Oils For Older Style Engines

Oils Just Aren't What They Used To Be

As engine technology advances, lubricants and additives are upgraded to run in line with the modern engine and comply with the current environmental regulations.  This means that the latest products released on the market are often not designed for older style engines and do not contain the components or the specifications required by yesterday's technology.  This is certainly the case with oils used in flat tappet style engines.

The cam lobe / flat tappet interface is continually subjected to some of the highest pressure loads encountered in an internal combustion engine.  Traditional motor oil formulations included a component called ZDP (Zinc dialkyl dithiosphosphate). ZDP offers extreme pressure anti-wear protection.  ZDP molecules are attracted to carbon steel surfaces, where they react with heat to create a sacrificial additive coating.  This protective coating prevents metal to metal contact, reducing friction wear.

The problem lies with the elimination of ZDP in modern oils.  Part of this formulation contains sulfur, in the form of sulfated ash.  The ash finds its way into the engine's conbustion chamber and exhaust system, and when combusted, reduces the efficiency of catalytic converters and oxygen sensors.  Reduced combustion efficiency increases the potential for dangerous emissions to be released into the atmosphere.  This risk prompted the elimination of ZDP from modern oil formulations.  As modern engines contain roller lifters, the ZDP anti-wear protection was no longer required as roller lifters do not encounter such high pressure loads.

Modern oil formulations do not offer the same anti-wear protection which older style flat tappet engines require.  The result is excessive cam lobe wear and lifter and camshaft failure.  This excessive wear resulting from non-use of ZDP typically occurs during the breaking in of a newly rebuilt engine.  Of course the best way to overcome this issue is to get the zinc back in.  This can be achieved by using either an additive or engine oil supplement, using a camshaft break in lube, or using a traditional engine oil with sufficient ZDP levels.  However, it is vital that the recommended ZDP level for your engine is adhered to. It is NOT a case of the more ZDP the better.  Once ZDP levels exceed a certain range, the potential for burned ash to accumulate in the ring lands and on piston domes increases dramatically.  Ash accumulations in the ring lands can interfere with ring/cylinder wall seal and can cause cylinder wall scoring.

The staff at Galloway Engines can help advise you on the best oil for your particular application to ensure you get maximum life from your engine.  Oils just aren't what they used to be!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my engine needs reconditioning?

Tell-tale signs that your engine requires attention are that it has lost performance or efficiency, it blows excessive smoke or it has developed an unusual noise.  However, a vehicle needn't have these symptoms to benefit from a reconditoned engine.  A complete and comprehensive recondition of your engine will increase power, fuel efficiency and extend the life of your vehicle.

Do you remove and refit engines?

Galloway Engines is a precision workshop which deals in machining and reconditioning engines.  This ensures we are specialists in our field and only a quality job of the highest standard will be delivered.  We can arrange engine removal and fitment or contact your regular vehicle servicing centre for this service.

Can I supply my own parts?

Yes. You are quite welcome to supply your own new parts should you have a preference for a particular brand name.  However, our parts prices are very competitive and our high standards ensure that only quality parts are fitted to any job.  We have liaisons with many Australian and international companies allowing us to have access to world-wide sourcing of parts.

Do you offer a warranty?

Any reputable product will come with a warranty as proof of its quality.  Galloway Engines are no exception.  We offer a full warranty on all of our work.  Contact us for more information on the terms and conditions of our warranty.

Why should I use Galloway Engines?

Galloway Engines supply a quality engine which is completely reconditioned to comply with original manufacturers specifications and are in accordance with Australian Standards AS4182 for petrol engines and AS4427 for diesel engines.  Our up-to-date equipment produces quality precision work and our team of specialised technicians are dedicated to detail.  This ensures you are getting the best job possible.

Can you recondition any engine?

Yes. Whether it be a Caterpillar engine from a giant earthmoving machine or a small three cylinder Suzuki engine, we have the equipment to be able to meet your needs.  Contact us to see how we can meet your requirements.

Do you offer engines which suit LPG?

As LPG has different properties to unleaded fuel, an engine can experience problems when converted to LPG.  We can offer options which can enhance the performance and reliability of an LPG engine.  Galloway Engine Reconditioning also stock a range of exchange heads which are modified to run on LPG.  

Do you have EFTPOS?

We have full EFTPOS facilities available and are able to accept payment via Credit or Debit Card.


  • Address:

    Galloway Engine Reconditioning,
    25 Baker St,
    Pinjarra WA 6208
  • Phone / Fax:

    08 9531 1366
    08 9531 2321
  • Email: