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Been reading through old post on types of oils to use for high mileage Alfas. Looks like there hasn't been a fresh string on this topic in awhile, so thought I'd start one.

I've most recently been using 15W-40 Rotella because of the high zinc/ZDDP to make valves happy, etc. I also tend to use lighter weight (15-40 instead of 20-50) to save on start-up wear.

My question is this: Is the conventional wisdom still that high zinc/zddp is important? If so, is Rotella still a good oil for achieving that or has it been re-formulated?

Not looking for a synth vs. dino analysis. I will be using dino until I do a rebuild.

Thanks!
 

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The rotella doesn't have as much zinc as it use to because diesels have had cat's on them since 03. I use brad penn oil. Which is basically the old Kendell GT1 green oil. You can get it at most performance parts places. Also amazon sells it and if you have amazon prime you get it in 2 days free. I use it in my diesel truck, my alfas and all my customers antique boat engines.

Link is to the brad penn website

Welcome!
 

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It may be more economical and at least as good to stay with Rotella and add a quart of Rislone Oil Supplement with Zinc treatment. That is what is in my Alfa's.
 

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Yes, a well-covered topic that seems to be constantly changing due to reformulations of common oils so it keeps coming up.

I have a number of cars from 1930's side-valve straight 8's to my '91 Spider that have flat tappet valves and take fairly high viscosity oils. I've used Castrol 20-50 and SL grade Rotella 15-40, only to find that new formulations of both have less anti-wear additives than they once did. Rather than using zinc/phospate additives I keep looking the next "best oil" to use.

If money is less important, Penrite oils made in Australia and distributed in the US, have something made for practically any engine ever made. For the Alfa twin cam, one of these synthetics that have 1800 ppm zinc/phospate would probably be ideal depending upon climate:
The 10 Tenths Premium Range

But it's a hassle to order oil and have it shipped, so lately I've been using Mobil 1 15-50 (which is said to have 1100-1200 ppm zinc/phospate) and I think is currently the best widely available oil with good anti-wear properties. Walmart is carrying it again in 5 gallon jugs which is probably the best price you can find. I haven't had any issues switching to a synthetic oil in any of my cars.
 

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It may be more economical and at least as good to stay with Rotella and add a quart of Rislone Oil Supplement with Zinc treatment. That is what is in my Alfa's.
That's what I'm doing with my new motor, Ed. The Rislone sddp supplement is from a reputable company and is available at Pep Boys. IMHO, it's just good insurance. For break-in oil, I bought some generic non-detergent 30wt and combined it with Rislone sddp and lots of assembly-lube on the cams and followers. Later this week, when I do the oil change, I'll use Valvolene VR1 race oil which has appropriate amounts of zddp added.

The zddp/less zddp issue appears to be "settled science" (sorry couldn't resist that) now that oil companies have begun offering specific "old car" oil with higher amounts of zddp. If it was my car, I'd use one of those. They're now available at parts houses and don't cost more than non-zddp oil. Alternatively, you can use Rotella, GTX, or something else and just add a bottle of Rislone zddp additive. Note: be sure the Rislone container specifically says it has zddp added. Rislone also sell other oil treatment products which don't add zddp.

As for the depate itself, nobody in the industry really cares about these old cars. They are just selling to a market that wants high zddp oil.
 

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I used Brad Penn 20/50 in my old Giulia 1600 and oil press is up, for years it had green Kendall GT until it was NLA.
Now cold oil press is almost scary hi, I'd estimate 75, once hot 55
 

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Valvoline 20-50 racing oil. Valvoline has their specs on line after digging thru it seemed to make sense and available at my local auto store. However ask two alfa owners about which oil to use - get 4 opinions.
 

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What would be really interesting is for each oil used get a free sample bottle from Blackstone labs and send it to them with 25 bucks and get a report back with a list as long as your arm of whats in it. All the way from silicone to assess the efficiency of air filtration to wear elements and compare results. That would be an interesting spreadsheet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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It may be more economical and at least as good to stay with Rotella and add a quart of Rislone Oil Supplement with Zinc treatment. That is what is in my Alfa's.
At that stage where I need to put in fresh oil. Have been looking at Castrol's high-mileage and adding 1 x 375ml Rislone ZDDP additive.

Question, did the additive work for you in your case?

In your opinion: Will the additive be ok with Castrol's high-mileage 20w50 oil?

Thanks

Ed
 

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Valvoline 20-50 racing oil. Valvoline has their specs on line after digging thru it seemed to make sense and available at my local auto store. However ask two alfa owners about which oil to use - get 4 opinions.
racing oils seldom makes a good street oils for normal use because they lack the additive package for long term , wide temp range and detergents. stick with a good quality street oil and you will be far better served... unless of course you are racing your street car and changing the oil every 200 miles or so...
 

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What if Valvoline is just calling it "racing oil" to market oil with high zddp? I'll look at the bottle again, but when I researched oil for my TR6, this seemed like normal oil but with a higher level of zddp.
 

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What if Valvoline is just calling it "racing oil" to market oil with high zddp? I'll look at the bottle again, but when I researched oil for my TR6, this seemed like normal oil but with a higher level of zddp.
so... you think this is a " wink wink " marketing campaign to circumvent emmissions standards ... sort of like what is about to cost vw a billion $ ?
 

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Well, no, that can't be the analogy, as we know that the Valvoline r. oil has the zddp, and that's why we buy it. What is the definition of Racing oil, anyway? No additives?
 

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so... you think this is a " wink wink " marketing campaign to circumvent emmissions standards ... sort of like what is about to cost vw a billion $ ?
Fortunately, I own of those VWs. 33 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. I hope they NEVER fix NOX issue.

Back on topic:

I use the Mobile 15w50 and don't see an issue an issue on the tappet buckets since the rebuild. Approximately 10,000 miles... only. I too wish someone had a definitive answer to this questions.
 

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Racing oils contain anti-foam additives in place of detergent additives. Usually a dispercent.
 

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Just to throw another wrench in the thread, I own vintage BMW's (along with the 2 Spider's), and many in that world swear by the German-made LiquiMoly synthetic oils. The Porsche guys seem to love it, too. Last year I bought a gray-market '85 635 CSi, and the previous owner was a fanatical LiquiMoly user. I hadn't been aware of this oil, so when I pulled the dipstick I was shocked to see what looked like oil that had been in the crankcase for 20 years. Dark gray, with an almost metallic sheen to it. That's what it's supposed to look like, as there are MoS2 particles suspended in the oil. The oil gets lots of great reviews, can't seem to find any negative ones, and the engine runs like a Swiss watch. Still not sure how to feel about this oil, or what to do about oil for this car in the future, since I've been a diehard Mobil 1 user since th early '80's. It would probably take several oil changes just to flush out the MoS2 and get nice, clean-looking oil, and I'm not sure I want to do that, either.

Amazon.com: Liqui Moly 2043 MoS2 Anti-Friction 10W-40 Motor Oil - 5 Liter Bottle: Automotive
 

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I have not found MoS2 does any harm. I use it my assembly paste, and have for years. LOTS will pulg oil filters, so you want to avoid that. Further it does work into the surface of many metals. Check a military rifle where it was used in specific areas, and you will note it no longer washes or rubs off. In bearing shells, too much will give lumpy deposits which is NOT good, but used in moderation, MoS2 is a non issue.
Teflon on the other hand is HORRIBLE! Forget anything with a teflon additive.
 

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This is a bit off topic Grazie. Did you intend to post it here?
 
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