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post #1 of 24 Old 08-05-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Hello All,

Just my 2 cents, exchange rates may vary.

The engine oil additive package often called "Zinc", refers to the compound ZDDP which is an abbreviation for a much longer scientific set of names for Zinc and Phosphorus that I am not going to try and type out. Apparently, this compound does a number on catalytic converters and has been reduced in most typical automotive engine oils.

Per the literature, the ZDDP is a clingy particulate that works to prevent metal to metal contact under high load, and makes a big difference with flat tappet camshafts.

After getting my first Walk behind Gravely, a 1968 model L, I started to dig around about oil types and came to the conclusion that the High ZDDP should make sense for these older engines, and in particular the bronze gear in the differential.

My search first landed me on the Valvoline VR-1 Racing Oil, and I've tried that in my L with no issues so far.

Digging around some more, I find that the Lucas Hot Rod and Classic Motor Oil has about twice the ZDDP of the VR-1, So I ordered a case of 3 of the 5 Quart jugs.

I put the Lucas in the Kohler engine and gearbox of my Commercial 10A and will see how it goes.

Lucas also has a Marine Engine Oil with even more ZDDP, but I was able to find the Hot Rod stuff much easier.

Just looking to pass along my thoughts, but I am far from an expert on this stuff, just a guy looking to protect his old beaters
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-05-2019, 05:16 PM
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I try and keep it simple.
I run 15/40 diesel oil in both my 212 tractors.
Then they get some Lucas oil stabilizer.
I also add it to the diff/ trans assembly.
It has been working great.
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-05-2019, 06:22 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Years ago a product called Street Legal Oil Boost (SLOB) was on the market and I bought around 20 bottles. It's 4800 ppm of zinc.
I use it in my older engines.

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post #4 of 24 Old 08-05-2019, 06:54 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Gentelmen,

There is no wonder product that can cure abuse, the abuse of neglect of not changing oil frequently, the erroded metal in important places; and/or the self-inflected abuse of pumping unflitered oil right back into a crank pin, aka low volume oil pump system.

Whatever or however the abuse a tractor incurred thrity to sixty years ago cannot be corrected buy a traveling salseman promissing a mircle cure in a bottle. His miracle juice may 'fill' a void temporaly, but metal worn away, is metal worn away.

A full-flow oil filteration system was one of Gravelys greatest improvements. No more junk pumped right back into the crank pin, drive pinion bushing, and sun gear. Unfortunely the conversion kits from low to high volume are no longer available. The conversion with the proper parts from donner tractors is doable, but it is a complete tear down and splitting bottom cases. The oil pump drive gear shaft has to be changed.

Roger,

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post #5 of 24 Old 08-05-2019, 08:47 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

I have read to much zinc is just as bad as to little. I use the Valvoline VR1 in all my flat tappet equipment. I use to use Rotella Diesel until the zinc was dropped.
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-05-2019, 10:09 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariens93GT20 View Post
I have read to much zinc is just as bad as to little. I use the Valvoline VR1 in all my flat tappet equipment. I use to use Rotella Diesel until the zinc was dropped.
There is no oil on the market with too much zinc today though. 1200-1500 PPM would be great but hard to find that even.

On the abuse thing. It's not about a cure additive. It's about keeping the oil in it that will prevent the most wear and keep cams oblong longer.
When oil went to SN a few years ago.....I read that Competition Cams stated that they had more cam failures in 3 years than they did in the past 30!!!

Several other "racing oils" that have high zinc too.
Really important on flat tappet cams in old stuff. Most for the past 20 years are OHC and not going to matter for cams.
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 09:10 AM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Here's my take on this:
Because the T-head is not really a "flat tappet" engine (lifters are radiused) and the valve spring pressures are really low compared to an automotive engine I think any good diesel rated oil should be fine for these engines. I use 10w-30 Rotella w/ WIX filters. Have seen no issues with the lifters (no changes in valve clearance over time) and the additive package in the diesel oil keeps the engine very clean and sludge free. All of mine are full flow oil systems; don't know what effect this oil would have on the older bypass filter system.

High zinc racing and break-in oils are very expensive compared to Rotella (at least double or more); if you are worried about the oil just change it twice as often and you still will be ahead. Oil really is cheap compared to fixing worn out parts. I believe that most of the suspected oil related wear in the L engines is the result of dirt contamination, transmission related wear contaminants and water damage, not the lack of zinc in the new oils.
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Reply to TobyU,

The datasheet for the Lucas Hot Rod and Custom is 2,100 PPM Zinc, Hence my interest in trying it.

Cost per case on amazon was $93 free shipping for a per quart cost of $6.20 to my door.

I paid about the same for the VR-1 10W30 through Amazon.

And to Roger, I agree no substitute for proper change intervals and no magic bullet for fixing damage.

Being an Engineer, I tend to over analyze things.
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 01:17 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Best I can tell Rotella 10W-30 contains about 1050 to 1150 PPM zinc right now.

Go to bobistheoilguy.com, lots of good reading. Some is even over my head.
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Reply to nhgravely,

I had sent an info request to shell about the zinc levels in Rotella, their reply below sent on 5/9/2018

"The Rotella T1 30 has about 1000 PPM Zinc level. We recommend the Rotella T4 Triple Protection 10W-30 which has about 1200 PPM Zinc level meeting the requirements of your older Gravely Walk Behind Tractor."

I had asked if they had anything with 1,200 PPM for my Old Gravely.

Based on that, I moved to the T4 in the 28 hp Lombardini air cooled Diesel in my Magnatrac 6000 crawler.
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post #11 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 01:34 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

The Rotella bottle says nothing about it zinc content and has not for several years. Where are you finding it current zinc level? I would preferer using it on count of it diesel detergents and had used it till the new federal regulations. That is when the zinc level was removed from the bottle label.
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Reply to Ariens93GT20,

I had sent an info request via the shell website and received the E-mail reply I quoted above from the following: [email protected]

Regards
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 06:49 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Here's a Blackstone sheet with Rotella T6 CK4(the new formula) off BITOG that shows it having 1180 ppm of Zinc.

Thread. https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...j-4-sm-vs-ck-4
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-06-2019, 09:34 PM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

I will look into it before the next purchase. Only reason I moved away from Rotella was lack of zinc. So T6 has it. The tractor stores should have this correct?
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-07-2019, 03:09 AM
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Re: High Zinc (ZDDP) Engine Oil: My 2 cents

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnoldir View Post
Reply to TobyU,

The datasheet for the Lucas Hot Rod and Custom is 2,100 PPM Zinc, Hence my interest in trying it.

Cost per case on amazon was $93 free shipping for a per quart cost of $6.20 to my door.

I paid about the same for the VR-1 10W30 through Amazon.

And to Roger, I agree no substitute for proper change intervals and no magic bullet for fixing damage.

Being an Engineer, I tend to over analyze things.
2100 is great but you can't run it on straight Lucas. Lol
Many oils are only 800 PPM. Most additives like Lucas or STP (which I think is even higher zinc) say to run at 20%. You could go 25-30 and be safe I guess but you would have to do the math depending on crankcase capacity to see how much you could get by with and what that would bring levels up to.

If my fast math is correct, even if you were 50% or 1:1 you would only be at 1450 ppm, so at 20% lucas it's going to be a lot lower than that and not up to what other high zinc oils offer. I get 960 but it's late.
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