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Old 11-28-2011, 07:56 AM
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What is the latest flat tappet break-in procedure?

Looking through old threads there was a lot of talk about Rotella T and using an additive. But a lot of the threads were several years old and I know a lot may have changed since gthen.

I'm going to be starting a rebuild with a pretty tame flat tappet cam. I picked up some of Comp Cam's break in additive, but I was also planning on using Rotella T also. But where can I get the stuff? I see a lot of the synthetic and some pretty thick stuff, but not the standard oil. Or would I do just as well using the additive and common 10W 30?

Is this oil still one of the preferred things to use? And where can I find it in a weight that would work well in a mild SBC?

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Old 11-28-2011, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNshadetree
Looking through old threads there was a lot of talk about Rotella T and using an additive. I'm going to be starting a rebuild with a pretty tame flat tappet cam. I picked up some of Comp Cam's break in additive, but I was also planning on using Rotella T also. But where can I get the stuff? I see a lot of the synthetic and some pretty thick stuff, but not the standard oil.

Is this oil still one of the preferred things to use? And where can I find it in a weight that would work well in a mild SBC?

NO it is not. Run Valvoline VR1 racing in the thinnest weight you can find (often you can only find 20W-50). It is fairly easy to find, fairly low cost, and works great. For normal driving run a Mix of VR1 with Mobil 1 or Royal Purple- its about the best mix of off the shelf oils you can easily do. I do a 3qts of VR1 to 2-3 qts of Mobil 1 or Royal Purple (RP is th best but not always available).

Also, be sure your cam has been properly coated with a break in grease (I use Isky's), your lifters all rotate correctly, and your oil system has been primed prior to start up. On the grease- a thin but even coat will be adequate, gooping it on does nothing for you.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNshadetree
Looking through old threads there was a lot of talk about Rotella T and using an additive. But a lot of the threads were several years old and I know a lot may have changed since gthen.

I'm going to be starting a rebuild with a pretty tame flat tappet cam. I picked up some of Comp Cam's break in additive, but I was also planning on using Rotella T also. But where can I get the stuff? I see a lot of the synthetic and some pretty thick stuff, but not the standard oil. Or would I do just as well using the additive and common 10W 30?

Is this oil still one of the preferred things to use? And where can I find it in a weight that would work well in a mild SBC?
FWIW, Comp offers a nitriding process for any of their flat tappet cams. Cost is about $100 over the cam cost last time I looked.

Then there are some other more expensive options to assure the lifters don't fail:

SM Composite lifters- http://www.4secondsflat.com/Composite%20lifters.htm

SM Tool Steel lifters- http://www.4secondsflat.com/SM%20Too...%20Lifters.htm

Wiki page on cam break in- http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...ips_and_tricks
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Then there are some other more expensive options to assure the lifters don't fail...
Obviously the tips on cam break in shouldn't fall under the expensive heading.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:40 AM
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Also, keep in mind that MORE is not necessarily better when it comes to ZDDP additives. Studies have been done that clearly show too much ZDDP can wreak havoc with ring seating and can actually glaze cylinder walls. The proper ratio between ZDDP levels and detergent levels is very critical. You can verify this by researching the amount of ZDDP levels in various oils. You will find that some oils will display the "break in oil" distinction and will have less ZDDP than other conventional oils. This is because they have realized that there is much more to cam and lifet care than just ZDDP.

Use a brand name BREAK IN OIL with no extra addiitives, run at 2500 to 3000 RPM for 30 minutes. Shut down and cool the engine. Change oil to whatever brand you desire (with ZDDP) and call it good.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:57 AM
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Good point. I saw an article a while ago that showed the various ZDDP levels of some oils that still contain it (both break in and 'regular' motor oils) and one type- Lucas, IIRC- has so much ZDDP that it could realistically be run 50/50 w/any good non ZDDP-containing oil and the levels would still be "good". But seeing as how Lucas doesn't enjoy much of a following from racers in general, this might not mean much.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Good point. I saw an article a while ago that showed the various ZDDP levels of some oils that still contain it (both break in and 'regular' motor oils) and one type- Lucas, IIRC- has so much ZDDP that it could realistically be run 50/50 w/any good non ZDDP-containing oil and the levels would still be "good". But seeing as how Lucas doesn't enjoy much of a following from racers in general, this might not mean much.

