: Engine Oil Myths including ZDP by GM



AJxtcman
12-11-07, 08:15 AM
Over the years there has been an overabundance of engine oil myths. Here are some facts you may want to pass along to customers to help debunk the fiction behind these myths.

http://216.182.211.32/techlink/images/issues/dec07/images/6x6/fig1.jpg

The Pennsylvania Crude Myth -- This myth is based on a misapplication of truth. In 1859, the first commercially successful oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania.
A myth got started before World War II claiming that the only good oils were those made from pure Pennsylvania crude oil. At the time, only minimal refining was used to make engine oil from crude oil. Under these refining conditions, Pennsylvania crude oil made better engine oil than Texas crude or California crude. Today, with modern refining methods, almost any crude can be made into good engine oil.

http://216.182.211.32/techlink/images/issues/dec07/images/6x6/fig2.jpg

Other engine oil myths are based on the notion that the new and the unfamiliar are somehow "bad."

The Detergent Oil Myth -- The next myth to appear is that modern detergent engine oils
are bad for older engines. This one got started after World War II, when the government no longer needed all of the available detergent oil for the war effort, and detergent oil hit the market as “heavy-duty” oil.

Many pre-war cars had been driven way past their normal life, their engines were full of sludge and deposits, and the piston rings were completely worn out. Massive piston deposits were the only thing standing between merely high oil consumption and horrendous oil consumption. After a thorough purge by the new detergent oil, increased oil consumption was a possible consequence.

If detergent oils had been available to the public during the war, preventing the massive deposit buildup from occurring in the first place, this myth never would have started. Amazingly, there are still a few people today, 60 years later, who believe that they need to use non-detergent oil in their older cars. Apparently, it takes many years for an oil myth to die.

The Synthetic Oil Myth -- Then there is the myth that new engine break-in will not occur with synthetic oils. This one was apparently started by an aircraft engine manufacturer who put out a bulletin that said so. The fact is that Mobil 1 synthetic oil has been the factory-fill for many thousands of engines. Clearly, they have broken in quite well, and that should put this one to rest.

The Starburst Oil Myth -- The latest myth promoted by the antique and collector car press says that new Starburst/ API SM engine oils (called Starburst for the shape of the symbol on the container) are bad for older engines because the amount of anti-wear additive in them has been reduced. The anti-wear additive being discussed is zinc dithiophosphate (ZDP).



http://216.182.211.32/techlink/images/issues/dec07/images/6x6/fig3.jpg

http://216.182.211.32/techlink/images/issues/dec07/images/6x6/fig4.jpg
Before debunking this myth, we need to look at the history of ZDP usage. For over 60 years, ZDP has been used as an additive in engine oils to provide wear protection and oxidation stability.

ZDP was first added to engine oil to control copper/lead bearing corrosion. Oils with a phosphorus level in the 0.03% range passed a corrosion test introduced in 1942.

In the mid-1950s, when the use of high-lift camshafts increased the potential for scuffing and wear, the phosphorus level contributed by ZDP was increased to the 0.08% range.

In addition, the industry developed a battery of oil tests (called sequences), two of which were valve-train scuffing and wear tests.

A higher level of ZDP was good for flat-tappet valve-train scuffing and wear, but it turned out that more was not better. Although break-in scuffing was reduced by using more phosphorus, longer-term wear increased when phosphorus rose above 0.14%. And, at about 0.20% phosphorus, the ZDP started attacking the grain boundaries in the iron, resulting in camshaft spalling.

By the 1970s, increased antioxidancy was needed to protect the oil in high-load engines, which otherwise could thicken to a point where the engine could no longer pump it. Because ZDP was an inexpensive and effective antioxidant, it was used to place the phosphorus level in the 0.10% range.

However, phosphorus is a poison for exhaust catalysts. So, ZDP levels have been reduced over the last 10-15 years. It's now down to a maximum of 0.08% for Starburst oils. This was supported by the introduction of modern ashless antioxidants that contain no phosphorus.

Enough history. Let's get back to the myth that Starburst oils are no good for older engines. The argument put forth is that while these oils work perfectly well in modern, gasoline engines equipped with roller camshafts, they will cause catastrophic wear in older engines equipped with flat-tappet camshafts.

