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Discussion Starter #1
I just brought home my first engine build home from school. It's a 385sbc. All I have to do is pre oil it and toss it in. Easy enough right. Nope.

First I know I can't put just any oil in it. My teacher said to get an oil with zinc in it. I know that any thing that says "race" or "for off road use only" would be good but the lame big box parts stores don't have shieat. They don't even have a break in aditive amongst all the other crap gimmicks on the shelf.

I would like to get this running by this weekend and can't wait for an online order of Joe Gibbs Race Oil. So I have some Kohler Magnum SAE 30 oil for my mowers in my shop and did some home work on what the API catagorys mean. After a 2 day search I still can't find out anything except this site.
http://http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/API.html

I'm assuming that the ch sj and sh designations mean that this oil is better than off the shelf conventional oil. I also got suckered into some lucas oil aditive and am not sure weather to pour it in. The Kohler oil is in but not primed yet. What do y'all think?
Does the Lucas Oil additive have zinc in it? Could it be bad on the break in (cam and moly rings)?

Am I good to prime and break in with just the Kohler Magnum? My oil is older than the one in the link and also rated cf rated.
http://www.kohlerengines.com/service/parts/kohleroil.jsp

What the crap do I do? I have some serious money and time in the engine and am so close to having my Trans Am running again.
 

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well you should be able to get vr1 racing oil (valvoline) at just about any auto parts store. like schucks at there pro shops. z.d.d.p is what your looking for (zink). shell rotella oil for big semi trucks has it. also cant stress this enough i hate the stock gm oil filter adapter it has a bypass on it. it opens so easy and all that un filtered oil go right through your motor. i poped the valve out taped the hole and put a plug in it. oh i think some gm service shops have engine break in lube to.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My parts stores around here are Advance which should be called Amature, Auto Zone which should be called Ricer zone part II and the Pep Boys which usually has more than the other two. I will be running racing oil in it after I break it in with the Kohler oil unless I should drain the Kohler oil out. So should I pour in the Lucas additive or just hit up the stealership for some break in juice? AHHHH! Stressful.
 

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You can use the GM EOS (Engine oil supplement) with normal oil to get the zinc that you need in order to run a flat tappet cam. It should be available at a dealership.

My personal preference would be to use Shell Rotella oil. It is available in 10w30 or 15w40 depending on what you're looking for. There are LOTS of high horsepower cars running the stuff and a lot of people swear by it. If it works that well in high stress applications like that it will work fine in your everyday motors as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
O yea, I'm not running a solid and or roller or anything like that but my cam is quite a loper with a .520 lift and 1.6 Harland Sharp rockers.:eek:

The guys in my class said that about 6 or 8 months ago that Shell took the zinc levels way down in Rotella. I guess since most newer cars have roller lifters and zinc puts a hurtin' on cats they don't put as much in off the shelf oil anymore.
 

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O yea, I'm not running a solid and or roller or anything like that but my cam is quite a loper with a .520 lift and 1.6 Harland Sharp rockers.:eek:
If you're not running a roller cam then it is flat tappet which will require the zinc. The zinc was removed in modern oil because it affects the performance of catalytic converters and since 99.9% of late model cars have roller cams in them there is only a small group of people that would ever notice an issue with it.
 

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Debauchery Wizard
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I've built my fair share of hot engines, and never had a problem breaking them in with cheap stuff. You're gonna run it easy for a few hundred miles(i usually go 500) and then change the oil right? No synthetics either, they tend to remain in the engine(like they are supposed to) which is great, if you aren't trying to flush out metal shavings. I have heard all the arguements, and they are valid, but i thought i'd throw in my .02. from my experience, cheap oil works fine.then add the good stuff before you lay into the skinny.
 

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I've built my fair share of hot engines, and never had a problem breaking them in with cheap stuff. You're gonna run it easy for a few hundred miles(i usually go 500) and then change the oil right? No synthetics either, they tend to remain in the engine(like they are supposed to) which is great, if you aren't trying to flush out metal shavings. I have heard all the arguements, and they are valid, but i thought i'd throw in my .02. from my experience, cheap oil works fine.then add the good stuff before you lay into the skinny.
I hear ya, but one thing to consider is that in the last year or two most engine oils have had major changes to the formulas and reduced amounts of antiwear additives that a flat tappett hyd or solid cam needs not to self destruct.
So what once worked fine might not anymore.
 

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also cant stress this enough i hate the stock gm oil filter adapter it has a bypass on it. it opens so easy and all that un filtered oil go right through your motor. i poped the valve out taped the hole and put a plug in it.
This is a good idea until your oil filter clogs and your engine is starved for oil. I did this same thing on a new rebuild running a K&N filter. Less than 500 miles on the filter. After a deeeep water run the OP started dropping. I shut it down, dragged it back to my buddy's house and changed the oil filter. OP went back to normal but the engine lost 10lbs of pressure at idle. Hurt the cam bearings most likely. Glad it wasn't worse.

You can use the GM EOS (Engine oil supplement) with normal oil to get the zinc that you need in order to run a flat tappet cam. It should be available at a dealership.

My personal preference would be to use Shell Rotella oil.
Winner except that nowadays Rotella is not much more that other oils because the Zinc has been reduced (or removed??). You can run any good name brand oil just add the EOS for the first three oil changes.

... cheap oil works fine ...
Oil formulas have changed dude! EOS is a mandatory additive during break in. Also, if you can find it STP 4-cyl oil treatment in the RED bottle has a high zinc content. They've discontinued that as far as I know.

Because of this oil reformulation, my next rebuild is going to have a roller cam... Good luck!
 

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the engine shop i worked in for 4 years, all we ever used for break in and dyno was penzoil 25 50 race oil. Did not matter if it was a race motor, boat motor or muscle car motor. Never had one single issue.
 

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GM pulled EOS, but admist a firestorm to snap up all the remaining supply, GM has a change in heart and reinstated it.

Gm has reinstated this EOS and the new number is 88862586. Now Available.

Agreed, with a FT cam this compound is needed, but proper break in is the most critical step....good pre-oiling which would come out the pushrods. GM had pulled the EOS for the zinc/cat reasons we all now know, but luckily they reinstated this product. I have been running Rotella in my DD truck and crotch rocket with no complaints. Unfortunately it seems all engine oils have been reformulated.
 

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Winner except that nowadays Rotella is not much more that other oils because the Zinc has been removed. You can run any good name brand oil just add the EOS for the first three oil changes.
Zinc has been REDUCED in Rotella, NOT REMOVED. There is still plenty of zinc in the oil for it to do its job. Go over to www.turbomustangs.com and search on engine oil. There were a few guys who actually called the manufacturers and got info on zinc content of the popular oils. You can still find the CI4 plus oil around which has more zinc, but the CJ4 oil is just fine as well.
 

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Oops! I was told to avoid the new CJ-4 spec because of reformulation. Throw a can of EOS in some standard motor oil and there's no questions.
 

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Oops! I was told to avoid the new CJ-4 spec because of reformulation. Throw a can of EOS in some standard motor oil and there's no questions.
IMHO, you don't have to avoid it. There is still plenty of zinc in the CJ-4 oil. If you can find the CI-4 plus stuff however, that's what I would pick if I had the choice.
 

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Make sure you follow the break in instructions for the cam. If it says to take out the inner springs on a dual spring setup make sure you do it. If you don't the possibility of wiping a cam lobe during breakin is almost guaranteed.
 

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Debauchery Wizard
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it seems I stand corrected. I'll keep all this wonderful input in mind for my next build. For now, i'll tuck my tail and head back to my cave:flipoff2:
 
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