Tag Archives: Hot Rod

What’s In It? HR Conventional 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil

In the factory performance glory days of the late 1960s and early 1970s, most car manufacturers recommended 10W-40 viscosity oil for Big and Small Block muscle car engines. Driven’s HR Conventional 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil is the perfect choice for these classics, as it uses conventional petroleum base oils to provide excellent compatibility with “old school,” cork-and-rope seals. It treats cars with older engines the same way oils did when those immortal horsepower monsters rolled off the showroom floor. This oil is also designed with a secondary-style ZDDP which provides excellent wear protection for cams, lifters, rocker arms, distributor gears, pushrods, wrist pins and cylinder bores.
The oil features a 10W-40 multi-grade formula that provides for easier starting and less start-up wear than straight-grade or heavier-viscosity oils. It also includes the same anti-wear package that the U.S. military employs for storage and transport of combat vehicles and equipment. HR Conventional 10W-40 Oil features unique lubricant technology that prevents rust or corrosion caused by extended periods of storage – or by the use of Ethanol-blended fuels – making it perfect for classic American muscle cars that only see the street in ideal driving weather.

What’s In Driven’s HR 10W-40 Conventional Oil?



Petroleum Base Oils Provides fluid film to lubricate and cool the   engine components
ZDDP Provides anti-wear, corrosion and additional   anti-oxidation protection
Anti-Wear Additives Protects internal engine components from   adhesive wear due to metal-on-metal contact
Dispersants Suspends contaminants and combustion   by-products in the oil to allow them to be carried to the oil filter.   Prevents sludge formation.
Antioxidants Prevents the chemical breakdown of the oil
Friction Modifier Reduces friction between rubbing and sliding   parts
Corrosion Inhibitor Prevents rust and corrosion due to moisture   and acids that invade the engine from the fuel, combustion and atmosphere
Seal-Swell Agent Conditions the seal materials to prevent   leaks
Viscosity Index Improver Improves the viscosity characteristics of the   motor oil
Pour Point Depressant Allows the oil to flow and pump in cold   weather to reduce wear at start-up
Foam Inhibitor Reduces the tendency of the oil to foam


The End Of “Backwards Compatibility”

Since the beginning of the API engine oil licensing system, each and every new specification
has been considered “backwards compatible.” This is a fancy way of saying the newest oil is as
good as or better than the previous oil.

The exact statement made on API’s MotorOilMatters.com website is as follows:

“For automotive gasoline engines, the latest ILSAC standard or API Service Category includes
the performance properties of each earlier category and can be used to service older engines
where earlier category oils were recommended.”

Since the outbreak of failed flat tappet camshafts a decade ago, this “backwards compatibility”
has been called into question by engine builders, camshaft manufacturers and consumers.
Within the last year, an asterisk has appeared on the statement of “backwards compatibility” on
the Petroleum Quality Institute website (http://www.pqiamerica.com) that says the current API
SN and SM oil specs may not be suitable for some flat tappet engines.

That asterisk marks a significant shift in thinking. The stakeholders in the API (the vehicle
OEMs and oil companies) are slightly acknowledging that one oil specification cannot cover
the requirements of all gasoline engines ever built. That really does sound like a ridiculous idea
when you put it down in black and white.

Over this last decade of “compromised compatibility” these same engine builders, camshaft
manufacturers and automotive enthusiasts have all received an education on motor oil that
most of them did not ask for. The word “Zinc” took on new meaning in automotive circles.
Apparently “Zinc” was more than just an ingredient in your multi-vitamin, and if your motor oil
was deficient in the proper quantity and type of “Zinc” your camshaft would end up deficient of a few lobes.

In response, special “Zinc” additives and specially formulated “high-zinc” oils appeared on the
market in response to the situation.

However, most automotive enthusiasts and engine builders have been burned in the past
by “snake oils” that promise the moon but deliver mud in the eye, so the market was slow to
accept these products. Even today, many enthusiasts still doubt the idea that “new oils are bad
for old engines.”

HRMaybe the announcement by Porsche this April will change all of this and signal the death knell for “backwards compatibility.” The famous brand just announced its own line of “classic” motor oils designed for the needs of older engines. The text from the Porsche website reads
like a copy of what Driven Racing Oil said when it released its “Hot Rod” motor oils 8 years ago. Driven was the first company to market specially formulated break-in oils and high-zinc oils designed specifically for older engines.