The facts say otherwise.

Backward compatability was of great importance when the Starburst oil standards were developed by a group of experts from the OEMs, oil companies, and oil additive companies. In addition, multiple oil and additive companies ran no-harm tests on older engines with the new oils; and no problems were uncovered.

The new Starburst specification contains two valve-train wear tests. All Starburst oil formulations must pass these two tests.

- Sequence IVA tests for camshaft scuffing and wear using a single overhead camshaft engine with slider finger (not roller) followers.

- Sequence IIIG evaluates cam and lifter wear using a V6 engine with a flat-tappet system, similar to those used in the 1980s.

http://216.182.211.32/techlink/images/issues/dec07/images/6x6/fig5.jpg

Those who hold onto the myth are ignoring the fact that the new Starburst oils contain about the same percentage of ZDP as the oils that solved the camshaft scuffing and wear issues back in the 1950s. (True, they do contain less ZDP than the oils that solved the oil thickening issues in the 1960s, but that's because they now contain high levels of ashless antioxidants not commercially available in the 1960s.)

Despite the pains taken in developing special flat-tappet camshaft wear tests that these new oils must pass and the fact that the ZDP level of these new oils is comparable to the level found necessary to protect flat-tappet camshafts in the past, there will still be those who want to believe the myth that new oils will wear out older engines.

Like other myths before it, history teaches us that it will probably take 60 or 70 years for this one to die also.


Special thanks to GM's Techlink
- Thanks to Bob Olree – GM Powertrain Fuels and Lubricants Group

http://216.182.211.32/techlink/images/issues/dec07/TLdec07e.html#story1

ncCADDYman
12-11-07, 10:35 AM
damn, i feel educated after reading that post ... thanks

dkozloski
12-11-07, 11:07 AM
That is why the OLM system was developed by observing the operating conditions that depleted ZDP and finding a way to quantify the remaining ZDP by calculation with the ECM. The OLM knows the amount of ZDP the oil starts with and what depletes it. It keeps track of these factors and lets you know when the ZDP needs to be replenished by an oil change.

iroc86
12-11-07, 11:30 AM
I saw that article a few days ago on GM TechLink. With all the talk regarding the new oil specifications, it was an interesting read... especially since it's straight from an automaker.

Cadillacboy
12-11-07, 01:07 PM
Another oil thread :yup:

AJxtcman
12-11-07, 02:26 PM
I saw that article a few days ago on GM TechLink. With all the talk regarding the new oil specifications, it was an interesting read... especially since it's straight from an automaker.

A few weeks back I changed my oil. I kind of stopped driving the car after that. I might have 40 miles on it since. I asked the parts guys to get me some EOS. No can do:mad: To add to that we switch oils about 2 or 3 months ago and it come out of the gun with the consistency of mineral spirits. Yeah it is very thin and clear as good water on the other hand our water is black now.

My motor had about 6k on it when I had my issues and had to swap blocks and one head. When I did this repair I found major lifter wear:rant2: The oil that was put in that motor when new was GF-4, but I think it was 10W-30. Maybe we have 5W-30? I thought we had 5W-30 before that went to the runny stuff.

Anyway I have been scared that I am damaging my cams. Now I am sure that I am. You have to realise that the engine is inches from my head and the ambient temp is low, so this loud a$$ Northstar is rattling away. :cool2:

I will look for a new source of oil.

EcSTSatic
12-11-07, 03:32 PM
I hate perpetuating yet another oil thread but this question has bothered me. Maybe someone can ease my angst. How does one know that the OLM is working properly? Is there a self-test or something? Will I always be able to rely on it?

AJxtcman
12-11-07, 04:26 PM
I hate perpetuating yet another oil thread but this question has bothered me. Maybe someone can ease my angst. How does one know that the OLM is working properly? Is there a self-test or something? Will I always be able to rely on it?

This may shed some light
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/118135-oil-life-monitor-how-does-know.html

clarkz71
12-11-07, 08:02 PM
I'll stick with Rotella 10/30.:thumbsup:

AJxtcman
12-11-07, 08:41 PM
I'll stick with Rotella 10/30.:thumbsup:

If I didn't I was going to PM you about EOS. I thought GM had a new listing under engine assembly lube.

