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MG TD TF 1500 - Oils aint Oils?
|I've been through the archive on this subject & have decided to acquire Redline MT 90 for the gearbox & Redline 75 W 90 for the diff. Thank you to all those who contributed earlier. However I'm undecided whether to go with Penrite's Classic Motor Oil or Valvoline's VR1 for the engine? |
I had planned to use some cheap new oil (Castrol GTX) to "flush out the block & galleries" as the old girl hasn't run for 43 years. The cam lobes, new followers, new push rods & new rocker shaft have been coated with engine assembly lube. I'd proposed to turn the engine over without fuel & spark to ensure oil pressure then run the engine at idle for about 10 minutes, drain the oil, repeat the process with fresh oil for another 5 or 10 minutes revving occasionally. I was then going to drain the oil, change the oil filter & use either the Valvoline VR1 or the Classic Motor Oil & retain until the next oil change. Is the precaution necessary or am I just being my anal self?
Because of the extra protection offered by the quality oils should I just go with either of them & junk plan A?
Peter TD 5801
|This is exactly what I do. An XPAG rebuild can easily exceed $4,000. An oil change is $20. Cheap insurance, and you would be amazed at the crud you will find in the oil and filter after 10 minutes of running on a new rebuild. |
|Peter, is the cam new along with the tappets? If so, prelube the engine before starting, make sure water in in the radiator and water pump and fan are hooked up. When that is done, start the engine and immediately take it to 2000/2500 RPM for 30 minutes and don't back off the throttle during that time. It's the best way to break in the new cam and lifters. I've done it this way many times over the years on other flat tappet engines and never had a cam go bad yet. Some might dispute this method, so use your own judgment. JMHO. PJ|
|Paul S Jennings|
|I forgot to add that I always drain the run in oil after the first run and strain it through cheese cloth to see if any foreign matter is present, better yet have it analyzed. PJ|
|Paul S Jennings|
|I agree with Paul's recommendations. The cam lobes and lifters should be slathered with special cam assembly lubricant. My machinist made sure I understood that the 1st 30 minutes of run time should be at 2000 rpm, never at idle, after which the oil should be drained. He gave me a container of ZDDP fluid to add in case the oil I used for the first run didn't have enough. He recommended Brad Penn oil but didn't seem too concerned if I used something else. Like Peter, I haven't started the engine up yet and I am very interested in getting this right.|
|No Paul. The cam came with the car. I did the rings & bearings about 500K before she had her long sleep. I lubed the lobes when I replaced the followers & pushrods a few months ago. I like the straining idea but I'm a bit aprehensive about the 30 minutes bit especially when you read about cam lobes being destroyed "in a matter of minutes". As I've had the radiator recored, even though I flushed out the block & head, I planned to bypass the radiator & the thermostat initally using a hose & a big tub so I can eyeball what comes out of the block at temperature. If anyone can see a problem with that my other plan was a pantyhose filter at the top radiator hose. Thanks for your input David & your good humoured response to my quip. Any thoughts on the Classic v Valvoline question? Cheers.|
Peter TD 5801
|peter, do you have a link to the story about cam lobes being destroyed in a matter of minutes? is the article a discussion of what happens if you do or hire a bad overhaul? |
if you do a lot of reading then you have also read a lot about ZDDP..which is still in modern oils..but at the same level as when our cars were produced versus the higher levels in more recent years just prior to the reduction. there is a lot of information out there in trade and serious hobby publications stating unless you are running a wild cam profile with high spring pressures the current levels of ZDDP in street car oil is sufficient. the hobby went through a similar period of anecdotal horror stories when lead was removed from fuel. regards, tom
|Peter, it will be a great day when she starts up.... |
I used vr1 for my flush, due to the added zddp or zinc in the race oil. It does not exist in modern oil, as it plugs catalytic converters.
I figured the extra 30 bucks to run a full flush was cheap. I used diesel to help break down the crud with the first flush.
