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1966 C Code Coupe / 1970 Mach 1 351C
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading several posts on here about lifter failures and wiped cam lobes, I had an idea that I wanted to get opinions on. I have a 351 C 4V, Crower hydraulic lifters and pushrods, stock rocker arms, and a Summit SUM-5201 cam (which is a renamed Elgin E-CL225-P). My engine is completely put together, and I am waiting on the car from the body shop, which should be in a week or two. I placed plenty of assembly lube on the camshaft and lifters, so I know it is well lubricated.

What I was thinking was - to drain the oil currently in it, and put enough of the Lucas Engine Break-in Oil additive to cover the suction on the oil pump, and then pump the additive throughout the system using the distributor drill technique. It comes in 16 oz. bottles, so I figured 3 quarts should cover the pump suction. This way I will know that everything is covered with ZDDP. After that, I plan on draining the ZDDP and put Valvoline VR-1 prior to startup. It would cost me about $100 to do this, but much cheaper than pulling the engine if it failed.

Any comments, concerns? It maybe is just a dumb idea from someone who is nervous about the startup.
 

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1966 C Code Coupe / 1970 Mach 1 351C
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KB, lifter break - in is more complicated than just lots of zddp, and there IS such a thing as too much. Many 'break in' oils are just plain crap, Lucas among them.. Its true Lucas DOES make other stuff thats good, but I wouldn't use their break in oil if you paid me. LSG
Crower recommends ZDDPPlus - would something like that work better?
 

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I think it is just a crap shoot whether you wind up getting a set of properly made lifters and a cam with the proper treatment on the lobes or not. I saw a newly built billet pro mod big block that wound up with a flat lobe shortly after they fired and tested it. I'm sure they did everything correct and it still had a lobe fail.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't still break it in properly but you can do everything absolutely correct and you still might have a lobe or lifter failure. Using higher quality lifters and cam may help but that is not a guarantee.

Some of the failures might be due to people not following the manufacturer's break in process. Some of it might be due to not pulling out the inner spring on higher tension valve springs too. Sometimes people will build an engine and then not crank it for months or longer and I think that is a problem too.
 

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I use this twice on my FE. The first time. A cracked block prompted the cam be reinstalled in another block and broke in again. The second time the lifters were not on the original lobes. The lifter tray was knocked over and scattered. I had no issue with the second break-in.
I swear by both of these products. Use them, you probably won't have an issue with your break-in. Change the Penn Grade 30WT break in oil after break in. Change the oil again after the initial break-in with the same Penn-grade and run it for 500 miles. Then you can move on to something more readily available like 20-50 VR1. The oil is green. There are no Leprechauns in the product! :rolleyes:

 
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I've heard of this repeatedly...."not pulling out the inner spring on higher tension valve springs too".
I feel, is an 80% or higher, reason for failure. ...and, with the proliferation of the low-life products we're getting these days, this is more reason to remove them. I know this is a PITA, but, it's what we're faced with in lieu of going "roller".
 

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1965 Mustang GT. 11.898 @ 113.646, all motor, three pedals
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I've heard of this repeatedly...."not pulling out the inner spring on higher tension valve springs too".
I feel, is an 80% or higher, reason for failure. ...and, with the proliferation of the low-life products we're getting these days, this is more reason to remove them. I know this is a PITA, but, it's what we're faced with in lieu of going "roller".
There it is^
When the instructions are followed exactly as written, failures are almost non-existent. Choices:

1) Remove inner springs. Costs you nothing but time and hassle
2) Use low-ratio break-in rockers. Faster/easier but not cheap
3) Ignore the instructions. Roll the dice, but the odds favor the house (not you)
 
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You must keep the RPMs up @ 2000 during the first 20 minutes, while setting the ignition timing and keeping an eye out for leaks. The cam to lifter surface has no oil pressure. You need to keep the RPMs up to insure enough oil volume for dripping and splashing.
 

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Crower is very specific about their flat tappet cam break in procedures and calls out a non-detergent 30wt oil. I would call them and ask for a brand-specific recommendation for the oil. If they won't, I'd use Valvoline VR-1 30wt oil for the cam break in period. Add the bottle of ZDDP that Crower recommends and follow their procedure. It's $32 for 6 quarts on Amazon.

