View Full Version : Oil additives

16-08-01, 02:01 PM
At a recent kit car show I was intrigued to watch an impressive demonstration of an oil additive called ACTIV8. It seemed like an excellent product to use but being somewhat sceptical I was surprised when the guy demonstating the product said it was not suitable for brand new engines.

I wonder if any one has used ACTIV8 and has any comments to make on this or any other similar products.

When I am ready to run in my rebuilt Chevy, what oil should I use?


16-08-01, 03:28 PM
Kendal GT1 or Valvoline Racing 20/50.

I have been advised to stay away from so called "oil additives".

Best Regards


The Whistler!

16-08-01, 07:24 PM
I have to agree with Robert. Additive advertisers stray very close to the letter of the law in their claims and mostly outside the spirit. If these things were so magic the major oil companies would use and sell them. If you search the net for oil additives you'll find plenty of objective engineers saying save your money. Teflon additives in particular can actually block fine oil galleries. I remember when the best additive for a noisy gearbox was sawdust. Use just before you sell! I think additives are like fishing rods. They catch more anglers than they do fish.:P

16-08-01, 07:31 PM

The reason ActiV8 is not suitable for new engines is because it is supposed to reduce friction, a certain amount of which is necessary to 'bed in' the bearing metal and other metal to metal contact surfaces during the running in period.

This excess friction is partly to blame for a new engine being more difficult to turn over and, therefore running a little hotter, which in itself is a good enough reason for not using any additive that reduces friction until the engine is well run in, possibly as much as 10,000 miles. Using an additive at this stage would greatly extend the running in period!

Once the engine is run in and the tolerances are good enough to allow the it to spin freely, there's nothing to stop you from using a 'good quality' additive, but don't waste your money trying different ones - they usually don't like being mixed.

I do use Activ8 after losing one Chevy V8 (with no additive) due to a failed oil pump drive shaft! x( I just hope that if I am unlucky again, then the ActiV8 will buy me a little more time...

BTW I've also fitted a 15W Pro-Lite connected to the oil pressure sensor!



16-08-01, 07:56 PM
Hi there I agree with the statement on not using an additive with a new engine
and there may be a benefit in putting it in a fully run in engine 10K +
I don't use one myself as present day oils are designed to cope with higher revs etc.If you went back to the 60's there was loads of additives STP.WYNNS
MOLYSLIP etc I remember one guy put so much MOLYSLIP in his engine it did if fact block the oilways.But again as oils have improved then so have the additives so the choice is yours.
Paul :-)
PS correction I do use an additive but thats a Jag part number for the powerloc diff.

16-08-01, 10:26 PM
Go to google.com, type in 'oil additives', and hey presto - pages of scepticism and law suits several well known names would not want publicised and which were raised by US regulatory authorities.

You should absolutely run in on a good quality conventional oil for the reasons cited before switching to a synthetic - but there are plenty who will say the benefits of a synthetic in a big V8 are all in the mind.

But if you must have an STP sticker on the boot lid......put some powdered teflon under the bonnet but you'll find it prefers the nooks and crannies to the load bearing surfaces. I'll say no more on the subject because you can make your own minds up.

17-08-01, 01:55 PM
John - I spent some time getting my new stroker 351W (yes I know it's not a chevvy!) to settle down in the oiling area. The recommended oil from the engine builder was Castrol GTX, but what I discovered was that GTX had been reformulated (to a lighter grade)unbeknownst to us, and it just would not perform in my engine. I could not get consistent oil pressures and temperatures at all. Also rattly cam followers. I was worried, thinking my beloved Ford V8 had some awful mechanical disease. After trying several types of oil (and filters) I found that the Valvoline "racing" 20/50W (NON synthetic) worked just fine. I now have good oil pressure, consistent whatever I do to it (even on the track at Donnington when it got well hot). (By the way the Cooper oil filter seemed to give best results)

If you look at some US threads, you will find that some of them use synthetic oils, but not until the rings/bores have bedded in - if you put it into a new engine it won't let the rings bed! I guess the same would go for the Activ8 stuff, hence their comment about not putting it into new engines.

My personal view on additives is that they are a waste of money - no-one has ever proved to me that an additive has saved their engine in the event of catastrophic oil supply problems. What I did was to fit an Accusump unit - it lets me pre-oil the engine before start-up ( when the majority of wear takes place in an engine) and assures me of 6 pints of pressurised oil supply in the event of the pump packing up or sucking air in the corners. Best "additive" I can think of.

My 2c's


17-08-01, 10:58 PM
Thanks everybody for the good advice. The oil additive question has answered and confirmed my own sceptical feelings about it. Must say I was amazed at the amount off useful comments when I accessed the search engine as suggested.

Thank you Robert and Wilf. I will be getting some valvoline for that magic moment, as yet many months away.

Cheers John

18-08-01, 12:36 AM
Interesting thread overall. Especially when cross-referencing “How to build max performance chevy small blocks on a budget” by David Vizard (ISBN: 1-884089-34-8). The “tips and tricks” section contains some notes about so called “wonder additives” under the section “minimizing engine wear”. It also contains some information about additives and break-in. The section is quite long so I have to sum it up as:

David found out by dyno testing that few additives are worth the money. As a bore-ware inhibitor and fuel system/injector cleaner is TK 7 an exception.

A TK 7 treated engine showed a minimum of 600% improvement in bore wear and exhaust-seat recession on the non-hardened seat was about halved after a 250-hour wear test in the dyno.

Break-in with TK 7 takes about 50-100% longer but produces a lower than usual friction boar finish. Power gains from reduced friction are in the region of 1 to 1 %.

What David has to say about oil and break-in is “for break-in lubrication good oil is needed but a long-life synthetic is overkill as it will only be used for a few hours”. He recommends Castrol GTX, Valvoline and Pennzoil for break-in. Mobil One and Castrol for regular use and Redline if cost is no object.

Good luck with your break-in / Rob

18-08-01, 10:53 PM
more information on additives http://www.bmwscruz.com/tech/tech003.html