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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2010, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 327NUT
Lets face it, some guys just don't know what they are doing.
The most maddening part of this is that they also won't pay attention to what you try to tell them. I have had to tell the op to go back and read what I or someone else wrote on a subject up to 3 times in the same thread.

Sometimes I disconnect from the board and go away for a week or three to renew my search for sanity.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2010, 09:25 PM
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thankyou techinspector1,for someone like me who is still learning the 2000's of cars(i know i'am old) something like this thread makes me not want to work on cars anymore.this site has been so helpful to me,thanks to guys like you.some people don't get it.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2010, 10:40 PM
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Add me to the list of BBC guys who "blew it" when it came to cam break in.
My cam and lifters were Clevite brand.

I had read up on the ZDDP issue, Rotella T 15W40 diesel engine oil, single springs, 2500 RPM for 30 minutes or more ... yada yada.

I made a few FATAL errors, though.
I had asked a licensed mechanic (ex-coworker) friend to come help / supervise. I thought that having him there would be "good insurance".
I was in fact, paying him rent in his personal garage on his acreage, and he was welding in all of my patch panels, too. My own garage was under construction during this time, and I was in the midst of changing jobs ... crazy times!

1.) The engine had sat on a stand for a few months after assembly, so I'm sure that the majority of the assembly lube was laying in the bottom of the pan by then.

2.) My friend tried to prelube the engine using a 3/8" cordless drill. The moment that the guage showed oil pressure, it stalled out his drill. "No problem, the oil pump is primed and it will have oil pressure the moment it fires up."

3.) This one is my fault completely. I had cleaned my HEI distributor in varsol, and it was giving an intermittent spark. Result? Far too much cranking!

4.) I put a reman distributor in it a few days later, static timed it, etc ... and it fired up immediately. I'm the guy with the video camera ... recording this momentous event. It's open headers and a symphony of pistons time. Woohoo!

He was running it at around 1200 RPM and I kept gesturing upward with my thumb. He shakes his head, lets OFF the throttle and heads for his timing light. I'm sweating bullets ... not wanting to insult him.

So he's messing with the timing and the engine stalls. I take the opportunity to tell him about the 2500 RPM thing. He'd never heard of it, and assured me that he'd never had a cam failure.

Fast forward several months. My garage is FINALLY completed about 6 months later than expected. We loaded my truck on a trailer and brought it home. I did run it, very briefly, a couple of times ... still with open headers, and thought I might be hearing a bit of a miss. I decided that I had better put a temporary exhaust system on it (2-1/4 pipes, turbo mufflers, and turn-downs)

Started it up and heard the "woodpecker" sounds ... and my heart sank. Trying to be optimistic, I bought one valve lifter and a set of intake gaskets.

No such luck. One lifter and one lobe were ground off pretty badly.

My machinist said to not even bother dropping the pan ... just spray it all out with varsol, including the oil galleys, then replace the cam and lifters.
I just couldn't let those filings sit in the bottom of the pan, though, so I dropped it and cleaned it thoroughly. I pulled the rear main cap, and found it all clean there. I shone a light down through the cam bearings and lifter bores, and found nothing unusual there, either ... so I ordered up (coincidentally) an 11-250-3 Comp Cams XE284H, paired up with another set of Clevite lifters.

I lubed the heck out of everything!
I spun that oil pump up to 70 PSI, using a 3/8" air drill ... which seemed just barely adequate for this job. I ran it until I had oil dripping off of every rocker arm and pooling in the lifter valley.

This engine still hasn't made it to the pavement yet ... but knock on wood ... everything sounds healthy and strong so far.

No more woodpeckers.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2010, 11:55 PM
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Cam failures

I don't believe the oil issue hype. There are a lot of small engines, (lawn mowers) etc that don't have these break in cam failures. Granted they have valve springs with very low spring pressures but you would think small engine failure rate would be large just due to the large amount of sales volume. Yes some of the newer Dino oils are junk, but what I think is really the cause is poor quality cam blanks with high pressure valve springs and low quality lifters. A warranty is worthless if the company won't stand behind the product and makes excuses. What are they doing to address the problem?, Nothing, sales are good and it's sales that matter, so customer be damned.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 01:10 AM
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It's really not so much that the motor oils sold nowadays are "junk" ... its more about the EPA mandating changes to the formulations that make the current motor oils less suited to older engine technology.

The ZDDP is there to reduce the sliding friction between a flat tappet and the cam lobe.

1.) ZDDP plugs up catalytic converters.
2.) Roller camshafts don't need it.

Therefore ... it's been deemed unnecessary, just as lead was
in gasoline back in the early 70's. How many engines died prematurely due to detonation?

