Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mitch asks: I corresponded with you a few years ago to ask your opinion about doing an engine rebuild for my 1976 Oldsmobile. You indicated that it was a good idea if I liked the car, which of course I do. I had the rebuild done in 2015 and it has run well since then. I have had oil changes done more frequently but haven’t requested a specific oil. I see you recommend AMSOIL given their line of products with ZDDP. Is there a particular type of AMSOIL you think is best? I note you use ZRod but obviously the Cutlass is not exactly like your vehicle. Is AMSOIL the only manufactured synthetic oil? I can’t recall what oil the local tire shop where I have the oil changes done used for the most recent change. If I were to buy AMSOIL I would likely have my prime mechanic do the next oil change rather than the tire shop. Any suggestions you might have I appreciate. Thanks!
My reply: I am assuming your Oldsmobile’s engine was rebuilt using the stock/factory-type flat tappet camshaft and lifters. If so then it is really important to use an oil that has the additives needed – or add the additives to the oil you’re using.
These additives are not present in most if not all store-bought/over-the-counter oil available today, chiefly for emissions control reasons which do not apply to your car. And because car companies stopped using flat tappet camshafts in the early-mid 1980s.
AMSOIL Zrod oil is one of the few available oils that does have the necessary additives. This oil – in 10w-30 weight – would be ideal for your Olds and not just because it has the additives. It is also an extremely high quality synthetic that will help your engine last as long as possible before it needs another rebuild! Your engine will start easier and faster on cold days and run cooler on very hot days.
You can also buy the additive over the counter (GM sells it). It comes in a small plastic bottle and you just pour it into the engine at each oil change. Assuming you use a high-quality oil (Mobil1 is very good) this will suit, too.
Also be sure to use a high quality oil filter, such as Wix or Mobil1!
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