Engine and Gearbox Oil

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Donald Ross
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Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby Donald Ross » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:16 pm

Hello
I currently use Castrol 20w-50 oil in my Morris minor 1098cc engine and gearbox.
I have however seen in the Morris minor owners club magazine the Duckhams are now producing the original green Duckhams 20w-50 oil.

I am not sure what the quality of duckhams is now compared to the likes of Castrol but if any of you have tried Duckhams oil recently what do you think of the quality?

Also if anyone recommends any other oil brands to be better please leave a reply.

Thanks
Donald Ross

NOEL
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby NOEL » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:32 pm

I have used oils from Halfords, Comma and Wilko`s over the last few years and found all of them fine, As long as you change the oil and the filter at least yearly any of the brands should be fine for our engines. machine tolerances are a bit different on more modern engines and now you see various synthetic,semi synthetic types which can be confusing, I used to use castrol on my cars in the 80`s but for my Morris as long as it`s 20/50 these days i tend to be guided by price. I am not saying everyone will do this but so far it works for me.

myoldjalopy
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby myoldjalopy » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:18 pm

I have used Halfords Classic Car Oil for several years now and am happy with it......

Donald Ross
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby Donald Ross » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:29 pm

Thankyou for your comments.

I have been doing some research into technical information on the 20w-50 oil. Duckhams seems to be the best in the detailed information on the oil but really there is not much in it.

I will continue to use Castrol ep90 gl4 oil in my diff but I think I will try the Duckhams 20w-50 oil firstly in the gearbox and see how it goes.

I will compare the Castrol and Duckhams physically when I get the Duckhams.

I understand that any 20w-50 oil will be fine but in my case my Morris Minor has done very low miles and I would like to try to get the best quality oil possible (even if it is only a very small bit better).

I have however heard a lot of owners say they use halfords oil so I think I will have a look at halfords oil first.

Thanks
Donald

smithskids
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby smithskids » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:33 pm

I have used nothing but Duckhams 20-50 since 1962 and have had no trouble using it in my 1935, 1951 and 1963 morris cars. I used to have a Lotus super 7 in the 60s and couldn't get Duckhams once so put Castrol 20-50 in and there was a 5lbs lower oil pressure when hot. I have used Castrol since it was taken over by BP who I believe own Duckhams as well though I am not sure but it seems ok.

Donald Ross
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby Donald Ross » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:54 pm

Thankyou for you reply smithskids.

I will give duckhams a try and see how it goes.

I still have plenty of castrol so I can change back if I don't see any difference in performance.

Thanks again
Donald

kevin s
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby kevin s » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:30 pm

I've been running 75w90 gl4 gear oil in my gearbox, I figured oil technology might have moved on in 60 years, seems to be work very well, quiet, good gearshift no leaks (it does have a proper seal on the front too though).

Phil-1954
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby Phil-1954 » Fri May 29, 2020 12:33 am

kevin s wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:30 pm
I've been running 75w90 gl4 gear oil in my gearbox, I figured oil technology might have moved on in 60 years, seems to be work very well, quiet, good gearshift no leaks (it does have a proper seal on the front too though).
Googling "75w90 gl4 gear oil" says its synthetic, but I thought synthetic oil attacked the bearings in a Moggie gearbox and was strictly 'verboten' ?
I just had a gearbox changed and the guy found EP90 in it! :evil: (plus its spigot bearing was missing - it hadn't fallen out either)
Regards

Phil T
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ManyMinors
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby ManyMinors » Fri May 29, 2020 7:41 am

Duckhams isn't some little family business who've carefully produced the same oil all those years :wink: They were taken over by BP in 1969 and are just a brand name. I don't doubt their oil is fine but it is probably no better or no different to anything else.
I was told that Halfords oil is just cheap Comma oil in a fancy tin. Having said that, Comma oil is probably fine for a standard Minor 1000.
For several years I have used Morris "Golden Film" 20/50 oil in the engine and gearbox. It can be bought at a very reasonable price from various sources. I change the engine oil every few thousand miles and the gearbox every other time.

Pete Bags
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby Pete Bags » Fri May 29, 2020 2:39 pm

Looking at lots of different classic car forums, there seems to be no single agreement as to which oil is better in older engines. A lot will come down to personal preferences.

I am now using fully synthetic Millers 20-50 Pistoneeze in the engine (1098) and Redline MT90 fully synthetic oil in the gearbox. I am very pleased with both.

My own rationale for using these particular synthetic oils is the added protection they offer to both the engine and gearbox. The Millers engine oil contains added zinc phosphorous that older oils had way back before being removed (in the 1980's?), and most non-synthetic oils today no longer contain enough zinc phosphorous, and also the smaller oil molecules that fully synthetic oil uses means better 'sticking' properties when the car is not used for extended periods of time, especially over the winter months. When I switched from a traditional 'classic' 20-50 oil to the fully synthetic, I did notice a slight improvement in MPG - an added bonus!

