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Richard Jemison
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With the removal of Zink from most modern oils, and the problems that causes in Alfas and any car with non-roller cam followers in particular, I thought the info below would be interesting to our group.
The study was done by Ed Hacket, a chemical engineer at Univ. of Nevada`s Reaserch Facility. Sorry for the loss of columinization, Site is:http://www.atis.net/oil_faq.html scroll to 2nd section.:p

% zinc is the amount of zinc used as an extreme pressure, anti-wear additive. The zinc is only used when there is actual metal to metal contact in the engine. Hopefully the oil will do its job and this will rarely occur, but if it does, the zinc compounds react with the metal to prevent scuffing and wear. A level of .11% is enough to protect an automobile engine for the extended oil drain interval, under normal use. Those of you with high revving, air cooled motorcycles or turbo charged cars or bikes might want to look at the oils with the higher zinc content. More doesn't give you better protection, it gives you longer protection if the rate of metal to metal contact is abnormally high. High zinc content can lead to deposit formation and plug fouling.

The Data: Listed alphabetically --- indicates the data was not available Brand VI Flash Pour % Ash % Zinc Brand VI Flash Pour % Ash % Zinc
20W-50 20W-40
AMSOIL (old) 136 482 -38 <.5 --- AMSOIL 124 500 -49 --- ---
AMSOIL (new) 157 507 -44 --- --- Castrol Multi-Grade 110 440 -15 .85 .12
Castrol GTX 122 440 -15 .85 .12 Quaker State 121 415 -15 .9 ---
Exxon High Performance 119 419 -13 .70 .11 15W-50
Havoline Formula 3 125 465 -30 1.0 --- Chevron 204 415 -18 .96 .11
Kendall GT-1 129 390 -25 1.0 .16 Mobil 1 170 470 -55 --- ---
Pennzoil GT Perf. 120 460 -10 .9 --- Mystic JT8 144 420 -20 1.7 .15
Quaker State Dlx. 155 430 -25 .9 --- Red Line 152 503 -49 --- ---
Red Line 150 503 -49 --- --- 5W-50
Shell Truck Guard 130 450 -15 1.0 .15 Castrol Syntec 180 437 -45 1.2 .10
Spectro Golden 4 174 440 -35 --- .15 Quaker State Synquest 173 457 -76 --- ---
Spectro Golden M.G. 174 440 -35 --- .13 Pennzoil Performax 176 --- -69 --- ---
Unocal 121 432 -11 .74 .12 5W-40
Valvoline All Climate 125 430 -10 1.0 .11 Havoline 170 450 -40 1.4 ---
Valvoline Turbo 140 440 -10 .99 .13 10W-30
Valvoline Race 140 425 -10 1.2 .20 AMSOIL (old) 142 480 -70 <.5 ---
Valvoline Synthetic 146 465 -40 <1.5 .12 AMSOIL (new) 162 520 -76 --- ---
15W-40 Castrol GTX 140 415 -33 .85 .12
AMSOIL (old) 135 460 -38 <.5 --- Chevron Supreme 150 401 -26 .96 .11
AMSOIL (new) 164 462 -49 --- --- Exxon Superflo Hi Perf 135 392 -22 .70 .11
Castrol 134 415 -15 1.3 .14 Exxon Superflo Supreme 133 400 -31 .85 .13
Chevron Delo 400 136 421 -27 1.0 --- Havoline Formula 3 139 430 -30 1.0 ---
Exxon XD3 --- 417 -11 .9 .14 Kendall GT-1 139 390 -25 1.0 .16
Exxon XD3 Extra 135 399 -11 .95 .13 Mobil 1 160 450 -65 --- ---
Kendall GT-1 135 410 -25 1.0 .16 Pennzoil PLZ Turbo 140 410 -27 1.0 ---
Mystic JT8 142 440 -20 1.7 .15 Quaker State 156 410 -30 .9 ---
Red Line 149 495 -40 --- --- Red Line 139 475 -40 --- ---
Shell Rotella w/XLA 146 410 -25 1.0 .13 Shell Fire and Ice 155 410 -35 .9 .12
Valvoline All Fleet 140 --- -10 1.0 .15 Shell Super 2000 155 410 -35 1.0 .13
Valvoline Turbo 140 420 -10 .99 .13 Shell Truck Guard 155 405 -35 1.0 .15
5W-30 Spectro Golden M.G. 175 405 -40 --- ---
AMSOIL (old) 168 480 -76 <.5 --- Unocal Super 153 428 -33 .92 .12
AMSOIL (new) 186 464 -76 --- --- Valvoline All Climate 130 410 -26 1.0 .11
Castrol GTX 156 400 -35 .80 .12 Valvoline Turbo 135 410 -26 .99 .13
Chevron Supreme 202? 354 -46 .96 .11 Valvoline Race< /TD> 130 410 -26 1.2 .20
Chevron Supreme Synt. 165 446 -72 1.1 .12 Valvoline Synthetic 140 450 -40 <1.5 .12
Exxon Superflow HP 148 392 -22 .70 .11
Havoline Formula 3 158 420 -40 1.0 ---
Mystic JT8 161 390 -25 .95 .1
Quaker State 165 405 -35 .9 ---
Red Line 151 455 -49 --- ---
Shell Fire and Ice 167 405 -35 .9 .12
Unocal 151 414 -33 .81 .12
Valvoline All Climate 135 405 -40 1.0 .11
Valvol ine Turbo 158 405 -40 .99 .13
Valvoline Synthetic 160 435 -40 <1.5 .12

