Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG TD TF 1500 - zddp

i did not want to hijack another thread, but it is related. most have already made up their minds on this, but for those who have not or are interested in additional information..i did not add any emphasis to the type.

"Don't believe the old Folklore and Wive's Tales about needing a lot of zinc in your motor oil. That is just misinformation plastered all over the Internet in general, and on Forums in particular. But, there is absolutely no PROOF to back-up that nonsense.

If you are interested in seeing the FACTS from real world independent and unbiased Engineering Test Data on motor oil, then the information below is for you. I’ve included below, a motor oil “Wear Test” ranking sheet for anyone to use, who might be interested. You can choose any oil from that list, and know exactly how it compares to other oils in terms of wear protection.

“THE” single most common misunderstanding about motor oil is that higher zinc levels provide better wear protection. That has been repeated over and over again so many times over the years, that people just assume it is correct. But the fact is, that thinking is COMPLETELY FALSE."...

" And this brings us to the second most common misunderstanding about motor oil, which is that modern API certified motor oils cannot provide adequate wear protection for flat tappet cam lobe/lifter interfaces. This has also been repeated over and over again so many times over the years, that people just assume it is correct. But the fact is, that thinking is also COMPLETELY FALSE.

Wear protection is determined only by the base oil and its additive package “as a whole”, and NOT just by how much zinc is present. There is nothing magical or sacred about zinc. It is just one of a number of motor oil additive package components that can be used for extreme pressure anti-wear purposes. The other components that are typically Oil Company proprietary secrets, can be added to, or used in place of zinc. And most modern API SM and SN certified oils have shown in my wear testing to be quite good when it comes to providing wear protection, and have even EXCEEDED the protection provided by many high zinc oils.

So, modern low zinc oils CAN BE USED SAFELY with flat tappet cam setups, even in engines with radical cams and high spring pressures. Simply choose from the higher ranked oils on the list at the end of this write-up, and you'll be good to go. I know people who've been using modern low zinc oils in High Performance flat tappet set-ups for a long time, and they've had no issue at all.

Just looking at an oil’s spec sheet to see how much zinc is present, tells you ABOLUTLELY NOTHING about how well that oil can provide wear protection. To only look at the zinc level to try and predict an oil’s wear protection capability would be much like looking at your gas gauge to predict how much power your engine will make. That kind of thinking simply makes no sense at all. So, throw away that useless motor oil zinc quantity reference list. In other words, forget about zinc. The ONLY THING that matters, and the ONLY WAY to tell how well an oil can prevent wear, is to perform some type of dynamic WEAR TESTING that is done at representative temperatures. And that is exactly what I’ve done here."

here is the link to the very long piece from where these quotes were taken..from the 6th post on this link.

regards, tom
tom peterson

If you read down a bit on that Chevelle page, you see quite a few equally convincing facts from cam makers and related businesses on why levels of zddp are presently inadequate, and why a supplement is indeed needed.

I'm always leery of THE FACTS and THE TRUTH, as though there were only one true point of view.

I saw an (anecdotal) increase in four sets of cams and lifters in 4 cars going bad very quickly a few years ago, and since I have begun putting zddp into every engine I work on, there have been no further failures. I completely know that's not convincing FACT, but it works for me. I use 1 oz per quart of oil of GM EOS liquid.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

... have to agree with you on this one Tom. Whilst I have not personnaly been caught, I can provide the following positive FACT.

A gal brought me her TF a few years ago with the complaint that she couldn't keep the valves set, and that they kept getting loose.

An inspection showed dreadfull wear on almost all of her cam lifters and bad wear on at least 4 cam lobes. She had faithfully changed oil every 4,000 miles using Castrol 20W50W. Sadly, the cam and lifters had to be replaced.

She puts on about 7,000 mile/year on her TF (takes it to FL in the winter) and ever since adding STP to her oil, everything looks new and shiny, and that was about 16,000 miles ago.

