Common Sense 351C break in steps

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Paul of MO

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351C break in procedures and break in oils.

Build the engine

Use generous amounts of assembly lube.

I soak the new lifters in warmed motor oil with a little assembly lube dissolved in it over night.

Do not pre pump up the lifters before you install them – it may hold a valve open during initial startup keeping the engine from starting.

Unless it has a .6 lift cam or higher there is no need to use weaker break in springs.

With the valve covers off use a drill to spin the oil pump - just long enough to see that you have good oil pressure. Once all the rocker arms show oiling STOP – you do not want to wash away or dilute the assembly lube. One great tool to make it to cut the top off a pair of old valve covers to keep the mess down but still being able to see everything.

Some turn the crank by hand one full turn while “drill priming” – I do not, once I see oil at the rocker arms on a 351C I know that everything has been oiled.

Use a known carburetor that will immediately start the engine and run the engine. I usually pull one off of a running and recently driven car to eliminate the unknown carb variable.

Install a known and working distributor and static time the engine. Static timing means carefully setting the timing mark on the damper to about 10/12 degrees with the engine off using a breaker bar to carefully turn the engine. Using a timing light on the number one plug wire - with the key on engine off - slowly turn the distributor until it flashes. You have now set the base timing without having to crank the engine. No flash means you have a wiring problem – find it and fix it.

Check the rest of the plug wires to make sure they are on the correct plugs in the correct firing order.

I break in street engines as they are going to be run on the street. All the vacuum lines attached, thermostat installed with 50/50 mix of coolant. If all is good you will be ready to drive the car. Delayed gratification is no fun!

Fill the fuel bowls with a little gas down the carb to prime the engine

Use a high quality oil such as Mobile 1 full synthetic 5w30 or 10w40 – this will help protect the cam during brake in. If you want to add some break in additive that is fine as well.

EDIT: There seems to be enough debate over the use of synthetic for break in that I will deffer. I never had a cam failure using Mobile one but it does delay the seating of the rings if you do not have the proper hone.

Fire the car and if it does not start right up do not let it crank and crank and crank.

Figure out the problem - spark? air? fuel? and fix it.

Start the car and set the idle to 3000 rpm and let it run there for 30 min. If it needs to be shut down then shut it down but do not let it idle. Do not let it get overly hot. Extra shop fans and even a garden sprayer to mist the radiator. Plus this will give you something to do for 30 min. Set a timer so you do not end early.

If the idle starts to rise then slow it back down to 3000 rpm. Some will drop it to 2800 for 5 min and then back to 3000 for 5 and so on – won’t hurt anything if you do this.

Things to look for:

No oiling at the rocker arms – shut it off

No pushrod rotation – shut it off

Bad noises – it will probably shut itself off. I like to have the exhaust fully hooked up if possible so I can hear bad noises and shut it off in time.

Change the oil and filter this time with a high quality non synthetic oil – this will help seat the rings. SEE ABOVE EDIT - This step is not needed if you start with a HIGH QUALITY non-synthetic oil. I personally like the 2 step break in process especially on higher lift and more rapid cam lobe ramp specs.

Run engine at 2500 for 30 min.

Set final idle and timing

Drive normally for 500 miles. City and Highway driving (no hot rodding).

Change the oil and filter with whatever oil you plan to use regularly

Swap out the carb and distributor with what you are going to actually use – don’t be surprised if you have starting issues that would have hurt your new cam.

Summary:

Lot of assembly lube

Minimal or no hand turning or starter cranking of the engine

Minimal pre oiling

Use a known carb and a known distributor

You want to hit the key and have it fire right up.

No push rod rotation is fatal.

Most importantly Have Fun!

- Paul of MO

Quick edits and follow up to other postings:

Cleveland Specific - most cam cooling comes from the splash from the crankshaft. On a Cleveland there is not much of this below 2500 rpm. Run a 351C (not a small block Chevy) at 2000 rpm and you will most likely wipe a cam lobe.

At 3000 rpm with the vacuum advance correctly connected on a known distributor the timing will be advanced and the engine will run nice and cool.