From what I understand, there is no "too much" after the rings have seated and everything has taken on a wear pattern. But from what I've read, too much ZDDP can actually hinder the wear pattern process when running in a new FT cam and lifter set. SOME wear is necessary in order to establish the proper wear pattern on the surfaces.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:25 PM
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Well, I coated the lobes and lifter bottoms with the grey goo that came with the cam. It was a Summit 1102 204/214 cam.

As mentioned I have the Comp Cams "Engine Break-in Oil Additive" and will be using it. Sounds like it will be OK with some regular 10W30 conventional for the initial break in and 1,000 miles.

But after the 1,000 miles mark, for day to day driving, what options are there?The VR1 + regular route sound reasonable enough. But I'm not sure I'll mix in synthetic since this is a 2 piece rear seal engine with the perimeter bolts on the valve covers. It will be tough enough keeping it from leaking without synthetic.

What are the other acceptable oils to use for day to day driving after the break-in?

Last edited by TNshadetree; 11-28-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:57 PM
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I like Brad Penn, but it may not be easy for you to find it.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:48 PM
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I also use Brad Penn oil, with no problem's.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:51 PM
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Summit sells Brad Penn in the Howards Cams line.

Brad Penn is the original Kendall GT1 oil. Kendall you buy today is nothing special, just regular Conoco oil.

Flat tappet cams should use a API SG, SH or SL rated oil.

I use Brad Penn in my own race engine and in instances when a customer just doesnt want to spend $100+ to change the oil in their hi perf engine.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCRedline
I like Brad Penn, but it may not be easy for you to find it.
I use the Brad Penn myself. I buy from Competition Products. I have also seen some deals on Ebay with different venders selling it.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:58 AM
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I'm a complete novice. Having said that, after talking to a couple of speed shops, I used Brad Penn break-in oil, (30w). So far no problems. I found mine on Amazon.com
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:47 AM
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Hey Guys,

I am a newbie. Have mercy on me. I just had to get in this fray - call it what you may, I call it the problem that has plagued us ever since we decided we want 500 hp or more out of motors that were intended for about half that hp. We do everything we can to kill camshafts. Gotta admit we're damn good at it. Truth be told, I just did it again.

I got me this build where each valve has two springs to keep em down. The pressure between the tappets and lobes is way too much. Is there a permanent once and for all solution?

Indeed. I coughed up $750 bucks to solve the problem forever. The new cam will live forever. And I do not need worry over GM EOS, Rototeller diesel oil, or getting my hands all grease up slathering moly lube all over my lobes.

Composites are the solution. Ceramic/metal matrix composite, CMC, is the solution. Consider the applications where CMC has proven itself. Cutting tool inserts, Wear resistant parts, Aerospace and military applications and "Other" including engines and energy related apps. Wanna know what, just so happens we fall into all four major categories. Why is it we haven't taken advantage. The cost? Com'n we got an expensive addiction to speed. We pee 750 away regularly.

I got me a good excuse. Ignorance. I did not know composite tappets could be had. A good friend told me about them. And yesterday I sent SM Composites $750 bucks with a big smile on my face. My cam problem days are over forever.

I do have a little aviation in my background so ceramic composites are not new to me. I was a very easy sell.

Never again will I need a roller cam / roller tappets with little oil hole channels at least not on the cam end of this push me pull me thing.

Mechanical flat composite tappets is hands down the best solution.

One last rant and I'm out of here. Every think about much trouble we just went though to transform the linear thrust from combustion into torque. No sooner we get it spinning and we go through even more trouble to get it going straight again. A cam shaft is nothing more than a bassackwards crankshaft.

Bye,
Bob
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327 View Post
Then there are some other more expensive options to assure the lifters don't fail:

SM Composite lifters- Composite lifters are again available, sm machine, composite lifters, custom lifters, ceramic lifters, tool steel lifters, racing lifters, cam failure

SM Tool Steel lifters- SM Composite Lifters
WOW! I had no idea these existed! But by the time you plunk down your cash for these lifters, you might as well have done a retro-roller conversion. I guess the argument could be make the retro rollers are heavier and thus bad, but still...if these guys lowered the price on these lifters, I am sure they would be pretty flooded with demand.
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