The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Please restrict your questions and replies to Capri related technical issues!
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The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby 3 Litre Power » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:35 pm

I'm not dead, i literally forgot this forum existed for a little while :lol:

Anyhow i wrote this up a few weeks back, hope it's useful and settles a lot of mysteries and questions.






I do not claim to be a professional expert, but i have been studying on this on my own, for more than 3 years now, reading lots of literature on engine lubrication and cooling.

I do not write this with the intention of this being some sort of bible, just something to guide you based on my knowldege of these subjects.

-- ENGINE OIL --

Some people might say you can run classic cars like Capris on almost any oil you like ( Wrong!!! )

The main reason for that statement being wrong is called :
Zincdialkyldithiophosphate
Z D D P

( ZDDP )

Zddp, Zddp is a molecule or compound or whatever you want to call it of Zinc and Phosphorous.

Zddp does one main thing in engine oil : it protects the flat tappets and cams in older engines like all Capri engines from wearing.

The contact between the camshaft lobes and their respective tappets are the part of the engine by far with the most friction inside an engine, the pressure in small spots between the cam lobe and its tapet can exceed 100.000 PSI!! yes, one hundred thousand pounds.

So what is the matter with Zddp?
Zddp used to be added in engine oil in generous amounts, between 1000 and 1400 parts per million during the 70s and 80s.

However in the 90s it was found that Zinc was damaging to catalytic converters, so for the past 20+ years the amount of it in most oil has been getting lower and lower.

Modern engines don't need Zinc almost at all, because the camshafts are roller type with low friction.

We are at a point now where most oils contain between 800 and 900 parts per million of Zinc, some as little as 600, 1000 is acceptable for our engines, but 800 or 600 are far too little.

Over the last years more and more classic cars are reporting issues with cmahsaft and tappet wear due to this.

- What should i do about it?

If your engine is standard and well run in, your engine will probably be fine on most oils, but it never hurts to be sure and use a high zinc oil.

Use an oil that is known to have high Zinc, here is a list of oils that atleast i know for sure have atleast 1100ppm of Zinc :

1 - Valvoline VR1 20W-50, 5W-50 and 10W-60, ( 1300ppm Zinc )

2 - Millers Pistoneeze 20W-50.
3 - Any Penrite oil.
4 - Any Morris Classic oil.
5 - Almost all Millers 20W-50 oils.
6 - Classic Oils original Heritage 20W-50 and Hot Hatch 10W-40, ( 1300ppm of Zinc )

7 - Comma X-Flow Type XS 10W-40, ( 1100ppm )
8 - Comma X-Flow Type MF 15W-40, ( 1100ppm )
9 - Shell X-100 20W-50, ( 2000ppm Zinc )
10 - Shell Rimula R4X 15W-40 ( Diesel oil, meets petrol specifications, 1250ppm Zinc )

11 - Westay Classic motor oil 20W-50 ( Unknown, claims high Zinc )

12 - Comma X-flow Type MOT 20W-50, ( 1100ppm Zinc )
13 - Mobil 1 5W-50, ( 1100ppm Zinc )
14 - Mobil 1 10W-60 ( 1300ppm Zinc )
15 - All Joe Gibbs Racing Driven oils.
16 - All Amsoil Z-Rod series oils
17 - Most Motul oils.
18 - Most Agip Eni-i sint oils.

You will see on this list :

Comma Classic 20W-50
Halford Classic 20W-50
and Castrol XL Classic 20W-50

do not appear.

These oils despite being called "Classic" contain too little Zinc ( 600-800ppm and have very old specifications, i would not use them in my car, use them at your own discretion.

Viscosity :

I can only make recommendations on viscosity for standard engines or naturally aspirated modified engines.

Pretty much all engines used originally in Capris :

Kent Crossflow 1300,1600
Pinto OHC 1600,2000
Cologne V4, 1300,1500,1700
Cologne V6, 2000,2300,2600,2800 and 2.8i
Essex V4, 2000
Essex V6, 3000, 3100

Can use viscosities such as :
10W-40
15W-40
15W-50
20W-50
10W-60 / 20W-60

Always use the thinnest oil that gives you good hot idle viscosity, if your hot idle viscosity is good on 10W-40, you don't need anything thicker unless the engine burns or leaks a fair bit of oil, 20W-50 mineral oils are the safest best for old high mileage engines.

Do not use oil flushes, they can dislodge large amount of sludge that can fatally block your oil pump pickup.

( 5W-50, 10W-50 and 10W-60 Synthetic oils are only really needed for very high performance Turbo engines )

Change your oil every 3000 miles, ( 5000 km ) once a year regardless of mileage, filters can be left on for a couple years if the car is sriven 1000 miles a year or less, use genuine Ford oil filters when you can.

That is it for oil :)

- COOLANTS -

All engines originally used in Capris have cast iron blocks and cylinder heads, and usually copper / brass heater cores.