At 3000 rpm there will be significant air flow through the radiator to keep things nice and cool. Always use a fan shroud.

Turning a freshly built engine either by hand or with the starter will displace the assembly lube. It has to be done but the more you turn it the more lube gets "squished" out of the bearings.

"Drill priming" will wash out and dilute the assembly lube. This must be done but the longer you do it the more assembly lube will be lost.

Cleveland Specific - not known for "air pockets" in the cooling system. If you have the radiator full with a good radiator cap and a full overflow tank connected there should not be any issues. A standard Ford radiator cap at 13 pounds will allow the system to "Burp" sooner than a 16 pound one will. You can always - with an abundance of caution - add more 50/50 coolant mix if the level drops excessively. It it is also good to have the heater slider all the way to warm and have the blower motor on high to help keep things cool and circulating.

If a hose leaks and it is not excessive then just let it go - the goal of this process it to break in the cam - not to keep your shop clean.

If a hose blows off then karma says you deserve to lay in a puddle of nasty icky coolant. I check all hose clamps and give everything rubber a good tug before starting an engine for the first time. Karma still makes me take a coolant bath from time to time.

25 min vs 30 min - the extra five minutes is not going to hurt anything.

New oils are great for breaking in the cam but not for seating the rings. This is why I do it twice. Once with synthetic for the cam and once for with conventional for the rings.

Now I will randomly link something from the internet:

Decided to delete the link - it was mean: PM me if you want to see it! It would have been really funny to leave it up.

I have been doing this since 1956 (yep - nineteen hundred and fifty six) and had more than one engine blow up on the test stand!

Always use eye protection.

Paul of MO

 
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Thanks Paul, good info for my engine build guy.

Geoff.

EDIT: Mar14, @12:30pm

Just read your edits and re-read the post. Now I'm getting a bit confused. If I recall without double checking, the use of a good break-in oil should be used to break in a new Cam. I don't recall reading anything about using a full synthetic for cam break in or any comments to that effect. My engine re-build is nearing completion and the motor will be broken in on a stand, not in the car.

Can someone please clarify as to what I NEED to do?

Thanks,

Geoff.

 
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barnett468

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Moderator Note: The following has been restored from an inadvertently deleted post.

.This is a helpful thread and the following is what I do for flat tappet AND roller cam engines and I have never had one cam sustain damage in over 40 years of doing this.

BREAK IN PROCEDURE

If it has a flat tappet cam, use valve springs with no more that 280 lbs open spring pressure then switch to heavier springs afterwards if required.

Tighten all the hoses, then tighten them again.

Check the intake bolts for being tight even though you previously tightened them.

Make sure the timing marks are easily readable . You can use liquid white out to put a line at TDC and one very tiny dot at 10 degrees BTDC and two tiny dots at 20 and three dots at 30 and four at 40 and put some on the end of the pointer.

Use break in oil . I prefer Joe Gibbs Break In Oil and it is also the oil recommended by some camshaft mfg's . It has been proven many times that using synthetic oil for break can reduce the ability for the rings to seat . Amsoil only makes synthetic oil, however, they tested synthetic oil against convention oil for break in and determined that in fact, the rings broke in completely with the conventional oil and they did not using synthetic oil . Since they did NOT make a break in oil at the time they did this test, they had no incentive to skew the results.

Remove the thermostat to insure there are no air pockets or make sure there are none if you use a thermostat and use straight water . If you have an air pocket in the cooling system, the engine can quickly overheat during break in which can damage internal parts and require that the engine but turned off during the break in process which can be bad for flat tappet engines.

Do not use antifreeze because if you have a hose leak it will make a mess.

Use at least a 16 lb radiator cap . It will NOT blow a cooling system up that calls for a lower pressure cap unless the system has a weak point anyway.

Spin the oil pump for 20 seconds with a 1/2" drill . A smaller drill may burn out . Hold the drill firmly because it may try and rip out of your hands.

