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Old 11-28-2018, 12:48 AM
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Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
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Our older engines and newer oil is not a good mix

This is a small write up I sent to a couple friends that have older engines.
I am having some issues with more than one rig here. After several long reads at night here I believe there is something to this. Given that we all have older engines in our FSJ's it applies to just about everyone on these forums. A very bright friend of mine brought this up. I trust his assessment.

Are we slowly killing our older engines? Specifically flat tappet cam engines. After finding some seriously flat cam lobes on the Buick 350 I was rebuilding, and recently discovering the cam is damaged on an inline 4 cylinder inboard boat motor I was having a look at, I realized something is wrong. A friend of mine recently mentioned it is caused by the low zinc and phosphorus (ZDDP) levels in todays modern oils. I trust his assessment and started reading. I was pretty dumbfounded by what I have discovered. There is a large unspoken issue going on. In 2004 the API (American Petroleum Institute) oil rating changed to a SN rating from all previous versions of oil on the market for todays engines. The limit for Zinc was 800 PPM scaled back several revisions even before the change to SN for emissions reasons.

Prior to 1988 API SF specified a minimum of 1500PPM. In 1993 API SG reduced the minimum amount of ZDDP to 1200PPM. It was reduced again to 1000PPM with a SL specification. Lots of zinc stops catalytic converters from working it said. After 2004 with a 800PPM limit from the SM and then a SN specification, a very large amount of flat tappet camshafts experienced failures that was unprecedented more than ever before. Now reading on I found the minimum number you want to see for zinc for a hydraulic flat tappet camshaft is at least 1000 PPM with the same or more content for Phosphorus. They work together in creating the glass like anti wear film needed for longevity.

Modern engines have roller camshafts. And after calling the engine builder to talk about this zinc situation, he stated that the modern oils are still creating issues with modern engines even with roller cams. He said the wrist pins were seeing higher than normal wear. And funny thing is before I had a chance to tell him why I was calling, he said right off, “be sure and run high zinc oil on that 350” Absolutely I will. I then told him why I was calling and my concerns with that very subject. I am now convinced that I have been running the wrong oils in my V-6’s and V-8’s from the 60’s and 70’s. Years ago I switched to Mobil 1 thinking I was making a good move. Mobil 1 is a very good oil. There are a couple types of high zinc oil from mobil 1 and I was not using it. The standard mobil 1 has the reduced zinc just like most other oils with the starburst label and the SN or SM rating. Just for some visual ideas on what is slowly happening to cam shafts and other high pressure components inside older engines.. Here is a very worn failed cam lobe. One of several on this engine.



What about ZDDP additives? Should you use one of the ZDDP additives? Absolutely not. There is not one oil manufacturer that recommends using an additive in there carefully prepared oil. Even added to the high ZDDP oils it has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of wear resistance. It can filter out and for the money it is not worth it. Additives of this type can change the recipe of the oil manufacturer and not for the good sometimes. The best solution is to find a high zinc oil and trust their mix of detergents and additives and components and just run it. An oil with mid range TBN numbers of somewhere in the 5-8 range. TBN is a measure of alkaline additives in oil for the ability to ward off the corrosive effects of acid byproducts of used and aged oil. People who drive just a couple miles to work generate high acidic by products from combustion and should change their oil on a very regular and frequent basis. Longer drives help burn off the byproducts of combustion. So changing the oil and not letting it run long is more important than I ever imagined.
Which oil? There is full on racing oil with really high ZDDP. That has to be good right? Well no. Full on racing oil is not recommended for a daily driver since it is void of the detergents and additives and who knows what else. While high ZDDP it is bad to run all the time over time. There are a few oils that address the need for ZDDP for older engines with the detergents and additives for regular oil change intervals. And check with any and all camshaft manufacturers. They ALL say something about needing high ZDDP oil for their product to last.
. Royal Purple XPR, some versions of Mobil one, 0W40 5W40 and high milage 10W40 (1000 PPM )
Brad Penn, Amsoil Z-rod 10W30, 20W50, Lucas hot rod and classic oil, Red Line Valvoline VR-1 is a great brand with 1300 PPM zinc and 1200 PPM phosphorus.
I have found Valvoline VR-1 to be very reasonable and it has the higher ZDDP levels that will protect my older engines. I am in the process of changing all my older engines over to high ZDDP oils. I will also check lobe lift to see if I have damaged cams. I know my boat has a damaged camshaft. I am not able to find a replacement camshaft for that vintage engine anywhere.
Keep in mind that there is a LOT of information to read about this. There is a ton of attempted debunking of the so called ZDDP myth. Modern oil manufacturers all claim their oils are backwards compatible. If any of it were true, than there would not be higher numbers of camshaft failures happening . I will go with the precaution of high ZDDP oil for my old stuff. I have two flat cams here and that is enough for me. This could be the very reason your once peppy engine is now sluggish and tired.
Be sure to research the oil you might choose carefully. Verify the zinc levels with actual numbers. Don’t take a manufacturers claim that their product is suitable for your older engine without actual numbers. And when you add this oil, shake well for several minutes before adding. Do everything you can to extend the life of your older engine. I didn’t know, now I do….Happy motoring.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2018, 03:20 AM
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I think about how many Jeeps are driving on the roads still with 100,000+ mile 4.0L sixes that the owners are running plain old API SN 10W30 in without flattening their cam. Most 4.0L's are owned by people who do not even know what ZDDP is.

