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Zinc

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Speedthrills
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Zinc

Post #1 by Speedthrills » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:55 pm

I just had a thought: My 95 F150 w/300 runs great w/ about 95,500 on it. (Stock valve springs and cam.)

Should I be running an oil with zinc, or an additive? I've been running Mobil 1 10/30 since I bought it with about 89,000 on it.

Is there a history of cams wiping because they're flat tappet's with very little zinc?

I can only imagine it wouldn't hurt to run an oil with zinc. I've heard that additives aren't so good.

I'm leaving on a 2300ish mile vacation on Tuesday.

jason832
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Re: Zinc

Post #2 by jason832 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:25 pm

I'm not an oil engineer but after spending hours reading about it wondering the same thing here's how I see it.

Stock 300s have been going a long time in modern day oil without an issue. Today's oil still has the zinc etc in it just less of it as an environmental concern. Also oil has come a long way over the years. However a large cam and high spring pressures puts more stress on the parts so that's when you may want to be concerned.

To my knowledge if you want oils with the additives you are concerned about you will need one to pick an option.
1. A specialty oil such as a "street rod oil".... Not a regular off the shelf one.
2. Use an additive in a bottle and add it to the oil.
3. Use a diesel oil. Here in Canada I can't really buy break in oil easily so I've broken in about 4 cams using shell rotella triple protection t3 conventional 15w40 oil perfectly. I can't find the t3 anymore but the t4 conventional is supposed to be high in these old additives. These are thick oils though.

All in all I'd say for a stock 300 use whatever oil off the shelf (castrol, penzoil, valveolene etc) and just change it a bit more often than recommended so the additives and goodies don't break down too much before you change it.

Blairsville Ed
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Re: Zinc

Post #3 by Blairsville Ed » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:38 am

I have been using Delo 400 straight 30. It’s available at O Reilly’s. The Chevron website indicates the zinc at .12 and phosphorus at .11 and rated as SL. There’s also a 15/40 rated at SL.
It’s the older Delo 400.

Phase3
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Re: Zinc

Post #4 by Phase3 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:28 am

Mobil 1 15w 50 still has high zinc content 1300 ppm i believe and is available anywhere that sells mobil 1
Mobil 1 0w 40 euopean blend has a somewhat high zinc content of 1100 ppm and is also available anywhere that sells mobil 1.
I use 3 qts of each and i think i read flat tappets like 900 ppm or more. If i find the chart im referring to ill post it here
Last edited by Phase3 on Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
1996 f150 turbo 4.9 OBD2 M5OD 4x4 12 lbs on 93
1997 f350 351w cclb

Phase3
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Re: Zinc

Post #5 by Phase3 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:33 am

mobil-1-oil-product-specs-guide.pdf


15w 50 shows 1300 ppm but in the description it directly states for flat tappet application
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old28racer
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Re: Zinc

Post #6 by old28racer » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:15 pm

I have been running Rotella Diesel T4 15W-40 for the last year in my F250 300 4.9L motor. Rotella T4 has one of the highest contents of zinc of any off the shelf oils around. This motor has only 700 miles on a fresh stock type rebuild. As a side note I ran my 1999 Ford Power Stroke F350 4x4 crew cab on Rotella and it had 137,000 miles on the motor with no oil issues when I sold it.
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themotorsickledoc
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Re: Zinc

Post #7 by themotorsickledoc » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:22 am

The decrease of zinc content has been a problem for flat tappet cams for several years now. There are concentrated additives for new rebuilds and periodic use. STP is about the cheapest additive that is readily available. Lucas is about 3 times the cost where I live. Cam and lifter break-in lube will help on a new rebuild. If you do a search for ZDDP oil additives, there will be quite a few possibilities shown. There are still some high zinc racing oils on the market, such as Valvoline. Diesel oils have all decreased zinc content. Rotella and Delo have changed formulas in the last 3 or 4 year. It seems professional mechanics have been aware of this problem longer than the general public. When a customer looses a camshaft before the warranty runs out, it can get into your back pocket. I always preferred to give my clients the most for their money and stood behind engines I built. Part of that was finding a solution for the newer oil blends and older engines. Take some time to talk to your mechanic. If he thinks their is no problem with a decrease in ZDDP, find someone with a little more knowledge on the situation. If money and convenience are your biggest concern, a bottle of STP might be your best bet.