Rotate the crank 180 degrees and spin pump for 10 seconds

Rotate the crank 180 degrees and spin pump for 10 seconds

Rotate the crank 180 degrees and spin pump for 10 seconds

Rotate the crank 180 degrees and spin pump for 10 seconds

Rotating the crank will insure that at some point all the valves are closed so they can fill up completely . This eliminates the process of soaking them in oil prior to installation.

Remove and plug the distributor vacuum advance hose and plug it.

Remove all the plug wires except for number one cylinder then crank the engine over and set the timing to 10 degrees BTDC then reconnect wires . Make sure there is room to advance the distributor farther if needed . If there is not enough room, re-clock it one tooth . Reconnect wires afterwards . This minor cranking will NOT damage a cam.

If you have a Holley style carb, you can prefill the carb with gas thru the vent holes in the top until it is just below the inspection holes in the float bowl or below the center of the clear sight windows . One way this can be done is with a plastic ketchup bottle.

Adjust the choke so it is fully open.

Have a screw driver ready to adjust the idle speed with.

Have someone start the car while I operate the choke and throttle.

Rev it to around 2000 to 2200 rpms as soon as it starts or use the cam mfg's recommended speed, however, I have never seem a cam mfg recommend a speed above 2500 rpm . Comp Cams recommends 2000 - 2500 . Excessive speed can damage parts and cause the engine to run hotter than necessary.

Release the choke after around 15 seconds then turn the idle screw in to maintain the rpm at 2000.

Check the timing to make sure it is around 25 degrees . If the timing is too low, it can cause the engine to get hot and actually make headers glow red hot.

Place a fan directly in front of the radiator blowing at the rad.

After a few minutes, the rpm will increase . Reduce it to 2000 rpm and continue to adjust it as necessary throughout the break in process.

Let it run for 25 minutes.

Watch the hoses for leaks and check the temp gauge .

WARNING - If you work the throttle manually, wear goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.

AMSOIL BREAK IN OIL

Although AMSOIL only makes synthetic oils, their break in oil is conventional, non synthetic oil.

NEW CAR ENGINE BREAK IN

Although most, if not all new cars are now delivered to the dealer with synthetic oil, many, if not all of them are run without the ignition on for a while with conventional, non synthetic oil so the rings and other parts can wear in properly.

FROM MULTI TIME NASCAR CHAMPIONS JOE GIBBS RACING

A technical bulletin from Comp Cams and the recommendation from Crower to use high zinc content oils for break-in of flat-tappet cams comes in response to the growing problem of cam failure during initial break-in. Joe Gibbs Driven BR is the only fully formulated oil designed specifically for breaking in flat-tappet cams. The high zinc content formula has been used to break-in every flat-tappet Sprint Cup engine built here at Joe Gibbs Racing for the last 6 years. In fact, the development of BR reduced the number of camshaft failures during break-in at JGR from 1 in 10 to 1 in 40.

Proper preparation of lifters and cam lobes by polishing both the lobe and lifter foot aid the break-in process and further reduce break-in failures. It is also critically important to ensure proper parallelism of the cam lobe and lifter. For improved break-in success, we recommend that you use our Engine Assembly Grease to coat cam lobes, lifters and pushrod tips during assembly. Then use BR petroleum based break-in oil during break-in. We also recommend that you use a tape of chemical polisher to improve the RA finish of your cams and lifters prior to break-in. Some companies sell pre-polished products, so you don't have to buy the equipment to do it in house. Again, there is no substitute for proper lifter to lobe geometery, so once you put the right pieces in the right places, you now have the right oil and assembly grease to protect you investment in time and hardware.

.
.

I do the following after camshaft break in to help insure the rings properly seat.

AFTER BREAK IN

Turn engine off and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.

Re-check intake manifold and valve cover bolts and fan belt tension and hoses etc.

Drain cooling system and install 180 - 185 thermostat.

Refill with coolant and water of desired ratio to 1 inch below bottom of lower radiator cap hole.

Start engine and let idle for around 5 to 7 minutes and watch temp gauge and shut it off it it gets hot.

Turn engine off and carefully open lever on rad cap to release pressure if it has a lever, if it doesn't, carefully turn the cap around 1/8 th turn o release any pressure before removing it.

