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Ford Truck Club Forum > GARAGE TALK > Garage Talk: Shop Class 101

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Old August 15th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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Question Oil For That Old Engine

here's an artical I put in my Harley Forum, I have had several and still own 60 year old + HD's and some newer 60's & 70's Harleys and there has always been the question of which oil to use. Seems these young cats that acquire a Classic Car or a vintage HD want to hurry up and change over to synthetic
I prefer to use Racing Oil either Kendel Nitro 70 or Valvoline 60 which can be found at most auto parts stores
in Classic Cars/Trucks I use straight 30w or 40w depending on engine tightness/milage

Oil for Your Classic: What you need to know

Classic Car Motor Oil
If you’ve spent any time reading or listening to stories about changes in oil over the past decade, you’re probably confused, scared, or both. The issue is that changes in oil formulation have reduced the amount of a Zinc additive (zinc dialkyldithiophosphate, ZDDP) and often increased the amount of detergent in modern oils. For awhile there were few oil products available for classic cars, but today, several companies have come out with products specifically designed for older cars.

The primary issue is that the phosphorus in ZDDP is hard on catalytic converters, and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems perform better when there are more detergents and dispersants in the oil. So ZDDP has been reduced, while detergents and dispersants have been increased in modern oils.

For our classic cars, these changes can have a compounding effect. ZDDP is added to oil to coat and protect high-wear surfaces, like the solid-lifter valve trains featured in many classic cars. Increased detergent levels tend to wash away the little ZDDP that is still attempting to protect our valve trains. Finally, modern oils have more friction modifiers to increase fuel efficiency, which can lead to reduced oil film strength and damage parts.

When these oil changes first started occurring, the primary alternatives were diesel oils or racing oils, which contained higher levels of ZDDP than conventional oils. Each of these presented their own problems. Diesel oils have plenty of ZDDP, but unfortunately even higher levels of detergents than conventional oil. Race oils have a good balance of ZDDP and detergents, but lack the anti-corrosion additives that are critical to keep internal corrosion low in little-used classics.

Today, several specialist oil companies have come out with oils formulated for classic cars. These oils balance the ZDDP and detergent levels adequately and include appropriate corrosion inhibitors to keep our engines from damage whether they’re running or in storage.

While each specialist company has its own reason for getting into the classic car oil business, one of interest is Classic Car Motor Oil. The development of this product was driven by the Indiana Region of the Classic Car Club of America. Club members approached the D-A Lubricant Company near Indianapolis about the problems of modern oil in classic cars, and D-A worked with them to develop and co-market a specific blend of oil for Classics. Classic Car Motor Oil is now available in sizes from the quart to the case to the 55-gallon drum for enthusiasts with classic cars. The work from this club and this company show that grassroots efforts can yield great results.

While there still may be some confusion about oils these days, it’s reassuring to see that the marketplace is responding with products that will keep our classics living on. Make sure to consider your oil options next time you service your classic car.


Classic Car Motor Oil Company

Driven Racing Oil

Brad Penn Oil

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Last edited by JSoko; August 15th, 2013 at 04:40 PM.
Old August 15th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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2003 F-150 XL RCSB 2wd 4.2 5 speed 3.55 LS
Old August 16th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by glc123 View Post
good post
it seems to have very good long term protection from rust and corrosion

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Old August 16th, 2013, 08:04 AM
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I got an Amsoil catalog a couple of months ago, but haven't bought any of their products yet. My uncle swore by their grease back in the 70's. for bearings and such. I don't know what previous owner used, but I've used Valvoline 5/20. I think that is what Ford recommended. Been thinking on changing since it is at 73k but just haven't decided.

1993 F150 XLT, 5.8 with E40D, Tow and Handling Package. Fully loaded from factory as truck was special order. Mods: Extang Snap on bed cover. 2" drop in rear, Six Liter Tuneup, NOS 66-72 Ford Air Foil Antenna, Planet Auto Red Ford Oval (grille). Diamond Clear Headlight Package, Bumper Guards, F350 Brake Conversion, Slotted/Drilled Front Rotors, 3 row alum radiator with Mk VIII elec fan. and much more to come!
Old August 16th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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Good informative post!

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