Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
member
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I did a search for oil weights, and I found a few references to 20 w 50 and 10w40 oil for 29 spider engines. I went to several autoparts, as well as searching online, and when it comes to synthic oils, there is only high mileage in 10-40, and nothing like 20-50. my engine is rebuild, and has a little more than 1000 miles, so high mileage does not make sense. I really prefer castrol oil, been using it for years, but it seems they do not sell this weight. so, my question is, what are you guys doing? I feel that syn oil is the way to go, but I would have to use like 5-30 or something similar. or am I crazy...thanks guys.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,456 Posts
You avatar hints that your location is the USA. (you can up date that by clicking on your mini avatar (top right) and going to 'my profile') Anyway, 20w-50 should not be hard to find in the USA. I've seen it in Walmart and every auto parts store I've been to. 20w-50 full synthetic may not be available but it is not needed. 3,000 - 5,000 mile oil change intervals with non-synthetic oil makes the most sense to me. If you use a full synthetic the only that makes economic sense is to use 10,000 mile or greater oil change intervals. For many of us that could be 2+ years of driving.

Personally, I use Shell Rotella 15w-40 (non-synthetic) in all my old cars with 5,000 mile oil change intervals (typically twice a year). It is a diesel oil but also fine for gas engines. The advantage is that is inexpensive and readily available. Since I also use it in my F250 Powerstroke (4 gallons/oil change!) I only need to keep one type of oil 'on the shelf'. The disadvantage is that the manufacturers are reducing the levels of the zinc compounds our engines need. Some of the 'high-mileage' oils might still have the required zinc levels. I suspect that the full synthetics may not have the zinc levels our engines need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
I just took delivery of a 1974 2000 spider. Actually I drove it home about 200 miles. The oil pressure on the way home got really scary. Bottom of the scale at idle. When I got home and started to go through the files on the maintenance I discovered they some yahoo put 5 w30 in the engine. (the Po used some stupid "oil can Charlie" shop to do oil changes. Though I am happy he kept records. I thought I had a major problem) These engines are not designed to use this stuff. I've always used 20 w50 with good results. I'm using Castrol GTX from Walmart of all places. I'm going to add a little ZDDP to the mix just to be sure. Turns out if you empty the gallies under the cams the engine really does take 7 qts. I use to buy Mobil 1 there (Wally World) in 20 W50 weight but they don't seem to have it any more. They've gone to those crazy 0 w30, 5 w30, and those other really scary grades.

To answer you concern, I'd stick with 20 w50 and let the engine warm up a little before you go out and see if you can pick up a couple more speeding tickets. :sneaky:

(Little) Washington, NC Incorporated 1776
Red 1959 Spider Conrero Veloce 100,000 miles
sold 1966 ( I had no idea what I had there.)
Red 1967 Spider 100,000 miles sold 1974
Red 1987 Milano 100,000 miles sold 1994
Red 1969 Spider 109,000 Miles in the garage, Sold
Dark Blue 1974 Spider (arriving soon)

We need a law, one that says every male gets a 10 car garage on his 16th birthday so that when he is 60 years old he will never have to say "**** I wish I had never sold that car".
(No, I did not put those "****" up there the system did... )

Question: Do they really make Alfas in any other color then red?
Answer: Well they really do. I fell in love with a Dark Blue Spider on BAT.
I have not done over to the dark side, only the Blue side.
It took me 50 years to see the light..:x
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,196 Posts
Newer cars take thinner oils for the most part. My local CarQuest, before it went out of business, failed to stock 20W/50 but the O'Reilly's a few miles away has it. Only in the O'Reilly brand though.
Andrew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,857 Posts
I use Pennzoil 20-50 for the last several years based on the recommendation of my Alfa mechanic.

Just curious, anyone use STP 20-50? They sell that at AutoZone near my house here.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
The weight of oil you need depends a lot on what your oil pump is designed for and bearing clearances on your reciprocating masses. Stock your engine wants 20-50 of a high zinc concentration. As SloppyJoe says, they come no better than Valvoline VR 20/50.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,456 Posts
I just took delivery of a 1974 2000 spider. Actually I drove it home about 200 miles. The oil pressure on the way home got really scary. Bottom of the scale at idle.
IME, the Alfa gauges are more a general indicator of what might be rather than a definitive measurement. The oil pressure needle will tend to hover near the bottom of the scale at idle with warm oil. But if you put an accurate mechanical gauge on it I'd bet a large sum of your money that it is actually about 20psi.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,415 Posts
The GTV6 I just bought has 179k miles on it and is still going strong. Looking at the records it has been fed a steady diet of 20W/50 over the years. But it lives in SoCal where it's always warm.

I went with Mobil 1 0W-40 for better cold starts, and I still have plenty of pressure hot. But I will likely go back to 20W-50 in the spring. I won't drive it enough to even get 3k before a change.

FWIW Tom Sahines recommends Kendall 20W-50 with liquid titanium, a zinc replacement. I can also find Castrol 20W-50 locally and Mobil One makes 15W-50 which should work great in a new engine.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,153 Posts
The need for zinc is greater if you are running high ramp rate cams and strong springs. Like ghnl I use Rotella T 15W40 and I add a bottle of Rislone engine treatment with ZDDP. I have had no problems with the motor that has racing cams and springs.

Interestingly my Jag was originally spec'd for 5W20 but they issued a TSB that changed it to 0W20. Something to do with cam chain tensioner wear during engine warmup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,775 Posts
I use Mobile 1 15w-50. It's available at every parts store I've been in recently, and wally-world too.

I just took delivery of a 1974 2000 spider. Actually I drove it home about 200 miles. The oil pressure on the way home got really scary. Bottom of the scale at idle.
This is so common it should be considered "normal". The gauge senders deteriorate over time and read low. As long as the warning light doesn't come on you're probably fine - the light uses a different sender. As Eric mentioned, test it with a mechanical gauge and you'll likely find it to read as it should.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,153 Posts
It is true that the senders may not be accurate but it is not a good idea to assume that. The warning switch operates at very low pressure. If that comes and the engine is running then you really are in doodoo or the switch is toast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Penrite 20/50 has the right zinc content

I fitted a mechanical gauge, I just did not trust the electric one before my 3000 mile round trip to Italy.
oilpressure.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
That oil has 2100ppm of Zinc, isnt that too high? I seem to recall reading that to much zinc can cause spalling and pitting of bearing surfaces. maybe someone with more knowledge can enlighten me.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top