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Old 02-19-2016, 09:34 PM   #1
Larry Jenkins
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Default A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Apologies for bringing up a subject that has been hammered into the ground quite well. But, bear with me..

Getting my old engine rebuilt. Not a full rebuild, but one that's based on internal inspection that indicates replacing certain parts. This is not a post to determine engine rebuild methods, right or wrong, but one of trying a rather new engine lubrication approach. At least to me.

I also realize at this point that I will probably get many opinions about the engine work, but let's just talk, (again..) about engine oil. Please..

Here's what I'm going to do. (Gulp!)

After the engine install, that we talked about before, I'm going to fill the engine with 4.5 quarts of Mobil 1 10W-30 Extended Performance 100% synthetic oil.

When you do some research on the oil, it's a good read as far as "fitting" to a Model A Engine..

Shoot! (objectively, please..)

Larry
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:42 PM   #2
daveymc29
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Not shooting, just curious. Will 4.5 quarts of Mobile one fill your crankcase after you have cleaned and rebuilt, your version with which I take no offense? I thought that when one started with an empty engine the procedure was to pour some of the oil down the distributor hole to fill the dipper tray, then add the rest to bring the oil up to the mark on the dip stick? Mine used five quarts to accomplish that. Out of bullets anyway....
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveymc29 View Post
Not shooting, just curious. Will 4.5 quarts of Mobile one fill your crankcase after you have cleaned and rebuilt, your version with which I take no offense? I thought that when one started with an empty engine the procedure was to pour some of the oil down the distributor hole to fill the dipper tray, then add the rest to bring the oil up to the mark on the dip stick? Mine used five quarts to accomplish that. Out of bullets anyway....
I've heard that said a few times but I don't think pouring oil down the distributor hole makes any difference to the oil in the dipper tray. Pouring oil down the filler tube fills the dipper tray just as well. Oil down the distributor hole will fill the "reservoir" in the valve chamber so the main bearings have oil right from the start, which oil down the filler tube won't do. While I would still recommend oil down the distributor hole, I don't think it is for the reason stated.
Now back to the OP. Our old engines with solid cam followers like an oil formulated for older engines. Oils meant for modern engines probably do not have enough ZDDP in them because it is terminal for catalytic converters. I suspect that a synthetic oil might be good for a modern engine but query its value in an engine like ours. I'd check with the manufacturers and if not sure, buy a bottle of ZDDP and add it yourself. I do!
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

On my rebuilt I started with 10w-30 Mobil one, rebuilder said any 10w30 or 5w30 would be fine. My first oil change I changed to 5w40 Mobil one. Why the 5w40, the oil seamed to call to me try it you might like it.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Are you reringing and honing the engine? If so I always like to break it in with conventional oil first then switch to synthetic. Pouring a qt down the dist hole primes the mains..

Last edited by Mitch//pa; 02-19-2016 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Larry, glad to see you stayed with us. I don't think it matters what oil you use, just make sure if the engine is a fresh rebuild (dry mains and cam train) you do as other have suggested and put oil down the distributor hole so the mains and valve train have oil before starting. If it were me I would put less expensive oil in for the first 3-5 hours of run time, then drain to flush out any residual dirt/grim that might have been left in there after the rebuild. Then fill with a better oil and run it longer.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

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Are you reringing and honing the engine? If so I would break it in with conventional oil first then switch to synthetic. Pouring a qt down the dist hole primes the mains..
No to the "re-ringing and honing" the engine. Has new adjustable lifters and SS valves. Not a major rebuild because of it's nice condition.

Probably won't get much road time.
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

On an engine rebuild, I ALWAYS spin it over quite a bit, with the plugs OUT, to fill all the internals with oil. On a modern engine, I crank it enough for the oil light to go out, or the gauge to register pressure.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

What are the clearances on your rods and mains? If it was set to .0015 or so, wouldn't 10-30 or 5-30 bee too thin? I always thought that the thinner oils were meant to be used with tighter tolerances...

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Old 02-20-2016, 08:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Larry,

Last I checked the forum bylaws did not state one could not talk about oil or whitewall tires ok a little humor... but in my opinion buy the best oil you wish is all fine, and unless your car has a filter, dump it often... I change mine twice durning the driving season and before and after the winter... I also toss the coolant as well --not that pricy and I figure since my car as no filter better to toss oil and coolant more..

All the best
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

That is a magnificent old wives tale.

Ford sold the Model A with an oil that is equivalent to today's SAE 20 in the crankcase.

5W-30 is an oil that performs equivalent to SAE 5 in Winter conditions in testing. It performs equivalent to SAE 30 when tested in hot conditions.

10W-30 is an oil that performs equivalent to SAE 10 in Winter conditions. It performs equivalent to SAE 30 when tested in hot conditions.

Thicker oil is not better oil. You should use oil that is appropriate to the ambient air temperature the car is driven in.

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What are the clearances on your rods and mains? If it was set to .0015 or so, wouldn't 10-30 or 5-30 bee too thin? I always thought that the thinner oils were meant to be used with tighter tolerances...