esearch Facility. This is an excerpt. Enjoy!:p
 

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That looks like the same report that's been around for a couple of years so if that;s the case, all Energy Conserving:rolleyes: oils may have even declined in the amounts. Stick with the 20w-50's for the older:cool: Alfa's and all should be OK, IMO.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Yes, be careful with those numbers if you don't know the exact date of the measured sample. Almost all of the oils (even the non energy conserving ones like 20W50) have dropped in zinc after the transition to API SM grade in the past two years. Most of them are now under 1000 ppm zinc (0.1%).
 

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In the Alfa Owner a couple of months ago they had a artical on Zinc in the oils today and they said they contacted Castrol and they said that thier Castrol GTX 20/50 does not have zinc anymore.

The artical also gave a short list of oils that stil contains zinc. Most of those oils were racing oils not legal for street use. One of the oils they listed that has zinc was 20/50 Valvoline Convential Race oil that is only availble at NAPPA.
 

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In the Alfa Owner a couple of months ago they had a artical on Zinc in the oils today and they said they contacted Castrol and they said that thier Castrol GTX 20/50 does not have zinc anymore.

The artical also gave a short list of oils that stil contains zinc. Most of those oils were racing oils not legal for street use. One of the oils they listed that has zinc was 20/50 Valvoline Race that is only availble at NAPPA.
:( Sad news. I don't remember seeing that article but I will look. I was partial to GTX but now I may go for the deal at $1.19/qt with rebate deal on Shell 20w-50 that a local store is now having. I think the Shell oil is certainly equilvent to the Castrol. IIRC, Castrol doesn't even make their own oil.
 

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Just to add fuel to the "no zinc" fire, I have read the original alarming article in "Hot Rod" about the alarming rate of failures of Aftermarket Cams and flat tappets with modern "Energy saving" oils. The article does not mention any problem with a broken in engine.

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engine/flat_tappet_cam_tech

I currently use 5W50 Castrol Syntec in my Alfa. Before I was using 5w40 Mobil1 Truck and SUV with no wear issues.

