Tag Archives: Oil

Driven Racing Oil Makes Plans For PRI 2016

Scheduled for December 8 – 10 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, the PRI Show will bring together motorsports companies, buyers and media from around the globe. Driven Racing Oil™ will be located in booth no. 419. There the Driven staff will provide information on its wide-ranging line of synthetic and conventional lubricants, plus display its renowned racing products. New AT synthetic automatic transmission fluids, 80W-90 GL4 Gear Oil and Synthetic DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) Fluid will take center stage. Driven’s XP line of racing oils, BR break-in oils, GO gear oils and cleaners such as Race Wax, Speed Clean and Speed Shield will all be showcased as well.

More information is available at www.pritradeshow.com.

Driven Racing Oil Readies For 2016 SEMA Show

This year Driven Racing Oil™ will be set up in booth no. 22613 from November 1 – 4 in the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Among the new Driven products scheduled for display are two brand new synthetic ATF blends (AT3 and AT6), Conventional 80W-90 GL-4 Gear Oil, Synthetic DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) Fluid, and the new Storage Defender Kit featuring both fuel- and oil-related products to protect classic vehicles. A unique Car Care Kit made up of the cleaners Speed Clean, Speed Shield, Race Wax and an orange micro-fiber towel is slated to be unveiled at the show as well. A wide range of lubricants designed for both street and race use will also be featured. In addition, a variety of knowledgeable sales staff and in-depth literature will be available throughout the week at the SEMA Show. It is the automotive aftermarket industry’s largest trade event.

The New GF-6 Standard

Tailoring Engine Lubricants Is Critical To Performance Output

With broad changes coming to vehicle emissions and fuel consumption standards in 2017, including an average annual efficiency improvement of five percent per year scheduled until 2025, the design of every part of a vehicle is soon to be challenged. By 2025 EPA/NHTSA standards will require passenger cars to achieve 54.5 mpg, while for trucks the ideal target is in the high 30s.These changes will test fluids and oils as well as hard parts, and the lubricant industry is working to achieve the necessary gains with a proposed move to what is known as the GF-6 standard.

Developed by the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC), the GF-6 standard anticipates that tomorrow’s lubricant demands will be entirely different from what’s commonplace today. The engines of the future will be downsized, turbocharged and much more highly stressed. The GF-6 specification is intended to increase fuel economy, enhance oil robustness, expand overall fuel efficiency, improve protection and reduce motor oil aeration in these power plants.

To meet the goals of GF-6, many car manufacturers have been experimenting with lower viscosity grade motor oils, as lower engine oil viscosity significantly reduces engine friction. A lower viscosity oil equals less resistance and thus improves fuel economy. Friction reduction through improved oil technology will have the greatest impact on these areas of the engine: the crankshaft bearings, the piston ring area, the cam-valve interface and the cam drive itself. Within these components, the crucial oil performance aspect is the film-forming ability in the sliding areas.

Deposit control will also be important element of GF-6, along with protection against low-speed pre-ignition and cam chain wear.

Another key component of the GF-6 specification is the provision for two separate ratings. GF-6A is backward compatible, while GF-6B will not be backward compatible for older applications and will feature an entirely new formulation. In addition to GF-6B’s lower viscosity, a unique balance of additives, viscosity modifiers and base oils will work with new and unique engine designs to maximize fuel economy.

Driven-sm-iconKey tests are being conducted within the industry to help determine the final specification of all GF-6 formulas. These tests include: high temperature/high load, valve operating system, low temperature deterioration and fuel economy performance. Current testing has shown no noticeable differences in wear between a reference SAE OW-20 and an experimental SAE OW-16. Results have proven that that the lower viscosity oil will demonstrate equivalent or superior engine protection in engine and bench tests, yet also return improved fuel economy. Even lower grades –such as 12, 8 and 4—are being investigated around the lubricant industry as well.

However, performance enthusiasts need to be aware of these GF-6 formulas and the demands on them in the future. While these oil upgrades are good for the most current production engines in stock trim, this does not make them an upgrade for older or highly modified production engines. The more the GF-6 oils are tailored to the needs of fuel efficient and lower emission passenger car engines, the less appropriate they will be for older and high performance ones.

