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Old 07-11-2013, 04:27 AM
Rock&Roll Firebird Rock&Roll Firebird is offline
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Default Motor oil evaluation request

Hello guys,

I just bough a motor oil for exchange for my '59 TBird. I was advised that this should be a mineral oil suitable for the car. The only thing on the oil that is kind of strange to me is that it's totally transparent - colorless. Attaching a bottle pic. Can you please check if this will work with the car? Thank you.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:02 AM
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Dakota Boy Dakota Boy is offline
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Save the Castrol GTX for your newer vehicles.

Use an oil with plenty of zinc for your old engine.

I like Brad Penn oil.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:31 AM
Rock&Roll Firebird Rock&Roll Firebird is offline
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Does it mean that this oil is not suitable at all? Not even for one year?
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:18 AM
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jopizz jopizz is offline
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If you've already put it in you can add a qt. of STP oil treatment. That will give you some zinc protection. Quaker State Defy motor oil also has elevated zinc levels.

John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator
1959 Convertible

Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695

Last edited by jopizz : 07-11-2013 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:37 PM
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yellow98cobra yellow98cobra is offline
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Default Synthetic blend?

Brad Penn oil is a synthetic blend. I have been told that synthetic oil's and older high mileage engine's were not a good combo, any thoughts?
Originally Posted by Dakota Boy View Post
Save the Castrol GTX for your newer vehicles.

Use an oil with plenty of zinc for your old engine.

I like Brad Penn oil.
1960 Thunderbird HT
Data plt# 63A Z 56 15 H 3 4
There are 4 pictures of her here, plus a couple of my namesake.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:21 PM
RustyNCa RustyNCa is offline
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Valvoline Racing or Renegade Racing Oil is what I have been running. Both are supposed to have zinc.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:45 PM
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DKheld DKheld is offline
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I'm sure I'll get thrown under the bus (I'm starting to like it under there) but here goes.......

Flat tappet engines (like our Tbird's) have extreme pressures between the tappet (lifter) and the cam. So years ago manufactures used zinc (one of many additives) to reduce wear.

Along comes emission standards. Zinc ruins catalytic converters (which our Tbird's don't have) so oil manufactures started eliminating the zinc to preserve the converters. Diesel spec'ed oils used to contain more zinc but now that is on its way out because newer diesels have catalytic converters. Since we don't have catalytic converters on our Tbird's - the reduction in zinc didn't matter for engines that were already broken in. (or it shouldn't have mattered because of all the other anti wear additives).

So what do you do about your oil now that it doesn't have any (or very little) zinc?

.....Use additives like Lucas or similar products that replace the zinc. The type/brand of oil is not so important as long as it's certified for gasoline (or diesel) engines by the API (JMHO and a few others). There is a specific amount of zinc to have in your oil - too much or too little is "supposedly" not good. think the magic number was around 1200ppm. Thought the new formula of STP had eliminated the zinc but I'll have to check on that.

.....Most motorcycle oil still has zinc. You can use it or mix with standard motor oil to obtain the old zinc levels. Motorcyle oil = $$$

.....My personal favorite (and the one that will put me under the bus) - don't worry with it (AFTER INITIAL BREAK-IN). I do use Lucas additive for my initial break in but then just a good standard motor oil or synthetic blend after the first oil change. I prefer Castrol, Penzoil and Mobil.

There has been a ton of discussion about this on another forum I belong to. The engines for those cars are also flat tappet style engines but we turn 6000 rpm at highway speeds so the engines are really working. The "guru" of those type engines uses this same basic philosophy and has tons of miles on engines to back up his findings (some over 250K).

This is a really good article about what may have caused the cam wear and flat tappet scare. (edit - oh and this article is a few years old so you can't go by the zinc levels given in the charts)

And here is an article from my other forum - he also refers to the same article.

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Old 07-12-2013, 12:37 AM
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The MG tech article is dead-on.

But...for piece of mind and cheap insurance (and BRAD-PENN difficult to find locally), this product added to any modern quality motor oil will prevent most any problem (especially with a high load performance camshaft).

The refining industry has by-passed older engine technology and their present products most likely are lacking what an older engine needs no matter what they try to tell you.

You need at the minimum 1300PPM.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:26 PM
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Dan Leavens Dan Leavens is offline
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Gary / Eric both great replies on this thread as for sure the " old girls " DO NEED ZINC. In Canada we have a brand called Boss Lubricants that makes a special oil with high zinc levels and I have used for about three (3) years. I buy a case every year for my two (2) birds ( I think it is $75.00 a case ) and make sure both the 58 & 60 have an oil change in the spring. It takes 4.5 litres per bird but a good flush and pour works wonders and keep the engine purring Looks like an inexpensive value for the price it would be to get the motor redone
Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
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