Cold weather oil in L-134 -
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Unread 12-21-2008, 08:15 PM   #1
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1949 CJ3A 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 83
Cold weather oil in L-134

What oil would you use in a 1949-ish L-134 flathead engine, when the outside temperature is -30°C (-22°F)?

I tried to start the Jeep today in those temperatures, but the battery was toast so nothing happened at all when I pressed the starter button...

But since there was no block heater on, I don't know what would have happened if I had been able to turn it over. I haven't changed the oil since I got it in the summer (I doubt it's gone 20 miles in that time), so I don't even know what's in there right now. But the PO lived in warmer climes--rarely dropping below -10°C (+14°F).

I put a battery warmer on it, and next time I go out to the acreage, I'll bring along a battery charger. Between those, I should be able to turn the engine over. But I should probably put some light weight oil in it, too. What rating would you suggest? I know that modern cars say to use 5W30 all year, and that seems to work fine in all newer cars I've owned, but a flathead is a different beast!


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Unread 12-21-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
Ridin' Around
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1999 WJ 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rochester, Illinois
Posts: 2,212
Paul, I would suggest looking at Amsoil's HDD 5W-30. It is listed in their diesel oil category but has a high level of ZDDP additives that the flat head will like and be good through the warmer weather. A second option would be the AMO 10W-40, it is also a high ZDDP oil and will go a little heavier in weight while remaining a highly flowable oil in the cold. The pour point is -44*c. Hope that helps.
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