The reason is that all oils are application-specific. To get better performance from a lubricant, it must be tailored to the specific application it is being used for. In turn, that lubricant is less appropriate for other applications. In general, the days of “one-size-fits-all” motor oils and lubricants are ending as new standards like GF-6 become the norm. Motor oils today are more application-specific than they were 20 years ago, and will only get more specific over the next 20 years. The result is that GF-6 oils will be designed for late model vehicles, but older hot rods and muscle cars, which will not need to adhere to the new standards, run the risk of being left behind. In addition, flat tappet engines will no longer be used in any GF-6 testing.
Advanced lubricants that are the result of GF-6 will be essential in paving the way for the next generation engines that will come out of the ambitious emissions requirements for 2017-2025 model years. However, these lubricants will be more costly and formulated differently than the motor oils we know today. Yet by eliminating the backward compatibility requirement, GF-6B will also be able to offer advanced lubrication solutions for tomorrow’s sophisticated engines.

At the same time, GF-6 will not affect Driven Racing Oil products as the company does not believe that API and ILSAC testing in modern engines provide representative performance for older or high performance racing engines. As a result, Driven will continue to produce its own application-specific-formula lubricants for performance engines, classic vehicles and race cars.

The GF-6 upgrade is aimed for 2017 model year vehicles, which is the point where the fuel efficiency curve begins to rise most steeply.


What’s In It? Driven Racing Oil FR50 Synthetic 5W-50 Performance Motor Oil

Ford Coyote engines are some of the most unique and stout power plants available today. However, these engines also require an oil that is formulated specifically for the blue oval’s one-of-a-kind Coyote design. Driven’s FR50 Synthetic 5W-50 Performance Motor Oil is a competition-proven formulation that provides the required viscosity for these engines and variable valve timing systems. At the same time, the oil delivers the wear protection needed for upgrades like performance cams. FR50 also utilizes a low volatility formula that guards against oil vaporization and foaming. Eliminating this problem reduces oil consumption and prevents inconsistent cam phaser performance.

The aforementioned low volatility formula in FR50 is a full synthetic that uses Group IV+ base oils. This means they contain mPAO, the most innovative synthetic base available. These oils have a broad temperature range and are great for use in extreme cold conditions and high heat applications. The mPAO base oils also deliver a high viscosity index, excellent air release properties and incredible shear stability. In addition, FR50 uses shear stable polymers that complement the mPAO base oils to deliver the most shear stable 5W-50 grade oil on the market. FR50 is ideal for crate up to supercharged Ford Coyote engines.

What’s In FR50 Synthetic 5W-50 Performance Motor Oil?



mPAO Base Oils Provide fluid film to lubricate and cool the   engine components; deliver a higher viscosity index, better air release and   incredible shear stability
Shear Stable Polymers Complement mPAO base oils to deliver the most   shear stable 5W-50 grade oil on the market
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


Driven Racing Oil™ Announces 2014 Display Trailer Program

Huntersville, NC –The staff at Driven Racing Oil™ will embark on an ambitious trailer schedule in 2014, hitting some of the most prestigious automotive events across the United States.

The 2014 show season will mark the first trailer program in the history of Driven Racing Oil. The fast-growing lubricant company will share a display trailer with AutoMeter, AirRaid and Moser starting in early April at the 14th Goodguys Del Mar Nationals in Del Mar, CA. The Driven display will hit nearly three dozen events throughout the course of the year, including the entire Hot Rod Power Tour, Car Craft Summer Nationals, NSRA Street Rod Nationals, Turkey Rod Run and a wide range of Goodguys and other events through late November.

The trailer will stock a full selection of Driven products including Carb Defender™, a full line of race and street motor oils, Race Wax, Gear Oil and much more. Each of these items will be available for purchase at every event, while knowledgeable techs will also be on hand to provide advice and answer questions.

