Hello everybody,I found many threads for cam break in or starting up an engine first time...but my case is a bit different.I ordered an engine (461 stroker) and it will be shipped from the states to europe, so between building the engine and fire it up first time, there will be a few weeks. Of course everything will be lubed during installation.So what would be the best way to break it in after lets say 6-8 weeks after built without disassembling more then the valve covers again? Because I think some relube will be necessary after such a long time.Thank you for your help.René
Poncho,I would recommend obtaining an oil pump priming tool, then use a drill to rotate the oil pump and pre-lube everything right before you fire it up. As far as break in, follow the cam manufacturers recommendation.
Hi, the following is the technique which is also used by other pro engine builders I know. I have used it for 34 years with only 1 cam failure which was due to Valvoline removing most of the zddp in their oil and not making it well known. others might do it differently.OIL DRAIN PLUG - Tighten it.OIL - Use regular oil with no synthetic. Oil should have at least 1250 ppm zddp in it like valvoline vr1. this is not sold where you are, if your engine is not boxed yet you might send some vr1 10-30 with it or buy engine break in oil from joe gibbs racing or similar. you can also order zddp and add it to ant non synthetic oil in the recommended amount. according to joe gibbs that amount is around 1800 - 2000 ppm for break in.PRIME ENGINE Get a priming tool from a shop or use a long 1/4" extension, medium or long 1/4" or 5/16" socket, tape socket to extension using masking tapeUse a high quality 1/2" drive drill.Clamp the drill onto the extension extremely tightly using all 3 holes in the chuck/drill head. If you do not tighten it sufficiently the extension will spin in the drill which may possibly peel the chrome off of the extension which will then fall right down into the distributor hole sat which point you will need to change the oil and fish out the chrome pieces through the distributor hole using a long magnet ten pout a magnetic drain plug in the oil pan, ok.Hold drill securely with two hands because it will spin easily for a few seconds at which point you might think "hey this is a piece of cake" then once it gets back pressure it will INSTANTLY try to spin YOU around the drill. This is not the best thing I can assure you.Spin drill for around 30 seconds.rotate crank 1/2 turndrill for 10 secondsrotate crank 1/2 turndrill 10 secondsrotate crank 1/2 turn drill for 10 secondsrotate crank 1/2 turndrill for 30 seconds.make sure all push rods are oiling.this technique helps fill all the lifters all the way. some cam/lifter mfg's tell you not to fill the lifters because either the engine will start easier or run better upon initial start up or the lifters will fill more quickly with oil. yes it says they will fill more quickly with oil right there in the 70's For service manual.Well it's all hogwash. It is possible to damage a lifter by starting it dry because it gets hammered metal on metal until it starts to fill with oil. It is IMPOSSIBLE to damage a lifter by filling it with oil before first starting eng...duhhh. VALVE TRAIN GEOMETRY put eng on number 1 fire positionRemove #1 intake or ex rockercolor the valve tip with black felt penset rocker to .002" clearanceturn adjusting nut in 3/4 turn.rotate engine 2 revolutions.inspect mark, there should be a clean spot around 3 mm wide in the center of the valve. if the spot is drastically off to the intake or ex side you need different length push rods. fix before starting.LUBE TOP END - Not really necessary imo but simply pour oil all over everything under valve cover if you want.SET IGN TIMING remove vacuum line to distributor and plug carb vac port. disconnect any 4 plug wires except number 1.put a mark on 0, 10 and 20 degrees with white out.use timing lite to set timing to 10 deg btdc while turning the engine over.GASInsure you have at least 1/3rd tank and that gas is pumping freely out pump.Change gas if it is a year old or more.CARB - Set fuel mix screws to i turn out from full in.THERMOSTAT - Remove it, this insures there are no air pockets in system.COOLANT - Use straight water, its easier to clean up if there is a leak.HOSE FITTINGS - Retighten a second time.FAN - If it is around 70 degrees or warmer or if your engine is bored out more than .040" i put a fan directly in front of the radiator.PLUG WIRE ROUTING - make sure it is correct then check it again and again.POINTS - Make sure they are good and properly set.PCV, POWER BRAKE AND TRANS VACUUM HOSES - Plug all at carb, you do not want a vacuum leaK right now.START Have a friend turn the key while you operate the carb. Do not put starting fluid or gas in carb throat. make sure coil wire can be removed easily in case of emergency because your friend might not shut the engine off in time.Pump the throttle a few times while engine is turning over to get some gas in it.once it starts, hold throttle around 1/4 open and turn idle screw with other hand until you are at around 2000 rpm.let it run for 30 minutes.CHANGE RPM DURING BREAK IN - I never ever do this but you can vary it between 2000 and 2200 if it makes you happy.WARNING - If you have valve springs that have more than around 320 lbs. of pressure in the fully open position you might damage your cam during break in even if it has roller lifters but the chance is MUCH less if you have rollers. I suggest using break in springs if this is the case.
Thank you guys, so I just have to wait a few more weeks...but this was a thing I had sleepless nights about. Thank you