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Break in oil a joke ? or real ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrodnomader, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. As with any engine build, cam change, valvetrain upgrade, etc., most folks run fresh oil & filter during the break-in period, and then change it and go back to regular service intervals, we all know that. So you're already buying twice as much oil and two filters...so what's the harm in spending a few bucks more for real break-in oil, and having a little peace of mind?

    No matter what anyone else says, to me, it's not worth the risk of wiping a cam lobe or spinning a main because I was too cheap to spend an extra $2 a quart for real break-in oil. For the average small block with 5qts, that's only $10 extra bucks.

    $10 for peace of mind = priceless.
     
  2. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    some pretty smart people would take issue with this statement...

    "When the oil companies started pulling out the zinc, Mercury Marine started getting a bunch of customers calling with roller lifter issues. It seems those boat engines spend a lot of time idling around, and since they don't get much splash oil to the needle bearings at Idle, they really suffered without the zinc.
    Now, if you want your warranty to be good, you need to run the Mercruiser oil("Provides warranty protection for Mercury MerCruiser engines"), and it's got plenty of zinc.
    Mike Jones
    Jones Cam Designs
    Denver, NC
    www.jonescams.com "
     
  3. Phucker
    Joined: Sep 12, 2010
    Posts: 185

    Phucker
    Member
    from Kansas

    Instead of starting yet another oil thread, there is a neat little feature that lets you search the forums, and there is also a neat thing called Google, both of which are good for finding lots of info, if you bother to use them.
     
  4. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,620

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    The change in the oil formulations was mandated by Big Brother going along with the extended catalytic converter standards. ZDDP (not just zinc, also phosphorus etc.) fouls the cat converters, so it's quantity was reduced. All the OEM engines run roller lifters and have tighter internal clearances and can run with the low ZDDP and low viscosity- run high viscosity oil in a new one "like we always have" and you'll have problems. There's a lot of information available if someone wants to educate themselves, most every oil company has info on their websites, some are pretty good. If one subscribes to the "always done it this way, and old so-and-so does too" philosophy, really, you might want to read up a little- average off-the-shelf oil just ain't the same as it was. There are still some correct-ZDDP spec for flat tappet oils available, you just need to seek them out and check the specs. Valvoline VR-1, Mobil1 15-50, Brad Penn, etc. A lot of the diesel-spec oils we've all loved ain't the same anymore, either- diesel smog specs are the reality, like it or not.
    And that Brad Penn break-in oil is good schidt- if you do it right, leave out the inner springs on a big 'un until it's run in, fire it quick and get the speed up, you shouldn't have any problems if you stay with a proper spec oil after break-in
     
  5. 92GTA
    Joined: Oct 19, 2010
    Posts: 99

    92GTA
    Member

    I just used RP Break-In oil on the rebuild of my old vette engine. It was easier than adding ZDDP to regular oil since I'm changing it at 500 miles anyway. For the 500 miles change I'm using Castrol 5w20 with ZDDP added. Then after 2,500 on that I'm changing to Redline so I have the proper zinc/phos levels.
     
  6. jambottle
    Joined: Apr 11, 2003
    Posts: 559

    jambottle
    Member

    Always prelube your new engine with an electric drill before initial start up !!
     
  7. 92GTA
    Joined: Oct 19, 2010
    Posts: 99

    92GTA
    Member

    and just because there is great pressure with the drill, don't use a remote starter button to start up the engine to hold 2K RPM and adjust timing because you still need to check the oil pressure after stabbing the dizzy. Ask my how I know :(
     
  8. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,694

    Weasel
    Member

    You've just $$$pent all that money rebuilding your engine, so why would you want to risk it to save a few bucks?

    Here is an interesting read:

    www.bobistheoilguy.com
     
  9. Times have changed and it's "NOT BS"... but you should use an oil with "Zinc" in it... or you can add a "Zinc" additive for this process.

    Many engine builders will not stand behind their builds unless the proper oil is used for break in.

    Once broke-in there shouldn't be any problems... but I'd rather err on the side of spending a couple of bucks more for the proper oil than expensive parts for the engine.
     
  10. Swifster
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,449

    Swifster
    Member

    Not necessarily anymore. The formulas have changed (again).

    All oil has zinc. The problem is that a flat tappet cam needs lots of zinc. Regular street oil doesn't have enough zinc. If I'm breaking in a cam. I'd use Brad Penn oil (considered racing oil and is exempt) with some GM E.O.S. Once the engine is broken in, stay with the Brad Penn or switch to the oil of your choice. I'd stick with the Brad Penn or go with a quility 20W50 (also exempt).
     
  11. Dynoroom
    Joined: Feb 26, 2008
    Posts: 539

    Dynoroom
    Member


    Ding, Ding, Ding.........

    Right answer!

    I'm shocked at how many people are not aware the the feds made the oil companys remove the zinc and phosphates out of engine oils. I too had used store bought oils for years with no problems but if you don't build engines for a living like I do you may not know of the change.
    If you are running a flat tappet (hyd. or solid) use break in oil with added zinc.
     
  12. 1BADSLED
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 224

    1BADSLED
    Member

    I have a bbc flat tappet cam one oil change after the zinc was removed had 3 lobes go flat. Thats enough of a lesson for me. I didn't know the formulas were changed. until after this happened.
     
  13. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,775

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    There is plenty of talk about break in oils but it is also important to use a quality lube on that new flat tappet cam,for years I have always used ISKY Cam lube in generous amounts and recommended it to others and so far no failures I am aware of,Red-Line,Comp and Howards Cams now have a ZDDP break in additive I say buy it,use it and save yourself trouble down the line.
     
