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Old 09-28-2008, 06:12 PM
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Idling after flat tappet cam break-in

I installed a Comp XE274 flat tappet cam in my SBC a few weeks ago. I'm all done with the break-in and I've since driven the car for a total of around 50-60 miles and really let her rip. The engine has been heat-cycled about 6 times. Despite all of this, I'll still a bit paranoid about letting the engine idle (at 950rpm) for anymore than a few seconds. If I get stuck in traffic, my heart's in my mouth because I don't like to leave it idling away! I know my paranoia is probably unfounded, but can someone tell me that it's definitely OK to let the engine idle now? Nothing bad it going to happen if I allow it to idle for a few minutes at a time? I know all about correct oil, etc... I'm using Valvoline VR-1 + ZDDP.

Thanks!

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Old 09-28-2008, 06:57 PM
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Let her rip.....

Not sure on the idle question. I do feel your worry. After any modification there is always a grace period. I'm always nervous for a while when I do work on my engine. Especially a cam install. I overcome the anxiety by doing the same you did. Let her rip, and see what happens...
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:05 PM
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and you changed the oil and filter- right?
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:19 PM
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should be broke-in by now.

sounds like you got the right oil and additive. Keep using the zddp additive at each oil change.

I say, time to let it idle.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:58 PM
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Only way I'd worry about idling is when the temp is climbing (200+) and the OP is dropping (<20). Beating the snot out of it every now and again erases the idle worries. JMO
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:02 PM
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Don't worry about it. As long as your oil pressure and cooling are normal, it'll be fine.
You've been listening to the cam paranoia too much. Just enjoy the car.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:07 PM
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Hey Ian, great to hear you got it all back together and on the road to enjoy it again! -Jim
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:14 PM
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as long as your timmimg is set up for cruising you should be fine.

is your heat controlled?

does your engine start easy? just set the choke and turn the key, or are you pumping it 10 times and playing with pedal height.

it should be just, set the choke, and a turn of the key.

i highly recommend a vacuum advance, to advance the timing,and reduce the idle stress on the motor.
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:20 AM
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Thanks guys... running temps are normal, although I've got the fan hard-wired on at the moment because my inline fan stat (in the rad top hose) doesn't seem to be working; probably because the measured temp is lower there than it is where the coolant temp sender is in the head. Oil pressure is good.

I'll try to fight the paranoia (it's almost got to a phobia of idling! lol).

Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.d.brown.042964
Hey Ian, great to hear you got it all back together and on the road to enjoy it again! -Jim
Thanks Jim!
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8hed
I installed a Comp XE274 flat tappet cam in my SBC a few weeks ago. I'm all done with the break-in and I've since driven the car for a total of around 50-60 miles and really let her rip. The engine has been heat-cycled about 6 times. Despite all of this, I'll still a bit paranoid about letting the engine idle (at 950rpm) for anymore than a few seconds. If I get stuck in traffic, my heart's in my mouth because I don't like to leave it idling away! I know my paranoia is probably unfounded, but can someone tell me that it's definitely OK to let the engine idle now? Nothing bad it going to happen if I allow it to idle for a few minutes at a time? I know all about correct oil, etc... I'm using Valvoline VR-1 + ZDDP.

Thanks!
Problem with ZDDP is that too much is as bad as too little. You want from 800 to 1200 parts per million, you need to send an oil sample to a lab to have it checked out so you can develop a repeatable recipe at oil change time. ZDDP is an aggressive molecule, in excessive concentrations it will pit the surface of ferritic alloys.

As for idling in traffic, you're at the spot that leads me to high volume oil pumps, I especially like the BBC pump as you get 12 squirts of oil per revolution instead of 7 into the oil galley. I also like to idle the RPMs up so there's more oil being circulated, and the periods over the lobes are shortened. I aways add 100 to 200 RPMs to recommended engine idle speed.

Bogie
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