Lotus Elan

Engine oil

PostPost by: MACCA.GLM » Tue Aug 29, 2023 3:22 pm

Hi all

What oil are you using in your Twinks. I have 20/50 from Halfords in my engine.It gives good oil pressure 60ps,i and when hot, engine ticks over at 20psi. A bit concerned as to wether its protecting enough especially when driving hard.

Thought about synthetic maybe mobil 1 but do I really need it as the cost is quite significant especially if changing every 6k miles. Having said that I am probably only doing 3/4 k a year. Also am worried about lower oil pressure especially when hot as on previous times using it on my excel and plus two 30 plus years ago I remember was very low when hot.

You're thoughts please

G
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Aug 29, 2023 3:48 pm

Personally I always use a full true group 4 / 5 synthetic oil, typically 10W-50. Much better oxidation resistance and less crud build up in the engine and overall less wear. This type of oil such as Mobil 1 is not cheap and you should change it every 5k miles maximum but worth it in my opinion for best engine protection. Compared to the cost of an engine it really is not expensive. Others may disagree

It looks like you have a HP pump or perhap a HP/HV pump from the pressures you report. I would not worry about 20 psi hot at idle.

cheers
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Aug 29, 2023 3:53 pm

rgh0 wrote:Compared to the cost of an engine it really is not expensive.


Very much this. Even at £50 each change it worth spending the extra IMO, when you compare the cost versus fuel you'll use it not that much more.

I also think oil filters are over looked. It important to use a good filter as well as good oil. I've been using Mobil 1 filters and been surprised how long the oil stays clean but I don't think they are easily available in the UK.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Aug 29, 2023 5:25 pm

mbell wrote:
rgh0 wrote:Compared to the cost of an engine it really is not expensive.


Very much this. Even at £50 each change it worth spending the extra IMO, when you compare the cost versus fuel you'll use it not that much more.

I also think oil filters are over looked. It important to use a good filter as well as good oil. I've been using Mobil 1 filters and been surprised how long the oil stays clean but I don't think they are easily available in the UK.


Mobil 1 filters are made by Mann. I think they are some of the best.

Use the recommended viscosity of 20W/50. Use a brand with ZDDP additive package above 1000ppm. Coventional race oils are absolutely fine. Oil temps on the twink are modest unless you are wringing the most HP out of it. I use the Valvoline 20W/50 conventional racing oil as well. It's most suitable for flat tappet valve trains such as ours.
Last edited by StressCraxx on Wed Aug 30, 2023 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Tue Aug 29, 2023 5:38 pm

Hi G.
Is that three or four thousand miles or is it three quarters of a thousand miles.
I use Valvoline 20/50 semi synthetic mainly because the local car parts shop stock it and recommended it.
I change the oil and filter each March as part of my annual service and safety checks.
I do about 1000 miles per year.
I replaced the 60psi pump that my car came with for the correct 40psi version and also get about 20psi when idling hot.
Hope this helps
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Aug 29, 2023 9:10 pm

'oil such as Mobil 1 is not cheap and you should change it every 5k miles maximum but worth it in my opinion for best engine protection. Compared to the cost of an engine it really is not expensive. Others may disagree'

And I certainly do that. On one of my cars, I bought with 9k miles on the clock after it had been restored by Mick Miller. Over the next 25 years I threw anything and everything, oil wise, into that engine, but changed it religiously every 3k miles. Even gallons of oil that I inherited that was 30 years old, new obviously, went into it, but always a mineral oil.

Come 2019, and the clock coming round to 40k miles, it was time to rebuild the engine due to oil leaks only, it was running lovely. On examination of all internal parts, there was NO wear detectable, including bores, so I just cleaned everything and put it all back together. Didn't even change the rings, but kept them in their original places.

The engine is just coming up to 50k miles now, still running sweet and no oil leaks thus far. My conclusion to the engine oil crisis? It does not matter what you put in a Twin Cam, so long as you use a reasonable quality and change it regularly.

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PostPost by: alanr » Tue Aug 29, 2023 9:16 pm

I use Valvoline VR1 25/50 Racing Mineral oil. My thoughts are that a mineral oil is more suitable for our engines than a synthetic oil.
I used it for years when racing Formula Ford 1600 which although obviously not a twink engine, but basically the same Ford engine bottom end so I guess it is a case of me sticking with an oil that I have a long and good experience of.

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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Wed Aug 30, 2023 7:54 am

Craig Beck just rebuilt my twink (brilliant service and result separate post to come on that) to fast road spec 138bhp and he recommended 20-60W Motul semi-synthetic for my engine at least.

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PostPost by: sng » Wed Aug 30, 2023 8:42 am

Timely subject, after recently putting my car back on the road I researched this subject on this forum and found very few recent posts so decided to go rogue and buy (I am in the UK) : -

Millers Oils, Classic High Performance 20w50, the reasons were;

1, After attending a presentation at a Club Lotus meeting in the late 80's the then owner of QED strongly recommended a fully synthetic oil as it would cover/protect the components for longer when car parked in the garage. Plus the other benefits of a synthetic oil but that one seemed crucial for a low mileage car.

2, It was 20w50, I only have a very basic knowledge of tribology so decided to keep it simple.

3, The oil is designed for high performance classic engines, i.e. Lotus Twin Cams as against their standard mineral 20w50 which I feel is more suited to the less tuned engines of the period.

4, Millers claims a suitable ZDDP count for a classic engine. I did read with interest previous posts on this subject so not a deal breaker for me.

5, It comes in a 5 Litre can, this allows enough oil to refill the engine and for a few top ups between oil changes (depending on how oil tight your engine is).

6, I could get it delivered to my door for around 50 UK pounds. It was available from a number of trusted outlets.


As I only changed the oil 40 miles a go, all I can say is that it gives good oil pressure (40 lbs) and did not fall out the bottom of the engine when I poured it in the top. Interested in other opinions as it looked like Millers have designed this oil specifically for Lotus Twin Cam engines and the period rivals from other manufacturers.
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Wed Aug 30, 2023 11:03 am

Hi

Just ordered Millers pistonese 20/50 from Halfords, pick up £29
good Price
John

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PostPost by: 661 » Wed Aug 30, 2023 12:37 pm

Road car Fuchs Titan Race Pro R 15-50
Race car Motul 300V 20-60
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PostPost by: didit » Fri Sep 01, 2023 5:03 pm

Hello --

My +2/S130 arrived last October with its engine running with Amsoil Z-Rod 20/50, and seven quarts reserve in a box in the boot. The previous owner had been using this oil for quite a few years. So planning to keep with it as changes can have unpredictable results, potentially negative. So far it will consume roughly half a quart every 400-500 miles with no visible signs of leaking at the gaskets, which seems quite acceptable.

Best .. Ian
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PostPost by: Davidb » Sun Sep 17, 2023 6:33 pm

Do I read the original poster correctly-6000 miles between oil changes?!
This is far too long a distance. I would suggest a max of 3000 miles or less. I usually change by 2000 miles.
I would suggest to the original poster that he change the oil once a year or at least at 3000 miles.

My background is as service manager for Volvo and VW/Audi/Porsche--I saw Lots of examples of people not changing the oil frequently enough-the results were always expensive!

Synthetic has the advantage of greater stability at high temperatures-no other significant advantages that I am aware of?
'65 S2 4844
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