Jump to content

Engine Oil Grade


Recommended Posts

I know we have had this issue discussed extensively in past, but I still need some clarification.

When it comes to engine oil grade for use in Triumph TR3 or TR4, some sites suggest 20W50 (I believe that includes the Moss Motors). However, when I look at the table in my user’s manual (see attached), there is no mention of such a grade.

 

So, the question is that considering the fact that we (or at least, I) never use my car at temperatures even near freezing (0 deg. C), what would be the optimal engine oil grade for such cars?

TR3 engine oil grade.pdf

TR3 engine oil grade.pdf

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using Castrol 10W30 in the engine of my 1958 TR3A since I re-built it with new rings in 2007 (14,000 miles). Before that I was using Castrol 20W50 and my engine was losing lots of oil out the vent pipe and this problem was caused because the rings were permitting "blow-by" which pressurised the sump. The engine needed the new rings to sort out the problem. The liners were honed at this time also. I do not need to add oil between oil changes since I put in the new rings whereas with the worn rings and 20W50 oil, I had to add a quart every 600 miles.

 

Looking at the attachment, it tells me that this page from your manual might have been printed before 20W50 oil existed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

on your list ESSO list a 10W30.

This is a modern version of 20W50.

The multigrade offers a slightly more flexible lubricant than a single grade.

Use any of the qulaity makes - Penrite, Castrol, etc. Halfords, and others, do a 'classic' 20W50 oil that is very good.

 

Roger

Edited by RogerH
Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, I am totally ignorant of all things sidescreen and am on a steep learning curve.

When I bought my TR2, it had a newly rebuilt engine, the vendor said it was filled with non-detergent sae50 and not to use owt else. Now in my book sae50 is getting on for being gear oil, and as time goes on, the alarm bells are begining to ring.Am I right to be cynical or am I being paranoid?, it does'nt burn any oil, but I'm begining to think it looks a bit sludgy"

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought my 1958 TR3A brand new there were no detergent oils available and I used non-detergent Castrol #30 weight in the summer and #10 grade oil in the winter. Then detergent oils were developed. This additive in the oil keeps the dirt, chips and whatever sludge that you can find in an internal combustion engine "in suspension". This means that the engine stays clean and the "contaminants" will circulate in the engine to be trapped by the oil filter. This is not as bad for the engine because prior to this the sludge which developed would be trapped by the oil filter and this would reduce the oil flowing to where it is needed. So by using a detergent oil there should be less heavy gummy-like sludge or none at all found in the engine. This sludge would be readily noticable if you removed the valve cover.

 

This is the way these new detergent oils were explained and promoted by the oil producers.

 

Multi-grade oils were introduced at about the same time. A multi-grade oil like 10W30 means that in the winter, the oil has the viscosity of a former #10 single weight oil for easy starting in the cold but as the engine warms up to operating temperature, the oil has the viscosity of a single-weight #30 oil. This also applies to 20W50 oils. Another way to this would be to look at viscosity graphs of various oils and grades - as a function of operating temperature. You will notice the cross-over temperatures and that the slope of the viscosity curve is altered.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Check that ZDDP content is OK - modern petrol engine oils have low levels to avoid cat problems, but cam followers need ZDDP. ZDDP done to death in TR6 posts recently. I shall be using diesel oil for that reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's best to forget original service book oil recommendations, as modern oils are so much improved.

 

In the '50's, engines sludged up and often needed rebuilding after 90,000 or less miles.

 

By contrast, with modern detergent oils, cars can go 300,000 miles before needing an engine rebuild.

 

We've found that of conventional oils, Castrol Edge Sport 20W50 shows the least wear in stripped down TR competition engines.

 

Others report good results from semi synthetic engine oils, where a lighter grade such as 15W40 should be used. (Source: Racing Manager, Penrite Oils).

 

Early Jag owners are swapping to diesel oils, which have a higher ZDDP content and enhanced soot dispersal additives.

 

Whatever you choose, avoid SM rated oils which have about 10% reduced ZDDP content. An SL or earlier rating has sufficient ZDDP for our flat tappet engines. (As distinct from roller tappets)

 

Regards,

 

Viv.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks

Thank you for the replies.

 

So, as far as I am concerned, for now, we should forget the W part (since I personally never drive the car at below 10 deg C; I live in Canada!).

So, the difference in actual viscosity between a 30 weight oil (being in the range of 10-13 cST) and 50 weight (being in the range of 18-22 cSi), in my opinion, is reasonably large. I therefore should disagree with the suggestion that 10W30 of today is the same as 20W50 of yesteryears! Viscosity is viscosity, regardless of when it was or will be measured; isn't it.

 

So, in closing; should we conclude that we MUST put 20W50 (for summer driving) as oppose 10W30?

 

Cheers!

Farid

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very satisfied using Castrol 10W30 oil in my engine with 4 ounces of ZDDP Plus additive every oil change. I buy it from a chap who restores Jags in Toronto. I think I'll stay with the 10W30 grade until I feel that I'm having to add too much between oil changes, then I switch over to 20W50. I also live in Canada and only use my TR3A in the summer. I think that the 50 part of the 20W50 oil will leave more on the cylinder walls in the summer than the 30 part of the 10W30 grade so I suspect that the 10W30 oil will not burn or carbonise as readily because it will not stay up on the cylinder walls and burn. From 1990 to 2007, I drove that engine in my TR3A over 94,000 miles and never saw any sludge accumulation. That's haw far morerm oil development has progressed since the late 1950s. I do not race my car but I drive it often and on many long trips.