BigBlue94
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Re: Zinc

Post #8 by BigBlue94 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:41 pm

I added a bottle of the Lucas to my oil right after break in. The next bottle was a cheaper one, dont remember which.

Schneider sells a zddp additive that I will use now that the rings have seated. I figured that since I have their cam, I should run their additive. Dont recall the cost, but I'm thinking it was about $10 a bottle.

I used to run the Delo400 15w40 in a 95 460. Did good.
1985 Bronco. 309ci I6, NP435, 4.56 gears, Detroit locker and tru-trac, 4" lift, and 37" swamper tires. The 309 is 9.75:1 CR with a Schneider 140H cam, 4bbl, roller rockers, larger valves, and headers.

Max_Effort
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Re: Zinc

Post #9 by Max_Effort » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:27 pm

Most CJ-4 (aka T3, T4), diesel oils still have enough Zinc (ZDDP) in the formula for maintaining flat tappet cams and lifters on mild applications. Last I saw T3 Shell Rotella tested, it still had 1200 PPM ZDDP which should be enough. It’s still not optimum for gasoline engines, but it can be used. If you use 15w40, its for +20* F and above.

The new CK-4 (aka T5, T6) diesel oil are to be avoided. Ford has a bulletin not to use it.

There are LOTS of break in failures using diesel oil and ZDDP additive.

Break in with CK-4 Diesel oil is an almost certain failure.

I know of one test that was repeated twice. Eight sets of cams and lifters each time.

Four sets broken in with CK-4 oil and a bottle of ZDDP additive. All cams showed cam lobes and lifters failing after 30 minutes.

Four sets of cams were then broken in with different brands of commercial break in oil. (Driven BR and similar) all of those cams were broken in successfully.

All tests in the same engine. After each cam break-in test, the oil was drained, flushed and oil filter replaced.

The whole test was repeated again a few weeks later , with the same results.

Pouring an additive into the oil doesn’t necessarily work. It’s not like mixing chocolate milk. The whole additive package and base oil has to work together and in the correct amounts. I don’t think it’s something we can expect to do pouring mixtures together. It’s the job of the tribologist (oil engineer)

I’d rather not build anything with a flat tappet cam, but with some engines, there isn’t another reasonable choice. In those engines, I’ll stick with an engineered break in oil. An engineered flat tappet engine oil is the best bet too.

C2B6B2BE-5651-4DEF-B8EB-CD2A590C9325.jpeg
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Econoline
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Re: Zinc

Post #10 by Econoline » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:18 pm

15-40 delo 400? I just filled a little kubota/beta marine 2 cylinder with some of that. Sea trial tomorrow. That's what we always use, but they're broken in at the factory. When it comes to the break in on one of these old straight 6's there's absolutely no reason to save $15-25 at the last minute after spending a small fortune on the rebuild. If we're talking Delo or similar, the difference is probably more like $10-15. Not to mention all your hopes and dreams. I wouldn't use anything other than oil sold, branded and marketed as "break in" oil unless I lived in Canada or some other insane socialist state that makes it impossible to get. Break in oil is a non detergent, thin, high quality oil with 1600-2200 ppm zddp and specially formulated with moly and whatever else, specifically to break in flat tappet engines. Or you can beat your head into the wall and open up your wallet and schedule when it goes sideways. Sure, Delo is probably just fine and will work but I wouldn't do it. After forking out time and good money, what's another few bucks to do it right?

If we're talking just running after break in, 15/40 diesel oil is way to heavy. Put a good lightweight synthetic in there at the 2nd oil change after the break in dump or 5K and use a good mineral 10-30 with plenty of zppd in the meantime. I use the Joe Gibbs stuff b/c it's got the zddp, but they only go down to 10-30 with their synthetic hot rod oil. I'd prefer 5-20w or 5-30w. Contrary to what ppl think, thinner is better with a fresh engine and these new synthetic oils. As long as you've got good oil pressure you're golden. Go as thin as you can. In my 93 pickup I've only ever used modern oil and it's got 245,000 on the OD and doesn't burn a drop with mineral 10-30w, it does leak a bit on the rm seal and I think I need to retorque the lifter and valve covers again. I think once they're good and broken in zddp levels are probably not as important as using good quality oil. The cost difference between a high quality deisel oil and a lighter weight "hot rod" zddp enhanced mineral oil is insignificant. It's probably cheaper yet after you switch to synthetic and go 5-6K between changes.
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68Flareside240
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Re: Zinc

