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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering how many of you guys use modern blends of oil in flat tappet motors?

I have a stock 77 454 truck motor in my car and would like to try one of the 0-40 blends.. I use 10-30 Brad Penn but it foams when I add just a little too much and the lifters tick.. My Pontiac 462 did the same thing with this oil..

Thank you...
 

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Most "modern" oils contain little or no zinc, and as a result tend to erode flat tappet cam lobes much more rapidly than oils containing zinc. Modern oils are formulated for roller cams that do not need zinc. I would recommend using (1) a "racing" oil with zinc, (2) a diesel truck oil such as Shell Rotella, or (3) adding zinc to your present oil. Zinc additives are available at any auto parts store.
 

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I use Valvoline VR-1 20-50 oil in both of my bbc's one with solid and the other hydraulic flat tappet. no issues and it is actually one of the less expensive oils too..
 

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I was using the Lucas Hotrod oil before,with zinc.Its pretty good for the money.
I just got tired of having to order it thru the mail.
I use castrol oils currently,and for my flat tappet 468 I use that,and the zinc additive.
No problems so far,and I cut my filter open every oil change.
 

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I use 10-30 Brad Penn but it foams when I add just a little too much and the lifters tick.. My Pontiac 462 did the same thing with this oil.Thank you...
Foaming oil is an indication that the blend has too much paraffin (wax/soap) in it. I'm actually surprised and a little disappointed BP oil does this, it's touted as the high end hot rod oil. Foamed oil = air in the oil.

I would suggest any of the full synthetic oils and a good zinc additive. Don't use a low micron oil filter, it'll actually filter out some of the zinc.
 

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Jeff,

My 84 S-10 has had Mobil 1 5w30 in it since the first oil change. 2.8 V-6 It is getting close to 280K miles on it. Flat Tappet cam.

Wife's 84 Riviera has 210K on it, same deal 5W30 Mobil 1 flat tappet cam. 307 Olds engine.

The timing chain gave it up on my Wife's car a couple of weeks ago and we are in the middle of pulling the engine and trans for a freshen up as we speak. I will let you know how the cam looks.

I would not be a bit afraid of using Mobil 1 in your truck. Different story on performance applications with a lot of spring pressure.
 

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BillK, you're lucky it's the Olds motor. No way a 4.1 would have made it to 210K. My brother's Eldo has the 4.1, every time he starts it he thinks it's gonna start knocking.
 

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I'm certainly no expert on this matter, but I've read a lot on the subject. There has been much research de bunking the zinc additive theory. I used to run the Amsoil Z-Rod 20W50. As mentioned above I too grew tired of having to order it online. I don't know exactly what cam is in my motor, but I suspect it's a solid flat tappet. After reading an in depth study on oil by a forum member, I made a switch to a Quaker State product in a 10W30. I can buy it cheaper and local, after running it last year I see no change, other than quieter lifters. I guess only time will tell, and I'm not saying any one persons view on this is wrong. Only what my experience has been. Oh one more thing, when it comes to racing oils be careful as they have much different compositions as street oils. They require different drain intervals and must be used as intended. I found this out after using Valvoline race only 20W50 in my Harley on the recommendation of my engine builder. Only to find out it wasn't dealing with condensation well, and really needed to get real hot, and get drained often. You would think in an air cooled motor that wouldn't be the case. I was doing a dyno pull and it stuck a valve. Needless to say I was bummed.......
 

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Follow your Cam manufacturers instructions.
Yeah,prolly the safest.
When I put the motor together,I used a Mellings cam,and they supplied a small card inside with three recomendations for oil on break in.
Shell rotella was one of them,the other two were also popular shelf diesel oils.
I was told somewhere that the zinc levels werent what they use to be in those oils anymore,so added zinc and all was good.
I shouldve mentioned in my earlier post,the motor is not radical,and the heads are old used peantut ports from a 90 SS truck that were just disassembled,cleaned and put back together with new vitons.The cam selected remained under.50 lift because of the springs.
 