Here is a sample from what Porsche has released:

“This engine oil has been developed by experts with the specific aim of meeting the demands
of air-cooled engines. The thermal load is higher than in water-cooled units, which means that
the engine oil has to work harder to cool the engine down. The traditionally high power output
per litre of the engines also results in high compression and high pressures. A compact and
lightweight engine design means that the connecting rods will be short in relation to the piston
stroke, which in turn means high lateral piston forces and correspondingly high demands on the
lubricating film stability of the oil. In short, the older flat engines in particular can’t just use any
old oil.

Modern oils use highly efficient detergent/dispersant agents to thoroughly clean the engine and
reliably remove dirt, which can be too much of a good thing for a classic Porsche engine. It is
true that additional deposits should be prevented and oil-soluble contaminants such as soot,
water and dust kept suspended until they are drained off through the oil filter or removed during
the next oil change, but at the same time it is important that the deposits which have built up
over decades are not suddenly dissolved and that seals are not corroded.

1Since not every classic Porsche is in everyday use, the engine oil also had to meet other demands: classic vehicles are often left stationary for long periods of time and only moved intermittently and for short journeys, which means that condensation can form in the oil if the engine does not heat up fully. Aggressive combustion residues can cause acidification of the oil fill, resulting in the corrosion of engine components. The alloys, metals and sealing materials which were used at the time are at particular risk. Porsche therefore paid particular attention to this aspect when developing its Porsche Classic Motoroil. The special formulation incorporates a high alkaline reserve, which neutralises any acids that may form. Additional corrosion inhibitors also protect vulnerable components, even during longer stationary periods.”

Does any of that sound familiar?

Hopefully the announcement by Porsche will create awareness that specialty oils are not “snake
oils.” In fact, oils designed specifically for the hardware and the application are better than a
generic, one-size-fits-all API specification. The sooner this idea is embraced, the sooner engine
builders, parts manufacturers and enthusiasts can stop worrying about the chemistry of motor
oil and just go back to using oil. Then, Zinc can just be the stuff in your multi-vitamin and the
stuff that keeps your cam happy.

Driven Racing Oil™ HR 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil

Huntersville, NC New HR 10W-40 motor oil from Driven is engineered specifically for hot rods and classic vehicles. Its specialized ingredients reduce friction, provide anti-wear protection as well as extended oil change intervals.

The unique 10W-40 blend utilizes just the right amount of Zinc (ZDDP) in addition to U.S. military-spec rust and corrosion additives. This formula provides protection for roller camshafts and counteracts the corrosion and other damage that can be caused during storage periods. And because it is available in both conventional and synthetic forms, 10W-40 is the ideal choice whether you own a muscle car, European vintage sports car, or rotary engine. Plus, its careful balance of detergents and “fast burn” Zinc enables it to protect even the most aggressive camshafts.  Air-cooled engines generate extreme temperatures, but HR 10W-40 has you covered by protecting against the deposits, burn-off and thermal breakdown that can occur with this setup. Its competition proven formula, combined with its “no compromises” synthetic base that provides extended oil change intervals, make Driven HR 10W-40 the trust­ed choice of top engine builders.

Driven HR Conventional Oil

Not all automotive enthusiasts want to use synthetic oil, which is exactly why Driven Racing Oil™ also offers conventional, petroleum-based blends for your hot rod, muscle car or collector car.

Available in 10W-30, 10W-40 and 15W-50 viscosities, HR conventional oil is made from a petroleum base, but contains U.S. military-spec rust and corrosion inhibitors that provide unmatched wintertime storage protection. Additionally, the custom-made viscosities fit a variety of applications across a wide array of engines, whether you have a small block, big block, flat tappet camshaft or aggressive roller cam valve train. Regardless of the application, all HR conventional oils utilize additives and emulsifiers to counteract engine wear and trap dirt particles, and are compatible with Methanol and leaded fuels. All in all, Driven HR conventional oil is an excellent, low cost performance oil for enthusiasts looking for an effective alternative to synthetic.

Driven Hot Rod Oil Offers Unmatched Wintertime Storage Protection

Huntersville, NCDriven Hot Rod Oil has been formulated specifically with wintertime storage in mind, and utilizes a number of special additives to keep your hot rod engine rust and corrosion free during storage periods.

