Care and Feeding - What kind of oil should I use in my Model T Ford?

Here is the link - add your thoughts below.

Does anyone have an opinion on Mobil 1 V Twin 20 W 50? I tried it because I heard that it is for motorcycles with wet clutches, and my TT has a wet clutch. Now when I start the truck it drifts ahead when the parking lever is straight up in neutral. It did not used to do that. Is that creep a result of the different oil? Is the forward creep bad for the transmission? Should I adjust the transmission band? Should I change the oil back to O’Rielly’s 20 W 40? Or should I just live with the creep which is not really a problem? Thanks…

This was the best article I’ve read on oil as it relates to the model T. There will always be differing opinion on what oil to use, and that’s ok. My opinion means nothing, but I agree with the conclusions reached here. Nice work,

I use cheap 20/50 motorcycle Syntec oil from Walmart. Amsoil for classic cars before that, the Amsoil classics for wetclutchs and flat tappet engines. Works well in winter time too, doesn’t thicken up in cold weather. Sounds like your free neutral may need a slight adjustment.

I use Wal-Mart super tech 5w 30 in my model T s and A s. Cheap and I change my oil in all of them every 500 miles or one time per year.

A while back on the MTFCA forum, a couple of photos were posted of “Sears Anti-Chatter Oil for Model T Fords”.

It seems the current wisdom is that any modern oil is superior to what was available for and used in Model Ts during (and considerably after) their using life, but what, exactly substantiates that claim ? Back to “Aunti Chatter Oil”, does anyone know what sort of chatter did it supposedly eliminate ? Band chatter or clutch chatter ?

Over 50 years ago when I was an impecunious teen playing with Ts we randomly assembled from parts scrounged in the sage-brush, I used “Double Eagle Re-processed Oil” - two bits the quart. Labeled 30W, it was sort of murky, ugly looking stuff, and seemed to be a tad thicker than “good” oil. My faulty memory tells me once I had mastered the technique of shifting to high gear, the transition was invariably smooth.

Forward to my acquisition of my current Model T love affair, a '13 runabout, I’m using Rotella 15-40w as per the previous owner’s recommendation, and have noted that shifts into high are silky smooth only until the engine oil has arrived at operating temperature. I’m suspicioius that this newfangled modern oil is a bit light when brought to temperature, it sure seems “thin” . . . Any and all comments welcomed !!

Flying C. Do you know what kind of clutch pack is in the car ?? Orig.Ford,JackRabbit,Turbo400 ?? It has been recommended that if you have the non orig.Ford packs to add 1’2 a Qt. of transfluid to the oil if it’s chattering/grabby. I have the turbo400 in my car and transfluid cures that ,Add more if needed. Since converting over to synthetic I’ve not had that problem.

Within the immediate family we have quite a few items that need oil. They range from a John Deere tractor to moderns with both low and high mileage, to mowers and weed whackers, and last but not least to our beloved Model T’s.

I bought a 55 gallon drum of Havoline single weight 30W from an oil distributor which brought the cost down to about $2/quart. Winter, summer, spring, or fall this is the oil that gets used.

This is what works in northern Kentucky. Your results may vary. :wink:

As for using automatic transmission fluid I have tried it in all the Model T’s. Some shifted a bit rough, others smoothly. In any event I couldn’t tell any difference before, during, or after using it. Then again, I don’t have much info about the current innermost workings and hidden mechanisms of the various transmissions other than they all have smooth drums, the Kevlar bands, and neutral adjustment following Royce’s instructions from another forum.

Regards, Tom in Taylor Mill, KY 41015

The common opinion in the Danish Model T club is that SAE 30 is the oil to use for the Model T. At some point my daily driver was “grounded”, so I had to drive the T “off season” and decided to change the oil to 20W. My rods had a little noice, which I expected to be louder with the thinner oil, but to my surprise it almost disappeated. When you drive Model T you have time to think and it made me come to the same conclusion as Royce that splash oiled engines is different from pressure oiled. The thinner oil gave better lubrication.
The last couple of seasons I have used a regular SAE 20W/50 Classic oil with good results. I am a little reluctant with thinner oil as the leaks may be worse :slight_smile:.

I’ve always used Valvoline products. Lately, I’m using Valvoline 15w-40 diesel oil from WalMart. It comes in a gallon jug, and is just enough for one oil change.