Recommended motor oil for `66 122s (B18 with single Weber carb)?
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    1. #1
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      Recommended motor oil for `66 122s (B18 with single Weber carb)?

      Picked up a 122s while I wait for resolution on my 164e insurance claim... cool vehicle, fun as hell to drive!

      Any guidance as to what I should be running in it is appreciated.

      thx
      Ross

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    3. #2
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      sounds nice ross,

      my '79 240 had a single carb. my wife had a tough time dialing in the manual choke but eventually got it after i changed the thermostat to something hotter. it had previously been used exclusively as a summer car.

      in my experience a high mileage oil measurably reduced oil consumption. she used to be thirsty for oil.

      what's the mileage? have you done a compression test?
      '83 245 wagon
      '79 245 wagon
      '90 744 turbo sedan
      '96 850 glt wagon

    4. #3
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      Yeah, I don't really touch the choke so far... starts and runs exactly where it is. Having said that, when I get around to tuning and getting 'optimal' performance out of it that may change.

      Mileage is showing as 50,000 but it's well-used so I doubt that is accurate... the digits have probably come around a few times before. No compression test as of yet... trying to figure on what weight of oil I should be running.

      As I live in Montreal, Canada and they use a ton of salt on the roads here I won't be driving the car in winter - April/May to November/December, hibernation from January to March!

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    6. #4
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      Castrol Magnatec 10W40 A3 B4 Oil

      George Dill

    7. #5
      In my old cars, I run Mobil 1 15w50. Tis oil is a bit on the "heavy" side, especially for up north. But it has high concentrations of the anti-wear additives (that are removed from standard motor oils recently to keep catalysts happy) which help for valvetrain and piston ring wear control. Espscially if you drive ... hard!

    8. #6
      Moderator Phil Singher's Avatar
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      Valvoline All Fleet Plus 15W-40 has everything a flat tappet cam engine needs, and in the right proportions. It's also sold under the NAPA brand as Universal Fleet Plus -- exactly the same stuff for a bit less money (all NAPA oil is Valvoline in a different bottle).

      The Mobil 1 Dimitri recommends is also good stuff, but synthetics tend to be on the spendy side for many people.

      Some people will recommend racing oil. I don't -- those have lots of cam wear prevention additives, but most don't have the detergents or stabilizers needed for regular street driving. They are meant for very short oil change intervals.

      Some people will recommend a ZDDP additive that you add whenever doing an oil change. The problem with that (apart from the added cost) is that too much ZDDP can accelerate wear elsewhere in the engine, although it does protect the cam and lifters. If you don't know how much ZDDP is already in the oil you're using (and modern oils still have some, although at reduced levels), you don't know how much to add.

      Frankly, if your cam and lifters were properly broken in and have some miles on them, oil type is not a big deal. The important thing is to use the same brand and weight consistently, rather than throwing in a quart of whatever the gas station carries. Mixing brands is what causes a bunch of gray sludge to build up in the oil pan (I've seen lots of that).

    9. #7
      Advantage with the synthetics is that you don't have to change them often. In an engine like the B18 that can heat up the oil fast, it is good to have an oil that can take the heat, and in the same time, the heat helps expell moisture and fuel, allowing the oil to last well.

      What parts of the engine can get harmed by too much Zink? I agree that too much of anything cannot be good, but can't think what too much Zink can do, as long as the viscosity is not altered ...

      PS, my 440's only have 5 qts of oil, with displacement 4 times the B18. You put your foot on the floor on this one, and you dump a lot of heat on the oil. The synthetic can certainly help there ...

    10. #8
      Moderator Phil Singher's Avatar
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      Too much ZDDP can erode bearing shells.

    11. #9
      Why? ZDDP is active only when there is metal-metal contact. Bearings operate without contact once the engine starts. Are you suggesting may be that the erossion is between the bearing insert and the cap/block?, not between crank and bearing insert?

      Thanks ...

    12. #10
      Moderator Phil Singher's Avatar
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      I don't know why, but several very experienced engine builders have told me that too much ZDDP can cause problems with bearing shells. That does not mean it's necessarily true. There are an awful lot of myths that are "common knowledge" among mechanics (like the 95% who "know" that light gray or beige spark plugs indicate correct mixture).

      What is true -- and you can find this well documented -- is that anything over 1400 ppm or so does not provide any increase in cam lobe protection. In fact, it starts breaking down the boundary layer of the iron, resulting in more rapid wear, not less. I'm not a metallurgist or a chemist, but my understanding is that ZDDP does combine with the cam lobes as a sacrificial layer -- it's the ZDDP layer that wears instead of the cam, and is constantly replenished by more ZDDP in the oil as it does. Point is, if it combines with the iron of the lobes, it's disturbing the iron of the lobes, so I can imagine that too much could cause accelerated wear.

