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ZDDP? and the use in older Z engines

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What is ZDDP? Is it required in the older Z engines? I have a 240Z that I just purchased and it has been driven 400 documented miles in the last 2 years. I deparately need to change the oil and want to get knowledgable prior to actually doing it. So far, I have planned to get a factory filter, Still trying to determine the best oil, and questioning oil additives at this point. Until then the car sits in the garage.

Secondary question, does anyone have suggestions for a company that offers replacement radiators in the colorado springs/ denver areas?

Thank you for your input....

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Hi Rod,

Just as a suggestion to a new guy on the site, try out the search function! It has answers to just about any question you might think of regarding these old beauties....it a great place to start your research! By the way, welcome aboard and enjoy!!!

Tom

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ZDDP has to do with the zinc content in the oil. This has been reduced in recent years to lengthen the life of catylitic converters. ZDDP is of particular importance to aircooled engines such as earlier Porsche and VW motors. I am not aware of the need for higher ZDDP levels in the I6 motor in the Z car... A good reference is the LN Engineering website. Charles Navarro and his wife have done a good deal of research on ZDDP levels. Brad Penn and Royal Purple along with some motorcycle oils have decent levels.

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From what I've read in a different thread, having ZDDP in the oil helps reduce the wear on the cam, lifters, and rockers for older engines. I can't remember everything in detail, but I've been runing valvoline VR-1 because of the thread (I think it was on hybridz)

Edited by m4xwellmurd3r

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I've been mixing mine - 3 quarts of 10W-30 Valvoline VR-1 (what they used to call 'Racing' oil) for the ZDDP content, and a couple of quarts of 10W-30 high mileage oil for the gasket and seal additives. Works well to keep the 36 year old gaskets sealed up. Some day I'll pull the motor to paint and re-seal it, when I do I'll go to all VR-1.

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I am not sure if I posted these links in the other thread, but there is some useful information on the Mobil One web site regarding this question:

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Car_Care/AskMobil/ZDDP_Levels_Classic_Cars.aspx

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Car_Care/AskMobil/Zinc_Motor_Oils.aspx

As the second link says, he offending metal that has been removed is phosphorus, not zinc. (But since ZDDP contains both, I guess the effect is the same.)

Also follow the link (on both pages) to the PDF document showing the phosphorus content of various oils. I have been running my 240Z on their 0W-40 since last fall. The oil pressure is more consistent, and I feel safer. It probably doesn't really make that much difference however since the real problem is apparently on cars with "flat tappets" (read push rod motors like old school American V8's)

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Yeah, the 'flat tappets' thing seems pretty consistent in the reading I've done on this topic. My problem is that I don't see much difference between how a lifter on a pushrod engine running on the cam lobe is different than the end of an L-series rocker pad running on a cam lobe. So I figure I'll err on the side of caution and use oil with ZDDP as long as I can find it easily.

I will admit that I run Mobil 1 in all my other vehicles with great results. If it wasn't for the ZDDP issue, it'd be in the Datsun as well.

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Isky Cams includes a flyer with all their new reground cams that it's imperative to break in their new cams with an oil containing ZDDP. I use Valvoline VR-1 racing oil.

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The level of ZDDP has been reduced in recent years because of the effect the phosphorus (P) has on the catalytic converter life. The levels went from 1200 ppm P to 800 ppm P.

There is excellent info on this very topic in the latest edition (Fall 2008) of Hagerty's magazine. I just got mine yesterday and it's at home right now. It's the one with vintage racers on the cover. It's not on their Web site yet, however.:cry:

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Based on what I've read, I run Valvoline VR-1 in my Z as well. Just broke in a new cam, and it put my mind at ease that I had the high zinc content oil in there already.

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I have been doing way too much research on oils over the past few weeks- obsessive I know- but it really is one of the most important decisions to be made for our precious cars. I almost picked the VR-1 until I read this below on a very informative site- which may or may not have been mentioned here- it's early and I'm loopy- so sorry if this is a repeat.