Post #11 by 68Flareside240 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:25 am

Great info Max. I am pretty positive the Delo I was running in my truck before I pulled the motor was CK-4. I didn't see a straight 30 on the shelf, but I will plan on running that when I get my motor together and broken in.

Speedthrills
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Re: Zinc

Post #12 by Speedthrills » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:04 pm

I've done some thinking about this. First, I stated that I bought it w/ 89,000 miles. I checked, it was 86,000 miles. Right now it has 96,000. So I've been using 10W30 synthetic for 10,000 miles, with no ill effects. I don't know what previous owners used, I bought it from a flipper.

I read some posts on Bob Is The Oil Guy, the consensus there (and the web, in general), is that an engine with stock valve springs is not in danger of wiping a cam. In my case, it makes sense. 10,000 miles and no problem. Maybe the previous owner used a higher zinc oil? But in reading several automotive forums over the years, I've only ever read about break in problems with higher than stock spring pressures.

I appreciate everyone's opinions. I can only figure that Mobil 1 has a high enough zinc level in it.

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THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
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Re: Zinc

Post #13 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:45 pm

In the early days of EFI development dyno operators would sometimes call my office to tell me "something is wrong with your EFI system - the engine is not running right." I had to talk them down off the ledge and explain that under all that electronics there was still a conventional engine. Check that first. Often it was something elementary (bad plug, bad plug wire, etc.) The EFI had become their "whipping boy".

There were cam failures before ZDDP was reduced.

Reduced ZDDP is often someone's whipping boy.
FORD 300 INLINE SIX - THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN DRAG RACING

Speedthrills
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Re: Zinc

Post #14 by Speedthrills » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:20 pm

THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER wrote:In the early days of EFI development dyno operators would sometimes call my office to tell me "something is wrong with your EFI system - the engine is not running right." I had to talk them down off the ledge and explain that under all that electronics there was still a conventional engine. Check that first. Often it was something elementary (bad plug, bad plug wire, etc.) The EFI had become their "whipping boy".

There were cam failures before ZDDP was reduced.

Reduced ZDDP is often someone's whipping boy.

I often wonder if mechanics of today's electronically controlled engines (for whom I have great respect) can diagnose an internal problem. I wouldn't be surprised if there are specialists. I'm still trying to figure out my '87 5.0 Mustang, which I bought new. lol

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THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
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Re: Zinc

Post #15 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:41 pm

Speedthrills wrote:I often wonder if mechanics of today's electronically controlled engines (for whom I have great respect) can diagnose an internal problem. I wouldn't be surprised if there are specialists. I'm still trying to figure out my '87 5.0 Mustang, which I bought new. lol


There are. In fact all of our engines are run on an end-of-the-line-test at the engine plants. They do things like automatically disable each cylinder individually and read the power drop through the crank sensor movement to see if all cylinders are hitting on 100% power. Other similar diagnostics are run.
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MechRick
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Re: Zinc

Post #16 by MechRick » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:23 pm

THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER wrote:In the early days of EFI development dyno operators would sometimes call my office to tell me "something is wrong with your EFI system - the engine is not running right." I had to talk them down off the ledge and explain that under all that electronics there was still a conventional engine. Check that first. Often it was something elementary (bad plug, bad plug wire, etc.) The EFI had become their "whipping boy".


I owe my career with Ford dealers due to the old school techs that *refused* to learn EECIV.

I've lost count of how many times I was called in to diagnose a driveability problem or reprogram a replaced ECM only to find out the engine had lost compression on at least one cylinder. Check the basics!
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Re: Zinc

Post #17 by sdiesel » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:21 pm

yes, check the basics, starting with ignition
a long love affair with the 300 six.
my lastest and final fling is a fresh 300 in an 88 ford f350 dually 4X flatbed

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