Delvac.

If nothing else, read what Penn and Gibbs have to say about today's oils in classic cars.


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I have to thank another ROA member for keeping me informed about motor oils and classic engines. Thanks John. For those of you who are mixing additives into your motor oil, if you haven't already read this in the Gibbs website, I've copied and pasted it here. Short, sweet, and to the point.

3rd Trap – Don’t Play Chemist

If you feel like your oil needs a bottle of additive to help it perform, then you need to get a better oil. “Miracle Molecules” in a bottle may sound great, but unless you are a chemist, you may do more harm than good.

Motor oils are complex blends of base oils and additives. Oil formulators carefully select base oils and additives so they all work together. When you add a bottle of additive, that “balance” is altered. In some cases, the change is beneficial – “I used XYZ additive, and I gained 5 hp.” In other cases, the change is detrimental – “I used XYZ additive, and I lost 5 bearings!”

The difference is in how the bottle of additive reacts with the additives already in the motor oil. A good reaction yields favorable results. A bad reaction…

The best sentence is the one I bolded.

Chances are that your engine has some residual zinc still on the bearings, but it will eventually wear off. Don't wait until you have to rebuid that engine to change to an oil designed for it.


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