Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Oil qustions for a newbie

  1. #1
    New Lancista
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Harrington Park
    Posts
    1
    Downloads
    3
    Uploads
    0

    Oil qustions for a newbie

    I just got a 79 Zagato here in the US. I'm sure these questions have been answered somewhere on the site, I'm just having a hard time finding it. This is my first Classic car so I'm still finding my way round. I have dropping oil pressure when warm and oil is low. The sump is a bit wet so I'm not sure if I have a leak or if I'm burning oil. I'm planning an oil change and clean up and then start to work out what I have.

    What oil filter? Hayes manual just says Full flow disposable cartridge. What oil to use? Dino or synthetic? What brands and viscocity?
    Do you add a zinc additive?
    All help appreciated

  2. #2
    Site Founder DJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Pascagoula, Mississippi
    Age
    63
    Posts
    2,891
    Blog Entries
    11
    Downloads
    69
    Uploads
    42

    Re: Oil qustions for a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by NJZagato View Post
    I just got a 79 Zagato here in the US. I'm sure these questions have been answered somewhere on the site, I'm just having a hard time finding it. This is my first Classic car so I'm still finding my way round. I have dropping oil pressure when warm and oil is low. The sump is a bit wet so I'm not sure if I have a leak or if I'm burning oil. I'm planning an oil change and clean up and then start to work out what I have.

    What oil filter? Hayes manual just says Full flow disposable cartridge. What oil to use? Dino or synthetic? What brands and viscocity?
    Do you add a zinc additive?
    All help appreciated
    Low indicated oil pressure is common on these engines, even with a new pressure sensor/sender. The majority of the time you are fine as long as you are confident that your pump is working OK and you have sufficient level. An inline pressure gauge can help with this confidence.

    If it's a Lancia it's probably leaking oil somewhere but you can solve that with proper gaskets and sealants.

    If you're burning oil you'll see it on your plugs and at the exhaust pipe.

    Just check with any FIAT/Lancia parts dealer for an oil filter. You just need one with a check valve/flap on the small holes around the center hole to prevent back flow. MANY filters will fit and work fine.

    Just use good oil and you'll be fine. But I always recommend staying with natural mineral oil over synthetic because synthetic typically results in more leakage unless you put a lot of effort into updated all gaskets and seals to modern materials.
    DJ Richards
    eBay ID: classic-ricambi
    1978 Beta Coupe, Nero

  3. #3
    Legendary Lancista SubGothius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona USA
    Age
    45
    Posts
    1,117
    Downloads
    11
    Uploads
    1

    Re: Oil qustions for a newbie

    As long as the low-pressure warning lamp doesn't come on, pressure is probably fine. You can test the warning lamp circuit by pulling the wire connector from the sender switch (in the filter mounting block pointing towards the battery side) and touch the wire connector to any ground point, which should illuminate the lamp when the ign. key is in the On position. Be sure to plug it back in, as grounding this circuit (such as when the lamp goes on) also cuts power to the fuel pump on carb'd models like ours, as a safety feature to make sure the scene of an accident won't get hosed down with fuel. This is also a handy trick to know if your car's been sitting a while, and you want to pre-fill the carb bowl with fuel for quick startup; just pull this wire and turn the key to On for a few seconds.

    For oil filters, on my '79 I prefer the type commonly spec'd for older Ford V-8s such as the Baldwin B2, Wix 51515, Motorcraft FL1A, or Purolator L30001 (in that order of preference). Baldwins are very stoutly made, with a good balance of flow/filtration, but typically only available from fleet/trucker supply shops. Fram PH8A is another of these but IMO not recommended due to Fram's flimsy construction methods; you can get better-made filters for the same price or less. All of these have the proper threading, gasket size, anti-drainback valve, and bypass valve pressure, and as a bonus most of them (exc. the Purolator) also have the bypass valve at the inlet end (as per Ford's spec), so bypassed oil doesn't wash past the dirty side of the filter media first. I gather '81-82 FI models changed the radiator position, and some earlier models may have the filter mounted vertically over the front subframe rail, so these filter sizes may be too tall for those applications, but they fit a treat on '79s and are larger (= more can and filter surface area) than the size usually spec'd.