Remove radiator cap and inspect water level.

If necessary, fill radiator to 1 inch below the bottom of the filler neck.

Set ignition advance curve and vacuum advance can properly if needed and reconnect distributor vacuum advance hose.

PISTON RING BREAK IN

Test drive for 20 minutes . . Accelerate from around 30 to 40 mph then coast back down to 30 around every 3 minutes . . This will help break the rings in more quickly.

Listen for a slight pinging sound that may come from the engine anytime you accelerate . . If you hear any, I would stop and retard the timing a few degrees at a time until it is gone, then correct the timing curve etc as necessary after this break in period.

OIL AND FILTER CHANGE

After around 100 miles.

.

 
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Paul of MO

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Thanks Paul, good info for my engine build guy.

Geoff.

Just read your edits and re-read the post. Now I'm getting a bit confused. If I recall without double checking, the use of a good break-in oil should be use to break in a new am. I don't recall reading anything about using a full synthetic for cam break in or any comments to that effect. My engine re-build is nearing completion and the motor will be broken in on a stand, not in the car.

Can someone please clarify as to what I NEED to do?

Thanks,

Geoff.
I do not know much about specific break in oils but I do know that using the highest quality oil that will not break down under the higher heat created during break in is most important.

If you google break in oils it seems that there have been multiple reports of failure with the Joe Gibbs brand. My opinion is that it has too much zinc and does not allow the cam lobes and lifter bases to become stress hardened which is the goal of the break in process.

I did read about Lucas Break In Oil #10630 and it best matches what we used for decades that being a straight 30 weight that has a decent zinc content. This is the also the only break in oil that has 100% positive reviews across many sites.

Lucas in general makes a good product. It has a slightly lower wear protection rating than synthetics but it I would not hesitate to use it.

Any reason you have to break it in on a stand? Engines break in better with a little bit of a load on them. Not so much of an issue with a manual transmission flywheel attached but more so with only a flex plate.

When I say "on the stand" I mean a rack specially designed to test run an engine. It has a full radiator with electric fans, full exhaust system, gauges, remote fuel supply, and most importantly a kill switch. I would never attempt to run an engine on an engine stand - even a very robust one. Gravity and rotational torque can be a bitch.

An engine compartment is a great break in rack. You probably already have one out in your shop.

I hope this is helpful.

- Paul of Mo

Read your profile - Nice! We have a Ram Air M Code covert with a C6.

 
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barnett468

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Just read your edits and re-read the post. Now I'm getting a bit confused. If I recall without double checking, the use of a good break-in oil should be used to break in a new Cam. I don't recall reading anything about using a full synthetic for cam break in or any comments to that effect. My engine re-build is nearing completion and the motor will be broken in on a stand, not in the car.

Can someone please clarify as to what I NEED to do?

Thanks,

Geoff.
Sure, no problem . Neither I nor anyone I know ever use synthetic oil to break cams in with and it is not recommended for break in by any cam mfg . All break in oils are conventional non synthetic including Amsoil's and all they make is synthetic oil . Amsoil even conducted a direct back to back test and determined that the rings seated quicker and more completely using non synthetic oil, so I for one wouldn't argue with the people that actually make the oil and camshafts . Chris Straub is one of the premier cam designers in the US and some of his cams are used in National Championship winning vehicles and Scott Foxwell is a premier engine builder whom teamed up with Chris for a while and both use non synthetic break in oil . Also, if you plan to use conventional oil after it's broken in, I don't understand why one would use synthetic non break in oil to start with.

Also, I always use 2000 to 2200 rpm to break in engines or whatever the low side of the cam mfg's recommendation is, and I for one have never seen a cam mfg recommend 3000 rpm as the op stated to use . I am also a Comp Cams and Crane Cams dealer and both of those mfg's have told me that you should never use more than 2500 rpm to break a cam in with . If you have a cam with no break in instructions, I suggest you simply contact the cam mfg and ask them . In my opinion, it seems unwise to vary from the cam mfg's recommendation irregardless of what you have read or who may have told you to do so.

