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I know that Greg and the team at Vintage Motor Cars recommend an initial oil change at 300 miles, and then again every 3,000 miles (in addition to adjusting the valves to .005) specs.

For the oil change supplies and specs:

1. VMC recommends Valvoline VR1 10W-30 Racing Oil with High Zinc.  Is this the conventional or synthetic blend?  I am assuming conventional given the frequency of oil changes?

2. How many quarts of oil does the 2332 engine hold?

3. What about the oil filter location, type and part number?

4. Any special gaskets, screens, crush washers needed, etc.?

Just wanted to have my parts list handy and ready to go.  If someone could post links that would be very helpful!

Thank you!

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To answer your questions-

  1. Take your pick- either will do.
  2. A stock Type 1 engine holds about 2¾(?) U.S. quarts.  If your engine has a deep sump + 1- 1½ qts. depending on which sump it is.  Full flow filter + ½- ¾ qt.  Extra cooler + ½- 1qt.  Pre-fill the filter before installing, fill the engine with the minimum you think you need, run the engine for a few seconds, turn off, top up, run for another 10 or 15 seconds, turn off and re-check/fill as needed (repeat a 3rd time just for peace of mind?).  Keep the oil level closer to full than needing a quart- the camshaft and lifters are splash lubricated and don't get anything when the level is too low.   
  3. If you have a spin on filter it will probably be in the left rear wheel well.  I like Wix (51515) or Napa Gold 1515 (made by Wix).  I'm not a fan of the Wix 51515R (or any race filter) as it flows 28-30 gallons per minute and passes particles almost 3 times the size (60? microns)  while the regular Wix/Napa flow more than enough (8-9 gpm vs the engine's 2-4 gpm) and filters down to 21 microns.  Because Fram filters are so poorly constructed I don't believe anyone should use them on ANYTHING, especially your precious Speedster engine!
  4. You'll need a supply of crush washers for the drain bolt (and don't overtighten!).  It's not necessary to remove the complete sump cover every time you do an oil change, since the engine probably has a filter.  And since you'll probably be performing a valve adjustment at the same time, it might be good to have a supply of valve cover gaskets on hand as well.

Hope this helps.  Al

PS- guys- have I missed anything?

Last edited by ALB

I recently took delivery of a 2020 VMC build w/2332 engine and did my first oil change last weekend.  100% agree with @ALB with some additional notes:

1.  I believe the 10W-30 oil that Greg puts in the new motors is for break-in period.  You may want to contact him whether or not to continue with that or possibly bump up to 20W-50 going forward.  I used 20W-50 synthetic

2.  I ended up somewhere between 3.5 to 3.75 quarts after trial and error.  Was told to start by adding 2.5 quarts and go from there.  I didn't prefill the filter.

3.  PO used a Wix racing filter.  I replaced it with a Wix standard 51515 for same reason @ALB mentioned.

4.  My drain plug had a combined flat washer w/rubber washer instead of a normal crush washer.  I had never seen that used on a drain plug before and didn't take the time to research it so just put it back on because wasn't sure if a crush washer was wrong for the drain plug in a sump cover.  I don't know if the PO installed those washers or if that's what came on the car from Greg.  Just an FYI to be ready for it if you want to put a new one on or switch it out.  Also, not sure a valve adjustment is required for your break-in oil change (300-500 miles).  You may want to check with Greg on that as well...

Hope this helps...good luck!

Last edited by NTrav

Greg does recommend valve adjustment with 300 mile oil change.

Also, regarding oil level, he recommends checking oil level right after shutting the engine off (after running it at least a few minutes).   If you check oil when the engine has been off for a while, oil level will read high.  I learned that when I checked my oil level for the first time - it read well above the full line.  The external oil cooler is mounted up in the space between the firewall and rear seat and drains some oil back into the sump when the engine is turned off.

@NTrav wrote:
“My drain plug had a combined flat washer w/rubber washer instead of a normal crush washer.  I had never seen that used on a drain plug before and didn't take the time to research it so just put it back on because wasn't sure if a crush washer was wrong for the drain plug in a sump cover. “

Well, the combination of a flat metal washer and rubber washer effectively creates a reuse-able “crush” washer.  The trick, in replacing the rubber washer over time (when it gets petrified and leaks), is to get a rubber washer that is a push-on tight fit onto the threads of the plug, and also has the same OD as the metal washer and is maybe 1/8” thick.   That way, when they’re tightened as a pair, the rubber washer squashes, making the ID smaller to seal against the plug, while also getting pressed against the sump plate.   Interestingly, our Subaru Outback has a (very thin) replaceable metal crush washer, while my Nissan Rogue has a rubber O-Ring and no metal washer.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@NTrav posted:

I recently took delivery of a 2020 VMC build w/2332 engine and did my first oil change last weekend.  100% agree with @ALB with some additional notes:

1.  I believe the 10W-30 oil that Greg puts in the new motors is for break-in period.  You may want to contact him whether or not to continue with that or possibly bump up to 20W-50 going forward.  I used 20W-50 synthetic

2.  I ended up somewhere between 3.5 to 3.75 quarts after trial and error.  Was told to start by adding 2.5 quarts and go from there.  I didn't prefill the filter.

3.  PO used a Wix racing filter.  I replaced it with a Wix standard 51515 for same reason @ALB mentioned.

4.  My drain plug had a combined flat washer w/rubber washer instead of a normal crush washer.  I had never seen that used on a drain plug before and didn't take the time to research it so just put it back on because wasn't sure if a crush washer was wrong for the drain plug in a sump cover.  I don't know if the PO installed those washers or if that's what came on the car from Greg.  Just an FYI to be ready for it if you want to put a new one on or switch it out.  Also, not sure a valve adjustment is required for your break-in oil change (300-500 miles).  You may want to check with Greg on that as well...