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I'm certainly no expert on this matter, but I've read a lot on the subject. There has been much research de bunking the zinc additive theory. I used to run the Amsoil Z-Rod 20W50. As mentioned above I too grew tired of having to order it online. I don't know exactly what cam is in my motor, but I suspect it's a solid flat tappet. After reading an in depth study on oil by a forum member, I made a switch to a Quaker State product in a 10W30. I can buy it cheaper and local, after running it last year I see no change, other than quieter lifters. I guess only time will tell, and I'm not saying any one persons view on this is wrong. Only what my experience has been. Oh one more thing, when it comes to racing oils be careful as they have much different compositions as street oils. They require different drain intervals and must be used as intended. I found this out after using Valvoline race only 20W50 in my Harley on the recommendation of my engine builder. Only to find out it wasn't dealing with condensation well, and really needed to get real hot, and get drained often. You would think in an air cooled motor that wouldn't be the case. I was doing a dyno pull and it stuck a valve. Needless to say I was bummed.......
I have to agree. I been using Pennzoil Ultra for a couple of years now. Oil is in 1 small block 1 BB with flat tappet cams. 1 is a 283 and the pennzoil was used on breakin also. No problems at all. 540rat rated this oil No.1 and I agree. Have to wonder about the low zinc issue.

Has anyone seen a ridge in cyl walls at any mileage anymore? Have to say something about todays oil.

I will start using it in my solid roller BBC next :surprise:
 

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BillK, you're lucky it's the Olds motor. No way a 4.1 would have made it to 210K. My brother's Eldo has the 4.1, every time he starts it he thinks it's gonna start knocking.
Yup, Buick and Olds both used the 307 Olds engine. Hers was still running beautifully till the plastic timing gear gave it up. To be honest with you I think the plastic has been gone for quite a while and it has been running on the aluminum part of the sprocket. I cant believe it was still running as good as it was.

I figures with all that metal in the oil it was time to pull it out and freshen it up. Going to go through the trans at the same time. Its her daily driver to work etc and she loves the car.
 

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I have to agree. I been using Pennzoil Ultra for a couple of years now. Oil is in 1 small block 1 BB with flat tappet cams. 1 is a 283 and the pennzoil was used on breakin also. No problems at all. 540rat rated this oil No.1 and I agree. Have to wonder about the low zinc issue.

Has anyone seen a ridge in cyl walls at any mileage anymore? Have to say something about todays oil.

I will start using it in my solid roller BBC next :surprise:
Yes exactly. The QS Ultimate Durability was ranked very high also. I didn't quite have the guts to run the 5W30, but I have been very happy so far.
 

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I use Quaker State Defy 10W30 in my stock 350 Malibu. It has a higher zinc quantity than most modern oils intended for cat converter equipped vehicles. Of course the 350 has a stock cam and weak valve springs though.
 

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I use Penrite HPR30 which advertises "extra zinc" in my 396 flat tappet. Maintains 30-35 psi at warm idle, 60+ at operating engine speeds. No problems so far.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guys..

Here is what I have that has been proven..

-Valvoline VR-1
-Mobil 1
-Pennzoil Ultra
-Chevron Supreme

Since I now people who work for Pennzoil, I'm going to try the Ultra in 5-30..
 

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Just an update of my previous reply. Just finished taking the engine apart out of my Wife's 84 Riviera. This is a 307 Olds engine and has had 5w30 Mobil 1 since its first oil change back in 1984. Change interval has probably averaged 4-5000 miles. Engine has 220K miles on it and to be honest with you I could probably put the cam and lifters right back in if I wanted to be cheap. There is virtually no wear. The lifters all still have a convex surface and the cam looks great.

Keep in mind this is not a performance engine and does not have a lot of spring pressure. I would not be a bit concerned with running synthetic oil in this type of application.

Just FIY, the bearings look almost new, the crank has absolutely no wear on it and the cylinder walls also have no wear that I can feel. I have not put a bore gauge in them yet but there is absolutely no wear ridge at all.
 

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This is one of the reasons I spent the money for the comp roller conversion kit.
Never have to think about low zinc oil wiping out a cam lobe.
 
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