Apr 26-27: Spring Carlisle Swap Meet – Carlisle, PA

May 3-4: AutoMeter Class Nationals – Columbus, OH

May 17-18: GoodGuys – Nashville, TN

May 24-25: NSRA – Springfield, MO

Jun 7-15: Hot Rod Power Tour – Charlotte, NC to Wisconsin Dells, WI

Jun 21-22: Super Summit – Talmadge, OH

Jun 28-29: Car Craft Street Machine Nationals – DuQuoin, IL

Jul 5-6: GoodGuys – Des Moines, IA

Jul 12-13: GoodGuys – Columbus, OH

Jul 19-20: Car Craft Summer Nationals – St. Paul, MN

Aug 2-3: NSRA – Louisville, KY

Aug 9-10: Mopar Nationals – Columbus, OH

Aug 16-17: Ozarks Antique Auto Club Swap Meet – Springfield, MO

Sept 6-7: Shades of the Past – Pigeon Forge, TN

Sept 13-14: Fall Grand Run – Pigeon Forge, TN

Sept 20-21 Charlotte Auto Fair – Charlotte, NC

Sept 27-28: O’Reilly Fall Street Machine Nationals – Springfield, MO

Oct 4-5: GoodGuys – Ft. Worth, TX

Oct 11-12: Cruisin’ the Coast – Biloxi, MS

Nov 22-23: Moultrie Swap Meet – Moultrie, GA

Nov 29-30: Turkey Rod Run – Daytona Beach, FL

Behind-The-Scenes Video: Why Driven Racing Oil™ Is Different

Huntersville, NC – This new, three-and-a-half minute video details how Driven Racing Oil™ separates itself from the competition in the lubricant industry.

Driven Racing Oil is not like most oil companies. While many utilize a base chemistry and apply it across as many applications as possible, Driven takes the opposite approach. In this video, Lake Speed Jr., Driven’s Certified Lubrication Specialist, explains how the brand provides application-specific engineering. This technique provides the end user with the knowledge that each product is created just for his or her needs. It doesn’t matter if the product is for a high-level race team or a street enthusiast; Driven’s attention to detail remains the same. Speed goes on to talk about how Driven is always evolving, thereby allowing it to serve customers’ needs more quickly and accurately than some of the bigger oil companies. He also details how a customer calling Driven will speak directly with the individual who formulated the product, an unheard of occurrence at most companies. Finally, he looks toward the future and gives viewers a glimpse of what’s coming next.

All videos from Driven Racing Oil are available on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/drivenracingoil.

Driven Racing oil

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.

Can Nanotechnology Make You Faster?

Scientists are advancing the chemistry of lubricants at an amazing rate. But be careful. Not all of these “advancements” are actually good for your engine.

By Jeff Huneycutt

When you say nanotechnology, most of us picture pointy-headed scientists in lab coats peering into microscopes and scribbling into their notepads. In the movies, nanotechnology is often portrayed as some miracle science the hero will use to keep volcanoes from exploding or cure all the zombies.

But nano just means small. In fact, it means one billionth of something. Normally, in science the unit of measure is the nanometer, which is one billionth of a meter, or 1/25,400,000 of an inch, depending on which side of the pond you live. Incidentally, your fingernail grows about one nanometer a second — which is both cool and kind of weird when you think about it.

Over time, nanotechnology has essentially come to mean working with chemicals or materials on a molecular level. And the successes in nanotechnology are definitely pretty cool. Nanotechnology has allowed such inventions as flexible body armor that helps our police force stay safe, lithium ion batteries that make portable handheld tools incredibly powerful and long-lasting, and even synthetic bone that surgeons used to help people recover from traumatic injuries. Heck, did you know that the carnauba (palm-tree wax) in your favorite car wax that keeps the swirls from showing up in your paint is only a couple nanometers wide?

But what has happened is that with each success in the nanotechnology sector, many of us have come to believe that anything labeled “nano” is practically a miracle in a bottle. Marketers have taken advantage of this, turning “nano” into a buzzword and slapping it on practically everything. But the truth is, nano only means small, it doesn’t always mean better.

Recently, two scientists, Boris Zhmud from Applied Nano Surfaces in Sweden and Bogdan Pasalskiy from Kyiv National University in the Ukraine, took a long, hard look at some of the newest nanoadditives being used in lubrication to see how they worked in motor oils. Specifically, they looked at a handful of nanoadditives that scientists have held up as the most promising in laboratory tests: fullerenes (sometimes referred to as “micro ball bearings”), nano diamonds, boric acid and PTFE.

