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Engine oil lacking ZDDP?

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by Mike Shull, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Mike Shull

    Mike Shull New Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado.
    Take a look at this artical and product.

    I found it after having a cam go flat in my Chevy V8 last weekend.

    P.S. I know there has be talk of this on mud before...and I never belived it till now.

    ______________________________________________________
    After having a cam go flat, I found out that this product was mandated by the EPA to be removed from most domestic engine oil. A product that engine builders say older non roller lifter cam engines need in order to stay lubricated properly.

    The cost for the additive is about $10 per 4-5 quarts of engine oil...a cost much lower than upgrading to a 600.00 hydraulic roller cam.
    ______________________________________________________
    http://www.macysgarage.com/myweb6/ZDDP.htm

    ZDDP.jpg
  2. cjgoode

    cjgoode New Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Location:
    New Smyrna Beach FL
    How many people here add lead to their gas? Seems like the same thing, everyone said old engines would all be ruined by lead free gas, valves would burn up, rings fail etc. There were new valves and additives back then also. Seems like a lot of these old engines are doing OK on lead free gas, I would have to assume will also do fine without this in the oil.
  3. GarageRat

    GarageRat New Member

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Colorado
    It does increase wear, especially with flat tappet cams. It will wear down the lobes. Rollers are slightly more forgiving. The leaded engines can have issues with unleaded, that's why we now run hardened valve seats in the head since the lack of lead can cause the seats to get hammered. It's just like the switch to low-sulfur diesel fuel and the effects it's having on some older diesels (from what I've heard). Does it happen to all of them? No. Does it happen? Yes.

    Run Rotella-T diesel oil in the same viscosity as before, it has the additives you need since it's meant for heavy duty trucks. Have run it since this change occurred on advice of a drag racing buddy and never had issues with a hydraulic-flat tappet and a solid roller.
  4. Splangy

    Splangy SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,135
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Well geez, if you "assume" so than it must be true!
  5. morrison

    morrison Regular Member

    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Billings, Montana
    you do need zinc

    If you're breaking in a new flat tappet (non-roller) cam either hydraulic or solid lifters, you really must put an additive in. Even Rotella doesn't have as much zinc as it used to. The hot-rod guys know a lot about this, go read a bit on their site:
    diesel oil

    I put a 1/2 bottle in every oil change. It's cheap insurance
  6. GarageRat

    GarageRat New Member

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Colorado
    Cam break in can destroy a flat tappet cam if it isn't done correctly, it's absolutely crucial. Usually I use a liberal amount of engine assembly lube or Crane moly paste (RIP Crane) when replacing a cam. Crap I hadn't heard much about the decreased amounts in Rotella, I started using that in 2004 or so and we bought tons of it (we keep 7 projects going, no such thing as too much oil). Guess I'll have to start using the stockpile of GM EOS as well. Generally the rodders are on top of this stuff, I just took it for granted and hadn't read anything in the usual mags (almost all of the street rod and muscle car, as well as a few of the 4x4 titles). Thanks for the heads up :cheers:
  7. EWheeler

    EWheeler New Member

    Messages:
    540
    Location:
    N. Van, BC / WA
    I am engine stupid so please forgive me, but will this affect the stock F-series motors? Should we all be adding ZDDP to our oil? I have read good things about the Rotella oil and have used it in my cruiser since I purchased it, but from what I just read on the posted link, it sounds like they have had to decrease their zinc content.
  8. Mike Shull

    Mike Shull New Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado.
    I had a manager that would say "One must never assume."

    I am living proof that this could happen.
  9. Mike Shull

    Mike Shull New Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado.
    EWheeler, If you are using Rotella you should be fine. You want to look for Zinc and Psophorus products in your oil...or the ZDDP additive...most heavy duty truck oil has it and off highway use oil. (Racing)

    It's a rumor that the levels of oil that still have ZDDP added have been decreased...so it might not be a bad idea to add some extra ZDDP to be safe.

    P.S. Thanks for the help this weekend.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  10. grant5127

    grant5127 New Member

    Messages:
    5,021
    Location:
    Meridian,TEXAS
    Old News.......

    Where have you folks been?
  11. GarageRat

    GarageRat New Member

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Colorado
    I'd heard about this when it first happened, it was in almost every magazine I received at the time, was just trying to help out anyone that didn't know :meh:

    By the way, sorry you found out the hard way Mike.

