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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Given my recent experiences with a dead camshaft on a bike which has less than 3000 miles, I've been doing a lot of reading about cams and cam wear and corrosion.
Whilst the cause of my dead cam was in fact lack of use and corrosion as a result, I came across a lot of talk about ZDDP.
ZDDP is an anti wear additive which is put into oil to prevent metal-to-metal contact in high load areas of engines, specifically camshafts and followers.
When catalytic convertors came along it was quickly realised that ZDDP buggered them up, so it was removed from most formulations of engine oils for cars. Now that all new bikes have catalytic convertors too, ZDDP has been removed from bike oils.
You can still get ZDDP carrying oils, Millers and Morris do a classic car oil with ZDDP but I'm not sure about their bike oils.
Modern engines are designed to run without ZDDP, I believe it's because modern engines almost always have DOHC and rotating bucket type valve actuators, coupled with a very wide contact patch on the cam.
Older engines like those in our NX/SLR/FX/FMX need ZDDP, they have old fashioned SOHC top ends with very small followers and small contact patch between cam and follower.

2016-10-21 14.38.55.jpg
I bought a couple of bottles of additive (Ebay), as in the photo. A 250ml bottle treats 5l of oil, so I decanted 110ml off and poured it into the tank. I went out for a ride and I am gobsmacked about the effect, the engine became noticeably quieter as I rode! After 50 miles it sounds like a new bike. The engine is smoother too, I can feel the difference through the pegs and bars.
I've always done 1000 mile oil changes, but now I'm going to change to 2000 mile intervals with a dose of ZDDP. The savings in oil will more than pay for the additive.

It shouldn't affect the clutch because it's not a friction reducer, it's job is to coat the cam lobes and followers with Zinc alloys and that's what protects the two from wearing each other.

Anyway, thought I'd share - if anyone else gives it a go, let me know what you think.
 
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ZDDP is still available in many brands of oil suitable for motorcycles, if the grade fits your engine.
Check the Rotella T6 5W40. This oil was originally designed for diesel motors but has been widely embraced by the motorcycle crowd as it is also JASO MA and suits wet clutches.



 

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Back in the good old days, CCC was the magazine of choice for those of us who lusted after (even if could never afford) "performance/competition" cars, and such firms as Kent Cams used to advertise regularly. And they always recommended a special red liquid to coat the new cam and followers ...from memory it was some sort of zinc compound, so probably much the same as ZDDP. I wonder if it's still available.
(And what about STP and Wynns.... I used to use the latter to coat new bearing shells on the assumption that it would provide some lubrication on initial start-up until the oil pump primed itself properly).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Will look into the Rotela stuff, thanks.
I've got Moly paste to massage into the lobes of my new cam when it comes.
I'm sold on this ZDDP stuff though.
 

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Interesting info Bob.
I wonder if there is a relevance of ZDDP content between Jaso MA & MA2, MA2 being the later standard & suitable for motorcycles with catalysts?
 

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ZDDP is being reduced because of catalytic converters, zinc and silver don't go well together. As a general rule, motorcycle oils do have more of it than car oils. Also there are about 10 variants of ZDDP. It is great protection, especially for older engines but too much of it can be counterproductive.

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Shell don't sell Rotella here in EU, The diesel oils here are Rimula and aren't the same as the North American market oils which are US made.
There is no 5w40 here only 5w30 and 10w40 in the Rimula range.
I agree ZDDP is a good thing but unfortunately the EU makes life difficult when running older machinery as the EU emissions standards are a lot tighter than the 49 state US ones.
 

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Shell don't sell Rotella here in EU, The diesel oils here are Rimula and aren't the same as the North American market oils which are US made.
There is no 5w40 here only 5w30 and 10w40 in the Rimula range.
I agree ZDDP is a good thing but unfortunately the EU makes life difficult when running older machinery as the EU emissions standards are a lot tighter than the 49 state US ones.
take your car in to get its annual test hear in Ireland NCT and they will rev it up till its about to blow up to test emissions and some do . I heard of a poor old man who could scarcely afford to feed himself and heat his house have his engine go bang because the timing belt was over due a change . and still let cars out with defective brakes . its all just a money racket . thank **** we don't have a bike test if I saw some one rev the living shit out of my bike I would want to split his head wide open . only I get to do that :D
 

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The biggest scam is Insurance here in Ireland. Any car over 15yrs old now is extremely difficult to insure, why this is I am not sure but I suspect the insurers are the big issue when both major players declined to insure any car over 15yr at the same time.
Fortunately the issue hasn't trickled down to bikes as most of mine are over 17rs old at this stage.
 

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123.ie are not to bad for older cars .chill are only a shower of ...use your own favourite choice words :D the best car of the lot for the irish motorist on account of road tax and insurance is the Honda jazz stick a draw bar on easy job and you can pull bikes turf blocks sheep pigs pony's bales of hay a handy caravan or a handy boat . I have only moved turf blocks and bags of top soil on a trailer drop the back seats and they are like a van . miser on petrol too as good as a diesel and nippy enough and fun to drive even on the motorway and trouble free timing chains in them they even put the engines in light aircraft its a Honda never give a bit of bother only thing goes in them is the gearbox bearing can get noisy . so if it sounds a bit odd buy a different one . :thumbright:
 

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Just to say tried this in the Dommie that had a developed a bit of clatter from the top end when starting from cold that would disappear when warmed up. added the ZDDP as have recently changed the oil and after about 50 miles the noise disappeared in about 5 secs. Run her another 50 and just started her outside with the air temp under 5C and noise completely gone.

Thanks Bobn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's good to hear - I was wondering whether I'd imagined it, but no, I've added it to two of mine now and you can feel and hear the difference.
 
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