Quote from

http://www.zddplus.com/index.htm

tech brief 5- but the whole site is full of great information on everything to do with ZDDP, and oils in general too. These additives (or similar products- as I hear GM has an equivalent product) are engineered specifically to bring the Zinc and Phosphorus content up to levels palatable to our engines- and as such might be a fantastic thing allowing us greater latitude in our choice of oil, being able to supplement an otherwise excellent oil (whatever that may be) with ZDDP to achieve optimal levels. For the record I have no connection whatsoever with this or any other product that has any connection to our cars. Just the facts.

And I reiterate that you all should read through the link Phred mentioned earlier. An *excellent* discussion on this subject, IMHO.

QUOTE-"Racing oils are optimized for short-term severe duty as well as reduced oil drain intervals, in contrast to street-use oil that has been designed for day in, day out street operation with extended drain intervals. Especially in the case of vehicles which see extended periods of storage, it is important to remember that acids and contaminants in the oil are at work even when the car is in storage! In addition to very short oil change intervals, a drag racing engine may have a total life measured in mere thousands of actual crankshaft revolutions between rebuilds. In contrast, street engine may spin a many as 150 million times in 60,000 miles at 2500 rpm, or 7.5 million times per 3000-mile oil change at 2500 rpm! Obviously, the need for long-term protection of all components which rely on the engine oil is much more important in designing a lubricant for street use than it is for racing use." END QUOTE

There is also a concern about the VR-1 formulation not having the additives that keep particles in suspension, something that is not as big a concern with racing situations.

Edited by Poindexter

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Poindexter,

Thank you for bringing this up. Racing products are for racing. They are designed for racing not street use. They aren't "better" because they are for racing. They are designed to meet specific racing requirements and to be better for racing engines as the article points out.

Steve

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Here's a link busting the ZDDP myth.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1049812

Some interesting counterpoints too.

Steve

Bust shmust :cheeky:...I would definitely suggest that you read the links in the cam wear thread from hybridz. It has links to that same article you posted about, many other empirical bits of knowledge, as well as several other very informative links. And the comments regarding the proper use of ZDDP in engine oils from one of the largest and most experienced cam makers in the world- the current head of Iskenderian are very telling.

Depending on your driving style, the need for the extra protection offered by ZDDP may never come up..depending on the overall maintenance of your Z- over it's whole life too, it might never have any bearing- pun intended :D.

As my Z came from a Nissan exec in California, who was scrupulous in the upkeep, but drove briskly I have been told, and I also kept up the rigorous maintenance, but I drive with a very heavy foot, shifting well up into the power band, heel and toeing too, keeping the revs in the optimal place for the upcoming conditions, I need all of the protection I can get. So it may never bite you in the parts- it might even be the luck of the draw almost as much as upkeep and driving style.

Everything I've read says that the proper ration of ZDDP is crucial for these engines- not lower or too much higher either. Again, the hybridz thread contains almost every answer I needed to make an informed decision IMHO. It certainly solidified my decision to use one of the supplemental ZDDP additives- wither the GM or the one from the site, to bolster the concentration of whatever oil I use to the optimal level. I definitely do not want to worry about that. Last but not least, it certainly can't hurt!

Edited by Poindexter

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One guy lunches a cam in 1200 miles and a lot of others who have "heard" about problems. People have been wiping cams since the very first cam was made. I've put over 100,000 miles on my 240SX in the last 4 years since the "phase out" of ZDDP and It sounds like I run it like you run your Z. with 225,000 total and still going strong I'm not worried. My Z will never see more than a few thousand a year.

Cam makers aren't going to open themselves up to any libility so they tell you to use an additive. It doesn't cost them a dime to do so. CYA. Didn't use the additive, sorry, can't warranty that. It's a great out. Probably saves them even in cases where their product was at fault.

