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Technical Tips for the first start up?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gasoline Junkie, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Gasoline Junkie
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 324

    Gasoline Junkie
    Member

    I'm getting close to finshing my Chevy and was wondering if you guys had any tips for the first start? It's got a new (flat tappet) cam and lifters, new heads, intake, and a new Edelbrock carb. I know that I have to break in the cam, but I've also read that it's important for the engine to start up quickly right off the bat. I'm worried that since the carburetor is fresh out of the box and dry, I'll have a hard time getting it going. Also, should I be concerned with ignition timing and carb tuning during break in? It's a little nerve-racking to say the least so any tips are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. First, find TDC and place the distributer in the right location, otherwise it will not start. Get some rubber hose and fill the carb through the bowl vent. Work the throttle some to prime the accelerator pump. If you have the right tool, you can prime the engine with oil.
     
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  3. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,720

    RMONTY
    Member

    I purchased a cheap, known good, carb to break my 235 in with. I also have HEI ignition. It fired quickly, and I was able to maintain the 2K RPMs that was required for the recommended time. I have yet to fire it up with the dual carb setup though....looking forward to doing that soon!
     
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  4. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,366

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    What did you use to assemble the cam & lifters ? I've had no luck with the red runny stuff. Good luck with isky rev-lube. Good break-in oil . Ignition ready to go , timing lite hooked up ,cooling system filled , fuel in carb , screw driver to crank idle up 2-2500 during break-in , wires all in place away from exhaust , someone who's done it before is a plus !!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,147

    squirrel
    Member

    don't forget the transmission...if it's an automatic, and it's dry, you'll have to deal with adding fluid as you get the engine running.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of hot rodding. It can be a real PITA.
     
  6. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,554

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am preparing to start the desoto in my truck so I can add timely advice.
    Hook up a manual oil pressure gauge, tach, dwell (you surely have points on this web site:cool:) and a manual water temp gauge. A box fan in-front of the radiator helps keep things under control temp wise (the only time an electric fan is acceptable on the HAMB :D). Water only in the radiator, fill it a day or two before firing and burp the air out.
     
  7. oliver westlund
    Joined: Dec 19, 2018
    Posts: 764

    oliver westlund
    Member

    i generally if possible like to take a new carb and stick it on an engine thats broken in, manually fill the bowls then tune. then use it for the break in
     
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  8. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 328

    jaracer
    Member

    I generally crank the engine over with all the plugs out until I get oil pressure. This will fill all the oil galleys and purge any oil in the piston area. Disable the ignition so you don't get a spark and start something on fire. Replace the plugs, enable the ignition, and like others have said, fill the carburetor fuel bowl through the bowl vent. If you put everything together correctly, it should fire right up and have almost instant oil pressure.
     
  9. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,137

    fastcar1953
    Member

    zinc additive. block wheels or set brake. make sure it's in park if automatic
     
  10. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    Pre lube the engine. I prefer one of those pressure tanks. They can be bought from jegs
     
  11. I am just about ready to do this for my '47.
    I use a mustard squirt container to fill the bowls. Use Vavoline VR-1 10w-50 Zinc oil.
    Timing to TDC, move the distributor back and forth to set up the point to fire.
    I plan on using a 2 gal fuel container so I dont leak a lot of gas if there is a problem.
    Yea, fill with water a day before. I already has 6 qts of oil and 6 qts or tranny fluid (deep sump)
    I will spin it over till I get oil pressure, just a squirt of fuel to check for fire.
    Fill the bowls, crank it and let run it up to 2500 for about 15 minutes.
     
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  12. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,554

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good one! Have one helper assigned to the transmission duty so you don't have to mess with it.
     
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  13. If you have points; you can get the timing within a degree or two of what you want using a test light or continuity tester. And pre-oil it if you can; that will get oil everywhere it needs to be without cranking the engine over. As soon as it fires check for oil pressure, then get the RPM up to 2000+ as soon as possible. Check for leaks and watch the coolant temp until the cam is broken in.
     
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  14. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,137

    fastcar1953
    Member

  15. sliceddeuce
    Joined: Aug 15, 2017
    Posts: 2,982

    sliceddeuce
    Member

    Well?......
     
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  16. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,056

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Can pre-set the ignition timing very close to where you want it. In a similar discussion on starting Y-Blocks Ted Eaton said he breaks in engines at 20° to 25° BTDC. This makes a lot of sense to me, newly built engines have tight clearances and tend to run hot anyway. More timing advance = cooler running, less chance of backfiring through carb at startup and drama like that.
     
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  17. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,665

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Make sure you've rotated the engine by hand and set the lifters when each of the cylinders is at TDC.
     
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  18. Gasoline Junkie
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 324

    Gasoline Junkie
    Member

    I still have some wiring to do and other odds and ends to fix but I expect to be firing it soon!

