Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing? - Chevelle Tech
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  #1  
Old Mar 21st, 10, 9:14 PM
Sergio 69 SS396 Sergio 69 SS396 is offline
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Default Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

I will be drag racing my street Chevelle (for fun at the WCCG) and heard 20-50 oil is better for racing. So since I needed a oil change in a bad way, I had a shop put in Kendall 20-50 synthetic blend. Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old Mar 21st, 10, 9:46 PM
67Super Sport 67Super Sport is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio69SS396 View Post
I will be drag racing my street Chevelle (for fun at the WCCG) and heard 20-50 oil is better for racing. So since I needed a oil change in a bad way, I had a shop put in Kendall 20-50 synthetic blend. Thoughts?
Oil should be chosen based on the clearances your engine was built with. An engine built with tight clearances has no business using 20W-50 whether you are drag racing or not, just like an engine built with loose clearances has no business using 5W-30.
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  #3  
Old Mar 21st, 10, 9:49 PM
crazydavey crazydavey is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

should be fine Sergio. A race motor might use something different but in your case it's a good double duty grade....JMO
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  #4  
Old Mar 21st, 10, 10:20 PM
Sergio 69 SS396 Sergio 69 SS396 is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Unfortunately I don't have the engine particulars as the engine was built up by the previous owner who had a muscle car dealership and did not keep records and has no recollection of my car's particular motor from when my dad bought it in 1989. So I'm screwed there. He thinks the cam is .506 lift and .292 duration give it or take with GM 3919849 heads and an original Winters Foundry aluminum intake. Oh, and a new Holley Hp4150 750 DP and MSD iginition.

I usually just put straight 30 oil but have been a lot lately to use 20-50.

Thanks Davey
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  #5  
Old Mar 21st, 10, 10:29 PM
SWHEATON SWHEATON is online now
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Sergio,if you have a FT cam you better ensure whatever oil your running has a proper zddp lvl ,if not enough zddp your perf Ft cam will likely have a shorter srvc life taking the rest of the motor with it if it goes bad so keep that in mind.

But when talking oil there will be 8 dif opinions if you ask 8 dif people what oil mfg & visc oil is best for drag racing,depends on a lot of factors.


But running a 10-30 vs 20-50 should not normally cause an older generation bbc motor like yours to self destruct either unless the motor is already comprimised in some way.

Keep in mind 10-30 has thinner visc that will lower internal resistsnace to oil flow letting the motor make a few more hp/lbs trq but its also slightly less resistant to visc breakdown/shear then a thicker 20-50 oil from the same oil mfg with same quality lvl of base stock oil & oil additive pkg.

I also sent you an email with some rec for oils to run with a perf FT cam'd motor if your running a FT cam in your motor.

Scott
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Last edited by SWHEATON; Mar 21st, 10 at 10:49 PM.
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  #6  
Old Mar 21st, 10, 11:49 PM
novaderrik novaderrik is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

you might get a higher oil pressure reading with the 20w50 oil compared to 10w30, but that doesn't mean that it's doing a better job at lubing your engine- it just means that there is more internal resistance to oil flow.
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  #7  
Old Mar 21st, 10, 11:55 PM
The*Q* The*Q* is offline
 
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by novaderrik View Post
you might get a higher oil pressure reading with the 20w50 oil compared to 10w30, but that doesn't mean that it's doing a better job at lubing your engine- it just means that there is more internal resistance to oil flow.

And it also means that the oil pump and distributor gear are working overtime to pump the molasses thru the oil galleys. 10-30 or 10-40 is plenty unless the clearances are huge.
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Old Mar 22nd, 10, 12:19 AM
trmnatr trmnatr is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Super Sport View Post
Oil should be chosen based on the clearances your engine was built with. An engine built with tight clearances has no business using 20W-50 whether you are drag racing or not, just like an engine built with loose clearances has no business using 5W-30.
Why is that?

A loose clearance engine can run 0w10 with just a minor pressure loss but more oil flow

It will increase the temp of the oil in the oil pan. I know two engines doing goofy things like that
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Old Mar 22nd, 10, 12:52 PM
67Super Sport 67Super Sport is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Ok...but I am not going to run 0W-10 in an engine with .003-.0035 on the rods and .0035-.004 on the mains. Bracket racing in hot weather with passes in the later rounds coming 10-15 mins apart isn't the time I want a thin oil running around in my engine. 20W-50 keeps nice oil pressure even when super hot and gives oil time to sit in pan and cool. And I'm not going to be pouring 20W-50 in an engine with .002-.0025 clearances when 10W-30 will do a fine job and keep the oil pressure and volume where it needs to be.

