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The Daimler 2½ Litre and V8 250 Saloons 
Fluids and Lubricants

These beautiful cars deserve the correct lubricants and fluids if they are to function correctly. Although many of the OE brands and types have long gone, the core criteria remain. As such, the following information will hopefully provide reassurance when confronted with a plethora of options. Choosing wisely and insisting upon a quality product, will go a very long way to ensure your car has the very best protection which will assist towards trouble-free motoring.


The list is purely a recommendation of proven products and equally important, is the correct type of product for your car as per the guidelines of the Workshop Manual. 


Engine Oil.

The V8 saloon engine requires a quality 20W/50 mineral product with a zinc content of 800ppm or above.

Castrol XL 20W/50 – zinc content 800ppm

Classic Oils Heritage 20W/50 – zinc content 1300ppm

Morris Gold Film 20W/50 –  zinc content 800ppm

Smith & Allan Select 20W/50 XL – zinc content 1200pm


Gearbox Oil.


The Borg Warner 35 gearbox is designed to use a Type- F automatic transmission fluid. It is cross-referenced to the Ford M2C-33F specification, which make the following ATF products suitable.

Castrol TQF

Penrite Auto Trans Fluid Type F

Smith & Allan Type F

Comma AQF Mineral


DO NOT use a Dexron Type ATF in the BW35 unit.


The V8 saloon manual gearbox, be it with or without overdrive, uses a mineral EP90 oil.

Ensure the oil is GL4 spec and NOT GL5, the latter is not compatible with Daimler V8 manual gearboxes; due to issues with yellow metal components (such as phosphor bronze) within the unit.

Commonly, these days, the EP90 oil is combined as an EP80W/90 oil which is perfectly acceptable and safe.

Castrol EP90 – GL4

Morris Lodexol 80W/90 – GL4

Millers EP 80W90 – GL4

Smith & Allan Geartech EP90 – GL4

Granville EP 80W/90 - GL4


Rear Axle / Final Drive Oil.

As per information quoted in the Manual Gearbox section. Ensure you are using a GL4 product.


Steering Box Fluids

Manual - Non Power Steering

The V8 saloon manual steering box oil requirement is NOT the same as those cars with a power assisted steering system.  Of note, the V8 saloon has a worm drive steering box and therefore you should NOT use a Hypoid EP oil.  The following oils are suitable for the V8 manual saloon steering box:

Castrol D140

Morris Golden Film AG140

Westway SAE140

Millers Oil Worm Steering Box Oil

Power Assisted Steering – PAS:

 V8 saloon cars equipped with PAS have a totally different requirement to that of their manual steering cousins. The very nature of the PAS system, inclusive of the steering box, requires PAS fluid only as it is  a sealed system. Supply of PAS fluid is via the reservoir, which ensures the steering box is properly lubricated. To fulfil this purpose, the Automatic Transmission Fluids identified in the Auto Gearbox section are suitable for the PAS system.


Do not confuse steering box oil with power assisted steering fluid !!


Grease Nipples.

These lubrication points are often overlooked on classics, including the V8 saloon.

The following products will cover all grease nipple requirements including wheel bearings.

Morris K42EP Multi Purpose Grease

Castrol Multi Purpose Grease

Comma Multi Purpose Lithium Grease No.2


Carb Dashpot Oil.

Smooth running of the V8 engine, also requires that the hydraulic action of the carburettor damper assembly is catered for properly. There is some difference of opinion as to what oil to use, regarding the damping medium. However, using either 20W/50 engine oil, SAE 30 or SAE 20 will be fine; most classic car owners tend to use 20W/50. It is worth mentioning, that the use of ATF in the carb dashpot is not recommended for road use. ATF is too thin and will have an adverse effect on the damping action of the plunger, causing acceleration and throttle control issues.



ONLY Mono-ethylene Glycol based antifreeze (AF) which does not contain nitrates, amines or phosphates is suitable for use in the V8 saloon. It is of course, the famous blue colour which is the key identifier.

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES use OAT (Organic Acid Technology) antifreeze which is harmful to classic car engines. OAT is normally pink or red and is designed specifically for modern cars.


It is extremely important to use a quality blue AF. The V8 saloon engine has alloy heads and an iron block, as such, it is imperative that a 50/50 mix is used and maintained at that concentration, even when topping up. By doing so, corrosion of the waterways and in particular of the alloy heads will be kept at bay. In addition, DO NOT use tap water as this contains concentrations of calcium. Ideally, you should purchase de-ionised water which easily obtained from supermarkets; with a view to changing the coolant every 2yrs as a maximum.

As for a decent quality blue AF, the following are ideal:

Granville Sub Zero Blue AF

Bluecol Blue AF

Comma Super Coldmaster AF

Morris MEG AF

Classic Oils Blue Anti-Freeze  


Brake / Clutch Fluid.

The current requirement for the V8 saloon brake/clutch (B&C) fluid is DOT 4. Some B&C fluid will be either mineral or synthetic – both can be mixed safely if necessary. The other type of brake fluid is Silicone DOT 5, most commonly known and supplied by Automec. However, in this particular overview, I am focusing on DOT 4 synthetic / mineral B&C fluids.

It must be noted that under NO circumstances should DOT 4 and DOT 5 ever be mixed.

The attached grid below is a useful comparison chart, along with a list of products that are ideal for the V8 saloon:

Morris DOT 4 Universal Brake & Clutch Fluid

Granville Brake & Clutch Fluid DOT 4

Millers Universal Brake & Clutch Fluid DOT 4

Brake Fluid Compatibility (002).PNG


Engine Running-in Oil.

The critical part of any complete engine rebuild is a combination of the correct running-in procedure and the correct engine running-in oil. Some engine rebuilders use normal engine oil, but its protective properties are soon dispersed. As such, the best engine running-in oil that you can purchase and use for your V8 saloon is:

Lucas 20W/50 Break-In Oil – ZDDP @ 3000+ ppm


This Lucas oil has been specifically designed and developed, for the sole purpose of ensuring that the engine run-in period is maintained to the highest level; from initial start-up through to the completion of the running-in process. In addition, it is formulated to maximise the bedding-in of the piston rings and bores without issue. The oil has a zinc (ZDDP) content in excess of 3000ppm and this helps to ensure that new surfaces are protected properly; the first twenty minutes of a new engine running is where most wear occurs. The oil, developed by Lucas, is used comprehensively by the Americans for bedding in their powerful V8 muscle cars. The oil maintains its running-in properties fully for up to 1400 miles, which is ample for the bedding-in process.

A good outlet to obtain the oil is from Demon Tweeks.

I hope all of the above information is of assistance.


Disclaimer: As is the way of this litigious world, the following needs to be applied; apologies for having to do so:

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of technical advice and information, neither the author or the DLOC accepts any responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences arising either directly or indirectly from such advice or information. Members of the club or any other person relying upon such advice or information, do so entirely at their own risk.

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