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Old 07-29-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Engine break in help

I was wondering the best way to break in my sbc w/ flat tappet cam. I talked with comp cams and they recommend delo 400 for break in but im confused is this for the first 20 minutes of break in then drain it out? Then switch to like a 10w 30/40 ? Do I use an additive after that with the regualr oil? What oil do you guys recommend? If you dont mind telling me how you would go about breaking in an engine that would be great. Thanks guys!
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: Engine break in help

Any oil with a high zinc additive is a good break in oil. I recommend Shell Rotella T in any grade. Delco 400 is similar.

Adjust timing before firing the engine up so it's close enough to run without having to fiddle with the timing with the engine running. Once started, vary the rpms between 1000 and 2000 rpm for about 15 minutes. Don't idle. If there's any major problems such as bad leaks or overheating, shut off the engine, fix the problem then restart for another 15 minutes of running.

Shut off the engine, check and fix any leaks. Change the oil and filter. Now use whatever brand or grade of oil that now suits your driving habits. Readjust the timing to the proper spec. After 500 miles of driving, change the oil and filter again. After that, regular oil changes every 3000 miles is fine.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: Engine break in help

I use zinc additive every oil change. I also spend the extra money on the racing oil with the Zinc in it. Yes this gets expensive but a Flat Tappet cam can go flat any time.

Just a thought.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: Engine break in help

Thanks for the replies. What brand of oil do you guys recommend. You dont use synthetic right? I have heard from people that they are not good for flat tappet motors but im not sure if thats right or wrong. What additives do you use? Do brands really matter on them? Thanks again
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:10 PM   #5
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Re: Engine break in help

Nothing wrong with synthetic oil if you want to pay the extra cost to use it. All the myths people still say about synthetic oil have been around since the early days of synthetic oils and synthetic oil still needs to be changed at regular intervals just like conventional oil.

I use Penzoil racing oil 25W50 in my race car mainly because it's one of the few oils that's compatible with alcohol fuel. The only additive I use is Lucas oil stabilizer but technically it isn't an additive.

In my daily driver, I use Shell Rotella T 10W30. Change your oil on a regular basis and you won't need to use any additives.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:35 PM   #6
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Re: Engine break in help

I thought I heard that rotella T has dropped the amount of additives they use so people are straying away from it ? It could be not true again im not sure. I guess its still better then regular engine oil. But is it better then regular engine oil and an additive? Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpro700 View Post
What brand of oil do you guys recommend. You dont use synthetic right? I have heard from people that they are not good for flat tappet motors but im not sure if thats right or wrong. What additives do you use? Do brands really matter on them?
I use AMSOIL 5W-30 heavy duty diesel synthetic in my flat-tappet engine (only have one left, the rest are all roller lifter). It is also rated for gasoline engine use. The engine was rebuilt in 1997, I've been racing it ever since (except in 2000 when the stock TH400 burnt out the direct clutch pack).

Do NOT use any additives. Get the right oil, only use what comes out of that bottle.

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All the myths people still say about synthetic oil have been around since the early days of synthetic oils and synthetic oil still needs to be changed at regular intervals just like conventional oil.
One myth still prevails. . .

I change the oil once a season. Still looks clear on the dipstick. I haven't rigorously documented run totals, but it's a few hundred passes a season at least. I do have the covers off to adjust the valves every once in awhile, it's completely deposit-free inside. And, even though I go through the motions of valve adjustment, I rarely have to really "adjust" them (i.e., no wear).
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:42 AM   #8
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Re: Engine break in help

what stephen said...

I've been using rotella T that I bought a case of gallon jugs at costco
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:40 AM   #9
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Re: Engine break in help

With the smaller engines i had control of we'd fire them on a straight weight dino oil with a bottle of EOS from a chevy dealership, do the 15 minutes of 2000 rpm (we just turned the idle screw on carb up). After that i'd drive it like i stole it for a few days and then switched it over to either a 5/30 synthetic for spring/fall or 10/30 synthetic summer.

This last engine the shop broke both of the things in on the dyno using Rotella 15/40 and i ran that same oil for a few days when i got it in the car, then swapped it out to my synthetic stuff. but again, drove it like i stole it and everything always looks fine later when they get torn down. engines are a go/no go deal...if something is'nt right, babying the thing is'nt gonna change a thing. Think about when we fire a race motor on the dyno for the first time, ya get it upto temp, make sure vitals are good, make some small pulls to check A/F, and then start the process of pushing it to the limit for tuning.
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150 shot pass 1.33/6.36/10.11@130mph and Rustang killer
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #10
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Flat tappet cam wear-in seems to be a touchy area. Funny the factories never did it before they went to roller lifters.

With higher lift/higher RPM cams, some people recommend removing the inner valve spring during wear-in.

I've never tried EOS. I have used Comp and Crane cam assembly lube. Last one I installed (the XS282S), my good ol' boy engine builder fellow racer head assembler told me to slather the lobes and bottom of the lifters with ARP thread lube, with petroleum oil in the crankcase. Said he's been doing it that way for years and has never removed inner springs nor wiped out a cam.

