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12/26/12 8:54pm - Original Message: 'Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
I need to change my oil so I thought I'd restart this debate: what oil is a good choice for those of us that still have flat tappet cams?  It's been discussed many times, I know, and my choices are still clear as mud.  I'm not really sold on the idea of just a typical synthetic designed for newer cars, such as Mobil 1.  I'll go synthetic if I need to, but what I'd really like is a conventional that has the proper levels of zinc (or suitable substitute) to properly lubricate the cam and lifters.  Also looking to not break the bank.  I've found many sources on the 'net (including Bob is the Oil Guy) that say Shell Rotella is a good choice, but there are many others that say it's not.  (not enough Zinc/ZDDP).  So what do you guys think?  Any of you that have a new or recently rebuilt flat-tappet cam motor that can tell me what you're using?  What about you guys that are all-original?  Any horror stories out there of flattened lobes due to an incorrect oil choice?  Thanks in advance for the advice!  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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12/26/12 9:38pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
rep69
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Chesapeake, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 convertible 427 4speed

Joined: 7/24/2012
Posts: 130

I have a1969 427 390hp original engine. I have owned the car only since August. When I bought the car it had a small leak from the rear main seal. I changed the oil to Brad Penn 10W40 and the leak has almost stopped. I am not sure if it is the oil or just driving the car more, but that is my experience.  I do know that my cam and a couple of lifters are worn after I had a mechanic give it a tune up. He replaced my valve stem seals and discovered the issue. Overall the engine runs good, I know one day I will have to get the cam replaced,but for now I am just going to enjoy the car.

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12/26/12 11:28pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
KDADDY79
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Dutchess County, NY - USA

Vette(s):
White '79 Corvette. It's a driver.

Joined: 8/27/2007
Posts: 2484

I use whatever conventional name brand oil is on sale and then I add Lucas Oil Stabilizer for the Zinc/ZDDP.



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12/26/12 11:37pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
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The Rotella doesn't have the same amount of ZDDP as it used to, since the newer sneezles have converters on them, too. Not saying it's not good, just that it is not as good as it was 10 years ago, in that respect.
Brad Penn & Joe Gibbs Racing have engine oils that DO have the proper amounts of zinc to keep your lifters and cam happy. Not sure about the cost, but considering what a new cam/lifters, and labor to replace cost, seems like a good trade off...."Pay me now, or pay me later...".
You can also buy bottles of zinc additive in some places, and you can also get cam break-in additive to put in at each oil change. The options are boggling, as you already know.
On the same subject, most newer made cams & lifters should be designed/made to withstand the pressures better than older designs, but they still need help.
If I were to go to the trouble to build the engine with a flat tappet, I would have to give in and buy oil that has the correct amount of ZDDP in it, and be satisfied that the cam/lifters would survive much longer.


|UPDATED|12/26/2012 8:37:37 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Joel Adams
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12/27/12 3:53am - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
Thanks guys.  I know there's a local chain (Baxter's) that carries the Joe Gibbs, in fact that's what I have in there now.  It's expensive, but not that bad and I think there might even be a conventional version vs. the synthetic that I bought last time.  I'll either go with that or I may go with the Lucas additive with regular oil.  Baxter's has that too.  Joel, what you're saying about the Rotella is very similar to what I've read, too.  Used to be a good choice, and it still may be, just not a for sure good choice.....




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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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12/27/12 8:58am - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
I can only speak for the Brad Penn oil as that is what I am using. When I went to start my engine for the first time I put Brad Penn 10-30 in it. Just before trying to start I happened to look down at a bottle and I saw it said Partially Synthetic. I waited and called the Brad Penn engineering group. They confirmed that the Brad Penn oil is a partially synthetic oil with the correct amounts of ZDDP. But they also warned me against using that oil as a break in oil. For that they make a straight 30 weight non synthetic break in oil. Not to be used long term but for break ins only. I follow their direction and have no issues to this point. Hope that helps.