Take off the valve cover and make sure you see oil flow, as well as pressure on the gauge. You can run the engine without the valve cover on... Minor oil splashing
|D Engel, there is ZDDP in modern oils..levels are reduced to that of the time our cars were produced...as you stated it is reduced to save the modern catalytic converters. regards, tom|
|Tom, I believe it was somwhere in the archive. Anybody know if I can I get some ZDDP additive to use with the Castrol "flushing oil" that I already have? Mr Engel did you mean you added diesel to the VR1 for your first flush. If so, in what proportion & can this affect the cam lobe & main & big end bearing lubrication? I know diesel is less refined & hence closer to oil. But, like the ad says.. oils aint oils... Cheers.|
Peter TD 5801
|Peter, Modern diesel oils live by the same regulations that oils for our cars do. Diesel oils have a higher detergent content and basically today, that's the only difference. Where did you read the article stating diesel oils are less refined? I would have to dispute that article. We use diesel oils in our farm tractors and have noticed a change in formulation in the past 10 years but no reduction in the high quality. PJ|
|Paul S Jennings|
|Paul I'm not saying diesel is "less pure" than petrol or any other oil based product, just that diesel is lower down the catalytic tree & undergoes fewer refining processes, hence it is closer to oil, which is the point I was trying to make vis a vis its lubricating capability. There are a great many products that start their life in a barrell of oil, diesel being just one. Hope this clarifies. Cheers. |
Peter TD 5801
Check out the total Penrite range prior to embarking on going elsewhere. My posts in the archive will reveal a good option for your gearbox and diff that wont attack the bronze components.
|peter, are you saying diesel fuel or oil formulated for diesel engines is farther down the refining ladder? the few refining graphs i see when googling show all lubricating oils coming off at approximately the same point..below diesel fuels, which are lower than gasoline. it appears additive packages are the biggest difference. googling does not a petrochemical engineer make so anything you have would be of interest. regards, tom|
|No I'm not comparing diesel to oil Tom. I was responding to Mr Engel's suggestion to add diesel to the first flush. My comment is, as I explained above, diesel is lower down than petrol, hence closer to oil. I saw a refining tower in the form of a "tree" years ago confirming that. |
Seems we have moved away from my initial query re suitable oil for the engine & the flushing process on startup. If anyone apart from David (who concurs with the approach suggested to me), Paul who suggests straining & running @ 2000/2500 RPM for half an hour & Mr Engel who suggests adding diesel to the oil (which I queried & has led us off on a tangent) along with Graeme who suggests Penrite diff & gearbox products (rather than the Redline products listed above, that I had already decided to use), has any comment to make about about my initial query, ie the merits of Valvoline R1 versus Penrite's Classic Motor Oil & how best to flush, please offer your opinion. I have no desire, nor do I intend, to make any further comment on the refining process. Cheers.
Peter TD 5801.
I dont know where you are coming from on this you are asking to compare an oil designed for racing use against an oil designed for pre 1980s vehicles.
A more applicable comparison between manufacturers would be Penrites Classic against Valvolines Classic XLD. Both these oils are specified for your vehicles era.
It is very early days however I am using the Valvoline XLD in my TF1250 and it appears to be doing the job.
In regard to engine flushing there are products in the market place designed for this specific purpose otherwise I suggest a 10 weight oil that you would use to clean roller bearings. The biggest mistake made by the unknowns is to flush with an abrasive solution that has no lubricating properties.
In the luxury car market today it is common practice to flush an engine at every oil change. Not having been exposed to the process I dont know if this involves actually running the engine with the flushing agent installed. Someone here will know.