I've never wiped out a cam, either, even in my "early days" when I wasn't smart enough to know about "cam wear-in".
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:45 AM   #11
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Re: Engine break in help

Quote:
Originally Posted by five7kid View Post
Flat tappet cam wear-in seems to be a touchy area. Funny the factories never did it before they went to roller lifters.

With higher lift/higher RPM cams, some people recommend removing the inner valve spring during wear-in.

I've never tried EOS. I have used Comp and Crane cam assembly lube. Last one I installed (the XS282S), my good ol' boy engine builder fellow racer head assembler told me to slather the lobes and bottom of the lifters with ARP thread lube, with petroleum oil in the crankcase. Said he's been doing it that way for years and has never removed inner springs nor wiped out a cam.

I've never wiped out a cam, either, even in my "early days" when I wasn't smart enough to know about "cam wear-in".
Just a couple of things, the earlier days used zink and phosporus in their oils that stopped due to emissions I believe, comp says its been reduced as much as 35% since 1997. That was the differerence in flat tappet cam break-in and now why companies such as comp are stressing this so much as welll as differences in metal technology.
Also oil coming out of an engine clean is usually a sign that the detergents in the oil are not cleaning as they should, if the carbon is not coming out in the oil, its in the engine somewhere adhered to something or varnishing.

Last edited by 87_TA; 07-31-2008 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:51 AM   #12
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Re: Engine break in help

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Just a couple of things, the earlier days used zink and phosporus in their oils that stopped due to emissions I believe, comp says its been reduced as much as 35% since 1997. That was the differerence in flat tappet cam break-in and now why companies such as comp are stressing this so much as welll as differences in metal technology.
Also oil coming out of an engine clean is usually a sign that the detergents in the oil are not cleaning as they should, if the carbon is not coming out in the oil, its in the engine somewhere adhered to something or varnishing.
So the mississippi river mud slowly dripping from my pan drain hole is a good thing and says i'm using good oil??
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1/4mi. 10.36 @ 130mph

150 shot pass 1.33/6.36/10.11@130mph and Rustang killer
ALL on pump gas in N/A sbc through the mufflers @ 3768lbs
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:20 PM   #13
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Re: Engine break in help

No, it just means you should get that boat out of the water.
So you don't agree? ask an oil manufacturer, thats what a detergent oil is supposed to do. A quick search brought up this page, actually some good info!
Here you go! They also touch on Zink removal and its effects.
http://www.nordicgroup.us/oil.htm
All you ever wanted to teach your children about oil and mississippi mud

""Additive in the detergent oils 'wash' any contaminant particles off of internal engine parts and hold these particles in suspension until the oil is changed. It's important to understand that these particles are too small to cause engine wear, but they do turn the oil a darker color. The key thing is to change the oil before the oil becomes too saturated with contaminants to hold any more, but color is not an indication of this condition""

The Dark Oil Myth
Dark oil does not indicate the need for an oil change. The way modern detergent motor oil works is that minute particles of soot are suspended in the oil. These minute particles pose no danger to your engine, but they cause the oil to darken. A non-detergent oil would stay clearer than a detergent oil because all the soot would be left on the internal engine parts and would create sludge. If you never changed your oil, eventually the oil would no longer be able to suspend any more particles in the oil and sludge would form. Fortunately, by following the manufacturer's recommended oil change interval, you are changing your oil long before the oil has become saturated. Remember, a good oil should get dirty as it does it's work cleaning out the engine. The dispersant should stop all the gunk from depositing in the oil pan. hmm

The only real way to determine whether oil is truly in need of changing is to have an oil analysis performed. Since most people don't want to bother with this, it's acceptable to err heavily on the safe side and simply follow the manufacturer's recommended change interval for severe service. There are still a few cars that specify 3K intervals for severe service, but not many. If you look at countries other than the U.S., the oil recommended change interval is much higher than even the normal interval specified by vehicle manufacturers in the U.S.

Last edited by 87_TA; 07-31-2008 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: Engine break in help

I agree for a daily driver that is old, high miled, etc...but i think it's safe to say for our cars, the breif periods that they are actually running, the fact we have good parts in them, use good gasoline, and good oil all factor in to reason why our oil comes out looking as good as it does...not to mention oil change intervals may be a little closer with ours toys vs a daily driver.

Not to often my tranny fluid looks anything but brand new when i change pan oil only, and my engine oil still shows light through it when draining, though it's not golden brown like new, but brown. That and both engines i ran sythetics in looked like brand new top to bottom when pulled apart and that is what sold me on man made oil instead of dino based.
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150 shot pass 1.33/6.36/10.11@130mph and Rustang killer
ALL on pump gas in N/A sbc through the mufflers @ 3768lbs
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:06 PM   #15
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Re: Engine break in help

Quote:
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I agree for a daily driver that is old, high miled, etc...but i think it's safe to say for our cars, the breif periods that they are actually running, the fact we have good parts in them, use good gasoline, and good oil all factor in to reason why our oil comes out looking as good as it does...not to mention oil change intervals may be a little closer with ours toys vs a daily driver.

