NOT AN Oil thread, old school, not bike but related

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by One Less Harley, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    Just a cautionary note-

    Just pulled the motor apart on my 1969TR6. Now what does this have to do with BMW's??? Well there are similarities with the BMW and triumph in the lifters and cam. Both have the same lifter and cam design. I've always run Castrol 20w50 not motorcycle specific though. Long story short, after 7,000 miles, my new cam and resurfaced and hardness checked lifters are shot. Wow that didn't take long. One cam lobe is gone, 10 out of 12 lifters pitted, all cam lobes show pitting.

    This has me very concerned about ZZDP content even in in the motorcycle Castrol 20w50. The motorcycle specific should have more, but I may still start adding ZZDP to the BMW oils also.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    lobes pointed to should be the same height.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    If you are running "Castrol 20w50 not motorcycle specific" you're not running the right oil. Not enough (or none?) ZDDP additive like the motorcycle-specific oils nowadays have.

    Snowbum goes ad nauseam explaining all this. Me, I simply use a "proper oil"....

    --Bill
    #2
  3. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    Who resurfaced the lifters? Were the originals pitted, too? Is the cam stock?
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  4. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    I know this is a stretch being a car and all, but it illustrates the importance of ZDDP

    Elgin Cams resurfaced the original lifters (no pitting on them) and checked the hardness afterwords. Cam wasn't stock lift, 270 cam, regrind. Not a very aggressive cam. More like the petrol Injected TR5.

    Never gave much consideration to ZDDP for an automobile.


    NOW I wonder if motorcycle Castrol will be ok in the car and help the lifters??? I'll use ZDDP anyway.

    Just wanted to illustrate WHY ZDDP is important for motorcycle oils. Even though this is on a car results would be the same.
    #4
  5. jackd

    jackd Long timer

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    After having read several oil threads about how North American refined Castrol motorcycle oil is formulated differently than in Europe - I learned that Castrol was not up to the requirements of our style of engines. I started to use Spectro 4 lubricant instead. I'm trying to prevent exactly what has happened to your engine from happening here. Why did you go for a non-specific motorcycle Castrol oil - did you see some advantage to using it? We are talking about a TR6 bike here and not the car aren't we?
    #5
  6. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    This is on a Car- but results of using oil w/o ZDDP would be the same. Kind of why I posted it up.
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  7. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Oh, doh! I saw "Triumph" and thought motorcycle.

    It's the old lifter design and metallury. Aircooled Porsches have a lot of discussions on ZDDP.

    --Bill
    #7
  8. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    If oil has a sort of "seal" on the front that said something about being fuel saving, DON'T use that oil with flat tappets. Read quite an article about it a few years ago from a performance parts warehouse that I deal with. Right after I had read the article I talked with a fellow who had a cam go bad (flat lobes) during a 20 minute break in on a race engine. The older formulations of oil (like SF rated vs newer SN, or whatever letter they're up to) have more of the Zinc (ZDDP) that flat tappets need. I'm no oil expert and am making no claim to be, but that info might be helpful. I go for the older SF rated oil in my bikes and older flat tappet car engines. FWIW...Valvoline 4-stroke "motorcycle" oil is SF rated. Also, the newer oils (fuel saving) may/will also cause slippage problems with wet clutches.

    Lynn
    #8
  9. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    ZDDP was reduced in automotive oils thanks to the EPA. It was believed that it would shorten the life of catalytic converters. 20-50 was supposed to unaffected because it is not used in modern cars. You might contact Castrol and ask them what the concentration of zinc is in their (I assume) GTX 20-50. Anything less than 1000 ppm is insufficient. There is no reason not not to run motorcycle oil in your Triumph. I understand that a lot of the Porsche guys are running Brad Penn oil, who specialize in oil for performance engines. It's interesting to note that the SAE, who set the standards for oils and engine wear, used a Buick engine for the original tests, because it had a reputation for rapid cam and lifter wear! Tom Andrews, a manufacturer of Harley cams and Nascar cams, is emphatic that multi-viscosity oils should not be used with his cams.

    That cam may not be very aggressive as far as lift and duration are concerned, but the ramps look fairly steep. If so, proper camshaft break in would be required (this is not a bad idea even with stock cams), as well as a boost of zinc, and if oil control is very good, the addition of moly.

    I appreciate your posting of the pics. Some BMW riders are still using the cheapest oil they can buy, or changing it infrequently; zinc is consumed as the oil is used, as well as the viscosity breaking down. Some are getting away with it. Others are not.
    #9
  10. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    How does one find out how much ZDDP is in any particular oil?