|Graeme. Both oils have been recommended on this site as being suitable for TD's. Like everything in life they both will have plusses & minuses. I've been right through the archive on this subject & the concensus was either of the two oils I'd mentioned. I agree with your comment about not using an abrasive flushing agent. I'm simply seeking advice on the best possible oil & the best method for flushing an engine that's been standing for 43 years. I'm still hoping "someone here will know". |
Peter TD 5801
|Valvoline VR-1 ... even the MG racing community uses it.|
|Thanks Gene. I was thinking the same way. If it's good enough to race with...|
Peter TD 5801
|Just back from the Sydney Carnivale Australia Day display in Macquarie St. Hundreds of vintage, veteran & classic cars on show & thousands of admirers under a drab Sydney sky. I spoke to a couple of old wags from the M.G. Restorer's Association, of which I'm very proud to say I'm a member & got some good advice on the flushing method. They were both very happy to share their knowledge. The more senior of the two said to use a thin oil in the initial flush but to only turn the engine over by hand using just the crank handle & to keep turning until oil appears at the top of the rockers. The other, who is also a contributor to this site, said before you tire yourself out with the crank put some oil on top of the rockers, disconnect the oil gallery line to the head & blow in to the oil inlet. If the rocker gear has been assembled correctly all eight should produce a litle spout of oil. They both agreed that using the starter motor without fuel & spark was the next step. Sounds like good advice to me! Don't you just love hands on restorers!! Cheers.|
Peter TD 5801
| peter, do you know the professional backgrounds of the folks at the car show? no disrespect to you or your associates from the car show, but i am always a little reluctant to accept overhaul advice from someone who may do a couple of engines in their life time when i can discuss this with professionals who do more engine overhauls before morning coffee break than a hobbiest may do in a life time(me included). perhaps your associates carry a significant body of professional overhaul experience.|
Matt Joseph, a noted restoration book author and writer as well as a restoration shop owner, once told of an "expert" hobbiest who swore powdered graphite was needed after an over haul..Matt was a young mechanic at the time and his employer voiced no objection as the "expert" dropped a hand full of graphite into the engine. when tearing the engine down after it seized during the initial run they could see the damage the graphite caused. after reading that, i take Mr. Joseph's advice, know the experience of the source.
|Yes Tom. They certainly do. Both of the gentlemen referred to are highly respected & experienced restorers who can boast over a century of collective wisdom! They have amassed considerable expertise over many highly regarded M.G. restorations. That said, I think in this particular instance however logic dictates the sheer simplicty & beauty of the advice is or should be self evident to just about everyone, including me, you & the novice restorer. Cheers.|
Peter TD 5801
|Reactivating this thread as I've just had an email from a fellow TD restorer in the States. Here's what he said in part;|
"I've spent hours in the archives reading threads on priming and startup, including your oils aint oils. The lack of a spurt, or any oil at all on the rockers, made me suspect the incorrect installation of the shaft. When I removed the upper banjo and blew on the oil hole in the head I could tell it was blocked somewhere. I removed the shaft today and found that it had indeed been installed so the oil hole on the bottom was at the wrong end!... The WSM is surprisingly un-helpful regarding the rockers and shaft."
I just got off the phone to the mate (Rob Browne) who offered the advice & he was very pleased that his advice had been taken. Almost as pleased as my friend in the States who found the problem before any damage was done! This instance alone proves the effectiveness of the BBS which works simply because of the willingness of its hands on contributors to share information.
Also on the subject of start up I met a recent installer of the Fanelli cam who offered the following.
"Another suggestion you may not be aware of is to not connect the radiator before the initial start up so that there is no water in the block. When up to temperature, switch off, remove the rocker cover & immediately re-tension the head. The idea being to ensure there is no chance of any water getting under the head gasket, before the head is finally tensioned."
This advice came from a very experienced retired garage owner & auto mechanic here who says he's worked on & installed more heads than he's had hot dinners! The only problems he's seen with newly installed leaking head gaskets were on cars with gaskets installed with the radiator connected, which is something he says he never does! Cheers.
