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How many are using Zink additive in your old engines?

They  took the Zink out of the oil when they started putting Catholic Converters on the vehicles.

 Which is the best additive to use in the old engines?

AMAZON has a good verity of it.

Here is a link to Jay Leno's  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFeSTvohf94
 

Edited by Isaiah
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Catholic converters?  Does the Pope know about this?  😀. Maybe catalytic converters is what you mean.  Some people use Diesel engine oil for that reason, the other oil that had higher zinc was motorcycle oil but now most new motorcycles have catalytic converters so the zinc level in the oil might have been reduced.

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I just installed an oil canister from a 46  de Soto that use a C-3 Fram filter on my 28 D B flat 6 and I am asking the same question. What additive , if, needed for the engine oil. There was an article in a Canadian local old car magazine called Old Autos. by some body , I cannot remember now. The article was about adding    zinc  in engines with babbit  bearings. He left his email for callers who wanted more info. I emailed him but he never replied.

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Don't put additive in the oil.

 

Valvoline Racing has around 1250 ppm which is enough for these engines, and 20w/50 should be sufficient for most apps . Anything over around 1800 ppm of zddp won't add any additional protection and it can start to attack the camshaft.

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I use Valvoline VR-1 racing oil in my 1961 Mercury engine.  High zinc levels

Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil

 

 

 

  • #1 Selling Racing Motor Oil
  • Specifically formulated for race-level protection in all classic and modern high-performance vehicles, including flat-tappet and performance cam engines
  • High zinc and phosphorus formula for extreme anti-wear protection
  • Formulated to maximize horsepower

 

 

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Richard Widman's paper will help you with this.

http://www.widman.biz/Corvair/English/Links/Oil.html

 

I use a 5W-40 semi synthetic diesel oil, CI-4 API rated, based on Widman's paper. The low number before the W means it behaves as a SAE 5 oil at cold startup (10-15oC). This means the oil is easier to pump around and there is better flow on cold start and earlier start to full lubrication; the cold start is when most wear occurs. The second number is the viscosity band the oil fits into when hot. See the graphs in Widman's paper.

 

Since then I have learnt of the benefits of synthetic oil. ANY synthetic engine oil is better at reducing wear than ALL mineral oils. To boot, you don't need to worry about zinc at all.

 

There are very many threads about oil and zinc on these fora. Spend a few minutes reading the search results.

 

As above don't put additives in the oil. They are unnecessary and just enrich the shareholders of the marketing company.

 

 

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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My son bought a 1978 Honda 500.  he wanted to change the oil so I told him why not use regular 10W 40 engine oil which he did because the Honda oil was more expensive. There was an  oily mess around  the engine  in about 2 weeks. So he went to the Honda dealer and said to the salesman . Sell me a set of engine gasket. The salesman asked him What is the problem?. He told the salesman to come outside and take a look at the engine. Well the salesman did.  What kind of engine oil are you using ?  He asked . Regular engine oil, my son said. NO, NO, NO, the salesman said. You must use the oil recommended by Honda.. He did as the salesman said, and washed the engine. NO MORE OILY MESS.    

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6 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

I use a 5W-40 semi synthetic diesel oil, CI-4 API rated, based on Widman's paper. The low number before the W means it behaves as a SAE 5 oil at cold startup (10-15oC). This means the oil is easier to pump around and there is better flow on cold start and earlier start to full lubrication; the cold start is when most wear occurs. The second number is the viscosity band the oil fits into when hot. See the graphs in Widman's paper.

 

Since then I have learnt of the benefits of synthetic oil. ANY synthetic engine oil is better at reducing wear than ALL mineral oils. To boot, you don't need to worry about zinc at all.

 

There are very many threads about oil and zinc on these fora. Spend a few minutes reading the search results.

 

As above don't put additives in the oil. They are unnecessary and just enrich the shareholders of the marketing company.

But for early engines, we should assess whether our oil temperature rises enough to achieve the viscosity on the right side of the hyphen.  A friend who owned a 1917 Pierce 66 for many years added temperature senders to his oil pan and found that his oil temperature never exceeded 118*F even after an all day run at 60-65 mph in 85-95*F weather (yes a 66 can do that, despite its 1500 rpm redline).  Has anyone done the research to determine what oil temps are necessary, in Spinneyhill's case, to "release" the viscosity of his 5W-40 to the equivalent of straight SAE 30 or SAE 40?