This makes coolant selection SIMPLE.

The best type of coolant for Capris are IAT ( Inorganic Acid Technology ) Coolants.

This type of coolant is the traditional green or blue coolant you see in most places, they contain Borates, Silicates, Phosphates and Nitrates, they protect cast iron and copper / brass very well.
However, never go by colour alone, always make sure what type it is because the colours are afterall just dyes and manufacturers can dye them however they like

This type of coolant should be changed every 2 YEARS, and should be mixed between 30-50% with DISTILLED WATER for the best protection, if not bought premixed.

I would not recommend personally using Organic Acid Technology coolants that meet VW spec G12 or G12+, because of their lack of silicates, which can corrode brass / copper heater cores.

G12++ and G13 OAT coolants do contain silicates which amkes them ok to use in cast iron engines with brass and copper, but it's best to stay with traditional green or blue IAT coolants.

Evans Waterless coolant : i do not recommend Evans Waterless Coolants personally, i have looked into tests that have done to it which clearly indicate it transfers heat significantly worse than normal coolants, and its effects on the long term on copper and brass are unknown, use traditional Green or Blue IAT coolants, which are much, much cheaper and are proven to give good protection for many years.

-- BRAKE FLUID --

"What brake fluid should i use in my Capri" ?

DOT 4, if you've bought a Capri or any other car and do not know what brake fluid it has in it, use DOT 4 as it's what it most likely has in it.

DOT 5 and 5.1 brake fluids resist heat better than DOT 4 or DOT 3, but the entire brake system has to be emptied if you are going to use it.

-- GEARBOX AND AXLE OILS --

While i cannot recommend a particular brand or viscosity for each and every gearbox and axle, there are two fundamental things you must know :

GL-4 GEAR OIL : GL-4 gear oil should be used in GEARBOXES, and in Gearboxes only.

GL-5 GEAR OIL : GL-5 contain phosphorous, these oils are meant exclusively for AXLES, using GL-5 in a gearbox will corrode the brass synchros in them and cause rough shifting and crunching noises.

Remember , LSD axles requile oils with special friction modifiers or usin an additive.

Change both gearbox and axle oils at least every 5 YEARS.
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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:48 pm

Very helpful advice, thanks for taking the time to compile this guide.
You've covered everything that we need to know, but to make it easy for people, I'll just add that the oil filter is an EFL90 and should be available through Ford dealers, FINIS 1555451.

Andrew.
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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby Brooksy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:47 pm

Very useful and information that I will refer to, especially as I've just bought a Capri after a 20+ year hiatus. Cheers.
Nige :ford:

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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby 3 Litre Power » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:32 am

Andrew 2.8i wrote:Very helpful advice, thanks for taking the time to compile this guide.
You've covered everything that we need to know, but to make it easy for people, I'll just add that the oil filter is an EFL90 and should be available through Ford dealers, FINIS 1555451.

Andrew.

Yep EFL90
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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby jackinthegreen » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:02 am

Thank you for the great and informative post. I nearly changed my coolant for "OAT" red coolant, as a self-professed "expert" told me that if you completely flush the system, it's compatible. I was a bit skeptical, and I'm glad I was. I have always stuck with pre-mixed 2-year bluestar stuff or the concentrate with ultrapure laboratory water.

One thing I'd say you've missed out (or not put enough emphasis on) is the detergency level of oils. A lot of 20W/50 oils have either no API rating or a really old spec. Pinto-powered Fords need an oil with pretty good levels of detergency or the oil spray bar blocks and the camshaft grinds itself to nothing. So you need a good balance between the high ZDDP levels of older specifications, and the higher detergency levels of the newer specifications. In this regard, I think the best trade-off is somewhere around API SG/SJ/SL.

With regards to engine oils, Ford's original recommendation for post-1978 vehicles is 10W/40. The updated Haynes manual says 10W/30, 10W/40 or 10W/50 and states you should use 10W/40 where possible. A Ford technician told me that in the 80s, he was told to reject warranty claims for Pinto camshafts if it could be demonstrated that the car was not filled with 10W/40. Whether that was standard practise or just his dealership trying to get out of doing the work, I don't know. I find it hard to believe, as the pre-78 spec was "multigrade engine oil such as Castrol GTX or Duckham's Hypergrade" - which is basically 20W/50. The engines available in 1978 are largely the same engines that were available in the 60s and 70s.

I have always run mine on whatever oil I could get hold of at the time, but I have a preference for 5W/50 because it gets to the camshaft really quickly when cold, but gives a nice thick cushion when hot. It's probably overkill, but I got a drum of it at a discount price ages ago so that's what goes in. If I ever use an oil I suspect of not having enough ZDDP in it, I chuck in a bottle of "ZDDPlus" from Frost, a bottle of Comma 75000+ (no longer in production), or a bottle of the old-style blue STP Oil treatment (the original blue bottle version contains ZDDP). I always use an oil with a decent but not too modern API spec. Most of the time, this is API SL.