As you have indicated, the amount of ZDDP in each oil does not seem to matter too much. Despite contacting them, Castrol and STP, both declined to provide me with the ZDDP concntrations.

But at least we all know that some ZDDP is better than none, and simply a wise precaution.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A Clark

Interesting. We installed one of the likely early Moss/Crane large base circle cams in a local TF1500 around 1988, so that cam has been out for at least that long. It seems it was only 10 years ago or so that they started having all of the cam/lifter failures with these cams. Moss concluded that the large base circle kept the lifer holes from lowering enough to dump the oil out on the cam, hence the elongated holes in the new Moss/Crane cam tappets. Could these failures been from the lack of zinc, rather than lack of oil? That is around the time it was taken out more or less. George
George Butz

Who is this guy "Rat"? Who does he work for? What is his field of expertise? He makes one post and suddenly it is "gospel"??

Reading on in the thread when challenged by someone else on his facts based on his findings and inconsistencies of the data given, there is no reply by him..... why??

There is a ton of data by oil companies, engine builders, manufacturers of performance parts the need for proper zinc and phosphorus for flat tappet cams verses just one post by this one individual.

This "which oil" discussion could go on forever. My suggestion put whatever brand oil, extra additives you want to add and drive the car all season. When it is time for an oil change, save a sample and send it to be analyzed. It's about 25 bucks and it's a little insurance to see what going on in your engine. Your report will tell you how the additives are doing and also tell you if any excessive wear metals are to your engine. It will also tell you if there is high amounts of silicone (bad air filtration) and antifreeze, excessive fuel causing the oil to loose viscosity and higher metal to metal contact, etc. This can identify issues to catch before it becomes a major problem.

This is what I do the facts I see in this report says I am doing good putting Red Line Sythentic 20w50 and my engine is happy.

Frank Cronin

this has been thrashed about a good bit. the producers of additives surely want you to add their product, crane cams (as they were going out of business the first time) blamed oil rather than accept responsibility for their work, oil companies developed a vintage oil to meet a demand, etc., etc.
in response to frank's post, this is not a lone article/posting..Skinned Knuckles did a well footnoted/researched article on this a few years the other posters have noted, there is information on BOTH sides of this subject..unfortunately, like Tom L says, most is anecdotal. my anecdotal is the tappets i removed from my car had only been run with the higher ZDDP level oil and they looked like they had been attacked with a hammer and a chisel

i thought it was an interesting counterpoint and timely since a ZDDP thread was started. if you do add it, don't over do it..too much, is too much...

as always, drive 'em if you got 'em. regards, tom
tom peterson

This whole zink thing has gotten so out of hand it's amazing. As the old saying goes, if you want the world to believe anything you say, put it in print! I grew up in a auto racing atmosphere which started back in the 50s. We went from stock class to fully modified in a short time. Double valve springs of a heaver design to eliminate valve float, high lift cams in flat tappet engines. We used Wolfs Head oil, a sponsor and never had cam problems, but we always added STP, another sponsor. We ran the same cams for a whole season and some the next season. I now use Valvoline VR-1 in my classics with no problems. Now I will throw in another thought! My 93 Chevy pickup with a 350 has 242000 miles on it. The engine has never been touched other than changing oil every 3000 miles. What oil do I use in it? Valvoline, but not VR-1! In 3000 miles it now uses 1 qt.
If anyone wants to know what the best oil to use, ask your neighbor, or a friend, or anyone for that matter, because whatever they use, it's the best! Just ask them.
Some products out there are beneficial to engines transmissions and final drive trains and have been around for years, a lot, but not all, of the more recent products are snake oils using high pressure sales tactics. One or two oil changes using a different oil will not damage your engine, but give you time to analyze how well it works for you. I do recommend having a sample analized every three or four oil changes. Just my 2 bob. PJ
Paul sr

This thread was discussed between 17/07/2013 and 18/07/2013

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.