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MG MGA - availibility of 20w50 oil

Its reached the stage in my area that none of my usual sources any longer stock a 20w50 oil suitable for older cars other than Halfords. Their classic oil may be OK, it has ZDDP but they say they cannot release how much because its commercially sensitive. If they won't release this info it doesn't give you much confidence in the product. Advice seems to be that you need about 1600 ppm ZDDP. Wondered if anyone knows about the Halfords oil?
J H Cole

Have you not got any Motor Factors near you? Mine holds Millers Classic 20/50. Got 5-litres recently at 17.81 +VAT. Can I help? Am in S.E.Hants.
P N Tipping

order it here
dominic clancy

PT - I tried about 6 small factors in Southampton/Eastleigh area today . The best I could find was Comma 20w50 that I don't think is a very suitable oil. Thanks for the info DC.
J H Cole

The Morris Golden Film is a couple of quid cheaper here: (22.95 delivered vs 24.48)

Bigger savings to be made by buying in bulk. (works out at 17.50 delivered per 5 litres)

I bought this: (seems like good stuff and 14.30 per 5 litres was the best value I found)
N McGurk

DC - the place I refer to is Amberleigh Trading here in Lovedean...
P N Tipping

I am using Castrol GT-X 20/50 which I think someone here reported still contains the additive, but I add a bottle of ZDDP additive with each oil change to be on the safe side...costs an extra $8.00 or so, IIRC.

My local auto parts store sells the ZDDP additive for all "flat tappet engines".

AJ Mail

On a recent previous thread we discussed the best oil to use in our cars - there was a recommendation to use Valvoline VR1 20w50 which specifically designed for older cars and for racing engines. I had previously used Duckhams, GTX and Halfords own brand - all of them gave me a drop in oil pressure after running at speed on the motorway for longer than 1/2 hour. I recently bought a 5 litre pack off ebay ( actually JJC race and Rally in Wrexham had the cheapest price) - it was much better for oil pressure than any of those I had previously tried although a little pricey at around
Cam Cunningham

Oil pressure isn't everything Cam, if you put treacle in your sump you might get good pressure! The thing that counts is film strength. It's not the oil pressure that keeps metal from metal, it's the strength of the oil.
Lindsay Sampford

Is the oil shown in the attached image still available?


M F Anderson

A better image of the container.


M F Anderson

I have used Castrol Magnatex 10w40 part synthetic for the last 8-10 years in both my MGB and The MGA- as recommended by Oselli- maintains good oil pressure even for continuous high speed runs. I believe this may also be discontinued as I was able to buy it in my local MACRO for 9 for 4 litres last month( 2for one offer) bought 24 litres. Brown & Gammons were selling Duckhams 20w50 @around 16 when I last visited them
P D Camp

Lindsay - Mmmm treacle - might try it sometime but don't think it will hold up in a hot engine! The Valvoline gives me the same pressure as Duckhams in a cold engine - but keeps the pressure when hot - so I would assume that as it doesn't lose viscosity its film strength should also be maintained. My main point is that JH can buy his oil on ebay.
Cam Cunningham

Paul, B&G don't seem to offer Duckhams any longer - I used to buy it but haven't seen it on offer for a few years.
Cam, Valvoline VR1 seems to tick all the boxes but its pricey but no doubt one of the best oils.
Pete, I hadn't realised you were that close to me. I go to Portsmouth occasionally that's in striking distance of Lovedean. If I've got it correct your referring to the 20w50 'classic performance' that is the straight mineral oil whilst the 20w50 'classic sport' is a semi. Thanks for the offer of help.
J H Cole

JC - Reading it off the container its Millers "Classic 20w50 Premium Mineral Engine Oil for Classic Petrol/Deisel Engines".
I've used it for years, change it every year and I don't have to top up through the year either. I reckon I got another 5psi oil pressure when I changed from GTX.
P N Tipping

JC For the last two annual oil changes I have used COMMA CLASSIC 20W50 that I purchase from my local Auto Factors. I have been pleased with this oil but now I have concerns that it might not meet the spec ("1600 ppm ZDDP").

Can anyone tell me if the information given on the Technical Data Sheet from the following link shows this to be suitable oil or not?

R A Evans

Cam, Barney has this stuff on oil pressure . I had always thought that it was oil pressure that counted until I read his article. Oil pressure is a good indicator of the amount of engine bearing wear but it is the flow of oil to the bearings that does the job.
Lindsay Sampford

This thread was discussed between 10/09/2011 and 11/09/2011

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