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Old 08-25-2005, 22:39   #1 (permalink)
351 XE on LPG
 
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Cam Break-in Procedure

I found this great bit of advice . . .

CAM BREAK-IN PROCEDURE

New Lifters Are A Must-
There is no such thing as a good used lifter! Any flat faced lifter establishes a wear pattern almost immediately with the cam lobe it is riding on and cannot be used on any other cam lobe, let alone a different cam. Should you have a need to disassemble the engine, make sure you keep the lifters in order so they go back on to the exact same lobes.

Valve Spring Pressure and Travel-
We highly recommend purchasing the matching valve springs recommended in our catalog. This insures you will have the proper pressures, both closed and open, and sufficient travel to get the maximum rpm, performance and life from your new cam.

Piston to Valve Clearance-
While many performance cams will work just fine with stock pistons, there are many factors that effect your engine and the clearance available. Things such as factory tolerances, normal machine work such as head and block surfacing, aftermarket components such as cylinder heads, higher ratio rocker arms, etc. all effect your engines ability to handle a performance camshaft.

Valve Train Interference-
In addition to valve spring travel and piston-to-valve clearance, a commonly overlooked area is that of retainer to seal clearance. The other common area of interference is rocker arm to stud clearance along with rocker arm travel. The best way to check these is by physically opening both a intake and an exhaust valve on each cylinder head to the gross lift of the cam plus and additional .030". It is easiest to do this by pressing down on the rocker arm with one of the many tools available. Do not simply rotate the engine to the maximum lift point for a given valve. This does not work when engines are hydraulic lifter equipped, or even allow any margin of safety when you are using a mechanical lifter cam.

Valve Adjustment-
The easiest way to insure proper adjustment is to adjust the rocker arms as you install them, one cylinder at a time. Adjust the intake valve as the exhaust valve is just starting to open and adjust the exhaust valve when the intake valve is almost closed. It is simplest to do this with the intake manifold off and watching the lifter’s movement.

Hydraulic Lifter Valve Adjustment-
All engines, regardless of manufacture, require correct valve adjustment. Some engines, such as Chevrolet V-8’s, are equipped with stud mounted rocker arms can easily be adjusted to compensate for changes incurred during engine assembly. Never just torque the rocker arm into place and assume that the lifter preload will automatically be correct. Various engine manufacturers use multiple length pushrods, shims, and spacers to compensate for changes in preload. Hydraulic lifters cannot compensate for all changes. Ideal lifter preload is .020" to .080". Do not attempt to fill the lifters full of oil prior to installation. They will fill automatically once started and manually filling them makes adjusting the preload a difficult task.

Mechanical Lifter Valve Adjustment-
Adjusting mechanical lifters should be done the same way as outlined above, one valve at a time. For an initial setting, we recommend .003" to .005" than listed on the cam’s specification card. Once broken in and with the engine fully warmed up, re set the rocker arms to the cam’s specification sheet.

Installation Lubricants-
All flat faced (non-roller) camshafts require the use of high pressure lubricant supplied with your Erson cam on the bottom of the lifters, the lobes of the cam and on the distributor drive gear. Do not use this lube on the tips of the pushrods, the sides of the lifters or on the rocker arms. Use a quality oil when installing roller tappets.

BEFORE YOU TURN THE KEY

Fill All of the Engine’s Fluids-
Using a minimum of a SAE API SD, SE or better fresh clean mineral based oil, fill the engine to the proper level. Do not use synthetic oil during break-in. Fill the coolant system and follow the instructions on purging air from the system. With carburetor equipped engines, fill the carburetor to insure fuel is available immediately. Make sure that the ignition timing is properly set to insure immediate starting, without excess cranking of the engine.

Pre-Lube the Engine-
Using a oil pump priming tool such as those available from Mallory, spin the engine’s oil pump until you see pressure on the gauge or have oil at the rocker arms. Do not attempt to prime the engine using the starter motor!

Proper Ventilation-
Make sure that you do not start the engine without good airflow. That means have the overhead garage door open and the exhaust vented to the outside. If you have any doubts about sufficient airflow to the engine, push the car out of the garage to make sure the radiator can draw in plenty of air. Having a fan to blow fresh air through the garage is a plus.

Exhaust System-
If at all possible, start the car with a muffled exhaust system hooked up and operational. It makes it much easier to hear what is going on.

Resist the Urge-
Take a minute before you try to start the engine for the first time and double check that you are ready to go. Don’t take any short cuts or leave parts such as fan shrouds, air cleaner, wire looms, etc. off. Clean up the are around and especially under your vehicle. Pick up your tools and wipe up the floor so you can easily spot even a minor leak.

Be Prepared-
Have extra coolant or a hose handy, clean rags, tools for tightening clamps, connections, etc. just in case. They need to be in place to make sure you have an uneventful break-in of the camshaft.