Dave
 

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A while ago I sent an email to Halfords in the UK (I suspect this could be our equivalent of Pep Boys?!) about a 20W50 'Classic Motor Oil' they produce to an almost identical formulation to the old Duckhams 'Green' motor oil (but with better detergents). I wanted to know about the % levels of ash and zinc etc but instead they sent me a Health & Safety data sheet and refused to tell me anything more about the composition, citing reasons of commercial secrecy (which is just about typical of things as they are over here these days :rolleyes:). It only revealed that zinc alkyl lithiophosphate levels were less than 1%, but whether that's by weight or volume is anyone's guess.

Anyway, is this what everyone is talking about when they refer to 'zinc'?

Cheers,

Alex.
 

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Just to add fuel to the "no zinc" fire, I have read the original alarming article in "Hot Rod" about the alarming rate of failures of Aftermarket Cams and flat tappets with modern "Energy saving" oils. The article does not mention any problem with a broken in engine.

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engine/flat_tappet_cam_tech

I currently use 5W50 Castrol Syntec in my Alfa. Before I was using 5w40 Mobil1 Truck and SUV with no wear issues.

Dave
Just to chime in on this discussion, the low levels and zero zinc in the oils would be of concern to me because of the cam wear and tappet wear issue. If one puts in a set of hard to find cams or expensive cams, then one has to be wondering how long their cams will last before they become pointed on the ends of the lobes. Then there is the cam follower problem showing up as spider webbed tops from the surface being worn away. A set of cam followers isn't a cheap proposition any more.

The Valvoline 20-50 racing oil is what I am using in the wifes spider, and after reading the report that was posted even if it is dated, gives me some comfort that there is sufficient zinc to continue its usage. :)

My question is, what about synthetics and high pressure wear on cams and followers, if there isn't any zinc in the oil, will there be excessive wear or do the long molecular chains resist wear?
 

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Yes, I've been wondering about synthetics as I've switched to them for my GTV and will be switching my TS just as soon as it needs it's next change.

And all this theory is fine, but what have people noticed from their engines after years of no zinc? Has anyone actually seen some parts wearing down in an Alfa as a result of it? I thought Alfa cams were hardened and those hot rod V8s weren't.
 

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Boy nothing gets car guys going like a motor oil discussion. Do some research and find the studies related to oil weight, amount of ZDDP, oil flow, and oil pressure as they relate to wear and lubrication. I've given you one site in my above thread but no one seems to really want to look at the science. Oh well everyone has their own prejudices I guess. What a pity. :eek:
 

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??? What did I miss? :) Alfa Romeo did address some of the issues in the late 60's early 70's by changing the oil pump gear from 11 to 9 teeth to get more flow, changed from 20/40 to 20/50 as recommended oil weight which helped with oil pressure, and later recommended to use SINT synthetic oil in Alfa's. I will go back and re-read the page as I have it bookmarked.
Oil is a great of conversation... :)
 

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i allways use that shell D oil.. but i an only ge it i 1 gallon jugs.i think it has zink... that rollia oil.. sorry.. hot here at work.. getting heat stroke:)
 

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Here is some more info to add to the fire:
Good reading.

I actually use PENTOSIN (Pentosynth 5W-30, API rating SL/CF) full synthetic oil in all my cars.
I use to use MOBIL 1 but it seems it is not as good as in the past. My wife VR6 for example is areduced performance with mobil 1.
With Pentosin this car is a rocket, smooth and powerful, better MPG as well. It is made in Germany and I pick it up at a import shop here in town. Mobil 1 is a group 3 synthetic..which in Europe you cannot even call "Full synthetic" because it is derived from non synthetic base stock..Pentosin is a group 4 which is 100% synthetic. Plus the use of zinc in European oil is still pretty high but can't find the exact number at the moment, but I would say it is at least .12+.

here is a REALLY good site, kind takes care of everything you may be curious about. I highly doubt zinc in oil reduces cat life. I have been running Pentosin for years in my 164 with a cat, just pulled it off a week ago and it is bearly perfect, always passed smog with flying colors.