Unfortunately, a running internal combustion engine is worlds apart from a typical clean room laboratory, and Zhmud and Pasalskiy found that these nanoadditives did not work nearly as well in what you might call real-world environments. In fact, in a presentation they made at a recent major tribology conference (scientists who research oil and other lubricants,) they said that one of the problems with the nanoadditives they looked at is the university researchers developing these nanoadditives often aren’t aware of other factors that can affect a lubricant’s performance outside the laboratory.

For a little more clarification we turned to Lake Speed Jr. of Driven Racing Oil. Speed has been around racing all his life, but he is also a certified lubrication specialist. That means he is one of the few people on the planet who can understand pointy-head science speak and translate it into “gearhead” for the rest of us.

“The nanoadditives have promise, but they really aren’t there yet,” Speed says. “Yes, in some applications they may have some benefit, but that doesn’t mean they are an improvement in every application. It’s just like I tell people all the time, there is no best oil. There is only the oil that works best for your application.”

What Speed warns against is falling for the marketing hype. “You’ve got all these different brands of oils to choose from, and while we’re trying to choose we see, ‘Hey! This one says it’s got micro ball bearings. That sounds like a good thing!’

“Well, there are nanoadditives that do act like very, very small ball bearings, and it is easy to visualize how ball bearings would work to cut friction. So you can see why the marketing department would jump on that concept. But what happens in the real world of your engine is that not all of those parts are smooth. And those particles that act like tiny roller bearings get caught in the crevices and jam up. Then everything starts loading up and starts getting in scraping and now you have damage to the components.

“It may work well in a lab in a straightforward test,” Speed continues, “but a running engine is a very complicated and complex environment.”

The same thing holds true for another nanoadditive with the very impressive name of “nano diamonds.” Nano diamonds contain extremely hard diamond-like particles that are also extremely small. The idea is that the nano diamonds embed into sliding surfaces, making them more resistant to wear.

Studies have shown that motor oils using a nano-diamond additive package actually do help cut friction at first, but over time the friction comes right back greater than before. This is because the nano diamonds act as a lapping compound. In a new engine they serve to knock off the rough edges quickly, which helps to reduce friction. But the nano diamonds never stop grinding away at the material, and you wind up with advanced engine wear in a very short time. Also, that wear produces extra metal particles which get caught in the oil and will wind up causing damage throughout the engine.

“We already have additives like ZDDP films or Moly that you can put into the oil that will have a similar surface-smoothing property to the nano diamonds to reduce friction–but they won’t destroy the surface finish,” Speed says. “Unlike the nano diamonds, ZDDP or Moly packages aren’t removing material to cut the friction, so there is no damage. And that’s the key difference. Even though it’s neat to say you have diamonds in your engine, we already have stuff that will do the same job much better. It just doesn’t have that space-age name.”

Another nanoadditive is known as PTFE. PTFE is actually a great additive for certain applications such as greases, dry-film lubricants and chain oils. It does a nice job of creating a film between sliding surfaces that often stop and start—known as “stick-slip.”

But while PTFE may be an excellent nanoadditive for the spray you use to lubricate your sliding glass door, it is a poor option for the oil in your engine. Among other things PTFE will clog an oil filter. It’s unlikely you will find a major brand motor oil using PTFE, but you should watch out for it in aftermarket engine treatment products.

Speed says that while there are issues with many nanoadditives, that doesn’t mean performance lubricant specialists like Driven Racing Oil aren’t keeping an eye on the horizon for nanoadditives that can be useful to horsepower enthusiasts.

“The key is to match the strengths of the nanoadditive to the application–which is true for any oil,” Speed says. “A great example is boron, which is a great friction reducer, plus it works well with other additives like Moly and ZDDP. The problem is the carrier for boron is boric acid, and an acid will corrode things. It is especially damaging if you have yellow-metal in the engine like brass or bronze bushings (typically found in lifter bushings and valve guides).

“So if you’ve added acid to the oil while trying to get boron in there, that means you will need more acid neutralizer to balance it out. And that means you’ve just thrown another additive into the mix that isn’t actually helping lubrication. It all comes back to having pros and cons to all these additives, and you have to see it in the totality of what it is actually doing.

