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@WOLFGANG posted:

Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil 20W50 contains needed Zinc and is readily available at Walmart.  Brad Penn is another good oil available from performance shop or online.

If you don't drive a lot and your car sits with gas in it, look around for non-ethanol gas.  It has a long sitting life (ethanol gas go bad in as short as 30 days!)  Often available near farm or marinas.

Agreed. Rural counties tend to have it as well. I live at the southern tip of one such county. I'm 60 miles north of NYC and people come from the city or the surrounding counties that only have ethanol-laced gasoline. People also come from New Jersey to get our 91 octane ethanol-free.

I use VR1as well, got it at our local Autozone on sale.

Before I retired, I spent 40 years working in universities and the last 30 years in the IT side of business. I ran across many, many obstreperous faculty members who had OPINIONS on how we should provide service.

In frustration at one point, I asked a tenured Professor of Biostatistics why every little point had to be argued until the cows came home (not in so many words). He replied "Michael, it is because the stakes are so small."

Yes, sometimes I feel like I'm right back at home at the university

And we know the joke about God and tenured faculty members.

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@Carlos P , Michael Pickett and others have done a remarkable job of shielding you from the bloodshed and violence that usually erupt here whenever oil is discussed. You can tell they've had to go to great lengths if they're resorting to words like 'obstreperous'.

But I feel they have done you something of a disservice in the course of protecting you from the ugliness of war.

There are a few thorny, technical issues at the root of this. Most of us don't understand these very much, but's it's important that you at least sound  like you do. You need to have a few key terms handy and ready to toss into the conversation whenever this comes up amongst car guys, if you're to be accepted as a legitimate Speedster owner.

As far as oil is concerned, people who claim to know say our ancient VW engines differ from modern ones in one essential way. Modern engines can use all sorts of different modern oils because they have something called 'hydraulic valve lifters', while our ancient engines have something called 'flat tappets'. Now, I don't pretend to know what that means (and you don't have to, either), but just toss the phrase 'flat tappets' into the conversation in a knowing kind of way and you'll be fine.

Anyway, because of these so-called flat tappets, in the old days all oil supposedly had stuff in it to protect the flat tappets and some of that stuff was zinc. 'Zinc' is the other word you need to know to toss into the conversation to sound like you know what you're talking about. That's pretty much it. Just say 'flat tappets' and 'zinc' every once in a while, in an off-handed kind of way, and you're good.

By the way, it's starting to come out now that this whole story about flat tappets and zinc was made up out of thin air by secret departments of Russian intelligence agencies, and disseminated on social media in a very clever campaign to set us at each others' throats and create general mayhem among car guys - who usually get along with each other just fine.

As for which oil to use, I think the best advice is 'clean oil is better than dirty, and dirty is better than none'. That's all you really need to know.

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@Sacto Mitch has summarized  @MusbJim's approach, and he's sticking with it!

Your mileage may vary.

PS: Your engine does need zinc. Phosphorus too. Exactly how much you need of each is the subject of study for a lot of pointy heads, and those who'd like to play a pointy head on TV (but have a face for radio).

Google "Bob's the oil guy" or something similar, and be prepared for much discourse, hand wringing, and eventual name-calling. This site is actually pretty benign, but there's a 100+ page thread over on TheSamba arguing the finer points of gear oil (of all things). I'm pretty sure there are people who believe that Mr. Booth shot Mr. Lincoln in Ford's Theater because of a disagreement over whether or not one could run a GL5 gear-lube with brass syncro rings, or something similar.

This isn't even engine oil we're talking about- and on that subject you'll find everything from Flat-Earth 30 weight advocates to guys who swear that 0w20 will work just fine in an engine, assuming the tolerances are tight enough.

Proceed with caution. Thar be dragons thar.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@Carlos P posted:

For an oil change -> what is the best oil to use for this engine?

For the fuel ->what is the best Gasoline octane grade for this? 87 89 91?

Carlos, in case you're not aware of it, there's an entire forum dedicated to German air cooled cars called thesamba.com. There's an oil there over there that, last I looked, was about 4,000 pages long, with probably the top 5-10 AirCooled experts in the world contributing, along with the rest of us schmoes. Along with the "Bob's the oil guy" website, this is the opinion* that I've arrived at:



In the 50 years since our engines were mainstream, automakers have been under increasing pressure to reduce emissions.  One way they've done that is by specifying oils with decreasing levels of detergents, anti wear (zinc, mostly) and anti-corrosion additives. The good news is that they've also discovered additives that lubricate better and last longer.  