The cam mfr's are all pushing us toward retrofit roller cams and charging big bucks for them.
Yes, I understand that the roller lifters are more expensive to produce ... but to the tune of what ... $500 ... $600 ... +? more?

To sum it up:
We can't fight "progress", and we're at the mercy of what the market will bear in regards to pricing in order to maintain our hobby. (And it *is* just a hobby in the minds of the bureaucrats.)

How long to you think it will be before they pull the plug on ZDDP?
It's already a real challenge to find ANY "off the shelf" motor oil that contains it.

Even the diesel trucks have cats on them now, so Shell has eliminated the ZDDP content from their "Rotella T 15w40" (once considered the old standby) now too.

This BP disaster in the Gulf is just the kind of thing that any kind of petrochemical activist will jump all over. The changes we have seen in the last few decades are going to seem insignificant in comparison to what will happen in the next.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 02:49 AM
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Ok, here we go again..."so Shell has eliminated the ZDDP content from their "Rotella T 15w40" 66GMC, all good info up to this statement.

NO!! they haven't, they DECREASED the content from 1400 ppm to just under 1200 ppm. You guy's need to do some research, google ...Shell Rotella T zinc content. It's all there in notices directly from Shell , Blue Print Engines, several other forums with their members asking the same thing and Comp Cams who still recommends Rotella T with their break-in additive for flat tappet cams.

You can use some "race oils" that have 1800-1900 ppm but they don't have the necessary detergents that street engines need to keep the soot that forms in suspension.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 327NUT
I called Comp and talked with "Red" the warranty claims mgr.
Ah yes,Dear ol Red. The only guy in the world who can say the following without a breath

"Look we got lots of those cams out there working just fine, and besides any builder worth his salt is putting roller cams in today anyway"

Is it just me or did he not even have to break into a new sentence for the contradiction to take place?So you'll forgive me if Red's words from comp dont take much of a bite
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 06:08 AM
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I just got on the Comp site and looked up this cam 574/578 lift 240/246 @ .050 , 110 lobe centers, although it is a bit agressive, it seems good choice for B.B. I went to speed shop I do business with and talked to the engine builder there,specialices on chevy 49 yrs. plus experience.First words out of his mouth"Its the oil' he didnt even hesitate,he recommends valvoline racing oil+ zinc additive and same thing we all know start n hold @ 1500 for 15 min.
I built an s.b. 3 years ago and broke the cam in on my run up stand,let the motor sit for 3 years dropped in my P/U n cranked it, no problem,yet, but you guys scare me, I used Joe Gibbs racing oil for break in, I personally also think its the oil,I worked for race engine builder for a long time , we had to run flat tappet cam,absolute timing on every lobe and timed straight up, hardly ever a problem,used the best synthetic oi you could get back then(All Proof) no additives.
Now im scared its a witch to pull this motor out of this p/u.
By the way I time all my cams straight up, takes a while but its worth it
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 10:28 AM
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The cam manufacturers (at least used to) say to not use synthetic during cam break in, I seem to remember.

If you are the worrying type, it may be worth your trouble to use some lower pressure break in springs, just be darned sure they have the available travel to accommodate the cam lift you have. Just using an old set of stock springs can and will wipe out a cam faster than you can say "oh, *******!", due to coil bind if they are too short for the cam lift.

Another option is to use lower ratio rockers for break in, but I would use either lower pressure springs or the outer spring of a dual spring package for breaking in your cam. Along w/all the chemical help you already know about.

That said, there is NO advantage to over-applying the molybdenum break in lube. If it's the thick gooey, black stuff, too much will only plug the filter prematurely. If you have a blocked off oil filter mount bypass, this can unnecessarily lower the oil pressure to dangerous levels if left unattended.

I believe it is far better to VARY the RPM during break in rather than running the engine at only one speed. Varying the RPM allows the splash lubrication of the cam to get to all the lobes, not just where the oil hits at one RPM. This used to be a very common recommendation, but I do not hear it mentioned much anymore.

The biggest thing is to be SURE the lifters rotate as soon as the engine fires and that the engine fires immediately. The lifters should be able to be rotated even when spinning the engine over by hand by giving the pushrod a twist as the engine turns- if they don't by rotate by themselves.

EDIT- This is from another thread that I posted in:

A couple thoughts:

The added zddp needs to be fully integrated into the rest of the oil that is in the engine, not just poured in before start-up. I would suggest mixing it into a gallon jug of the break in oil before being poured into the engine for priming.

