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Zephyr lubricants

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Hello, I am new to the world of Lincoln Zephyrs. In quickly perusing the forum, it appears the subject of oils and lubricants has not been discussed for quite a while. It is probably old hat for most here but a subject I would certainly like to hear about.

 

What grade of oil do most owners like to run in their V12s ?   With or without zinc ?   I know brand preference is somewhat subjective, but have any brands given standout performance in your V12 ?

SAE 160 is called for in the transmissions.  Are most owners running 85W/140  ?

 

Thanks so much for any input,

A 38 Zephyr in Virginia

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Any good brand of oil that meets current API standards will protect your engine, if changed regularly. I would use a multi-viscosity  oil such as 10W-30 and you may want to consider the synthetic motor oils like Mobile 1 as they work better at higher temperatures. The spring loads on the camshaft are not very high, so there is no need to add ZDDP (zinc) and adding it may have adverse effects on the oil that you choose.

 

Ford recommended SAE140 for the summer in most transmissions of the 30's and 40's, and SAE90 for winter. You can buy SAE140 GL4 at NAPA and other stores that sell Sta-Lube products.

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My Motor Manual shows that SAE 30 was commonly specified for Lincolns at above +32°F temperatures and 10W to -10°F.  Any modern 10W-30 engine oil would be suitable for your engine.  I would go with a 10W-30 Heavy Duty Engine Oil (preferably dual rated API CK-4/SN), which typically have higher detergent levels than passenger car oils (ie, API SN).  See Engine Wear.

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I use Mobil 1 oil as it works well in the V12.  Seems to be less sludge and it stays clear for a long time.  Remember, in the old days they recommended changing oil every 1000 miles.  I also change the filter cartridge at the same time I change the oil.  I like the synthetic oil and use it in my modern vehicles too.  Just my preference.  Since I live in a tropical climate I don't have to chase the viscosity numbers from freezing to boiling in the environment.

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I'm currently running Redline 20W-50 synthetic. The higher viscosity helps keep oil pressure up and it has "higher levels of ZDDP". Running SAE 140 in the transmission to quiet the gremlins that started singing on our trip to Montana.

 

I'm fairly convinced that the PCV valve and active crankcase ventilation is keeping the sludge and smoke away.

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Yes D the modification of putting in a PCV valve is a good idea on these old engines.  And of course all 'singing' should be left to stations on the radio, not the tranny!  I do need to put PCV valve in my 41 mine which I will get to once I have my new brakes installed.  

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Fraso, thanks for posting the link to the "Engine Wear" article. It was interesting to note that in 1942 the oils contained0.03% ZDDP and the API SM oils contain 0.08% ZDDP.  The SN oils contain about 0.04% ZDDP, which is a higher level than the oil had in the 1940's.

 

Another interesting item in the article was that adding 14% or more of ZDDP was detrimental to the metal in the engine.

 

Doing a search on ZDDP, it is almost impossible to determine what levels of ZDDP the oils with a "higher" level have. It is also impossible to know what you have when you add a ZDDP additive to your oil.

 

You are much better off using a quality detergent oil in your engine than trying to find the best "snake oil" to add to your crankcase or gas tank.

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I'm by no means an expert here on this subject, but I have always used Valvolene 20-50wt Racing Oil or a straight 40wt. I've got a very tired engine so I think the heavier is better, also this oil has zinc in it for "flat tappets & push rod engines". Which has been my understanding that's why we need zinc in our oils is for the flat tappets. I'm pulling my engine soon and will be sending down to Central Heads in Portland OR for a complete rebuild. I will be using this oil again.

 

Regarding the transmission & rear ends, I was told by the late great George Trickett to use a gear oil with no sulphur or low sulphur content because it attacks yellow metal such as brass bushings etc. So I have used a 90wt oil that he recommended at the time, (the brand escapes me, this is getting harder to find). Anyway just my 2 cents worth.

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