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Triumph TR6 - Synthetic... Jury in or jury out?

Soooo, what say you folks who have switched to synthetic oil? It's been out there for a few years now. Do you trust it? Okay to use in a freshly rebuilt engine or should I stick with same old same old? I would sooner hear from you good BBS Triumph folk than search & read random testimonials on the www. Ken.
Ken Shaddock

Ken,

Definitely mineral oil for the break-in period!

You can decide after that.

Best regards,

Len
Leonard G Middleton

Our old tractor engines contaminate engine oil far quicker than the modern efi's. The gaskets are generally harder to get right so they don't leak and the valve guides can 'consume' oil, particularly if you have an external pocker feed. All that points me to a good dino-oil which is replaced, complete with new filter, at 6 month (minimum) intervals. If you have deep pockets and a good catch pan on the floor, why not try it? If you are getting it for the quoted 'extra HP' I reckon it's a waste of time.

Gearbox oil is a different story. I use Redline MTL with J type overdrive and it was a good decision. Synchro better and lighter throws, but still that nice notchy click into gear.
Roger H

Ken
Do not waste your money on Synthetic. After break in 20W50 and change it once per year.
Rick
Rick Crawford

Hello,

Well this subject is a matter of religion. There is enormous amount of discussions in archives on that topic. I read horrible stories about synt. oil digesting engine seals and after, oil spilling like niagara...
Is it true I could not testify; but the more relevant argument I read, was in changing to an old engine from mineral oil to synthetic. As the latter is highly, read extremely detergent, this mean a lot of sludge and junk in suspension in oil system...

If you want synth. in fact I would start after break-in made with oil 30W mineral.

Cheers,

JGC
J. G. Catford

Certainly agree with JGC with respect to it being a religious discussion.

I do not think you could justify it on a rational economic cost-benefit basis.

However these are essentially our "toys", and rational economic decision making behaviour may not be the actual decision making model being employed.

Just to add some further insight into the issue: Know way synthetic oil cannot be used during the break-in period? Because its lubricating properties are so good as it will not allow the engine to break-in. The rings will not bed into the cylinders properly. The result is then high oil consumption. Which is why you need to wait until after break-in.

You choose.

Regards,

Len
Leonard G Middleton

Hello,

Just a recent experience with synthetic oil and I do not know how applicable it is to TR6. I found a SAAB 900 1998 at a clearance price with 120,000 Km. The only problem was a seized engine. I tried to find a motor and it was rare. Finally I discussed with a SAAB specialist and he told me GM have sent an advice to used synt. oil in engine with a result of plugged oil pick-up and a lot of broken engines.

I personnally use Castrol 20W50 for more than 30 years in my TR6 and he always told me he is happy with that.

But have a look at


http://www2.mgcars.org.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=mgbbs&mode=thread&access=&subject=71&source=T&thread=2006101016522220370


No matter that it is on MGB, it could be relevant.

Cheers,

JGC
J. G. Catford


After having rebuilt my engine I can see why the original owners manual specifies 20W50. It's an old engine design and the main and rod bearing clearances are pretty generous. The clearance can be up to .003"
Modern engine have clearances up to .001". The new engines can use thinner viscosities. I don't know if they make a synthetic in 20W50.

With as few miles you are likely to put on your TR compared to your every day car I would stick with what they originally specified for the engine. Good old 20W50.

Well that's my opinion.

Henry
HP Henry Patterson

Not directly related to the starter topic but for those who want to cross over to the dark side there is a lengthy discussion on the MGB Technical section on the subject of using diesel engine oil which may be both of interest and relevance.

IS DIESEL OIL BETTER? is the thread header.

Cheers , Pete.
Peter Thomas

I'm the second owner of a stock '74 with approximately 45K miles. I switched to Mobil1 15W-50 (and a spin on conversion) 7 years ago soon after I bought the car. Prior to that the car was run on Castrol GTX 10w-40 and 20w-50 almost exclusively.

I didn't notice any increased leaking or other problems with the syn. The M1 15w-50 does appear to pump up quicker than a petro 20w-50 when it is cool, which you'd expect, and gives good hot oil pressure.

I contacted Mobil's tech help line a few months ago with my concern over the reduced zinc & phosphorus levels in modern oils and asked if their M1 20w-50 VTwin syn would be better than the 15w-50. They replied that while the VTwin oil had slightly higher additive levels, either of the two is suitable for older, flat tappet engines.

Syns are not suitable for break in though.





wayne

I just switched to Shell Rotella 15W40 because of the zinc additive. Any experiences with this oil?
B Selby

Thanks to all for the postings. Good info in the Archives too guys.

What oil should be used for the break in period and for how many miles?

I understand that I should NOT use syn for the break in and that the majority of you like 20W50 for post break-in, but during break in? Any special precaustions / concerns with immediate highway travel... 3000 miles worth right from the start as long as I vary my speed? I hope to drive this car across Canada fresh from the resto & rebuild.