  12. dgangle

    dgangle total rice SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,006
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    right from Shell, circa 2007

    - Frequently Asked Questions type in "zinc" and read the burbage on "Is Shell Rotella? T motor oil going to have less zinc in 2007?"
  13. amaurer

    amaurer SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,333
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    If you want more zinc, another option is Valvoline's VR-1 oils - it claims to have extra zinc, and if you google there is plenty of oil analysis results that show it to indeed be zinc-y.

    http://forums.rennlist.com/rennforu...il-analysis-of-valvoline-vr-1-racing-oil.html

    I run this in my diesel, simply because its the only 20W-50 oil with a diesel rating that can be found at major auto parts stores. But I guess th zinc is nice too.
  14. FJforty

    FJforty New Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Spokane,Wa
    My 2 cents. Zinc is important for gear meshing and syncros in a manual transmission where there are high metal to metal surface pressures and no oil pressure. A modern engine runs on oil pressure and there is very little metal on metal contact. The rodders I have talked to say no zinc at break in or your rings won't seat. If I was going to do anything I would run a little zinc in my gear box and something slippery in my engine(slick50) after a 3000 mile break in.
  15. FJ40Jim

    FJ40Jim The Pompatus of Cruisers SILVER Star

    Messages:
    7,738
    Location:
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    The newest diesel oils have no metal anti-wear additives, just like spark oil. Note that a few years ago diesel oil was rated CH/SJ, indicating that it would only pass the SJ spark engine standard, due to the high metal loading.

    Current diesel engines have catalyst, therefore cannot handle any metal in the exhaust, just like spark engines. New diesel oil all says CI/SM. Cheap oil cannot be SL or SM and have any useful anti-scuff additive. There are hyper expensive synthetic oils that have long life scuff additive for current diesel, but a 9 quart oil change at $8/litre is more expensive than the MOS/ZDDP additive from the parts store.

    Sucks that we have to pay $10 for what we used to get for free.
  16. Mike Shull

    Mike Shull New Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado.
    Colorado.
  17. ken_79-fj40

    ken_79-fj40 New Member

    Messages:
    1,202
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    When I got my camshaft and lifters reground by Delta last spring I did a bit of reading about this. I've been using the trick flow zddp oil additive (actually I hear it's made by redline) in the engine, which is specifically for flat tappet cams. Hopefully it will do the trick. I've only put around 1000 miles on the new engine so far.
  18. GarageRat

    GarageRat New Member

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Colorado
    I've never had issues with rings not seating properly with the motors I've built though usually I use good quality conventional oil with moly assembly lube wherever it's needed, I avoid the diesel oil until it's broken in.

    However, hydraulic and solid flat tappet camshafts both rely on high spring pressures forcing the lifter onto the cam with nothing to reduce the friction as it's literally a piece of steel sliding on another piece of steel. This is exactly what you say zinc helps with. This is also why when you run cam for break in you have to run reduced spring pressures so that you don't wipe the lobes. On every motor I've built I've put a small oil groove in the lifter bores to help get as much oil to the cam as possible, you just have to make sure you don't have to much oil restriction in the galleries if you do this.

    The pressures exerted between the cam and lifter are high enough to push the oil out of the way (around 200,000 psi even on street vehicles if memory serves me right). The zinc additive in the oil provides a sacrificial barrier on the cam. The whole reason it's been reduced in modern oils is because, as mentioned earlier, it reacts poorly with the cats and O2 sensors in modern cars and there's less benefit as hydraulic roller cams are what's used from the factory now.

    Anyways, anyone that wants to look into this stuff more can do a quick search on google or any car forums. It's a super common topic and very well known.

    Personally, I like to run solid rollers anyway but I'm old fashioned and don't mind the trade offs...
  19. FJforty

    FJforty New Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Spokane,Wa
    Yea. Your right, I see the cam as an issue for metal on metal. I also use good assembly lube on the cam. The duty cycle of the lifter/cam rubbing is fairly low and spead out across their faces. I am thinking about heat generated between the two. I don't know. I haven't tried zinc in a rebuild because of the ring break in issue I was told about. I usually just do what has worked in the past because there is so much money and labor on the line. Haven't scewed up a rebuild yet. Probably 0-20
  20. GarageRat

    GarageRat New Member

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Colorado
    If it works then I wouldn't change anything right after a rebuild, sucks to rebuild something twice (threw a blower belt on a 396 BBC...that was fun).
    The main issue on the cam is especially focused on the higher performance flat tappets with more aggresive profiles and faster lift rates as there is a ton of load in a short amount of time (relatively speaking), I've had good results with the diesel oils when we swap in more aggressive hyd-flat tappet cams specifically to add any protection possible. Roller cams are getting cheaper everyday though so I can see this becoming less of an issue over time, especially for the small block guys who can use the later roller lifters with relative ease. I won't be as worried with my latest batch of motors since they're all rollers so the friction issues involving the requirement for more zinc are basically gone.

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