AVS619

What Oil and What Coolant?

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I know this has been asked before, and often opens a can of worms, and I have asked about coolant too. But, over the last three years I have been in and out of surgery, with more to come I fear, and our 1923 Rolls-Royce Twenty and 1925 Pierce-Arrow Series 80 have sat in the garage without use. Now we have some day tours coming up and since I can drive again (so far), I want them back on the road. It has been a long time since I have personally changed the oil and coolant and I am  not sure now what to use. Any recommendations? In the past my restorer friend simply used 10w-30 in both of them saying it is fine. He also put in normal green coolant. Should I keep with this or change to synthetic or perhaps a different viscosity. I know I sound like a newbie but in a way I have been out of the hobby for some time and now ready to get back on the road. Of course if my surgeon today wants to replace my knee (he did both of my hips so I guess he knows what he is doing) I may lose another summer of driving. I can't even imaging bringing out one of my brass-era cars. They need oil too but trying to crank may be an issue. Fun getting old. Thank you in advance for any help and/or information you may provide. Tom.

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Your restorer friend is right. 10W-30 is the right thing to do. Synthetic would be better and 5W-30 would also be better (less viscous oil on startup so oil flows sooner). Ethylene glycol at 50-50 is also the right thing to do. More modern coolants are also good, but we don't really need them: engines today contain metals further up the galvanic series that require better anti-corrosion protection.

 

Just a note: coolant colour is less relevant now than it used to be. Manufacturers often use colours of their choice as a point of difference.

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 10W/30 Amsoil Z-Rod. Full synthetic formulated to give max protection over lay up periods. Period. I have no connection whatsoever to Amsoil. I just use it. If anyone can prove a better oil is out there , i will drop the Amsoil like a hot exhaust valve. Speaking of valves , make sure none of your valves are stuck if the RR or PA have any vulnerability. 3 years properly stored is not a dangerously long time. I do not know either of those cars. Perhaps checking with specific experts could help. Were the engines turned over at all while out of service ?   -  Carl  

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Amsoil Z-Rod is good.  Also consider Valvoline 10W30 VR-1 Synthetic Racing Oil or  Valvoline Non-Synthetic racing oil.  All have higher Zinc levels for older engines.  This has been discussed numerous times in older postings.  The Zinc level has been reduced in most modern oil to extend the life of catalytic converters, but the modern engines have also been redesigned to handle oil with lower zinc levels.

 

https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/motor-oil/gasoline/z-rod-10w-30-synthetic-motor-oil/?code=ZRTQT-EA

https://www.valvoline.com/our-products/motor-oil/vr1-full-synthetic-racing-motor-oil

https://www.valvoline.com/our-products/motor-oil/vr1-racing-oil

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There is plenty of zinc and phosphorus in Z-Rod. It is meant for the flat tappet high pressure aplications in the older engines. Aparently this oil was developed exactly for tnese cars which are also not driven for various periods. I can not think of any situations in which a full synthetic will not be superior to all other oils. Oil changes represent an insignificant operating expense for hobby cars. Since cost is not really a factor , why not use the best.  Full synthetic , please let me know if there is anything better than Z-Rod and why. My cars deserve nothing but the best. I will switch upon evidence. No blind loyalty in this camp.  Thanks.   -  Carl 

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With coolant + antifreeze, change it every 3 years maximum, no matter what the label says about long life. Two years is better.

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Thank you everyone or your advice. I shall seek out Amsoil. Since I posted this I was told to use Shell Rotella too. Anyone have experience with this oil? Thanks again!

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Carl is just trying to steer you to the very best. Not a bad option if you can afford it. Rottella is good quality but ordinary oil. Allegedly it still has high zinc content, (or maybe not if you live in North America, It is disputed). It is a fleet oil, and as such is economical to buy. I like it and use it in four modern cars and one antique. Come to think of it, by AACA standards, my modern cars are antiques. I guess I use it in a bunch of antiques.

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First , Tom , I wish you full and speedy recovery from your upcoming surgery. The miracle of modern surgery has saved my life a few times , and cured me of 13 years of ever increasing pain , ultimately becoming unendurable , with partial paralysis. And do I ever know the interruptions medical issues impose on ones time. I am 7 years and a few months older than you , but by the time you are my age , you should be in great rebuilt shape. A bit of a "Bionic Man" , ready and able to take on the next quarter century ! Hang in there , don't try to second guess the doctors admonitions against premature activity. You'll be back in the drivers seat soon enough.

