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1956 Belair Spt Cpe
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What can you guy tell me about the new oils and their effect on old style flat tappet engines? A friend told me this evening that we now had to use an additive in our oil or a special oil with additives in it or we were asking for major problems.....

I looked on Comp Cams website, that's where my cam and lifters came from, and sure enough, they sell the stuff, additives and oil with additives. Not cheap, but if it's necessary I guess that is what will have to be.
 

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I'll add my two cents in here. Flat Tappet cams are getting a bad deal with the oil we have today. The EPA or one of those letter agency's passed all kinds of laws or maybe had them passed, and the one that seems to of had the biggest affect on oil is the catalytic converter. It seems that the additive packages that contained "Zinc" was all but outlawed because the zinc clogged the converter. So the "Zinc" went. Flat Tappet cams really need the zinc to have a good chance of living. I mean if you think about it pressure on the cam lobe and the lifter can reach tremendous pressures. I have heard numbers as high as 250,000 PSI, while I don't know that number is correct or not it sounds good. The zinc in the additive pack was there to help with these extreme pressures, remove it and there were cam failures all over the place. I even have had more than my share of them, and I have gone to all Roller Cams just to elemenate this cam failure problem.

There are some good additives out there that will help. comp Cams as you mention has a good one as well as sevreal others. There also are "AT LEAST" two oils that I have found that still have the OLD additive package that contains Zinc / Phosphorus or ZDDP, they are Pennzoil Racing Oil and also Brad Penn oil. I have used both and with good results. Brad Penn I use on all of my engines today, they are the oldest continuously run refinery of lube oils and still to this day only use 100% Pennsylvania crude oil.

Roland
 

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I'll add my two cents in here. Flat Tappet cams are getting a bad deal with the oil we have today. The EPA or one of those letter agency's passed all kinds of laws or maybe had them passed, and the one that seems to of had the biggest affect on oil is the catalytic converter. It seems that the additive packages that contained "Zinc" was all but outlawed because the zinc clogged the converter. So the "Zinc" went. Flat Tappet cams really need the zinc to have a good chance of living. I mean if you think about it pressure on the cam lobe and the lifter can reach tremendous pressures. I have heard numbers as high as 250,000 PSI, while I don't know that number is correct or not it sounds good. The zinc in the additive pack was there to help with these extreme pressures, remove it and there were cam failures all over the place. I even have had more than my share of them, and I have gone to all Roller Cams just to elemenate this cam failure problem.

There are some good additives out there that will help. comp Cams as you mention has a good one as well as sevreal others. There also are "AT LEAST" two oils that I have found that still have the OLD additive package that contains Zinc / Phosphorus or ZDDP, they are Pennzoil Racing Oil and also Brad Penn oil. I have used both and with good results. Brad Penn I use on all of my engines today, they are the oldest continuously run refinery of lube oils and still to this day only use 100% Pennsylvania crude oil.

Roland
Roland said it all, good info :) Myself I use Brad Penn even in my roller motor too.
 
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