Hope this helps...good luck!

The type 1 engine oil system was designed for 30w oil and is not temperature but pressure controlled (yeah, not the best way to do it, but it was an economy car), high oil pressure typically being when the engine is cold and some people have found that when highway cruising on warmer days their cars (Beetles as well as Speedsters) can have issues with higher oil temps (> 220° F.) when running  20w-50 oil.  What's happening is that over 3200 (or so) rpm, oil pressure goes over 45 psi, the oil system reacts as if it's cold, opens the bypass around the oil cooler and now oil temps go up.  Many VW owners running heavier oils notice that their cars run fine around town (with rpm's constantly going up and down) but oil temps creep up and run hotter (too hot if it's warm enough out) on long highway trips.  A couple of guys I know running hot Bugs (1 guy still drives his Beetle as his only transportation) changed back to 10w-30 some years ago and noticed much better temperature control during summer highway driving with no adverse effects the rest of the time.   

Current thinking in the automotive world is that (for street engines) oil pressure should be about 10 psi. for every 1,000 rpm and anything substantially higher wastes horsepower (and also creates needless heat).  Many years ago Gene Berg, in an experiment, went from 30w to 40w oil in their drag race car and found rod bearing scoring (oil starvation) upon teardown after only 1 weekend of racing.  Bearings were replaced, 30w was put back in and rod bearing life went back to the previous schedule of only being replaced YEARLY.  IIrc Gene mentioned that at the end of the racing season the bearings (both rod and mains) still looked great as always, but the engine was torn down for end of season maintenance and bearings were cheap...

As usual, just my 2 1/2 cents (I'm Canadian, eh!).  Al

PS- if it's a brand new engine- valves should be also adjusted at first oil change.

Last edited by ALB

Not that anyone's gonna listen to two old goats like us.....  

Ain't that the truth!                                                                                                                    Reminds me of a story-   

A reporter goes to Israel to cover the fighting. She is looking for something emotional and positive and of human interest. Something like that guy in Sarajevo who risked his life to play the cello everyday in the town square.

In Jerusalem, she heard about an old Jewish man who had been going to the Wailing Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She goes to the Wailing Wall and there he is! She watches him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turns to leave, she approaches him for an interview.

"Rebecca Smith, CNN News. Sir, how long have you been coming to the Wailing Wall and praying?"

"For about 50 years."

"What do you pray for?"

"For peace between the Jews and the Arabs. For all the hatred to stop. For all of our children to grow up in safety and friendship."

"How do you feel after doing this for 50 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a f*ckin' wall."

I don't know about you, Gordon, but sometimes that's what it feels like...                                                                                   

Last edited by ALB
Greg’s 2332 engine does not have an external filter, just the sump screen.

I guess that explains why I have not been able to lay eyes on my filter.  I’ve sure looked - engine bay, wheel wells - nope.  I don’t have a floor jack, lift or ramps so I used a mirror and light to look up behind the firewall where the oil cooler is mounted and could not see a filter.  I almost posted here to ask what I thought would be a tremendously dumb question - where’s my oil filter?  Now I know.  Who would have thunk?

Yup, most of us (but not all) are running external filters.  Just to be sure, you could follow the oil hoses from the cooler back to the engine:  One (or both) should go to just below the lower fan belt pulley (that's where the oil pump is) but one of them might go into the engine case  slightly higher than the pump and just to the left.  

In this photo of my engine, you can see the pump (it says "Gene Berg" on mine - Gene was pretty vain) with the brass hose connector on the left side, and just above the tip of that hose connector is an open hole where my other hose goes to.  You may have both hoses going into the pump cover for a different variation.  The big white can on the left is my oil filter.

Filter Mount

So, you shopping for a floor jack yet?   😉

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  • Filter Mount
@Jon T posted:

I guess that explains why I have not been able to lay eyes on my filter.  I’ve sure looked - engine bay, wheel wells - nope.  I don’t have a floor jack, lift or ramps so I used a mirror and light to look up behind the firewall where the oil cooler is mounted and could not see a filter.  I almost posted here to ask what I thought would be a tremendously dumb question - where’s my oil filter?  Now I know.  Who would have thunk?

No filter- I'm surprised!  It's one of the best things you can do for your engine- as well as cleaner oil going through the bearings, you'll be able to extend change intervals.  Does your engine have an oil cooler attached with hoses (probably coming from the oil pump cover and back to the case)?

PS- I just read above where your cooler is on the other side of the firewall.  If 1 of the cooler lines comes off the pump cover it would be relatively simple to add a filter before the cooler, and then oil changes will even be easier- there'll be no need to drop the sump plate and clean the screen.  You'll just use the drain plug.

Last edited by ALB

Five quarts sounds like a lot of oil if there isn't a filter.

I wouldn't dump all 5 in before checking the dipstick.

Maybe there is a 2 1/2 quart add-on sump but I think 1 1/2" sumps are more common.

There is an oil cooler and it's mounted up on the front (of car) side of the firewall, so along with the lines that accounts for a quart or more of oil.  You are right, though, I wouldn't assume it takes 5 quarts until I'd verified it, and even then I wouldn't dump it all in at once.

Many of us have learned the hard way, especially with engine sizes over 2,000cc to run our oil level just half-way between the low and full marks on the dipstick.  Filling it all the way to Full often causes oil to be pushed out of the dipstick tube or out from behind the crankshaft pulley (big pulley at the bottom of the engine) or from the oil filler neck.

If you have a deep sump (very common on the larger engines) it is far less critical to fill it up to “Full” so slowly fill it to halfway between the marks and you’ll be fine.

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