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Oil use in Avanti Engines


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This might seem like a very simplistic question, but what is a good oil to use in the Avanti R1 engines? I know the older engines are constructed differently and running some of the newer oils may not be the best choice. I've seen different suggestions on the net, many of which are rather complex and even involve the use of diesel oils (of which my knowledge is limited). Needless to say, I'm at a bit of a loss on this one. Any suggestions are appreciated. My apologies if this has been asked before. Didn't see it on the forums, but I'm sure it's not the first time it's been addressed. Thanks all.

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The reason many are now recommending the use of diesel approved oils is because of newer automotive motor oils have reduced certain additives that protect camshafts, rocker arms and lifters. I don't have the specific information closeby, but I have read a number of articles on this.

Modern pushrod engines have roller rocker valve trains and due to their inherent lesser friction (and newer EPA regulations), some chemicals have been reduced or removed from oil packages. These are the same chemicals that protect the camshaft, rocker arms and lifters from excessive wear, particularly within the first 1000 miles or so of an engine's life...the break-in period. Many companies report a big increase in camshaft failures due to this.

There are several recommended ways to protect your engine. One is to carefully assemble it with the assembly lube shipped with new cams. Another is to use oils such as Shell Rotella which is designed for diesel applications but also automotive as well. It still has the additives flat tappet engines need....but may not in the future as standards and the market dictates.

One thing you can do is use a GM additive available through dealers. It's an engine pre-lube, but essentially is the GM version of STP Oil Treatment, and much more expensive than STP...something like about $8 per container aginst $2-$3 for STP.

The problem exists primarily for new, not yet broken in engines, but potentially other engines are at risk as well. How high the risk might be is open to debate...maybe none at all, but it's enough to raise eyebrows.

I would think the smart thing to do is maintain a regular oil change schedule, and either use an oil like the Shell Rotella, or a quality oil of your choice with a bottle of STP.

If I can come up with any articles on the subject I'll post them here.

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This might seem like a very simplistic question, but what is a good oil to use in the Avanti R1 engines? I know the older engines are constructed differently and running some of the newer oils may not be the best choice. I've seen different suggestions on the net, many of which are rather complex and even involve the use of diesel oils (of which my knowledge is limited). Needless to say, I'm at a bit of a loss on this one. Any suggestions are appreciated. My apologies if this has been asked before. Didn't see it on the forums, but I'm sure it's not the first time it's been addressed. Thanks all.

The most important thing is to change oil at 3,000 miles. Use any name brand oil, 10W30 is good or 5W30 if you are doing winter driving. I wouldn't recommend diesel oils as some are not rated for gasoline engines and most are 15W40 which is harder on cold starts. Use a good filter like Baldwin or Wix, NAPA filters are Wix.

Jim Wood

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After some more looking around, I found a good post on the Studebaker Driver's Club's forums on the use of oils in Studebaker engines. The link is below:

Oil to use in Studebaker Engines

It seems to have a pretty good breakdown of the oils to try to use. I was able to run across quite a bit of the correct type of Shell Rotella T oil that should work well for the car. Also, if a person is in a rural enough area (such as myself), farm implement dealers are a great source for the older types of oils, as tractors and other equipment does not need to meet environmental standards. Biggest thing to watch for would be to make sure it was still a detergent oil so the sludge doesn't build up. What I found so far, so figured I'd share the info. Thanks again all.

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first, Wix does NOT make most NAPA filters, only the "NAPA Gold" filters. After a few scores of hours in research, I now stick to WIX and those they make. (Surprise, cheaper than many Fram Filters)

Second,

Oil is a favorite advocation of mine. Went to API, SAE, ISO, and test sites and looked it up. Spent about $100 in downloading the real stuff from these sites. Also, the current rebuilder rags were hot on this about 6 years ago. I am planning on offering a paper with my findings either to the SDC or Avanti mags when I get time to put it together.

The bottom line:

1. If you are using ANY OIL ADDITIVES, you are either using the wrong oil, or you love enriching people who do not deserve it.

2. All oils are very heavily designed to have all the additives you will need for your Oil Change Interval (OCI)

3. For pre-1975 vehicles, your best oil is those rated "CI-4+", "CJ-4", or later. There are several reasons, which I will put in my article with the several technical paper references.

4. For non-synthetic brands include "Mobil Delvac 1300", "Chevron Delo 400", "Shell Rotella T", "(Citco) Mystic", when in doubt, look for CI-4+ for CJ-4.

5. Remember, the recommended viscosity was 30W. 15w-40 is way easier on the engine than what the original owner used.

6. Synthetic? Even better! All of the majors have CI-4+/CJ-4 Synthetics, either 5w-40 or 0w-40. I will use as soon I get the leaks down to a mere "puddle." (cost issues).

After some more looking around, I found a good post on the Studebaker Driver's Club's forums on the use of oils in Studebaker engines. The link is below:

Oil to use in Studebaker Engines

It seems to have a pretty good breakdown of the oils to try to use. I was able to run across quite a bit of the correct type of Shell Rotella T oil that should work well for the car. Also, if a person is in a rural enough area (such as myself), farm implement dealers are a great source for the older types of oils, as tractors and other equipment does not need to meet environmental standards. Biggest thing to watch for would be to make sure it was still a detergent oil so the sludge doesn't build up. What I found so far, so figured I'd share the info. Thanks again all.

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Well all the NAPA filters that I've cut open, including their Silver Line, have been WIX. I guess both the NAPA distributor and the WIX rep. could also be lying to me.

People over-complicate oil changes. My experience is 24 years with my own fleet oil change business and over 500,000 oil changes. My job is to make these engines last with no problems.

Just change the oil at 3,000 miles with a name brand oil and use a good filter. You will be happy with the results.

Jim Wood

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Well all the NAPA filters that I've cut open, including their Silver Line, have been WIX. I guess both the NAPA distributor and the WIX rep. could also be lying to me...Jim Wood

I do not have the info on hand any more, but I think that you "were" right on the silver. However, the Silver line has been discontinued in favor of other sub-brands. I believe that I am on firm ground on saying, at this time, only the NAPA Gold are MANUFACTURED by Wix.

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  • 4 months later...

First of 3 articles on the Right Oil is scheduled for the Avanti Magazine, November 2007.

This might seem like a very simplistic question, but what is a good oil to use in the Avanti R1 engines? I know the older engines are constructed differently and running some of the newer oils may not be the best choice. I've seen different suggestions on the net, many of which are rather complex and even involve the use of diesel oils (of which my knowledge is limited). Needless to say, I'm at a bit of a loss on this one. Any suggestions are appreciated. My apologies if this has been asked before. Didn't see it on the forums, but I'm sure it's not the first time it's been addressed. Thanks all.
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