The lube that's wiped onto the lobes and foot of the cam has to be "stiff" enough to stay put. I prefer the black moly cam lube that stains the hands, but w/o the "grittiness" of some of the black moly lubes- that actually feel gritty between the fingers. The 'grit' does not help and will only clog the filter after being slung off the cam.

Only use the moly lube on the lobes, lifter feet, cam/distributor gears and fuel pump push rod (if used). Do not use it on the lifter body- the lifter must not be hindered from spinning as soon as the engine turns over. The lifters should all be witnessed before start up to be rotating in their bores when the engine is turned over by hand. If they're not, you may find the lifter bore(s) are varnished up and might just need to be vigorously swabbed out w/a brass bristle wetter w/lacquer thinner or acetone. Lifter bores seldom ever need to be honed to any degree- if you decide they DO need honed, go lightly!

The engine has to be correctly assembled, fueled, timed, plumbed and wired to start up IMMEDIATELY. If there's a problem (fuel, oil or water leak, running hot, whatever), shut it down but do not idle it. It will do much more harm to idle it before it's time than shutting it off and dealing w/the problem.

The cam- to survive- has to have splash oiling provided by the crankshaft windage. This means that the speed has to be varied, but not less than 2000 RPM for any extended length of time. If the engine speed isn't varied, some lobes might be getting all the oil in the world, while others will be starved by comparison.

To this day, I believe some lifters are supplied w/overly aggressive finishes. If they're not chucked up and finished w/a solvent wetted piece of 600 grit, they WILL smooth themselves- at the expense of the camshaft lobe itself.

The geometry needs to be correct from the start, not corrected later on after it's noticed. This includes proper clearances between everything in the valve train.

THINGS TO CHECK:
  • Springs for installed height
  • Coil bind
  • Seal to retainer at full lift
  • Retainer to rocker
  • Valve to piston (also both before and after TDC on overlap)
  • Push rod to guide slot in head (if used)
  • Rocker to valve tip (by adjusting guide plates if used)
  • Rocker slot for adequate length (if using stamped/cast rockers w/pivot balls)
  • Proper geometry (push rod length)
  • Rocker/polyloc to valve cover
Prolly something else I'm missing. But it has to be physically checked, you should not take it on faith or by figuring it out on paper

Last edited by cobalt327; 07-27-2010 at 10:36 AM.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 03:14 PM
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1.21 giga-watts???!!!!
 
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There are so many oils out there with the ZDDP content what it was before the reduction of it for federal mandates (Brad Penn, Amsoil, Valvoline, Comp even has an oil out now) that there is no reason to blame the cam, camshaft mfg, or the material. Just plain goof-ups during break in. It's just that simple and there is no black magic.

I believe that there is an article floating around here that has an oil company engineer explaining how 1400 ppm ZDDP was overkill and a cam really only needs a fraction of that during break in.

For you guys with engines running and followed the proper break-in procedures....RELAX! C'mon now.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 03:29 PM
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Ya like the guy with the vet that had 10,000 miles on and it packed it in on a sunday drive with his wife. Or the guy with the camaro with 12,000 who had it pack in leaving a car show. Once their broke in right no worries
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 03:53 PM
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Might be the oil. Might be the lifters. Johnson used to be considered a premium lifter, at least by me. A national engine parts wholesaler told me recently that Johnson is now so bad, their company will no longer sell them. The issues are numerous, and include insufficient hardness and improper internal dimensions resulting in noisy operation.

And just because an oil has a particular amount of ZDDP in it does not mean it is suitable for engine break-in or long term operation. The amount of ZDDP required for protection varies with the other additives present in the oil, particularly the detergents used, which are totally different for diesel engines than for gasoline engines. Use a API SG or SH rated oil at a minimum.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 06:53 PM
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HERE is a fairly interesting read from from the February, 2009 issue of Hot Rod mag, by Marlan Davis, on why there was (is?) a lifter 'shortage' (at least of GOOD lifters), along w/some info on cam break in techniques.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 08:06 PM
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i think a couple of the guys posting in this thread are missing the point a little
this is a "big block" chevy problem and they have always had this flatten the cam at break-in issue
the question is are these newer more aggressive grinds making the problem worse or even unbeatable
i was not aware of lifter bore grooving until my machine shop told me about it
at about the same time i became aware of the problems with the comp cams extreme series (after purchase)
and have started doing the homework on if this problem is beatable and decided it was going to be ok
and then i hear more stories and worry again
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2010, 09:17 PM
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1.21 giga-watts???!!!!
 
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Sooper, don't know what your problem is and I don't really care. 99% of cam problems are improper break-in. Guys will swear they did everything right but when pressed they'll remember something and so "oh s$%t". Sorry, but facts is facts and them is the facts.
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