Flat Tappet Warning! Lack of Zddp and modern oils - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 11th-December-2007, 12:51 AM   #1
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Flat Tappet Warning! Lack of Zddp and modern oils

Hi fellow Nova nuts...... There has been some discussions for the last 6 or 7 months, maybe longer about which oils contain enough ZDDP for flat tappet cams.

Repinter just quoted me on my conversation with Valvoline... and has doubt, I too have doubt... so I am in search of definitive information on oils that will suit the needs of the flat tappet cam masses....

I have done some searching for the last month or so and have seen various opinions/posts on other fourms but never definitive answers as to which oils are safe for flat tappet cams. I have looked at product data sheets.. some times they read like stereo instructions.... not very help full....

There are very expensive oils out there that claim to have over 1800 PPM of ZDDP. like Champion, Joe Gibbs, and one other that escapes me now. but I wonder about the oil as suited for street use as they all say RACE ONLY.

My own mission has now become to find these oils that are safe to use in High lift, high spring rate cams of flat tappet design for street use.

So far I have identified 4 possible oil manufactures,,,, I will contact them further and ask to speak to a authoritative person for definitive info regarding flat tappet cams and the levels of ZDDP.... so that I may inform my fellow brethren in flat camdom hood if their product is safe to use.

what i would really like to find is am old API rating of S/E or S/G

It looks like one synthetic and 3 conventional oils may meet the needs of our engines....

I have been getting a good bit of education on oil additives and their use and safe levels for protection of flat cams.

I will post up as info becomes available.....
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Old 11th-December-2007, 01:45 AM   #2
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some good info over on my chevelle board


http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195620
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Old 11th-December-2007, 03:08 AM   #3
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I’m sure you are aware that my comment was in no way doubting you Veno. Just with my second cam in less than a year starting to pit and show wear in such a short time along with the post about the Blackstone analysis on the Chevelle board coupled with other opinions I have read, I guess I’m still a little on the fence about this whole oil issue thing. I commend you for taking the initiative to do the research, make the calls, and try and figure this out. I will post any new info I run across.

Chris.


I need to note that the first cam was using a pennzoil initially and then switched to royal purple. The second cam was on VR1 exclusively.
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Old 11th-December-2007, 03:54 AM   #4
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The oil deal is quite confusing to me also.

I was at the PRI trade show last week and brought this up with several oil companies as well as cam companies, and Im more confused now than ever, I "think".

Valvoline swore up and down that all of their oils had the the same additive package and the difference was only a detergent dispersal time, that had no effect on the cam wear issue.

One cam person who I have dealt with for over 35 years and I really trust said never use a synthetic on a flat tappet, while another cam rep I also trust highly, thought that some synthetics were ok.


The Joe Gibbs guys were all over the place, as far as info went, and they actually have a mineral based break in oil.

So Im still confused. Nothing new I guess.

Brad Penn was recommended as well.

Good luck.

Jeff
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Old 11th-December-2007, 06:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veno View Post
Hi fellow Nova nuts...... There has been some discussions for the last 6 or 7 months, maybe longer about which oils contain enough ZDDP for flat tappet cams.

Repinter just quoted me on my conversation with Valvoline... and has doubt, I too have doubt... so I am in search of definitive information on oils that will suit the needs of the flat tappet cam masses....

I have done some searching for the last month or so and have seen various opinions/posts on other fourms but never definitive answers as to which oils are safe for flat tappet cams. I have looked at product data sheets.. some times they read like stereo instructions.... not very help full....

There are very expensive oils out there that claim to have over 1800 PPM of ZDDP. like Champion, Joe Gibbs, and one other that escapes me now. but I wonder about the oil as suited for street use as they all say RACE ONLY.

My own mission has now become to find these oils that are safe to use in High lift, high spring rate cams of flat tappet design for street use.

So far I have identified 4 possible oil manufactures,,,, I will contact them further and ask to speak to a authoritative person for definitive info regarding flat tappet cams and the levels of ZDDP.... so that I may inform my fellow brethren in flat camdom hood if their product is safe to use.

what i would really like to find is am old API rating of S/E or S/G

It looks like one synthetic and 3 conventional oils may meet the needs of our engines....

I have been getting a good bit of education on oil additives and their use and safe levels for protection of flat cams.

I will post up as info becomes available.....



This'll keep you busy for awhile:

http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/Oils1.html
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Old 11th-December-2007, 08:34 AM   #6
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Old 11th-December-2007, 08:48 AM   #7
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I can not remember what it was called, but a additive (???) that causes what is known as "DIRTY OIL' protects against metal to metal contact.

This additive protects engine parts when no oil and metal to metal contact happens without lubrication. (my understanding was brief contact)

Amzoil has ZERO!!! this is why it was the cleanest oil.

At the same time the other form of the cheaper synthetics has a abundance of this "ADDITIVE"

What it is? I have no clue.
I am not chemist, nor do I want to be.

I remember the synthetic oil with the best balance of protection and a "CLEAN" oil was Castrol and you could here everyone in the room rumble.

This was not a oil selling conversation, this was on high performance oil services for marine applications.
And let me tell ya, we in our cars don't light a candle to what a high performance boats put a engine threw.

I wish I could put my hands on that spec sheet they handed out.