  14. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,620

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Sorry- no. It will still need a high-ZDDP oil for it's whole life if it's flat-tappet. Special breakin oil like Brad Penn's has even more, but the problem doesn't magically go away after breakin. If you have an oldie, still running it's original, and "always been OK", time to educate yourself- before you change the oil again. My '66 T-Bird with the original 84K 428 has VR-1 in it
     
  15. JOECOOL
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,759

    JOECOOL
    Member

    I think you all are missing the issue. You are assuming the camshft,lifters are the only wearing part in that new engine. I determine break in oil by what finish is on the cyls,what rings are on the pistons,and how it is clearanced an how it is to be used. just my opinion, I could be wrong.
     
  16. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    The issue is getting a flat tappet cam to survive the initial break-in period. The other parts are irrelevant, because if you do not do it right, you will be tearing it down to clean out the debris from a couple failed cam lobes and mushroomed lifters LONG before the rings or anything else are anywhere NEAR seated. If you do not do something to deal with the lack of zinc in the oil, the cam will fail in the first 1/2 hour. Once that happens the motor is coming apart.
     
  17. 70dodgeman
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 205

    70dodgeman
    Member
    from Alpha NJ

    I've always been told by engine builders to run Shell rotela T as break in oil as it has everything a new engine needs.
     
  18. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,620

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    The key word is "always"- as in the past. Rotella-T was a great oil- but you might want to check the specs and ratings of any modern oil. If it carries the newer specs mandated for the cat converters, no bueno for your flat tappets. We gotta live in the past in our taste in cars, but not our lubricants- unless it's "personal"- then I vote for "classic strawberry"
     
  19. OLD BINDER
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 36

    OLD BINDER
    Member

    Where do you get brad penn oil ?
     
  20. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    fiveohnick2932
    Member
    from Napa, Ca.

    I got a comp cams XE262H and installed the reccomended springs along with cam lube and their comp cams break in additive. The cam lasted 10 min. Comp was great about it and gave us a credit towards a retrofit roller cam (problem solved). I think we should have used Brad Penn oil with some week springs for our break in. I guess Ill find out next time when I use a flat tappet cam.
     
  21. JimV57
    Joined: Feb 15, 2011
    Posts: 230

    JimV57
    Member
    from California

    I was watching a video from an advertised instructional engine rebuilding dvd and the guy installing the cam, was using a moly lube and spread it generously on each lobe. It looked almost like a grease. I also asked the shop where I had my cam reground and he made mention of getting a good moly lube as well. Any thoughts on moly lubes or anyone have any experience with it? I will see if I can find the video again if anyone wants to see it.
     
  22. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    fiveohnick2932
    Member
    from Napa, Ca.

    Just to be clear... Should we use break in oil with zinc in it, or use break in oil and an extra bottle of zinc additive?
     
  23. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I have been using the moly for years, lately i am having second thoughts about that, due to some discussions i have sat in on at Speedtalk. One thing is for sure, if you use moly, you should change the oil right after cam break-in, not after a few hundred miles like some guys have been saying on here.
     
  24. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With
    Member

    Never used any thing but Valvoline racing oil for break in --race and drive to the local rod run. Use the cam lube on a new cam and lifters and the proper assembly and you wont have any problems at all. As I see it the break in oil is all hype and by using the right stuff you shouldn't need any thing else.
     
  25. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,199

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    Run a new motor at 2000rpm, the cam gets oiled from splash from the rod bearings. If you idle the engine the cam won't get enough oil.


    Ago
     
  26. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,865

    unkledaddy
    Member

    I went overboard with my last flat-tappet build..........Comp cam, Crower cam-saver lifters, Crane moly-lube and Brad Penn break-in oil with ZDDP zinc additive. At each oil change I use Brad Penn 10W30 and ZDDP additive.

    The motor runs perfect with no issues in 12,000 miles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  27. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    Its only a joke if you like destroying a brand new cam. The ZDDP issue has been around a while and many have found out the hard way in using oil without it.
     
  28. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,620

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Yep- Confuscious say: Ostrich with head in sand expose keester to fowl play :eek:
    Or as Hooper said- "You're going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you on the ass"

    Modern-spec oil is just not formulated the same way as it used to be- one can learn about it the easy way, open-minded research, or the hard way, ending up with a cam with no lobes
     
  29. rotorwrench
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 633

    rotorwrench
    Member

    There never used to be anything special about "break in oil". Back in the flathead days it was common practice to run straight mineral oil in an SAE grade that fit the outside air temperature at the time of start up. The "non-detergent" oil allowed for quicker ring to cylinder wall bedding in. You would run it for no more than 500 miles then change oil and filter to normal detergent oil also in an SAE grade to suit the temps. (most detergent oil back then had less ZDDP and some didn't have any) Oil changes were recommended at 2000 mile intervals after break in. ZDDP was blended in to motor oils after the overhead valve motors proved to need something more due to higher performance and spring pressures. This practice peaked at the API "J " rating and has been reduced since.

    If you still run a carbureted engine you will note how dirty the oil is after only 2K to 3K miles. With the modern fuel injected engines, you can still see through the oil even at 3K miles. Times and motors have changed a lot over the past 80 years. The folks that have the most problems with cams are the ones that have high performance grinds with high spring pressures. If you fall in this catagory then buy oil with a "J" API ratings or earlier or add ZDDP additive as recommended by the manufacturer.

    Always remember, new clean oil of any SAE grade or API rating is much better than no oil at all.
     
  30. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,385

    George
    Member

    Accel brand 10W-40 SF rated oil used to be available @ Wal-Mart, now NAPA & soon on Amazon.
     

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