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Projects Resume break-in flat tappet camshaft

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by jose55, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. jose55
    Joined: Nov 24, 2021
    Posts: 6


    Hi, im doing the break-in flat tappet camshaft, is an sbc 350, the engine is complete stock, springs, cam, heads. The engine was assembled with all the parts new. The break in process started and in the middle of the break in the radiator went bad, the engine was running 5 o 6 minutes 1800 - 2000 rpm before the issue. Now i got a new radiator and is already installed in the car, my question?
    Whats the best way or procedure to resume the break in since the engine has been sitting for 2 months?
    I dont want to do anything wrong to damage the camshaft
  2. All I can tell you is that I had a friend years ago that had a problem during the cam break-in process and it was interrupted after 10 minutes of run time . He solved the problem and continued with the break-in . Cam got wiped out, 3 lobes. I am not saying this will be your experience but..... Good luck, hope everything turns out good for you.
  3. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,976


    Make sure everything is ready to go then light her off and immediately continue the break in procedure. I like to use Valvoline non-synthetic VR-1 and a bottle of STP, both are loaded with good old fashion zinc.

    stillrunners and cvstl like this.
  4. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,924


    I'm not seeing what difference it would make. As long as the engine fires right off as it should you should be good to go.
    jaracer and lippy like this.

  5. cvstl
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,472

    from StL MO
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Make sure its fueled and ready to fire and hit the starter..... soon as its running continue with your break-in. I had to stop my last one after 5 or 10 minutes....... over a week later, I got it ready again and ran it another 20 minutes or so, no issues.
    mad mikey likes this.
  6. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,978

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Assuming you already have the ZDDP additive and break in oil you should reprime the engine You can rent the real tool from Autozone for free.
    alanp561, irishsteve and mad mikey like this.
  7. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,213


    If you are using a break in oil a stock engine should be no problem
    mad mikey and Tickety Boo like this.
  8. jose55
    Joined: Nov 24, 2021
    Posts: 6


    Thats what i was thinking, reprime the engine and start it up again, i have the tool to prime the engine and before the engine was started the first time moly-graphite lube was applied all over the cam and lucas zddp additive was added to the oil
  9. Why re prime ?
    If it had oil pressure before,,,it will again as soon as it fires .
    It has already been running on the bearings and rings .
    Oil is in all of the passages .
    I would worry more about disturbing the distributor and not getting the timing back right .

  10. jose55
    Joined: Nov 24, 2021
    Posts: 6


    Im afraid because the last time the engine was started was 2 month ago, and now i will reprime the engine and start again, i think this the best way to go
  11. jose55
    Joined: Nov 24, 2021
    Posts: 6


    I know what you say about the oil in the system but i will feel better if i know as soon the engine start the oil is already on the bearing and i can put rpm up
  12. Jose, are you using a zinc additive?
  13. jose55
    Joined: Nov 24, 2021
    Posts: 6


    Yes, lucas zddp additive
  14. You know priming it again won’t re-oil the cam lobes…that’s splash. I would fire it and do the break in.
    razoo lew, belair, mad mikey and 4 others like this.
  15. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,950

    from So Cal

    If you've already got the timing set close enough for the break-in run I'm with the guys that says don't pull the distributor again to prime it. Start it up and bring the rpm's up and hold it there.
    lumpy 63, mad mikey, Truck64 and 2 others like this.
  16. Kinda like when Scooby-Doo would jump out the window of the haunted house to get the Skelton key, climb back in the window, to unlock the door and go back outside lol. Camshaft break in lube and all of the other assembly lube is already in the oil pan. But if priming the oil system makes you feel better, then hammer down. Personally, if it didn't have any lifter issues already, it's good to go.
  17. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,307


    Fire it up, watch the oil pressure gauge (hopefully at least a temporary one installed) for good pressure and bring it up to break-in revs for 20 minutes.
  18. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 358


    I had mine interrupted 3 times, turned out fine. I did not re-prime, I did use Lucas additive.
    mad mikey, Truck64 and Tickety Boo like this.
  19. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,095

    from Ioway

    If you've re-installed distributors before it's old hat, but a lot of people seem to have trouble, break-in is not the best time to have trouble getting the engine to fire.
  20. Make sure the engine fires off immediately, run up to 2000 rpm and run 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on everything and listen close to the engine. It helps to also have a buddy, extra set of eyes and ears. Should be fine.
  21. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,050

    from Oregon

    Over many years I've had to stop during a cam breakin due to some leak, or temps getting too high. I simply fixed the problem, and resumed the procedure afterwards. I usually end up doing more time than I might have if it had been done in one step, but more time never hurt a cam breakin.
    mad mikey, belair and Blues4U like this.
  22. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,795


    I see many question on cams and breaking,one thing Dema Elgin told me was install the cam and spin it with a speed handle make sure the lifter rotate,also many performance cam recommend to remove heavy spring or take the inner one out to brake in the cam. When you get the block see if you can get the old camshaft to see if any of the lifter bores are out of index.
  23. I feel like break in is more of a go-no go test. It either works out or it doesn't.
  24. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,924


    That's a great idea spinning the cam around by hand with a lifter installed. I have my engine picked apart now with a new cam lifters coming. I'm going to try it.
  25. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,108

    from Brooks Ky

    Any flat tappet cam break in is an exercise in finger crossing. The results are going to vary from engine to engine if you have to shut down and resume later. I would reprime the oiling system before actually trying to start the engine again. Why ? ask. Well, it can't hurt your result any, and it might actually help.

    You could just restart the engine and everything works perfectly.........or you could just restart the engine and it fails no matter if you took any precaution or not. But it definitely won't hurt anything to prime the oil system no matter what.

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