Now I looked at the oil tanks today. The oil is listed as GF-4, 5W-30, Synblend. The tank also has a sticker for GF-4, 10W-30 supreme. I am thinking it is a seasonal thing and this season has not come yet:annoyed:
The 5W-30 is probably out of season, so it is probably on sale. That 5 cent they are saving is going to help:thumbsup:

clarkz71
12-11-07, 09:01 PM
If I didn't I was going to PM you about EOS. I thought GM had a new listing under engine assembly lube.




New formula EOS. Part# 88862586

iroc86
12-11-07, 09:24 PM
You guys should have stocked up on the EOS a couple months back. I have about fifteen bottles of the old formula. :) The 396 in my '67 Camaro has a flat-tappet cam, and I do not trust the new SM standard yet. Even the diesel oils, such as Mobil Delvac, aren't as potent as they once were. It'll be interesting to see if the new anti-wear formulations are as good as ZDP in real-world usage. Considering that the move towards lessening ZDP was brought on to avoid catalyst damage, I'm not holding my breath.

eldorado1
12-11-07, 09:55 PM
Put some context in....

What benefit does GM have to keep our older (>10years old, out of warranty) cars on the road? Wouldn't it be better if all of our cars blew up, so we'd be forced to drive the newest models? Planned obsolescence? Conspiracy theory? ehh... I like my ZDDP, until someone proves "beyond a reasonable doubt" that it's either not necessary or causing damage. This means I want numbers!!

EcSTSatic
12-12-07, 12:39 PM
This may shed some light
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/118135-oil-life-monitor-how-does-know.html

That's good information but the question is how do you know that the OLM sensors are working properly? Are there OLM error codes in the DIC?

iroc86
12-12-07, 12:52 PM
That's good information but the question is how do you know that the OLM sensors are working properly? Are there OLM error codes in the DIC?

I'm just taking a stab in the dark here, but I bet the PCM would throw a checksum error if the OLM code wasn't working. Keep in mind that the OLM bases its calculations from various engine sensors, so if one of those went bad, it would display a DTC for that particular sensor.

Outside of those sensors, the OLM is just a program inside the PCM that calculates the estimated oil life from a set of mathematical algorithms. I surmise the only thing that would really cause the OLM to fail is PCM data corruption (and you'd probably have a bunch of other problems besides the OLM not working!). I'm not sure how Cadillac does it, but most other PCMs will perform a quick test at key-on to ensure the code and calibration data are intact. It's called a "checksum," and is really nothing more than comparing the code against an expected value.

dkozloski
12-12-07, 12:54 PM
That's good information but the question is how do you know that the OLM sensors are working properly? Are there OLM error codes in the DIC?
There is no such thing as an OLM sensor. It computes the remaining oil life from oil temperature, RPM, and other operating conditions.

EcSTSatic
12-12-07, 05:12 PM
There is no such thing as an OLM sensor. It computes the remaining oil life from oil temperature, RPM, and other operating conditions.
All of those values must have a pickup point somewhere, usually a sensor.
The checksum theory sounds reasonable if GM thought of it.

Ranger
12-12-07, 06:01 PM
No, Koz is correct. The OLM uses an algorithm in the PCM to decrement oil life based on many many inputs such as RPM, ambient air temp, engine temp, throttle position and many other factors. So it uses many "pick up points" from many sensors. I think AJ posted a thread on how it works as well as the Guru himself long ago.

JimD
12-12-07, 07:26 PM
All of those values must have a pickup point somewhere, usually a sensor.
The checksum theory sounds reasonable if GM thought of it.
GM engineers more than "thought of it". They researched/tested/documented/adjusted/corrected parameters over many hundreds of thousands of test miles with a variety of GM test engines. Sufficient scientifically valid data was accumulated/documented to earn a US Patent for the GM OLM system.

Plus, the testing/documenting/parameter adjusting is a continuing process to keep pace with the progression of API lubrication oil standards.

The soft spot has been previously identified. Owners of 10 year old engines and 10 year old PCM OLM parameters are unable to purchase oils with the 10 year old API specifications.

I feel for the owners of 1970 vintage engines trying to provide adequate wear protection with contemporary lubricants.