Frank
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

For the benefit of those readers who dig up this thread later on, I'm with #5, ie I would never break in new rings on synthetic oil, it might take a long time.
The idea of break in is to get a lot of wear quickly to get the surfaces that rub each other to mate. Once that is done, your compression goes up, your volumetric efficiency (which is a dynamic measurement, not static like CR) goes up, you'll have less blowby, less oil contamination, etc. Once this happens the wear reduces significantly and now longevity kicks in, if the break in was done properly. Then you can switch to synthetic if you want. But honestly it is not needed and costs more. Changing the oil is way more important.

This is all very different with modern cars because in moderns the tolerances are way tighter, and the metallurgy of all the parts is different. Do not make the mistake of comparing a modern engine to an A motor
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

#12's response is right on to the T.... Very well said
even though it does not apply to this particular thread since it's not being reringed it was still very good info that was mentioned. (There was always the chance that it was and the OP was unaware of break in issues using synthetic at start up). Post #7 cleared that up

Last edited by Mitch//pa; 02-20-2016 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILL WILLIAMSON View Post
On an engine rebuild, I ALWAYS spin it over quite a bit, with the plugs OUT, to fill all the internals with oil. On a modern engine, I crank it enough for the oil light to go out, or the gauge to register pressure.
Bill W.
Sounds like a good way to wipe out a cam lobe or two! The cam and lifters only get oil from what is thrown off the crankshaft. At cranking speeds no oil reaches the cam so the lifters are being forced against the lobes by the valve springs without any lubrication once the lube you smeared on the cam gets wiped off. Cam manufacturers state you need to tune the engine so it will start immediately and then immediately go to 2,000 RPM for 20 minutes. This procedure is critical to the life of the cam, especially in an engine with high pressure valve springs (we're talking flat tappet cams here). If you've prefilled the oil filter and put it together right, no need to grind away on the starter!
Plus, if it's an older engine with a distributor, you can turn the oil pump with a speed handle before installing the distributor.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:15 AM   #15
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

The poster in this thread "Larry" made a statement that he was going to use a synthetic oil in his "rebuilt" engine.. Period !

Subsequently he stated that the only thing done to the engine was lapping the new SS valves and adjustable lifters...... Suddenly we have a thread of rants dealing of the pros and cons of using synthetic oil, statements about oil viscosity,break in techniques, etc.

Whew !

Last edited by Mikeinnj; 02-20-2016 at 11:17 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:19 AM   #16
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Add only Non detergent oil and one quart of MMO. The way it was done, way back when.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

I debated with my self on using synthetic oil or conventional oil. After reading past post about rings, Pistons problems with #4&3 clylinder's on fresh engines I went with synthetic
After about an hour or more of running, the synthetic oil became grey in color, which tells me the rings are wearing in and/or cleaning up metals left from machine work. The difference between a quaintly convention oil and synthetic is 10 to15 $ cheap insurance.
After all my rebuilder says any 10w30 or 5w30 will be fine. So the oil debate goes on :-)
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeinnj View Post
The poster in this thread "Larry" made a statement that he was going to use a synthetic oil in his "rebuilt" engine.. Period !

Subsequently he stated that the only thing done to the engine was lapping the new SS valves and adjustable lifters...... Suddenly we have a thread of rants dealing of the pros and cons of using synthetic oil, statements about oil viscosity,break in techniques, etc.

Whew !
I noticed that also and found it somewhat amusing. Larry didn't really even ask a question, he just stated what he was going to do.

I've just been following along for the ride...
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

My engine builder sez:
Quote:
Use a multi-grade like 10-30
Do not use Pennzoil, Quaker State or Amalie
Use a major name brand oil like Valvoline, Havoline, Castrol, or Uniflow.
Change oil after first 250 miles, thereafter, change every 1,000 miles or EACH SPRING
If using a filter, use only a full flow system & change every 2,000 miles or each spring
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:29 PM   #20
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Default Re: A new look at a very old subject.. Oil.

Having built up a few engines over the years, I always tried to setup the fresh engine with a goal of having lubrication on the various bearing surfaces as quickly as possible, with the minimum amount of stress at the contact surfaces.

This means in the first place using a good assembly lube as the parts are put together. And a lube that is appropriate to the parts involved, i.e., motor oil on pistons and rings, moly on the cam, grease in other places.

A moly disulfide paste is usually used on the tappets and cam surfaces to prevent initial scuffing and most cam suppliers include it with the cam. I used Dow Corning moly paste and never had an issue with cam scuffing. I always used it on the surfaces of the main and rod bearings as well.

Rotating the engine via some means to get the all the oil galleries charged was usually done. Dry sump race engines were always cranked/towed to get the system full. The above done with plugs out to have the minimum load on everything.

I don't know what the current mass production practice is, but the majors used to put oil in and just crank them up. That makes a lot of my caution overkill, but it makes me feel good. I think the engine will run on the assembly lube for at least a few minutes.

I'll ask my nephew who is a pro Caterpillar mechanic what they do on a rebuild. Might not apply to us, but should be interesting to hear--the engines he builds cost $800K for an overhaul.

Oil is always good for a rant/discussion. I suspect almost any major oil at almost any viscosity will work OK in a Model A.

John
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