Menu

Shop

Garage

Cart

Account

Products to Compare (max of 3)
X
Compare These Parts

Oil Basics

7/20/2016
Tags: Tech, Engine

Oil is the lifeblood of our engines. Without it, our motors would seize, and we would have a very heavy, very expensive paperweight. Oils have changed dramatically over the last 50 years. New compounds have been derived, replacing some of the older, more recognizable, designations. One of the casualties of these changes has been the amount of zinc in the oil. Zinc is an excellent anti friction agent, but unfortunately is also a pollutant. The viscosity of each oil is measured on a few different scales. The engine oils are measured on an SAE crankcase scale. Gear oils also have a separate scale.

Multi-weight oils, like those commonly seen today, are labeled “10W-30” and similarly. These are made by adding various polymers to the oil, allowing it to have a different viscosity at different temperatures. A neat little trick to remember is that in the case of our “10W-30” example, it would be a “10” weight oil that will not thin out any more than a “50” weight oil would.

Some oils will have the same viscosity as others, but this does not mean you can interchange them. The different compounds added to each may have a disastrous effect on your engine. Therefore, it is always best to use the manufacturer or rebuilder recommendation for your engine. These will often include variables such as the local climate and driving style. Located at the bottom is a temperature chart you can use to find recommended oil for your climate. Many manufacturers also suggest changing the weight of your oil as spring and summer change to fall and winter, and change back as fall and winter give way to spring and summer.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Engine Building - Valvetrain Tips
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
7/6/2016
Once you're ready to start selecting valve train components, we have some useful tips and tools that should boost your performance. We discuss proper valve-springs, pushrod length, and rocker arm ratios.
Keep Your Sprint Car Engine Running at Peak Performance
by Dalton Johnson - Posted in Tech
4/23/2018
One of the most important parts of your racing operation is the engine. This article gives a detailed overview on how to maintain your engine to get the most out of it for as long as possible. Also learn some tips to prolong the life of your engine.
SBC Valve Lash Adjustment on Hydraulic Lifters | 8 Steps
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
6/10/2021
To get the longest life and most performance out of your engine, it's important to have the valve lash set correctly. Here we show you how to set valve lash on a Small Block Chevy using a hydraulic lift camshaft in just eight steps.
Camshaft Selection Explained
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
6/8/2021
Picking the right camshaft can be a challenge. Use our camshaft selection guide to learn how to select the right cam for your street rod's best performance.
Pick The Right Camshaft For Your Project
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
7/11/2016
Picking a proper camshaft for your project can rapidly deteriorate into chaos. So many possibilities. Want a little advice? Click here!
Chevelle 283 to a 496 BluePrint Crate Engine
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
2/20/2018
In this project, you will see how Jeff repaints a garage sale 496 BluePrint crate engine and learn the importance of preparing the engine for a successful restoration.
1946 Ford Sedan Delivery Engine Detail
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
5/18/2017
Speedway Motors Product Manager Jeff K. talks about how to really make your engine bay stand out from the crowd with just a little patience, and some Speedway products.
Engine Cleaning and Refinishing - 54 Chevy Restoration
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
11/9/2016
Follow along as our Expert details his restoration methods for making an engine in an old 1954 Chevy look new again with a little cleaning and refinishing.
Camshaft Specifications and Terminology
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
9/21/2016
Learn the basics to engine performance like; how does a cam work? What is Valve lift, duration, lobe separation angle, and cam profiles? Afterwords selecting the right camshaft will be less of a guessing game!
Piston Ring Style Chart
9/19/2016
Check out this helpful piston ring style chart.
Error
X
Note
X
Ok