But bearing wear & failure was the main focus and the use of synthetic oils.
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Old 11th-December-2007, 08:50 AM   #8
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Veno, please share what you have found out about additives.
Sounds like you have been doing some good research.

I am curios.

Al
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Old 11th-December-2007, 09:06 AM   #9
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I have never talked to any oil person who didn't claim their product was the best. I have looked at all sorts of spec sheets and without being some chemist dude who knows what all that stuff means? How much zinc is the right amount? Seems like you would need to know what it was years ago when nobody had issues compared to what it is today. I wish you luck. RM
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Old 11th-December-2007, 09:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repointer View Post
I’m sure you are aware that my comment was in no way doubting you Veno. Just with my second cam in less than a year starting to pit and show wear in such a short time along with the post about the Blackstone analysis on the Chevelle board coupled with other opinions I have read, I guess I’m still a little on the fence about this whole oil issue thing. I commend you for taking the initiative to do the research, make the calls, and try and figure this out. I will post any new info I run across.

Chris.

I need to note that the first cam was using a pennzoil initially and then switched to royal purple. The second cam was on VR1 exclusively.
Yeah I read the chevelle board thing too... the lab testing was not done right and the test results on the valvoline was questionable.. I know you were not doubting me, but the oil its self. and till I get some straight answers I am in doubt too.. I will be talking to Royal Purple too. Royal Purple is just around the corner from me..

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Al View Post
Veno, please share what you have found out about additives.
Sounds like you have been doing some good research.

I am curios.

Al
Hi Al, it seems that 1000. PPm of phosphorus is a good number, while zinc needs to be at least 1200 PPM to satisfy flat cams, I recently(last 1 or 2 days) read MOLY was also starting top be introduced as an additive. Which I think would be of a good benefit tho I am no chemist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Real McCoy View Post
I have never talked to any oil person who didn't claim their product was the best. I have looked at all sorts of spec sheets and without being some chemist dude who knows what all that stuff means? How much zinc is the right amount? Seems like you would need to know what it was years ago when nobody had issues compared to what it is today. I wish you luck. RM
Hi RM,
The righ amounts of Zinc is the real Q here.. and what was in like in the old API s/d or s/e... From what I have been able to find out so far is the S/E is for 1971 and older cars.. The zinc content was in the range of 6800 PPM, This number has not been substantiated yet as offered as just what has been uncoverd so far...

I seems that and oil with 1600 to 2000 PPm of zinc and not over 1000 ppm phosphorus is going to be the VERY SAFE OIL for all cams. that said... the current standard of 1200 ppm zinc and 1300 ppm phosphorus. can meet the needs of our engines if we are careful to break in the engine properly and follow common sense in changes. that is what I have gathered so far as to what oil chemists are saying.
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Old 11th-December-2007, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McKown View Post
This'll keep you busy for awhile:

http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/Oils1.html
Nice read on viscosity and thermal break down.

If you go further in to the site it reads like a infomercail for Amsoil... Thanks, but NO info on ZDDP and whats needed for car engines... manufactured prior to 1986
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Old 11th-December-2007, 11:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by veno View Post
Nice read on viscosity and thermal break down.

If you go further in to the site it reads like a infomercail for Amsoil... Thanks, but NO info on ZDDP and whats needed for car engines... manufactured prior to 1986


I remember in the '50's when the OHV V-8's became very popular. At the same time, there was a rash of camshaft failures, much like what you hear about today. The auto manufacturers and the oil company chemists got their heads together and decided that XXXX PPM of zinc added to the then current motor oil would solve the problem. It was added and the problem was solved. I don't remember which API rating that started on. Today's motor oils made for modern gasoline engines still contain at least that same amount of zinc that cured the problem many years ago. Again, I don't know what oil API is currently recommended for new cars.

I'd like to tell you I'm an expert. I'm not. I just remember what happened in the 50's. The second part about what was current was published on another board. It was taken off the internet. The article was entitled something like, "motor oil myths". Maybe you can google and find it. I didn't have any luck.
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Old 11th-December-2007, 12:17 PM   #13
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The zinc was reduced in todays oil due to clogging of the cat converters. It wasn't needed at the old levels because todays motors don't run flat tappet cams. RM
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Old 11th-December-2007, 12:23 PM   #14
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I remember a few years ago when this cam failure started to get big, they were blaming it on lifters not being compatible with the lobe. That was when there was some kind of lifter shortage going on and switching suppliers or some crap. Then it became the oil's fault. We had 2 solid lifter cam failures in the same engine on a magazine project--the first was blamed on too much spring pressure(they were supplied by a well known Chevy dealer) the next time it was blamed on break-in procedure(same way as used forever) They were both from the same manufacturer. My trans guy races stock eliminator, he breaks his in with 1.3 rockers and light springs; he lost 13 lobes in about 5 minutes ruining a new engine.
At SEMA a couple years ago I asked Comp reps about the trouble; they act like it was all new to them--didn't know anything about any failures!
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Old 11th-December-2007, 01:25 PM   #15
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What we need is for Delphi to start producing the old solid lifter with the stellite slug in the bottom. They are producing the hyd version, Edelbrock sources them in their Performer cam kits. If a solid was available, we could use oils with only minimal amounts of zinc and not have to worry about cam failures.
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