Rye Oil , any one used it?

Time to get some oil for my XK Engine , my dad told me Duckhames is back , you can only buy it from them at around £30 a gal
I did use Halfords classic car oil at £20 for 5lt , but read that has no ZDDP in it !
Then I come across this Rye Oil £55 for 25 lt :scream:
As Rye is just down the road from me , would be nice to buy local .
Has anyone used the Oil
I guess UK Jag owners only !!

Never heard of it but it is half what I am paying for Castrol Classic 20W50. The data sheet info looks similar to the Castrol specification and both claim API SE/CC - but I am no expert in oil suitability. If you are happy with it Ian, I will get some too when I am down your way.


It’s on E-bay Frankie , free delivery !!

My only hesitation is a distrust of things cheap. How can Rye Oil sell an equivalent quality product at half the price, even if heavily discounted? Logic says their base cost must be less - and that means inferior ingredients or blending. OK, so they don’t have the overheads of the major producers/suppliers - but half the price? It sounds too good to be true…


I know what you mean Frankie , not quite the same , but some people are happy drinking tap water , then others buy it in a plastic bottle , like Peckham spring water :sunglasses:

A guy who runs a Austin 10 , with no filter , says it’s good stuff , shall I be a Guinea pig !!

Then again less then 2000 miles a year one may never know just how good or bad it is , the saving could pay for a good few pints :beer:

You’ve heard the old saying “You get what you pay for”? IMO, all too often you don’t get what you pay for, you get less.

That said, I’d still stick with a well known national brand for the E-type. Most owners don’t put a lot of miles on their car so they do what, 1-2 oil changes a year. The cost difference between the expensive stuff and run of the mill stuff isn’t that great.

That said when it comes to lubricants I tend not to skimp. For example I use 15-50 Mobile 1 synthetic in the E-type; cost is about $28 for a 5 quart jug at Wal-Mart. So about $50 for oil each change. Castrol GTX 20-50 is about $33 per change and Wal-Mart’s store brand is about $30 per oil change. Considering an engine rebuild will cost probably a minimum of $10,000 the cost of oil is inconsequential, IMO. And there is something to be said for the cost of peace of mind as well.

The Rye oil under discussion carries the API specification SF, which is considered obsolete. today’s standard is SN. SF was designed for engines made prior to 1988. That classification was superseded about 28 years ago. I’d guess it’s cheaper because of the less robust additive package and maybe even the refining process itself. While the E-type engine was made well prior to 1988 why not buy a higher specified oil With the better additive package.

Modern oils are formulated for fuel efficiency, extended drain intervals and close tolerances in moving parts; older engines have different requirements - greater clearances, a need for splash and cling lubrication, cork/rope seals etc. and therefore are better matched to “traditional” oil formulations. Others may differ, but I prefer to use lubricants designed with the older engine in mind (but there again I’m no expert on the topic!).

I will be interested to hear how you get on with Rye Oil, Ian - as a matter of interest how will you judge it’s performance/suitability?!


The API would disagree with that.


I have sent Rye Oil a Email , highlighting my concerns about the price , like I said I was using Halfords classic oil , but found out that has no ZDDP !
Truth be told I did not know about ZDDP in oil , if the Rye Oil was £100 for 25lt’s would the question of how good it was arise , as it’s £55 for 25 lt’s it must be rubbish right ?

As for knowing how good it would be , compared to other oil’s , I would not start to know how to tell , only oil pressure and what it looked like on a oil change ,
I don’t think most people know how good there oil is , they will tell you it’s the best , as it says so on the can :sunglasses:

When I get feedback from Rye Oil I will let you know .

Ps only sure way to find out is to get 2 XK engines with all the same components and run them on a test bed for 100.000 miles , then strip them and find out the difference , but then again , how would you know a bad bearing or piston ring was not fitted !

Got a reply from Rye Oil !
What spec are the others?

Ours is the following:

More then covers anything produced when the car was manufactured. We can produce a higher spec 20w/50 (CL/CF/CF4) but this is a racing 20w/50.

Castrol XL 20W-50 data sheet link herewith:- https://msdspds.castrol.com/bpglis/FusionPDS.nsf/Files/4E39BAC2A01EBD4F80257FA900323602/$File/BPXE-A9Y56L.pdf.
The zinc content is shown as 0.08% by weight and the API rating as SE. According to their web site data sheet, the Rye Oil product under discussion also has an API rating of SE - perhaps SF is a misprint?

Castrol promote their Classic oils as “ideally suited to older technology and classic car engines”…"…for all pre-1980 petrol engine vehicles requiring a high quality product but with an older technology additive formulation." They also say “…the Castrol Classic Oils range offers formulations for older vehicles that have been specially blended for the work they have to do”.

I hear Johns reference to the API chart, but am persuaded by Castrol’s specific arguments and recommendation.


Castrol publish 2 data sheets on their site for this oil - the link I posted above is for the 2016 edition of the data sheet - the references I gave in my last post are form the 2004 edition - sorry for any confusion!


Well I have some Rye Oil on the way , £50 for 25lts , £15 less then 2 can’s of Duckhams

As I do less then 1500 miles a year , in 2 years time when I do a oil change , my way of thinking may have changed !

Bottom line: if an oil has a sufficiency of ZDDP, it doesnt matter what oil you use: ANY oil made today is better than what these cars saw in their day.

We change it often enough: this is just stressing out over something not really necessary. Tweety covered over 200,000 miles, and his engine bits, besides normal wear items, were in fine fettle.

There is an interesting commentary on WIKIPEDIA under “Motor Oil”. I thought this extract worthy of pasting here:-

All the current gasoline categories (including the obsolete SH) have placed limitations on the phosphorus content for certain SAE viscosity grades (the xW-20, xW-30) due to the chemical poisoning that phosphorus has on catalytic converters. Phosphorus is a key anti-wear component in motor oil and is usually found in motor oil in the form of zinc dithiophosphate (ZDDP). Each new API category has placed successively lower phosphorus and zinc limits, and thus has created a controversial issue of obsolescent oils needed for older engines, especially engines with sliding (flat/cleave) tappets. API and ILSAC, which represents most of the world’s major automobile/engine manufacturers, state API SM/ILSAC GF-4 is fully backwards compatible, and it is noted that one of the engine tests required for API SM, the Sequence IVA, is a sliding tappet design to test specifically for cam wear protection. Not everyone is in agreement with backwards compatibility, and in addition, there are special situations, such as “performance” engines or fully race built engines, where the engine protection requirements are above and beyond API/ILSAC requirements. Because of this, there are specialty oils out in the market place with higher than API allowed phosphorus levels. Most engines built before 1985 have the flat/cleave bearing style systems of construction, which is sensitive to reducing zinc and phosphorus. For example, in API SG rated oils, this was at the 1200–1300 ppm level for zinc and phosphorus, where the current SM is under 600 ppm. This reduction in anti-wear chemicals in oil has caused premature failures of camshafts and other high pressure bearings in many older automobiles and has been blamed for premature failure of the oil pump drive/cam position sensor gear that is meshed with camshaft gear in some modern engines.


Well I did a Oil change today , I was surprised how black the old oil was , and a little thinner , compared to the new Rye Oil I was putting in ,
So did a Viscosity test today with a Zahn cup 2"
I did add some Best line engine treatment , after the last oil change , that was a little thinner , think I will not add anything this time .
Will run engine 2000 miles , then do another test , with our wet weather that may be a few years :grin:

Ps we used the Zahn cup to test our ink , water baste , that was about 34 sec !