The overwhelming majority of us use our plastic clown cars as toys. Personally, I change my oil annually, "whether it needs it or not."  It's a good year that I drive my car anywhere near 3,000 miles, which us the VW oil change interval (based on 1960 oil.)

Just about any oil you use, provided it has the proper level of zinc (generally thought to be 900-1200 ppm) will be fine  even if you didn't use oil with the proper level of zinc, I think it would be years before you suffered any abnormal wear.

Viscosity is another matter of debate. Up until recently, I've been running straight 40 weight in my engine, but I've succumbed to peer pressure and I'm going to start using the more conventional 10W/40 in the winter and 20W/50 in the summer, just like I did with 4 different VWs I put tens of thousands of miles on back in the 60's-70's.  

There are a few brands that fit the bill. There's the aforementioned Valvoline VR-1, there's Brad Penn, which a lot of guys like.  Being a contrarian, I'm going to start using this, because I think the cans are cool. image



And nd if my motor doesn't like that, I'm going to go back to where it all began because, once again, cool cans.

image





* "Opinions are like a**holes: everyone has one and everyone's but mine stinks."

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Last edited by dlearl476
@ALB posted:

@dlearl476- Yeah, those cans are really cool; do you know anything about either oil's formulation?

Miller more so than the Castrol. I spent about a 45 minutes talking to someone at Miller's US distributor. (Performance Racing Oils) Both are made with increased ZDDP and anti-corrosives, but with modern lubrication base stock formulations. I called because I wanted to hear their spiel about mineral (Pistoneeze) semi-synth (Classic Sport) and full synth (Classic Sport High Performance). I spent about 45 minutes talking to their tech guy and decided on Classic Sport 20W/50.



Here's the specific page for the semi-synth Classic Sport.

https://performanceracingoils....0w50-semi-synthetic/



ps: I just noticed on their website when I went to grab that link that they're stocking Millers GL-4 80W/90 gear lube now, too.  I'll post a review when I get a few miles on the engine oil. I'm sticking with Motul Gearbox (mineral80W/90) gear lube for now.

Last edited by dlearl476
@Sacto Mitch posted:

.

@Carlos P ,

There are a few thorny, technical issues at the root of this. Most of us don't understand these very much, but's it's important that you at least sound  like you do. You need to have a few key terms handy and ready to toss into the conversation whenever this comes up amongst car guys, if you're to be accepted as a legitimate Speedster owner.

As far as oil is concerned, people who claim to know say our ancient VW engines differ from modern ones in one essential way. Modern engines can use all sorts of different modern oils because they have something called 'hydraulic valve lifters', while our ancient engines have something called 'flat tappets'. Now, I don't pretend to know what that means (and you don't have to, either), but just toss the phrase 'flat tappets' into the conversation in a knowing kind of way and you'll be fine.

Anyway, because of these so-called flat tappets, in the old days all oil supposedly had stuff in it to protect the flat tappets and some of that stuff was zinc. 'Zinc' is the other word you need to know to toss into the conversation to sound like you know what you're talking about. That's pretty much it. Just say 'flat tappets' and 'zinc' every once in a while, in an off-handed kind of way, and you're good.



.



Last edited by edsnova
@Bob: IM S6 posted:

Thanks, Danny.  Sounds good!

I'll look into that.  I am sure I can find some 2000 page thread on 915 transmission oil somewhere. 

Bob, it's a single data point, but I ran Swepco in the 915 transmission on the turbo P car (after hearing all of the folks on Pelican rave about it). It was definitely an improvement. Didn't turn the 915 into a G50, but it reduced the 2 step wait times during shifts.

Thanks, Michael.

The 915 transmission is not for speed shifting, to be sure.  It really requires a gentle, understanding approach, so anything that can make that process smoother is worth a try.   The worst is the first to second gearchange.  After that it's a lot better, but still going into third requires a gentle touch.

I have Total Classic 80-W90 gear oil in there now. 

Bob, that is the gear oil that IM uses as their stock oil.  

I know there are at least two viscosity of Swepco 201 oil that P guys use 75-90 I think and there is also an 80-160 which I do not know if I would use but my local supplier says he has P guys using it.  Maybe someone else can comment on this on P trannies.

BTW Michael is right,  the shifts are much much better and when the tranny is cold you can shift without chatter but with the Total I had to wait till the engine was at full operating temp for smooth shifting.

In my subie tranny I have the 202 full synthetic 75-90.  

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