I'm planning on changing the oil in my '65 Galaxie. It has a 352. What would you guys recommend as far as the oil type and filter? I haven't changed the oil on this Gal before. Any other things I should be concerned with in regards to a tune up?
I have always used Mobil 1 10w-30 in my '63 with 352. I am sure others will weigh in on their recommendations. It should take just under 5 quarts to fill with the filter. I usually buy a 6 pack and keep the extra in the trunk for emergency use. I used to use K&N oil filters but after some research, I discovered they are maximized for oil flow, not filtration. I switched to Wix brand filters for all my cars and they have never let me down. They are really good filters and a lot cheaper. Motorcraft brand ones are pretty nice as well. Stay the heck away from Fram.
As far as the tune-up, check your spark plugs for abnormal deposits and the proper gap on each one. The stock gap is 0.032-0.036" but you might be able to gap more with modern spark plugs and ignition upgrades. Check your plug wires. Check your cap and rotor for corrosion and pitting. If you still have points and a condenser in your distributor, check for pitting and replace if necessary. Gap the points to 0.015" spec and then fine tune with a dwell meter. Dwell angle should read 26-28.5 degrees with the car fully warmed up at slow idle. If you're not replacing the points, check the dwell first. If they are close to that reading, don't mess with the gap.
If you have a timing light, you should check your ignition timing after setting the points, with the engine fully warmed up, and idling and the vacuum advance removed and plugged. Stock setting for automatic shift cars is 8 degrees, but you can generally advance it to 12 for a little more performance and economy without problems. If you advance too far, the car will struggle to start. Someone once told me to set the timing with the parking brake on in drive. Setting it in drive is not a good idea, you could accidentally advance the distributor too much and cause the car to lurch forward thereby crushing you, and/or crashing into your house/garage, etc. Not good.
Set the idle speed with the car in drive, parking brake on. It should be 450-475 RPM. Recheck your timing after setting the idle speed until both are at spec. Take it for a test drive and listen closely for pinging or knocking. Try to put the engine under heavy load. Drive uphill at about 35 MPH in high gear and listen for pinging or knocking. If you hear anything, you will need to back off either the initial or vacuum advance a few degrees.
My 2 cents: Without trying to start a huge debate on the quality of different oils, I can agree that there isn't much difference between oil quality, especially with a quality filter and the recommended changing intervals. However, there is a difference in the additive blend they put in the oil. Mobil 1 has a lot more zinc than the average brand oil. That has an affect on how the oil lubricates. Thats why oil companies put more zinc in their high-milage blends for added lubrication.
The main reason I go with Mobil one is that I can get a 6 pack at the local costco for $36, which works out to $6 a quart. The cheapo store brand oils are what, like $5 a quart? Not saying they aren't acceptable quality, but for $1 more a quart, why not? A few more dollars a year is pretty irrelevant considering the cost of gas, restoration, insurance, and other maintenance on the car. Those things add up to thousands of dollars. Let's say I change my oil twice per year. $10 a year savings is totally not relevant to me.
Back to the OPs original question, I think you should use 10w-30, maybe 10w-40 or 15w-40 if you live in an extremely hot (routinely over 100 degrees) climate. Get 5 quarts of whatever brand oil and filter you feel comfortable with.