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1983 300D Turbo and 1985 300D Turbo
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been told (by what I believe to be a reliable source) that our older diesel engines relied heavily upon relatively high zinc content oil in order to prevent excessive camshaft wear (and other part wear too, I would gather).

It is my understanding that EPA rules and regulations have forced new oils to have lower zinc composition.

What oil are you using, and what does MB recommend?
 

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87 300SDL, 82 300SD, 81 300D, 81 240D, 82 300SD, 87 300SDL#2, 87 300TD, 94 S350D, 85 300D, 90 350SDL
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469 Posts
I use Rotella. But, I worked for a major parts chain for 15 years, and I bought out a huge stock pile of a viscosity modifier product similar to Motor Honey. This product was discontinued many years ago, and made years before the EPA zinc ban. It's called Smoke Out, and it's made by Unifide. A product buyer at work checked the formula sheet, and it had a large concentration of zinc. I only use a 1/4 bottle in all my oil changes. Been using it for years. Everything is running great and shows no wear and runs smooth. I got the stuff cheap, and bought over 1000 bottles. I'm very happy with it. I know you can still get zinc fortified motor oil from Lucas in their racing oil line. If anyone wants a few bottles of this to add some zinc to their mix, just let me know. I'll never use all that I bought.
 

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1978 300D - sold, 91 300TE 4Matic - sold, 1982 300D
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165 Posts
I would imagine that with the lubricity properties of modern oils being far beyond that of oil of the past, having high zinc content probably isn't that big of a deal. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong here.

Anyway I've always liked Mobil 1 Delvac or Valvoline (I think) Tection extra. Both are diesel specific and help with the ever important carbon removal. I prefer a little heavier oil as it's often 90+ during the summer in Michigan. I'm running 15w40 at the moment, and while some might say that it may be excessively thick to the point of not penetrating areas with tight tolerances my car is much quieter than when I used to run 10w30 during the summer.
 
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