The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => A7 & A10 Engine => Topic started by: hdawson on 22.02. 2019 06:59

Title: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: hdawson on 22.02. 2019 06:59
Simple question hopefully.
I have a Norton type spin on oil filter and a primary belt drive on the SR.
Should I use a modern oil with it's additives to suspend the crud in solution to be subsequently filtered out?
Cheers, Hadrian.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: mikeb on 22.02. 2019 08:18
i do (with filter)
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Greybeard on 22.02. 2019 10:11
If there was a poll, I think you'd probably get 50/50 results.

I didn't see the need to use modern oil; my riding style does not test the lubrication. I fitted an external filter because I could.

The important things are to start off with a clean system, especially the crankshaft sludge trap and to change the oil often.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Bess on 22.02. 2019 11:09
Hi,
     This maybe worth a read:

http://www.realclassic.co.uk/techfiles/oil030319.html

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Black Sheep on 22.02. 2019 14:03
A survey should give 20-50 results... *conf*
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 22.02. 2019 16:27
They’re all modern oil.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: RichardL on 22.02. 2019 17:30
They’re all modern oil.

Well, not exactly. I own a couple of full cans of this:

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRe9Yxggll9kV_wb91NImezPT0fRPaCWcArlyWERKLYRCGq2KpSYw)

Not about to open them, though.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: morris on 22.02. 2019 19:00
Well, not exactly. I own a couple of full cans of this:

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRe9Yxggll9kV_wb91NImezPT0fRPaCWcArlyWERKLYRCGq2KpSYw)

Not about to open them, though.
Good. Could be full of worms...  *smile* *smile*
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Daithi on 22.02. 2019 23:14
Thanks Bess for that link. That's the most concise "what's what"of oil I have read in a long time.

Richard, I'm loving your BSA oil cans. Is any more print on the b side? Curious to see any more info about these (year and sea ect)? I wouldn't open them btw.

When I had my first A10 I was told to only use straight 50 in her. This came from the builder who was the go to guy on brits.
I added a spin on filter and used s50 all along with no issues.

Diesel oil uses detergents and so I'm wondering if these could be of any benefit for pre units sludge removal?

Dave
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: bsa-bill on 23.02. 2019 10:10
Quote
Diesel oil uses detergents and so I'm wondering if these could be of any benefit for pre units sludge removal?

Not for removal but for prevention AFTER a thorough clean of the sludge trap and system.
if using detergent oil (most of them) without a filter then frequent oil changes (not good for the planet but probably what most of us do anyway   *whistle*)
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 23.02. 2019 10:38
Thanks Bess for that link. That's the most concise "what's what"of oil I have read in a long time.

Richard, I'm loving your BSA oil cans. Is any more print on the b side? Curious to see any more info about these (year and sea ect)? I wouldn't open them btw.

When I had my first A10 I was told to only use straight 50 in her. This came from the builder who was the go to guy on brits.
I added a spin on filter and used s50 all along with no issues.

Diesel oil uses detergents and so I'm wondering if these could be of any benefit for pre units sludge removal?

Dave
Gerry was a regular on Brit Iron, prior to Brit Bike
His formal qualifications were in Metallurgy & we got on really well together.
Unforunately he died quite some time ago just before a rally.
A no nonsence type of person who fought endlessly to put the rubbish we got fed about oil where it belongs, in the sludge oil bin.
Miss him greatly.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Swarfcut on 23.02. 2019 10:44
Bill, I am intrigued by the phrase "would have  seizure if taken to Tesco."  I thought it meant that the splendour, attention to detail and sheer perfection would cause mental anguish to those lesser observers, unable to compete with such a machine.

 Then I thought perhaps it just doesn't like being taken to Tesco's, to be banished to the back of the car park, away from the magnificent prestige vehicles driven by Tesco punters. Yes, Tesco is a bit rough for such a fine machine, not the sort of thing you could leave.

 Or is you who would risk a medical emergency trying to find a space?  If you do venture out.....check the oil, some say it prevents seizures.

 Meant in fun, regards,

 Swarfy.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: bsa-bill on 23.02. 2019 12:09
Quote
Bill, I am intrigued by the phrase "would have  seizure if taken to Tesco."

Swarfy - think we might be on a different thread (something I often manage ), we might get away with it if I'm quick, yes I remember writing that somewhere, meant it is uncomfortable mixing with the run of the mill (now I'm in trouble with Tesco shoppers).
Taken in the spirit of fun - no worries
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Swarfcut on 23.02. 2019 12:38
It's the last line above your flag. Like trains, you never even noticed. Makes me smile every time I see it, even more now I know the story.