    13. #11
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      Zink is the name of a pump and burner company in Tulsa, also the name of an Indianapolis racer when I was in college (son of the company's CEO). Zinc is the metal whose compound is the oil additive. There is a difference.

    14. #12
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      there was a guy on a boating forum I frequent, was pouring zinc additive in his B30 (aq170)
      he came to the forum to ask for help because oil pressure was 80psi and then a rod bearing failed

      After coaxing him into telling what brand/weight of oil he was using, a google search showed it had about 850 ppm zinc from the get-go.
      I suspect he zinc'd it to death.
      The moral is..... spend $20 on a sample of whatever you use if concerned about the zinc - see where you're at before dumping additives in

    15. #13
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      Probably right. Worst need for zinc is on a new cam/lifter interface. Once PROPERLY broken in they don't need it nearly as badly.

    16. #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil Singher View Post
      I don't know why, but several very experienced engine builders have told me that too much ZDDP can cause problems with bearing shells. That does not mean it's necessarily true. There are an awful lot of myths that are "common knowledge" among mechanics (like the 95% who "know" that light gray or beige spark plugs indicate correct mixture).

      What is true -- and you can find this well documented -- is that anything over 1400 ppm or so does not provide any increase in cam lobe protection. In fact, it starts breaking down the boundary layer of the iron, resulting in more rapid wear, not less. I'm not a metallurgist or a chemist, but my understanding is that ZDDP does combine with the cam lobes as a sacrificial layer -- it's the ZDDP layer that wears instead of the cam, and is constantly replenished by more ZDDP in the oil as it does. Point is, if it combines with the iron of the lobes, it's disturbing the iron of the lobes, so I can imagine that too much could cause accelerated wear.
      Phil, you are right. There is a chemical reaction with the surface. Normally, the two sliding pairs of steel or iron weld with each other when the oil film brakes down (i.e., cams or piston rings), and that local welding causes the wear. The chemical reaction alters the surface and reduces this welding. The bearings always have a film that prevents contact. Also, the bearing side is none ferous, so the Zink additives do not affect it. I do not know if too much Zink can hurt something in the engine, but I do know that it gets depleted. I think the additive is important even after break in, if you plan to keep your engine a long time. Also, you can probably use more aggressive cam profiles.

      D

    17. #15
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      just curious which oil did you end up going with? and how was it? cant find anything on what kind of oil ppl use, i currently use valvoline racing oil 10w-30 for the zinc

    18. #16
      Member LloydDobler's Avatar
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      My dad and I always ran Castrol GTX 20-50 in B18/B20 cars. Hundreds of thousands of miles and no appreciable wear in the motors we took apart. This was near Portland where it doesn't get particularly cold. I'd use 10-40 farther north.
      2003 C70 T5M Convertible - Eibachs, Koni FSDs, Enkei RSF5s, OBX downpipe, Snabb intake, RIP kit, & drop-in intercooler, Quaife LSD, 19T, Green Giants, 22 psi Hilton tune.
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    19. #17
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      Go to any classic car site and this is always a well discussed topic.

      I have used Castrol GTX 20-50 but as I am in a colder part of the continent I switched to Shell Rotella T Triple protection 15W40. It is very easy to find, I think Walmart even carries it (same with the Castrol). The Rotella T has a high ZDDP content, or at least it did 2 years ago when I got the data from Shell. I understand Brad Penn 20-50 is also popular.
      '65 Dark Knight Amazon

    20. #18
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      Hi Phil;
      Some 45 years ago I heard the stories about the dangers of mixing oil brands. Fourty years ago I had a chem prof tell me that was complete bull****, which he proceeded to (claim to) prove on the blackboard. Since that time my cars really haven't used much oil (or used so much that it really didn't matter), so I've never had the opportunity to experiment. So here's the question: Is the issue of mixing oil brands an old wives' tale, or fact? I'd be interested in anecdotal evidence--but it has to be first-hand! No bull**** about Mama's Uncle Bob's 61 Falcon.

      As far as Rotella goes, I put it in my WWII Ford Army GPWs. Not enough information to provide, however, since I don't think I drove the pair of them more than 10 miles last year.

      Finally, the evidence of the superiority of synthetic oil isn't debatable--it's great stuff. Good heat resistance (longer links, less breakdown under high temperatures), etc. etc. I run it in all my vehicles (except the Jeeps), and particularly like MTL from Redline--MUCH easier shifting than that standard BMW crap.

      Here, however, is my question: What is it that synthetic oil is synthesized from? If not a petroleum product (which, of course, it is), how is it synthetic? Also, what makes it so expensive? The basic ingredients are obviously the same as 'normal' oil. I find it a little hard to believe that the process of increasing the length of the molecular chains involves much more than an added catalyst--hardly justifying the 3-5x price. Maybe I should start a conspiracy theory, along the lines of the 100 mpg carburetor that the US government is keeping JC Whitney from distributing.