Anyways have fun with this info.
http://www.nordicgroup.us/oil.htm

Hmm sorry the PDF won't download, if your interested until i find a way to get it up here just e-mail me. About 10 pages long.

In this big test Royal Purple, Royal Purple racing 51 Did amazing compared to all the others they tested, Valvoline DuraBlend did very well too, some brands not available here in the US did FAR better than MOBIL 1, REDLINE, motul, shell helix, and all the other hype oils :)

Well try this link, it is in the first post:
http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74467

not sure if it is biased or not but shows examples of the bearing race used with each oil.

J
 

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After reading the article at http://www.lnengineering.com/oil.html , I've started adding a half-bottle of GM EOS with every oil change in the Alfas. It's a cheap source of lots of ZDDP. Even diesel oil now has lower zinc levels, starting with the CJ-4 designation. Diesel trucks are now coming with catalytic converters.

BTW, www.bobistheoilguy.com is a great web site if you want to dive deep into oils.

-df
 

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I did a google search for GM EOS and found a few articles. I am going to read some more and from what I read, it can't hurt to add some to the oil. I have to go to the GMC dealer tomorrow anyway for a question about where a wire goes under the dash, so I will pick up a quart.
 

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I think that STP :)rolleyes:don't laugh, I'm serious now:eek:) has zinc in it. Now, I wouldn't want to add a full can of that molases to my crankcase, but maybe now if zinc is so important and few oils have it, maybe a 1/4 or half can would be good:confused:
 

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In the UK, we don't have some of the oils mentioned in here, or they're only available with some difficulty. This is an email I recieved this afternoon from Morris Lubricants, a smaller but well-respected oil manufacturer who have been in business for over 120 years.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your enquiry.

There exists today a misconception that using the latest oil is better for your engine. This has resulted in damage to vehicles both in Europe and particularly the US where the use of the latest API classification is strongly advertised. It is true that levels of ZDDP are reducing in oils for modern oils which much meet stringent limits on SAPS (Sulphated Ash Phosphorus and Sulphur) which is why the correct type of oil MUST be selected for a particular vehicle.

Morris Lubricants has for many years maintained a strong, specifically formulated range of motor oils which have the correct levels of additives i.e. detergency, EP and dispersancy to ensure trouble free motoring. Multivis 15W/50 was specifically formulated for rebuilt engines with full flow filtration on late vintage and classic cars, whereas our Supreme range is designed for Veteran, Vintage and Classic vehicles where filtration is poor consisting of a typical bronze strainer. The Supreme range allows debris, soot and other products which will not be filtered to settle in the sump away from vital moving parts.

Recent publications by Porsche and others have highlighted the effects of cam wear with low Zinc products and as such Multivis 15w/50 is the perfect choice, containing > 1300 ppm of Zinc.

We trust the above answers your question; however, should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to ask.

Regards,

Mr Simon Matthews BSc(Hons), MRSC, CCHEM, CSci, MEI, AIQA

Technical Advisor

Morris Lubricants
I have also emailed Millers Oils and will add to this post with their reply as soon as I receive it.

Alex.
 

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I did a google search for GM EOS and found a few articles. I am going to read some more and from what I read, it can't hurt to add some to the oil. I have to go to the GMC dealer tomorrow anyway for a question about where a wire goes under the dash, so I will pick up a quart.
How much ZDDP does it have? If it is somewhere like .12-15, then I would rather just put in an oil with the same or higher zinc %. As that is the average amount in most oils. Now if it has something like .40 or higher it might be worth doing. Anyone find numbers yet?
Valvoline race has .20 ZDDP Just add a qrt or 2 of that to your favorite oil and call it a day? Pretty much what I do. I have a little pan leak so I have to fill every month or so. :(

I have been researching but found no Numbers yet. Curious for sure.

The more the better as ZDDP deteriorates pretty fast, drops from whatever level it is down to very low levels after around 5K miles. But then again that is another reason they have additive packages.



Ciao!
 
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