WHEN THE ENGINE STARTS

Have a Helper-
Now is the time for a helper. They can check the coolant level, check for oil and fluid leaks, and proper operation of under-hood accessories. Air pockets in the coolant system are common so make sure the recovery bottle is checked and filled as necessary. You cannot count on the temperature gauge. Temperature gauges are only accurate if the sensor is submerged in coolant and will not give an accurate reading if in an air pocket.

Do Not Idle the Engine-
As soon as the engine starts, raise the rpm to 2,000 rpm. You should also constantly vary the RPM between 2,000 and 3,000 RPM for the first 20 minutes. This is the only way to insure proper lubrication during this critical period since the camshaft to lifter contact area relies almost exclusively on oil splash from the crank and connecting rods. Make sure that you run the engine for a full 20 minutes using this procedure. It will seem like forever, but it is one of the most important steps to insure long, dependable performance.

Once Break-in is Complete-
Drain and replace the engine oil and filter with new, fresh oil and a new filter. Recheck for any fluid leaks and check all fluid levels. If you installed a mechanical lifter style camshaft, flat faced or roller style, the valve adjustment should be rechecked at this time with the engine fully warmed up. Hydraulic lifter equipped engines should not require any readjustment.

Proper maintenance is important for any vehicle. Frequent oil changes, with a new filter is one of the easiest ways to insure your vehicle will deliver the performance you want for many long happy miles.

SOURCE
http://go.mrgasket.com/pdf/cambreakin.html
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:56   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Cam Break-in Procedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhett
Do Not Idle the Engine-
As soon as the engine starts, raise the rpm to 2,000 rpm. You should also constantly vary the RPM between 2,000 and 3,000 RPM for the first 20 minutes. This is the only way to insure proper lubrication during this critical period since the camshaft to lifter contact area relies almost exclusively on oil splash from the crank and connecting rods. Make sure that you run the engine for a full 20 minutes using this procedure. It will seem like forever, but it is one of the most important steps to insure long, dependable performance.

Once Break-in is Complete-
Drain and replace the engine oil and filter with new, fresh oil and a new filter. Recheck for any fluid leaks and check all fluid levels. If you installed a mechanical lifter style camshaft, flat faced or roller style, the valve adjustment should be rechecked at this time with the engine fully warmed up. Hydraulic lifter equipped engines should not require any readjustment.
Good points, to be sure...here is Lunati's recommendation. You'll note some variance, especially in the first twenty minutes of the procedure.

Apply cam lube liberally to both the lifter faces and lobe areas of your flat tappet cam and lifters.

Lunati recommends “pre-oiling” your engine prior to start up. Failure to do so will result in premature parts wear and possible cam failure. Dry cam lobes and lifters will wear out immediately upon start up. Lunati will not warranty cams that have failed due to improper break-in, lack of lubrication, or dry start ups. Oil pump primer tools are available through most major auto parts suppliers and speed shops.

We have found that utilizing straight 30 weight, non-detergent motor oil works best for initial start up and cam break in. Switching to a multi-grade, premium quality oil for your climate conditions is acceptable after the first 500 miles of engine operation. DO NOT use synthetic or synthetic blend oils prior to the first 5000 miles of engine operation.

Lunati recommends filling the oil filter with fresh oil in addition to the crankcase prior to initial start up.

Filling the carburetor float bowls, or priming the injection pump will facilitate quick engine start up. This prevents cam and lifter wear during the initial engine firing. Once the engine fires, Lunati recommends setting the throttle RPM at 2000-2500 for the first 20 minutes of run time. After the first 20 minutes, we suggest increasing the engine RPM in increments of 500 RPM for 1 minute at a time up to 3500. After reaching 3500 RPM and maintaining for one minute, begin to decrease RPM in increments of 500 RPM for 1 minute at a time until the engine is back down to 1000 RPM. Once this is accomplished, your Lunati cam and lifters have successfully completed their initial break in run cycle.

In the event your engine develops a problem (overheating, fuel leak, etc.) shut the engine off immediately, let it cool down, repair the problem and resume your break in procedure.

...and, Crane has this to say:

Use a high quality 30 or 40 weight oil, preferably a Pennsylvania base oil, or a high quality Pennsylvania based multi-viscosity oil, such as 10W-30 or 20W-50.

Also, for extra protection, an antiwear additive (zinc dithiophosphate) must be added, such as Crane SuperLube (Part Number 99003-1).

IMPORTANT! Do not allow the engine to run UNDER 1500 RPM for the first half-hour or so.

Also, change RPM frequently to direct oil to different places. Slow idle speeds or continued operation of the starter will result in severe cam and lifter wear during the initial start-up period. Prime the carburetor before starting, so that you may immediately start the engine and bring it to break-in RPM. Try to place a load on the engine, such as normal driving conditions, in order to insure proper operating temperatures and distribution of lubricant.

REMEMBER . . . the first 10 minutes are the most important in a new camshaft's life. Tests have shown that if there is no spalling or metal pick up during the first 10 minutes to one hour of operation, the cam will last a normal life. After you have completed the "break-in," immediately change oil and filter. Regularly maintain your engine, its oil and filter, and valve lash adjustment. Your reward will be an engine that delivers maximum horsepower and performance.