For the gearbox, I switched to the MT90 as it is a suitable replacement for gearboxes that traditionally use multigrade engine oil. It will not attack any of the metals in the gearbox, and like the synthetic engine oil, it gives added protection during periods of inactivity. The gear changes are noticeably smoother as well.

I'm sure there is nothing wrong at all in using traditional oils, but oil technology has moved on in the near sixty years since my car was built and the manual was written. I often feel the old car is a bit like me - I could use the medicines suggested when I was born, but I'll happily use the more modern ones, as I feel they will keep me alive for longer! :D

Phil-1954
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby Phil-1954 » Fri May 29, 2020 5:42 pm

All,

I am all for modern oils myself, but the synthetic supposedly doesn't agree with the bearing's material, although there seem to be differing thoughts on this though. I know on a user group for my Centec mill built in the 1960's that there was a similar debate, and the phosphor bronze bearings were known to wear on some machines and the blame was laid on the use of synthetic oil by their owners.
I'm unsure that there are phosphor bronze bushes in the Moggie box though.
The old gearbox that I replaced had used EP90 gear oil (previous owner!) meaning the synchro rings often struggled due to the oil's thickness, and ultimately left me with damaged rings.
I could have done it myself, but health reasons, and a small dash of gearbox phobia, meant a replacement unit (with the modified front oil seal).
Regards

Phil T
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ampwhu
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby ampwhu » Fri May 29, 2020 6:11 pm

quite simple answer. if your engine leaks oil, buy cheap 20W50. I use wilkos or halfrauds (only because of a trade card). normally works out at around £15 for 5 litres. whats the point in putting good oil in 1 hole when it's coming out of another. if you want to throw money away, why not make a donation to a worthy charity instead.

if your engine doesn't leak oil, buy some good old castrol.

kevin s
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby kevin s » Fri May 29, 2020 7:15 pm

Phil-1954 wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 12:33 am
kevin s wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:30 pm
I've been running 75w90 gl4 gear oil in my gearbox, I figured oil technology might have moved on in 60 years, seems to be work very well, quiet, good gearshift no leaks (it does have a proper seal on the front too though).
Googling "75w90 gl4 gear oil" says its synthetic, but I thought synthetic oil attacked the bearings in a Moggie gearbox and was strictly 'verboten' ?
I just had a gearbox changed and the guy found EP90 in it! :evil: (plus its spigot bearing was missing - it hadn't fallen out either)
It's either full or semi synthetic but It certainly won't affect the bearings the better quality base should if anything improve it, the one to avoid is gl5, that can attack yellow metals, gl4 is fine with older geatboxes though.

JOWETTJAVELIN
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby JOWETTJAVELIN » Fri May 29, 2020 8:42 pm

ZDDP is the important thing as already mentioned and the re-launched Duckham's contains the highest amount. I too have used Morris Lubricants Golden Film for years, but the ZDDP content is the lowest and Castrol Classic 20w50 only slightly more. Therefore I have decided to pay the £10 premium on a tin and change to Duckham's at my next oil change. And I am starting to use Morris Lubricants straight 30 in the gearbox.

One last thing. When my Series II big ends failed on the motorway, I made it to the next exit with the engine hammering away and the oil pressure light shining like a beacon. Upon stripdown there was very little wear found and I got away successfully with new piston rings, a bore hone and a replacement crankshaft. This engine had been run exclusively on Duckham's.
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JOWETTJAVELIN
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby JOWETTJAVELIN » Fri May 29, 2020 8:44 pm

Also to clarify EP oil should NOT be used in Moggy gearboxes except the sidevalve MM models. All Series II and '1000' models specify engine grades in the gearbox.
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jagnut66
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby jagnut66 » Fri May 29, 2020 10:25 pm

Halfords classic car oil for me, for many years now, in all the Minors I've owned, without issue.
Best wishes,
Mike.
1954 Series 2 on axle stands needing more welding......

kevin s
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Re: Engine and Gearbox Oil

Postby kevin s » Sat May 30, 2020 10:48 am

JOWETTJAVELIN wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 8:44 pm
Also to clarify EP oil should NOT be used in Moggy gearboxes except the sidevalve MM models. All Series II and '1000' models specify engine grades in the gearbox.
Kind of depends where you come from, yes certainly 50 years ago they specified engine oil, this could have been because gear oils of the day were too viscous and gave poor shift quality or simply because it's what they had on the production line or even it was 2 shillings a car cheaper.
In the last 50 years lubrucants have changed massively, engine oil of the 60's used lots if metal based addatives such as ZDDP mentioned above, nowadays none of these can be used because they polute catalysts, classic oils are the closest available but even they are have differences because of enviromental legislation.
Gear oils on the other hand have evolved into multigrades and been developed to give better protection to gears and bearing than any engine oil can.

At the end of the day its much like, fitting radial tyres, disc brakes, servos electronic ignition or siicone brake fluid there is no right or wrong, its a personal choice between what was originaly specified or using a mixture of what information is out there and judgement to take advantage of the advances made over the last 50 + years.


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