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Fixing up a 1971 Fiat 850 Spyder

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by Pat, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Pat

    Pat Daily Driver

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I've started to work on my new project and found that the front calipers are freezing up. After doing some research, I rebuilt the front brakes using synthetic brake grease to lube the pistons and new seals with new pads and new hoses. I noticed that I still didn't have a pedal after bleeding the system, so I put in a new master cylinder. That didn't solve the problem either until I noticed a front line going to the right side of the car and then to the back. I cracked open that line to bleed the system and now I have brakes. Didn't like replacing the master cylinder. I have no idea how they got it into the car and attached the metal lines to it.
    Before I start driving it, I was wondering what kind of engine oil I should use. Since this is like an old style flat tappet engine, should I use a racing oil with zinc, add STP with zinc or use motorcycle oil? Not sure what would be the best way to go. Also, I want to change the transmission oil to use a synthetic. Any suggestions on what to use for that? I will only use non-alcohol premium gas in this car, but should I add a lead substitute? Finally, I want to change the fluid in the radiator to use distilled water and antifreeze like Preston or Peak. Does any one suggest a water pump lubricate to add?
    Thanks so much for any advice.
    Pat (newbie)
     
  2. NM850

    NM850 Daily Driver

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    Oil, Valvoline VR1 Racing oil.
    Transmission oil, Redline oil, I think it was MT85 but you can call redline and they will tell you specifically what you need. (I’m not where I can check what’s on my shelf right now)
    You don’t need a lead substitute on Fiat engines.
    Distilled water and antifreeze is good. I don’t think you need anything additional.

    Oil seems to be a personal subject so you’ll get other answers too. The above is what has worked for me for years.
     
    Peter Cecil likes this.
  3. RocketMonkey101

    RocketMonkey101 Daily Driver

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    As far as I know zinc should only be used in new engine builds. The reason is to create a coating on the camshaft. This coating bakes on during the break-in process. After that there is no reason to add zinc. Assuming you do not have a new engine build I'd say you can forego it as an additive because I believe it's only relevant during the break in process. This has worked for me in VW motors. A nitrided or cryo treated camshaft is another option you could try to avoid zinc usage if you were so inclined.
     
  4. NM850

    NM850 Daily Driver

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    Zinc is actually Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphate, commonly know a ZDDP.
    RocketMonkey 10 is correct, it helps with break in. But it’s also the best lubricant for flat tappet engines.
    Small amounts of oil always pass through the combustion process where the Zinc turns to ash. If you have a catalytic converter the ash accumulates there. With federal requirements to warranty emissions equipment manufacturers have asked oil company’s to remove Zinc to extend the life of the Cat.
    Even Castrol that invented the idea of using Zinc has reduced the amount in its oil. That information is not being advertised and is hard to find.
    Older flat tappet engines need that Zinc lubrication. Until it was discovered that oil companies were removing the Zinc there were many cases of premature wear. I’ve see it both in my experiences racing Alfa Romeos and in the normally ultra high mileage engines that Toyota has in the Land Cruiser (2F)
    The oil I recommended has the ZDDP because it’s sold as a racing oil. There are other specialty oils with ZDDP but if you want to use an off the self, cheaper oil, I highly recommend a Zinc additive.
     
  5. Pat

    Pat Daily Driver

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Okay, sounds good. Any idea if I should use straight 30 wt, or should I use 5-30, 10-30, 10-40, 15-40? I remember that we were taught to use only straight 20wt or 30wt for air-cooled VW engines.
    Thanks,
    Pat
     
  6. NM850

    NM850 Daily Driver

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    10-40
     
  7. RocketMonkey101

    RocketMonkey101 Daily Driver

    Location:
    Los Angeles

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