Important Message To All Racers About Engine Oil


At Prather Racing, we have been concerned with oil and lubrication issues for some time. The MG engine is the most common engine built here. However, we do a lot of RX7 Rotary and now considerable Miata engines.  Cam lobe life was a big problem 10 years ago with any MGA or MGB over 7200 RPM.  When we had good racing oil, such as Kendall GT-1, we saw greatly reduced wear and also developed cams that had good lifter rotation and low hertz pressures.  At this time, we had no bearing issues at all.  We really liked the quality of Red Line Oil and saw excellent results in all or our Mazdas and any engine without 10Ē pushrods.  However, the Redline didnít protect the cams as well as a high zinc mineral oil.

Then, Kendall was sold and the quality went downhill. Tom Whitfield totally burnt up his Kendall oiled engine and spun a bearing in Atlanta .  Because of this, we switched to Phillips 66 TropArtic Racing Oil.  Every oil high in zinc exhibits all the wear protection that is needed for break-in, but we still feel that Red Line is a better race oil after break-in.  We have been using Delo 400 for a while in our Toterhome (diesel) with great results and feel this could be a good break in oil, as well as Valvoline 20-50 Racing or Rotella.

We want proper cam break-in and then longevity.  The oil pump drive gears are also a major component of concern.  If the pressure is too high (80 lbs), the gears wear.  If the pressure is too low (60 lbs), then the engine may not see proper oil volume.  Red Line gives us the best anti-wear with drive gears.  So we now break the engines in with a good high zinc mineral based oil and never pull over 4000 RPM during our 1Ĺ to 2 hour break-in period.  This oil goes out and Red Line goes in to do power pulls and Dyno tuning.  Then, we recommend Red Line for the race weekend and then change it when prepping for the second race weekend.  This is going to increase the cost of our racing, but if we can get the projected life from the engine we expect, itís worth the increased price up front.

So what do you do for your street cars?  Standard API oil with the energy conserving label is not the answer for 3000-mile intervals. We feel the Delo for 3000 or Red Line street motor oils at 5000-mile intervals would be good choices.

Here is a link to a piece written by Keith Ansell at Foreign Parts Positively, Inc. His comments run along the same lines as what we have found.  If any of you have additional info or comments we would welcome your input.


Kent & Jesse Prather
Prather Racing



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