Archive for September, 2007

So Many Hotties!

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

I just got back from Gas City. That’s not a notable city in Indiana. Except to say that THIS weekend it was HOTTIE-VILLE! The James Dean festival weekend is underway. The super nice weather has combined with a lot of nice cars to make the Gas City park a hotbed of classic cars of all types. To fill you in on how many cars were in that park, when I rolled in on the second day of the event, I was car number 2,500 and-something. I would not even have had a spot to park my GTO in the crowded park if it were not for my wise friend. We woke up at an early 5am to get to the park at 6am – in the dark. There were only three spots left on pavement – amazing. I saw a wild assortment of lead sleds, rat rods, customs and muscle cars of all kinds. The show was bigger than any previous year by a longshot. The vendors were more numerous than ever, and raking in the cash. Here are a few of the most memorable things that happened today at the Ducktail Run in Gas City Indiana…

  1. Two of my good friends got to show their recently completed cars there. The fresh engine compartments looked spectacular. They drew crowds.
  2. I saw a motorcycle with FUR on it. Sounds dumb, I know, but it was different kinds of furs, different colors and types. The first impression everyone had was to laugh “Fur”! Then on a second look say “Oh cool, yet completely crazy!”
  3. I discovered the amazing metal cutting artistry of the guys at Speed Cult of Detroit. They had a wild booth with products you’ve never seen anywhere else. See the “Crapmaster 3000″ and other metal masterpieces with an attitude at
  4. I am intrigued by how some of the “goth” kids got into the car hobby. They drive dark rat rods, barely look like they are roadworthy. Usually unpainted, rusty on purpose, and some of the most creative and evil-looking funny ornamentation I’ve seen on a car.
  5. There was a long line of slow cars on the way out. This dipshit in a golf cart was wheeling too fast in between two rows of exiting cars. He was driving this stupid cart inches away from the doors of nice cars. Then I see what I call “justice”. He’s carelessly driving past the show vehicles and a lady suddenly whips open her door and heaves a steaming boatload of vomit on the dipshit’s golf cart. Following that comedy I was laughing so hard OMG I almost coulda wrecked.
  6. On the way out I saw this rat rod creation that was flat black primer. It was a 30′s car. It was chopped down so low it looked like a wicked cartoon. And they had jacked up the back end so high I don’t know how the driver was able to see down the road without looking through the ROOF! Wicked thing had smokestacks coming out of the engine which were taller than the car.

More Oil Info from Tyler Jark

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Tyler says…

I work in the oil industry and we blend and package virtually all types of lubricants and greases for many of the major names you are all familiar with.

1) Yes, today’s API SM (some SL still out there with slightly higher additive amounts) engine oils have lower amount of Sulfur, Zinc and Phosphorus. This is because the Phosphorus in particular, “poisons” the catalyst in the catalytic converter that cleans certain exhaust emissions and the OEM’s have to warrant that their exhaust systems will last for a certain number of miles (150K?).
A) Today’s engines all have roller valvetrains that have much less friction than our “older technology” hydraulic flat tappet cams and lifters, so today’s engines are fine with these oils.

2) A HDD (Heavy Duty Diesel) engine oil off of the shelf today will have enough protection for everyday use in older engines.
A) Typically, Phos levels will range from 0.10 – 0.14% Wt (1000 – 1400 ppm) in either an API CI-4 or the new for 2007 CJ-4 diesel oils.
B) Zinc levels will be similar e.g. 0.12 – 0.13% Wt (1200 – 1300 ppm).

In contrast, todays PCMO’s (Passenger Car Motor Oils) with an API SM license will have a minimum of 0.06% Phos and a max (only if it meets ILSAC GF-4 “Energy Conserving”) of 0.08% Wt…there is no maximum on Phos if the SM oil does not meet ILSAC GF-4. Zinc levels in an SM oil are typically at 0.08% (800 ppm) or 0.109% (1090 ppm) for an API SL oil.

Here is a link to API’s website that shows the Engine Oil Guide with the different licensing classifications over the years.