 

1 hour ago, Bloo said:

Carl is just trying to steer you to the very best. Not a bad option if you can afford it.

 

Yes , but I have a slightly different take on the very best. I figure I can't afford NOT to use it.

 

If we are confident that the WORST oil today is better than the best oil a century ago (true) , and are comfortable saving , say , $1000 a year for our entire fleet over the BEST oil today , in the annual (or considerably longer if the cars are driven less than 100 miles or so) fleet oil change , that is a meaningless , inconsequential cost. If our fleet is that large , $1000 bucks is popcorn. In your case , Tom , your cars will have significant lay up periods for some time to come. You will also find that Mother Nature and Father Time have a plan for you. They will allow you less driving pleasure still , in the years to come. Treat your vehicles to the best oil for occasionally laid up collector cars on the market today. And while YOU are laid up , perhaps you might do research in the hopes that a better oil yet is out there somewhere. As I said , I will be the second to switch to whatever anyone can prove superior. Amsoil does make a better , more expensive oil for MODERN cars. Oh : Zinc. Z-Rod has more ZDDP than OUR particular oldies need. But not enough to do any damage. Rotella has even more ZDDP than Z-Rod. Great in diesels. Too much ZDDP CAN do damage. But again , these old engines just need a whiff of it , if that.

 

ALL ENGINES HAVE HOT SPOTS , AND ANY ENGINE MAY BE SUBJECT TO SUDDEN MECHANICAL ABNORMALITIES.  I have had a big Cadillac 500 engine survive an overheat emergency because it was protected by full synthetic oil. Cheap insurance , I say.

 

Your beat up , sick , tired , slow , old diabetic forum friend with the inoperable bone on bone left shoulder , twice attacked heart , inoperable hernia and failing kidneys , he , most grateful things are not worse thanks to modern medicine ,  ?  -  a.k.a. Cadillac Carl 

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15 hours ago, AVS619 said:

... Since I posted this I was told to use Shell Rotella  too. Anyone have experience with this oil? Thanks again!

I use Shell Rotella 15-40 in my straight-eight Packards.  No oil-related problems experienced.

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Your statement "of course my surgeon wants to replace my knees" bothers me.  YOU should be the only one who decides when to have elective surgery.  If you feel you are able to tour this summer your knees are certainly not an emergency.  Your surgeon may be making his decision based on his priorities, not yours.  Remember that today medicine operates more like a business than a profession.  If your condition meets the governments minimum requirements surgery will be recommended.  How many of you have had your Eye Doctor tell you that "you are now eligible to have your cataracts removed".  Four years ago I was told I needed knee replacement and I am still able to do 20 minutes on the elliptical five days a week pain free.  Bob Smits, retired surgeon.

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Hello everyone and thank you all for your responses and information. I have not yet been able to change the oil due to, you guessed it, this seemingly never ending medical problem(s). I am getting away right now with a shot in the knee which is helping, somewhat. We shall see. My surgeon is a good guy, a car enthusiast also but into Corvettes while my tastes are older automobiles. I am to try a one day tour on Sunday (unless it rains again) and that should tell me how my summer may go. I did find some Rotella 10-30 for the Rolls. I hope this is a good oil for the car. I can get Rotella 15-40 and perhaps that would be good for the Pierce. In the brass- era cars I have always used 10-30 in them. My other issue with the hips and now knee is that my favorite non-car hobby has been riding high wheel bikes. I have tried to get on my bike again. No luck. That, after forty five years and thousands of miles, may sadly be a thing of the past. Thank you all again for your help! Tom

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I began to learn open canoeing 70 years ago. I got so good at it that I would seek out storm conditions so severe that the salmon would duck and cover. There are paddlers and there are piddlers. I am having troubles even piddling these days, so am selling cheaply and giving away my expensive boats. Among the many things I have learned in my decades on the water, is that you  can lead a hoss to it......................................      -  CC 

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Consider using NON detergent oil.  OIl non rebuilt engines have a great deal of crude in the engine crevices and even small cracks.

Detergent oil can sometimes remove that stuff causing the engine to leak.