If it makes you sleep better at night then fine. I'm a little superstitious about some of the things I do car maintenance wise too.

Steve

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One guy lunches a cam in 1200 miles and a lot of others who have "heard" about problems. People have been wiping cams since the very first cam was made. I've put over 100,000 miles on my 240SX in the last 4 years since the "phase out" of ZDDP and It sounds like I run it like you run your Z. with 225,000 total and still going strong I'm not worried. My Z will never see more than a few thousand a year.

Cam makers aren't going to open themselves up to any libility so they tell you to use an additive. It doesn't cost them a dime to do so. CYA. Didn't use the additive, sorry, can't warranty that. It's a great out. Probably saves them even in cases where their product was at fault.

If it makes you sleep better at night then fine. I'm a little superstitious about some of the things I do car maintenance wise too.

Steve

Superstition sums it up quite nicely, actually. I do know that the oils "back then" (almost 40 years!- yikes!) had much higher levels of the stuff, but were also not as technologically advanced as today's lubes- and neither was the metallurgy, so who knows what gives for sure? I know it can't hurt, and I intend on keeping the appropriate levels, and so I'd just as soon not upset the apple cart. You are quite right that many more observations are needed to come to any absolute conclusion.

I never actually "track race" my Z, although I'm sure how I drive is considered "hard driving", so I'll take it where I can get it. I change the oil at least before every season when it's running, whether I drive 1,000 or 2,000 miles, and never go more than 2,000 miles. An extra $25 or so is cheap insurance too.

It never hurts to keep up with the latest "theory" going around- although this one does seem to have at least some basis in fact. All of this is moot, of course, if you don't remove the drain plug on odd numbered days, while jumping on your right foot to Motown tunes though... LOL

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I understand that some of us have cars that are our "baby" and value an all original low mileage engine and such. I can see their passion and concern. I'm not one of those but am glad there are others who are. I agree that that it can't really hurt. I can only hope I'm not wrong. But after all this discussion next time I walk past the oils and additives at AutoZone I'll be tempted to grab some secret sauce. What the heck.

Steve

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I will admit that I run Mobil 1 in all my other vehicles with great results. If it wasn't for the ZDDP issue, it'd be in the Datsun as well.

Hi Arne:

Just FYI - If you check the Mobil 1 site - you will find that they have certain types and weights of Moble 1 that do contain the necessary ZDDP additives...

Carl B.

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Here’s a question. If an oil claims to exceed API services SM/SL, CF, ILSAC GF-4, ACEA A1/A5 services AND ALL preceding API and ILSAC gasoline categories then is it acceptable?

Is it performance standards we’re worried about or is it the amount of some ingredient that may or may not be being used in said oil?

Steve

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I chose the Mobil1 High Mileage 10w-30 for their additives then adding zinc as required. Does anybody know how to compare 1000ppm to percent? Doesn't that work out to .001%?? And isn't the optimum level higher- like .0018? I'm trying to find that figure again- it's daunting to find trustworthy figures- assuming one buys into the ZDDP concept- which at this point I do.

Here's another comment from the zddplus website, which I am using as an untested source for forming the basis for some of my questions. In other words I'm vetting their results.

PS- I think the "problem" is, that over 40+ years, as the engine and exhaust technology has vastly changed, so has the technology to study the effects of oils, and in fact so have the methods of how they produce them to such precision. Then there is the advance in metallurgy to be considered too. I can't imagine how current oils can possibly be best for our older engines- much like how the earlier dry-cells- those lunch-boxed sized mothers- which I remember using 40+ years ago when I was building radios and stuff with my Dad- no longer fit anything made today. A car battery-sized battery of then is blown away by the small Lithium ion cells of today- in every way, except weight!