I will only be using products with proven higher amounts of additives (like Redline, they are not “Licensed” oils so they can have more additives) and full synthetic base oils like the SR-5 from Torco and the LubeATech Synthetic oils. For those who don’t want to dish out the extra dough for these, a Diesel engine oil should be plenty sufficient. I will personally still break in my engine with the Castrol Diesel 15W-40 with oil additive added extra, continue running the HDD oil for a month or two, then swap out to the Synthetics.

Oil Is Killing Our Cars!

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

By: Keith Ansell, Foreign Parts Positively, Inc.

About a year ago I read about the reduction of zinc dithiophosphate (ZDDP)
in the oils supplied with API approval that could affect sliding and high
pressure (EP) friction in our cars. The reduction of these chemicals in
supplied oil was based on the fact that zinc, manganese and/or phosphates
reduce the effectiveness and eventually damage catalytic converters and
introduce minute amounts of pollutants into our atmosphere.

A month or so ago I had a member of the Columbia Gorge MG Club bring a
totally failed camshaft and lifters back to me that had only 900 miles on
them!! I immediately contacted the camshaft re-grinder and asked how this
could happen. They were well aware of this problem as they were starting to
have many failures of this type. In the past, the lack of a molybdenum
disulfide camshaft assembly lubricant, at assembly, was about the only thing
that could create this type of problem. My customer has assembled many
engines and had lubricated the camshaft properly and followed correct break
in procedures.

This got me on the phone to Delta Camshaft, one of our major suppliers. Then
the bad news came out: It’s today’s “modern” API (American Petroleum
Industry) approved oils that are killing our engines.

Next call: To another major camshaft supplier, both stock and performance
(Crane). They now have an additive for whatever oil you are using during
break-in so that the camshaft and lifters won’t fail in an unreasonably
short period of time. They also suggest using a diesel rated oil on flat
tappet engines.

Next call: To a racing oil manufacturer that we use for the race cars
(Redline). Their response: “We are well aware of the problem and we still
use the correct amounts of those additives in our products”. They continued
to tell me they are not producing API approved oils so they don’t have to
test and comply. Their oils were NOT the “new, improved and approved” ones
that destroy flat tappet engines! “We just build the best lubricants
possible”. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it, New-Approved but inferior products,
but it seems to be true for our cars.

To top this off: Our representative from a major supplier of performance and
street engine parts (EPWI) stopped by to “warn us” of the problem of the NEW
oils on flat tappet engines. This was a call that the representative was
making only because of this problem to warn their engine builders! “The
reduction of the zinc, manganese and phosphates are causing very early
destruction of cams and followers”. They are recommending that, for now at
least, there must be a proper oil additive put in the first oil used on new
engines, beyond the liberal use of molydisulfide assembly lube. They have
been told that the first oil is the time the additives are needed but remain
skeptical that the first change is all that is necessary. Their statement:
Use diesel rated oils such as Delo or Rotella that are usually available at
auto stores and gas stations.

This problem is BIG! American Engine Rebuilder’s Association (AERA) Bulletin
#TB2333 directly addresses this problem. I had a short discussion with their
engineer and he agreed with all that I had been finding.

Next phone call was to a retired engineer from Clevite, a major bearing and
component manufacturer. First surprise was that he restored older British
Motor bikes. The second surprise was that he was “VERY” aware of this
problem because many of the old bikes had rectangular tappets that couldn’t
rotate and are having a very large problem with the new oils. He has written
an article for the British Bike community that verify all the “bad news” we
have been finding.

Comp Cams put out “#225 Tech Bulletin: Flat Tappet Camshafts”. They have
both an assembly lube and an oil additive. The telling sentence in the
bulletin was “While this additive was originally developed specifically for
break-in protection, subsequent testing has proven the durability benefits
of its long term use. This special blend of additives promotes proper
break-in and protects against premature cam and lifter failure by replacing
some of the beneficial ingredients that the oil companies have been required
to remove from the off the-shelf oil”.

Next question: Now what do we do?

From the camshaft re-grinders (DeltaCam) “Use oils rated for diesel use”,
Delo (Standard Oil product) was named. About the same price as other quality
petroleum based oils. They are not API formulated and have the zinc
dithiophosphate we need in weights we are familiar with.