But I don't risk it.

Three oils I have personally used without a problem:

Castrol Edge 5W50 SN. It is very high ZDDP, around 1400 PPM. I verified that with my own lab tests.

Quaker State high mileage 10W30 SN. It is high-ish in ZDDP, around 900 PPM in my lab tests. That's enough for my stock cams.

Rotella T4 10W30. It is technically not API rated for gasoline engines but is claimed to be around 1200 PPM. I'll verify that with lab tests sometime.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2018, 05:55 AM
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ZDDP isn't good for your Catalytic Converter.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:33 AM
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Chevron delo 400 xle has 830ppm and despite being a diesel oil it is certified for gasoline applications
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:37 AM
fsj454 fsj454 is offline
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AMSOIL

WOW .. I am running amsoil Zrod 10-30 .Purchased a case last night online thru amsoil . I am a perfered member so I get 25% of free shipping over 100.00 dollars. So all said and done it cost me 108.50 to the door for 1 case of 12 . Not cheap but my motor cost 5000.00 to make out of old school junk......FSJ454
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:42 AM
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scout4bta scout4bta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kansasboy001
Chevron delo 400 xle has 830ppm and despite being a diesel oil it is certified for gasoline applications
I agree!
I started my Diesel quest in 92 (Dodge W250 Diesel) and soon after that converted all my gas cars and small gas motors, to Delo 15w-40 or its equivalent in other brands. The Cummins B series engines are flat tappets, so if Delo works there it will work in gas motors, Assuming that that the ambient temps where you live are correct for 15w-40.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:32 AM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Problem with "C" oils, C for compression ignition as opposed to S for spark, is that they've been decreasing the ZDDP content in the later versions of these oils too since they've been putting cats in Diesels.

Still higher than typical S oils.

Or so I've read. No testing done by me.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2018, 12:15 PM
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Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
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Yes some diesel oils are also reducing the ZDDP.. And I thought I read that C labeled oils were "commercial" applications.

The engine builder said that a good running engine won't be dumping zinc in the exhaust to kill a catalytic converter. Meaning proper sealing piston rings. I did state in the article that to much zinc was toxic for cats. I am not sure if newer (90's) FSJ's have cats. But if you don't have a cat than running high ZDDP oil is a wise thing.
Amsoil Z-rod was rated extremely well. I am still going with Valvoline VR-1 since it is really reasonable on the wallet. And it has pretty high levels of zinc and phosphorus.
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Most users ever online was 656, 06-30-2007 at 09:50 PM.
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1969 1414X Wag,
1970 and 71 project J trucks
1970 Wagoneer Not Sadie
1983 FJ60 wagon
CJ-5's and a 7
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2018, 12:29 PM
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Cecil14 Cecil14 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiserjeeps
... I am not sure if newer (90's) FSJ's have cats.

Anything after 1978 had a cat from the factory, a lot of stuff earlier than that. Anything that runs on the road more than a few thousand miles a year SHOULD have a cat. Period. Claim you don't like them all you want, they serve a function and are necessary.


aa
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:09 PM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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A couple years ago my cam went bad and after a ton of research and an engine rebuild I switched to Lucas "Hot Rod" oil. It has crazy high zinc. You could run half Hot rod oil and half regular oil and still have higher zinc than any of the others. Also I know Lucas isn't going to change the formula without notice, unlike everybody else.


Edit: I forgot to say, when I was doing research I recall reading that the zinc caused catalytic converters to clog in around 100,000 miles. I think a cat change every 100,000 miles rather than a cam or engine change every 30,000 (or 20, or 10) is a much better trade off.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:12 PM
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My good friend swears by camguard in his Mooney 231. After replacing a $30k TSIO-360 engine with 900 hrs TT he got some schooling on zddp additives from the mechanic. He now runs camguard in everything. .and preaches it to every pilot he comes across. Seems like a highly accepted product in the aviation world and when you think about how the engines are based on 1930's design and tooling. Worth looking into.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scout4bta
I agree!
I started my Diesel quest in 92 (Dodge W250 Diesel) and soon after that converted all my gas cars and small gas motors, to Delo 15w-40 or its equivalent in other brands. The Cummins B series engines are flat tappets, so if Delo works there it will work in gas motors, Assuming that that the ambient temps where you live are correct for 15w-40.

