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Old 12-14-2019, 05:39 PM   #1
JimNNN
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Default FE 390 oil related questions

My '65 Thunderbird has a 390 engine that (with the help of Ford Barn folks) I determined was out of a '67-ish Mercury or thereabouts. I'm going to put in a mechanical oil pressure gauge and disconnect the electric factory oil pressure gauge. I'm also going to install an aftermarket oil pressure warning light to use in conjunction with the new gauge (the Thunderbirds of this year didn't have warning - or "idiot" - lights.) The light I'm getting is a universal aftermarket unit that supposedly has a low pressure warning setting that's adjustable from 1/2 pound to 24 psi. It comes from the factory set at 3 psi. What PSI would you suggest I put the low warning setting at for this 390?


Also, because the factory oil pressure sending unit was really cranked on tight, I had to remove the flange (my word for that part) that both the sending unit and the oil filter attach to from the engine block. The existing gasket for this flange is still attached to the block...it looks intact, but I'd like to replace it to get a good seal. Where can I get a replacement gasket and what is that part actually called so I can accurately tell the auto parts people what I need? Thanks.
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
rotorwrench
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

It's a filter adapter gasket. It should be easy to get. There were several applications but the 67 Merc application is likely the same as the 65 T-Bird. The 390 should have around 26 psi at idle. I would get one that is around 15 PSI. Hobbs meter switches come in different psi ratings. You would need the three terminal type so that the light will go out when the pressure is applied when properly connected.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 12-14-2019 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

Thanks a bunch rotorwrench. That helps a lot.



I notice that the oil filter adapter itself is also available new. Would it be a good idea to replace the existing one, or should the existing one be fine. I don't notice any cracks on it or leaks from it. Doesn't look like a part that would go bad often, but I don't mind replacing it if it's a sensible precaution.
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:56 AM   #4
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Post Re: FE 390 oil related questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimNNN View Post

I notice that the oil filter adapter itself is also available new. Would it be a good idea to replace the existing one, or should the existing one be fine. I don't notice any cracks on it or leaks from it. Doesn't look like a part that would go bad often, but I don't mind replacing it if it's a sensible precaution.
The existing one should be more than adequate. FORD did upgrade the adapter in 1968 for increased flow - C8AZ 6881-A.

- https://www.diyford.com/ford-fe-engi...omplete-guide/


EDIT - ADDENDUM (Fr)

Adapter Mounting Gasket - FEL-PRO 70135
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File Type: jpg C0AZ 6A636-B.jpg (64.5 KB, 8 views)
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....

Last edited by KULTULZ; 12-15-2019 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

That gasket is available through Rock Auto for around $1 plus shipping Autozone for about $2-$3. Or ebay for $10-$15.
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

Be sure to use motor oil with enough zinc to protect the cam and flat lifters in that engine.
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

As usual, thanks a TON KULTULZ. Big help. And thanks, too Nutch11. Good source.


Ole Don, I'm using STP oil treatment with the ZDDP added. Can you think of a better option? I notice that there are some other ZDDP additives out there, but the STP seems to be what's readily available at most stores.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

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. . . I'm using STP oil treatment with the ZDDP added. Can you think of a better option? I notice that there are some other ZDDP additives out there, but the STP seems to be what's readily available at most stores.
A quote...

Modern heavy-duty diesel engine oils have lots of ZDDP additives and will be marked “CI-4 or CI-4 Plus” Diesel oils also have additives that pass all gasoline engine performance tests. Some racing oils also have adequate amount of ZDDP.

from this link...
https://www.ctci.org/engine-oil/
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

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A quote...

Modern heavy-duty diesel engine oils have lots of ZDDP additives and will be marked “CI-4 or CI-4 Plus” Diesel oils also have additives that pass all gasoline engine performance tests. Some racing oils also have adequate amount of ZDDP.

from this link...
https://www.ctci.org/engine-oil/

Thanks dmsfrr. I was using diesel engine oil until the most commonly available stuff around here - Rotella - stopped making direct references to zinc protection on their packaging. That's when I started using the STP.



Just looking at a Rotella diesel oil advert. now, however, the packaging DOES make reference to CI-4 and CI-4 plus, so it looks like that product would be good for zinc protection, Thanks for the education.