Follow their standard start up and cam break in procedures.


Product Font Material property Parallel Screenshot
 

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Don’t overthink it. Ruined cams and lifters get a lot internet play and if you listen to all of it the next thing you know the sky will be falling too. In reality the percentage of failures is extremely rare.

…..and btw have you seen the conclusive evidence that the earth is flat and the moon landing was faked ???

A batch of bad lifters from decades ago has provided the internet with enough terror fodder to last until the dinosaurs come back.

Just put in a good oil that already has the extra zinc / phosphorus in it, then start the motor and run it for 20 minutes @ 2,000 rpm.

done.


I use the same oil for break in as general use, Mobil 1 15w-50 or 0w-40. Either one is better at protecting parts than a dino oil. Any decent synthetic will provide enhanced wear protection. That will benefit you just as much at break in as it does the rest of the time. There are good reasons why most of the high performance cars leaving the factories worldwide are filled with a good synthetic oil the first time they are started. No they don’t have flat tappet cams, but they do have many plain bearings and see extreme temperatures.

Z
 

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I've heard of this repeatedly...."not pulling out the inner spring on higher tension valve springs too".
I feel, is an 80% or higher, reason for failure. ...and, with the proliferation of the low-life products we're getting these days, this is more reason to remove them. I know this is a PITA, but, it's what we're faced with in lieu of going "roller".
If you're running double springs you have no choice. My springs are at about 345lb over the nose. I run the engine for about 25 minutes. Shut it down and let it cool off. Re-install the inner springs and run it again for 20 minutes more. double check the lash/ lifter preload and button it up. I then change the filter and oil with the same break-in oil and run it for 500 miles.
I also cut my oil filter open and looked thoroughly for any metal in the pleats of the cartridge. This of course is BEFORE changing the oil the second time. If it's free of metal you're good to go.
The ISKY lube does leave the oil a bit pearlescent. That's normal.
 

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After reading several posts on here about lifter failures and wiped cam lobes, I had an idea that I wanted to get opinions on. I have a 351 C 4V, Crower hydraulic lifters and pushrods, stock rocker arms, and a Summit SUM-5201 cam (which is a renamed Elgin E-CL225-P). My engine is completely put together, and I am waiting on the car from the body shop, which should be in a week or two. I placed plenty of assembly lube on the camshaft and lifters, so I know it is well lubricated.

What I was thinking was - to drain the oil currently in it, and put enough of the Lucas Engine Break-in Oil additive to cover the suction on the oil pump, and then pump the additive throughout the system using the distributor drill technique. It comes in 16 oz. bottles, so I figured 3 quarts should cover the pump suction. This way I will know that everything is covered with ZDDP. After that, I plan on draining the ZDDP and put Valvoline VR-1 prior to startup. It would cost me about $100 to do this, but much cheaper than pulling the engine if it failed.

Any comments, concerns? It maybe is just a dumb idea from someone who is nervous about the startup.
What type of assembly lube did you use?

A good high zinc oil and pre-lube before firing up should be fine, that is how we did it back in the day!!!!
 

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Crower is very specific about their flat tappet cam break in procedures and calls out a non-detergent 30wt oil. I would call them and ask for a brand-specific recommendation for the oil. If they won't, I'd use Valvoline VR-1 30wt oil for the cam break in period. Add the bottle of ZDDP that Crower recommends and follow their procedure. It's $32 for 6 quarts on Amazon.

Follow their standard start up and cam break in procedures.


View attachment 854149
What brand of race oil does not have detergent?
 

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I also run the brad penn breakin oil and run it not below 2000 for 40 min then another 20 min with an occasional blip to 3500 let it cool and then set your idle speed, fast idle and timing.


ken
 

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KB, my question about Crower's zddpplus, is if you use it according to their instructions, and it FAILS, will they warranty it ? Many cam and lifter companies are no longer warratying ANYTHING, even if you follow their instructions perfectly. If Crower says they will pay if it doesn't work, then use their stuff. But if not, then I would NOT use their stuff. We didn't use to have this problem, and we didn't used to have 'special break - in oil either. Makes you wonder, doesn't it ? I've read lots of engineering tests of the lubricity of many oils, and the 'break - in' oils all fared VERY poorly. Adding bottles of ZDDP REDUCED lubricity and made things worse. I've watched lots of engines carefully run in with break in oil fail in leass than 20 minutes. I seen the same guys try again with break in oil WITH a bottle zddp added fail in LESS THAN 10 minutes. Apparently TOO MUCH zddp can act just like sanding grit. And there is far more to lubricity than just how much zinc you have. Theres molybdenum dysulfate and manganse more things than I can remember. Z has it right here, pick a top performing synthetic if you are on your own. I like Mobil 1 0W40 FS Euro. If you like conventional oils better, how about Valvoline VR1 off road ? Overthinking this issue, and the whole imaginary need for a special 'break - in' oil has caused LOTS of guys LOTS of problems. LSG

PS, I watched a fellow have FOUR failed BBC engines using Brad Penn breakin oil. The one that failed the fastest had gotten a bottle of ZDDP oil treatment 'just because'. It chewed up the cam FASTER than other attempts. You COULD NOT PAY ME to use that stuff. I have six bottles of BP 30 wt break in. Anyone wants it, I would send it to you if you pay the shiping. Wait, cancel, that. I'm going to feed the BP to the woodstove later this year in the winter, yes, it is that bad. Now, thats my opinion. Your engine, use what you feel comfortable with. I'm sticking with my afore mentioned 0W40 Mobil 1 FS Euro.
 

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Flat tappet lifters are not flat. They have a slight crown on the bottom of the lifter. The cam lobe is machined with a slight taper which causes the lifter to ride the taper allowing the lifter to spin as it rides the lobe.

If the lifters and cam aren't properly ground, no break-in oil is going to protect the cam lobes. I know your engine is already put together, but if it were me, I would take a day and remove the lifters and cam and mic them for proper machining and then put the engine back together. I know it's a PITA, but if some poor quality parts made it to your engine, you'll be spending a lot more than a day taking the engine out of the car, tearing it down completely, rebuilding it and then putting the engine back in the car.

For the lifters, you can simply put them on a flat piece of glass and then see if they rock back and forth slightly. If they don't rock, the crown was not machined into the bottom of the lifter. The is a crude procedure, but you'll quickly be able to verify that there is or is not a crown on the bottom of the lifter.
 

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KB, my question about Crower's zddpplus, is if you use it according to their instructions, and it FAILS, will they warranty it ? Many cam and lifter companies are no longer warratying ANYTHING, even if you follow their instructions perfectly. If Crower says they will pay if it doesn't work, then use their stuff. But if not, then I would NOT use their stuff. We didn't use to have this problem, and we didn't used to have 'special break - in oil either. Makes you wonder, doesn't it ? I've read lots of engineering tests of the lubricity of many oils, and the 'break - in' oils all fared VERY poorly. Adding bottles of ZDDP REDUCED lubricity and made things worse. I've watched lots of engines carefully run in with break in oil fail in leass than 20 minutes. I seen the same guys try again with break in oil WITH a bottle zddp added fail in LESS THAN 10 minutes. Apparently TOO MUCH zddp can act just like sanding grit. And there is far more to lubricity than just how much zinc you have. Theres molybdenum dysulfate and manganse more things than I can remember. Z has it right here, pick a top performing synthetic if you are on your own. I like Mobil 1 0W40 FS Euro. If you like conventional oils better, how about Valvoline VR1 off road ? Overthinking this issue, and the whole imaginary need for a special 'break - in' oil has caused LOTS of guys LOTS of problems. LSG

PS, I watched a fellow have FOUR failed BBC engines using Brad Penn breakin oil. The one that failed the fastest had gotten a bottle of ZDDP oil treatment 'just because'. It chewed up the cam FASTER than other attempts. You COULD NOT PAY ME to use that stuff. I have six bottles of BP 30 wt break in. Anyone wants it, I would send it to you if you pay the shiping. Wait, cancel, that. I'm going to feed the BP to the woodstove later this year in the winter, yes, it is that bad. Now, thats my opinion. Your engine, use what you feel comfortable with. I'm sticking with my afore mentioned 0W40 Mobil 1 FS Euro.
The idea of too much ZDDP being bad is also documented in


Use the F3 key to open the search dialog box and search things like Brad Penn and ZDDP.

540 Rat gets some criticism on the interwebs, but his testing and logic around the results makes engineering sense.
 
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