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8 hours ago, vwalburn said:

Has anyone read this Blog? His testing methods are unknown but do you think there is anything to it all?  My concern with current zinc levels in oil is what brought me to this Blog. Just want to get some "expert" opinions on all this info that is out there.

https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/motor-oil-wear-test-ranking/

I’m not really sure what you are looking for? The 540rat blog has some fact, some fiction, some hype and a lot of look at me! He claims to be a mechanical engineer and no doubt is. He also claims to belong to the SAE, and probably does and as such should know there are more SAE engine test than you can shake a stick at. As a result there are more papers written about the results of that testing than you or I would ever want to read. So I’m not sure what he is trying to accomplish.
I like to talk cars and pass along 50 plus years of that experience, but I hate to talk about me from a look at me view, so I will talk about my company. 
Before retiring in 2016 I worked for The Lubrizol Corp. one of the largest additive companies in the world, not the largest, but one of the largest. They started in 1928, at that time there was no engine, transmission, rear axle etc. testing, so they started their own. For decades they were the go to source for testing and evaluating oils and their effect on components. That is until, like everything, somebody wanted a piece so other testing facilities started cropping up. Then the SAE got involved and here we are and that’s all ok! The point here is 540 rat is a little late to the party. 
In the late 1970s and through the 80s I designed and help design several bench tests to measure oils effect on engine components wear. They are now standard SAE tests. 540rat seems to think that his credentials justify his opinion, they don’t, only proven facts do and he really doesn’t have that. He states that wear protection is the number 1 concern of judging a motor oil. Well what is wear protection? Just adding a mineral oil too two moving plates reduces wear! That’s a viscosity test, so it’s not wear protection, but a hydrodynamic layer. He confuses a lot of facts to force a result. Is he correct? In some ways yes, others no.
As I originally said 800ppm ZDDP in oil is quite adequate, but there are other wear protection chemistries, molybdenum for one. Although touted as a fuel economy additive it reduces wear better than ZDDP, but molecularly functions completely different. The original issue with older engines occurred with the reduction of ZDDP, but also the addition of emissions equipment. These two changes caused problems with tried and true metallurgies. Once those metallurgies were addressed most issues subsided. Now the same issues are plaguing the diesel industry for the same reasons. So I could keep beating my gums, but again I ask, what is your concern? I would like to help, but I’m not clear as to the concern.

 

Edited by Last Indian

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According to Valvoline, Valvoline Maxlife 10W-30 has 830 ppm of zinc in it. Several other oils state that they have zinc levels of around the SN max of 800. If that is the case, will these oils protect my 1964 flat tappet engine during normal, everyday driving? No racing and a stock, rebuilt engine with 4000 miles on it that went through a correct break-in. Just trying to make an educated decision for the choice of my oil for the next oil change without going overboard with zinc concerns if I really don't have to. Only putting 1500 - 2000 miles on the oil with a once a year oil change.

Edited by vwalburn
Addition of info.

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One thing I noticed lacking from 540 Rat's credentials that would have lead me to give him some more credence is the letters PE. This is short for a certification from the National Society of Professional Engineers. 

To become licensed, engineers must complete a four-year college degree, work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state's licensure board. Then, to retain their licenses, PEs must continually maintain and improve their skills throughout their careers.

Essentially a PE is a highly trained and certified engineer. He can testify in front of a court as an expert witness, he can write papers that carry some weight in his/her particular field. The late Pontiac historian, John Sawruk, was a PE. SAE and other memberships means he is a member of an engineering society. He participation in those groups could be hit or miss. It depends on his active involvement, which we will never know from reading his blog.

I give a lot more support to Last Indian at this point. Chemistry is his specialty, not 540Rat's - he's a mechanical engineer.

Edited by Frosty

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Walburn, let me ask a couple things. The motor is newly built? If so do you know the bearing clearances? Do you have a mechanical oil psi gage connected to this engine, I.E. direct oil line no sending unit? If so what are the psi reading at cold start up, warmed up idle, driving say 40 - 50 mph.

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Last Indian, The engine was rebuilt by the previous owner around 2010 and has about 4K on it. No, I do not know the clearances nor do I have a pressure gage currently hooked up. What would be "good" numbers and clearances and how does this affect the different oil choices? Looking forward to more oil education.

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On 12/4/2017 at 2:53 PM, Frosty said:

One thing I noticed lacking from 540 Rat's credentials that would have lead me to give him some more credence is the letters PE. This is short for a certification from the National Society of Professional Engineers. 

To become licensed, engineers must complete a four-year college degree, work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state's licensure board. Then, to retain their licenses, PEs must continually maintain and improve their skills throughout their careers.

Essentially a PE is a highly trained and certified engineer. He can testify in front of a court as an expert witness, he can write papers that carry some weight in his/her particular field. The late Pontiac historian, John Sawruk, was a PE. SAE and other memberships means he is a member of an engineering society. He participation in those groups could be hit or miss. It depends on his active involvement, which we will never know from reading his blog.

I give a lot more support to Last Indian at this point. Chemistry is his specialty, not 540Rat's - he's a mechanical engineer.

Thanks Frosty!

7 hours ago, vwalburn said:

Last Indian, The engine was rebuilt by the previous owner around 2010 and has about 4K on it. No, I do not know the clearances nor do I have a pressure gage currently hooked up. What would be "good" numbers and clearances and how does this affect the different oil choices? Looking forward to more oil education.

Unless you tell me different, I will assume the engine to be a standard GTO 396 engine and whether 325 or 348 hp is somewhat irrelevant here. So the motor is broken in at 4K. In whatever oil you use I would first recommend at least a 10w40, although if it was mine I would run a 15w40. Valvoline is an excellent oil and has a good additive package. With the motor being broken in the Max life or the Shell Rotella will work great and be more than adequate for every day use and even a few times when you’re not so gentle. That said, never go beyond 3500 miles for an oil change. 
Now this part is three fold! So first you’ll need to buy a bottle of Lucas engine break in additive TB Zinc-plus if you what to do any of theses. So if you really want to beat on the motor for some reason add 3oz. to the oil. If you want to or need to extend the drain interval add 2oz to the engine at 1500 miles. If you just don’t feel comfortable with the Zinc level for protection add 1oz at every 1000 mile interval. 
The reason for this is simple oil additive packages way over additize an oil in the beginning. As heat, oxidation, shear and surface interface of metals and chemistry take place the chemistries are depleted. So in short you start a fresh oil change with way over additized oil and end with way under additized oil. By adding in some chemistry into the oil 1000 or 2000 miles into an oil change is very beneficial to the engine and it’s oil. So you see you don’t need the Zinc in the beginning because you have 800 or more ppm, but at 2000 or 3000 how much of that is left? The protection of the engine is not done by 800 ppm of Zinc at once! Only a portion of that protects and then is used up and than more come to replace it till at the end of the drain interval there may only be 40 ppm left or maybe nothing.

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Last Indian, I very much appreciate all the advise and plan on using it. You have given me more than enough info to get me going. You have reinforced info that I believed already and then some. My oil changes will be 1 year/1500-2000 miles. Thanks for all the info and I hope this will keep me off the topic of Zinc for a while! I've had enough for now. Thank you, again! Will stay in touch in the future on this Forum.

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14 hours ago, Last Indian said:

Thanks Frosty!

You are welcome buddy!

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