I just think it is funny that guys pour oil in their engine based on someone saying "it needs it if it is going to be "raced"". There is more to it than that. I bracket raced a 396 with tight oil clearances for 8 years using 5W-30 or 10W-30 with no issues. When my 460 was built with larger clearances I started using 20W-50. In the cool it could use 10W-40 but I just use 20W-50 all the time. Oil pressure with the tight 396 vs. loose 460 is the same which is what I was shooting for.

I'm not saying I know it all when it comes to oil systems and I don't have any scienticfic proof as far as volume vs. pressure for various viscosity oils but this is just what has worked for me.
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  #10  
Old Mar 22nd, 10, 2:35 PM
Sergio 69 SS396 Sergio 69 SS396 is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

My oil pressure did not go up much, if any. After really warming up and an hours drive, it's about 20psi at 1000rpm and around 50psi at 3500rpm doing 65mph. I don't think I have any special pump. In fact, I may have the stock one as I have never seen the bottom end of my motor. I was trying to get as much protection as I can for the drags (for fun) in a few weeks since my motor isn't usually above 4500rpm. I hope to go to close to 6000.
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  #11  
Old Mar 22nd, 10, 2:40 PM
trmnatr trmnatr is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Super Sport View Post
Ok...but I am not going to run 0W-10 in an engine with .003-.0035 on the rods and .0035-.004 on the mains. Bracket racing in hot weather with passes in the later rounds coming 10-15 mins apart isn't the time I want a thin oil running around in my engine. 20W-50 keeps nice oil pressure even when super hot and gives oil time to sit in pan and cool. And I'm not going to be pouring 20W-50 in an engine with .002-.0025 clearances when 10W-30 will do a fine job and keep the oil pressure and volume where it needs to be.

I just think it is funny that guys pour oil in their engine based on someone saying "it needs it if it is going to be "raced"". There is more to it than that. I bracket raced a 396 with tight oil clearances for 8 years using 5W-30 or 10W-30 with no issues. When my 460 was built with larger clearances I started using 20W-50. In the cool it could use 10W-40 but I just use 20W-50 all the time. Oil pressure with the tight 396 vs. loose 460 is the same which is what I was shooting for.

I'm not saying I know it all when it comes to oil systems and I don't have any scienticfic proof as far as volume vs. pressure for various viscosity oils but this is just what has worked for me.
On small blocks with 0w10 I run the following
Mains with 2.45" main .003" with .0035" on rear main journal
Rods with 2" or 2.1" pin .0027" to .003"
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  #12  
Old Mar 22nd, 10, 2:42 PM
trmnatr trmnatr is offline
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Default Re: Is 20-50 oil better for drag racing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Super Sport View Post
Ok...but I am not going to run 0W-10 in an engine with .003-.0035 on the rods and .0035-.004 on the mains. Bracket racing in hot weather with passes in the later rounds coming 10-15 mins apart isn't the time I want a thin oil running around in my engine. 20W-50 keeps nice oil pressure even when super hot and gives oil time to sit in pan and cool. And I'm not going to be pouring 20W-50 in an engine with .002-.0025 clearances when 10W-30 will do a fine job and keep the oil pressure and volume where it needs to be.

I just think it is funny that guys pour oil in their engine based on someone saying "it needs it if it is going to be "raced"". There is more to it than that. I bracket raced a 396 with tight oil clearances for 8 years using 5W-30 or 10W-30 with no issues. When my 460 was built with larger clearances I started using 20W-50. In the cool it could use 10W-40 but I just use 20W-50 all the time. Oil pressure with the tight 396 vs. loose 460 is the same which is what I was shooting for.

I'm not saying I know it all when it comes to oil systems and I don't have any scienticfic proof as far as volume vs. pressure for various viscosity oils but this is just what has worked for me.
Oh and I do agree with you on not putting heavier oils in an engine with tighter clearance

I dont agree on looser clearance with lighter oils as I do it
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