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darom 02-01-2005 09:32 AM

bad or good: engine break-in
Hi guys! Just wanted to ask your opinion before I start tearing things apart. I put together a 383 and did a break-in. The cam was lubed with Comp's red liquid, the lifters' bottom surface with STP. The whole thing was primed with a drill and modified distributor shaft to run the oil pump.

The engine ran at over 2k rpms for 15 minutes due to overheating later (small radiator on the engine test stand). I shut it off when the temp was at 240-250F. The oil pressure was over 80 psi, unfortunately. My 2-piece rear main seal started to slowly leak.

Here is the sad part: when I drained oil, it was dark amber color with graphite looking powder. The same was at the bottom of the oil pan when it was removed. I did not have a magnet, but the substance was very fine, black color. A few questions:
1. Did my cam's lobes are gone? (there was no lifter noise when the engine ran, however)
2. Did the crappy Comp's break-in lube get disintegrated into this graphite crap residue?
3. Is it somehow related to the new Vortec heads assembly lube they used at the factory? (when I installed the heads, they were clean)

I cleaned the block myself and made sure all oil passages were clean. The block was hot tanked, pressure washed, hand soaped etc. Where did I mess up? That's my first build, so please bear with me.

'67 Camaro RS 02-01-2005 10:02 AM

If your break in lube (cam) was a moly type paste. It will end up on the bottom of the pan. It won't hurt anything. The rear seal problem is unfortunate. Did you install it with the major lip forward, stagger the ends and use silicone sealer?

darom 02-01-2005 10:15 AM

Thanks, Bob, for the reply. I do hope that that red Comp's break-in lube was moly based. That makes me feel better :-).

I installed the seal staggered with the Permatex dark-red sealant which I used also on the head bolts' threads. The lip was facing forward per the instructions sheet.

Do you think excessive oil pressure blew it out? As it turned out, the auto store gave me the oil pump with the purple spring. I wanted high-volume pump (Melling HV), but I guess I got the high-pressure? I installed stock black spring there.

Denis 02-01-2005 10:21 AM

I have never seen the red lube leave a deposit. Usually the grey paste type lube. Rear seal leaks are not uncommon on small blocks. That's why they changed to the one piece type seal. Did you put sealer on the rear main cap/block mating surface.? If not oil will weep thru and look like a rear seal leak.

darom 02-01-2005 10:35 AM

Yes, I put some sealer in the corners. Should I try using the Permatex's Tuff-Stuff (spelling?) instead? This sealer is great and it hardens quickly.

Thanks for your input, Bob - I really appreciate it!


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