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15 minutes ago, Grimy said:

  Has anyone done the research to determine what oil temps are necessary, in Spinneyhill's case, to "release" the viscosity of his 5W-40 to the equivalent of straight SAE 30 or SAE 40?

 

Yes, and you may find it online, but if I recall correctly, it is more than 118 f. I have a ton of info on oil including that, but it is in my other computer that died.

 

bobistheoilguy.com has more info on oil than you will find anywhere.

 

.

Edited by barnett468 (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Isaiah said:

How many are using Zink additive in your old engines?

They  took the Zink out of the oil when they started putting Catholic Converters on the vehicles.

 Which is the best additive to use in the old engines?

AMAZON has a good verity of it.

 

I read all the comments made on this forum concerning what oil to use, however, when it comes to making a choice of what lubricant to use in  any of my vehicles or machinery I always contact the technical department of whatever oil company I am using at the time.  I have never had an issue when their advice has been followed.  Quite frankly I would never follow some of the oil grade recommendations I have read on this forum for old cars whether or not they have been newly reconditioned or have done quite a few miles.

 

I have always found the technical staff of oil companies quite knowledgeable and helpful.

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24 minutes ago, Stude17 said:

 

I read all the comments made on this forum concerning what oil to use, however, when it comes to making a choice of what lubricant to use in  any of my vehicles or machinery I always contact the technical department of whatever oil company I am using at the time.  I have never had an issue when their advice has been followed.  Quite frankly I would never follow some of the oil grade recommendations I have read on this forum for old cars whether or not they have been newly reconditioned or have done quite a few miles.

 

I have always found the technical staff of oil companies quite knowledgeable and helpful.

 This !!!!!

And make sure it's the tech people, not the sales department, or your likely to get totally different info. 

 

When I was first learning about engine repair an old mechanic once told me,... "it's good to get your info right from the horse's mouth. But you need to be smart enough to know which end of the horse your talking with." 

 

Paul

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Stude17 and PFitz, on the other hand a gear oil company's (S-L) Ph.D. chemist told me in 1997 that their full synthetic gear oil would not adversely affect the yellow-metal components of my 1936 differential.  I changed before beginning a banzai run from the SF Bay Area to Cleveland.  At a rest stop in Wyoming, I crawled under the rear to add fluid to a leaky shock and found the diff was as hot as the hinges of Hades.  I made my way to the next town, purchased a drain pan and a sufficient quantity of GL-4, and changed it out.  The draining synthetic had the dreaded golden sparkles.  I changed again in Iowa while visiting friends, with almost no golden sparkles and a MUCH cooler diff.  Twenty years later, the diff has survived.

 

One cannot assume the chemist / tech rep has knowledge of the needs of vintage vehicles, but in my case the question was simple enough.  So My Mileage Has Varied....

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First I heard of zinc added to motor oil was about 1951 when the new OHV engines were having some cam and lifter wear problems, especially Chrysler and Studebaker. The heavy valve mechanism and stiff valve springs put more load on the cam/lifter surface than the old flatheads, or low speed OHV like Chevrolet six.

 

When everyone went to OHC engines it meant simple, light valve train and light valve springs again so no need for zinc. Any pushrod engines, went to roller lifters which accomplish the same thing (prevent lifter wear).

 

Whether your OHV V8 from the fifties, sixties or seventies with flat tappet cam needs zinc after break in I could not say, but it can't hurt, especially on a hi perf engine with hot cam and stiff springs.

 

Now here is a weird one. Oldest reference to zinc in oil I have seen, was from a manual or formula book from the 1870s called The CIrcle of Useful Knowledge. It had a formula for watchmaker's oil. Put a piece of zinc in a bottle of olive oil.  I tried it and the zinc seemed to dissolve into the oil after a few weeks giving it a gray color. I used a bit of zinc off an old Mason jar ring. Wonder if you could get the same result by putting a piece of zinc in your crankcase.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, barnett468 said:

It is in some scientific literature.

