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Old 02-23-2007, 04:37 PM
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Initial Start on a New Build Engine

I've built a number of pushrod V8 engines over the years. I always pack the oil pump with vaseline, liberally coat the cam with breakin lube, fill the lifters with oil, and pre-lube the engine with the distributor out. I then start the engine and run it at 2000-2500 RPM for ~20 minutes to break in the cam. I've never had a problem with this process.

My question is how to do this inital start and breakin on a newer design engine. Many newer motors have crank-driven gearrotor oil pumps, which makes it impossible to pre-lube without turning the crank. I still pack the pump with vaseline to speed up the buildup of oil pressure, but is there some other technique (short of using an accumulator or other pre-luber) to externally pressurize the oil system.

Also, what is the preferred method for breaking in an overhead cam engine? I was always under the impression that the 2000 RPM for 20 minutes rule of thumb was designed to allow the crank throws to splash the cam with oil. Obviously this doesn't apply to an OHC configuration.

I recently rebuilt an OHC 4 cylinder motor and spun a rod bearing after 50 miles or so, which is why I'm asking. Thanks.

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Old 02-25-2007, 04:44 PM
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Well the reason to run the engine at 2000 to 3000 RPM is to break in the cam shaft. you don't want the cam shaft slowly truning past the lifters, it can wipe a cam lobe. As far as the OHC engine prelube you will either need to use an accumulator pressure lube or do like I do. I do the Vaseline like you said and I use lots of white lithium grease and make a 50 /50 mix of either lucas and 40wt engine oil or stp and 40 wt engine oil. use it where ever you have metal touching metal. I haven't ever had any problem using this method.I have never found it necessary to run the engine rpm 2000 rpm for the OHC.Brian
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:17 PM
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Personally, I despise white lithium grease- it's not oil soluble and can plug your oil filter! I highly recommend engine assembly lube like Clevite 77 bearing guard. It's extremely sticky and doesn't wipe off the bearings easily when rotating an engine during assembly or when starting, but it is oil soluble so it disolves in the oil and won't get stuck in the filter. I also must stress the importance of changing the oil and filter after the cam break in period, or an equal amount of run time on an engine that does not need cam break in. This is especially important if you use white lithium grease! It's amazing how many people will spend thousands on an engine rebuild and not be willing to spend an extra $15-$20 on an oil change right away!
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Old 02-25-2007, 06:08 PM
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I would also recommend Royal Purple Max Tuff or Childs and Albert as well as the previously stated clevite. Whichever you can get your hands on. They are all gel like and stay on the part you apply it to.
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Old 02-25-2007, 06:52 PM
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While I do agree that it can plug the oil filter.......I have used the stuff for a long time, I just tend to stay with some of the old time methods whether they are right or wrong by todays standards. I haven't had any problems mainly because I agree with you about the oil change. It does totally baffle me that people will build an engine then not change the oil for 3000 miles. I change the oil after the cam break in, then again after about the first 500 miles. It's cheap insurance. I personally like to change the oil more often in a hot rod engine, the valve spring pressures are generally higher comp ratios higher and typically run a little harder. And I'm not a fan of the synthetics either, yes I know the advantages and disadvantages.I don't want to start that whole debate so any synthetic fans that read this please don't freak out and try to sway me. LOL. If YOU like it USE IT,I can't justify the cost and don't believe in extended oil changes with the use of it.Please don't read any harsh tone into this post I promise that I am not being a jackA**. I am easy going and just expressing my opinion and don't want anybody to take offense at anything I've said . Seeya Brian
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