Ken
K. T. Shaddock

Ken
You will get answers as to what to use during break in.
The only answer you are concerned with is the one the person who rebuilt the engine gives you. He is the one who is offering you some sort of warranty.
Rick
Rick Crawford

Right on as usual Rick, thx.

K
K. T. Shaddock


Ken..

When I rebuilt my engine I asked the same question about break in oil. I got many different answers. Again not necessarily from this board. I asked the shop that did the machine work on my block. They build high power racing engines. I asked a highly regarded import repair shop that is known for their good work on Triumph engines. I asked many other engine builders. all with their own method and preference for break in and oils.

The Triumph repair shop had the most simple answer: Fill it up with 20W50 and run the engine at break in cycles (another subject).

The engine builder suggested SAE 30 or 10W30 or go right to 20W50 because of the generous bearing clearance... My choice.

Another engine buider suggested 10W30 and drain after 1st break in runnup, about 2000rpm for 20 min,(another subject) and refil with whatever.

They all said No synthetic...as we all know.

What I did: I kind of went with what I thought made sense. I filled with 10W30 and drained and changed filter after 1st 20 min. runnup. I refilled with 10W30 and drove a few miles with that and drained and changed the filter. After that I refilled with 20W50 for good. The fills and drains cleanout all the stuff that may have gotten in during rebuild. It also flushes out all of that heavy assembly lube. For the amount of time and money I put in to that rebuild the extra oil and filters is cheap insurance to me.

Henry
HP Henry Patterson


After all that.. Rick's advice is better!

Henry
HP Henry Patterson

LOL... Hi Henry. I liked Rick's point that the engine re-builder may take issue with me not following his recommendations if anything goes wrong.

Your re-cap was interesting in that engine professionals all see things differently. Often the case I guess no matter the topic. Tis funny in that driving style (top speed, varying speed, no cruise control, etc.)and the first oil change interval are more important concerns than the type of oil used when it comes to new cars... and that advice goes back to the early 70's in my recollection when I bought a new Datsun 510 and later a Volvo 142. I have zip experience with rebuilt engines. We'll see what my rebuilder has to say.

Cheers,

Ken
K. T. Shaddock

Ken
I see you hanging around the rebuild/restoration shop for a couple of days after you pick HER up. Go for some nice drives...put on a few miles....get the kinks out... change the oil and filter...THEN make the big trip home with a digital camera of course.
Rick
Rick Crawford

Hello,

What about theses new high mileage oil on the market. I bought some from Castrol but do not know if it is sanke oil...

Cheers,

JGC
J. G. Catford

After my rebuild several years ago was broken in I went with Redline 10w-40. That was 20k miles ago. When (if) the oil pressure drops I can then start adding 15W-50, but the 10W-40 is fine now, and from the Redline write-ups it has the same viscosity at temperature as dino 15W-50. Also, it's not a daily driver and syn is more resistant to sludge build-up.

BB
Brent B

Ken, I put 500 fairly gentle miles on my rebuild and then changed the oil. I have been using 20W50 and plan to keep using it. For the first few miles, I kept it under 3000 RPMs, and I tried really hard not to run at a constant rpm. After the first several hundred miles, I started occassionally running the rpms up a bit.

I'm at about 650 miles since the rebuild. Not using a drop of oil and every thing seems to be well. I still haven't red-lined the engine and probably won't until I get 1,000 or more miles on it, or maybe never.

John
JL Bryan

Ken
John brings up an interesting point about varying RPM/speed. Maybe you should ask the rebuilder if this is maybe not such a good idea ( to drive the car cross country right after and engine rebuild). I would think it would be better to have say around 700 miles on the engine before the long drive home. You will be driving for 8 hours per day.

Food for thought....and to ship her for $1000...it will definitely cost you more to fly out and drive back.

Sorry Ken but may be this might be better for the engine in the long run???

Rick C
Rick C

My thoughts also Rick as I separate the fun thoughts of the "great adventure" from some of the realities.

I have always followed a similar discipline to John's with my new cars and trucks and although I had intended to vary my speed with the TR your point about 8 hours a day... asking that unproven engine, not to mention all other restored yet unproven parts, to do their thing for 3000 miles, well it may be too optimistic and not a good start for the car.

To be honest I was pleasantly surprised by the quote from SEARAIL (see Car Transport thread) and by the positive experiences of those I contacted who had used them.

Other than the missed adventure (if I have the car shipped) one concern I have is that if indeed there's a significant problem with the car it will be too late to resolve it in BC before I leave... something I could have done assuming that the problem presented while I was in BC.

Lots to ponder. As you suggest, I'll run it by the mechanic although I already know that the restorer / seller was not concerned about the prospect of my putting his car to the test.

Ken
K. T. Shaddock

This thread was discussed between 12/10/2006 and 25/10/2006

Triumph TR6 index

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