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What grade engine oil for '54 Special ?

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I realise everyone has a favorite but need some advice.

'54 Special with 65,000 miles. Have owned since '86.

Has been sitting approx.16 years.

Service manual states down to 34 F use 20W.

As stated above it has been a while since last oil change but if I recall right I would have used 30W or 10-30.

Multi grade or single grade, detergent or non detergent  ?

Presently have dropped gas tank to clean, still had 10 gal. of very dirty gas.

Turned motor over at crank and turns over good.

Has been in unheated garage all the time not far from the ocean.

Will clean carb if it won't start.

Is there anything else to be aware of before starting, change tranny oil ? Still looks red.

 

Thanks in advance,  Cal.

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Personally would use Mobil 1 10W-30 high mileage. I've never seen a 20W thought I have see "straight 20 weight". Have also seen non-detergent but have not used any this century.

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10W30 detergent oil was available when your car was made, it was the default choice at every dealership and garage from the fifties through the eighties. It is likely your car never used anything else. Unless some goof told a previous owner that all old cars need good ol' straight 30 motor oil (not true).

 

I would use a good name brand 10W30 and a quality oil filter like NAPA Gold, Wix or Hastings. Never Fram.

 

If the oil turns black fast I would change it around 1000 miles to clean out any sludge, after that normal (for 1954) 3000 mile intervals. Change filter every second oil change.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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I have to take exception with Rusty on the oil filter. Who on this forum can't afford a $9 oil filter at each oil change???  Sorry

Also if it is possible to pull the pan without removing the engine I would do so.  Just my TCW.  Bob Smits

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Manufacturer of the car recommended filter change every second oil change. If the oil was very dirty I would change filter at first oil change. It certainly won't hurt to change it every time but not necessary. Removing the oil pan on any car with IFS is a big job which you would know if you had done it. You have to jack the engine up high enough for the pan to clear the crankshaft, main caps and oil pump and in many cases this requires draining the rad, removing the distributor, removing motor mount bolts etc.

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To jump in here, I have always believed in changin the filter with every ol change.

I cannot disagree with Rusty, but in practice am more like Bob Smits.

 

The three (3) SBC 350 engines in her lifetime gave my '77 Suburban a total of 1, 430,xxx miles before she went under in Hurricane Katrina, 

and that last engine currently lives on in a street rod, built by a member ou our local club. I believe tha regular oil AND FILTER changes were a big part of that longevity.

 

While Rusty is technically accurate in that many manufacturers "REQUIRE" replacing the filter only with every 2nd oil change, 

their SUGGESTION generally ALSO includes a time factor.

This is technically enforceable per a warranty situation. 

With our older collector cars accumulating fewer miles than a typical daily driver,

the manufacturer specs could also involve a filter with each oil change.

The manufacturer likely also attempts have the maintenance cost appear lower than what the fastidious among us would prefer

 

I would err with Mr. Smits, a friend whose other opinions I also value, on the preference to change a filter with each oil change.

 

Many, many years ago, long before New Jersey permitted me to drive legally, 

My late father, whose opinions I've come to respect even more now, 

used to advise:

"DO YOU REALLY WANT TO RUN CLEAN FRESH OIL THROUGH A DIRTY FILTER-
NO MATTER HOW CLEAN YOU ""THINK"" IT LOOKS""?

Then he would add:
"OIL AND A FILTER ARE CHEAP - REBUILDING YOUR ENGINE IS EXPENSIVE, AND WILL KEEP YOU OFF THE ROAD 

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The oil coming out of the filter is "clean" at least, clean enough for your engine. If not what good is it? The filter's life is over when it is full of dirt.  Have changed many filters, and cut some open to see what was inside. Don't think I have ever seen one full unless it was on a badly neglected engine that never got an oil change.

 

However, this is a matter of no consequence. I prefer to change the filter with every oil change myself especially on late model vehicles with tiny joke oil filters. On older cars that require oil changes twice as often and have big oil filters it is not necessary but it won't hurt anything.

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