 Swarfy
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: bsa-bill on 23.02. 2019 13:03
Quote
It's the last line above your flag.

Ha - looks like the old eyes are catching up with rest of me
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: worntorn on 23.02. 2019 14:14
Mobil 1 car oil did not test well ( failure at 134lbs load) in some recent scar testing done by Jim Comstock at the Norton site.
The Mobil 1 vtwin 20/50 showed a little higher ability to lubricate under pressure( failure at 178lbs load)

Castrol Classic XL 20/ 50 ( non synthetic) tested very well and is cheap enough to change often.(failure at 331 lbs) It is also very low friction for a conventional oil.
It's readily available in the UK at 25gbp per Imperial gallon. Unfortunately I haven't found it here in Canada. You might have better luck in NZ.
It is specifically blended for use in our old pushrod type engines ( right amount and type of zddp)
So not the most modern oil. It wouldn't be ideal in something running a catylitic convertor, but the modern low zinc oils generally aren't ideal in a scrapey old pushrod engine such as the A10.
Here is Castrol's description of Classic XL.
I like the tin!


https://www.castrol.com/en_gb/united-kingdom/products/cars/classic-oils/classic-engine-oils.html

Glen
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Black Sheep on 23.02. 2019 14:50
Rocket Gold Flash -  I suppose that's what this is. Not blinged or tarted up though.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 24.02. 2019 12:02
Mobil 1 car oil did not test well ( failure at 134lbs load) in some recent scar testing done by Jim Comstock at the Norton site.
The Mobil 1 vtwin 20/50 showed a little higher ability to lubricate under pressure( failure at 178lbs load)

Castrol Classic XL 20/ 50 ( non synthetic) tested very well and is cheap enough to change often.(failure at 331 lbs) It is also very low friction for a conventional oil.
It's readily available in the UK at 25gbp per Imperial gallon. Unfortunately I haven't found it here in Canada. You might have better luck in NZ.
It is specifically blended for use in our old pushrod type engines ( right amount and type of zddp)
So not the most modern oil. It wouldn't be ideal in something running a catylitic convertor, but the modern low zinc oils generally aren't ideal in a scrapey old pushrod engine such as the A10.
Here is Castrol's description of Classic XL.
I like the tin!

https://www.castrol.com/en_gb/united-kingdom/products/cars/classic-oils/classic-engine-oils.html

Glen

Well Glen,
Go back & read Gerry's article then read paragraph 4 in the one you linked to.
The Castrol blurb is once again talking BS about detergency .
The Castrol article is also talking rubbish about oil gallery sizes.
The same amount of strait 50 will pass through an oil hole at working temperature as 20w 50, 10 w 50 or 5w 50 because they all have the viscosity of 50 at working temperatures.
The only down side of a multigrade is it is thinner when cold so will leak more in the shed.
Some have mentioned that the oil gallery for the cam on A series gets it's initial fill from the OPRV opening in the first few seconds when the thicker multigrades overpressureize before oil has been flung around inside the case and has had time to drip back down into the cam tunnel.

In reality it is a lot of gum flapping about very little.
Back in the 60's & 70's when I was an impoverished student my A10 ran on supermarket 20w50 without much in the way of problems.
It took me to uni, then to work then home then back to uni again. It took me on holidays, down the pub on weekends after work and on the occasional long weekend ride.
The oil was rarely ever changed, just topped up.

Decades latter when there was more than one number in my bank balance before the decimal point, I went over the BP Coarse + 30 or 40.
That was followed by Penrite in various viscosities. Followed by Targa Enduro Lube, agai because I got it cheap and the 2 litre flatish bottles packed rally well when I went away.
Thinking back, heavier oils made little difference apart from dribbling a little less when parked.
When we ran the courier company everything used Western Oil 20w 50 because it was cheap & we bought it in 44 gallon drums.

Now I fix mowers and everything runs strait 30 mower oil again without oil problems because I can buy it wholesale.
Considering the sort of useage our old iron gets now days I seriously doubt any oil would cause a problem provided it got changed regularly.
People go on about zinc as it it is some sort of magic ingredient .
A higher zinc content is vital, it you are on a drag strip, running gapless rings in a blown engine with extra high lift cams and triple valve springs.
A 7/10 camshaft runs in an oil gallery and the loads on the followers& cams are quite moderate when compared to a modern DOHC engine spinning at 9,000 rpm

From memory the valve springs in a series are around 90 inch pounds , please correct me if that is wrong, so any oil that gets to better than 100 is more than good enough.