    Can I find the VR-1 oil in normal parts stores? I was planning on using Rotella with the Comp Cams additive. Speaking of fuel problems, that reminds me I should check my fire extinguisher!

    Thank you guys for all the advice, It'll be tricky running from in the car to under the hood to keep an eye on things! I work on late-model GM's for a living and would normally have a laptop to keep an eye on vitals and control engine outputs, with things like ignition iming and fuel trim adjusted automatically.
     
  19. Gasoline Junkie
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 324

    Gasoline Junkie
    Member

    I used a combination of the packets that came with the cam and rockers, and AcDelco assembly lube

    I set all the lifters in sequence and rolled the engine over a few times to make sure the connecting rods don't hit the cam (ha!)
     
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  20. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,685

    LAROKE
    Member

    You can find it at your FLAPS sometimes. I get mine thru amazon.com.
     
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  21. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,227

    WB69
    Member

    All of the above. I generally have mine on a run station to break in before putting it in the vehicle. Much easier and if something would happen to go haywire I don't have to pull it again to work on it.
     
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  22. Check your oil with the dipstick again.
     
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  23. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,413

    jimmy six
    Member

    Sounds a little goofy. I took the line from the fuel pump to the carb and slid over a piece of clear tubing; (new tank and fuel lines, fuel pump has a glass filter in it stock GMC6) sucked on it until pump showed fuel and some came into the clear line. Put it back on. I too filled the center carb of the 3-2's. Set the distributor at 20* aiming the rotor at the correct wire on the cap. Had the timing light installed on 1 and the carb idle 2 turns down from fully closed and the other 2closed.
    It started within 2-3 turn overs on the starter after 3 squirts of the accelerator pump. We kept it at 2200 for 20 minutes adjusting timing to 20-25 while it ran. Manifold vacuum.
    After shut down we found the timing was ATDC due to the rpm. We set it at 6-8 BTDC. Plugged in the vacuum and started idle settings at 700 and brought in the outer carbs.
    Could not have been happier. Good luck.
     
  24. lemondana
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 90

    lemondana
    Member
    from Lincoln NE

    Rotella is not near as good as it used to be, I would not use it. Also when you use any additive, mix it in the jug of oil very well before you pour it in.. So many people pour the additive in on top of the oil fill-guess what happens? your first fire sucks oil from the bottom of the pan and the damage WILL be done! You guys turning your engine over to get oil pressure, wiped most of the cam lube off, and again the first fire with little cam lube, cam FAILURE again! Chevy small lifters and narrow cam lobes are more prone to this than Mopars are. Pay the price and get the best breakin oil you can!
     
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  25. Fire extinguisher at the ready, just in case
     
  26. buzz4041
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 278

    buzz4041
    Member
    from Texas

    Gibbs make a break in oil that is proven.
     
  27. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 1,972

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    For this application I'd suggest a CO2 fire extinguisher over a dry powdered or class A....water one.
    I used to take care of commercial kitchen equipment, in a previous life, and I do not care if I ever clean up after a dry chemical fire extinguisher discharge ever again.
    Besides that, you can use it to cool your beer in an emergency
     
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  28. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,466

    RmK57
    Member

    Exactly. I try and get my BBF's around 14-16 degrees for first startup. I dont think it would even start at TDC or at least run half way decent.
     
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  29. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,413

    jimmy six
    Member

    You guys turning your engine over to get oil pressure, wiped most of the cam lube off, and again the first fire with little cam lube, cam FAILURE![/QUOTE]

    I don’t agree with this. Even tho I prime my engines with the oil pump and drill motor I turn the engine over doing this. The cams and lifters are not parallel and do not wipe off all of the cam lube. If that were true no cam would last since you need to turn over every engine you assembly with the cam in. With what you are saying you could not even put in the distributor.
    Cam lube is washes off from a running engine by the flood of oil from the side clearance of the connecting rods to the crank period.
    When I oil pressure an engine after it has set a time from the original prime with a drill motor on the pump, I do it with the spark plugs out. You can hear the oil load when the pressure comes up and it’s quick.
    In building an engine with over 140 psi spring pressure on a flat tappet cam I could see installing break in springs of about 70 psi which was stock on most engines. Any spring pressure in the 120 range I have never ever lost a cam or a lifter.....I’ve built approximately 50 engines in my lifetime.
     
    53 hemi likes this.
  30. I use Permatex Ultra Slick on the lifters, rocker arms and so on. It stays where I put it. The last one I did was my 355, pre oiled on the stand with a pressure gauge so I could see I had good pressure. Rotated the engine until all rockers had oil, 90 degrees at a time. I had a new Holley out of the box, new fuel pump. I had sharp guys helping me and it fired right up. Used VR1 10W30, important to have good immediate oil flow. Used a Comp Cams oil additive, followed what Lunati had in their break in procedure.
     

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