Lost a couple lobes after oil change.

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by Craig69SSRS, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. gpm6367

    gpm6367 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Definitely a drag...gonna expose my ignorance; how did you tell? What are the symptoms of gradually wiping out a lobe or lobes?

    It concerns me as I like the tappety tap of a FT valve train and ignore engine builders plea to drop compression and go roller as they just don’t sound the same. This 429 SCJ waiting for reinstall is bone stock,11:3-1 compression FT, for street use.

    I too switched from rotella years ago and use the VR1 high zinc 20/50 as i rarely start the cars below 50 degrees and want the extra viscosity for the heat.

    I find topic concerning as I spoke to original owner of my Z28 and he rebuilt the motor in mid 80s. He boosted about the high valve springs pressure he used on the Crane version of Duntov’s 30-30 FT cam. Says it’s good to 8000 rpm. Sounds like a recipe for wearing out a cam. About 15k miles on my motor.
     
  2. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    When I lost 3 lobes both I'm sure I had at least 1 intake and I exhaust (I still have both cams), at WOT eventually I got a pop pop pop from the carb. Before weeks before that, it ran normal for about 42,000 mi. I blame that on using Mobil-1 synthetic oil. When I was at the Sema show in Vegas in the late 90's I asked the Mobil 1 rep whether it was safe to run the oil in my 70 Z28 and 87 Grand Nat'l.

    When I emailed Lake Speed Jr at Joe Gibbs he replied with this:

    The reason you lost 3 cams lobes is that the Mobil 1 10W-30 is an API SM rated oil. The fact that it is a synthetic did not cause the lobe wear. Valve train wear is linked to the additive package. The current API SM oils (any brand) feature lower levels of Zinc and higher levels of detergents for cleaner emissions. These modern API licensed oils do not have the proper levels of Zinc for flat-tappet engines (race or street).

    Our Hot Rod oil has over 50% more Zinc than the current API SM oils, so the Hot Rod oil is the correct oil for all pre-1996 gasoline powered vehicles. The choice of synthetic base oil provides better cold start/dry start protection as well as high temperature stability. The Hot Rod oil also features the US Military spec rust and corrosion protection additive to keep your engine protected while it is in the garage. Modern oils are counting on the engine starting every few days to prevent rust and corrosion. The Hot Rod oil provides additional protection against rust and corrosion while the engine is in storage or the car is garaged.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  3. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    COPO,
    Most of the credible sources on oil agree with you. These older flat tappet cammed engines need that zinc to lubricate them and protect them from failure. Add to that, today's lifters don't seem to be made of as good metals as we had 50 years ago, and failures become more common today.

    The good news is that we have quite a few choices for high zinc oils yet today for our older engines. Today's oils are for today's engines. Yesterday's oils are for yesterday's engines.

    Mobil 1 is a great lubricant but lacks zinc. If Mobil 1 had high zinc it would be great for older engines. Amsoil has a similar synthetic and theirs has high zinc.
     
  4. 76z28

    76z28 Veteran Member

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    Oil that needs zinc is a myth.
    Just buy good oil and it will be just fine.
    I run only mobil 1 and haven't had a lifter failure. The only thing I see are crap lifters and cam hardening issues.
    Rarely is it related to oil.
    There are additives that replaced zinc that are a better lubricant.


    Over the years there has been an overabundance of engine oil myths. Here are some facts you may want to pass along to customers to help debunk the fiction behind these myths.

    The Pennsylvania Crude Myth -- This myth is based on a misapplication of truth. In 1859, the first commercially successful oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania.
    A myth got started before World War II claiming that the only good oils were those made from pure Pennsylvania crude oil. At the time, only minimal refining was used to make engine oil from crude oil. Under these refining conditions, Pennsylvania crude oil made better engine oil than Texas crude or California crude. Today, with modern refining methods, almost any crude can be made into good engine oil.

    Other engine oil myths are based on the notion that the new and the unfamiliar are somehow "bad."

    The Detergent Oil Myth -- The next myth to appear is that modern detergent engine oils are bad for older engines. This one got started after World War II, when the government no longer needed all of the available detergent oil for the war effort, and detergent oil hit the market as �heavy-duty� oil.

    Many pre-war cars had been driven way past their normal life, their engines were full of sludge and deposits, and the piston rings were completely worn out. Massive piston deposits were the only thing standing between merely high oil consumption and horrendous oil consumption. After a thorough purge by the new detergent oil, increased oil consumption was a possible consequence.
    If detergent oils had been available to the public during the war, preventing the massive deposit buildup from occurring in the first place, this myth never would have started. Amazingly, there are still a few people today, 60 years later, who believe that they need to use non-detergent oil in their older cars. Apparently, it takes many years for an oil myth to die.

    The Synthetic Oil Myth -- Then there is the myth that new engine break-in will not occur with synthetic oils. This one was apparently started by an aircraft engine manufacturer who put out a bulletin that said so. The fact is that Mobil 1 synthetic oil has been the factory-fill for many thousands of engines. Clearly, they have broken in quite well, and that should put this one to rest.

