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(Spyder) Zetec Oil Choice & Hydraulic Tappets

PostPost by: gavk » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:32 pm

Any other Zetec (Silvertop) owners out there been finding their hydraulic tappets noisy throughout the winter months?

I use my car about 5 days a week and it gets good motorway runs where the oil gets nicely up to temperature. I also change my oil approximately every 5k so sludge buildup is not an issue.

Through the summer was fine but this winter I found tappet noise on every start for the first 5 or so mins till the oil or engine warmed up.

I had always been using the (revised) Ford oil spec which was 5w30 and using either Ford Formula F or Castrol Magnatec (the 2 oils recommend by Ford).

After much internet research into oil technology and hearing about proper Ester based Fully Synth Oils I decided to dip my toe in.

I was also interested to learn how the 2 oil viscosity ratings are reached (eg the 5 and the 30 in 5w30).

I suspected that 0W30 might give me better oil flow at startup due to the lower cold viscosity compared to a 5w oil. I looked and looked but as far as i can see there is absolutely no negative to using a 0W30 in a Zetec (besides increased cost).

There is a misconception that 0w oils may be "too thin" but a 0w oil can offer the same performance as a 5w oil once it's up to operating temperature, the 0w just happens to flow better when cold.

I had a chat to Opie Oils and they confirmed my thoughts and agreed that the 0W30 Gulf Racing/Competition would be a good choice for the Zetec engine. It was approximately ?35 for 5L which is a great price for Ester based Fully Synth.

For the first couple of days after oil change the noisy tappets were still present at cold start although *slightly* quieter, I was a bit disappointed. But day by day they got quieter, and quieter and.....gone.

After months of cold start tappet noise it is now totally eradicated, even in the sub zero temps we've been having.

I can't recommend the Gulf Competition 0w30 highly enough.

Interested to hear any other Zetec owners thoughts or experiences?

Cheers

Gav
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PostPost by: PeterK » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:07 pm

I use Mobil 3000 (5/30) and not noticed any issues. Once in a while I sense a sticking tappet, but that clears after an initial blip of the throttle.
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PostPost by: gavk » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:02 pm

Cheers for the info Peter, glad to hear there are some other good options out there for Zetec owners.

I dont seem to remember the tappet noise being prominent the winter when I was running the Ford formula F Oil so maybe it's something to do with the Magnatec I was using.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:52 pm

To my shame I'm unsure as to which Zetec I have in my +2! I'm guessing it's a black top and I have always run it on 5w30 semi synthetic Castrol or similar since 2008. It's never been tappety so it's probably not hydraulic lifters, in fact it's quiet as a mouse at tickover and low revs. I have done around 35,000 miles since 2008.

Apart from the noise and an outbreak of mechanical sympathy from the driver I think that a Zetec is pretty bombproof, I have seen engines with over 100,000 miles where you can still see the honing marks in the bores, no valve seat recession , no nothing.... Just remember to change the cam belt every 6 years.
Kindest regards

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