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I picked up a Valvoline product manual over the weekend. It clarified some questions about their Racing oil products. It turns out that VR1 Racing Oil is just ordinary new car street oil that says Racing Oil on the label. I think most of us thought it was extra good stuff because of those words, and because it said it contains ZDDP (Zinc DialkylDithioPhosphate), which we commonly just call zinc. That ended up being just marketing hype, since even the newer street oils still contain some zinc, just at much lower levels than they used too. Of course, that reduction was done for emissions reasons to prevent wrecking the cats on street cars, certainly not to help the engines. As we know, zinc is considered one of the main additives that gives extra protection against engine wear. Many consider the fact that zinc has been nearly removed from newer street oils to be the primary cause for the rash of flat tappet motor wiped lobes. It may also be a contributing factor to solid roller lifter failures as well. So, of course, racers and gearheads typically like to stay away from street oil if they don’t run cat equipped cars. The thing is, VR1 is API certified as SM rated (check the bottle and you’ll see), which is the latest street oil rating for current new cars, as well as older ones so they claim. But don’t tell that to the guys with wiped lobes. In order to meet that latest strict API rating, the zinc level is at its lowest level yet……..so much for Valvoline’s feeble claim of “contains ZDDP”. And so much for VR1 being actual “Racing Oil”. I think most of us expect true racing oil to have much larger amounts of zinc than even the older “good” street oil. On top of that, I recently came across a Valvoline link on the web, where they talked about VR1 being a synthetic blend, though they don’t even say that on the bottle. So………. they don’t make it widely known that it is a synthetic blend, yet they do imply it has a lot of zinc, which is doesn’t. I know many people are quite happy using VR1, but the good it is doing for them apparently comes mostly from it being partial synthetic, not from any help from zinc. Jeg’s lists this oil for $5.00 per qt. I was planning to use it in the 540 I’m building, but now I wouldn’t even consider it.

For those of us who actually want truly elevated levels of zinc in our oil, we have to look no further than Valvoline’s two other Race Oils. They have conventional (petroleum) Racing Oil and Synthetic Racing Oil, both of which truly have elevated levels of zinc. Since they do, they say clearly on the bottles, “Not Street Legal”, which is because they will actually ruin the cats on cat equipped cars. And they don’t carry new street oil API ratings. Jeg’s lists the conventional at $7.00 per qt and the synthetic at $9.00 per qt.

Just when we thought it was safe to stop thinking about oil………………
 

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It wasn't that long ago I bought Valvoline Racng Oil, 30w (mineral, non-VR1) for about $3 a bottle at O'Reilly's. Might give them a call. One thing about racing oils is they're a little light on detergents (so I'm told) which means more frequent changes.
 

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I think Walmart still sell's oil marketed for "older car use" and it is labeled "SF" if I remember right.. (Or is it "SH"???).....

$1.30/quart too!! I think has a lot of zinc in it??

Let's put it this way, IF they are selling oil labeled "SF" and it doesn't spec to be such, I figure a class action lawsuit would be on it's way for both Walmart AND the bottler!!

pdq67
 

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If you guys want an oil with ZDDP in it you have to get a deisel oil like Shell Rotella . . . the stuff you buy in the gallon jugs intended for the big rigs. Deisels don't have cat converters (yet LOL) so the ZDDP in Deisel oil is still OK.
 

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I just got an e-mail back from valvoline today about this. They said that the
"consensus in the industry is that the current chemical limits of the GF-4/SM category are still sufficient to protect all "street engines", including older flat tappet engines." They also said that " for the special applications { aggressive cams, high HP racing motors, etc} where the customer needs more ZDDP protection. our NON-GF-4 products still contain the higher levels{such as VR-1 and "not street legal" racing}.

I also read on crane cams web site that they don't recomend any synthectic oils because the are to slick and may prevent the lifters from rotating causing cam wear.

I am thinking of running val racing non synthetic in my 69.
 
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