    21. #19
      Moderator Phil Singher's Avatar
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      Dan,

      What synthetics are made of, according to the always infallible Wikipedia

      I have a local friend about my age who started off as a Ferrari mechanic when he was 18, and has been working on exotic and semi-exotic cars ever since. About a year ago, he was the one who told me that mixing oil brands could cause sludge in the crankcase -- that was the first I'd heard of that. No idea if that's true or not, although I've seen some incredibly sludgy crankcases.

      I don't advise running synthetic oil in a freshly rebuilt old Volvo engine until it's fully broken in. The first 30 minutes establish the wear pattern on the cam and lifters, and I know we need ample ZDDP during that process. That oil and filter gets changed when that's complete to flush out any micro-particles and assembly lube, so not point wasting expensive synthetic on that. Then it can take a few thousand miles to fully seat the rings -- to the driver, that can feel like the engine is "loosening up," which is not what's happening at all. Once that's done, I'm fine with synthetic.

    22. #20
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      From what I understand, 'synthetic' oil is still a petroleum product--so I consider the name misleading. Perhaps we should re-name it something else, such as "artificially-made chemically modified petroleum lubricant." The alternative, of course, would be less glamorous and more accurate. Personally, I love the stuff, and my BMW 540 Sport has over 70K miles on its Nikasil engine, that was supposed to fail at least 40K miles ago.

      Anyway, enough silliness. It may have been true 50 or 70 years ago when the API didn't have rigorous standards, but I suspect that regulations have pretty much standardized lubricants in the same way that the EPA has standardized fuels--and that the incompatability between the oils of different manufacturers is no longer an issue. That, of course, is the problem with dinosaurs like me, thee and your Ferrari-mechanic friend--our knowledge (while often very, very valuable) is frequently outdated.

      Finally, I completely agree that synthetics are not good break-in oils. Some friction is imperative for parts to 'wear together,' and I understand that the lubricity of synthetics is too good for the process. If you have a different theory for what happens during wear-in, I would appreciate it. (My own theory, based on too much knowledge of surface metrology, is that the contact area between the rings and the cylinder honing increases, making a better seal, at least for conventional steel or iron bores.

      Dan

    23. #21
      Moderator Phil Singher's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dcthompson View Post
      My own theory, based on too much knowledge of surface metrology, is that the contact area between the rings and the cylinder honing increases, making a better seal, at least for conventional steel or iron bores.
      Exactly. The final hone of the cylinder bores intentionally leaves a bit of "tooth" -- how much depends on what material the rings are made of; some want a finer hone than others -- and so the contact area increases as the rings remove much of that.

    24. #22
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      Synthetic oil today isn't worth the extra money IMHO. Think about it. Semis are running 1,000,000 miles on regular oils.
      It's not like it uncommon today to see cars and pickups with over 200,000 miles still running fine on regular oil. (hell while looking at Subarbans I found some with 300,00 plus)

      You all can spend the money on it if it makes you sleep better at night but you're really going to have to sharpen your pencil to show any savings with.

      "Oh it gives better MPG" Yeah right what ever figure out the fuel savings (if you can find it) and then add in the cost of the oil.

      Now if your running semis and use a bypass filter like an OPS system where your running the oil for 250,000 miles between changes then a little gain if mpg can pay off.

      Oh my Volvo gets Napa 15-40. I like the guys at NAPA otherwise it might get Rottela.

      Point is worring much about motor oil todays is a waste of your time. Worry about something else.

    25. #23
      Member LloydDobler's Avatar
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      The only real justification I've seen for synthetic is on turbocharged cars, it resists coking and break down from the high turbo temperatures better than conventional. Turbos used to only last 50k miles. Then they figured out water cooling, extended that to over 100k. Synthetic oil means turbos now last the life of the motor, well into 200k territory.
      2003 C70 T5M Convertible - Eibachs, Koni FSDs, Enkei RSF5s, OBX downpipe, Snabb intake, RIP kit, & drop-in intercooler, Quaife LSD, 19T, Green Giants, 22 psi Hilton tune.
      2006 V70R M66 - Sonic Blue/Nordkap, 2.4 T5 motor, Snabb intake & intercooler, IPD oval exhaust, stock turbo and tune (for now).
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    26. #24
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      I had a Saab with a turbo that got only synthetic oil and it hummed along happily for 175k miles until the head gasket blew (turbo was still fine). The Amazon gets conventional Castrol 20W50 and an oil change every 3k miles.

    27. #25
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      Yeah there is something to synthetics with turbos and when it's bellow zero the stuff flows better.
      It's not cold here and I don't own anything with a turbo.