Submariner409
12-12-07, 07:47 PM
JimD, We run either Mondello (Engle) or Comp Cams RV flat tappet hydraulics with Cloyes double roller chains in our Olds 455 marine conversions, BUT we set them up to run Pennzoil 15W-40 Long Life truck oil at 50 psi, hot. So far we have had no premature lobe or tappet wear. Initial flat tappet breakin determines the life of the cam.

We have also set up essentially the same engine with roller tappet and roller tip rocker gear, and no problems there, either.

Perhaps a letter or very specific e-mail to one of the big cam grinders would shed some light????? I would hope they're better on metallurgy and lubrication than most...........

dkozloski
12-12-07, 07:56 PM
GM engineers more than "thought of it". They researched/tested/documented/adjusted/corrected parameters over many hundreds of thousands of test miles with a variety of GM test engines. Sufficient scientifically valid data was accumulated/documented to earn a US Patent for the GM OLM system.

Plus, the testing/documenting/parameter adjusting is a continuing process to keep pace with the progression of API lubrication oil standards.

The soft spot has been previously identified. Owners of 10 year old engines and 10 year old PCM OLM parameters are unable to purchase oils with the 10 year old API specifications.

I feel for the owners of 1970 vintage engines trying to provide adequate wear protection with contemporary lubricants.
The lead engineer on this GM program was Dr. Shirley A. Schwartz. She has won several nationwide awards and is generally regarded by her peers as being one of the foremost lubrication engineers in the world.

EcSTSatic
12-12-07, 08:37 PM
No, Koz is correct. The OLM uses an algorithm in the PCM to decrement oil life based on many many inputs such as RPM, ambient air temp, engine temp, throttle position and many other factors. So it uses many "pick up points" from many sensors. I think AJ posted a thread on how it works as well as the Guru himself long ago.

Koz also said there isn't a sensor. Sure there's an algorithm in the OLM, that's obvious to anyone. The point is, the inputs you both mention have to come from somewhere, and it's sensors in key areas again like you both mentioned. The question I asked was how do you know all of these sensors are working properly and sending correct information to the OLM and other vital sampling functions. That's why the checksum theory sounds plausible to me. I'm not sure if JimD is confirming that or not in his response.

Ranger
12-12-07, 09:30 PM
I think Koz meant that there is no oil life sensor. All the other sensors are monitored and will set a DTC if they fail.

Submariner409
12-12-07, 09:45 PM
Any individual sensor which is primary to other control functions and secondary to the OLM will, if subject to fault, set a code pertaining to the individual sensor's primary task. As long as that fault remains (C)urrent, it would stand to reason that that sensor's percentage input loss would then skew the OLM to some degree. Thus the checksum proviso.......I'll bet even money that the OLM has a default oil degeneration backup to input the system during DTC and system diagnosis in the event of a sensor failure.

Yeah.....What ranger said.......!

EcSTSatic
12-12-07, 10:39 PM
...All the other sensors are monitored and will set a DTC if they fail.

That's what I was looking for. Thanks!!

AJxtcman
12-23-07, 06:03 PM
Look everyone this did not turn into one of those oil threads:histeric:

AS Of 12-04-07 New bulletin
DESCRIPTION:
GM Vehicle Care announces our new E.O.S. (Engine Oil Supplement) Assembly Lubricant, part number 88862586. This product replaces part number 1052367. GM E.O.S. Assembly Lubricant is specifically formulated as an engine assembly lubricant that provides outstanding protection against run-in wear and piston scuffing, as well as run-in camshaft lube and lifter scuffing resulting from insufficient lubrication.

clarkz71
12-23-07, 06:52 PM
My last one.



http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k120/clarkz71/HarmonicBalancerremoval001.jpg

riverrat
12-31-07, 01:03 AM
I just came across this thread when I searched zinc and the wear with new oils is a myth!! I guess some engine builders that have had cams wear out with new oils during break-in were just having myth problems. The new Joe Gibbs Hot Rod oil with zinc w as developed because many performance car owners are having myth wear. Torco oil a company with a long record as a premium racing oil is promoting a myth with their oils and supplements. And this well known car collector has also fallen into the myth:http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/video_player.shtml?vid=198306

AJxtcman
12-31-07, 08:37 AM
:2thumbs: Thanks

Submariner409
12-31-07, 01:19 PM
riverrat, In our boat engines (Olds 455) we generally use flat tappet hydraulics for cam work, and to compensate for the lack of zinc in the oil we do two things (for a unit with heavy valve springs): breakin with light valve springs, then change at 100 hours, and, use TORCO cam lube at first startup.
No wiped cams so far...Engle/Mondello units. I think CompCams puts out a breakin lube (paste) also.