When I first bought my car, it had just been serviced, and the technician had put in 5W/30, as "that's what Fords use"(!!!) It didn't rattle and idled fine, with reasonable oil pressure at idle, but needless to say, I changed it for 10W/40 really quickly! I'd say unless you have problems, stick with the 10W/40 old Henry recommended. 20W/50 will just be too gloopy on a cold morning to get up to the cam shaft quickly enough in a Pinto, and it won't have enough detergents in it to keep the spray bar clear.

As far as gear-oil goes, the gearbox and axle take slightly different viscosities, but out of laziness I put Castrol universal gear oil in both. I completely drained and refilled with this stuff in 2010, and 8 years/60K miles later they're both doing fine. The Castrol universal stuff claims to satisfy the requirements of both API GL4 and GL5 at the same time, hence being suitable for an axle as well as a gearbox. plus, its viscosity profile of 75w/90 encompasses the viscosity of both oils originally recommended for the gearbox and the axle.

Some people but ATF in their gearbox with good results. IMHO it's only really worth bothering if you drive the car in the cold or your synchro is nackered, as it simply eases shifting. I've never bothered as shifting has always been smooth and easy with my box.

I'd also say don't put additives in the gearbox oil. I've known people with Sierras putting something like STP or Wynns in a type-9 gearbox to attempt to cure the faint whine on 2nd or ease the crunch you get going into 2nd or 3rd, and it made the whine on 2nd really loud and pronounced, and made it difficult to shift into 1st.

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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby 3 Litre Power » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:25 pm

jackinthegreen wrote:Thank you for the great and informative post. I nearly changed my coolant for "OAT" red coolant, as a self-professed "expert" told me that if you completely flush the system, it's compatible. I was a bit skeptical, and I'm glad I was. I have always stuck with pre-mixed 2-year bluestar stuff or the concentrate with ultrapure laboratory water.

One thing I'd say you've missed out (or not put enough emphasis on) is the detergency level of oils. A lot of 20W/50 oils have either no API rating or a really old spec. Pinto-powered Fords need an oil with pretty good levels of detergency or the oil spray bar blocks and the camshaft grinds itself to nothing. So you need a good balance between the high ZDDP levels of older specifications, and the higher detergency levels of the newer specifications. In this regard, I think the best trade-off is somewhere around API SG/SJ/SL.

With regards to engine oils, Ford's original recommendation for post-1978 vehicles is 10W/40. The updated Haynes manual says 10W/30, 10W/40 or 10W/50 and states you should use 10W/40 where possible. A Ford technician told me that in the 80s, he was told to reject warranty claims for Pinto camshafts if it could be demonstrated that the car was not filled with 10W/40. Whether that was standard practise or just his dealership trying to get out of doing the work, I don't know. I find it hard to believe, as the pre-78 spec was "multigrade engine oil such as Castrol GTX or Duckham's Hypergrade" - which is basically 20W/50. The engines available in 1978 are largely the same engines that were available in the 60s and 70s.

I have always run mine on whatever oil I could get hold of at the time, but I have a preference for 5W/50 because it gets to the camshaft really quickly when cold, but gives a nice thick cushion when hot. It's probably overkill, but I got a drum of it at a discount price ages ago so that's what goes in. If I ever use an oil I suspect of not having enough ZDDP in it, I chuck in a bottle of "ZDDPlus" from Frost, a bottle of Comma 75000+ (no longer in production), or a bottle of the old-style blue STP Oil treatment (the original blue bottle version contains ZDDP). I always use an oil with a decent but not too modern API spec. Most of the time, this is API SL.

When I first bought my car, it had just been serviced, and the technician had put in 5W/30, as "that's what Fords use"(!!!) It didn't rattle and idled fine, with reasonable oil pressure at idle, but needless to say, I changed it for 10W/40 really quickly! I'd say unless you have problems, stick with the 10W/40 old Henry recommended. 20W/50 will just be too gloopy on a cold morning to get up to the cam shaft quickly enough in a Pinto, and it won't have enough detergents in it to keep the spray bar clear.

As far as gear-oil goes, the gearbox and axle take slightly different viscosities, but out of laziness I put Castrol universal gear oil in both. I completely drained and refilled with this stuff in 2010, and 8 years/60K miles later they're both doing fine. The Castrol universal stuff claims to satisfy the requirements of both API GL4 and GL5 at the same time, hence being suitable for an axle as well as a gearbox. plus, its viscosity profile of 75w/90 encompasses the viscosity of both oils originally recommended for the gearbox and the axle.

