Author Topic: Which Oil?  (Read 2397 times)

Offline LynnLegend

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Which Oil?
« on: 21.07. 2017 16:48 »
Hello,

If you haven't already come across my posts, I'm new to this.

Which oil should I put in my 59 A7? Haynes manual suggests Castro gtx 20w/50, however I'm anxious to put 21st century oil into it without checking here first.

Thanks,

Sam.
'59 A7 - No idea what I'm doing with it.

Offline RoyC

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #1 on: 21.07. 2017 17:19 »
Hello,

If you haven't already come across my posts, I'm new to this.

Which oil should I put in my 59 A7? Haynes manual suggests Castro gtx 20w/50, however I'm anxious to put 21st century oil into it without checking here first.

Thanks,

Sam.

I am using V twin 20.50 in my 58 A7.
My bike is a 1958 A7SS
Staffordshire UK

Offline a10gf

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #2 on: 21.07. 2017 17:33 »
If engine 'refurbished' and cleaned (not full of sludge and dead rats from the 1950's which, when using modern oils, may get partially dissolved and move around blocking oilways), then modern oil.

If engine not checked (especially sludgs traps), I'd say 'old style' oil until a full oilways\sludge check has been done.

Just some opinions.

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Offline LynnLegend

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #3 on: 21.07. 2017 18:11 »
Thanks both for your replies - may I ask what constitutes an 'old style' oil? bottom end almost definitely full of dead rats/mice/birds etc.
'59 A7 - No idea what I'm doing with it.

Online Black Sheep

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #4 on: 21.07. 2017 18:11 »
A good 20W-50 should do all you want - Halfords Classic, Millers or whatever.
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Offline a10gf

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #5 on: 21.07. 2017 18:42 »
Thanks both for your replies - may I ask what constitutes an 'old style' oil?

Was refering to oil without detergeants.

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Online ellis

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #6 on: 21.07. 2017 19:20 »
Hi LynnLegend. You've opened a big can of worms with an oil question, everybody has their own idea of what oil to use. I personally use Penrite 20-60 as it has a high zinc content that is good for older engines. By the way my engine is very clean inside. Good luck with your choice.  *smile*

ELLIS

Online RichardL

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #7 on: 21.07. 2017 19:23 »
My answer to this question is bound to get me in trouble with somebody. I'm guessing BSA 54_A10. ( who, in the past, has provided a very educational description of oil idiosyncracies). I use Valvoline 20-50  VR1 racing oil with high zinc (ZDDP) to protect the kinda-flat tappets. Modern street oils are restricted in zinc PP.M, but modern engines don't have flat tappets

Richard L.

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Online RichardL

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #8 on: 21.07. 2017 19:25 »
OK, Ellis beat me to.the punch on zinc because we were.typing at the same time.

Richard L
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2020 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDEon September 27, 2020 (if it's not cancelled and we are free to move about by then). Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Online ellis

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #9 on: 21.07. 2017 19:32 »
Hi RichardL, you need to be quick on this site.   *smile*

ELLIS

Online BSA_54A10

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #10 on: 22.07. 2017 08:24 »
It matters not which oil you put in your engine.
Even supermarket oil today is better than premium oil in the 50's.

What is vital is HOW LONG IT STAYS THERE.
Unless you have an external oil filter there is no such thing as changing the oil to often.
Detergent or non detergent will make absolutely no difference unless you have an external oil filter fitted where you need detergents in order to assist the filter removing the crap put of the oil.

Thick oil will make it harder to kick but will run a lot quieter and leak a lot less. particularly wet sumping.
Thin oil will make it easier to kick, go faster , leak everywhere and be noisy.
If you change your own oil in your car, use that oil, drain it every couple of runs then put it in your car.
Bike Beesa
Trevor

Offline morris

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #11 on: 22.07. 2017 10:17 »
Penrite's 20/60 does it for me to.
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Online KiwiGF

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #12 on: 22.07. 2017 13:05 »
Castrol gtx 20/50 does it for me, on a rebuilt engine with cleaned sludge trap and norton comnando type external filter. Changed every 1000 miles ish  *smile*

It's a relatively cheap oil in nz, $28 for 4l at the warehouse.
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Offline Sluggo

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #13 on: 22.07. 2017 19:33 »
On older bikes like this I buy generic 30 weight for break in and test runs for unknown history engines until the sludge trap can be cleaned.  I have some farm supply stores as well as Walmart (Who I hate, but occasionally succumb for certain items).
Again for older engines I buy tractor and ag supply oil as it has the zinc we need.  Delo 400 is also used in many Diesel pickups as well and has been a reasonable choice.  Big Blue bottles
See: http://www.deloperformance.com/en-us/products.html    Multiple choices for weights...

I need to research other choices but this has been my go-to for some time over the last 10 years.

I have a frequent rant about filters but the short version is a return line filter is a must have item on any of my british bikes unless built for show only. I only have one bike I am considering not using one on. A full flow Norton commando type filter is what I use but sometimes use aftermarket mounts, but sometimes the norton ones. The key issue that some people have argued about, I still insist only one type filter is acceptable on these old bikes.
You must test the filter and many modern ones have a internal flap or check valve limiting flow. the idea is to prevent backflow or sumping but they only operate over a certain pressure.
BAD FOR OLD BRITT BIKES!   This results in the oil sumping until pressure is high enough for flow which can be a disaster.
The test can be embarrassing in public but you place your mouth over the opening and make sure air flow can move thru the filter.  Once you ID filters that are acceptable many places have a cross reference for similar filters.

I will make a point about oil grades and thickness. While I agree that a thicker oil will leak less, and run quieter,  Its exactly what you DO NOT WANT.  I was taught by a old master in aviation school about oils and learned as well in multiple test labs  (POL=Petroleum, Oils & Lubricants)
from techs much smarter than me.  Oil FLOW and VOLUME is what you want.  Thickness (Viscosity) results in poor flow and actually friction in itself.  Thick oil resists flow and is hard on the pump, and components.  High pressures are an indication of friction and resistance to flow.
Much better to have low pressure and high volume than high pressure and low volume. 
There is a sweet spot of course, "Goldilocks".
Of course a thinner oil will leak more but thats a seperate issue.  When your BSA is not marking its spot its probably out of oil.
There is a number of things you can do during a rebuild to optimize lubrication but thats a seperate topic.

I grilled one of the lead crew chiefs for Rahals team in the old indy car series when the synthetics were first coming out, and they were sponsored by Penzoil,  During the Chevy Illmore era.  They were alarmed at extremely low pressure readings during car testing. A call to Penzoil and their techs was a response of "No problem, run it!"  When they continued to express doubt
Penzoil said "If you can show any engine damage linked to lubrication we will buy/pay for your motors replacement"  These motors were a sizable chunk of money.  The engine and crew chief techs told me at the end of the season they did not have one engine failure related to lubrication.  That was pretty compelling to me.
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Offline Peter in Aus

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Re: Which Oil?
« Reply #14 on: 23.07. 2017 04:15 »

BAD FOR OLD BRITT BIKES!   This results in the oil sumping until pressure is high enough for flow which can be a disaster.
The test can be embarrassing in public but you place your mouth over the opening and make sure air flow can move thru the filter.  Once you ID filters that are acceptable many places have a cross reference for similar filters.



Hi Sluggo, very interesting, can you elaborate a bit more about checking the filters, I’m using a Baldwin B7292 filter in my A10 58 and can blow through the center of the filter (a new one) but it is quite hard to do so, it is not free flowing , so not sure if that is what u mean or not?
Cheers,
Peter

Busselton West Australia
49 A7 longstroke
58 A10  SA