Peter TD 5801
|Peter, "no water in the block" It might work for him, but I would not do it, & never heard of any one doing this.|
Roller camshafts do not need ZDDP or any special break in procedures.
|I would not do the "No water in the block" thing. Too many local hot spots can happen.|
It sounds like a bucket of prop wash.
|Thanks guys. I'll pass on your comments to the mechanic who gave me the advice & enquire further about the local hot spots JE mentions. Cheers|
Peter TD 5801
|I agree with Len and Jim and would never run an engine unless the coolant is installed in the system. If the head is true and the block is true, (I can not stress that point enough), then with proper initial torquing of the head and in the proper sequence, there should be no leaks! I have always torqued heads using the wet method, lubricated threads. You'll get a more even torque setting on all bolts. After the engine has reached temperature and cooled down, I retorque the bolts again. Works for me! PJ|
|Paul S Jennings|
|A bit late to the party, but I would never do a prolonged engine start without thermostat and radiator. The engine needs to come up to temperature to cause the tolerances to balance out and with a constant stream of cold tap water, that is going to be difficult to achieve. The purpose of the thermostat is to provide a minimum coolant operating temperature as soon as possible, the radiator then provides the upper limit of coolant temperature. For the record the XPAG runs cool as it is.|
With respect to oils, VR1 is formulated both as a racing oil, and also for classic engines with flat tappets. Most VR1 bottles in stores today are the classic engine variety. Just check the label. I use VR1 for break in 20 minutes at 2000-2500 rpm with new cam and lifters, and then continue for the next 500 miles, changing it then for the same type of VR1. My rational is that if I have an engine problem that I could spot with an oil analysis I'll hear it soon any way, and I certainly am not going to spot something 'floating' on the used oil unless it is a brass substance, and very little of that is in the engine. If bits of metal are broken off and laying in the cheese cloth, well the engine is coming apart anyway and I might as well have driven 500 miles first.
For the record my real life job requires attending to and tearing down multiple numbers of engines a year both air cooled and water cooled.
|Since David brought up air cooled engines I thought I'd share the following from ECI, a supplier of aircraft engine components. All of the aircraft engine manufacture instructions are similar. We have the luxury of liquid cooling which provides even temperatures and allows closer tolerances. The admonitions for keeping the engine cool in the initial period can be disregarded as they really only apply to air cooling.|
Note that they recommend no prolonged idle for the new cam and lifters. They're also not fans of synthetic oil. My personal view is that it's a necessity for turbine engines and a bit of a waste at best for reciprocating engines. Everyone has their own opinion on oil and I don't want to open that can any further.
I've put lots of new engines in service and have always followed similar instructions on air cooled aircraft engines. For liquid cooled, well, other than the initial start and run, I just drive them and change the oil around a thousand miles.
|I've no expertise on this subject but I'll pass on an entertaining (?) experience. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of visiting some friends in very eastern Washington State. The friend is a hot-rodder as, it seems, are most of the folk in his community. One evening we went over to a garage where a guy was building a bucket T with some kind of big block V-8. The V-8 was sitting on the floor with no radiator or exhaust headers. The guy sez "Wanna hear it run?" We of course said sure so he fired it up and ran it for what seemed to be ten minutes although it may have only been 5. The noise was deafening and I kept waiting for the heat to build up and for the damned thing to explode. He shut it down and when I asked about no collant he said "Water, we don't need no stinking water for just a short run." I don't know but maybe that's why some hot-rodders seem to swap out a lot of engines.|
|J K Chapin|
|run with no water in the block to "make sure no water gets under the head gasket"?? one of the most foolish things i have ever heard. there is NO way you could get all of that iron "up to operating temperature" without cooking that engine. never mind the fact it is a solution looking for a problem. regards, tom|
|Is this stuff any good?|
Back in the old days I knew that people would use 30 wt non detergent oil for the first 500 miles and then switch over to detergent oils but still 30 wt. Later when multi viscosity oils appeared they would make the switch using 20-50's, but still start with ND 30wt.
Piston aircraft engines used to be broken in with the fist 25 hours using mineral oil.
|Chris, they also used to hard chrome the aircraft cylinders to protect against corrosion, made for some very interesting ring bedding procedures!|
I can't tell you how good Royal Purple is, but they are saying all the right things. Brad Penn is probably the best oil for a broken in XPAG, but I go for what I can easily get in town.