Comp has this to say:



They all have something to say that is slightly different, which is a good reason to follow the recommendations of your camshaft manufacturer.


Howard's cams has this to say:


Camshaft Break-in
The first few minutes of engine operation after installing a new cam are critical. It takes time for the engine’s oiling system to reach efficiency and while you’re waiting for that to happen, metal-to metal contact can occur. If it does, something is going to fail then or later. Especially critical is the lifter/cam lobe area. If metal touches metal here without benefit of solid lubrication, galling will occur and something (the lifter, the lobe or both) is going to fail.

To prevent these and similar problems not covered by any warranty, please follow the steps outlined here:

1. New lifters must be installed with any new cam installation. The surface of a new lifter, which rides on the cam lobe, has a spherical shape with a 0.002” crown, which is almost impossible to detect. Used lifters won’t have that crown and will quickly destroy cam lobes. Note that if you later take your engine apart, lifters must be reinstalled in the bore from which they were
removed. Each lifter wears in a way that mates it to a given cam lobe; switching lifters is the same as using old lifters with a new cam.

2. Install the valve train components (lifters, valves, springs, etc.) recommended by the cam manufacturer. These items have been tested and proven for compatibility with the cam.

3. Coat the cam lobes, distributor drive gear, lifter cam faces and other critical components with a moly-disulfide lube like our Camshaft and Engine Assembly Lube for protection against metal-to-metal contact during initial break-in.

4. Check the entire valve train for interference and adequate clearance during assembly. The four areas of major concern are covered in “How to Install a Performance Camshaft.”

5. Fill the oil pan with top-quality MS-DG engine oil meeting the SAE or API specifications set by the engine manufacturer. A Pennsylvania-based detergent oil is preferred. Use a straight viscosity of 20W or 30W for break-in; do not switch to a multi-viscosity oil until after the break-in period. For added protection, a zinc-phosphorous additive should be added to the engine oil during break-in because they can produce undesirable combustion chamber deposits. (ed: This appears to be a sentence failure.)

6. Before starting the engine be sure:
• The valves are correctly adjusted. Set solid lifters 0.003” to 0.005” tighter than specified.
• To prime the oil system by turning the oil pump manually until pressure is indicated on the oil gauge. Be sure crankcase is filled to proper (normal) level.
• To put gas in the carburetor float bowls, prime the accelerator pump and have gas in the tank.
• There’s water in the radiator.
• The battery is charged.
• Nothing will get caught in the fan, fan belts, and alternator/generator belt or by the crankshaft. Check the entire engine compartment for loose tools
or parts.
• Ignition timing is set accurately.
To avoid galling, the engine should start right away. Avoid a long grind on the starter and over cranking the engine before firing. Low oil pressure could damage camshaft and other components.

7. When the engine fires, immediately rev it to 2500-3000 rpm. Do not idle the engine for the first 20 minutes. Much of the oil for lubrication and cooling the camshaft comes from crankshaft splash. Below 2500 rpm, turbulence is probably not enough to lubricate the cam fully. The engine may be run on the road or in the shop, but the shop is best. If adjustments are required during the first 20 minutes, shut the engine off.

8. Vary rpm frequently during this initial break-in period to change oiling within the engine.

9. After completing the break-in period, change the engine oil and filter. Regularly change engine oil and filter and maintain proper valve lash adjustment on solid lifter engines.

Following these steps will extend the trouble-free life of your cam and assure you of an engine that delivers the maximum possible performance.



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Old 08-27-2005, 06:49   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Cam Break-in Procedure

There are similar threads between all the tips, but it looks like each cook has their own recipe that they swear by.

I wonder what they mean by "a Pennsylvania-based detergent oil"?

... and what's the deal with using zinc dithiophosphate or a zinc-phosphorous additive? I thought that you did want a little gentle wearing so that the lifter to lobe contact area, and rings can bed-in.
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Old 08-28-2005, 07:22   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Cam Break-in Procedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhett
There are similar threads between all the tips, but it looks like each cook has their own recipe that they swear by.

I wonder what they mean by "a Pennsylvania-based detergent oil"?

... and what's the deal with using zinc dithiophosphate or a zinc-phosphorous additive? I thought that you did want a little gentle wearing so that the lifter to lobe contact area, and rings can bed-in.

Seating the rings are a completely different issue than cam/lifter wear. The idea of breaking-in the cam is to "work harden" it during break-in.

Seating the rings are a matter of getting the engine up to adequate temperature so that block expansion and piston expansion (due to the heat) force the rings (and their respective end gaps, which modify their "true circle" shape) and cylinders to adhere to each other's shape. Basically, you're looking to have the two conform to a shape that will give a good seal.

The various oil additives are soft materials that will support some compression due to their size, but not wear harder surfaces.


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