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Triumph TR6 - An oil for us...with zinc

I heard about Valvoline racing oil stating 'Not for Street use' mainly because of the zinc in it. I checked their web site and found their conventional (crude)based oil in a 20W-50 with the words on the bottle 'Contains Zinc'.

I may consider this for my next oil change. In the meantime I added Comp Cams oil additive which has lots of zinc in it. I bought an extra bottle when I rebuilt my engine. I guess if I can get zinc in my oil then why not go for the extra protection even though my cam is broken in.

I don't remember this oil being mentioned in the last thread that Don started on this subject.

Here's the link:

HP Henry Patterson

The reason that most racing oils are not recommended for street use is because most have little to no detergent additives in them. That's not a big deal in a race motor that gets drains and fills all the time and more frequent tear downs, but is not a good thing for normal street car/driver usage.

I guess there's no easy answer here. Maybe just the additives... EOS, CompCams, and others.
HP Henry Patterson

In my research, all of the "race" oils contained ZDDP. Steve gives the point of not using it in our engines. Like I said, ZDDP was ONLY removed because it eats Catalytic converters which in the end increases pollution.

Gentlemen, keep in mind that the ZDDP additive is not needed just at CAM break in. It also is necessary during normal engine running. The best source of ZDDP (IMHO) is GMs EOS. It is concentrated so will last a few years. It is available in every town in NA. It is not expensive.
Rick Crawford

Steve, do you think that 2 Qts of Valvoline race(zinc) oil and the rest in Valvoline street(detergent)oil might be a good compromise?
Christopher Trace

I don't really have a good answer on that as I have never checked up on the zinc content of the racing oils. If it had a high enough zinc content it might be the ticket. I think just run a good "street' oil and toss in some of the zinc smuts would still be a better bet. Having said that, I seem to recall that Valvoline does have a sythetic race oil with fair amount of zinc that has a detergent package in it, but again, I just don't know where it stands on the zinc content.

Valvoline has 2 Race oils with ZDDP in it. Well they have said that. Their WEB pages, one could say, are not telling the WHOLE truth.

Valvoline Synthetic Racing Oil 20W-50.

Valvoline VR1 Racing Motor Oil

Now the kickers... Data on Synthetic dated May,2004 and the VR1 2006. Both could be different formulation by now.
Both are anti-foam. The Synthetic has reduced detergent levels ( I think meaning not good for our engines?????).
VR1 meets API and SM specs which means TODAY is limited to reduced levels of zinc eg. Castrol GTX=.075%. Use to be .1%

Bottom line VR1 is not suitable for use in our engines and the synthetic I am not sure of the wording they use regarding detergent ("Helps increase horsepower through advanced friction modifiers balanced with reduced detergent levels")??? The data on this product is 3 years old. Personally I would not even consider the Synthetic.
.........back to square one!
Rick Crawford


Just curious...Do you know why racing engines are run with low/no detergent oil?

I think the answer for TR's is the additives just for extra protection.

HP Henry Patterson


How much of the OES do you use for a single oil change...sounds like a good idea when the car come out of hibernation this summer

Bob Craske

See answer my post to other thread "OIL CAUTIONS" Jan 16, 16:17 HRS.
To answer you here, 4OZ per oil change will give a sufficient level of ZDDP. For engine break-in, probably the whole bottle would be best.
Rick Crawford

The reason race engines don't have any detergent is they just don't need it. Since they're constantly being refreshed, the oil is always new.

I remember back in my NHRA days, the rumor was that all the top pro teams used Valvoline, regardless of who their sponsor was. Yep, they'd refill their sponsors bottles with valvoline!

As an aside, a trick "Stock" class cars would do is use a top fuel teams oil after a run. Nitromethane would be disolved in the top fuel oil and when it went into a "stock" motor, some of the nitro would vaporize in the crankcase and migrate via the PCV valve into the intake.

I remember a test where viscosity was measured as the temp of the oil went up and Valvoline had the least viscosity loss. Castrol was the worst - contrary to their ads! This was quite a while ago though so take it with a grain of salt.

Tim Brand

Also, the detergents would make an oil more likely to foam if it was whipped around by the crankshaft (and other rotating parts, but to a much lesser degree) as oil is sloshed around during cornering and hard braking on the track. Windage trays and dry sumps can help, but never completely do away with that potential.

No point in having detergents in there to provide stability to any foam that forms, you want that foam to collapse as soon as possible.

What a cool idea to use nitro-infused oil in a stocker. But did it really do any good?

Hi Tom,
I can't speak from personal experience but an old acquaintance used it with good success. Supposedly all the top national racers did it.

Tim Brand

This thread was discussed between 11/01/2007 and 15/01/2007

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