Not to often my tranny fluid looks anything but brand new when i change pan oil only, and my engine oil still shows light through it when draining, though it's not golden brown like new, but brown. That and both engines i ran sythetics in looked like brand new top to bottom when pulled apart and that is what sold me on man made oil instead of dino based.
Sure if you change you oil as often as alot of racers do they appear cleaner, but cars that see street duty and regualar heat cycles its not usually a great thing to see pretty oil..
Many people say that, but truth is there and don't miscommunicate that. Oil serves purposes other than making parts slippery, so darker looking oil means its working - as it should.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:20 PM   #16
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Well, I change the oil in the '57 once per season, drive it to the track. Stays clean, both the oil and the engine.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:57 PM   #17
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Re: Engine break in help

Quote:
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Well, I change the oil in the '57 once per season, drive it to the track. Stays clean, both the oil and the engine.
Then your not going enough rounds in a season j/k
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1/8mi. 6.59 @ 104mph
1/4mi. 10.36 @ 130mph

150 shot pass 1.33/6.36/10.11@130mph and Rustang killer
ALL on pump gas in N/A sbc through the mufflers @ 3768lbs
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:46 PM   #18
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You're probably right. I only have about 100 passes on it at the mid-point this season. . .
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:28 PM   #19
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Re: Engine break in help

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You're probably right. I only have about 100 passes on it at the mid-point this season. . .
must just be racing your home track points events only?

I wish i had that type of self control, but i HAVE to goto other tracks throughout the year to keep it fresh both for me mentally and competition wise. Ever since we started racing we try at least one brand new to us track a year, kinf of a tradition thing i started unknowingly, but it keeps it fresh and it really makes you appreciate your track, or you pick up some pointers to get across to the home track...and your self. not to mention the great people you meet everywhere, which is why it'd be so hard to quit this gig; even though i need to until my daughter grows up..i keep spending her college money LOL!!!
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60' 1.41
1/8mi. 6.59 @ 104mph
1/4mi. 10.36 @ 130mph

150 shot pass 1.33/6.36/10.11@130mph and Rustang killer
ALL on pump gas in N/A sbc through the mufflers @ 3768lbs
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:35 PM   #20
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Re: Engine break in help

IHI, come on down to Midstate in Havana,IL. There are plenty of guys that'll give you a run for your money. it's only a 1/8 mile track though. S/Pro pays 1,000 and Pro pays 750.00. We have some pretty good competition. We're racing Sat nights thru August. We're taking my sons 96 bird Sat, he hasn't run since pinks down in St. Louis. Think I have a little better tune on it now, that I don't have anything together. I had an Eagle crank for my 383, but my machinist won't use it. The snout measures .002 too small. Had to order a scat crank and it won't be here till tomorrow or Monday. Be a couple more weeks for my -hit.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:17 AM   #21
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must just be racing your home track points events only?
Unless you count running the rental car at Sacramento Raceway Park. I'm helping them "break in" their new Mustang V6's. . .
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:13 AM   #22
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Re: Engine break in help

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IHI, come on down to Midstate in Havana,IL. There are plenty of guys that'll give you a run for your money. it's only a 1/8 mile track though. S/Pro pays 1,000 and Pro pays 750.00. We have some pretty good competition. We're racing Sat nights thru August. We're taking my sons 96 bird Sat, he hasn't run since pinks down in St. Louis. Think I have a little better tune on it now, that I don't have anything together. I had an Eagle crank for my 383, but my machinist won't use it. The snout measures .002 too small. Had to order a scat crank and it won't be here till tomorrow or Monday. Be a couple more weeks for my -hit.
You guys are'nt too far away

If your track ever had a $2K to win for Pro or a $2K to win run off between S/P and Pro let me know, seriously, otherwise i can race for $2K each weekend at home 15 minutes from my house as opposed to driving 9 hours round trip for play money so to speak. Not being greedy, just being real LOL!! Maybe next year if your track has any big/special events i would be interested in setting that weekend aside and running it, but this year we've already done our race traveling and we're buckling down on construction at this point to get all these flood damaged houses fixed/sealed back up for winter time; basically i'm racing at home for the rest of the year, i may travel/look into entering the wheel stand cometition at Byron in october if my junk aint blowed up by then, but other than that, it'd have to be a hefty purse to perk my intrest for the rest of this season...you know how that works, money has to be worth your while to travel that distance to recoup, or have a shot at recouping investment to even getting down there in the first place, and with gas...$750 is'nt gunna do much for me with gas, food, etc...
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60' 1.41
1/8mi. 6.59 @ 104mph
1/4mi. 10.36 @ 130mph

150 shot pass 1.33/6.36/10.11@130mph and Rustang killer
ALL on pump gas in N/A sbc through the mufflers @ 3768lbs
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:31 PM   #23
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Re: Engine break in help

Stephen,

How do you get the timing close w/o starting the motor? I know to line up the cap and rotor, but should you cut the fuel off and crank the motor with a timing light attached? Would that work?
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