Never use synthetic oil in a fresh build.
Engine builder,self taught auto body guy.Horsepower sells engines and torque wins races
Okay, so I'll stick with my 15w40!(this is also what my engine builder will use.. maybe another brand than mine but same viscosity and mineral oil)
+1 Pman. Shortly thereafter is fine, just not at initial break-in on rebuilds. I like VR-1 too, anybody who reads up on it probably does. On some multiple valve spring setups, one cam manufacturer recommends removing the inner spring for the initial break-in. I just didn't see that mentioned here and thought it might apply. I ran across that awhile back and as quick as things change, it might be a dumb idea now for all I know.
ChrisNITRIDEYou now have for experienced engine builders. Saying it is unnecessary to nitride your cam as long as it is properly broken in and the proper oil with zddp is used. It sounds like you are still going to nitride your cam anyway. Ok fine no more need to discuss that topic except that I have read that some cams with this coating have had the coating flake off and it appears that no one here has any long term experience with a car that has a nitride cam in it. I don’t know the accuracy of the flaking reports.BREAK IN OILI don’t quite understand what you are saying here so please forgive me if I am wrong. I’m simply trying to help. 1.It sounds like you CAN NOT get us oils in your country. I know they are available in other European countries so if you preferred to use them you can find them and have them shipped from there or the us. Obviously not cheap but you don’t have to do it often.2. I looked your oil and on the sites I found it says that the EUROPEAN version of your exact weight and brand is something like a “semi synthetic”. Is this accurate? 3. Both MOBIL1 and VALVOLINE as well as JOE GIBBS RACING etc all say you should NOT break in a motor with anything other than PURE MINERAL BASED OIL because synthetics are so slippery that they prevent the parts including your cam to break in properly. This means that no matter how much ZDDP you add to a synthetic engine oil it will still have the slippery synthetic qualities. No one here knows if you or your engine builder knows this.4. You say your engine builder uses BREAK IN OIL during break in. This means nothing to anyone because we do not know exactly what he is using ie pure mineral oil or a synthetic blend. See #3 above. Can you find out and let us know? 5. If in fact the break in oil he is using is true pure mineral oil with xtra zddp and lower detergents than why can you not buy a regular pure mineral based oil with zddp in Austria. I DID see that you also posted that gui does have a 15/40 PURE MINERAL BASED OIL [no synthetic additives] you were using so I guess I’m just confused by the seemingly conflicting statements. You should double check with the mfg just to be sure if you haven’t all ready.6. You say your engine builder will use light springs for break in as I recommended, XLNT. Will he also rotate the cam every 90 degrees as I recommended and follow the other necessary break in suggestions supplied in the motor craft article I posted? You might want to ask just to be sure.7. I posted the reason your engine builder wants to nitride your cam but you must have missed it so here it is again for you. By the way he is NOT doing it get more money out of you and since it is for HIS security against his warranty he should NOT charge you anything above what it costs him if he is credible and should not void your warranty if you choose not to do it.“It sounds to knowledgeable engine builders that your engine builder is trying to insure against his inexperience. how about this, instead of coating the cam so he can run low zddp oil and possibly high valve spring pressure why doesn't he simply do it properly and use "high" zddp PURE MINERAL BASED OIL and proper spring pressures with no cam coating? Don't worry about running the cam as is, you better worry about your "expert" engine builder instead”.8. COMPS NITRIDE – If you watch the comp nitride commercial you posted you will hear Billy clearly say something to the effect of. “We offer this as an additional protection against potential cam failure caused by the reduced levels of anti scuff additives found in TODAYS modern engine oils". This is what he is actually saying. He very well knows that there are dozens of engine oils readily available that are not only as good as the original high zddp type oils designed for flat tappet engines but actually better. I know comp pretty well so here is what is going on.First and foremost, they have previously had a VERY generous warranty program designed to maintain good PR. XLNT business model, however by the same token they prefer that your can does not go flat due to the users negligence or inexperience so they came up with the nitride process hoping more people will opt for it thereby potentially reducing warranty claims, plus if there are atill warranty claims comps cost has now been partially offset by the profit they made off of the nitride process. Pretty slick Huh? We say they are "killing two birds with one stone"9. Even though many modern engines do not use a flat tappet type cam system they I know tahat at least some [and probably all] car mfg's still break in their engines at the factory on a special break in machine using PURE MINERAL BASED OIL with high ZDDP contents.