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Tom has been using 10W/30. These modern multi grade oils ARE DETERGENT (luckily). STAY WITH THE DETERGENT OIL,  TOM. AND AS LONG AS I AM UP AGAIN, I WILL TRY (after having lead you to it), TO GET YOU  (and any other hosses who have learned to not only talk, but also read), TO RECONSIDER, AND THEN DRINK  10W/30 AMSOIL Z-ROD. This superior oil has been designed for YOUR  cars, being used in YOUR situation. They,  as do you, are subject to frequent lay up periods. I'll bet my two best,  most expensive cars against your one worst, least expensive car,  THAT. :  If you could have prevented the need for your occasional surgery by drinking better orange juice at breakfast time, you would have done so. I enjoy surgery as much as the next guy, enjoy the lay up period even less. Unlike a surprising number of phenomenally gifted mechanical geniuses who have the means and know how to do major surgery on cars, I prefer DRIVING them over working on them. And in spite of the risk of provoking rathful ranting retaliatory repetitive responses, I will put it it bluntly with no sugar coating  : Amsoil know more about oil than I do ; I know more about oil than a surprising number of people, some of whom know more about oil than you do. I am sure the implications of this "logic diagram" are not lost on you. GIVE ALL OF YOUR MACHINERY THE. BEST LUBRICATION POSSIBLE FOR THEIR PURPOSES. Please forgive me for making the perhaps intrusive assumption that the economy derived therefrom is rather minor in the scheme of your household/garage budget. However, the engine you save just might be your own ! Now I will run and hide. I don't want to be splattered when the sludge hits the fan due to my blatant, uncouth arrogance.                 Your concerned, well lubricated forum friend,        -  C  Carl 

 

P.S.  Don't forget the synthetic grease too. Articulations, be they bone or metal, prefer protection against wear. 

 

Edited by C Carl
Spelling (see edit history)

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Yes, and I must yet again state for the record that I have absolutely no connection to, nor derive any remuneration whatsoever from Amsoil. And yet again beg proof that an equal or better motor oil exists. My machinery deserves no less.    -  CC 

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Hello C Carl! Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it. I just found out that a restorer I know and have worked with down in Illinois sells Amsoil so I will contact him. I trust him as he got my 1909 Regal running again by fixing the magneto that none of the magneto professionals would touch, a Remy L. It puts out a strong spark now even though all the 'professionals' said Remys could not be fixed and the would not touch it for anything. Oh well! My surgeries have been due to arthritis in my right hip and then, I took a bit of a fall off a retaining wall and fractured my left hip in such a way that all that could be done was another replacement. After that, my knee caused problems and it has recently been 'scoped'. One more issue, my back, needs to be addressed. In all of this, the cars have just sat waiting for me. Time to get back on the road this year and maybe even a one day tour on Sunday, bar any rain. Thank you again and take care!

 

 

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I have a 28 Ford roadster and was told not to use antifreeze in the water ever.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  It is kept inside and I live in NC.

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I don't see any reason not to try it.

 

I have a 50/50 mix in my 1936 Pontiac. We do need to worry about freezing where I live (central WA). The Pontiac has a packing nut type water pump and a non-pressurized radiator (like a model A Ford has). Some cars have issues with foaming. This one apparently doesn't. I got stuck behind some slower cars on a long uphill pull on a tour recently. It was hot that day. I just could not get enough air through the radiator. The coolant temperature hit 220 a couple of times. It never boiled. I was glad I wasn't running straight water.

 

One caution, if it does boil over and goes everywhere it could screw up your paint.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Do you include anti-corrosion additives in the "no antifreeze" idea? If so, it is a sure way to hasten ruin of your engine by corrosion from the inside out.

 

The only reason to avoid ethylene glycol is to save the paint if any gets on it. But if you fix the cooling system so it works properly and get the timing etc. right that should not happen.

 

 

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There are things you can mix in the water to control the corrosion that are not antifreeze. Grimy had a good suggestion last time this came up of a product that worked fine in a car that foamed badly with ethylene glycol. I do not remember the name of the stuff. Frankly, anything that can freeze makes me really nervous.

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Well, ethylene-glycol freezes! If you define freeze as changing from a liquid to a solid. And the freezing point is 10°F!

 

The good news is most non-water based compounds do not expand when they freeze. So while the ethylene-glycol will not flow if the car runs pure antifreeze at less than 10°F, nothing will break from expanding coolant.

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51 minutes ago, Frank DuVal said:

Well, ethylene-glycol freezes! If you define freeze as changing from a liquid to a solid. And the freezing point is 10°F!

Indeed.

 

But a water solution of 60% ethylene glycol freezes at -63 oF = -52.8 oC (https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethylene-glycol-d_146.html) (Wikipedia says -49 oF = -45 oC.)

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Interesting information about the model a cooling system. Go to     rmaford.org   at that site in right top is shop talk, hit that and read cooling seminar.

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