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  1. #1
    casual poster panama's Avatar
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    Default SBC oil viscosity?

    Hi Guys, just wondering what grade of oil you're using for a reasonably worked over 350-383 sbc?

    penrite was recommended but what grade and what's te reason behind your choice?

    i'd like to stay with penrite, castrol or shell (something easy to get ahold of but not too exxy)
    WB 350 SBC T5 Ute

  2. #2
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    I was always told to run 20/50 in my SBC's. Over the last 20 years I have had a mild 383 then a 406 & now a 421 & used to run Kendall then switched to Brad Penn - both in 20/50 & have all been run as weekend cruisers & run at the drags & never had any issues with any of them.

  3. #3
    casual poster 4xnick's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this a lot too...

    My fresh >400 HP 383 (std vol oil Pp, Dart block and not intended for nitrous so bearing and ring clearances are on the tighter end of spec) is still full of Penrite 10w40 running in oil and it pumps straight up to 45psi at cold idle (well, Cairns cold anyway) but drops down closer to 15psi at warm idle.
    We don't have too many suppliers/retailers up here and I'm not in the industry so Penrite is relatively easy to get a hold of and I see Repco has HPR10 full synthetic 10w50 on sale right now so I reckon that could be the go for me?
    The 50 should bump up my warm idle pressure enough to make me feel a bit safer at 900rpms.
    HPR30 is a 20w60 and seems a bit excessive in terms of viscosity unless you've got a tired engine?? It is a fair bit cheaper though
    You can't be unlucky ALL the time...

  4. #4
    casual poster panama's Avatar
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    Default

    thanks guys. any other opinions?
    WB 350 SBC T5 Ute

  5. #5
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    Default

    Howdy guys,

    Just to give everyone a larger headache.

    Keep in mind if you are running a flat-tappet camshaft it is generally accepted they require an oil containing a minimum of 1,000 ppm of Zinc Dialkyl Dithio Phosphate (ZDDP) which is used to prevent flat-tappet wear. The level of ZDDP has been drastically reduced in modern motor oil designed for emission-controlled vehicles in order to meet new ILSAC GF-4 specifications.

    The lack of ZDDP in an oil can cause premature wear to flat-tappet camshafts. Manufacturers claim their new oil can be used in older motors if the oil change interval is reduced to 1,600 kms or less.
    There are plenty of oils manufactured with high levels of ZDDP however, very few list it on the container, making the correct choice difficult. Just because an oil is marketed for older cars, such as those listed for "high mileage vehicles", doesn't mean it contains sufficient ZDDP. If the oil meets ILSAC GF-4 specs, it is not what is required for your older style motor.

    An internet search of an oil manufacturer's website will usually provide the answer.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    I've seen this question asked a lot over the years, and the answers are like asking do you prefer blondes, brunettes or redheads.

    I run 10/50 in mine (HPR10), it's a daily driven bog stock 350. Does over 20,000 Kms per annum.

    I've run different, 20/50 (HPR30) but didn't like it as much as the HPR10
    Chris

    68 Camaro 632 BBC Pro-touring

    Daily driver - 1961 Buick Bubbletop - not much horsepower, but smiles for miles

  7. #7
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    As stated it depends somewhat on your clearances etc etc,, You have given little detail so a definitive answer is difficult, to impossible to give. What is your oil pressure like now? clearances, cam type etc.. If you are happy where it is use the same grade you are currently using. All the brands you mention will have a suitable oil for your application.

  8. #8
    Do you ever leave? TRIKHQ's Avatar
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    I have been using Castrol Edge 5W30 in a 650HP 406 SBC. Solid Roller engine. .0025" clearances all round . Dart Block. Done over 8000ks in the last 2 years in it and has been fine. Oil pressure when hot 68lbs over the line, 25lbs idle. 55 lbs cruising at 100ks. Moroso Std Pressure pump.

    Have been looking at changing to Penright Racing 10 for its high zinc content. it's 10W40. Not sure if the High zinc effects O2 sensor . Had a mate change over and has gone through 2 sensors since in a short time. Another is trying also. Waiting to see how long his sensors lasts.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
    casual poster JaseQ314's Avatar
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    The Edge 5W30 A3/B4 is still the old SL/CF spec which mandates a maximum zinc/phosphorus of around 1200ppm and is a very good oil. A Castrol tech line guy advised me that there's an Australian agreement between companies that they stick to a max of around the 1000ppm mark for older spec oil that's not mandated 800ppm or less like the SM, SN, Ilsac G4/5 etc. (although that really only affects 20 or 30 weight oils anyway).