From the camshaft manufacturer (Crane): “use our additive” for at least the
first 500 miles.

From General Motors (Chevrolet): add EOS, their oil fortifier, to your oil,
it’s only about $12.00 for each oil change for an 8 ounce can (This problem
seems to be something GM has known about for some time!).

From Redline Oil: Use our street formulated synthetics. They have what we

From our major oil distributor: Distributing Castro, Redline, Valvoline and
Industrial oils: “After over a week of contacts we have verified that the
major oil companies are aware of the problem”. “The representatives of the
oil companies today are only aware of marketing programs and have no
knowledge of formulation”. The only major oil companies they were aware of
for doing anything to address this are Valvoline that is offering an “Off
Road 20W-50″ and Redline.

From Castrol: We are beginning to see a pattern emerging on older cars. It
may be advantageous to use a non-approved lubricant, such as oils that are
Diesel rated, 4 Cycle Motorcycle oils and other specified diesel oils.

Last question: So what are we at Foreign Parts Positively going to do? After
much research we are switching to Redline Street rated oils and stocking the
Castrol products that are diesel rated. Castrol, owned by British Petroleum,
is now just a brand name. This is a difficult decision as we have been a
dealer and great believer in all Castrol Products for over 40 years. We have
been using Castrol Syntech oil in new engines for about 3 years so the cost
difference in changing to Redline is minimal. The actual cost in operation
is also less as the additive package in Redline makes a 1-year or up to
18,000 mile change recommended! Yes, it is a long change interval but with
lowered sulfur levels and the elimination of lead and many other chemicals
in the fuels there are less contaminants in our oil from the fuel, which is
the major contributor to oil degradation. We will continue to offer the
Castrol products but will now only stock the suggested diesel oils that they

Too many things are starting to show up on this subject and it has cost us
money and time. Be aware that “New and Improved”, or even products we have
been using for many years, are destroying our cars as it isn’t the same
stuff we were getting even a year ago.

For the cars that use “engine oil” in their gearboxes this may even pose a
problem as these additives that have been removed could be very critical in
gear wear. We will be using oil specifically formulated for Manual Gearboxes
with Brass Synchronizers. The only oils we are aware of that fit the
criteria are from General Motors and Redline.

If you have any additional input let us know. We need to let every flat
tappet engine owner, i.e.: every British Car owner know that things are
changing and we MUST meet the challenge.

Keith Ansell, President
Foreign Parts Positively, Inc.



At this time, late October 2006, it appears that our old staple, Castrol,
has reduced the ZDDP in GTX to about half what it used to be. The safest
bet right now seems to be either the use of Redline (synthetic) or Valvoline
VR1. Today I purchased 7 quarts of Valvoline VR1 20W-50 at AutoZone for


More from Keith Ansell:

Oil is Killing our cars Part II

Last month’s report on this subject is turning out to be just the tip of the
iceberg! Many publications have had this subject of
zinc-dialkyl-dithiophosphate (ZDDP) covered in varying depths over the last
few months. Some publications have even had conflicting stories when you
compare one month’s article with their next month’s article! They are all
ending up supporting our report.

I have had the good fortune to have the ear of quite a few leaders in the
industry including some wonderful input from Castrol. We have been very
reluctant to “dump” Castrol, as it has been such a great supporter of our
cars and industry over the years. Castrol hasn’t really abandoned our cars,
just shifted to a more mass marketing mode. Many Castrol products are not
appropriate for our cars today, some still are.