Reference(s) please? It may lead to increase wear, I think because of the ash in the combustion chamber when it burns.  But attacking the camshaft? hmmmm

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11 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

First I heard of zinc added to motor oil was about 1951 when the new OHV engines were having some cam and lifter wear problems, especially Chrysler and Studebaker. The heavy valve mechanism and stiff valve springs put more load on the cam/lifter surface than the old flatheads, or low speed OHV like Chevrolet six.

 

When everyone went to OHC engines it meant simple, light valve train and light valve springs again so no need for zinc. Any pushrod engines, went to roller lifters which accomplish the same thing (prevent lifter wear).

 

Whether your OHV V8 from the fifties, sixties or seventies with flat tappet cam needs zinc after break in I could not say, but it can't hurt, especially on a hi perf engine with hot cam and stiff springs.

 

Now here is a weird one. Oldest reference to zinc in oil I have seen, was from a manual or formula book from the 1870s called The CIrcle of Useful Knowledge. It had a formula for watchmaker's oil. Put a piece of zinc in a bottle of olive oil.  I tried it and the zinc seemed to dissolve into the oil after a few weeks giving it a gray color. I used a bit of zinc off an old Mason jar ring. Wonder if you could get the same result by putting a piece of zinc in your crankcase.

 

All types of engines benefit from some zddp, especially higher performance ones. Zinc is nearly useless in oil on its own. It needs a carrier which is why they add Phosphorous to it. Some of the oil mfg's are now using Boron instead of phosphorous, and although they still refer to this combo as ZDDP, I call it ZDDB which is actually correct.

 

.

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38 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

Reference(s) please? It may lead to increase wear, I think because of the ash in the combustion chamber when it burns.  But attacking the camshaft? hmmmm

 

It has been determined to attack the metal as I stated. It wasn't an opinion or a guess. You can find this out by doing your own research, because unfortunately, as I mentioned, all this info is in my other computer, however, in a quick google search I found a scientific paper that states, " The experimental results confirmed that phosphorus has a deleterious effect on the corrosion resistance of carbon steels in H2SO4 solution as a result of the higher hydrogen activity.". This obviously isn't the same metal or same circumstance as it being used as an additive in oil for an engine, but the end results are similar.  

 

https://corrosionjournal.org/doi/abs/10.5006/1.3524835

 

You may or may not get an accurate answer form Lubrizol, who is the largest supplier of engine oil additives to the engine oil mfg's, or from Blackstone Labs, but you can call them and ask.

 

ZDDP is a bit like drinking alcohol. Too little doesn't have much affect at all and too much can be seriously detrimental.

.

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I  learned of the zink  additive on Jay Leno''s utube last night  he had a man  that over builds motors  for  the 360 Porche.

Yes I don’t spell to good  but my spell check is worse than mine .

what they brought out that there was  zink in the oil  up until  they went to putting catalytic converters on the vehicles and the zink didn’t work with the catalytic converters.

BTW Jay said he uses the additive in his cars.

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22 minutes ago, Isaiah said:

I  learned of the zink  additive on Jay Leno''s utube last night  he had a man  that over builds motors  for  the 360 Porche.

Yes I don’t spell to good  but my spell check is worse than mine .

what they brought out that there was  zink in the oil  up until  they went to putting catalytic converters on the vehicles and the zink didn’t work with the catalytic converters.

BTW Jay said he uses the additive in his cars.

 

What jay does or does not do is completely irrelevant and sometimes not the best thing to do. You should NOT put additives in your oil, it's that simple.

Also, the fact is that ALL engine oils I am aware of have ZDDP in them, including the ones approved for cars with catalytic converters. They simply use less zddp in the oil for cat cars than they do in their non cat car racing oil lines etc.

.

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Five hundred thousand miles on my daily driver's engine.  Two rebuilds.  Never used additives and always single weight oil until the last 50,000  when it became difficult to find single weight oil.  When I rebuilt the engine I always started with # 10 oil for at least 50,000 miles and then went to # 20 oil.  I have not added oil between changes for at least 45 years. The original camshaft (flat tappets) lasted the entire time.  At least 2/3 of my mileage was at highway speed (50-60 mph).