When it’s time to put your hot rod in storage for the winter, it’s imperative that it has the proper oil to prevent costly post-storage repairs and ensure that your vehicle’s high-performance capacity is not compromised. Because Driven Hot Rod Oil is designed specifically for older-style car and hot rod engines, it features U.S. military-specification rust and corrosion inhibitors not found in other oils. These unique additives fight the formation of rust and defend against corrosion that can occur while your car is in storage. Furthermore, compared to regular passenger car oils, Driven Hot Rod Oil has particularly high levels of Zinc (ZDDP), so it can deliver optimum anti-wear protection during storage periods, especially for older style pushrod and flat tappet engines. This kind of reinforced protection also helps to preserve your camshaft and lifters. Whereas traditional oil can drain to the bottom of the engine and result in dry starts when it’s time to get cranked back up in March, Driven Hot Rod Oil contains additives that counteract this process to reduce cold start wear and prolong engine life.  Overall, no other oil provides the level of protection against rust, corrosion and scuffing during storage that Driven Hot Rod Oil does. It is available in both Petroleum and Synthetic forms, and with 15W-50, 10W-40 and 10W-30 viscosities, so you can get the storage protection you need, whether you have a big-block muscle car, street rod, or small-block street cruiser.

Designed To Excel

Because of its no-compromise philosophy, Driven Racing Oil can provide power and protection to your performance engine in ways other oils can’t–or won’t

Hot rodders and racers spend a lot of time working to to make their cars unique. For hot rodders it’s often an effort to reflect the owner’s unique personality or to simply stand out from the crowd. For racers its a way to gain an advantage on the competition. Either way, the car and engine are your pride and joy, and the investment is quite substantial.

So why expect a random, off-the-shelf motor oil to be able to provide optimum protection to your engine?

All motor oils are not created equal, and the division isn’t between the cheap stuff and the more expensive “performance” oils. That’s what the big manufacturers want you to think because their business model is to refine massive amounts of a single blend and then sell it into as many applications as possible.

But your classic hot rod, or your max-effort race car, or even the street cruiser you only bring out on perfect days doesn’t have the same needs as a minivan that will see 15,000 miles in a year but rarely get above 2,000 rpm the entire time.

For example, many car enthusiasts have a favorite car–maybe it’s a numbers-correct restoration, a street rod or anything in between–that rarely leaves the garage except for perfect driving days. Such cars often sit idly in the garage all winter only to be taken out on the first warm Saturday in spring for a long weekend with lots of road miles.

Believe it or not, this is a very difficult environment for both the engine and the lubricating oil. When an engine cools after being shut down it draws condensation. This isn’t a huge deal if the engine is run regularly, but when a car is allowed to sit for extended periods this moisture from condensation can cause rust to form on your engine’s internals. And you can imagine the type of damage that incredibly gritty rust can do to bearing surfaces, cylinder walls, crank journals and piston rings when the engine is first fired up and all that rust gets pumped through the engine. It can happen every time an engine is fired after being allowed to sit for an extended period, and since a motor cannot heal itself that damage is cumulative, building up over time.

The result is an engine that no longer runs the way it should. It runs rougher, burns oil, and–most of all–doesn’t make the power it used to because the damaged piston rings can’t hold compression. Now combustion gasses and carbon are leaking past the rings and getting into your oil to only make things worse. It is a scenario that has frustrated many of us, but fortunately, there is a cure.

While the major refiners have concentrated on motor oil as a one-size-fits-all commodity products, Driven Racing Oil excels at building oil formulations around specific needs. The very first formulation was created to help Joe Gibbs Racing win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship–which it did in 2000 and again in 2002 and 2005. Driven Racing Oil was also integral to Joe Gibbs Racing’s three-straight NASCAR Nationwide Series championships between 2008 and 2010. Since 2000 it has been the only oil used by Joe Gibbs Racing as well as many other top level racing organizations. And despite what some advertisements may lead you to believe, Driven is the only oil company that will sell you the very same oil that wins races in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Granted, it is more expensive than the stuff you can get at your local big box store, but the capabilities of Driven Racing Oils are light years beyond that stuff. Put that stuff in your grocery-getter if you want to, but doesn’t your performance engine in your performance car or truck deserve better?

Of course, Sprint Cup racing teams change their oil after every race, so no matter how high the quality, the formulation isn’t designed for the needs of your typical hot rodder. Knowing this, Driven’s engineers created an entirely new formula designed specifically around the needs of Hot Rodders. This new oil, known as the “HR” series, is blended with the highest grade components and meets Driven’s extremely rigorous standards for quality.

In addition to the same superior chemistry providing high-temperature wear protection in Driven’s XP line of max performance racing oils, the HR blend uses more zinc (also known as ZDDP) than passenger car oils which is critical for protecting flat tappet camshafts and lifters. But to help protect against the unique environment that hot rods are often required to operate in, Driven’s engineers pushed even further with a very innovative solution.