I have been building engines and cars for 40 years for a living and have never had a cam failure using my method and following the cam mfg's recommendations.

From Erson Cams

http://www.pbm-erson.com/UserFiles/Documents/Product/cam_card_backing_2014.pd

OIL AND ADDITIVES

It is highly recommended that you use a conventional SF or SE grade SAE 20 or SAE 30 weight NON

DETERGENT Motor oil with break in additive (Erson E911000) or Joe Gibbs Racing Oil’s Engine Break-In Oil (pn. 00107).

BREAK IN PROCEDURE

Upon starting the engine bring the RPM up to 2000 RPM. Run engine at 2000 RPM for at least 20 minutes.

From Comp Cams

http://www.compcams.com/Instructions/Files/COMP4-115.pdf

Also, we do not recommend the use of synthetic motor oils during the break-in process.

COMP Cams® recommends using Part #1590 (10W30) or #1591 (15W50) Engine Break-In Oil. Other non-synthetic, heavy-duty motor oil along with COMP Cams® Part #159 Break-In Oil Additive may be used. This allows the lifters to establish rotation and develop a good wear pattern. COMP Cams® Oil, as well as the Break-In Oil Additive will assist with ring seal during the early break-in period of

your engine.

As soon as the engine fires, bring the RPM up to 2000 to 2500 during the first 30 minutes of operation.

FROM MULTI TIME NASCAR WINNERS JOE GIBBS RACING

A technical bulletin from Comp Cams and the recommendation from Crower to use high zinc content oils for break-in of flat-tappet cams comes in response to the growing problem of cam failure during initial break-in. Joe Gibbs Driven BR is the only fully formulated oil designed specifically for breaking in flat-tappet cams. The high zinc content formula has been used to break-in every flat-tappet Sprint Cup engine built here at Joe Gibbs Racing for the last 6 years. In fact, the development of BR reduced the number of camshaft failures during break-in at JGR from 1 in 10 to 1 in 40.

Proper preparation of lifters and cam lobes by polishing both the lobe and lifter foot aid the break-in process and futher reduce break-in failures. It is also critically important to ensure proper parallelism of the cam lobe and lifter. For improved break-in success, we recommend that you use our Engine Assembly Grease to coat cam lobes, lifters and pushrod tips during assembly. Then use BR petroleum based break-in oil during break-in. We also recommend that you use a tape of chemical polisher to improve the RA finish of your cams and lifters prior to break-in. Some companies sell pre-polished products, so you don't have to buy the equipment to do it in house. Again, there is no substitute for proper lifter to lobe geometery, so once you put the right pieces in the right places, you now have the right oil and assembly grease to protect you investment in time and hardware.

 
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Paul of MO

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https://www.google.com/search?num=50&rlz=1C1CHJX_enUS631US632&biw=1242&bih=585&q=Cam+Break+in+3000+rpm&oq=Cam+Break+in+3000+rpm&gs_l=serp.12...20830.36517.0.38833.28.26.1.0.0.0.2348.4318.0j9j2j9-1.12.0....0...1c.1.64.serp..18.6.3065.HpF9e4fzofQ

and:

"Step 7. Start the engine and immediately bring to 3,000 rpm. Timing should be adjusted, as quickly as possible, to reduce excessive heat or load during break-in." (Company Name Withheld until you say how stupid they are - then I will post it)

and:

"www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/products/royal-purple-break-in-oil/+

"Protect your new engine with Royal Purple Break-in Oil, a full synthetic oil"

As stated in my post the first step with Mobile One is for the cam and the 2nd step with non-synthetic is for the rings. Modern oils have necessitated a two step process for the cam and for the rings.

I have no problem with anyone using a non-synthetic oil of the highest quality to break in a cam. The RPMS and proper temps are what is vital.

For a 351 Cleveland 2000 rpm is to low - The oil splash from the crank will be insufficient to cool the cam shaft. This is CLEVELAND specific and does not apply to other engines.

- Paul of MO

 
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Thanks Paul, good info for my engine build guy.

Geoff.