    And I have seen several riders post that they would add ZDDP or use an additive that has ZDDP. I've never seen a mention of what this additive is. Anybody know the name of such an additive?
    #10
  11. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    every auto store (NAPA, AutoZone, etc carries it... Rislone, ZDDP Plus, etc.

    But it's easiest to use diesel-rated oils imho.... diesel engines must have the zinc and don't have catalytics. I use Shell Rotella, having used it for 20+ years in marine diesels...

    Quoted from Wikipedia:

    Motorcycle usage

    Though marketed as an engine oil for diesel trucks, Rotella oil has found popularity with motorcyclists as well. The lack of "friction modifiers" in Rotella means they do not interfere with wet clutch operations. (This is called a "shared sump" design, which is unlike automobiles which maintain separate oil reservoirs - one for the engine and one for the transmission). Used oil analysis (UOA) reports on BobIsTheOilGuy.com have shown wear metals levels comparable to oils marketed as motorcycle-specific
    .

    as always, ymmv..... :evil

    :D
    #11
  12. NC BMW Rider

    NC BMW Rider Been here awhile

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    There is a product I use on my airplane (wow, talk about not motorcycle related) called CamGuard. It was developed to help prevent cam damage from engines that sit long times between runs. They also offer a version for cars. http://aslcamguard.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/2010-ASL-AUTO-BROCHURE.pdf

    I have seen the same damage on aircraft engines, primarily Lycomings where the cam sits high in the engine and tend to start a little dry. When I started using this product I noticed a marked drop in iron on my oil analysis. This is primarily from the cylinder bore.

    This is the only additive product I use in any of my vehicles.
    #12
  13. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

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    Been to several places-NAPA, Autzone,Parts America(whatever it is now)-nobody had or had even heard. Shown online, product not shipped.

    Environmental regs?
    #13
  14. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    I might be in the same boat soon. The town I live in has an extremely limited selection of oil. Zero motorcycle specific options. GTX, Valvolene, or Valucraft (autozone brand) are pretty much the only options. You use the same weight diesel oil? 20w-50 is available? I might have to give that a try.
    #14
  15. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    I've been using Rotella in my GL1000 for years with no problems at all. Cams still look new every time I have the valve covers off to adjust the valves. Plus, it's cheap! Win-win.
    #15
  16. daveoneshot

    daveoneshot Been here awhile

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    Rotella is popular at the local drag strip in Central Florida, both bikes and cars.
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  17. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    THE only fail with Rotella is that it comes only in 10W40 and not a "50" weight, which is outside of BMW specs. Which may or may not be a valid criteria. My preference is Spectro Golden 4, but this is just a preference.

    Back when I exclusively used Castrol GTX 10W50 when it was a SG-spec oil. I took a break from motorcycling for most of the '90's and when I got back, discussions were hot and heavy on the ZDDP issue and I changed over to Spectro at that time.

    I'm sure that there are several good oils available, just make sure they have the ZDDP additive. Let me check my online references to see if they are still "live" and I'll post them.

    --Bill
    #17
  18. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    I've read that to much ZDDP is bad too. This adds more fuel to the flame.
    #18
  19. Bluethumb

    Bluethumb Been here awhile

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    "ZDDP was reduced in automotive oils thanks to the EPA. It was believed that it would shorten the life of catalytic converters. 20-50 was supposed to unaffected because it is not used in modern cars. You might contact Castrol and ask them what the concentration of zinc is in their (I assume) GTX 20-50."

    I contacted Valvoline about their VR1 oil and ZDDP levels, never heard back. If anyone has data from any oil companies, I'd love to see it.

    I've read that Valvoline VR1 is good to go for our airhead engines. Anyone know for sure?

    As far as motorcycle specific oils, is there data that shows adequate levels of ZDDP? I've seen both Castrol and Valvoline m/c specific oils, are we talking the ones marketed for V Twins I'm guessing?
    #19
  20. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    Castrol edge 5w50 is reformulated for classic, flat tappet vehicles, with added zinc. I talked to a castrol rep online, confirmed that it has at least 1300 ppm of zinc. Its synthetic (which is usually good).

    I use Redline zzdp break-in additive in my airhead with penzoil 20-50. Only has a couple thousand miles since rebuild. Will switch to the castrol stuff after its worn in a bit.

    One of the issues is that the new cam doesn't have the protective effects of the zinc that has been there previously. If run in with a really high level of zzdp, lower levels of zzdp are tolerated.
    #20