[Healeys] Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Thu Feb 9 09:47:17 MST 2017

That's a little harsh, Gary.

After my initial post, I did some googling and found some anecdotal 
'evidence;' here's just one example (from our LBC brethren):


You can 'research' yourself by googling 'valvoline vr1 20w-50 banned in 
california;' it appears others have thought the same.

I have no prefabricated agenda; I'm doing an expensive engine rebuild 
for my BJ8 and want the best oil possible--for a reasonable price--for 
the engine when I reinstall it (my cam lobes and tappet faces were 
seriously worn).  I'd been buying VR1 for a while when the local parts 
house told me 'we pulled it off the shelves.'  My engine builder--when 
asked if VR1 was a good oil for older, flat tappet engines said 'Yeah, 
but you can't get it in California.'  So, I got curious (and, in the 
meantime, bought 3 cases online).

Banning VR1 made no sense, since other brands--Castrol, for one--still 
claim 'adequate' ZDDP for older, flat tappet engines, and the consensus 
seemed to be that many 20W-50 oils still had sufficient ZDDP since they 
weren't likely to be used in newer cars with catalytic converters, but 
that's the 'reading' I was getting from several sources.  I had resigned 
myself to buying online and, with a full case order you can get free 
shipping from Amazon at a better price than the parts house anyway.

I will confess to being a bit predisposed to assume the 'banned' 
scenario; several products which I've found to be effective--3M's 
adhesive remover, for one--appear* to be NLA in CA, and I think the best 
upholstery adhesive I know of--Weldwood--hasn't been seen on shelves 
around here for a while (I buy qt bottles from my upholsterer, who buys 
5-gal cans from, well, I don't want to know where).  I'll also confess 
to a poor choice of wording in my previous post--I was speculating and 
should have made that clear for the nuance-challenged.

Full Disclosure:  I'm a native Californian--fourth-generation, to be 
exact--and have mixed feelings about some of my state's political 
actions (but have defended some of them on several occasions).  I can 
attest to a dramatic improvement in our air quality over my lifetime, 
and we have a ways to go.  I also have a background in chemistry--both 
educational and in the workforce--so I understand the dangers of some 
compounds--halogenated hydrocarbons in particular--being let loose in 
the environment, so I stride both sides of the environmental arguments.  
It should be noted CA does not require vehicle inspections--a serious 
tax and hassle, IMO--and the state did us old car owners a solid when it 
eliminated the smog check for pre-1968 cars.

I still don't have an answer as to why VR1 was pulled from store 
shelves, but has now reappeared.  Either there was a 
misunderstanding--possibly* with the SAE rating system--or, possibly* 
Valvoline changed the formulation to comply*.



On 2/9/2017 7:55 AM, warthodson at aol.com wrote:
> Or maybe you are fabricating a wholly unsubstantiated scenario to fit 
> with your own personal beliefs & prejudices?
> Gary Hodson
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bob Spidell <bspidell at comcast.net>
> Cc: Healeys <healeys at autox.team.net>
> Sent: Thu, Feb 9, 2017 9:33 am
> Subject: Re: [Healeys] Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil
> Well, my local parts house--the same one that pulled it off the shelf a
> year or so ago--now has its back on the shelf for ~$7/qt.
> It appears this was a bureaucratic overreaction/SNAFU to some
> regulations that may or may not have had an effect, or maybe Valvoline
> changed the formulation to comply.
> bs
> On 2/8/2017 12:21 PM, David Masucci wrote:
> > Are you guys referring to the full synthetic, or the conventional 
> version of this oil!
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> On Feb 8, 2017, at 10:38 AM, Bruce Steele 
> <healeybruce at roadrunner.com <mailto:healeybruce at roadrunner.com>> wrote:
> >>
> >> I checked at my local NAPA in Brea, CA just a couple of weeks ago, 
> and they
> >> have it.
> >>
> >> Bruce Steele
> >> Brea, CA
> >> 1960 BN7
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net 
> <mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net?>] On Behalf Of Bob
> >> Spidell
> >> Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2017 3:46 PM
> >> To: Healeys <healeys at autox.team.net <mailto:healeys at autox.team.net>>
> >> Subject: [Healeys] Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil
> >>
> >> Anybody know why this isn't available in California any more? Yes, it
> >> supposedly has high levels of ZDDP, but to my knowledge only the 
> 20W-50, as
> >> do other 20W-50s that are still available. My local parts house 
> told me a
> >> while ago they 'had to pull it off the shelves,' and my engine 
> builder says
> >> it's NLA in California, but he sells Kendall 20W-50, which claims 
> high ZDDP.
> >>
> >> AFAIK, it can still be 'imported.'
> >>
> >> Bob
> >>
> >>
> >

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