Just read your edits and re-read the post. Now I'm getting a bit confused. If I recall without double checking, the use of a good break-in oil should be use to break in a new am. I don't recall reading anything about using a full synthetic for cam break in or any comments to that effect. My engine re-build is nearing completion and the motor will be broken in on a stand, not in the car.

Can someone please clarify as to what I NEED to do?

Thanks,

Geoff.
I do not know much about specific break in oils but I do know that using the highest quality oil that will not break down under the higher heat created during break in is most important.

If you google break in oils it seems that there have been multiple reports of failure with the Joe Gibbs brand. My opinion is that it has too much zinc and does not allow the cam lobes and lifter bases to become stress hardened which is the goal of the break in process.

I did read about Lucas Break In Oil #10630 and it best matches what we used for decades that being a straight 30 weight that has a decent zinc content. This is the also the only break in oil that has 100% positive reviews across many sites.

Lucas in general makes a good product. It has a slightly lower wear protection rating than synthetics but it I would not hesitate to use it.

Any reason you have to break it in on a stand? Engines break in better with a little bit of a load on them. Not so much of an issue with a manual transmission flywheel attached but more so with only a flex plate.

When I say "on the stand" I mean a rack specially designed to test run an engine. It has a full radiator with electric fans, full exhaust system, gauges, remote fuel supply, and most importantly a kill switch. I would never attempt to run an engine on an engine stand - even a very robust one. Gravity and rotational torque can be a bitch.

An engine compartment is a great break in rack. You probably already have one out in your shop.

I hope this is helpful.

- Paul of Mo

Read your profile - Nice! We have a Ram Air M Code covert with a C6.
Paul, the "stand" refer to is the rig that the engine shop use to break in and test run their engines. I've not personally seen it, but I assume it has all the necessary equipment. If I were to break in my engine in the driveway, I'd be looking for a new place to live.... if you know what I mean! Its' bad enough when I let it warm up at idle.

The engine will be run with the clutch and flywheel on as the entire rotating mass will be balanced prior to break in.

I will go over the pros and cons of all the suggestions with the builder. He too has many years experience building every type of motor conceived. Yes we had a failure where just three lifters wore down, but not to the point of a lifter tick. Why is a good question.

Thanks for the feed back,

Geoff.



Just read your edits and re-read the post. Now I'm getting a bit confused. If I recall without double checking, the use of a good break-in oil should be used to break in a new Cam. I don't recall reading anything about using a full synthetic for cam break in or any comments to that effect. My engine re-build is nearing completion and the motor will be broken in on a stand, not in the car.

Can someone please clarify as to what I NEED to do?

Thanks,

Geoff.
Barnett, Thank you too for your input. My reply to Paul outlines what I will be doing. Your suggestions will be compared when I talk to my builder. I certainly do NOT want to go through this again.

Thanks to all for your time.

Geoff.

Sure, no problem . Neither I nor anyone I know ever use synthetic oil to break cams in with and it is not recommended for break in by any cam mfg . All break in oils are conventional non synthetic including Amsoil's and all they make is synthetic oil . Amsoil even conducted a direct back to back test and determined that the rings seated quicker and more completely using non synthetic oil, so I for one wouldn't argue with the people that actually make the oil and camshafts . Chris Straub is one of the premier cam designers in the US and some of his cams are used in National Championship winning vehicles and Scott Foxwell is a premier engine builder whom teamed up with Chris for a while and both use non synthetic break in oil . Also, if you plan to use conventional oil after it's broken in, I don't understand why one would use synthetic non break in oil to start with.

Also, I always use 2000 to 2200 rpm to break in engines or whatever the low side of the cam mfg's recommendation is, and I for one have never seen a cam mfg recommend 3000 rpm as the op stated to use . I am also a Comp Cams and Crane Cams dealer and both of those mfg's have told me that you should never use more than 2500 rpm to break a cam in with . If you have a cam with no break in instructions, I suggest you simply contact the cam mfg and ask them . In my opinion, it seems unwise to vary from the cam mfg's recommendation irregardless of what you have read or who may have told you to do so.