    The Starburst Oil Myth -- The latest myth promoted by the antique and collector car press says that new Starburst/ API SM engine oils (called Starburst for the shape of the symbol on the container) are bad for older engines because the amount of anti-wear additive in them has been reduced. The anti-wear additive being discussed is zinc dithiophosphate (ZDP).

    Before debunking this myth, we need to look at the history of ZDP usage. For over 60 years, ZDP has been used as an additive in engine oils to provide wear protection and oxidation stability.

    ZDP was first added to engine oil to control copper/lead bearing corrosion. Oils with a phosphorus level in the 0.03% range passed a corrosion test introduced in 1942.

    In the mid-1950s, when the use of high-lift camshafts increased the potential for scuffing and wear, the phosphorus level contributed by ZDP was increased to the 0.08% range.

    In addition, the industry developed a battery of oil tests (called sequences), two of which were valve-train scuffing and wear tests.

    A higher level of ZDP was good for flat-tappet valve-train scuffing and wear, but it turned out that more was not better. Although break-in scuffing was reduced by using more phosphorus, longer-term wear increased when phosphorus rose above 0.14%. And, at about 0.20% phosphorus, the ZDP started attacking the grain boundaries in the iron, resulting in camshaft spalling.

    By the 1970s, increased antioxidancy was needed to protect the oil in high-load engines, which otherwise could thicken to a point where the engine could no longer pump it. Because ZDP was an inexpensive and effective antioxidant, it was used to place the phosphorus level in the 0.10% range.

    However, phosphorus is a poison for exhaust catalysts. So, ZDP levels have been reduced over the last 10-15 years. It's now down to a maximum of 0.08% for Starburst oils. This was supported by the introduction of modern ashless antioxidants that contain no phosphorus.

    Enough history. Let's get back to the myth that Starburst oils are no good for older engines. The argument put forth is that while these oils work perfectly well in modern, gasoline engines equipped with roller camshafts, they will cause catastrophic wear in older engines equipped with flat-tappet camshafts.

    The facts say otherwise.

    Backward compatability was of great importance when the Starburst oil standards were developed by a group of experts from the OEMs, oil companies, and oil additive companies. In addition, multiple oil and additive companies ran no-harm tests on older engines with the new oils; and no problems were uncovered.

    The new Starburst specification contains two valve-train wear tests. All Starburst oil formulations must pass these two tests.

    - Sequence IVA tests for camshaft scuffing and wear using a single overhead camshaft engine with slider finger (not roller) followers.

    - Sequence IIIG evaluates cam and lifter wear using a V6 engine with a flat-tappet system, similar to those used in the 1980s.

    Those who hold onto the myth are ignoring the fact that the new Starburst oils contain about the same percentage of ZDP as the oils that solved the camshaft scuffing and wear issues back in the 1950s. (True, they do contain less ZDP than the oils that solved the oil thickening issues in the 1960s, but that's because they now contain high levels of ashless antioxidants not commercially available in the 1960s.)
    Despite the pains taken in developing special flat-tappet camshaft wear tests that these new oils must pass and the fact that the ZDP level of these new oils is comparable to the level found necessary to protect flat-tappet camshafts in the past, there will still be those who want to believe the myth that new oils will wear out older engines.
    Like other myths before it, history teaches us that it will probably take 60 or 70 years for this one to die also.

    Special thanks to GM's Techlink
    - Thanks to Bob Olree � GM Powertrain Fuels and Lubricants Group
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  5. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

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    Is this paragraph and view point from you personally, or from the GM's Techlink that the rest of your post is referring to. If so, you say Zinc is a myth, and buy good oil and all is ok? really. What are the add packs that replace Zinc and phosphate, love to hear this, I guess the chemists at Valvoline and Driven and others that incorporate Z/P are just filling the bottles with whatever good oil they can get in bulk and making a fortune.

    In the end, you use what works, be it a 300hp FT street engine or a 50k race engine that needs to win night in night out, and at the hard core race level, you see the BS real fast.
     
  6. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  7. 76z28

    76z28 Veteran Member

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    Those are my words.
    They are in the market to sell you goods, not provide you clear information and if they "do" they are trying to sell you their good by making it sound appealing.
    I do see the myth bs really fast. When you buy chinese parts you get chinese quality. Buy a set of crower edm lifters and a cam from a reputable source and oil wouldn't be a problem. It's hilarious to see all these guys thinking they need ZDDP in their oil when in reality it isn't necessary.
     
  8. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member

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    OK. Let's say you are correct. Is there any inherent harm (other then to my wallet) in using a high ZDDP oil in my flat tappet equipped car?
     
  9. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    If I was going to build another solid lifter LT1 then I'd be installing Howard's lifters that have a laser hole through it for that extra oiling.
     
  10. 76z28

    76z28 Veteran Member

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    Based on research, it depends on the oil. Generally no, there isn't any harm. If you have too much zinc though, you could cause harm.
     

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