Thank you for the information!I'll talk to the engine builder and think about it.I believe you are right if you say a proper break-in and good oil will make the cam last many many years without problems.
Hello ChrisThanks for your reply to my postIs your 15/40 definitely pure mineral based engine oil?I'm positive nitriding is not just a gimmick and certainly has it's place in some applications.I don’t think your oil is “no good” and didn’t feel that is what you meant. I figured you meant it was not as good for old motors as some us oils are because they didn't design it specifically for them. I’m quite sure your oil is extremely good for it’s intended purpose which doesn’t specifically include older cars.You can certainly switch to a synthetic with sufficient zddp after break, it’s just not my personal preference that’s all. If you reread the posts including tuffnuffs, pontiacman, my71’s we have never had a cam failure because we know what we are doing. Our street cams go for around 100k-150k moles without nitriding them so why do it? Just a thought.Yes I agree sometimes better to be safe than sorry, but like I mentioned the nitriding could possibly flake if improperly done so you ate creating a different type of potential hazard. This is why they call such processes coatings. Tough choice I know.I would ask your engine builder to expand on his cam hardness comments to you. It doesn’t make sense [but it is possible]. The cam mfgs do not want to warranty cams and do not want a bad reputation. The cost of making a cam of 40 rockwell vs 50 rockwell is not that much so they wont save enough money by reducing the hardness to make up for potential loss incurred by cam faiiures. It just doesn’t compute. Did you like that phrase? Lolthanks again carry on!
hello chris i see you deleted most the text from your post. no need to do that it was all good. some already think i'm strange enough now they'll think i'm talkin to myself [maybe i do sometimes]. lolthanks
Hi!Sorry, didn't know you already saw the text. Was too much information that wasn' needed so I replaced it with a shorter version The 15w40 is mineral oil that's for sure!If the cam will last 100.000 miles that's more then it will need.. I won't drive 100.000 miles with this cam!I'm pretty sure he will break-in the camshaft as it should be done, but to make sure I don't get into troubles maybe the $120 for the nitriding is a cheap insurance for me and for him as well. I'll have to talk to him about the price and why he didn't mention it before when I had the chance to get it cheaper.We have oils for old cars.. but I don't know if they are just like your oils.. because european (old) cars are not the same as old US cars.That's why I picked the correct viscosity and ZDDP oil out of all mineral oils that are on the market. (it's also very cheap, about $8-9 / liter).