I have been building engines and cars for 40 years for a living and have never had a cam failure using my method and following the cam mfg's recommendations.

From Erson Cams

http://www.pbm-erson.com/UserFiles/Documents/Product/cam_card_backing_2014.pd

OIL AND ADDITIVES

It is highly recommended that you use a conventional SF or SE grade SAE 20 or SAE 30 weight NON

DETERGENT Motor oil with break in additive (Erson E911000) or Joe Gibbs Racing Oil’s Engine Break-In Oil (pn. 00107).

BREAK IN PROCEDURE

Upon starting the engine bring the RPM up to 2000 RPM. Run engine at 2000 RPM for at least 20 minutes.

From Comp Cams

http://www.compcams.com/Instructions/Files/COMP4-115.pdf

Also, we do not recommend the use of synthetic motor oils during the break-in process.

COMP Cams® recommends using Part #1590 (10W30) or #1591 (15W50) Engine Break-In Oil. Other non-synthetic, heavy-duty motor oil along with COMP Cams® Part #159 Break-In Oil Additive may be used. This allows the lifters to establish rotation and develop a good wear pattern. COMP Cams® Oil, as well as the Break-In Oil Additive will assist with ring seal during the early break-in period of

your engine.

As soon as the engine fires, bring the RPM up to 2000 to 2500 during the first 30 minutes of operation.

FROM MULTI TIME NASCAR WINNERS JOE GIBBS RACING

A technical bulletin from Comp Cams and the recommendation from Crower to use high zinc content oils for break-in of flat-tappet cams comes in response to the growing problem of cam failure during initial break-in. Joe Gibbs Driven BR is the only fully formulated oil designed specifically for breaking in flat-tappet cams. The high zinc content formula has been used to break-in every flat-tappet Sprint Cup engine built here at Joe Gibbs Racing for the last 6 years. In fact, the development of BR reduced the number of camshaft failures during break-in at JGR from 1 in 10 to 1 in 40.

Proper preparation of lifters and cam lobes by polishing both the lobe and lifter foot aid the break-in process and futher reduce break-in failures. It is also critically important to ensure proper parallelism of the cam lobe and lifter. For improved break-in success, we recommend that you use our Engine Assembly Grease to coat cam lobes, lifters and pushrod tips during assembly. Then use BR petroleum based break-in oil during break-in. We also recommend that you use a tape of chemical polisher to improve the RA finish of your cams and lifters prior to break-in. Some companies sell pre-polished products, so you don't have to buy the equipment to do it in house. Again, there is no substitute for proper lifter to lobe geometery, so once you put the right pieces in the right places, you now have the right oil and assembly grease to protect you investment in time and hardware.
 
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Qcode351mach

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Stanglover edited his response Mar 14 @12:30pm. Please read and comment. Getting confused!!
I've pretty much used the Same procedure as Paul over the years.. That was told to me by the Machinists engine builders who did work for me..The best bet is to follow the advice of who ever built the engine does the work..The simplest question to ask your guy is ? How should I break in my motor so as to warranty YOUR work. Do as they tell you in order to guarantee the work

 

Paul of MO

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Very Good!

I try to be "gentle" when I think someone has a bad idea - LOL

I am starting to think that modern cams are built with to high a grade material and modern oils are to good at heat dissipation / wear protection to let a cam "stress harden" properly.

Wandering around the internet and reading the horror stories seem to all have the same issue - they seem to break the cam in properly but then it fails in the 1st 100 miles or so. Hmm.....

An engine shop that does the initial break for their customers in is a good engine shop. Sure indicates that they trust and stand behind their work.

They know what they are doing and I would bet they do not break in ANY engine at 2000 rpm.

- Paul of MO

 
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MeZapU

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Modern engines are in a whole different realm of metallurgy and precision machining. I took apart a 35k mile coyote engine from a F-150. If I didn't know the engine was used I'd of sworn the bearings were installed, and the crank only laid into the saddle and it rotated around a few times. They looked near brand new.

