Lubricant Recommendations

Discussions related to motor & gear oils, greases, anti-freezes, etc.
Dave Czirr
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Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:23 am

Anticipating queries about grease, gear oil, shock absorber oils and motor oils, I'm posting a slightly edited version of my own experiences and recommendations as orginally published in Victoria Voice, newsletter of PAC's Packards East region. Motor oils are a subject unto themselves but in general I'd recommend using a viscosity that corresponds to Packard's original specifications, using a detergent oil if the engine is known to be "clean" inside (and if not, drop the oil pan and clean it), and avoid supermarket and off-brand products.
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Lubricants edited.jpg

huiga
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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by huiga » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:33 am

Dave -

Lubriplate makes an automotive oil, 40 W nondetergent. It came highly recommended. A local
distributor in New Jersey is Neslo petroleum products, 950 King George Road, Fords NJ 08863,
800-273-9976 www.neslopetroleum.com

The oil pan on the straight eight Packard appears to be massive, I suspect taking it off and cleaning
the inside is not an easy task.

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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by genehouse » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:58 pm

I was just reading the Owners Manual for the Series 23 and Packard recommends dropping the oil pan once a year and cleaning it. And, you have to remove some of the linkage to do so if my brief forage beneath the engine told me enough to be useful. Oh well, Gene
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Dave Czirr
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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:36 pm

Actually Gene, you only have to drop the steering idler arm from the right-side frame and the entire linkage will drop intact enough for the pan to come down. Clearance to get at the front pan bolts is tight even for small fingers so you may want to put a jack under the vibration damper, or a jack with a block of wood under the pan to get these removed. Depending on where the crankshaft counterweights happen to have stopped, you may also have to rotate the engine a part of a turn to get the pan to clear the weights. But overall quite an easy job. No need to realign the steering linkage if all you dropped was the idler arm.

Dave Czirr
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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:06 am

Just looked this up for someone else and thought I might as well post it here again.

Grades of gear oils:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gear_oil

Prudence
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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Prudence » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:05 pm

Good afternoon all...Regarding Motor oil for a 1949 - 288, I'm wondering about the difference between the CCCA 15/40 Motor Oil and the Shell Rotella 15/40 Motor Oil. It does seem to me that a multi-grade oil would be better than a single grade motor oil in this day and age. The owner's manual simply states that SAE-20 is recommended for normal driving in non-stressed conditions. 15/40 seems to bracket that a bit for ease of starting and heat protections. I will certainly appreciate any comments. Thanks, Ernie

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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:50 pm

Hi Prudence: opinions on oil are about as numerous as opinions about politics or religion. A multi-viscosity oil is most beneficial for engines that operate in a range of climatic temperatures, for example a car used in both cold and warm weather. If that's your expected use of the car, I'd go with a multi-vis oil My older Packard is only used in the summer so I use a single viscosity oil, but a detergent oil with ample anti-wear additives. I'm quite aware of the Shell Rotella product, both the older CI-4 and the current CJ-4 forumulations and I have no reservations about it's use, I use it myself in my 56 Caribbean and think it would be a good choice for your Packard. I have no knowledge of the CCCA product but I believe it's made by Kendall Refining and would expect CCCA to market a high quality product.

Prudence
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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Prudence » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:55 pm

Thanks, Dave. I'll give it a try as I need to change oil in the next couple of weeks. Ernie

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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Tinman_70 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:14 am

I think Dave pointed out the importance of zinc in the oil used for vintage engines in the original '09 post. Oil formulations have changed over time and it's important to make sure what you use is appropriate for your engine. Here's my understanding of the "zinc in oil" situation.

It used to be that motor oils contained zinc compounds. An attribute of zinc is that it attaches itself to metal surfaces to help prevent excessive wear. However, with the advent of emission-control on automotive engines, it was found that zinc also attached itself to the metal compounds in catalytic converters and shortened their useful life. Oil companies have reduced or eliminated zinc in there motor oil formulations over time. This is less of an issue with modern engines with roller valve lifters but is critical for vintage engines with flat tappet lifters. Breaking in a rebuilt flat tappet engine with conventional oil without zinc additives could result in severe and immediate damage the camshaft and lifters. Likewise, using plain conventional oil in vintage engines can result in shorter engine life. Fortunately, there are now “break-in” oils that can be for rebuilt vintage engines as well as specific oils formulated for non-emission engines. There are also additives that can be added to conventional oils to protect against wear. One of these is ZDDP Oil Additive. You can research the internet to determine what lubricant would work best for your engine.
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Re: Lubricant Recommendations

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:42 am

The zinc compound mostly commonly used in higher grade motor oils is zincdiallyldithiophosophate or ZDDP, it is a compound containing both zinc and phosphorous (and sulfur as well). The amounts in oil, post the well-publicized decrease, are not really that much less than they were before so if you use one of these oils, no need to add more; in fact the expert say an excess can be detrimental so I'd be reluctant to add ZDDP to an oil that already contained it. The current Shell Rotella 15/40 is the CJ-4 formulation and you can see the decrease was modest compared to the prior CI-4 version, check the API rating on the container label if uncertain. The single viscosity detergent oil I use in my early Packard is Formula Shell, an "SL" rated oil and also contains ZDDP.

The flat tappets on Packards have really gentle or easy loadings on the camshaft by the valve springs compared to the engines from the onset of the muscle car era so whether you really "NEED" much or even any ZDDP could be open to question. ZDDP was an outgrowth of WW II technology and certainly the flat tappet Packard engines prior to WW II did just fine without it so in my mind, up until the V8 era, it's a matter of "might help, can't hurt". The attached chart courtesy of Skinned Knuckles.
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ZDDP in modern oils from SK.jpg

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