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All,

I just bought a 1966 El Camino with the 4.6L 283Ci engine and it has been sitting in storage for the last 14 years. It has 108,963 miles and runs well. I need to do an oil change on it and I'm having a lot of trouble finding a definitive answer on what oil to put in it. I've seen recommendations for 10w30, 10w40 and 20w50. I also know It needs zinc. Can anybody help me out with some recommendations?

Thanks!
 

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Hi davidrely, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. I run 10w30 in my 78 with a 350 cubic inches. Where are you located, that may make a difference. Enjoy and have fun with your 66 and the community.
 

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Thanks for the help. Im in the SF bay area so 10w30 shouldn't be an issue. But it has only been driven 600 miles in the last 14 years so some people recommended a 20w50 to start with. Also its a 4 speed so I'm not sure if that makes a difference. Love the 78's-a guy from my high school drove one every day.
 

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Mileage, age, etc. is irrelevant. You need to find the weight that gives you at least 10 psi per 1000 rpm when fully warm. That likely would be 10/30, but may be 5/30, might be 15/40. (If it needs 20/50, budget for a rebuild). I’d run Brad Penn, Joe Gibbs or similar. Your engine may be seasoned and broken in and not need zinc, but expensive oil is cheaper than any engine work. (I thought I didn’t need special oil and ran diesel 15/40 in a Buick 455 and wiped out some cam lobes).
Patrick
 

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Rather than zink, it is ZDDP Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate
Do Older Vehicles Need High ZDDP Motor Oil
//blog.amsoil.com/do-older-vehicles-need-high-zinc-motor-oil/
 

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Back when most engines had pushrods, the lifters rode the cam lobes on a very thin layer of oil, and the ZDDP protected the cam from wear. ZDDP is bad for catalytic converters. Tired engines that have a little blowby let ZDDP past the rings, out the manifolds and down to the converters. Manufacturers are required to warrant converters for, I think, 80k miles, so they want to prevent that inevitable blowby from poisoning them. Now that most engines are either OHC or have roller valvetrains, the ZDDP can be reduced, and the oil companies have gradually but continually reduced it. Diesel oil kept ZDDP longer, but now that a lot diesel trucks have converters or other emissions equipment, they’re decreasing it too. Funny thing is, as the cam lobes wear down, you won’t notice the decreased performance when driving. You won’t have a catastrophic failure. But you will have metal in your oil, faster wear and eventually measurably reduced performance. (My old Buick went from running 13.79 to 14.05 in the quarter over the span of about five years. When we pulled the engine for a planned swap, we pulled the intake and found several lobes that were worn. I had been running Rotella and Motorcraft diesel oils thinking I was ok. I was until I wasn’t.)
Patrick
 

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As a moderately priced oil that has a good ZDDP additive package, I use Shell Rotella. It has more than an average amount of ZDDP and detergent for my tastes without spending 10 bucks a quart.

It is typically Rotella synthetic in 15W-40 for me and on sale virtually everywhere.

Rick

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Have you checked how much ZDDP in Rotella since reformulation?
 

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X2 on the Joe Gibbs Driven that what I use, granted I’m 15/50 but they have 10/30 which would be fine in yours, mobil is also a great oil!👍
 

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Have you checked how much ZDDP in Rotella since reformulation?
No, not lately. I did read analysis numbers in a car magazine last year for what it had for an additive package and it was better than most. Has it changed in the last year?

Since I change my oil every 3000 miles, all of these oils are going to be good. Compared to what was on the dipstick for mine in 1970, its fantastic. Yea, I know I'm running an LS that has modern requirements but that Rotella dead dinosaur juice can't be bad for it.

Rick

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I am not aware of changes to Rotella in last year.
There are a lot of old internet articles that are more than 5 years old and no dates on them still floating around.
 
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