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Old 06-29-2013, 05:16 PM   #1
dp1743
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Default What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

I'm new to this forum, so, please bear with me if I happen to step out of protocol.

I recently purchased a 1940 Ford Standard wih an 85 HP flathead eight. The engine has less than 1000 miles since it was professionally rebuilt and blueprinted. The oil is very clean, and, I'm not running a filter so I plan on changing it regularly.

My head is spinning with all the opinions out there, so I'm looking for help. I think I've got it narrowed down to either: Rotella T Triple Protection 15W40, or, Bulldog EO-O Premium Plus (for Mack Trucks) 15W-40. The problem is in decyphering the oil company's codes.
Rotella states it meets API Service CJ-4/SM (whatever that means), and, Bulldog states it exceeds API Service Category CJ-4. Both oils are designed for diesel engines. (The Mack oil I used in my F350 Powerstroke and it worked very well.

Do these oils have the Zinc in them that I've heard I should be using? If not, should I be using them in my flathead? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
Ronnie
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

10 30 any thing will do you well.

Quaker state pennzoil valvoline they are all good for todays rebuilds.

R
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

Ronnie has it right.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

Don't overthink it. Just put in a good quality oil and change it regularly. You don't have a filter so you're not going to try and get 100,000 miles out of it before an oil change. Personally I use a 20w50 or 15W40 but whatever you use you will be changing it soon so don't worry.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

Thanks for that advice. Now... Should it be detergent or no? And, what about the zinc?
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

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welcome to the 'Barn....got pics of your '40??....you can do a search of the posts to see what has been posted before....don't know about the Bulldog oil, but the Rotella has been mentioned as a good oil to use....i think most of the oils mentioned have enuf zinc to work for the flatheads....lots better oils than were available in the days the cars were new....have fun....Mike
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

In a fresh engine run detergent. Any of todays oils will be fine. In both of mine I add one blue bottle of STP at each oil change. Each of my two heaps gets an oil change every 1000 to 2000 miles or once a year which ever comes first.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

Absolutely use a detergent oil.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

If your engine is stock, you do NOT need a zinc additive. Remember, when our flatheads were new there was no zinc in oil. However, if you are running an aftermarket camshaft and heavy duty valve springs you will need it.
Opinions are divided on diesel oil, some swear by it, some dont. Personally I think it has no place in a gas engine because the additives serve different purposes. Use a detergent oil, and as others have said, use whatever, it's all good.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dp1743 View Post
I'm new to this forum, so, please bear with me if I happen to step out of protocol. Rotella states it meets API Service CJ-4/SM (whatever that means),
Welcome to the Barn. Whatever the question is, there are thousands of Flathead persons here who have "been there and done that". So don't be afraid to "ask", and enjoy the forum.

I happen to be using the Rotella in my Flatheads also. Would someone please us what CJ-4/SM means?

Would that be the zinc designation?
Thaks Jay in Mass

Last edited by Jay in Mass; 06-30-2013 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

I wonder about this question as well. I read that the Flattie should run a mono grade oil because it works better with heat transfer in these hot (exhaust through the block) engines. This may be old news and modern oils may have left this behind. Any understandable comments from the oil gurus?
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #12
Walt Dupont--Me.
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

I use 15-40 Rotella I don't know what all those no. means on the container but you will find one of the no. it's usually the 2nd no. ( Cl-4) that stands for zinc. Walt
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

The "C" in CJ-4 means compression (as in diesel), while the "S" in SJ means spark (as in gas). I read this from an oil post a little while ago.

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Old 06-29-2013, 11:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

Valvoline racing oil 20w50 in my '40 Sedan 85hp. I change faithfully at 1500 miles. It has zinc in it. Sems to perform well.

Mike
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

http://www.classicmotor.co.uk/oil.htm

I just read through this article about oil for classic motors.In the past I have used Millers oil for Classic/ Vintage engines from the local motor factors.I need to contact the previous owner of my coupe to see what oil he has been using, as putting oil with detergent in into and engine that has been running on non detergent oil can cause blockage problems unless the engine is stripped and cleaned out first,, due to the new oil shifting all the crud that has built up over the years.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:39 AM   #16
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

I had a old farmer tell me " dip ur finger and thumb in what you want to use for oil,then rub ur finger and thumb togeather,if they slip and slide use it if they stick don't use it" I use 20-50 castrol
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:48 AM   #17
Graeme / New Zealand
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

20/50 Castrol also.

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:16 AM   #18
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

Changing your oil that frequently you might as well use the cheapest you can find. I use NAPA's straight S.A.E. 40 in the summer and 10W-30 in the winter.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

What some people don't consider is the fact that the engineers that design these things have a better idea of what viscosity oil to use. The Flathead was designed to run 10 in the winter and 30 in the summer. Bearings need lubrication, But they also need cooling. The thinner oil removes the heat in the bearing. Heaver oil jut lubricates the pressure relief valve creating more heat. Modern engines use oils as low as 0/10. Using a hi viscosity oil just to see the gauge show 50lbs just means the relief valve is working overtime and the bearings are getting hotter.
IMHO
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:35 AM   #20
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Default Re: What should I use for oil in 40 Ford flathead?

actually never thought of that....ol ron ur probably correct
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