Link to post
Share on other sites

10W/30 is not and never has been the same thing as 20W/50 - the lighter multigrades came to the fore as fuel economy became more of a priority and tolerances of engine components became finer from the early 1970s. The wet liner TR engine isn't too fussy as to what it runs on, but 20W/50 has served many of us well for decades - and is arguably more effective than 10W/30 at maintaining oil pressure under adverse conditions.

 

Cheers,

 

Alec

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 years later...

Hi

 

Would Castrol GTX 15W40 A3/B3 be a good choice for my TR3A, as it is readily available here in sunny Portugal and at a reasonable cost (€20)?

 

...and now I found this:

 

http://www.castrol.com/en_gb/united-kingdom/products/cars/classic-oils.html

 

has anyone any experience or advice on this?

Edited by qim
Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably no need for a multi grade oil in a sidescreen TR, and certainly not in a warm climate.

 

I'd also look for an oil with high ZDDP content to protect flat tappets. It's a zinc additive -- google it for more info, or search here on the forum.

 

Most everyday oils won't have sufficient levels. Look for a "classic" oil or "racing" oil.

 

I use Valvoline VR-1 Racing SAE30, but there are others just as good.

 

Yeah, another thing to worry about! Don't it suck?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to return to this thread.

 

having decided to order Castrol Classic XL30, I am now in doubt as I read somewhere that if you have paper oil filter you could use the Classic XL20W/50.

 

I cannot see what the filter has to do with the choice of oil, but maybe you could enlighten me...

 

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

See Don's post, number 5.

In the early days - long before TRs - some engines had no proper oil filter , just a rudimentary 'strainer' which caught the big lumps but didn't deal with small particles - they used non-detergent oils which allowed the carbon particles and other contaminants to settle out in the sump rather than circulate (or that was the theory anyway). If you used detergent oil with that kind of engine, there was a problem because detergent oils keep the crud in suspension and circulate it, and without a good filter to keep it out of the bearings it could cause excessive wear.

 

That is academic for TRs as they always had decent filters* in the interests of engine longevity, irrespective of whether the oil contains detergent or not, so you can use either.

 

* at least the full-flow ones, rather than the bypass type.

Edited by RobH
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Rob

 

So, for Portugal where most of the year the temperatures go from about 15º to 40º, while in a cold winter day temperatures rarely go below 10º, do you think I should opt for the 20W50 rather than the XL30 ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Apart from when starting from cold, the oil is always around engine temperature so the ambient conditions when running make no difference. In the colder climates we need wider range multi-grades so that we get reasonable lubrication from below freezing. For you I would think monograde 30sae should be fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 years later...

I think that oil may be intended for more modern engines than ours, fitted with catalytic converters. The spec sheet makes no mention of ZDDP levels which are crucial for TR flat-tappet engines but which poisons catalytic converters. If you do a forum search you will find loads of old threads going over this point. e.g.:

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Penrite 20w60 I find is excellent. Has the correct ZDDP levels etc. We’ve done many miles, 6000 plus in the last 7 months with barely any oil usage at all. This has been moderately hard usage too. Pyrenees Rally and then a Rally Monaco.  For first time in 40 odd years my engine is drip free and therefore I know the consumption as opposed to the marking territory losses:-)

I also used their running in oil.

No connection just a happy customer 

Iain

Link to post
Share on other sites

Classic oils from Bicester is now my choice these days. A fairly priced 20/50 with the correct ZDDP content. I gave up using Millers equivalent due to price hikes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I thought I had this "what oil" question sorted, until I read the above posts concerning ZDDP.

I have been using, and indeed have a stock of, Morris Golden Film 20/50, used by others with TRs, and have been happy so far. 70psi from cold and at all speeds above 2000rpm, drops only to 30 psi when hot on tick over.

Reading about the ZDDP I thought I would check, and there is no mention of it on the Morris website, in the data sheets, or on the back of the container. There is the worrying statement that " it can also be used in modern, high mileage, vehicles where oil consumption may be a problem"   If that is the case then it must guarantee that there is no ZDDP, as previuosly stated that would be death to catalytic converters.

I also read that it is a low dispersant oil allowing particles to drop to the bottom of the sump. That might be fine for some vehicles with by-pass filters ( early TR2s ?), but I have a full flow filter with a spin on conversion, which makes me think I need a high detergent oil. My engine has only done 3000 miles since being re built, so there should not be vast quantities of sludge around yet.

I have a 5 litre can of Millers Pistoneze 20/50 which I have not used yet, and looking at the blurb for that reads as below,

 

DESCRIPTION:

A moderate detergent premium SAE 20w50 multigrade mineral engine oil specifically engineered for classic cars incorporating a modern filtration systems. Contains high quality solvent refined base oils with latest technology performance additives and shear stable viscosity index improver. Formulated with ZDDP (zinc/phosphorus).

APPLICATION:

Use as received for engine lubrication of primarily pre-1980 vehicles, both petrol and diesel, which were developed on the multigrade oils of their time.

 

So I am thinking this seems to meet the requirements better, being "moderate detergent", for "modern filtration systems" and "Formulated with ZDDP"

I can feel an oil change coming on.

Ralph

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please familiarise yourself with our Terms and Conditions. By using this site, you agree to the following: Terms of Use.