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1964 Studebaker Avanti R-1


63 Avanti R2
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Thanks ernie for the input. That's good to know. I'm putting 10W-30 Rotella oil in it. It has close to 102,000 miles on it, valve job at 80,000. Is this a oil I should be using?

I would like some input as to what oil other owners of the Avanti 289V8 use.

Thank you

Steve

Edited by 63 Avanti R2
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10W-30 should be fine for your car, but it's really a personal preference. If you live where the climate has seasonal changes then a multi-weight is just fine year round. If you live in the Southwest like Arizona where it's always hot a straight 30 weight HD oil could be called for but again, a multi-weight like the 10W-30 is fine.

The Studebaker manual says your engine should show normal oil pressure between 45 and 60 psi at 2000 rpm's at normal operating temperatures. It does say that can also depend on oil temperature and viscosity but as long as it's within that range you're good to go.

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Oil discussions have gone on for pages on the SDC forum. I have been using 15w-40 Rotella for a few years now. It's a diesel spec and has additives that are supposed to be better for flat tappet camshaft engines.

Some online research will give you tons of opinions but generally it seems that newer formulations of 10w-30 aren't the best for older engines.

ErnieR

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Should I be using the 15w-40 Rotella instead of the 10w-30? Would that help quiet the lifters? I'm in Minnesota.

Ernie and Gunslinger, your comments, please.

Switching gears. I saw a 1963 gran turismo silver hawk on the rack having a break job. The car had disc brakes in the front. I thought only Avanti had those.

Thanks Guys

Steve

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You probably just need to adjust the lifters the oil shouldn't make a difference unless it hasn't been changed in a very long time.

The change couldn't hurt and I don't think the viscosity would make that much difference in the cold.

ErnieR

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Avanti disc brakes were an option on Hawks and Larks after the Avanti went into production. They could be ordered separately on a car or later as part of the "Super" package, including Avanti engines, transmissions and other heavy duty and go fast pieces.

The oil controversy is quite complex with lots and lots of misinformation on the net. Without going into it too much, if you use a quality oil with sufficient ZDDP (zinc), you'll be fine. They are on the market...Shell Rotella...not all but you have to read the specs on the container. Brad Penn and Joe Gibbs motor oils have the additives you need. Others do as well but you may have to look for them. There are ZDDP additives you can use as well as the old standby STP.

From everything I have read on the subject and with all the opinions, counter-opinions, facts and alleged facts, the best I can surmise is it's basically high performance flat tappet engines with high valve spring pressures that are most at risk for problems. Low compression engines don't seem to be at near the risk or hundreds of thousands older cars would be wiping cams...and they're not. The highest risk for all engines seems to be after assembly and startup for camshaft break-in. Many say if the cam is going to wipe it will be during break-in or it never will. True or not I can't say but it seems reasonable.

The issue is far more complex than that...it involved poor quality camshafts and lifters made offshore coming into the country several years back, not using the proper assembly lube and poor break-in procedures by a few engine builders, changes in the oil formulations, etc.

If you use the appropriate oil with ZDDP, additives aren't needed, but they can be of help (if nothing but psychological) if you use an oil without the ZDDP. Then regular oil changes and you're good to go.

BTW - if your lifters are adjusted properly you live with the noise...part and parcel of a solid lifter engine. It's a somewhat rare thing these days...use that fact for impressing people. Solid lifters means performance to many...you don't have to tell them all Studebaker built engines were solid lifter...even economy engines.

Edited by Gunslinger
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Thanks to both of you, Ernie and Gunslinger, you have been very helpful and knowledgeable.

BTW I have a R2 I did a frame off. It's been painted. Now it has to go back together :rolleyes:

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  • 1 month later...

Just another opinion. As the others say, there has been numerous articles written on this subject along with many opinions. To add mine, the factory called for straight weight oil. My experience is that 30W works the best. When I used 10W-30W, I had a noticeable drop in oil pressure. I would suggest that if you use multi-viscous oil that you use the heavier oil such as 15W-40W. 10W-30W is too light. I don't care what they claim, no oil can have 10W cold and 30W hot as this is a compromise. Also you can save some money by using STP or Lucas Oil additive. They both claim that they contain sufficient zinc. ZDDP certainly contains the zinc, but why spend more money if it is not necessary. Also, too much zinc can also be a problem. I have used STP for many years and have not had any problems. Ted Harbit uses Lucas without problems even during racing.

More food for thought. Hope this helps.

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Just another opinion. As the others say, there has been numerous articles written on this subject along with many opinions. To add mine, the factory called for straight weight oil. My experience is that 30W works the best. When I used 10W-30W, I had a noticeable drop in oil pressure. I would suggest that if you use multi-viscous oil that you use the heavier oil such as 15W-40W. 10W-30W is too light. I don't care what they claim, no oil can have 10W cold and 30W hot as this is a compromise. Also you can save some money by using STP or Lucas Oil additive. They both claim that they contain sufficient zinc. ZDDP certainly contains the zinc, but why spend more money if it is not necessary. Also, too much zinc can also be a problem. I have used STP for many years and have not had any problems. Ted Harbit uses Lucas without problems even during racing.

More food for thought. Hope this helps.

The previous owner was using Rotunda 10W-30. The oil pressure is very good. 80p when cold and 60p warm at 2500rpm.

thanks for your input.

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