Top Reasons and Causes for Camshaft Failure Pontiacman2 (188.8.131.52) Moderator | Posts: 8928 | Joined: 09/08 Posted: 12/12/1208:46 AMCam failure is rarely caused by the cam itself. The only things that can be controlled during manufacture pertaining to cam lobe wear are lobe taper, lobe hardness and surface finish.Of all the damaged cams that Crane Cams has checked over the years, it says more than 99.99 percent have been manufactured correctly. Some people have the misconception that it is common for a cast iron flat tappet cam to occasionally have a soft lobe. Crane says they have yet to see a cast iron flat tappet cam that had a soft lobe. When the cast core is made at the casting foundry, all the lobes are flame hardened. That process hardens all the lobes to a depth below the barrel of the core. That depth of hardness allows the finish cam grinder to finish grind the cam lobes with a Rockwell hardness above 50Rc. The generally accepted hardness on a finished cast cam should be between 48Rc to 58Rc.All of the finished cams that we have checked are always above 50Rc hardness on the lobes. Many outside factors, or a combination of factors, can cause cam failures. We will list some of the factors that have been determined may cause camshaft failure.Lobe wear, incorrect break-in lubricant. Use only the moly paste that is included with the cam from the manufacturer. This moly paste must be applied to every cam lobe surface, and to the bottom of every lifter face of all flat tappet cams. Roller tappet cams only require engine oil to be applied to the lifters and cam. Also, apply the moly paste to the distributor gears on the cam and distributor for all camshafts. For extra protection, an anti-wear additive should be added, such as Crane Super Lube or any other break in additive with high levels of zddp in them, or even a break in engine oil.Do not use synthetic oil during the break-in period. It is not recommended to use any type of oil restrictors to the lifter galley, or use windage trays, baffles,or plug any oil return holes in the valley. Oil has a two-fold purpose, not only to lubricate, but also to draw the heat away from whatever it comes in contact with. The cam needs oil splash from the crankcase and oil run-back from the top of the engine to help draw the heat away. Without this oil flow, all the heat generated at the cam is transferred to the lifter, which can contribute to its early demise.Correct break-in procedure. After the correct break-in lubricant is applied to the cam and lifters, fill the crankcase with fresh non-synthetic oil. Prime the oil system with a priming tool and an electric drill so that all oil passages and the oil filter are full of oil. Preset the ignition timing and prime the fuel system. Fill the cooling system. Start the engine. The engine should start quickly and run between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm.If the engine will not start, don't continue to crank for long periods, as that is very detrimental to the life of the cam. Check for the cause and correct. The engine should quickly start and be run between 1,500 to 3,000 rpm. Vary the rpm up and down in this rpm range during the first 15 to 20 minutes, (do not run the engine at a steady rpm). During this break-in time, verify that the pushrods are rotating, as this will show that the lifters are also rotating. If the lifters don't rotate, the cam lobe and lifter will fail. Sometimes you may need to help spin the pushrod to start the rotation process during this break-in procedure.Lifter rotation is created by a taper ground on the cam lobe and the convex shape of the face of the flat tappet lifter. Also in some cases, the lobe is slightly offset from the center of the lifter bore in the block. If the linear spacing of the lifter bores in the block is not to the correct factory specifications, or the angle of the lifter bore is not 90 degrees to the centerline of the cam, the lifter may not rotate.Even if the engine you’re rebuilding had 100,000 miles on it and the cam you removed had no badly worn lobes, this still doesn't mean that your block is made correctly. It just means that the break in procedure caused everything to work correctly. Be careful to watch the pushrods during break in to verify lifter rotation. Don't assume everything will work correctly the second time.Always use new lifters on a new flat tappet cam. If you are removing a good used flat tappet cam and lifters and are planning to use them again in the same (or another) engine, you must keep the lifters in order as to what lobe of the cam they were on. The lifter breaks-in to the specific lobe it is mated with and it can't be changed. If the used lifters get mixed up, you should discard them and install a new set of lifters and break the cam in again as you would on a new cam and lifters. You can use new lifters on a good used cam, but never try to use used lifters on a new cam.Roller tappet cams don’t require any break-in. You can use roller lifters over again on a new cam if they are in good condition. There will be, of course, no lifter or pushrod rotation with the use of a roller tappet cam.Spring pressure. Normal recommended spring seat pressure for most mild street-type flat tappet cams is between 85 to 105 lbs. More radical street and race applications may use valve spring seat pressure between 105 to 130 lbs. For street hydraulic roller cams, seat pressure should range from 105 to 140 lbs. Spring seat pressure for mechanical street roller cams should not exceed 150 lbs. Race roller cams with high lift and spring pressure are not recommended for street use, because of a lack of oil splash onto the cam at low speed running to help cool the cam and lubricate the lifters. This high spring pressure causes the heat created at the cam to be transferred to the roller wheel, resulting in its early failure. Any springs that may be used must be assembled to the manufacturer’s recommended height. Never install springs