Now for the latest report:
#1 Castrol GTX 20W-50 is still good for our cars after break-in! 10W-40,
10W-30 and other grades are NOT good. Absolute NOT GOOD for any oil (Any
Brand) that is marked “Energy Conserving” in the API “Donut” on the bottle,
these oils are so low with ZDDP or other additives that they will destroy
our cams. Virtually all “Diesel” rated oils are acceptable.
#2 Castrol HD 30 is a very good oil for break-in of new motors. This oil has
one of the largest concentrations of ZDDP and Moly to conserve our cams and
#3 Only an unusual Castrol Syntec 20W-50 approaches the levels of protection
we need when we look to the better synthetic lubricants. We are attempting
to get this oil but will be using Redline 10W-40 or 10W-30 as these are
lighter weights for better performance, flow volume, less drag and has the
additive package we need.
#4 The trend today is to lighter weight oils to decrease drag, which
increases mileage. Most of these seem to be the “Energy Conservation” oils
that we cannot use.
#5 Redline oil and others are suggesting a 3,000-mile break-in for new
engines! Proper seating of rings, with today’s lubricants is taking that
long to properly seal. Shifting to synthetics before that time will just
burn a lot of oil and not run as well as hoped.
#6 The “Energy Conservation” trend was first lead by automakers to increase
mileage numbers and secondly because the ZDDP and other chemicals degrade
the catalytic converter after extended miles, increasing pollution. We don’t
have catalytic converters and the mileage gains are not that significant for
most of us.

For you science buffs: ZDDP is a single polar molecule that is attracted to
Iron based metals. The one polar end tends to “Stand” the molecule up on the
metal surface that it is bonded to by heat and friction. This forms a
sacrificial layer to protect the base metal of the cam and tappet from
contacting each other. Only at very high pressures on a flat tappet cam is
this necessary because the oil is squeezed/wiped from the surface. This high
pressure is also present on the gudgeon pin (wrist pin) in diesel engines,
therefore the need for ZDDP in diesel engines.
Second part of the equation is Molybdenum disulfide (Moly). The moly bonds
to the zinc adding an additional, very slippery, sacrificial layer to the
metal. I found out that too much of the moly will create problems; lack of
this material reduces the effectiveness of the ZDDP. The percentage, by
weight is from .01 to .02%, not much, but necessary.

Latest conclusions: Running our older, broken in engines on Castrol 20W-50
GTX is ok.
Break in a new engine for 3,000 miles on HD 30 Castrol.
New engines (after break-in) and fairly low mileage engines will do best
with the Redline 10W-40 or 10W-30 synthetic.

We’ll keep you apprised of any new findings! Happy motoring for now!

GTO driving day

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Ahh, glorious Saturday! I drove my GTO to work today. All I had to do was supervise some chainlink fence installers and a painter. Easy. That left me free to wash and wax my car outside for about 5 hours. That is an unusually long time for me to devote to Goat TLC. After that, I rolled to a local car show with the car shining like it was just painted. That late afternoon start time was great. Near dark, the car show was still hoppin’ with the DJ playing tunes and giving away some good prizes. But it was time to turn the key on the 400 and rumble out of the car show lot. Both windows down, the wind was whistling through the Parchment interior at 55 MPH. The GTO was pointed toward a drive-in theater as the sun set over the cornfields. It was their last showing for the season. We saw “Balls Of Fury” and “Superbad” under the stars. Those were a couple of funny movies, no resemblance to reality, good escape. On the long trip home after midnight, the engine purred, the Rochester QJ was suckin’ the gas down with no hesitation. I buzzed through a long row of stoplights, workin’ the chrome His N Hers shifter, enjoying the sound of the dual Flowmasters. Mmm, who needs a radio? I just got home and put “The Great One” away. What a great Saturday.

Who wants bad service and bad parts?

Friday, September 21st, 2007

This is a true story of truly horrible customer service. My alternator’s moving parts seized up during a trip up north. So I found an AutoZone just before closing time and bought a rebuilt alternator. Didn’t have a choice. I installed it in their dark parking lot. Piece of junk whined like a jet engine. I made it back home, but it failed two months later. Why can’t they rebuild them to last? So then I stop in NAPA to ask about ordering a good alternator. They didn’t seem too bright. Three guys saying “I don’t know”. Not impressive. They didn’t seem to want to be at work. Instead of looking it up in their books or computers, they took my cell number and promised to call me back in the morning if they could find someone who had a clue. The following morning I had an eye doctor appointment in the neighborhood. I never got a cell call all morning from NAPA. So I stopped in at NAPA. Guess what? They had no record of last night’s visit or my phone number. Duhh, bad service. So I made them locate an alternator at an Indy store. It was supposed to come via a daily parts shuttle at 2pm that same day. Not bad, I think. I got no phone call that afternoon from NAPA. I stop back in (3rd visit). Different guys at the counter. No alternator came in the parts shuttle. Suspicious, I asked them to check and see if the alternator was even on the parts order. Nope! They once again had no record of my order or my cell number. So I asked them to cancel the parts order from the afternoon. Guess what? They laugh and say that’s not the “NAPA system”. So funny to them. The other customers in the store were not impressed with their incompetent behavior either. We look up another alternator number with a better warranty and order that one for a Saturday delivery. Will it arrive? If it does, will they even call me? Fat chance. I decided to never go back to that badly-run NAPA store. The crappy service NAPA Auto Parts, 2421 South Madison Street, Muncie, Indiana 47302. Don’t worry. Google will eventually and perpetually lead people to this “store locator” article! Ha ha. For a happy ending, I bought an in-stock alternator from another store tonight and put it on my car. Works great!

