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Old 08-02-2020, 07:14 AM   #1
dgmgohl
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Default PennGrade Motor Oil

I just had my 255 Merc Flathead rebuilt, and the company that rebuilt it said I should use PennGrade motor oil. When checking on Amazon, this stuff is expensive! Almost $100 per case of 12. Has anyone heard of this oil? Does anyone have a suggestion on what is the best to use in a newly rebuilt engine?
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:42 AM   #2
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

a couple of questions
1 are they going to warranty the work if you are going to use Penn Grade oil?

2-how much did it cost to rebuild the engine?
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:56 AM   #3
Bored&Stroked
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I've used PennGrade oil - the original "Green" oil. It is a great oil and a lot of performance/racers use it. In the end, the overall cost of oil is so small as compared to what you just paid, is it really a major consideration? It all comes down to what you think you're willing to pay for oil . . . there are many good brands/products - most of which will work just fine in your engines. I would run a quality break-in oil. As Alan noted, if your builder recommends it and has a warranty tied to it, then I'd go with it.

Most of us change our oil maybe once a year (whether it needs it or not!) - so in my case, I don't worry about the cost too much. LOL.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgmgohl View Post
I just had my 255 Merc Flathead rebuilt, and the company that rebuilt it said I should use PennGrade motor oil. When checking on Amazon, this stuff is expensive! Almost $100 per case of 12. Has anyone heard of this oil? Does anyone have a suggestion on what is the best to use in a newly rebuilt engine?
One brand of oil we use regularly is the "Brad-Penn", if you choose their "break-in" oil for the initial starting you'll be fine, it is STILL an excellent oil!

Your builder will not be able to use it as any excuse for an issue!

Here's an excerpt from an outside tester:

"Is Brad Penn Oil the same as PennGrade?

"The results from all four tests prove the PennGrade 1 SAE 20W-50 High-Performance Oil is the same product today as the original Brad Penn product was more than 50 years ago — continuing to deliver the same proven performance customers have come to know and trust."


Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. We almost always use the "Brad-Penn" brand oil for initial break-ins, never an issue to date! If a customer doesn't want that brand we also use the "Lucas break-in" oil (pictured below). Most of these oils today do run about $8.00/$9.00 qt.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Oil Brad-Penn 30W B-I.JPG (78.0 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg Break-in Oil Lucas 20-50.JPG (86.9 KB, 51 views)
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:13 AM   #5
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

All you need is 5 qts. of 30 wt. break in oil for break in.
There are various vendors that sell it by the qt. such as this---

https://stmtuned.com/products/penngr...6dc24498d4c8ad
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:25 AM   #6
Bored&Stroked
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

For those who want to discuss/ponder Brad Penn versus Penn Grade, versus PennGrade1 . . . you might like this:

====================

Thank you for contacting D-A / Penn Grade / PennGrade1 Lubricants and for your inquiry.



The American Refining Group Inc. (ARG), located in Bradford, PA., sold the Brad Penn® Lubricants brand to D-A Lubricant Company Inc. of Lebanon, IN. The acquisition became official December 31, 2014.

It is D-A Lubricant Company Inc. that now owns the Brad Penn® Lubricants brand. The purchase of Brad Penn® Lubricants was simply an ownership change. The Brad Penn® PennGrade1 High Performance Oils you were accustomed to are now referred to as PennGrade1 High Performance Oils. As you have noticed.....PennGrade1 has a new look (see attached), but product formula HAS NOT / WILL NOT change and its unique Pennsylvania Grade base oil cut will continue to be processed at the same facility it has been for several decades (Bradford, Pa). The 'new look' of PennGrade1 was conceived simply for marketing / product visibility.

To summarize, the product you purschased this year (71196) is the same PennGrade1 Partial Synthetic High Performance Oil 20W-50 that you utilized in the past (009-7119).

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kenneth M. (Ken) Tyger, OMA I, OMA II
Oil Monitoring Analyst
Vice President / Technical Services
Penn Grade / PennGrade1
D-A Lubricant Company, Inc.
(814)-598-7391
ktyger@bradpenn.com
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

Since we are on-the subject of oil, Valvoline VR 1 racing oil use to be a go to oil, does anyone know how it is today for these old flatheads.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:43 AM   #8
V8 Bob
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I've used Valvoline VR-1 for over 40 years both as a break-in and regular use oil in HP ohv and flathead engines. VR-1 Racing street non-synthetic is reasonably priced and found in most auto parts stores, available in several weights; 10W30/20W50 and straight 30/40/50/60. My normal choice is 10W30.
IMO, you want to use the lightest weight oil providing good oil pressure. Unnecessary heavy oil can do more harm than good.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I used 5 qts. of Brad Penn ("the green oil") when I rebuilt my 59AB....was recommended by my machine shop. Figured $40 was cheap insurance on what I had spent on the rebuild. Excellent product.
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I like the line from above " it is the same oil as we made 50 years ago" . Guess who their target audience is.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I am old school, my opinions are from real life hands on
BS or not I have seen pennsylvania crude in my hand, clear, greenish Blue fluid very parrifin base. Non detergent in a crappy old motor will leave greasy residue
My old LTD had a stack of Texaco stickers on it, the valve covers were full of crusty crap, I guess mineral based lube.
Love the good oil produced in NY/ PA, wax is better than crust IMO, I cannot get a grip on new synthetics although I am forced to comply on my normal truck
But the flatheads get valvoline 40, no regrets
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I am sure many others remember when both Pennzoil and Quaker State were made from Pennsylvania crude and they were proud of that fact. They were named for where the oil was from. Then they claimed at PA crude was better. That was then and now they are made from oil from who knows where? Interesting that there is still PA oil extracted, marketed and sold as such.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I used Brad Penn as break in oil. Ran at 2000 RPM for 20 min, dumped the oil, replaced the filter, refilled with Brad Penn and ran for 500 mi. repeated the process but changed to Mobil 1 and added Lucas zinc. changed oil once a yr, added bottle of zinc with every filter change(3K miles).
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

When I was 16 I hung around a small engine rebuilding
shop. He had a stenzel made as a warning not to use any
Penna oil or there would be no guarantee. The Penna. oils
had a heavy gray muck that settled in the pan. G.M.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

No warranty. $3000.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I can attest to what rodrelic said about the NY/PA crude oil. That parrifin could really clog up valves if we didn't put kerosene or other stuff down the back side(casing) of the well. You could make a white snowball out of that parrifin when holding it in your hands . Why this makes it a better oil, I still don't know. Terry
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by flathead48 View Post
Since we are on-the subject of oil, Valvoline VR 1 racing oil use to be a go to oil, does anyone know how it is today for these old flatheads.
VR-1 is still very good for new builds because the high level of zinc protects the cam while it gets through the initial break-in. Use it straight for the initial run and first oil change.

After that I switched to 1 quart of VR-1 and the rest, any good brand. The reason is that VR-1 is very low on detergent, which you need to prevent the build up of sludge over the long haul.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

Best break in oil right now is Driven from Joe Gibbs racing. Their BR40 is a 10w40 break in oil that costs around $8/qt, and comes highly recommended. Another very good break in oil at a good price is Lucas 30w. It can be purchased at Summit for $31 for a 5 quart jug.

Will make a separate post about break in.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: PennGrade Motor Oil

I use PenGrade oil. As mentioned above, I change my oil so infrequently the price isn’t too bad.
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