Low stress engine break-in using a Simtester is a fantastic resource, but that equipment is scarce in all but the most populated regions of the country. And it costs a fair bit for the procedure anyways. 99.9% of people would rather just break in an engine the traditional way. It's kind of a right of passage for a hot rodder to break in their new engine themselves.

One thing an old machine shop owner told me was the technique he uses to break in flat tappet camshaft engines for customers is a set of 1.3 ratio roller rockers. They reduce the pressure on the lifters and camshaft much like lighter valve springs, but are far easier to swap out than the springs. But not everyone has access to a set of these rockers to only use for a short while. Food for thought.

Like mentioned, there are many steps to go through but none more so that attention to detail during engine assembly. You can perform all the right steps and add all the expensive snake oils you want, but if a lifter does not want to spin freely in one of the bores, the excitement may be short lived.

 
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Stanglover edited his response Mar 14 @12:30pm. Please read and comment. Getting confused!!
I've pretty much used the Same procedure as Paul over the years.. That was told to me by the Machinists engine builders who did work for me..The best bet is to follow the advice of who ever built the engine does the work..The simplest question to ask your guy is ? How should I break in my motor so as to warranty YOUR work. Do as they tell you in order to guarantee the work
Very good point on the warranty. That's why I want them to break it in on their rig, but that said, I want information that I can use and therefore understand the process. I do trust the shop will do it right, their reputation is well known.

Thanks,

Geoff.

 

Paul of MO

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Modern engines are in a whole different realm of metallurgy and precision machining. I took apart a 35k mile coyote engine from a F-150. If I didn't know the engine was used I'd of sworn the bearings were installed, and the crank only laid into the saddle and it rotated around a few times. They looked near brand new.

Low stress engine break-in using a Simtester is a fantastic resource, but that equipment is scarce in all but the most populated regions of the country. And it costs a fair bit for the procedure anyways. 99.9% of people would rather just break in an engine the traditional way. It's kind of a right of passage for a hot rodder to break in their new engine themselves.

Like mentioned, there are many steps to go through but none more so that attention to detail during engine assembly. You can perform all the right steps and add all the expensive snake oils you want, but if a lifter does not want to spin freely in one of the bores, the excitement may be short lived.
It surprises me that more emphasis is not placed on checking that the lifters move and more importantly rotate freely in their bores.

I have had to hit a lifter bore with a tiny hone many times over the years because the lifter felt tight when trying to spin it by hand.

This is one time in life that loose is better than tight.

- Paul of MO

 
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barnett468

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Very good point on the warranty. That's why I want them to break it in on their rig, but that said, I want information that I can use and therefore understand the process. I do trust the shop will do it right, their reputation is well known.

Thanks,

Geoff.
Any warranty must be in writing and must be detailed and very specific . Unfortunately verbal "guarantees" and handshakes don't seem to hold up very well in court.

.

 
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kcmash

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Paul,

If you live in my part of Missouri, I'll have to buy the beer for startup day and have you come over.

Thats some good information!

kcmash

 

Paul of MO

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Paul,

If you live in my part of Missouri, I'll have to buy the beer for startup day and have you come over.

Thats some good information!

kcmash
I live just to the west of St. Louis with my son. I just turned 95 and do not travel much anymore. What kind of beer?

Paul of MO

 

MeZapU

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It surprises me that more emphasis is not placed on checking that the lifters move and more importantly rotate freely in their bores.

I have had to hit a lifter bore with a tiny hone many times over the years because the lifter felt tight when trying to spin it by hand.

This is one time in life that loose is better than tight.

- Paul of MO
Yeah, back in my machine shop days we would always throw a hone through the lifter bores on every block we would do. It only takes about 3-4 minutes to do all 16. The customers always thought we were giving them a little extra service but it was more of a CYA measure so there would not be any issues. I can't remember anyone ever having an issue with a flat cam on break-in back then. It just didn't happen.

 

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"www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/products/royal-purple-break-in-oil/+

"Protect your new engine with Royal Purple Break-in Oil, a full synthetic oil"
There is no such thing as a synthetic break in oil, this means that Royal Purple Break in oil is NOT synthetic . This is a FACT not an opinion.

 
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