I have no idea, but I'm guessing that most engines now use roller lifters or followers and maybe roller rockers, so they can get away with less zinc/phosphorus in the lube oil.

Although it's not recommended for a lot of newer engines, you can always run Pennzoil 15W-40 Long Life truck oil.

dkozloski
12-31-07, 07:22 PM
Lycoming aircraft engines have had some difficulties with mushroom cam followers for years and supply an oil additive containing TCP(tricresyl phosphate) as an anti-scufing agent.

Submariner409
12-31-07, 10:20 PM
Before my wife slits my throat (company's here), Happy New Year from the +5 to the +9 (4 hours?) time zone.......


All the best, Jim

AJxtcman
01-01-08, 01:29 PM
Hope everone has a great new year.

AJxtcman
01-01-08, 02:08 PM
you all know that NASCAR switch to unleaded?

They had to work with coatings. :hmm: Yeah they coat the valves:hmm: you know with a water based product:hmm: You have to have the engine apart to do this:stirpot:

OK you can coat the cam and lifters before installing them and they should/will last with thin oils and low ZDP oils.


Think about powder coating them.:hmm: Ceramic coating them (Cermet coating)

I have used Techline Products. :hmm:

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dkozloski
01-01-08, 06:17 PM
There is a British anti-scuffing coating for internal engine parts called Cargraph thats been around for at least 75 years. Similar products have been applied to lifters and cams in the U.S. for at least that long.

AJxtcman
04-02-09, 11:04 PM
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd25/AJxtcman/93%20to%2099%20Cams/PIC-0150.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd25/AJxtcman/93%20to%2099%20Cams/PIC-0151.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd25/AJxtcman/93%20to%2099%20Cams/PIC-0152.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd25/AJxtcman/93%20to%2099%20Cams/PIC-0153.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd25/AJxtcman/93%20to%2099%20Cams/PIC-0154.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd25/AJxtcman/93%20to%2099%20Cams/PIC-0155.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd25/AJxtcman/93%20to%2099%20Cams/PIC-0156.jpg

I don't think you need ZDP

Submariner409
04-03-09, 09:53 AM
A direct contact cam and tappet, ZDP or not, is not forever. One microscopic mismatch in the face hardening or a machine nick and the wear begins. One too many "dry starts" from engine inactivity and the wear starts. We're fooling with a poorly lubricated (the nature of the beast) area of horrendous scuff and pressure loading. That a cam and flat tappet lifter set lasts 1,000 miles is a miracle in itself.

The Northstar DOHC flat tappet wear was one of the driving forces that made GM shift to roller followers in 2000.

As Dkoz observed, many, many flat tappet cams come from the manufacturer with anti-scuff breakin compound already applied. The instruction sheets plainly tell you NOT to wash off the coating with solvents or cleaning chemicals. The cam manufacturers also tell you to break in the engine with low tension valve springs and then shift to your fancy high tension double set later because the possibility of scuffing is so great. Cam wear has been around since Day 1 and obviously magic potions don't stop it.

GM and other assembly lube suppliers didn't change their EOS for no reason: the EPA and pollution regulations made them reduce the ZDDP load to comply with legislation.

You might look at engine oils which comply with a Porsche, Mercedes, or Ferrari spec or Marine or Fleet oils. They have a high ZDDP load and do not comply with the EPA specs, so are not labeled with the starburst "Energy Conserving" propaganda.

chubbyranger
04-04-09, 11:41 AM
There was an article last fall in the rag my collector insurance company sends me every so often about ZDDP reduction in oils and impacts to classic car engines. They recommend using racing oils or a couple of specialty options, classiccarmotoroil.com or ZDDP additives like www.zddplus.com. So with my 99 STS, if I were to use ZDDP additive would it not result in shortening the life of the catalytic converter?