To help protect the vital engine internals from the rust that can form from water vapor condensing inside the crankcase during long periods of inactivity Driven’s engineers actually use the same additive used by the US Military for storing and protecting their combat equipment. Not only is it the best solution, but currently, Driven is the only motor oil manufacturer using it.

“That particular additive proved to be the very best when it comes to protecting an engine during storage, so it was practically a given that we’d use it,” Driven’s Lake Speed Jr says. “Other manufacturers may not choose to use it because they might feel it cuts into their profit margins, but we’re always pushing to create the highest quality oils we can provide so really, our greatest concern was if we could get enough of it.”

The additive is called a “vapor phase rust inhibitor” and it’s demonstrably better because it works differently than other rust inhibitors. The path other oil manufacturers take to improve storage protection is simply to increase the oil’s surface tension. The idea is that the greater surface tension will help the oil cling to the metal surfaces longer before finally dripping off. This may incrementally increase the amount of time an oil stays on the cylinder walls, but it often isn’t long enough. Plus, increasing the oil’s surface tension has a very serious consequence–it also increases the oil’s tendency to foam at higher rpm levels. And when foam forms it seriously degrades an oil’s ability to protect moving components.

The additive Driven uses in its Hot Rod oil works on an entirely different level. It actually creates a microscopic film on all metal surfaces that blocks the metal from moisture and even rust-causing oxygen. The boundary layer this rust inhibitor creates won’t ever drip off, so it’s effectiveness isn’t reduced over time, and it also doesn’t reduce the oil’s ability to protect the engine when it is running. This actually is one of the few times when you can have the best of both worlds.

The quality of a motor oil can also vary when the ingredients list actually seems the same. For example, it’s no secret that almost all brands of oil designed for modern cars contain very little zinc, or ZDDP, because they can interfere with some sensors or catalytic converters. But those additives are critical for the survival of older engines with flat tappet lifters.

Because of this, some specialist oils advertise higher levels of ZDDP. And some companies are doing big business selling ZDDP additives to boost the levels of commodity brand oils. But just because the label on the front of a quart of oil advertises either zinc or ZDDP, that doesn’t mean it provides the best possible protection. To put it bluntly, all additives aren’t created equal.

“There are several different zinc additive packages that an oil blender can choose from,” Speed explains. “The purpose of zinc is to create a protective barrier between metal parts. So the zinc slowly wears away if there is contact and not the metal. When an engine is brand new it takes a lot of zinc to build up that sacrificial protective layer that you want. Imagine painting a cinder block wall. That first coat is going to use a lot of paint to fill in all the cracks and crevices, but after that you will use less paint.

“It is the same thing when you first fire up an engine. That’s why for our break-in oils we use a very high concentration of a fast acting zinc additive that starts binding to the camshaft and lifters practically right away. Some oils can use a different zinc additive package that doesn’t bond as quickly and can actually allow harm to the cam and lifters before it has a chance to start the bonding process.”

Because the zinc additives are sacrificial, they also wear off over time. When all the zinc in the oil is used up, that oil can no longer effectively protect the engine, even if the base oil is still good. Driven Racing Oils are blending with the expectation that the engines they will be going into are built for performance and will be driven to their potential. Because of that, the zinc additive packages included in Driven oils are a greater percentage found in most competitive oils designed for older engines or hot rodders.

Speed also adds that in order for zinc additives to properly mix with the base oil, it must be added at a specific temperature. If the oil is too cold the additive won’t mix–a lot like sugar falling to the bottom of a glass of iced tea. So the bottle of zinc additive many people are pouring in to boost their oil isn’t doing the job they think it is. Because it is blended in a scientifically controlled environment, you can be certain the zinc additives in both Driven’s Break In and Hot Rod oils are properly mixed with the base oil and ready to do their job as soon as the engine is fired up.

The key when it comes to making a great oil is to think a lot like an engine builder. Just like a race-winning engine, you build the oil to excel in its specific application. It requires research, testing, attention to detail and an unwillingness to ever cut corners. Don’t confuse a commodity motor oil that is sold on a price point with an oil that’s truly engineered for maximum performance. And the only way to determine what oil is actually engineered to win is to look at its track record. No oil is tested in competition like Driven Racing Oil, and no oil that you can buy has proven itself in Victory Lane like Driven Racing Oil. That’s a track record you can believe in.