    For oil lately I'm liking the Castrol GTX High-Mileage formula. Our Lampredi twincams were made with fairly loose clearances and prefer thicker oil, so go with grades 10W40, 20W50, or a big jug of 15W40 heavy-duty/diesel engine type (Delvac, Delo, Rotella, Tection, etc.). Synthetics will just tend to leak unless maybe you've got a freshly rebuilt engine with new seals; that said, in winter here in Tucson I just top-off my 20W50 GTX-HM summer fill as needed with the occasional quart of 10W40 Mobil1 High-Mileage, since cold starts are when most wear occurs. I only do about 3-5k miles a year anyway, so I see little point in doing spring AND fall oil changes. I've got an owner's manual with a nice chart showing 20W50 is suitable from 14°F to 104°F, 15W40 from 5°F to 95°F, and 10W40 from -4°F to 95°F.
    Last edited by SubGothius; 20th April 2017 at 10:24 PM.
    Best regards,
    -Tye (1979 Lancia Beta Zagato spider)

    "In theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
    -Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

  4. #4
    Legendary Lancista
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    st. louis
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,700
    Downloads
    82
    Uploads
    0

    Re: Oil qustions for a newbie

    Castrol 10/40 or 20/50 & Fram PH 16 work fine.

  5. #5
    Master Lancista lanciahf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Central, NJ
    Posts
    224
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    50
    Uploads
    0

    Re: Oil qustions for a newbie

    I used to get low oil pressure readings with my old beta coupe when I used frame ph7 oil filters. I switched to OEM style filters with an anti drain back valve and my problems went away.
    1976 Lancia Scorpion

  6. #6
    Master Lancista LanciaPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Berkley, Michigan
    Posts
    182
    Downloads
    81
    Uploads
    1

    Re: Oil qustions for a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by NJZagato View Post
    I just got a 79 Zagato here in the US. I'm sure these questions have been answered somewhere on the site, I'm just having a hard time finding it. This is my first Classic car so I'm still finding my way round. I have dropping oil pressure when warm and oil is low. The sump is a bit wet so I'm not sure if I have a leak or if I'm burning oil. I'm planning an oil change and clean up and then start to work out what I have.

    What oil filter? Hayes manual just says Full flow disposable cartridge. What oil to use? Dino or synthetic? What brands and viscocity?
    Do you add a zinc additive?
    All help appreciated
    I have been using the Mann W917 filters. They are well made and are a little shorter than the Fram PH8 so it is easier to deal with the installation. I think you'll find that the Betas are not usually a joy to work on. There is never enough room and you often have to remove ancillary parts to get at what you are working on. The shorter filter is a present I give myself It's original fitment is a Volvo 240.

    https://catalog.mann-filter.com/EU/e...lter/W%20917~1

    I go along with the other's assesments on the oil pressure gauge. If the light isn't on at idle, you should be fine. The light has a differnt sender than the gauge IIRC. Mine reads just over half way when traveling at highway speed. The rule of thumb I have heard is 10psi per 1000rpm.

    The oil question is a tricky one. The ZDDP issue is real. It used to be in oils in higher quantities as an anti-wear additive. Well, it turns out that pistons travel on an oil film so even new engines burn some tiny amount of oil. They were finding that when the oil with ZDDP burned, it made some kind of phosphous compound (ZDDP =Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate) that plated-out on the catalytic converter matrix reducing it's effeciency over time. As the automakers selling cars in this country are responsible for the car meeting emission standards even at high milage, they started reducing the ZDDP in the oil. I'm not too current on it but I believe they have now largely replaced the old ZDDP with another a low-volitility version that doesn't effect the cat. Here are a couple of papers that are definately "TLDNR" for me.

    https://passenger.lubrizoladditives3...07-01-1990.pdf
    https://passenger.lubrizoladditives3...07-0104107.pdf
    1974 Fiat X1/9
    1981 Lancia Zagato

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •