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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to do the cam break in on my rebuilt 289. It has a Edlebrock Performer Intake and a rebuilt 600 Holley carb and Pertronix Distributor otherwise stock. Cam/crank marks lined up with #1 up, Air mix is at 1 1/2 turns, total timing is at 34, intake re torqued after 10 minutes break in time, no vacuum leaks that I can find (all vacuum lines are plugged except the line from carb base to pvc), starts easily and sounds normal when running (which is why I don't see how I could be 180 off). The problem is that after a few minutes the headers get red hot and temp starts to rise. I've shut it down when it goes over 195. I've read that it's caused by timing being retarded, running too lean or rich or valves being too tight and exhaust valves not closing. (I checked with the engine builder and he assured me they were adjusted correctly). What am I missing? Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yesterday when I tried it I did let it get up to 200 before I shut it off so it looks like it wants to keep getting higher. It does puke out fluid but I do know that that's not that unusual. Never had this problem breaking in a cam before so I don't know how high I can let it get to without causing serious problems.
 

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Are the headers glowing? 'Red hot' is pretty subjective. That may indicate a problem. It may not. Aside from the combustion chamber, this is probably the hottest part of the engine.
Coolant reading at 195° is not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely glowing. As I mentioned in an earlier reply, yesterday I let it get up to 200 and it looked like it was going to keep going. Just not sure how high I can let it go safely.
 

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Factory thermostat was a 195...as that is a good temp for engine to operate at. 210 is not uncommon...beyond that is when to get worried...
 

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My shop manual shows the thermostat opening at 188-195 and fully open at 210-212.
Show us a picture of your cooling system and glowing headers.
 

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Every cam break in I've done, the headers were glowing a dull red. That's why the header mfrs tell you not to break in a cam with their coated headers.

195° is fine. I'd only be concerned if it went over 220°.
 

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Every cam break in I've done, the headers were glowing a dull red. That's why the header mfrs tell you not to break in a cam with their coated headers.
Odd. When you install these headers, do they also tell you not to cruise on the highway?
 

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Others have you pretty well covered. Just make sure your belts are there :) When I did my cam break in I shredded the alternator belt in the first minute because it was loose. Figured I didn't need my alternator for the breakin. Then I kept wondering why it kept overheating after 5 minutes of running at 2000 rpms:LOL:
 

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How Red is “Red Hot”,.....cherry red, like glowing?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all of your reply's. I think the first thing I'm going to do is start off by double checking TDC. I'll also double check my thermostat. I've read that the mfrs say to break in the cam before installing your headers because glowing headers aren't that unusual especially if you have thin walled headers which my Patriot's are. The next time I start it I'll take a pic to post to show how glowing red they get. At least I know now I can let it get a little warmer without damaging something. Thanks again for all of your responses.
 

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Do you have mufflers?

You say "all the vacuum lines are plugged except the pcv." What about vacuum advance to your distributor?

When I started my car for the first time I had a couple fans blowing at the front of the car. Mostly to encourage fumes and exhaust to go out my garage door.
 

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Thanks for all of your reply's. I think the first thing I'm going to do is start off by double checking TDC. I'll also double check my thermostat. I've read that the mfrs say to break in the cam before installing your headers because glowing headers aren't that unusual especially if you have thin walled headers which my Patriot's are. The next time I start it I'll take a pic to post to show how glowing red they get. At least I know now I can let it get a little warmer without damaging something. Thanks again for all of your responses.
There are a couple of ways to tell how hot the headers are.
1) touch them when they glow and when you get back from the emergency room let us know if it’s 2nd or 3rd degree burns... :oops::unsure:
2) buy a low cost IR temp gun

I like #2 better.
 

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