Rodney


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12/27/12 12:22pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
It does, Rod, thanks.  But I haven't seen the Brad Penn stuff in any local stores, though, I think I'd have to order online.  But I have a feeling it's similar to the Joe Gibbs stuff that I'll probably end up using.  I used Comp Cams break-in oil for my break-in and then changed to the Joe Gibbs after 100-200 miles.  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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12/27/12 12:45pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
MikeMc71
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Tucson, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1970 White L-46 Air Roadster, 1971 White LT1 Coupe, 1971 Red Auto Air Coupe, 383 stroker, 430 HP, 2002 Millennium Yellow Auto Coupe

Joined: 10/7/2007
Posts: 341
Valvoline VR-1 has a very high ZDDP, and they say they will never change the formula.

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12/27/12 3:02pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
I see Lucas has an oil out now for hot rods and classics with a high level of ZDDP.
 


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Build Date: May 7, 1975. 383 w/267 RWHP/310 RWTQ
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12/27/12 7:09pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
I ended up just buying Quaker State 10W-30 and a ZDDP additive for this time.  I'll obviously report back if anything goes wrong, but I think I'll be OK.  Thanks guys!

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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12/27/12 7:10pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
But that's good news about the Valvoline and Lucas - I'll look into both for next time.  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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12/28/12 1:32pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
Man, that Lucas website is sllllloooooowwwwwww.


I bought a 4 pack of ZDDPlus off ebay and just use that with Mobil 1 or Valvoline Synthetic 10w-40.

I've heard that 10w-40 and thicker weights don't have to comply with the lower zinc levels and may actually have the right levels.



Also, I don't think the Valvoline VR-1 is designed for daily use, it's a racing oil and doesn't have the detergent additives that a daily use oil would have.  I could be wrong.  Wink


|UPDATED|12/28/2012 10:32:49 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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12/28/12 4:21pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
manchestershark Lifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.

Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 1895
 I have a comp cam as well and use Joe Gibbs. 1 quart of break-in oil and 4 qts of J.G. on initial rebuild start up. 1000 miles, change to 1/2 qt break in oil and finish with J.G. 3000 miles, not made it that far yet, but will use ALL J.G.

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12/28/12 9:27pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
OK, so I hit NAPA, AutoZone, and O'Reilly's today.

NAPA has Amzoil Z for classic cars, 9.69 per quart!  Said they could order that Lucas cam break in bottle.  It costs 13 bucks!  Also had Castrol Syntec for classic cars and it too was 9.69 a fricken quart.

AutoZone didn't have chit.

O'Reilly's had a quart of Rislone Zinc additive for 12 bucks.  Geez.

I think I will stick with ZDDPlus and just use my choice of 10w-40.


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12/28/12 9:31pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
Almond81Vette
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Stanley, NC - USA

Vette(s):
1981, dark blue w/carmel interior. 350 stock, auto tranny, Q-jet carb, ECM box

Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 91
AmsOil for me here after replacing the engine in my '81 last year with a new GM crate motor. My mechanic looked deep into this subject and he now only recommends AmsOil and from their website you can input correct data for your setup and get the proper oil suggested. It ain't the cheapest, about $10 quart but knowing it has the right amount of stuff easy the mind for me.

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Tommy
 
   
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12/29/12 1:46am - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
Here is a link to a great list on another forum.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-tech-performance/2484100-list-of-flat-tappet-oils.html




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12/29/12 2:13pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
I used the Rislone ZDDP additive:  


Interestingly, that ad shows a 1 quart bottle, but I know the one I used was smaller, more like a pint.  (I threw the bottle away so I can't check).  It must have been more concentrated because it still said one bottle added to the crankcase for cars 1997 and older.  (Half a bottle for 1997-2004)




|UPDATED|12/29/2012 11:13:15 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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12/29/12 3:28pm - Reply: 'Re: Revisit the debate: oil for flat tappet cams'
Almond81Vette
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Stanley, NC - USA

Vette(s):
1981, dark blue w/carmel interior. 350 stock, auto tranny, Q-jet carb, ECM box

Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 91
I know I posted this before but this is my cam that came out last year and that is the fuel pump lob that is toast. Now not sure if off the counter oil was the problem but now using only Amsoil for my proper set up. As far as mixing in the additives you may not get an even flow of the amounts thru out all the oil. So for me again I'll stick with Amsoil Z-Rod 10-30W.

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Tommy
 
   
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