They make delo 400 in 10w30 now so not to worry. Can't get it in quart sizes though.
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:29 AM
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Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil14
Anything after 1978 had a cat from the factory, a lot of stuff earlier than that. Anything that runs on the road more than a few thousand miles a year SHOULD have a cat. Period. Claim you don't like them all you want, they serve a function and are necessary.


aa

Who said they don't like cats? I didn't see that anywhere?
I love my cats. Except when they claw my couch....
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Most users ever online was 656, 06-30-2007 at 09:50 PM.
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1969 1414X Wag,
1970 and 71 project J trucks
1970 Wagoneer Not Sadie
1983 FJ60 wagon
CJ-5's and a 7
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2018, 01:56 AM
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Most modern Diesel oils are API SN approved and limited to 900 PPM of ZDDP, which is considered boarderline for old flat tappet engines.

I have been researching Rotella a lot. It is unclear if the new Rotella T4, T5, and T6 formulations are API SN approved, let alone S rated at all. There is no API S rating on the bottles themselves or on any of the current information on Shell's website. I found some older (2016 year) Shell technical data sheets that show T4, T5, and T6 with an API SN rating but the newer documents do not show any API S rating what so ever. Remember that just because the new Rotella is not API S rated does not mean that is unsuitable for use in gasoline engines. All it means is that the API has not approved the new Rotella for use in gasoline engines, and they likely have not approved it because the ZDDP levels are too high to pass API SN standards. Shell very well could have formulated it to be suitable in gasoline engines. The old Rotella formulations in the past were always API S approved and Shell knows a lot of people use Rotella in gasoline engines. I highly doubt they would not have made the new formula suitable for gasoline engines as well.

I found several examples of Shell technical employees answering emails from customers questioning the suitability of new Rotella for older flat tappet engines. In every instance, the Shell employee said that all grades of T4, T5, and T6 contain 1200 PPM of ZDDP and are suitable for use in gasoline engines, just as the earlier Rotella formulations were. I have also found several laboratory analysis sheets for T4 15W40 and they all show between 1000 and 1250 PPM of ZDDP, which is plenty for most old flat tappet engines.

All of that gives me pretty good confidence in Rotella. I have some T4 10W30 in my 360 right now that I will send off for lab testing after it's all done to see what the ZDDP content is.

-----------

Yes, there are oils out there specifically made for old flat tappet gasoline engines. Examples are PennGrade 1, Valvoline VR-1, Hemmings Motor Oil, and AMSOIL Z-Rod. I'm sure they are all great oils, but they are expensive. Most are $8 per quart or more. Meanwhile, Rotella T4 is on sale at every NAPA in the U.S. right now for $3.25 per quart through the end of December. I know....I work at NAPA.
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Last edited by FSJunkie : 11-29-2018 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiserjeeps
Who said they don't like cats? I didn't see that anywhere?
I love my cats. Except when they claw my couch....

Oh no one in this thread, but there have been a surprising number of people over the years around here claiming they didn't need one. Pretty crazy stuff.



aa
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSJunkie
All of that gives me pretty good confidence in Rotella. I have some T4 10W30 in my 360 right now that I will send off for lab testing after it's all done to see what the ZDDP content is.

Curious if you kept a sample of the unrun oil to test as well? I'd be interested to know both the before and after ZDDP levels, as engine condition is going to have a significant impact on what the oil looks like after it's been run. That's not saying your engine is good/bad/indifferent, just that it won't be a completely unbiased test without the unrun baseline to compare against.


aa
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Old 11-29-2018, 10:26 AM
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Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil14
Oh no one in this thread, but there have been a surprising number of people over the years around here claiming they didn't need one. Pretty crazy stuff.



aa

No sweat...
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Am I done yet?

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Most users ever online was 656, 06-30-2007 at 09:50 PM.
I was there! Still waiting for my Tee shirt...

1969 1414X Wag,
1970 and 71 project J trucks
1970 Wagoneer Not Sadie
1983 FJ60 wagon
CJ-5's and a 7
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2018, 10:52 AM
JeepJeepster JeepJeepster is offline
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I do believe shear resistance is much more important than too much ZDDP...

Been running good ol valvoline in my flat tappet 4.0 for many years now. Has 262,000 and I dont believe the cam is going to be what goes on that rig. Blackstone verifies all is well with lubrication.
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil14
Curious if you kept a sample of the unrun oil to test as well? I'd be interested to know both the before and after ZDDP levels, as engine condition is going to have a significant impact on what the oil looks like after it's been run. That's not saying your engine is good/bad/indifferent, just that it won't be a completely unbiased test without the unrun baseline to compare against.


aa
Measured ZDDP levels do not change much over the usable life of the oil in my experience. Besides, I like knowing the ZDDP level at the end of the oil change anyway because it tells me the oil was still protecting the engine right up to the drain.


But I hear you.


It just gets expensive at $27 per test. I make minimum wage.
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:48 PM
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They've been reducing zddp in oil since the mid 90's.
It's an easy target to blame for engine problems.
Adding ZDDP via additives is a very bad idea!

Many old engines aren't daily drivers and subjected to dry starts and extended storage intervals.
If stored w/ old oil that hasn't been run up to temp to boil off acids/moisture bad juju happens in there. Dry starts cause a lot of engine wear.

If you're gonna store it put in fresh oil, or @ minimum run it up to temp for while.
If you're concerned about your old iron and zddp just run good oil(s).
Several to choose from out there still.
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