    28. #26
      The B18/B20's have very large bearings, and if you run them hard, the oil temperature will get very high (unless you have the optional oil cooler). The synthetic will help you there.

      I also have two Chrysler 440s, 7.2 liters, ~350 and 400 hp. These have only 5 quarts of oil. If you drive these hard, the oil will get very hot in a hurry. Its good to have synthetics in there too.

      The synthetic will also give you better protection on the rings/cylinder and camshaft, especially in the high viscosity. Now, how big the benefit will be, hard to tell. But given that you don't have to do oil changes any more (they all leak to some extend or another!), it may be worth the cost.

    29. #27
      The B18/B20's have very large bearings, and if you run them hard, the oil temperature will get very high (unless you have the optional oil cooler). The synthetic will help you there.

      I also have two Chrysler 440s, 7.2 liters, ~350 and 400 hp. These have only 5 quarts of oil. If you drive these hard, the oil will get very hot in a hurry. Its good to have synthetics in there too.

      The synthetic will also give you better protection on the rings/cylinder and camshaft, especially in the high viscosity. Now, how big the benefit will be, hard to tell. But given that you don't have to do oil changes any more (they all leak to some extend or another!), it may be worth the cost.

    30. #28
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      My thought is use the best oil you can get. I remember those ads from the 60's and 70's " pay me now or pay me later" .
      I use the Mobil 1 15w50, it has sufficient levels of zddp. I believe there is a castrol equivalent as well.

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij1yDpfZI8Q

      I'm not endorsing Fram, I use purolator "Pure One" filters
      Last edited by craig300; 01-24-2015 at 12:20 AM.

    31. #29
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      As I recall from my last B18 (1984), the Volvo oil filter is fitted with a check valve, and others (Fram, Purolator, etc.) are not. The result is that with the Volvo oil filter the engine builds up oil pressure almost instantaneously, the others not, as they refill the oil filter. This effect can be noticed as the oil light (or gauge) shows a delay in coming up to pressure. I don't know if this is anything to be concerned about (probably not), but as a consequence I switched to buying Volvo oil fllters by the case.

    32. #30
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      440 Chryslers yeah I've owned a few my dad had a few including one in a Winnebago. They all had 100,000 plus miles on conventional motor oil.
      Last one I had in a 73 Power Wagon for 22 years ran on 15 40 Rotella. I'd start that thing way bellow zero never plugged to plow snow.

    33. #31
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      440 Chryslers yeah I've owned a few my dad had a few including one in a Winnebago. They all had 100,000 plus miles on conventional motor oil.
      Last one I had in a 73 Power Wagon for 22 years ran on 15 40 Rotella. I'd start that thing way bellow zero never plugged to plow snow.

    34. #32
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      Engine Oil

      Quote Originally Posted by Phil Singher View Post
      Valvoline All Fleet Plus 15W-40 has everything a flat tappet cam engine needs, and in the right proportions. It's also sold under the NAPA brand as Universal Fleet Plus -- exactly the same stuff for a bit less money (all NAPA oil is Valvoline in a different bottle).

      The Mobil 1 Dimitri recommends is also good stuff, but synthetics tend to be on the spendy side for many people.

      Some people will recommend racing oil. I don't -- those have lots of cam wear prevention additives, but most don't have the detergents or stabilizers needed for regular street driving. They are meant for very short oil change intervals.

      Some people will recommend a ZDDP additive that you add whenever doing an oil change. The problem with that (apart from the added cost) is that too much ZDDP can accelerate wear elsewhere in the engine, although it does protect the cam and lifters. If you don't know how much ZDDP is already in the oil you're using (and modern oils still have some, although at reduced levels), you don't know how much to add.

      Frankly, if your cam and lifters were properly broken in and have some miles on them, oil type is not a big deal. The important thing is to use the same brand and weight consistently, rather than throwing in a quart of whatever the gas station carries. Mixing brands is what causes a bunch of gray sludge to build up in the oil pan (I've seen lots of that).
      The tutorials at the ZDDP website are informative, realizing they recommend their product added in with a 'standard' oil. Another takeaway is use of SHELL Rotella for diesel engines, though high in zinc content, its high detergent content may not be good for gasoline engines. Read the spec sheets to figure how much zinc you will have, as too much can be detrimental. Seems some good choices are LUCAS Hot Rod oil, Classic Car Motor Oil, HEMMINGS, and others, that are specifically formulated for older, pre-catalytic, flat tappet cars that need the extra zinc.

    35. #33
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      Well, I woud stay away from FRAM oil filters after seeing the youTube cut-up comparison of filters. Only good thing about the FRAM is the rubber anti-slip coating on the can! NAPA Gold filters showed to be well made.

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