“That’s why understanding your application and matching the properties of the oil to it is so important,” he continues. “Boron can actually be good in very specific applications. Say I have a Pro Stock engine and I’m running four passes before draining the oil out. In that situation using a motor oil with a boron additive might work well. The boric acid won’t have a chance to be harmful to the engine because it is changed so often and the engine’s lifespan between rebuilds is so short anyway. So if the boric acid gets me a little more horsepower, then I’m okay with that. In that situation you can make the additive work, but you wouldn’t want to use boric acid in an application where the oil isn’t changed extremely often.

“When choosing any motor oil, no matter what additives it may be using, the key is to look at the application first and let that dictate the chemistry. Only after you have determined what best meets your application should you look at the brand.”

FAQs For Classic Vehicle And Street Rod Owners

1: How often should I change my oil?

Quite simply – it depends. This certainly isn’t the ideal answer, but it is the most honest one. Temperature plays a major role in the frequency of necessary oil change intervals. Every 20°F increase in oil temperature beyond 220°F shortens the life of the oil by 50%. This means cars that run very high oil temps will have much shorter oil life than cars that have moderate oil temperatures. Interestingly, the same also goes for low temps. It may be surprising, but low oil temperatures (below 180°F) can also shorten oil life. In fact, low 120°F oil temps pose greater risks to your engine than 260°F oil temperatures do. The reason is because low oil temps allow more moisture and fuel dilution to build up in your engine.

Street rods that see many miles of highway driving at moderate oil temperatures can expect to go up to 5,000 miles between oil changes.

Owners of street rods that only see short-trip driving should change their oil every 3,000 miles, or at least once a year. It is important to always change the oil in the fall before you put your street rod away for winter storage. You want to drain all the moisture, fuel dilution and used oil out of the engine before you stop driving for the season. Make sure the crankcase has been refilled with fresh oil, and then you are good to go when the weather warms up in the spring. The oil will not go bad just sitting in your crankcase over the winter.

2: Do I need break-in oil, and how long do you use break-in oil?

While every engine can benefit from break-in oil, it is a must for flat tappet camshaft engines. Even roller cam engines benefit from break-in oil because the piston rings still need to break in, and a better, faster ring break-in means more power and less fuel dilution in the motor oil.

Driven recommends changing the break-in oil after 30 minutes if you have a flat tappet engine. You will then need to refill with break-in oil for the next 500 miles. After both the initial break-in and 500 miles of driving, you can then use an oil made specifically for flat tappet engines.

For non-flat-tappet engines, we recommend running the break-in oil for 500 miles. After that time you can install whichever oil you prefer.

3: What viscosity oil should I run?

The “technical” answer is to use the lowest viscosity possible for the engine bearing clearances, oil temperature and horsepower output. Most people don’t know all of this information though, so the “practical” way to determine the correct viscosity is to do one of the following:

1—Run as low a viscosity as will yield 25 to 30 psi oil pressure at idle when the engine is warmed up. This is more oil pressure than the engine needs, but it is not excessive. Oil pressure is one of those areas where moderation rules. Too much or too little is not good. You need moderation in oil pressure to prevent engine damage.

2—Use  one viscosity grade lower synthetic oil than you currently run if you utilize conventional oil. This gives you the same high-temp protection as your conventional oil, but you gain all the benefits of a synthetic. For example, a street rod running conventional 20W-50 motor oil can safely switch to a synthetic 10W-40 and actually improve the protection of the engine.

4: Do I need to do anything special for winter storage?

Using an oil with storage protection additives is recommended. Some motor oils have extra rust and corrosion inhibitor additives that make them better suited for wintertime. Also, it is important to change the oil before you put your street rod away for the winter. You don’t want to store the engine on used motor oil. Fresh oil with extra corrosion inhibitors provides excellent winter storage.

5: Do I need to use a “high Zinc” oil after break-in?

You do if you have a flat tappet cam or very high valve spring pressures on a roller cam. Flat tappet and aggressive roller cam engines require higher levels of ZDDP than modern, stock engines from the factory. As a result, these engines need a steady diet of high Zinc oils.

We know this is a lot of information with lots of variables to take into account to protect your vehicle’s engine. Fortunately, Driven Racing Oil is a one-stop shop for everything from break-in oils to high Zinc motor oils with extra rust and corrosion inhibitors. We can provide everything you need to keep your muscle car or street rod engine running in peak form.