without verifying the correct assembled height and pressures.Increased spring pressure from a spring change and/or increased valve lift can hinder lifter rotation during cam break-in. We have found that decreasing spring pressure during the break-in period will be a great help. This can be accomplished by using a shorter ratio rocker arm to lower the valve lift; and/ or removing the inner spring, during the cam break-in time, if dual springs are being used.Mechanical interference. The following are some of the factors that can cause mechanical interference:Spring coil bind: This is when all of the coils of the spring (outside, inside or flat damper) contact each other before the full lift of the valve. It is recommended that the spring you are using be capable of traveling at least .060" more than the valve lift of the cam from its assembled height.Retainer to seal/ valve guide boss interference. You need at least .060" clearance between the bottom of the retainer and the seal or the top of the valve guide when the valve is at full lift.Valve to piston interference: this occurs when a change in cam specs. (i.e., lift, duration or centerline) is enough to cause this mechanical interference. Also: increased valve size, surfacing the block and/or cylinder head may cause this problem. If you have any doubt, piston to valve clearance should be checked. Minimum recommended clearance: .080" intake and .100" exhaust.Rocker arm slot-to-stud interference: As you increase valve lift, the rocker arm swings farther on its axis. Therefore the slot in the bottom of the rocker arm may run out of travel, and the end of the slot will contact the stud and stop the movement of the rocker arm. The slot in the rocker arm must be able to travel at least .060" more than the full lift of the valve. Some engine families, like small block Chevrolet, have stamped steel rocker arms available in long and extra long slot versions for this purpose.Distributor gear wear. The main cause for distributor gear wear is the use of high volume or high-pressure oil pumps. We don’t recommend the use of these types of oil pumps. If you do run these types of oil pumps, you can expect short life of the cam and distributor gears, especially for low speed running, in street type applications. If you must run these types of oil pumps, you can increase the life of the gears by adding more oil flow over the gear area to help cool off the point of contact.Distributors that have end play adjustment (up and down movement of distributor shaft and gear) should maintain a maximum of .010" end play to help prevent premature wear.Camshaft end play. Some engines have a thrust plate to control the forward and backward movement of the cam. The recommended end play on these types of engines is between .003" to .008". Many factors may cause this end play to be changed. When installing a new cam, timing gears, or thrust plates, be sure to verify end play after the cam bolts are torqued to factory specs. If the end play is excessive, it will cause the cam to move back in the block, causing the side of the lobe to contact an adjacent lifter.Broken dowel pins or keys. The dowel pin or woodruff key does not drive the cam; the torque of the timing gear bolt, or bolts, against the front of the cam drives the cam. Some reasons for the dowel pin or key failing are: Bolts not being torqued to correct specs; Incorrect bolts of a lower grade being used; Stretching and losing torque; Not using the correct hardened washer that may distort and cause torque of the bolt to change; Thread-lock not being used; Or some interference with the cam and lifters or connecting rods causing the cam to stop rotation.Broken cam. A broken cam is usually caused by the cam being hit by a connecting rod, or other rotating parts of the engine coming loose and hitting the cam. When this happens, the cam will usually break in more than two-pieces. Sometimes the cam will break in two pieces after a short time of use because of a crack or fracture in the cam due to rough handling during shipping, or some time before installation. If a cam becomes cracked or fractured due to rough handling, it will generally not be straight.Most people will not have any means of checking cam straightness. As a general rule, if you can install the cam in the engine and install the timing gear, the cam should turn freely with just your finger pressure. There should not be any drag or resistance in turning the cam. This free turning of the cam is assuming that if new cam bearings were installed, they were the correct parts and they were installed correctly.When removing a used cam that may be worn, you may have difficulty turning or removing it. This may not mean that the cam is cracked or fractured. The heat generated at the cam during the failure of the cam lobe, and/or lifter, will distort the cam and cause it not to be straight any more.NITRIDING:Gas nitriding is a surface heat treatment which leaves a hard case on the surface of the cam. This hard case is typically twice the hardness of the core material up to .010" deep. This process is accomplished by placing the cam into a sealed chamber that is heated to approximately 950 degrees F and filled with ammonia gas. At this temperature a chemical reaction occurs between the ammonia and the cam metal to form ferrous nitride on the surface of the cam. During this reaction, diffusion of the ferrous-nitride into the cam occurs which leads to the approximate .004" case depth. The ferrous-nitride is a ceramic compound which accounts for its hardness. It also has some lubricity when sliding against other parts. The nitriding process raises and lowers the chamber temperature slowly so that the cam is not thermally shocked. Because of its low heat treat temperature no loss of core hardness is seen. Gas nitriding was originally conceived where sliding motion between two parts takes place repeatedly so is therefore directly applicable to solving camshaft wear problems.