I use synthetic in the Audi A6, primarily for the two turbochargers and the heat transferred to their bearings.
|O.K. Seems like a hijacked thread. The original question was:|
"I've been through the archive on this subject & have decided to acquire Redline MT 90 for the gearbox & Redline 75 W 90 for the diff. Thank you to all those who contributed earlier. However I'm undecided whether to go with Penrite's Classic Motor Oil or Valvoline's VR1 for the engine? "
The poster also said:
"The cam lobes, new followers, new push rods & new rocker shaft have been coated with engine assembly lube".
So, unless you are running a supercharger or racing, what is the problem? It seems that in 2014 most, if not all oils available are FAR superior to what was used in the 40's and 50's. Yes, zinc is important for flat cam/ lifter engines. VR-1 is good. Use a zinc containing oil and/ or additive on break-in and thereafter. What am I missing here? Maybe advise on start- up procedure? I would not idle any engine after initial start-up for at least a 10 minute run @ 2,000 to 2,500 RPM - normal idle being 900-1,000 on a good engine. Just run it in and change the oil after 500 miles! Then run the crap out of it with regular oil and filter changes thereafter.
Obviously, other opinions differ....so who is the "Expert?"
|Certainly not me Brian which is why I'm seeking the advice! I appreciate your post. It is clear, concise, on point & without rancour. Thank you.|
Peter TD 5801
|I agree with Brian, except that 10 minutes is not enough to bed a cam, 20 is; and a good XPAG will idle nicely at 650 to 700 RPM.|
New rings? Several hard pulls after cam break in from 1500 to 3500 RPM in fourth gear.
|A roller cam will always out perform a flat lifter cam of the same duration with no cam or lifter wear.|
I have stock normally aspirated & performance cams, as well as a torque supercharged & race supercharged camshaft, that will out perform any other camshaft on the market.
Plus 4 full race camshafts
You need to familiarize yourself with this:
See especially Item #7
Personally I would regard Crane Cams as the "expert"...grin.
|Gene I found your post very useful. Thanks|
Peter TD 5801
|gene, which crane cams? the prebankruptcy crane cams or post bankruptcy crane cams? i have little confidence in a firm as it goes under or the new firm with new owners, location and personnel until they establish a track record. there are other, obviously better managed firms, that weathered the economic downturn and never went through a "reorg". regards, tom|
This is from the "Crane Cams" who has been building cams for Moss Motors and the T-series forever. The metallurgy isn't going to change whether a company has gone into bankruptcy or not so I don't think (my opinion) that that has any bearing on how you break in a flat tappet camshaft.
BUT...if you don't want to believe what Crane puts out here's another couple of articles for you to read.
and a Comp cam video:
There's a lot more if you google "flat tappet cam break-in procedure"
|Peter TD 5801,|
I agree with you 100%, but with one important addition. When I did my most recent rebuild in 2006, I added a magnetic sump plug from Roger Furneaux at Mad Metrix, see:- http://www.mg-cars.org.uk/imgytr/pdf/madmetrics.pdf.
A good investment for £5.50.
When I made my first oil change, I examined the sump plug and was amazed to see what was NOT FLUSHED OUT WITH THE OIL.
|Gordon A Clark|
|Met up with the mechanic who gave me the advice at the Car Club meeting last night. He stands by his advice saying it is the COOLANT that is the problem, (not the water!) Apologies for my confusion. I was mistaken in assuming that when he said coolant I understood him to mean water, (not the additive!) He advises all who doubt the wisdom of his advice to check with any manufacturer of head gaskets. They all say not to allow any coolant to get under the head gasket as this often causes problems with sealing! He also says it's not necessary to get the block up to operating temperature but just to run it until it gets warm. Again a misunderstanding. However he does confirm it is not necessary to have either water in the block or the radiator connected. He also goes on to say that having water in the block & radiator is not a problem AS LONG AS THERE IS NO COOLANT ADDED! Given the above I guess my post was "foolish" & "a bucket of prop wash". However I'd now be very interested to read Tom & JE's response. Cheers.|
Peter TD 5801
When I hear coolant, I think water or a water-glycol (antifreeze) mixture. I think your friend has misread or misunderstood the instructions sometimes seen for head gasket installation. Remember that cylinder heads are often pulled and exchanged in a hurry by mechanics working flat-rate, that is, paid by the job according to the hours posted in a flat-rate book. Said mechanic may legitimately bill more hours that he actually works.
