Lotus Elan

And the craziness goes on (oil)

PostPost by: JonB » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:45 pm

I was in Halfords looking at some gear oil for my trunnions.

I do need an engine oil change. Got a new filter from Sue and so thought I'd grab some of the Halfords Classic Car 20W50 for ?20. Apparently it's Duckhams? The only question over it is the amount of zinc in the make up. 800ppm according to some reading I did, but the Twink needs 1200ppm. Something to do with the valve seats.

As my car has some unknown oil in it, and it's dirty as hell, I figure it won't be a retrograde step. I do not trust what the PO has done here. Yet the Halfords stuff also has some leak inhibitor (according to the tin) which is probably that crud that swells the rubber seals up a bit. I'm vaguely concerned... but I have leaks so what the heck...

If you think this oil is not a good choice, tell me now before I open the can! As I plan to change it regularly I can correct any mistake next time.
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:04 pm

If the oil is Duckhams then you will need to stay with that and top with the same, I had compatibility problems with it but that was way back when Duckhams was THE oil.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:17 pm

I'd also read that it was Comma oil, rebadged. I think it's green mineral oil.
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:42 pm

I have used Halfords Classic 20W50 oil for at least 10 years, or 30000 miles, in my +2.

No problems to report and the cams do not seem to be wearing unduly.

I do change the oil every winter - that's every 2-3000 miles - very important IMHO.

I also use the Ford Mondeo Zetec 1.6 oil filter - again no problems I can see.

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PostPost by: Davidb » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:03 pm

Dave: What are the advantages of the Mondeo oil filter and what is the model number? Thanks.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:44 pm

I invested in a couple of cases of Duckhams a few years ago - still in tins!
From what my engine man says with a rebuilt engine you can use pretty well anything with a reasonable cold viscosity.
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PostPost by: davea » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:33 am

It's not about the valve seats. It's about the cams and the tappets
(which I had to look up in the parts book, I can never remember
the right word in US or UK English).
Zddp (zinc and more) cushions the cams when they strike the tappets.

The zddp was reduced to save air/fuel (lambda) sensors
and catalytic converters.
Which our old engines don't have! And in any case
sensor life is a non-issue for
the few running a sensor for some reason.

If one never uses full power and or full rpm it might not be relevant.
(might not . But why take a chance?)
But who drives a Lotus TwinCam engine at low rpm? Nobody. No fun.

Race use with too-low zddp can ruin a set of cams in a weekend.
Just to calibrate this in your mind.

There are additives available (at least in US) that will supplement the
zddp in the oil.
So. Get to 1200 ppm zddp ( or zinc/zddp, that's the key ingredient) somehow.
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:16 pm

Davidb,

It's a Halfords HOF265 oil filter. Nothing special about it, except it's easy to get hold of.

FoMoCo have used this type of filter for many, many years.

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PostPost by: SENC » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:11 pm

Not sure if it is readily available over there, but Brad Penn Penn Grade 1 has 1500 ppm zddp and has a strong following in the states.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:06 pm

Chat to opieoils www.opieoils.co.uk we get all our oil from them and last time i looked they had a huge selection of Classic oil's from a number of different manufactures.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:44 pm

Here in Vancouver I have a supplier of Kendall GT-1 "High Zinc"--I suspect it is related to the Brad Penn but no proof of that. Good stuff-we have used it in racing since the seventies.

Edit: I just did the research that I should have done earlier-this from an MG forum apparently:

Originally you had Pennzoil, Quaker State, Wolf's Head, Kendall, and Amalie all located in PA.

The Pennzoil Company bought the Wolf's Head Company sometime back in the 70's and Kendall and Amalie merged together by a company called Witco. Then The Pennzoil Company bought Quaker State Oil Company to form the Pennzoil/Quaker State Company and they still made Wolf's Head oil. Witco sold the Kendall name to Conoco/Phillips and Amalie moved their operations to Tampa, FL. Witco then sold the Bradford Refinery to American Refinery Corp where they now make Brad Penn and Gulf oils. After Shell Oil purchased the Pennzoil/Quaker State Company, they sold the Wolf's Head name to the company that owns Amalie in Tampa.

The current Kendall GT-1 is not green. The only green oil that I know of from all of this is the Brad Penn Racing Oils.

If you do a google search for Amalie and Wolf's Head you will see that they have the same address in Tampa and the same contact names.

All very confusing, but that's where we are at today.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:27 pm

Just a word of caution re ZDDP. More is not necessarily better:

This by Brad Penn:
There is such a thing as too much ZDDP.
ZDDP is surface aggressive, and too much can be a detriment.
ZDDP fights for the surface, blocking other additive performance.
Acids generated due to excessive ZDDP contact will ?tie-up? detergents thus encouraging corrosive wear.
ZDDP effectiveness plateaus, more does NOT translate into more protection. Only so much is utilized.
We don?t need to saturate our oil with ZDDP.

My engine builder, Dave Vegher, recommended Brad Penn, Swepco, and Joe Gibbs. I am running Gibbs Driven XP5 semi-synthetic (20-50w) in my high output (street) Twink. Vegher uses Gibbs full synthetic in his race cars.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:57 pm

Well, I just thought "sod it" and changed the oil & filter using the Halfords Classic stuff. Very thick and stringy, it's green like snot and tricky to pour as I discovered when prefilling the filter. Ended up screwing a petrol can spout on it and waiting... and waiting... cor it's thick!

Eventually I'm done, quick check of the stick, looks good, start 'er up, banzai! All good. Engine purring, sounds healthier than before (I think - all very subjective).

As I am going to be changing oil every 3000 miles I can always put something better in later. Happy for now.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:01 pm

Jon, the PO ran my Elan on Halfrauds classic oil for years, & whilst not driving it particularly hard, put in fairly high annual mileages. We had the engine out & stripped down to cure a couple of persistent oil leaks just before I bought it, & there was nothing to suggest the oil hadn't been doing it's job perfectly well. No discernable wear, & everything nice & clean. I saw no reason to change, so have continued to use it in my ownership. I've also started using it in the +2, which I had always run on Duckhams when you could still get it. :D

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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:27 pm

Did Duckhams just disapear, or was it assimilated by another company? The local distributor sponsored me with this oil back in the early 80"s. I really liked it, and it worked well in my 9000+ rpm engines. Later on, he stopped carrying the product, and I switched to Kendall.
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