IMHO  Additives are not necessary.

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To perhaps state what everybody understands, "straight" 30 does not have a constant viscosity with temperature.  It thins out hot , and thickens cold.  The viscosity-temperature curve has a certain shape and is shifted up or down by formulation.  This gives straight 20, 30, 40 grades.  The dual viscosity testing in modern grades leads to a formulating to create a differently shaped curve.  Typically, compared to a straight formula, the goal is lower cold viscosity to quickly lubricate on start-up, and higher hot viscosity to still provide enough lubrication at operating temperature.

 

so what?  I think that most older engines ran cooler than new designs, so the higher hot viscosity has more to go with how worn the engine is, since a thicker oil will compensate a bit more.  Getting oil to a cold top end sooner is still a good idea.  I think the key additive question is whether it's a detergent oil - if the engine is newly rebuilt, use it.  If it's been together a long time there is the risk of pulling off deposits and clogging small passages.

 

I know there are a couple other folks with some technical experience in this on the board.  Let's stick to the science vs anecdotes

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24 minutes ago, bryankazmer said:

I think the key additive question is whether it's a detergent oil - if the engine is newly rebuilt, use it.  If it's been together a long time there is the risk of pulling off deposits and clogging small passages

 

This is such a persistent myth but it isn't true. Detergent oil is probably a misnomer and I wish they would have chosen something else. It doesn't "clean" the engine. It merely holds the dirt in suspension better so it can be caught in the filter. In old cars using non-detergent oils, dirt would settle out in the pan because the oil couldn't hold it in suspension. That's why it's a good idea to drop the pan and clean it out on a new-to-you car. But there is no danger of a detergent oil "breaking off dirt" and pushing it through the rest of the engine. Sounds reasonable when you think about it, but that's not what happens.

 

I am not a fan of additives. They can be mis-used and mis-marketed and many are flat-out vaporware that do nothing. The zinc crisis is the same as the unleaded gas crisis--a grain of truth buried under an avalanche of extrapolation, rumor, and anecdotal evidence. Zinc is most beneficial to cars with high-lift, flat-tappet camshafts and heavy spring pressures. That means race cars and a [very] few muscle cars. How much zinc is enough is a topic of much discussion; there is no "too little" but there is most certainly a "too much," which, again, isn't a known quantity. 

 

It is my belief that in at least 90% of cars that qualify for the AACA, extra zinc is not needed. One, most are not high-lift, high-spring-pressure performance engines and even some of the most potent engines of the '60s don't really need excessive protecting. Two, most of us drive these old cars sparingly and like they're made of glass--they're already going to outlast us all; dumping in additives to add to that already incredibly long lifespan seems like a waste of money. And three, if you do it wrong, you will hurt your engine.

 

Whatever magical solutions people recommend, they're free to use them. Most won't hurt. I feel that it's throwing money away, but if it's your money, go ahead and spend it. But unless your car bucks and snarls and won't idle below 1000 RPM and each cylinder fire is something you can feel in your chest, your engine probably isn't radical enough to benefit from more zinc than is already in the oil. It's just another thing that has been blown all out of proportion and then paralyzed by over-analysis. A bit of marketing on behalf of the additive makers doesn't hurt either--do you suppose Jay Leno was perhaps paid to use that additive in that segment? 

 

There is no answer. There can be no answer. Spend your money or don't. I suspect the result will be the same.

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11 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

Reference(s) please? It may lead to increase wear, I think because of the ash in the combustion chamber when it burns.  But attacking the camshaft? hmmmm

 

Here's a statement from Valvoline I just found online for you.

 

"Keep in mind that zinc additives are corrosive above certain levels and can harm your engine. Valvoline doesn’t recommend using third-party additives to boost the zinc level. If higher zinc levels are required for your engine, we recommend using Valvoline VR-1, and always remember to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual."

 

https://www.valvoline.com/about-us/faq/racing-oil-faq

 

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You're correct in that the goal is to keep "dirt" in suspension, but they are detergents, having a polar and non-polar end to the molecule to grab the undesirable thing  and drag it along with the fluid. Oil detergent additives have a polar end to hold polar crud, and a non-polar end compatible with the oil.  A laundry detergent uses the non-polar end to hold the grease and the polar end to be compatible with the water.  Reverse roles but same idea.  