And lastly, as people seem to be besotted by oil test results, not one of the standard oil tests mimicks what is happening in your engine.
They are all way more stressful than will ever happen inside you crankcase.
Their job is purely to allow blenders to compare one batch to the next and to evaluate a change in formulation
 
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: RogerSB on 24.02. 2019 14:35
Back in the 60's & 70's when I was an impoverished student my A10 ran on supermarket 20w50 without much in the way of problems.
It took me to uni, then to work then home then back to uni again. It took me on holidays, down the pub on weekends after work and on the occasional long weekend ride.
The oil was rarely ever changed, just topped up.

I second that Trevor.
When in the military in the 60s and 70s I ran an A10 Golden Flash as everyday transport, covered lots of miles at weekends for over a year, come rain, shine or freezing, riding it from Portsmouth to Plymouth on a Friday evening and then back again to Portsmouth over night on Sunday (in time for Monday morning parade). A round trip of 350 Miles. Then I tripped around locally on it during the week in Portsmouth and over the weekends, when in Plymouth, with my girlfriend on pillion (now my wife - and in love!). As for my Golden Flash: The oil was changed once in a blue moon and topped up when necessary with whatever oil I could get.
Of course there was no wet sumping due to being in constant use. A machine as it was out of the factory, so no bodges or attempts to improve it over the years by previous owners, no incompatible or dodgy replica replacement parts fitted.  Things are different now and that's why we have problems.

(Edit) I should add that even with my lack of care my A10 never let me down. It also pulled a massive double adult Canterbury sidecar for about a year with no more than screwing the steering damper down.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: worntorn on 24.02. 2019 15:17
I believe 90 inch pounds will be at base circle. I know the numbers on my Vincent special. It runs 115 at base and 270 over the nose on hi lift cams. I sometimes rev it to 7k. Yes I want good oil in that motor.

I'm not sure what the A 10 will run at over the nose with a 357 cam but I'll bet it's close to 200. It's lower revving and doesn't  get raced so I might get by with  low performing oil in that, but why not use something that has a bit of reserve lubricity? Especially when it needn't be particularly expensive.
In the testing, some expensive oils went to smoke very quickly with light load and some inexpensive oils performed extremely well.
Castrol XL was one that did very well and doesn't break the bank.

 Looking at all of the carnage  with cams and lifters , both here and on the Norton site, I would say we might as well have something in there that offers good protection.
It's one thing you can control easily, so why not?
That was what prompted Jim Comstock to do his testing, early failure of components in many cases causing a lot of destruction throughout the motor.
His idea was, start with known good oil to eliminate that as the problem.

The " back in the day " idea ignores the fact that back in the day most any oil had a good amount of zinc. When catalytic convertors came along the zinc was very hard on them, so its use was reduced greatly in most oils. This isn't a problem with a modern engine but it can be with an antique like the A10.
But there is an optimum level for zddp, more than that isn't better. Somewhere around 1100 -1300 ppm seems to be a good level.
The expensive Redline synthetic with 2200 ppm zinc tested very poorly.
Another one that was a shocker was the Aeroshell aircraft engine oil. This is supposed to be blended for use in small aircraft engines which run cams and followers similar to our old bikes.
It turned to smoke almost as soon as pressure came on the arm.
Scary!

Glen
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: RogerSB on 24.02. 2019 15:51
For my current Golden Flash (1960 swin arm) I'm using Morris Golden Film SAE40 for engine (low detergent/dispersant monograde with API SD/CC) and with a cartridge filter in the oil return line, Westway Lubricants SAE20 in primary chaincase, Halfords 80W/90 GL4 in gearbox and Morris SAE20 Fork Oil - for you've guessed - the forks  *smiley4*.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: Greybeard on 24.02. 2019 16:08
For my current Golden Flash (1960 swin arm) I'm using Morris Golden Film SAE40 for engine (low detergent/dispersant monograde with API SD/CC) and with a cartridge filter in the oil return line, Westway Lubricants SAE20 in primary chaincase, Halfords 80W/90 GL4 in gearbox and Morris SAE20 Fork Oil - for you've guessed - the forks  *smiley4*.
Same, pretty much, here.
Title: Re: Can I use modern oils?
Post by: worntorn on 24.02. 2019 16:09
One Morris oil was tested ( vtwin 20/50) and it held up well, failure at 222 lbs load.

Glen