From the Reference Section:
- Carter Dual 4-Barrel Carburetor Idle Adjustment
- Carter Dual 4-Barrel Carburetor Adjustment
- Carter Dual 4-barrel Carburetors, Linkage Sticking
- Buick Cam Specifications for 401 and 425 nailheads
- Buick Cams from Kenne Bell, 401, 425
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- Head Flow Chart
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- 1963 nailhead cam specs
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Thread: 425 nailhead oil choice?

  1. #1
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    425 nailhead oil choice?

    When I take my 1966 Riv to the garage for an oil change I get conflicting recomendations from guys who have older cars.
    What is the best choice for my nailhead? Also I run on high octane gas - should I add anything to it upon fill up?

  2. #2
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    I use 15-40W diesel engine oil. A "hotrod" oil would be a good choice.


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    425 nailhead oil choice

    Thanks Bob ...appreciate the quick response

  4. #4
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    Oil

    I use shell rotella 15 w 40 in all of my flat tappet engines and have not had problems, about 15 years ago I tried mobil 1 and I had leaks and oil pressure was lower, I went back to rotella .

  5. #5
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    Be sure that the rotella 15 w 40 says "triple protection" and has ZINC in it.
    They are in the process of changing that is my understanding. You can buy ZDDP or other zinc products. Even STP has a zinc additive in one of their "STP"s.

  6. #6
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    Use 10w30, 10w40, or 20w50 depending on your climate and driving style.
    Unless you have a replacement high lift cam and stiffer valve springs any brand in those above weights will suffice. Don't add anything.
    For an instant headache read up on ZDDP or zinc in oil; then ask the question: "has anyone documented an oil related engine component failure in a nailhead due to lack of zinc ?"....silence...

  7. #7
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    Engine oil

    You didn't here of cam and lifter failure with nailheads cause till the late eighties all oil had zync in already. They quit putting zync in oil to help the motors pass the new emissions laws and the majority of manufacturers were already changing to roller cam and lifters. Every engine builder stock or performance knows how important zync in oil is.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnelson View Post
    You didn't here of cam and lifter failure with nailheads cause till the late eighties all oil had zync in already. They quit putting zync in oil to help the motors pass the new emissions laws and the majority of manufacturers were already changing to roller cam and lifters. Every engine builder stock or performance knows how important zync in oil is.
    Show me a failure! I've never heard of any.
    Today's oils have about the same zinc as oils in the 1950's and 1960's; the level increased (muscle car era) before decreasing again (emissions era).
    Zinc is not the only friction modifier.
    I recently checked the cam and lifters on my 55 after 118,000 miles and all looked good (Castrol 20w50).
    Show me a failure in a stock nailhead (don't be pointing to one of those chivvy forums).
    I should have said: silence (except for gnashing teeth, hyperventilating, and quivering lips).
    Don't be like some of the guys in our club that maybe drive their cars maybe 500 miles a year, change oil twice a year, stroking the bottle of zinc while pouring.

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    Angry Engine oil

    Im a certified machinist. I build all types of engines for a living. I have seen the distruction of these new oils. The oil today is not of the old days. The cats in the exhaust can't handle zync in the oil. If you actually knew and seen what I have than you wouldn't even think twice. You add breakin lube to the oil in new engines just for that reason. Royal purple racing oil has zync in it for high performance use. It happens to ALL flat tappet cams. Not just Chevy. I own three Buick. One straight 8 one nailheads and one with big block 455. So Im not blowing smoke. Its needed to protect your cam and lifters. If you care bout engines like I do. You do what is necessary so you can enjoy them. If you like to read its in Motor News, Hemmings magazine, and the NHRA builders books

  10. #10
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    Show me a failure!


    there were a bunch of failures back in the early 2000s, usually concerning installation of new cams. engine builders were getting cam lobes wiped left, right and center and didn't know why at first.



    "has anyone documented an oil related engine component failure in a nailhead due to lack of zinc ?"

    has anyone documented an oil related engine failure that did NOT involve emissions equipment?

    i put thousands of laps on a 1995 Mazda 2.5L v6 with Rotella 15w-40. and i was burning 100LL AvGas.

    never had a problem, because we had straight piped the cat. so there was nothing for the leaded fuel or the zinc-ed oil to plug up.

    also beat the snot out of Buick 455s and Chevy 350s with the same type of set up and never had oil induced problems.
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