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engine break-in

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Postma98 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22-September-2017 at 11:28AM
breaking in the rebuilt 429! Anybody got any tips. Thinking of running it at about 3000 rpms for about 15 minutes. if anyone has an opinion they'd like to throw out there, i'd love to hear!
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Don V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-September-2017 at 10:06PM
I'm sure this will be controversial but I've been told more then once by engine designers that there is nothing inherent to an engine that requires a break in period. The break in period is a caution against screw-ups during assembly and faulty parts. They exist to limit the liability exposure of the manufacturer.

A lot of people say to use natural oil to break an engine in. Everything I've seen says to break an engine in with the oil you will use regardless of type. Also use detergent oils.

I do believe an engine should be preloaded with oil if this is your own rebuild.

It's a question with some responsibility built in to it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 3:40AM
A quality oil with a medium to high zinc content is said to be a must for engine break-in, especially where a new camshaft and lifters are present. Make sure you have a KNOWN good carb to get the engine up and running ASAP after the starter is engaged. Prior to distributor installation I pre-pressurize the oil system with a drill and extension/5/16 socket(welded together so they are one piece) to confirm the engine is at least "ready" for instant oil pressure at start-up. Make sure all hoses/wires are installed correctly(vacuum, cooling, spark plug, fuel, pcv and etc) and all fittings/clamps are tightened. I have only totally rebuilt 8 or 9 429-460 engines, so I am no expert, but after start-up I bring rpm's up to 2500 for 3-5 minutes(you can vary the rpm's while running 1.5K to 3K) while checking for oil pressure, water/fuel leaks and/or header glow to help determine ignition timing needs(with too much orange glow I advance timing a few degrees until the headers just barely have color). Once I have run the engine for it's initial start/run, I shut it down to confirm no water/oil leaks or water in the oil, after the radiator cools check water level(I only run straight distilled water during break-in process) and to confirm no trans fluid in water. Have a look at the trans fluid as well. The camshaft is the worst culprit in engine failure when firing a rebuilt engine, it is said this is due to the high friction pressures at cam/lifter contact point and that these points are lubed by "oil splash" once engine is running(assembly lube will help this friction, but only lasts so long). Running an engine at low rpm during break-up may not give the cam/lifter contact point any or not enough oil to thoroughly lube this critical friction point(s). I am not saying what I do is 100% the only way to break an engine in, but I have yet to lose a camshaft/wipe a cam lobe and/or have to tear back into one due to an assembly/break-in and/or lubrication problem. Good luck, hope all goes well and you are able to enjoy your "new" BBF. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 6:01AM
the main reason for the 2,000 rpm break in period is for the flat tappet cams, if you look closely at the lobes and lifters the lifters sit slightly off center of the lobes...so the rotate as they ride up and over the lobes, they have to spin or the lobe(s) will be wiped out on a short time! when the engine is running the lifters and push rods spin Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nuggets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 6:13AM
Originally posted by Don V. Don V. wrote:

I'm sure this will be controversial but I've been told more then once by engine designers that there is nothing inherent to an engine that requires a break in period. The break in period is a caution against screw-ups during assembly and faulty parts. They exist to limit the liability exposure of the manufacturer.

A lot of people say to use natural oil to break an engine in. Everything I've seen says to break an engine in with the oil you will use regardless of type. Also use detergent oils.

I do believe an engine should be preloaded with oil if this is your own rebuild.

It's a question with some responsibility built in to it.

The engine has to be broken in.....go put a new flat tappet cam in your motor and new lifters then go for a drive without breaking it in. Tell us how many miles you get out of it

Same for rings seating



Break in should be done with good oil, high ZZDP plus additive. Run 2500-3000 for 20 mins, allow engine to cool to ambient before running it again 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 7:32AM
Roller cams don't need the break-in but the rings still need to seat.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 7:45AM
OK, I can give you the flat tappet break in but most cam manufacturers say this is required for 20 minutes to an hour at most. Nothing close to the thousands of miles often cited. That's what the beginning or first run time is about as Postma98 wrote about. This is often cited as a requirement because of new engine compression and vacuum effects on the valve train. I can rationalize some reasons to justify that but I really don't know about it's actual value. I've also seen more procedures saying to run for a period at varying RPM's than a steady RPM. Most intricacies I know about engines has come from being around them and listening. I've learned more about engines from the electronics of sensors then I ever learned from studying or being around people that do know engines. I can say that I've seen blown engines get replaced during leg races that were run as needed with no problems for hundreds of miles. That was their break in.

