Since the 1960's, I've used my 'special concoction' for building engines. It's no secret recipe but a heavy mixture of name brand 10W-30 and STP.
The idea behind it is twofold. All the parts need lubrication but some parts do better with thin oil (like pistons) and other areas need lubrication that will stick and not drain off.
STP is high in ZDDP but they won't reveal the numbers. I called them but they wouldn't budge. This is typical with oil companies. Flat tappets need zinc and phosphorus, engine oil from the past had plenty of this 'last ditch' protection. Modern motor oils with 40 or more in their numbers have around 1,200-PPM ZDDP. For that reason, I use Shell Rotella 15W-40 with NO other additive. Rotella is primarily a diesel lubricant for severe service but it also works well in classic engines.
Funny thing is, it's easier to know if your oil ISN'T protecting because your lifters and cam will tell you when they fail. I recently built a 351W for Brian Wheeler. The cam and lifters I removed were shot. Lifters were dished and the cam was worn past the heat treat. Other parts of the engine didn't look so bad. Regardless, I had the block totally machined and replaced the heads and intake with Edelbrock aluminum. We used a Comp Cams hydraulic roller assembly to eliminate the ZDDP requirement. - Dave
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