Why Zinc-Based Oil is a Must When Changing Flat Tappet CAM and/or Flat Tappet Lifters in Your V8 Engine
Upgrading the camshaft (CAM) or lifters in a V8 engine can boost its power, but it’s crucial to consider proper lubrication during this process. This post explains why zinc-based oil additives are vital when making these changes.
Understanding flat tappet CAM and/or flat tappet Lifters Replacement
The camshaft controls valves, and lifters ensure their smooth movement. Changing them needs care and precision. Unlike roller lifters, flat tappet lifters mate and wear to a CAM’s specific lobe pattern.
The Role of Zinc-Based Oil Additives
Zinc and phosphate additives, like zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP), are essential for classic or high-performance engines like V8s because:
1. Reduce Friction: When you replace CAM or lifters, there’s more friction. Zinc additives create a protective layer on metal surfaces, reducing wear.
2. High Pressure Protection: Zinc additives prevent metal-to-metal contact, which is vital in high-pressure valve systems.
3. Break-In Help: New CAMs and lifters need time to fit perfectly. Zinc additives help them settle without premature wear.
4. Handle Heat: V8 engines get hot. Zinc additives prevent oil breakdown under high temperatures, maintaining good lubrication.
Consequences Without Zinc-Based Additives
If you skip zinc-based additives:
1. More Wear: New parts could wear out faster due to friction during the settling phase.
2. Lower Performance: Proper valve function is crucial for V8 performance. Inadequate lubrication could lead to reduced power.
3. Risk of Overheating: Zinc additives also cool the engine by reducing friction-generated heat. Without them, overheating becomes a risk.
4. Long-Term Harm: Over time, using oil without zinc additives could permanently damage CAM, lifters, and other engine parts, needing costly repairs.
We recommend a review of Comp Cams break in process here: https://youtu.be/re-VqHO3cH8
When upgrading CAM or flat tappet lifters in your engine, don’t forget zinc-based oil. It’s the key to a longer-lasting, efficient, and high-performing engine. Make sure your engine gets the care it deserves by using the right oil with zinc additives.