Enough people expressed an interest so I thought I would post
this to the lists.
In the April 1996 edition of Classic Cars there is a new section
called Technical Queries. Classic Cars has a "lecturer/programme leader
for vehicle restoration courses" named Terry Formhalls (with lots of
stuff after his name) answering the readers umm, queries.
The oil question says: I've rebuilt my Morris Minor engine and
would like to use the best possible oil to make it last. Should I go for
one of the state-of-the-art synthetic oils or a classic-type product?
Answer: Investing in fully synthetic oil for your Minor would
waste money and could even do more harm than good. Older engines have
larger bearing clearances and oil pumps with lower rates of delivery than
modern ones; thus they generally need a thicker oil to maintain optimum
pressure. Synthetic oils have be designed to cope with modern engine
developements such as turbochargers, with highly stressed bearings
working in extreme temperatures. A top grade synthetic, with its high
lubricating efficiency, would even prolong the running-in of your newly
Many oil companies have introduced or reintroduced 'classic' oils
So he thinks that 'classic' oils are the way to go. Any
engineers or mechanics out there have another opinion on the clearances
and oil pump theory? What oil pressure have those who have switched to
Rob Rhodes Columbia, S.C.