I guess the zinc protection is part of what they now call "T-4 Triple Protection" on the Rotella label. I'll never really understand corporate approach to labeling and branding. I still don't know the difference between Diet Coke and "Coke Zero."
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Old 12-15-2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

I have used diesel motor oil in the past but always had a concern that the detergent package may be detrimental to a gas engine over time. The stuff turned black much quicker than gas engine oil which suggests the detergents are doing their job. I started worrying that the diesel stuff was loosening so much gunk that it might clog the pick up screen and cause oil starvation. Now I use a high mileage conventional oil, usually Pennzoil, along with STP and change it 2X/yr. My car isn't driven daily.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:50 PM   #11
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Post Re: FE 390 oil related questions

ROTELLA-T changed its formula some years ago to comply with diesel emissions regulations. The old ROTELLA-T was still available for older fleets but was available in 5GAL pails to prevent the public from easily buying it.

Using an additive (other than break-in perhaps) is not good as the additive may not blend with the oil. This has to be done during the refining process.

VALVOLINE VR-1 RACING OIL is considered among the best for a flat-tappet street engine. They also offer a true racing oil beyond this.

This and BRAD-PENN.
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

A noted Y Block engine builder uses Valvoline 10-30 and 10-40 conventional oils in all his engine builds (he so notes in his descriptions) with the proviso that it be changed once a year.. That's good enough for me. No additive but I think it does use an additive for break in.
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Old 12-16-2019, 01:33 AM   #13
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Post Re: FE 390 oil related questions

It is all addressed here - https://www.drivenracingoil.com/


Diesel Oil - Break-In Oil - Performance Oil
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
ROTELLA-T changed its formula some years ago to comply with diesel emissions regulations. The old ROTELLA-T was still available for older fleets but was available in 5GAL pails to prevent the public from easily buying it.

Using an additive (other than break-in perhaps) is not good as the additive may not blend with the oil. This has to be done during the refining process.

VALVOLINE VR-1 RACING OIL is considered among the best for a flat-tappet street engine. They also offer a true racing oil beyond this.

This and BRAD-PENN.
It was recommended to me to use Valvoline VR-1 racing oil in my avatar 302 engine when I purchased it.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

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Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
It is all addressed here - https://www.drivenracingoil.com/

Diesel Oil - Break-In Oil - Performance Oil
Ok, still trying to figure it out, just for the sake of continued discussion & possible clarity.
They do briefly mention older flat tappet engines and are of course representing their own product.
I read both of these pages of theirs...

https://tech.drivenracingoil.com/zinc-in-motor-oil/
"Having the right balance of additives is the key to application-specific protection and performance."

https://tech.drivenracingoil.com/buy...l-oil-changed/
Apologies for the length of this quote from this link. (emphasis added)

"Certified Lubrication Specialist Lake Speed Jr. explains ZDDP creates a sacrificial film on contact points that acts as a wear surface in place of the metal. As ZDDP is reduced or more detergent is added, that film can decrease and component wear increase. Substantial chemistry changes in the new diesel engine oil categories mean the widely accepted use of diesel engine oil plus ZDDP additive during the break-in process is now a riskier proposition than it was a few years ago.
Diesel oils are becoming more specific to applications, and people using them off-label need to be aware,” says Certified Lubrication Specialist Lake Speed Jr.
The American Petroleum Institute’s new heavy-duty engine oil categories effectively eliminate backwards compatibility in the industry. CK-4 is the replacement for current diesel engine oil categories, while FA-4 is a new category altogether, created in response to updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards affecting engines to be manufactured in 2017 and after.
Speed says owners should just steer clear of diesel engine oil in their gasoline engines and pay close attention to new labeling if using diesel engine oils in their towing vehicles.
“This really is risk management,” says Speed about the importance of protecting engines with the right oil, from the start. “Curveballs are being thrown here. So, buyer beware.”
He recommends during the break-in process owners turn to a ZDDP-enhanced oil rather than the new diesel engine oil options to improve surface mating and extend the durability of internal engine components in their new or rebuilt engine."

What I'm getting from these pages is that ZDDP is still a useful/needed ingredient in motor oils for older gasoline powered vehicles built before emission equipment was required.
BUT just because you buy an oil (in this case a generic 'diesel engine' oil) that you thought had enough ZDDP in it, Do not assume it does without checking the label / ingredients, if it's listed.

An engine oil marketed specifically for 'Classic' or 'Older' vehicles, or one that points out its higher formulated ZDDP content will likely be a better bet to use.

.

Last edited by dmsfrr; 12-16-2019 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

The higher the spring pressures on the valves, the higher the need for EP additive. Manufacturers slacked off spring pressures a lot after 1973. It's mostly the high performance hobby and racing that need it now days.

ZDDP only goes so far. 1,200 PPM is about maximum effective amount. We use TCP (tricresyl phosphate) in the Lycoming aircraft engines and it works about as good as ZDDP but it's a bit more toxic.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:33 PM   #17
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Post Re: FE 390 oil related questions

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Ok, still trying to figure it out, just for the sake of continued discussion & possible clarity.

What I'm getting from these pages is that ZDDP is still a useful/needed ingredient in motor oils for older gasoline powered vehicles built before emission equipment was required.

BUT just because you buy an oil (in this case a generic 'diesel engine' oil) that you thought had enough ZDDP in it, Do not assume that it does without checking the label / ingredients, if it's listed.

An engine oil marketed specifically for 'Classic' or 'Older' vehicles, or one that points out its higher formulated ZDDP content will likely be a better bet to use.
The advertiser choice I used was once JOE GIBBS (TRUE) RACING OIL (NASCAR). Competition usage only. I used it to hopefully show a true racing oil. It is used for competition only.

VALVOLINE ZR-1 is a HIGH PERFORMANCE oil, meant for older tech (street/mild racing). VALVOLINE also offers TRUE racing oils. A true RACING OIL is not designed for street engines as there are less detergent/dispersant additives. It is usually dropped frequently for engine tear-downs. RACING OIL is an advertisement gimmick. You have to know what your car requires regarding lubricants.

Zinc and phosphorous levels were decreased to comply with new emission laws and new tech engines not needing it, along with a ban on heavy ZDDP oils as they would foul the newly designed convertors.

The go-around then was to use DIESEL OIL as it still offered the protection if spec'd for both gas and diesel engines (SHELL ROTELLA-T was one). EPA then brought about particulate traps and a cleaner burning diesel engine(s). Diesel oil formulation was changed. New diesel does not require the old oil as they also have gone to new tech (rollers cams for one).

Somehow, a few refiners were able to introduce high ZDDP oil again, but there was a warning on the containers to not use in new tech. Same as HP PARTS - MAY NOT BE EMISSIONS LEGAL - OFF-ROAD USAGE ONLY.

Does this help? If not, yell out.

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Publi...2-ac162d889bd1

https://www.valvoline.com/our-products/sds

https://www.api.org/products-and-services/engine-oil

http://www.pqiamerica.com/resourcero...viceclass.html
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....

Last edited by KULTULZ; 12-16-2019 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 12-18-2019, 11:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

Discussing oil is an argument that no one ever wins. Diesel oil is formulated for diesel engines only. Mostly zddp has been removed from diesel oil as well. zddp was removed from STP oil additive. Now it has been reinstalled, and both versions are available. I personally use Mobil 1 in everything I own. The High Mileage stuff (blue label) has a little zddp in it. Nothing I own has roller lifters, and my oil choice seems okay. I think this whole zddp thing is blown way out of proportion, kind of like the unleaded gas thing that was going to put all old cars out of commission. Whatever, we all have opinions.
Why are you so worried about oil pressure? Is the engine that bad? I always thought that you would see a red light flash on in your dash before you would notice a low gauge reading. Either way, when the light goes on, or the gauge gets noticed, it's way too late, the damage is already done, the indicator is merely informing you of it, don't blame either one.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:12 PM   #19
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

Damage would be a lot less if shut off with first warning. Idiot lights are proven to get your attention quicker than a direct reading gauge. When a person needs to know the most is at start up anyway. I think the 66 T-birds had both the gauge and a warning light. My 64 only had the gauge.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: FE 390 oil related questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by packrat5 View Post
Why are you so worried about oil pressure? Is the engine that bad? I always thought that you would see a red light flash on in your dash before you would notice a low gauge reading. Either way, when the light goes on, or the gauge gets noticed, it's way too late, the damage is already done, the indicator is merely informing you of it, don't blame either one.

I'm not sure, but I think this question is directed at me, so I'll try answering it. I wouldn't think replacing a notoriously vague non-numerical factory oil pressure gauge with an aftermarket gauge type that's worked well in other applications would qualify as being "so worried" about oil pressure, but if it is, I'm OK with that. My T-Bird has no low pressure warning light from the factory, so I'm putting one in because, as you say, it's noticed more easily.



The idea that an oil light going on while the car is running automatically means your engine is ruined or damaged isn't correct, especially since this particular light I'm installing is adjustable across a fairly broad range of PSI. Sudden changes in oil pressure can happen because of pump problems or leaks. My sister suddenly lost oil pressure in her brand new car because an oil filter had been improperly installed at the dealership. She kept driving with the light on so she wouldn't be late for work. Guess what happened?

Last edited by JimNNN; 12-19-2019 at 03:25 PM.
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