    The Penrite racing oils advertise a zinc/phosphorus spec up around 2000ppm or more from memory, their website has some pretty comprehensive details for all the oils if you look them up. If I was the OP depending on your budget either a 5W30, 10W/30, 5W40 or 10W40 mineral or synthetic with a minimum 1000 - 1200ppm zinc/phosphorus should be fine if it's a flat tappet following proper break in, depending on your clearances and operating oil temps of course.

    Penrite do some stuff in those viscosities, if you've got the money to spend Torco or Joe Gibbs Driven oils do as well, they both have a good reputation but don't come cheap, there's plenty of info available at their websites, I hope this helps you a bit.

    Jason.

  10. #10
    Do you ever leave? TRIKHQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaseQ314 View Post
    The Edge 5W30 A3/B4 is still the old SL/CF spec which mandates a maximum zinc/phosphorus of around 1200ppm and is a very good oil. A Castrol tech line guy advised me that there's an Australian agreement between companies that they stick to a max of around the 1000ppm mark for older spec oil that's not mandated 800ppm or less like the SM, SN, Ilsac G4/5 etc. (although that really only affects 20 or 30 weight oils anyway).

    The Penrite racing oils advertise a zinc/phosphorus spec up around 2000ppm or more from memory, their website has some pretty comprehensive details for all the oils if you look them up. If I was the OP depending on your budget either a 5W30, 10W/30, 5W40 or 10W40 mineral or synthetic with a minimum 1000 - 1200ppm zinc/phosphorus should be fine if it's a flat tappet following proper break in, depending on your clearances and operating oil temps of course.

    Penrite do some stuff in those viscosities, if you've got the money to spend Torco or Joe Gibbs Driven oils do as well, they both have a good reputation but don't come cheap, there's plenty of info available at their websites, I hope this helps you a bit.

    Jason.

    Great info Jason !!! Looks like you know your oils !!!

  11. #11
    casual poster JaseQ314's Avatar
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    Thanks TRICKHQ,

    I've done a bit of research in the last couple of years but I'm by no means very knowledgeable, just enough to get by (or be dangerous as they say). Bob is the oil guy website has some real oil experts but like most forums you have to be mindful who you take notice of, they get pretty passionate too, it can be entertaining watching oil nerds arguing. The oil of choice there seems to be Mobil 1 0W40 but it's $100+ for 5 litres here.

    The whole ZDDP argument is an interesting one with big flat tappet cams, some say you don't need it with newer additives making up for less of it and claim that it's marketing hype with some other oil companies really pushing it. The way I figure it is it can't hurt to have bit higher level and if does happen to kill a couple of cats (if they're fitted), they're still cheaper than an engine. Any racing oil will have higher levels but they're designed/blended for shorter oil change intervals and not to be environmentally friendly.

    Jason.

  12. #12
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    I use Joe Gibbs hr1 15 50 in my 308 will be interesting to see if it makes a difference I also read that the level of zinc is just one factor you have to look at how much detergents the oil has but at the end of the day if it costs 60 bucks more for an oil change and your giving it its best chance its a good investment

  13. #13
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    I'm running Penrite 10/40. (full zinc) I settled on that grade as it gave me the oil pressure I liked. 20 hot idle and 50 cruise. I was using 20/50 and pressure was quite a bit higher.

    ULX 110 gets great reviews. But it's not available over here. (TK on here loves it)
    Last edited by RedTaxi; 09-01-2017 at 04:51 PM.

  14. #14
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    just out of curiosity how much was quite a bit? I went from 20-50 to 5-40 and saw a small reduction in pressure, but just enough to stay around there

  15. #15
    casual poster panama's Avatar
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    thanks guys, the motor is a bit of a "throw together" so i dont know what the clearances are but judging by the pressure drop i get when the engine is at operating tempi think the 10w40 i'm using is a bit thin. i'll try the penrite 20w50 and see how i go.
    WB 350 SBC T5 Ute

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