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-   1955 To 1957 Little Birds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=61)
-   -   Oil questions (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=16749)

Senate515 03-28-2014 11:36 PM

Oil questions
I recently inherited a 55 with a 292 and can't ask my father the previous owner what oil to use. I've searched around the internet and unfortunately opinions are varying and I just want to ensure that I'm treating it right.

YellowRose 03-29-2014 12:02 AM

Hi Sean, If you check out the Technical Resource Library (TRL) you will find this information regarding oil and oil filters that we use on our Tbirds. Here is that link.


That will take you to that subject. To view the TRL at any time, just look for any post I have made, or click on my user id and it will show you my signature element. At the bottom of it, you will always find the link to the TRL.

simplyconnected 03-29-2014 01:04 AM

Sean, I have a 292 Y-block in our '59 Galaxie. I use Shell Rotella-T 15W-40 oil. Because these engines are flat tappet, they need ZDDP (zinc & phosphorous). 15W-40 has 1,000 parts per million, which is about as much as you can find in any modern oil. High concentrations of ZDDP are usually found in racing oils or oil with '40' or more in the numbers.

Auto parts stores also carry additives that boost ZDDP. You can use the additive with just about any good name-brand oil.

Do a google search for oil that is safe for flat tappet engines. Just about all classic car engines are in the same boat so all the different brand car owners are looking for oil that won't wear out their camshafts.

Our Y-blocks have 'solid lifters' which means we adjust the lash as part of a major tune-up. Hope this helps. - Dave

paul274854 03-29-2014 09:17 PM

You can use any 10/20 or 20/50 oil with no worries as well as the previously mentioned 15/40 Rotella T. All these have enough ZDDP for a Yblock

Do not use any oil marked "For Gasoline Engines Only" This oil is for late model roller engines.

Dan Leavens 03-30-2014 06:38 PM


I have used an oil made by BOSS Lubricants on both the 58 & 60 here in Canada which is very high in Zinc content. Do an oil change every spring before crusin season. I believe I pay $60.00 + tax a carton ( 12 )Don't know if it is distributed outside Canada or not. Worth every penny:D

Senate515 03-31-2014 08:29 PM

Where do you buy the boss
Dan where do you purchase your boss, I'm just up the road in Edmonton. What weight do you use

Senate515 04-01-2014 06:44 PM

Thanks to all
I talked to a salesperson at boss lubricants and they produce a high ZDDP oil specifically for classic cars. However they don't sell it rather it is all wholesale to 3rd parties. But they did call me right back and give me some of the distributors in the area. They are a Canadian company but they do sell in the US

Dan Leavens 04-02-2014 08:31 AM

Sean glad to hear that you hooked up with someone from Boss. Are you a member of the Edmonton TBird Club?? If so they will have info on this oil and IF NOT you can let them know for other members:D

paul274854 04-04-2014 09:23 PM

I just saw in my prior response I said 10/20 -- this should have been 10/40.

You don't have to buy special oils. Ordinary over the counter oils will do. I run Rotella T 15/40 in my 56, have made two trips from NJ to the west coast using this oil plus a lot of other trips to various CTCI conventions and locally. Absolutely no problems using this oil. I also use Rotella in my 312 powered 54 Ford (Newly rebuilt engine) and had no problems.

Same with my other cars with flat tappet cams. I use Castrol 20/50 in my 48 Ford (302 powered, non roller) and have made trips all over the east coast with no adverse effects.

You have to remember - the oils in the 50 and 60's had a lot less ZDDP than the oils we have today, even with reduced amounts, and there was no problems with camshafts back then.

Again, never use in a flat tappet engine those oils which say "For Gasoline Engines Only".

Dakota Boy 04-04-2014 09:32 PM

Brad Penn oil is what I use.

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