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dynamikechris 09-08-2019 08:51 PM

1953 239 flat head

I am a new owner of a 53 F100 from British Columbia. Itís a stock 239Ē flat head.Time to do an oil and filter change. What type of oil do guys recommend? Iíve been told to use 15/40 Diesel engine oil. Whatís your thoughts. It is only a fair weather driver and stored in a heated dry shop so winter driving wonít be an issue. Any advice and information will be appreciated! Thx!

tubman 09-08-2019 09:56 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

Welcome to "The Barn"! Regular old 10-30, unless the engine is completely worn out and needs more. These old flatheads have much lower valve spring pressure than the typical OHV engine, so you don't have to go nuts buying oil. One thing you should be aware of; I don't know about trucks, but the manual for my '51 club coupe says to do a chassis lube every 1000 miles! I have the chassis lubed a couple of times a year, and one of those times. I change the oil and filter. I think a lack of maintenance is the primary reason for people complaining about the front suspension problems on these vehicles.

dynamikechris 09-08-2019 10:05 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

Thanks for the info! I agree with you on the chassis lube. It was a frame off restoration when I bought it, so, I want to do my best to keep on top of the maintenance.

51woodie 09-08-2019 10:11 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

2 Attachment(s)
Tubman beat me to it, but you will get several different opinions on what oil to use. I have a stock "46 flathead 8, an I made the choice to use Shell Rotella T4 15-40 in my engine. I get good oil pressure and it keeps the engine clean. Available in Walmart in 2 1/2 gallon jugs. About C$45.00 in Canada. Left pic is idle, right pic is road speed.

dynamikechris 09-08-2019 10:32 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

Thank you for your info as well! Looking at your gauges, I see that my pressures are about the same as yours. Thatís good to know! Another buddy told me to use chevrons delo 400 oil, but itís not so easy to get, so, want to use something easier to get and not bounce around from brand to brand.

Tinker 09-08-2019 10:45 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

You can get straight 30w diesel oil from most places. But were you live the added gauge comfort wouldn't be justified.

I thicker oil will give you a higher reading. As long as your north of 0 on a regular flathead I wouldn't worry about it. Even 10lbs at hot idle on a flathead is good.


scicala 09-10-2019 07:17 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

I agree on the Shell Rotella 15-40. I have heard nothing but good about it for many years.


Ol' Ron 09-11-2019 10:33 AM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

ANY GOOD 10/30 OIL IS FINE FOR YOUR ENGINE. Most people judge the type of oil to use is determined by the oil pressure on the gauge. However flow is more important and cooling the bearing is very important. The Ford oil pump is a positive displacement unit. It sends large volumes of oil to the bearings. Any resistance to the flow increases the pressure, to a point when it contributes to the temperature of the oil and resistance to flow. The ford engineers determined that 10 lbs of oil pressure was all that's needed to protect the bearings under normal operation, with a max of 30 lbs. The pressure release valve is set at aprox 50/60 lbs. To open the relief valve creates mor temperature in the oil. With all this said, most people would rather see their pressure gauge read 50 rather than 10. I's a feel good thing.

dynamikechris 10-19-2019 11:15 AM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

I just read your message. Thank you for your info. I appreciate any information I can get. I’m really having a good time with this old truck. Been a bike guy most of my adult life and am new to the old truck world. Should have done it years ago. Thanks again!

flatford8 10-19-2019 07:13 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

How about some pictures of your “old truck” ?.......Mark

dynamikechris 10-20-2019 10:16 PM

Re: 1953 239 flat head

I’m working on a couple pics. Not very computer literate so it’s a struggle! .... Billy Joe Shaver is a god! Saw him last year at Willi Nelson’s July 4 picnic! He is a must see!!

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