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  • 5 Post By rspears
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Thread: Oil Additive for BBC with Flat Tappet Cam
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Renfro is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Oil Additive for BBC with Flat Tappet Cam

     



    So I have heard bad things about BBC and flat tappet cams, seems to be the oil nowadays doesn't handle the high pressure as well as it used to.

    Is there any additive I can use in my oil or a performance oil that would extend the life of my engine, specifically the camshaft? The cam in question is a Comp Cams XE284H.

  2. #2
    rspears's Avatar
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    They reformulated the oils, taking out the zinc and phosphorus (actually Zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate or ZDDP) when they found that it decreased the life of catalytic converters. It's not a coincidence that the OEM's shifted over to roller lifters and changed cam profiles at the same time the EPA dropped the ZDDP levels.
    The problem with additives that you dose yourself is that the concentration of ZDDP is really quite critical - not enough and you're subject to high temperature breakdown of the oil, but too much and the zinc "plates out" or builds up on surfaces, causing galling. Here is a good, fairly short explanation that spells it out - https://www.thoughtco.com/debunking-...-legend-726162
    You're much better off running an oil formulated with higher levels of ZDDP, like Brad Penn's original oil or some of the Valvoline Racing Oils, but know that you may start plugging your cat's over time. Google "Motor Oil ZDDP Levels" and you'll find a ton of discussion on what's best. Seems that the guys on the Corvette Forums have been talking about ZDDP for a long, long time and there are some smart guys there, keeping those old GM engines happy for many miles, but you'd be better off changing to a roller lifter cam.
    Roger
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  3. #3
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    i run rotella . no additive .
    t-top havoc and Renfro like this.

  4. #4
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    If I absolutely HAD to use a flat tappet cam, I would add a bottle of this with each oil change and not worry about it.....
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cro-86092/overview/

    .
    PLANET EARTH, INSANE ASYLUM FOR THE UNIVERSE.

  5. #5
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    I agree with Tech I bought a 77 C20 with just under 100K stock 454 I use ZDDPlus because I really don't want to replace the cam and lifters. The PO said he used an additive too. Next oil change will be Rotela no more worries
    40FordDeluxe and Renfro like this.
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  6. #6
    Renfro is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Thanks guys! Looks like Rotella is the way to go.

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    Nevermind. I'm all done. Going bye bye.
    Last edited by DennyW; 05-03-2019 at 04:20 PM.

  8. #8
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    Renfro, sounds like you've made up your mind, but I'm going to toss one article out for you, just to put some numbers on things. Scott Sehr builds engines that are strong, innovative and that power several record holders. He builds for circle track, Bonneville, drags and even pro tractor pulls as well as street engines. I had him do an engine for me a few years back, and I came to respect him. Scott does an article monthly, "The Extra Mile", which is published in some of the auto mags. This is one from 2016 that might help you make an informed decision, considering the modifications to your engine - http://www.sehrpower.com/pdf/july_20..._talk_zddp.pdf

    Good luck with your 454!
    Roger
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  9. #9
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    i run rotella t because i have older farm equipment also. it has 1200 ppm so it is fine for flat tappet engines. if you have a big hp race motor i would run what my builder or some of the guys here recommend. Denny and Tech have forgot more than most of us will learn .
    t-top havoc likes this.

  10. #10
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    JMHO, but to me oil is like insurance. It sucks to find out you didn't have enough coverage once the damage has occurred. I MAKE sure my OIL is adequate for the job it is intended for. Otherwise your gambling and may have to pay the price.

  11. #11
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    1200 ppm is pretty much standard for older flat tappet engines or a new crate motor. 2000 is the max. too much can cause just as much damage.
    i've built my last carb engine except for my falcon so it is not a big issue any more for me. the falcon will have a roller block so i'm covered there. oil is like tire brand everyone has their favorite .
    both of the fleetlines will have ls motors in them .

  12. #12
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    I run rotella in my diesels but in the performance stuff with an aftermarket cam if you don't run the ZDDP you will have a failure. In the CR engines I'd run it just in case. The early ones ate tappets due to the narrow lobes. The ZDDP is cheap insurance IMO.

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