Ranger
04-04-09, 12:21 PM
I would bet you would never notice the difference. Remember that this reduced ZDDP is probably pushed on us by the tree huggers.

dkozloski
04-04-09, 12:42 PM
I would bet you would never notice the difference. Remember that this reduced ZDDP is probably pushed on us by the tree huggers.
The tree huggers are fine with ZDDP. It's the bunny huggers that are making all the fuss.

Submariner409
04-04-09, 03:14 PM
Chubby, Catalytic convertors were perfectly happy with a ZDDP load of 900 - 1300 PPM before 2004 (the change/turnover year), so if you could calculate how much XYZ additive to use, you should be OK. Better to use a Euro spec or Marine/Fleet oil which is spec'd not only for gasoline engine use, but also for diesel (CC/CD) because that oil will have a controlled 1,000 - 1300 PPM ZDDP additive as opposed to today's automobile-only 500 - 750 PPM spec.

There are some pretty impressive 10W-30 HD fleet oils out there. Your car would be a happy camper.

My 2002 uses 5W-30, there aren't any fleet oils in that grade, so before GM discontinued ("reformulated") their original EOS I bought 2 cases of the old stuff and now add 1/4 pint with each Pennzoil Platinum change. No problems. I'll be in EOS for a long time at that rate. (I DO use it building Olds 455's.)

chubbyranger
04-05-09, 10:29 PM
My oil is rated API SM/CF. I found this definition for CF:

CF – Indirect Injected Diesel Engine Service – Service typical of indirect injected diesel engines and other diesel engines that use a broad range of fuel types, including those using fuel with sulfur content above 0.5%. Requirements include control of piston deposits, wear and bearing corrosion. Engines may be naturally aspirated, turbocharged or supercharged. CF rated oils may be used when API CD oils are called for.

If CF > CD I guess I'm OK?

Submariner409
04-05-09, 10:42 PM
From the 3 oils on my shelf which carry a CF rating (Pennzoil 15W-40 Long Life, 10W-30 Truck/SUV blend, and 30W Marine) all are additionally rated at least CC/CD and do not carry the "starburst" energy saving emblem, so by definition they carry a higher ZDDP load than the "starburst" labeled oils.

mikelawson
04-09-09, 01:03 AM
I have repaired a couple of N*'s lately that have very badly worn exhaust cams only. One was so bad it had worn completely through the tappet. Anyone have any reason why it's exhaust cams only? The engine had 180k on it and was getting HG's for the first time. That same customer also has a 93 seville with 250K with only a starter being replaced :).

Submariner409
04-09-09, 09:14 AM
Poor metallurgy, grinding, and hardening of the cam lobes and lifter faces.

Flat-tappet lifters take a terrible beating and as I said before, it's a wonder they last as long as they do. At an average speed of 35 mph for 180,000 miles, figure out how many times that exhaust lobe has punched that lifter up and down against 200 pound spring pressure.

AJxtcman
04-09-09, 09:45 PM
I have repaired a couple of N*'s lately that have very badly worn exhaust cams only. One was so bad it had worn completely through the tappet. Anyone have any reason why it's exhaust cams only? The engine had 180k on it and was getting HG's for the first time. That same customer also has a 93 seville with 250K with only a starter being replaced :).

I feel this is the angle that the cams sits on the lifter. OK I know it has the same angle. Maybe the offset of the cam.
If you have seen these apart you know what I mean by angle and that must be the offset, because if you stare at it long enough you will see that the cam still sit about the lifter

No it is the angle

chubbyranger
04-12-09, 08:27 AM
I have repaired a couple of N*'s lately that have very badly worn exhaust cams only. One was so bad it had worn completely through the tappet. Anyone have any reason why it's exhaust cams only? The engine had 180k on it and was getting HG's for the first time. That same customer also has a 93 seville with 250K with only a starter being replaced :).

Mine was also both exhaust cams and I don't recall seeing a thread here where the intake cams were a problem. On my car #5 was singing and #4 was starting but got drowned out by #5.

AJxtcman
12-16-10, 08:18 PM
I need some ZDP for my Fiero