When The Flag Drops.,. The Bull ***t Stops.,. P. Engineer, Engine Builder
Oil Grades 1From an Engineer's point of viewWednesday, July 21, 2010Valvoline is a great oil,,, but I'm not fond of STP and prefer DuPont teflon gas treatment in my hi-perf engines instead,,,Here is the run down on multi viscosity oil,,, for interest sake, if nothing else.Multi viscosity oils work like this,,, Polymers are added to a light base(5W, 10W, 20W), which prevent the oil from thinning as much as it warms up. At cold temperatures the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C (212 Fahrenheit),,, the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-viscosity oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would, when hot. Multi viscosity oils are one of the great improvements in oils,,, BUT, they should be chosen wisely. Always use a multi grade with the narrowest span of viscosity that is appropriate for the temperatures you are going to encounter. In the winter base your decision on the lowest temperature you will encounter,,, in the summer,,, the highest temperature you expect. The polymers can "shear" and "burn" forming deposits that can cause ring sticking and other problems!!! 10W-40 and 5W-30 require a lot of polymers(synthetics excluded) to achieve that range. This has caused problems in diesel engines, but fewer polymers are better for all engines. The wide viscosity range oils, in general, are more prone to viscosity and thermal breakdown due to the high polymer content. IT IS THE OIL THAT LUBRICATES,,, not the additives. Oils that can do their job with the fewest additives are the best. Very few manufacturers recommend 10W-40 any more, and some threaten to void warranties if it is used. 20W-50 is the same 30 point spread,,, but because it starts with a heavier base, it requires less viscosity index improvers (polymers) to do the job. AMSOIL can formulate their 10W-30 and 15W-40 with no viscosity index improvers but uses some in the 10W-40 and 5W-30. Other multigrade synthetics may not use VI improvers either. The full literature that's available from oil companies, should include this information. Follow your manufacturer's recommendations as to which weights are appropriate for your vehicle. Viscosity Index is an empirical number indicating the rate of change in viscosity of an oil within a given temperature range. Higher numbers indicate a low change, lower numbers indicate a relatively large change. The higher the number the better. This is one major property of an oil, that keeps your bearings "happy"... These numbers can only be compared within a viscosity range. It is not an indication of how well the oil resists thermal breakdown. Flash point is the temperature at which an oil gives off vapors that can be ignited with a flame held over the oil. The lower the flash point the greater tendancy for the oil to suffer vaporization loss at high temperatures and to burn off on hot cylinder walls and pistons. The flash point can be an indicator of the quality of the base stock used. The higher the flash point the better. 400 F is the minimum to prevent possible high consumption. Flash point is in degrees F. Pour point is 5 degrees F above the point at which a chilled oil shows no movement at the surface for 5 seconds when inclined. This measurement is especially important for oils used in the winter. A borderline pumping temperature is given by some manufacturers. This is the temperature at which the oil will pump and maintain adequate oil pressure. This was not given by a lot of the manufacturers,,, but seems to be about 20 degrees F above the pour point. The lower the pour point the better. Pour point is in degrees F. % sulfated ash is how much solid material is left when the oil is reacted with sulfuric acid and burned. This is used to quantify the amount of metallic antiwear and detergent additives in the oil. Zinc dithiophosphate is a common detergent and antiwear additive that is reflected in this test. % zinc is the amount of zinc used as an extreme pressure, anti-wear