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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
20190412_180908_1565039769907.jpg
 

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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.


Sent from my LG-G710 using Tapatalk
 

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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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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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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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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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Daryl G
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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,
Roger,
Just for my understanding: I realize the low-volume setup was not the best in regards to filtering the oil but would this old way of filitering still not be loads better that the Kolher's that replaced the Gravely-made engines that had no oil filter?

arnoldir,
There have been lots of internet fights discussing the almost taboo subject of types of oil to use - there is a loooonnngg one one of the Porsche 911 forums that continues to live after years of discussion, rants, accusations, outright lies, and, occasionally, even some truth appears in the mixture! As those older 911's are air cooled and use flat tappets the zinc content is often THE topic. I owned a 911 and used Mobil-1 synthetic 15W-50 (the synthetic versus conventional oil is a whole other argument:tango_face_wink:). When I changed my car's oil, this little car took 13 quarts (yes, 13!). In regards to what I use in my four Gravelys - I have exclusively used Rotella synthetic 5w-40 and regular Rotella 15w-40. I mix this at approximately 30% synthetic and 70% conventional Rotella. There was a well-versed and highly knowledgeable tribiologist that had reported that a 20% mixture of synthetic will provide 80% of the overall benefit of synthetic. One Gravely of mine that I put a LOT of hours on each year and I can vouch that in regards to lubrication, the Rotella does wonderful job - I have not seen an air-cooled motor run so cool especially in these hot Alabama summers. But, in my opinion, as long as you keep the oil level at the full mark and change it on a regular basis, you will not have any oil-related problem with these fine and rugged machines!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Reply to TobyU,

I purchased and am using the Bottled and ready to go Lucas Hot Rod And Custom 10 -W 30 Motor Oil, not the break in additive.

Per the Zinc-Values.pdf on their website: they have much higher ZDDP levels in the marine and racing only oils.

Marine Engine Oil 2- W-50 3,123 PPM

Racing Only Oil between 3K and 6K PPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Reply to nhgravely and Fireant911,

Thanks for your input, I appreciate your time taken to post and move the discussion forward.

I have read through some of the Zinc "discussions" in other forums and knew going in that it is a hotly debated subject.

It was not my intent to upset the apple cart, just to get my thoughts and research info up here so it might be useful to someone.

To everyone else who posted up, I also thank you for your time and effort as all input is appreciated.

I hope everyone has a good rest of the summer, and smooth mowing to all.

Regards
 

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I think I have said this before (on the forum) don't ever discuss religion or politics with your wife/girlfriend/relatives. So the same goes for talking about oil (or filters) on forums on the web.
 
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