Pet peeves about photography

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Since this is an “Insider’s Blog”, I’m going to get real about something. The photo editing staff has these pet peeves about photography. Three simple tasks is all I ask.

  • Take large pictures
  • Don’t use a cell phone camera
  • Back up so we see the whole car

Even the first digital cameras from the mid 1990s took pictures at 600×800, why do we seem to get pictures that are smaller? Cell phone camera pictures suck. The color is poor. The focus is horrible. Don’t send me pictures taken with your cell phone! The last pet peeve is the biggest. BACK UP, I want to see the whole car! You wouldn’t believe the number of pictures I get with part of the car missing. Is your yard really that small that you cannot back up? If so, maybe you can ask your neighbor for permission to stand in their yard. BACK UP.

Were you at Norwalk 2007?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007
I made it to Norwalk. Where were you? Did you go? There were a bunch of cars there. The car show was big. The drag racing was going strong and loud. This year at the Ames Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals I made some videos. Look for them to show up on the website soon. Here is one of the many videos I took. It shows one of the many 1964 race cars parked in the pits…

Plans for the future

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Keep on truckin’! That’s it. I can’t reveal my website growth plans in detail, but… I’ll keep the forward momentum. The truck ain’t stopping. It ain’t slowing down. Along the way we’re going to paint it a brighter color. We’re going to put bigger smokestacks on it. The truck is not going to look like every other truck on the road. It’s going to carry a load of 15,000 GTO photos with no breakdowns. Actually, I have a detailed written plan to grow the website to large proportions. It is 15 pages long. A lot of thought goes into that. We’re gonna keep on truckin’.

How do I select the "Picture of the Week"?

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Today I was contacted by a fan of who questioned my logic on picking the “Picture of the Week” that gets to gets to sit “large and proud” on the main page for a week. Logic? I didn’t know I was supposed to use LOGIC! So many people are now submitting super-worthy photos for “P.O.W.” that I just leave it to chance. On a Saturday night, I will browse through three sources to pick a new “P.O.W.”. There’s the Self-Upload directory on the server that consists of a few hundred good pics. And the second source I look at are pics that are emailed to me daily. Most are sorted into folders on my computer and then posted on the regular “Lots” pages. But I have an email folder for the really good candidates for the “P.O.W.” car. I also have my digital camera memory to look through. I have a couple hundred un-posted photos on the memory card that are waiting on their moment in the spotlight. I’ll browse all those while watching SNL. Or I might look at them on my laptop computer while attending a car show in another state. Either way, I have to get a photo posted by 12:01am Sunday or the word “missing” comes up on the main page of and no one wants THAT to happen. So I do put some pressure on myself to get a photo edited and ready for display. Before picking one, I will keep in mind what year of car was a “P.O.W.” the previous week so there will be no duplication of model years from week-to-week. Some weeks, webhelper Jeff Klein steps up and edits together his choosing for a “Picture of the Week”. Either way – it’s always a car that looks great! Thanks for coming back to every Sunday morning to check it out.

First time you saw a Pontiac GTO?

Monday, September 17th, 2007

It is interesting how we recall our “first time”. The first time I saw a GTO as a kid, I probably didn’t know what it was. But the first time I took a ride in a GTO – Now THAT I remember! Tell me about your “first time” seeing a Goat. Leave a comment, below.