I said my comment might be controversial.

About oil because zinc was mentioned. I recently read something about zinc oils finally coming to an end soon. It being in an oil can't be assumed anymore like it once was. Those that swear by it might want to stock up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nuggets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 8:26AM
You need the ZZDP as it creates a better cushion between the lobes of the cam and the lifters, this in turn increases life of the components. 

Never seen a cam manufacturer ask for an hour but 20 mins is normal, an hour seems excessive....as does anything over 30 mins. 

Varied RPM is required, not a steady hold. It has nothing to do with compression or vacuum effects on the valve train.....the cam is not effected by either of those things. It is purely to mate the lifter faces to the cam lobes, without doing this properly you'll be replacing your cam after your first drive to the shops 

New engines being dropped in and run are different, odds are someone has either broken the cam in and had matching lifters numbered to drop in or they're roller cams. In which case as stated it is not required 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 8:26AM
new engine 'run in' and break-in period are 2 different things
 
rings are seated very quickly, well before a flat tappet cam 20 minute session is over. unfortunately the 20 minute session doesn't give an opportunity to let the rings seat under engine braking / high manifold vacuum the way a 2 stroke motor is done but you can still give it a shot as soon as possible. run the car up some mph in manual low 1st gear and let off the throttle. let the car slow against the engine rpm
 
keep in mind that this is motorcycle specific regarding the dyno cooling comments, and FWIW i do believe that a flat tappet cam & lifter should cool to ambient temp after the 20 min session. the coolant temp gauge reading or even an oil temp gauge doesn't show specific internal surface temps, a surface hardening / polishing process occurs between the cam & lifters, i don't see any way to know what that temp actually is? smoke out the breather or completely unseen through the PCV can be indicating the oil is being consumed or totally wasted by cooling the foot of the lifters & lobe noses? i say w/o the cool-down it's the same as putting the cam directly into service after 1st fire Dead 
 
as far as ZDDP in current spec oil, for flat tappet motors it's essentially gone. look for specialty oils for vintage, antique, muscle cars or check the MSDS of your favorite racing oil, they still have what the old cars need. the roller cam & lifters came popular because the zinc in the oil was fouling the catalytic converters. same thing with EFI, much tighter control over fuel delivery prevents the cats from overheating & melting internally
 
i'd have to say it depends upon the specific engine as to what the correct procedure is
 
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 8:59AM
right at about 2:08 they hit on flat tappet oil
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 9:09AM
Originally posted by Nuggets Nuggets wrote:


It has nothing to do with compression or vacuum effects on the valve train.....the cam is not effected by either of those things. It is purely to mate the lifter faces to the cam lobes, without doing this properly you'll be replacing your cam after your first drive to the shops 


I disagree and street classes with vacuum rules explain it. It's also one of the reasons why hydraulic lifters aren't pre-loaded\oiled with a new or rebuilt engine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nuggets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 9:22AM
Hydraulic lifters should always be oiled overnight before fitting into an engine to run
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 10:04AM
all that does is get the outside wet, and pumping them full prior to install complicates setting preload
 
you want the plunger to move easily during rocker adjustment or shimming for preload
 
the lifters fill during the pre lube process, and the engine doesn't turn to fire until oil is flowing off every rocker. crank the oil pump manually and rotate the crank 90* at a time. turn the oil pump until the oil flows Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 10:52AM
It also makes them slippery, and then they get dropped, and then the swearing starts....
It's a vicious circle.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nuggets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 11:05AM
I leave mine in a tub then bring the tub outside and place it in the valley! Much easier to handle that way


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-September-2017 at 11:59AM
Originally posted by Big Bird Big Bird wrote:

It also makes them slippery, and then they get dropped, and then the swearing starts....
It's a vicious circle.
LOL Thumbs Up yep then you form entire sentences using only cus words!!LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-September-2017 at 10:20AM
Originally posted by Nuggets Nuggets wrote:

I leave mine in a tub then bring the tub outside and place it in the valley! Much easier to handle that way
My wife gets upset when I put car parts in the tub... or the sink, the dishwasher, the oven, the freezer...
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-September-2017 at 4:21PM
Originally posted by Big Bird Big Bird wrote:

Originally posted by Nuggets Nuggets wrote:

I leave mine in a tub then bring the tub outside and place it in the valley! Much easier to handle that way

My wife gets upset when I put car parts in the tub... or the sink, the dishwasher, the oven, the freezer...


Should be safe to assume this isn't you then?

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