The point of this is the head and block must be clean and dry or in some cases, if allowed by the gasket maker and type of gasket, a gasket sealing spray such as permatex copper may be applied. Some modern gaskets designed for dissimilar materials like cast iron block, aluminum head will often state that no sealing compound is allowed because they are designed to let the materials move at different rates. A rushing mechanic may leave a film of antifreeze, a lubricant, on the surfaces which may cause gasket failure. The directions do not want you to start the engine without any coolant or to use water only, they just want you not to leave any on the parting surfaces when assembling them. There's no way coolant is going to get under a properly installed and torqued head gasket. I doubt you'll find any mechanic or engine shop advocating ever running an engine without coolant (water or water/glycol).
|Here's some head gasket installation tips. Being scrupulously clean is a given:|
Most of this applies to modern engines, not our antiques.
|Jim, just a follow up to your comment "I doubt you'll find any mechanic or engine shop advocating ever running an engine without coolant (water or water/glycol)". |
My "friend" is a highly qualified & well respected automotive mechanic. Because of his enormous amount of experience, which includes running a very successful garage business for many years, he is held in very high regard here in Sydney. He understands the recommendations of the gasket manufacturers perfectly well & of the practices of the other mechanics who were in his employ & elsewhere. He is now retired but because of his strong reputation he still has many of his old customers beating a path to his door! He is well aware of the potential for gasket failure but because of the method he uses he has never had one fail. I will be taking the head across to him soon to install my new valve springs. For the benefit of the other contributors I was wondering what your automotive qualifications are? Peter TD 5801
|How bout break-in springs, while we are on the subject?|
|Kyle the new springs I'm installing come with Len Fanelli's roller cam kit. As I understand it they don't require breaking in. I'd do it myself but I don't have a spring compressor. Cheers.|
Peter TD 5801
I've obviously offended you and that was not my intent. I also have never suffered a head gasket failure across a wide range of gas and diesel engines. My method has always been to follow the manufacturer's instructions and gasket maker's instructions to the letter. For instance my Big block marine engines have Felpro marine gaskets which specify no sealant. My big block truck engine has generic parts store steel gaskets, I know not the manufacturer but the directions were clear. Apply locktite copper, torque to spec and pattern, start and run to operating temperature and re-torque while still warm.
Since this came up I asked some of my full time mechanic friends if they've ever heard of anyone who uses the procedure you describe. The answer has inevitably been a strange look and a "why the heck would you do that?" When I further explained what the procedure was supposed to accomplish and that it has apparently been successful I was told that there's no reason for any gasket to fail on a cast iron engine if the surfaces are true and it's properly torqued according to the manufacturer's pattern and re-torqued if required.
As for my qualifications: I started as an apprentice auto mechanic in 1970 and stayed with that for several years. I then began to train as a pilot but found that the returning military pilots were filling all the jobs and employment was unlikely unless you had logged a moon landing. Since I really like all things mechanical, I moved into aircraft mechanic training while continuing pilot training. I worked as both a pilot and mechanic in general aviation and a now defunct airline eventually just flying a long range business jet as it pays better :-) I hold an A&P mechanic rating with an Inspection Authorization and an Airline Transport Pilot rating with 8 jet type ratings. I maintain all my own vehicles including my farming equipment, tractors, trucks, cars, boats, etc. Some of my family members are actively engaged in the automotive repair business. I don't know it all but I know enough folks who have the answers I don't.
I did approach the other mechanics I know seriously asking the question about starting an engine without anti freeze but with water as a method to prevent future head gasket failure. Without exception no one had ever read of, heard of or practiced it. Perhaps it's a NZ thing. Maybe other Kiwi types will speak up if they've heard of it.
|Jim I'm a Skip not a Kiwi. Though it's true we are both Anzacs. I think we are done with the bucket of prop wash. Cheers|
Peter TD 5801
This thread was discussed between 23/01/2014 and 13/03/2014
MG TD TF 1500 index
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