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1 hour ago, bryankazmer said:

 I think the key additive question is whether it's a detergent oil - if the engine is newly rebuilt, use it.  If it's been together a long time there is the risk of pulling off deposits and clogging small passages.

 

I know there are a couple other folks with some technical experience in this on the board.  Let's stick to the science vs anecdotes

 

If someone wants to run a low detergent oil that has high levels of zinc, one option is Valvoline "Not street legal racing oil". The quote from them below is old, and the last time I checked with them, their VR1 contained 1250 zinc and not 1300.

 

"Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil contains .13 percent zinc and .12 percent phosphorus compared to the Valvoline "Not Street Legal" Racing Oil, which contains .14 percent zinc and .13 percent phosphorus."

 

https://www.valvoline.com/about-us/faq/racing-oil-faq

 

The majority of "sludge" in an engine is on the top of the cylinder head and bottom of the oil pan, so in general, the worst case scenario is that some hardened chunks of build up break off the head and completely plug up the return port that allows the oil to drain back into the pan. If someone is concerned about this happening, they can simply remove their valve cover and inspect the top of the head for caked on deposits etc. Any debris in the pan is filtered small enough by an oil filter (if the engine has one) that it is impossible for it to plug any other passages.

 

 

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4 hours ago, bryankazmer said:

Getting oil to a cold top end sooner is still a good idea.

Many of our old engines are L head so there is no "top end".

3 hours ago, barnett468 said:

The majority of "sludge" in an engine is on the top of the cylinder head and bottom of the oil pan,

 

3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

It is my belief that in at least 90% of cars that qualify for the AACA, extra zinc is not needed. One, most are not high-lift, high-spring-pressure performance engines and even some of the most potent engines of the '60s don't really need excessive protecting. Two, most of us drive these old cars sparingly and like they're made of glass--they're already going to outlast us all; dumping in additives to add to that already incredibly long lifespan seems like a waste of money. And three, if you do it wrong, you will hurt your engine

Even if you do not drive sparingly you do not need additives.

 

4 hours ago, bryankazmer said:

 Let's stick to the science vs anecdotes

By all means lets eliminate anecdotes.  We would eliminate 75+ % of all postings on this site.  I am sure one of the "A"s in AACA stands for anecdote.

FYI  I will not be participating on this forum any longer.

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3 hours ago, barnett468 said:

The majority of "sludge" in an engine is on the top of the cylinder head and bottom of the oil pan,

Oxidation causes oil to turn to sludge, i.e. thicken. Anti-oxidant additives slow that process. If you run the engine with sludge, it is everywhere.

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59 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

Oxidation causes oil to turn to sludge, i.e. thicken. Anti-oxidant additives slow that process. If you run the engine with sludge, it is everywhere.

 

I have been building engines for around 45 years and do it for a living as part of my job, and I have never, ever, seen "sludge" build up anywhere other than on the head or in the oil pan, unless it is an inline engine that has the lifters on the side of the block, in which case I have seen some minor "sludge" there, and I have disassembled engines that had 1/4 thick buildup caked onto the top of the cylinder head.

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, barnett468 said:

 

What additive do you use, and why not just buy oil that has something similar to what you want if it is available?

I use Rislone oil additive the contains zinc. Why pay the high price of racing oil when I'm not racing and dino oil with additive for under $30 including filter and additive performs as advertised?  I run my Buicks hard. No issues thus far. I have money left over for an ice cream cone for me and the missus. 

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4 hours ago, barnett468 said:

 

I have been building engines for around 45 years and do it for a living as part of my job, and I have never, ever, seen "sludge" build up anywhere other than on the head or in the oil pan, unless it is an inline engine that has the lifters on the side of the block, in which case I have seen some minor "sludge" there, and I have disassembled engines that had 1/4 thick buildup caked onto the top of the cylinder head.

Now you can see sludge buildup in crankshaft oil passages:

"Crank turds" from a friend's  1920 Pierce-Arrow

 

crank turd 1.jpeg

crank turd 2.jpeg

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