additive... The zinc is only used when there is actual metal to metal contact in the engine. Hopefully the oil will do its job and this will rarely occur, but if it does, the zinc compounds react with the metal to prevent scuffing and wear. A level of .11% is enough to protect an automobile engine for the extended oil drain interval, under normal use. Those with high revving, blower or turbo charged cars or inboard boats,,, might want to look at the oils with the higher zinc content. More doesn't give you better protection,,, BUT, it gives you longer protection if the rate of metal to metal contact is abnormally high. Just,,, Food for thought.Read more: http://forums.highperformancepontiac.com/70/8788191/the-general-discussion/engine-oil/#ixzz2JqZCSpF7
When The Flag Drops.,. The Bull ***t Stops.,. P. Engineer, Engine Builder
I think my spring pressure is 120lbs. I'll send this to my engine builder This is very informative, thank you tuff!
You welcome Chris. We are giving you as much information as possible, so you can make the best decisions, and know why you're making them.It's hard to dispute, that American engine builders know American engines, perhaps better than anyone.,. we were brought up with them, all our life.120# seat pressure is not excessive and you should be good to go.
When The Flag Drops.,. The Bull ***t Stops.,. P. Engineer, Engine Builder
HELLO CHRISThat seat pressure is ideal, it’s in the middle of the parameters I recommended in my previous post and typically what I run, 115-122. You would be surprised how many “builders even in the US think you should have 135-140 so the valves don’t bounce when closing. I didn’t know at first either. We all hopefully learn the right things to do someday without killing too many cams in the process.RE BREAK IN – Just one last reminder, it’s your engine warranty or not so it shouldn’t hurt to just confirm that his break in process is the same as the one I posted in addition to any tips others have offered here. You also do not want to keep turning it over trying to get fuel to the carb etc when starting it for break in. You want to be sure that baby fires up instantly so be sure you somehow put fuel in the carb. I use a plastic ketchup type bottle with that narrow tip they come with and squeeze it down the bowl vents then a little down the carb throat just for good measure. Secondly I would not try to start it with 18 degrees advance, it could be hard to start. This is not the same set up you hac before!. It will definitely EASILY start at around 12-14. Turn it over with the coil wire off and set it with the timing lite. Mark the 0 and 12 degree marks with “white out” used to erase typing errors etc. Once started immediately rev to 2000-2200 set your timing for around 28 degrees at this break in speed. New motors generate enormous heat during break in. and are more sensitive to ignition timing during that time. Too much is not good either. Do whatever you want with your timing afterwards.VALVE SPRING CUPS – Another constantly overlooked area is valve spring cups. If you don’t know, they are used to center your springs on the guide and prevent movement of them on the base and also prevent them from rubbing against each other. They make inner and outer ones. Again it’s your motor you might want to look at their fit yourself you should be able to easily see what I mean if they are loose. The inner is centered on the inside by the guide, the outer is centered on the outside by the small lip left on the head caused by the machining of the spring base at the factory.
+1All good tips.,. "IF" that engine builder is as good as Chris portrays him to be, he probably forgot more than we Americans will ever know, about our own cars.,. that is entirely possible.From here-on-in, we are going over well plowed ground.,. and it appears that we are beginning to repeat ourselves.Chris, best of luck.,. we have given you our best and there is not much left to offer.
When The Flag Drops.,. The Bull ***t Stops.,. P. Engineer, Engine Builder