Some people but ATF in their gearbox with good results. IMHO it's only really worth bothering if you drive the car in the cold or your synchro is nackered, as it simply eases shifting. I've never bothered as shifting has always been smooth and easy with my box.

I'd also say don't put additives in the gearbox oil. I've known people with Sierras putting something like STP or Wynns in a type-9 gearbox to attempt to cure the faint whine on 2nd or ease the crunch you get going into 2nd or 3rd, and it made the whine on 2nd really loud and pronounced, and made it difficult to shift into 1st.



You would have been probably just fine putting an OAT coolant in your engine if it was an Si-OAT, that is an OAT meeting VW's G12++ or G13 spec, they contain Silicates and protect soft metals like brass and copper well.
You would have probably developed some kind of long
term problem if you used G12 or G12+, these are plain jane OAT coolant with no Silicates.

The thing with IAT Inorganic coolants is that they use Borates, they protect cast iron, but corrode aluminium and cause pitting, that is why i recommend G12++ or G13 for older Ford engines with Aluminium heads such as the CVH and Cosworth YB series, as they don't contain Borates.

I own an Escort Xr3i with the CVH engine, everything but the block is aluminium, and the heater matrix is copper / brass, and i run VW G12++ OAT coolant in it with Zero issues.

However all Capri engines are cast iron , no aluminium heads, so really the regular IAT green / blue coolants are fine because there is not much aluminium to corrode.

Now what you say about Zddp.

There are modern API spec oils with high Zddp, for example Valvoline VR1 has 1300ppm of Zinc and is API SM.
That is because 16,20 and 30 grade oils are capped at 800ppm.
40,50 and 60 grades are not.

In the U.S Valvoline sells VR1 in 10W-30 grade as that is the factory grade specified on a lot of 60s and 70s Ameircan cars, they have to call it an API SH oil, because that is the last API spec where Zddp was not limited to 30 and lower grades , the oil would pass API SM testing just fine, if it were not because of the 1300ppm of Zddp it has, if they wanted they could turn it into a 10W-40 oil by adding 10-15% synthetic Group III base stock and a bit more Viscosity Index Improver, and being a 40 grade oil the Zddp would not be capped and they could call it an API SM oil without a problem.

For Pintos i agree that you should sue the thinnest oil that gives you good hot idle oil pressure, if that is 10W-40 then perfect.
Comma X-Flow Type XS 10W-40 is a Semi-Synthetic oil which is API SL and ACEA A3/B3 and has 1100ppm Zinc, that would be a great chocie for example.
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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby 3 Litre Power » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:57 pm

One thing that sadly a lot of people have bought into is Evans Waterless coolant...

There is evidence it has much worse heat transfer, worse specific heat capacity, higher freezing point, and unknown long terms corrosion inhibition compared to normal coolants.

Basically it claims all sorts of benefits and delivers very little at a steep cost.
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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby Arya2.0S » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:34 pm

So..... long story short, which brands of oil should I use for a pinto that has all the necessary benefits? That was a bit of an information dump lol.

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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby 3 Litre Power » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:48 am

This for a nice low mileage one that has good oil pressure :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Comma-XFXS5L-X ... B00DYTO5VE

Or this for a not so nice high mileage one that has less oil pressure :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VALVOLINE-VR1- ... voline+vr1
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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby Arya2.0S » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:09 pm

3 Litre Power wrote:This for a nice low mileage one that has good oil pressure :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Comma-XFXS5L-X ... B00DYTO5VE

Or this for a not so nice high mileage one that has less oil pressure :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VALVOLINE-VR1- ... voline+vr1


Cool, thanks for that. When I read big walls of text I have a very hard time taking in the information, it's like my mind has a very small cache and forgets everything it just read through lol. Very frustrating.
I'm thinking of doing an oil change soon and I want to get some decent oil this time as I just went for cheapest possible last time and I doubt it's doing my engine much good.
That said my oil pressure gauge always hovers around the half way point, and I'm unsure of the mileage because it's a reconditioned engine which was done before I bought it so haven't really got a clue, I know I've probably done less than a 1000 miles in it since but it has been over a year since the last oil change so probably worth doing soon anyway.

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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby 3 Litre Power » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am

I would say more important than viscosity is the problem with the Zinc content of oils, minimum you want 900-1000ppm to prevent cam / tappet wear, which is a common problem in early OHC Ford engines like the Pinto and CVH.
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Re: The ultimate Engine, gearbox and axle oil guide + Coolant and brake fluid guide!

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:31 am

Hi,
Interestingly, there is a letter in this month's CCI magazine asking about about the use of red (pink?) coolant in a 280. The club's technical consultant, Mr Ian Coulson MAE, MIMI maintains that use of this coolant is "perfectly safe" as it "contains all the necessary corrosion inhibitors and additives necessary to protect the cooling system". Any thoughts from anybody?
I've always used the blue IAT coolant, and probably always will, as long as it is still available.

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