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MG TD TF 1500 - Break-in Oil ...Year 2010

Got my rebuilt engine running yesterday. Runs real smooth and have 50+ PSI oil pressure at about 800 RPM.

Was thinking about the oil. I am using Castrol HD30 for break-in oil. I spent a long time last night going through the archives and Bud's site reading up on all the info on oils. My head really really hurts now!! Most of the info seemed to be a few years old or older. I know there are lots of issues with this subject but was wondering if any new info has come out within the last year or so on break-in oils? Is Castrol HD 30 still an OK oil to use or is there better oil out there now for use during the break-in period? Thanks for you thoughts.... John 54TF
J Ostergren

The lack of ZDDP in current oil formulation can lead to cam and lifter problems with our older MGs (do a google search for an explanation). I would use 30w engine break-in oil such as those listed in this link:

I prefer the Brad Penn brand.

At the very least, I would use Valvoline 20W40 Racing oil for, not only break-in but for long term use.

Frank Grimaldi
Frank Grimaldi

I have very good success with E.O.S. engine oil supplement. It is an additive that GM uses . It is available at GM dealers and supplies the needed ZZDP.

The inclusion of Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate is an absolute MUST. There are many solutions and the above are all good. However with the Penn brand, be sure you use the Penn Grade I stuff only - see

I continue to use good 'ole Castrol 20-50, but I add a pot of STP Oil Additive.

I can personnaly attest to the risks of not having ZDDP in your oil (not my engine, but another, who steadfastly refused to accept the problem, and ended up with a chewed up cam and lifters) ... expensive!

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.

Gordon A Clark

just for the discussion, i ran regular 20-50 for the break in for my motor. at 3000 miles i opened it up and found cam and tappets as new. still have not found any source for any independent tests showing the new oils don't work, lots of anecdotal stories. lots of guys saying add the ZDDP aditives "just in case". the first 50 years of auto development ZDDP did not exist. it was not added to commercially available oils until 1947. if you read professional publications you will find opinions that differ from those on hobbiest forums. having said all that, after you do your research, run what you think is best for your car. be advised there is no disagreemant that there is such a thing as too much zddp. if you decide to use an additive follow mfg. directions. regards, tom
tom peterson

This is, in modern new engines, a non-issue, so not much gets said about it. In our engines, after machining cylinders, my thinking is to use a straight mineral oil-single viscosity. I avoid synthetics because they are just too slippery and don't allow the rings to seat properly. In aircraft engines, the conventional wisdom is to run them conservatively and cool on mineral oil until the oil consumption stabilizes and then to switch to synthetic or semi synthetic oil. This process can take a surprisingly long time...sometimes 15 or 20 hours.
Steven Tobias

Cam and lifter wear is something that you need to address forever. Using a good cam lube on initial start-up will prevent damage from lack of lube at the beginning, but if you are concerned about cam and lifter wear, this is not really a break-in issue, but ongoing. I think that their worst enemy is long periods of non-use. I believe that this is a factor in many instances of premature wear and sometimes the particular oil used long-term, is wrongfully blamed.
Steven Tobias

I run Brad Penn in my call all the time. Used it on startup of new engine and still using it. Maybe I am paraniod but the lack of ZDDP still bothers me.
Tom Maine (TD8105)

Agree with Sandy - GM EOS is standard break-in additive for us - normally use a 30wt conventional oil with it during run-in. GM part number is 88862586. Dan
Dan Craig

Then there's ZDDPlus:
Carl Floyd

Tom Peterson,

You are right of course about the pre-1947 engine oils, but in those days, there were no high-speed motorways and engines weren't asked to run at high revs for hours on end.

And too, don't forget, our cars were originally designed for a British environment - all quite different to what we are asking our wee cars to adapt to, these days.

If you had to run your car at high revs like racing, you used a vegtable-based oil which could withstand high revs and high temps (but you didn't dare leave it in the engine to cool!).

So ZDDP, under modern circumstances makes sense. And I wince when somneone discourages its use. It takes a little effort to ferret out a source of a ZDDP-based oil or additive, but its a small price to pay, versus the risk.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A Clark

I'm trying Rislone with ZDDP & EP phosphorus. Ordered it from Advance Auto at 12.09/Qt but since ordering $100 worth online, got $20 off the order and shipping is free. Makes it under $10/bottle, about the same as 4 oz ZDDP+, but it is a full quart of their oil, so you do the math.

I thought about going to hydraulic oil, but can't get the specs from my suppliers. I'll live with the Rislone, and hope my engines do, too.
Jim Northrup

Then again, there's my old standby oil additive/thickener, gear lube, the poor man's STP.

I've been known to add a shot of graphite, too!
Jim Northrup

Wow, I've already changed my oil 3 times this year trying to keep up.
Peter Dahlquist

This thread was discussed between 29/09/2010 and 02/10/2010

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