QUOTE-Directly measuring the amount of ZDDP in an additive is extremely difficult due to the mixture of different alcohols used in its manufacture, and the resulting range of atomic weights of the ZDDP molecules. The most common way to indirectly measure the ZDDP content is to use one of several ASTM test methods to measure the phosphorus and zinc content. Zinc can often be added to oils as an acid neutralizing agent, so zinc is not a reliable indicator of ZDDP. Since phosphorus is found in oils predominantly in the form of ZDDP, we use it as the measurement criteria a phosphorus test result as an indicator, the correct way to state ZDDP level is to state an amount of ZDDP that results in a certain phosphorus level. Phosphorus is also the element identified as most potentially compromising to the catalytic converter, so there is a maximum 800 ppm or 0.08% phosphorus level specified in the SM oil classification. SF oil was in common use back in the time of older high-performance cars with flat tappets and higher than current valve-spring pressures. The best heavy-duty oils of that time contained a level of ZDDP which resulted in a phosphorus level measured in the range of 1200 to 1600 ppm. Recent testing of modern SM oils reveals that many contain around 600 ppm of phosphorus. END

Edited by Poindexter

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You are correct that 1000 ppm is .001% As far as information about ZDDP I think those who sell it might be a little more inclined to cast FUD, fear, uncertainty, and doubt, with the hope you buy their product. I've had trouble finding facts from neutral sources. If there is such a thing. But one thing that I've seen explicitly stated is that oil X exceeds all previous API standards. A particular standard, such as API SF, strictly defines the test procedure and the acceptable results. It doesn't change with changing technology. Why would it? It still applies to the cars built with the technology of the time the standard was in effect. The newer standards use updated procedures in keeping with the current standard of technology.

Does anyone use lead additive in their gas? I remember the FUD about that BS when we made the switch to all unleaded gas. It was all over the place. The end of every old car on the road. My first 240Z, bought with about 60,000 miles on it, drank only unleaded for almost 100,000 more miles before I sold it. Never had a lick of trouble with the engine.

Steve

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You are correct that 1000 ppm is .001% As far as information about ZDDP I think those who sell it might be a little more inclined to cast FUD, fear, uncertainty, and doubt, with the hope you buy their product. I've had trouble finding facts from neutral sources. If there is such a thing. But one thing that I've seen explicitly stated is that oil X exceeds all previous API standards. A particular standard, such as API SF, strictly defines the test procedure and the acceptable results. It doesn't change with changing technology. Why would it? It still applies to the cars built with the technology of the time the standard was in effect. The newer standards use updated procedures in keeping with the current standard of technology.

Does anyone use lead additive in their gas? I remember the FUD about that BS when we made the switch to all unleaded gas. It was all over the place. The end of every old car on the road. My first 240Z, bought with about 60,000 miles on it, drank only unleaded for almost 100,000 more miles before I sold it. Never had a lick of trouble with the engine.

Steve

You're right Steven that it is increasingly difficult to find somebody with proven research or empirically-based information that has no dog in this hunt. I do think it's important enough to do this research as part of my looking into oils- both diff gear, trans and engine.

I have read a lengthy bit on the standards used for testing. If the standards don't test for the results of what the ZDDP affects, then changing technology won't show any affect of course.

I still think that many of the "white papers" posted by the people trying to sell the zddplus stuff is valid, especially the information on the testing "Sequences" as it seems to be intent on clarifying rather than selling. Of course I have no information if their stuff works, is therefore worth the cost or is just rat whiz. :D GM has apparently addressed the same concerns and has a similar mystical liquid for sale.

http://www.zddplus.com/TechBrief4%20-%20Oil%20&%20Additive%20Testing.pdf

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Wasn't the original debate about the level of ZDDP during the break-in period?

No. See first post and thread title.

Only mentioned in passing (good info though) in Post #9.

Or do you mean "original" as in throughout recent history as ZDDP came to be used more and known- ±40 years ago? I have seen that idea bandied about. I think it always was intended to be used through the life cycle- but absolute facts are tough to come by.

Edited by Poindexter

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