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Old 04-15-2006, 09:07 PM
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Breaking in an engine

My buddy and i just built this engine. The problem is that he got anxuous and after firing it we took it for a spin around the neighborhood. The valve lash wasnt properly adjusted and wasnt broken in. The rockers were not tightened. Its a small block chevy 350. Now we didnt drive it much, a few minutes or so and didnt exced 20 mph. How much damage could this have done. Now finding out the proper way of doing things were woried it might have done some harm.

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Old 04-15-2006, 09:17 PM
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While probably not the wisest thing, You probably haven't hurt anything.
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:32 PM
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well you should have broke the cam in for 20 min, at 2000,rpm but if oil psi is good at idle you might be ok
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpshulEd
My buddy and i just built this engine. The problem is that he got anxuous and after firing it we took it for a spin around the neighborhood. The valve lash wasnt properly adjusted and wasnt broken in. The rockers were not tightened.
You and your buddy need to give each other a little slap on the hands for not reading up on breakin procedure first . After all that work building the engine you COULD have lost everything by doing this. I am not saying that you did, as you might be perfectly fine. Id go ahead and run through the cam breakin procedure and then change the oil and keep an eye on your oil pressure.
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Old 04-16-2006, 05:59 AM
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Probably no damage at all as long as everything was oiled and lubed properly beforehand. Hopefully you used a good amount of assembly lube when assembling the engine. Valves lash adjustment is a normal thing to readjust after running it for a short time anyways. With the rockers being loose, you could have done some damage by coming off of the pushrod and dropping a valve, but since that did not happen you are alright there. there are varying degrees of breaking in an engine and everyone has there own idea. Watch a lot of them on TV rebuild one and as soon as they have it together will throw it on the dyno and rev it to the max. Others will tell you ten minutes, twenty minutes, 500 miles at nothing above 55, 30 minutes at varying speeds 55 then 25, 55 then 25. As long as you wasn't terrorizing the whole neighborhood, it should be fine. But before doing it again, I would adjust everything, change the oil to get rid of the assembly lube, run a compression check, double check for any oil leaks, pull the plugs and take a look at them to see how they read. And if you forgot to adjust the rockers, etc, I would double check all of the underneath bolts to make sure that you didn't get it too big of a hurry on them too. By those I mean...torque converter or pressure plate, flywheel, tranny bolts, motor mounts.
Better safe than sorry

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Old 04-16-2006, 09:52 AM
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No doubt you did not use the correct oil nor a break-in additive, and obviously used the incorrect procedures.

90 % of the cam problems happen in the first 60 seconds. What is done, is done.

Idle oil pressure has nothing to do with cam break-in. The cylinder walls and the cam get oiled by the oil slinging out of the crankshaft, that is why rpm is needed.
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xntrik
No doubt you did not use the correct oil nor a break-in additive, and obviously used the incorrect procedures.

90 % of the cam problems happen in the first 60 seconds. What is done, is done.

Idle oil pressure has nothing to do with cam break-in. The cylinder walls and the cam get oiled by the oil slinging out of the crankshaft, that is why rpm is needed.
Correct, but I am assuming they rebuilt the whole engine, not just a cam swap. In which case Oil PSI can be a good indicator of how everything is setting and a good way to know if anything is wrong.

If all the rockers were loose, wouldn't the cam still have a little breakin left, as the force being pressed upon the cam by the lifters wasn't at its standard load due to the loose rockers?
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggy_Freud
Correct,

Oil PSI can be a good indicator of how everything is setting and a good way to know if anything is wrong.

If all the rockers were loose, wouldn't the cam still have a little breakin left, as the force being pressed upon the cam by the lifters wasn't at its standard load due to the loose rockers?
Small Block Chevys are notorious for low oil pressure at idle even when rebuilt.

Lifters left even .020 loose beyond its extension limit (clicking) is not any significant difference in spring pressure over the nose of the lobe. If a lifter is beyond its extension limit, the lifter face is slamming into the lobe at every revolution. That HAS to be good, uh huh.

What is done, is done.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggy_Freud
Correct, but I am assuming they rebuilt the whole engine, not just a cam swap. In which case Oil PSI can be a good indicator of how everything is setting and a good way to know if anything is wrong.

If all the rockers were loose, wouldn't the cam still have a little breakin left, as the force being pressed upon the cam by the lifters wasn't at its standard load due to the loose rockers?
The cam was still pushing the lifters if the rockers were tight enough to be able to drive it......

The motor itself should be okay if nothing catastrophic occured during the drive. Change the oil first thing. Properly adjust the rockers. Check for leaks and make sure there is good oil pressure. On small blocks I usually readjust the rockers 2-3 times before I am satisfied.

As far as the cam goes, the first 60 seconds is the most important 60 seconds in a cam's life.... And putting the motor under load like that without any type of a break-in, nor changing the oil first....... even with a lot of assembly lube (you did use assembly lube, right?) well, it was under load, even if it was light...

I'd guess that there is gonna be cam problems within 5000 miles.....ecspecially if you are running solid lifters.....
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:42 PM
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engine breakin

lube the cam with cam suppliers recomended lube , set valves corectly, i go threw fireing orderwith pluges out so you ar sure pisto at tdcand setwith each cyl on power stroke. then prelube threw dit drive or outsid oilpump ,start engine make sure water levl corect and all air out of system and oil pressure to spec take it out and give a couple of good runs upto say70 slack off to 40 do this several times you ar finished. if solid lifter cam re set valves another timewith in 500miles. this does not pertain to a radical race or dragster enginebut most street ones. haveing been to several engine factories and wathing them breakin new engines, if they are built right ther is not a big deal todo other than a carfull *** and pre lube just be for running, not the day befor.
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