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New Camshaft Break-in Oil #4566895
11/07/17 03:07 PM
11/07/17 03:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 814
US
bunnspecial Offline OP
bunnspecial  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 814
US
I'm getting ready to throw a new cam(and lifters) in my MG. I won't be don't any other work to the engine at the time aside from the things I'm directly disturbing with the cam(new timing chain, gears, etc).

The engine is more or less stock with relatively mild(albeit new) valve spring pressures. I think they're 80lbs or so. The new camshaft will have more lift than stock, but it's still a street cam.

I know this has been discussed at some length here, but what's the favored break-in oil these days? I normally run VR-1 20W-50, but am open to anything since I know the first few minutes with a new cam can pretty well dictate the rest of its life. Assuming it's still the recommended procedure, my plan is to run the new cam for 20-30 minutes at 2-3K, change the oil, and then change it again after 200 miles of driving.

BTW, this IS a flat tappet engine.


2010 Lincoln MKZ-Mobil 1 5W-30
1970 MG MGB Roadster-Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4566924
11/07/17 03:38 PM
11/07/17 03:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,541
Ontario, Canada
StevieC Offline
StevieC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,541
Ontario, Canada
For me this is what I would do. I used this in my Austin Mini.

Start with this:

https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/motor-oil/racing/break-in-oil-(sae-30)/


Then follow with this:

https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/motor-oil/gasoline/z-rod-10w-30-synthetic-motor-oil/

Last edited by StevieC; 11/07/17 03:38 PM.

'18 Highlander - AMSOIL SS 0w20 / ATF / Severe Gear
'06 Santa Fe - 535,000km AMSOIL SS 0w30 / ATF (R.I.P)
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4567025
11/07/17 05:19 PM
11/07/17 05:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 63
Pennsylvania
340_Magnum Offline
340_Magnum  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 63
Pennsylvania
I've always used Brad Penn's Penn Grade 1 30wt. break-in oil when breaking in new flat tappet cams. Works great and is only about five bucks per quart.

Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4567209
11/07/17 09:15 PM
11/07/17 09:15 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,049
North Carolina
spasm3 Offline
spasm3  Offline
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,049
North Carolina
Worth it to use a break in oil on a flat tappet. Decades ago we used diesel as thats all we had that was high zinc. I would put some moly paste on the face of the lifters and a light coat on the cam lobes. Pour oil over the top end rockers and cam after assembly. Fill the lifters if hydraulic with oil( i have set them in a large coffee can of oil overnight).

You are right to not let it idle, let it run from 1800- 2500 for say 20 minutes to splash lube the cam. I have heard of a newer break-in, I think Trav may have posted some time back. It was run the engine at no less than 2000 rpm for 10 minutes, let it cool then run it again for 10 minutes at the same minimum rpm.

The nice thing, is that your spring pressures are not that stout ( just don't float them).


I have used diesel, but nowadays if i was doing a flat tappet, i'd use amsoil break-in, or brad penn without hesitation.

Last edited by spasm3; 11/07/17 09:28 PM.

13 elantra 70k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche79k synpwr 10w30
01 saturnsc1 185k synpwr rebuilt
17 mazda cx-5 5600 miles m1 0w30
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4567221
11/07/17 09:28 PM
11/07/17 09:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
Use a good high moly assembly lube and high zinc oil.

Let us know how it goes


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4567303
11/07/17 11:47 PM
11/07/17 11:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,858
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,858
Kalifornia Kollective
OK, step one - use Crane Cams moly cam assembly lube. Others might work ... But the Crane Cam goo is excellent and it will help the cam until enough sling oil is available to completely lube it.

Step two - have the oil pup primed and have the motor timed so you can get it up to around 2,000 RPM for at least the first 5 minutes. 20 minutes at varying throttle above and below 2,000 RPM would be best, but with low pressure OEM springs 5 minutes will do.

Step three - use any high quality name brand oil that has 1,200 PPM of ZDDP. Brad Penn will certainly work very well. Valvoline VR-1 Silver Bottle will work. Chevron Delo 400 15W-30 SD (Severe Duty) will work. Most of these are available on Amazon. Many HDEO's will work. I use the Chevron SD for engine rebuild break-ins. Works well, even with much heavier spring pressures than you have.

Step four - use a magnetic drain plug and inspect it at 100 & 500 miles. You can undo and hold your thumb over the hole while you look it over. Very fine fuzz is maybe OK. Any sharp or shiny bits is a no-no. Figure out why it's happening ASAP.

Last edited by BrocLuno; 11/07/17 11:49 PM.

Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4567314
11/07/17 11:59 PM
11/07/17 11:59 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 246
Hawaii, USA
anndel Offline
anndel  Offline
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 246
Hawaii, USA
When I rebuilt a Toyota 22RE engine, I installed a new cam, new head, pistons, rings, etc., and used Joe Gibbs Driven Assembly Grease and Break in Oil for about 400 miles then changed it to Amsoil SS 10W-30.

Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4567840
11/08/17 02:13 PM
11/08/17 02:13 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 814
US
bunnspecial Offline OP
bunnspecial  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 814
US
Thanks everyone for the good suggestions and options. I'll get some of the Crane lube.

I'll look at the oil options. As I said, I know and am comfortable with VR-1(silver bottle) but might do SAE 30 instead of 20W-50 for the initial run in since that was suggested. Otherwise, I'll go with the Brad Penn SAE 30.

This engine has solid lifters, so that isn't a concern. I'll get the timing dead on(I actually haven't static timed it in a while, but I'll check that before tearing it down and set it at the same value as currently since I know the car fires right up), but I don't think there's a good way to prime the oil pump on this engine.


2010 Lincoln MKZ-Mobil 1 5W-30
1970 MG MGB Roadster-Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4568308
11/08/17 09:47 PM
11/08/17 09:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
Use assembly grease on the pump gears.
Prefill oil filter?


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4568344
11/08/17 10:22 PM
11/08/17 10:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,858
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,858
Kalifornia Kollective
Yup, that'll help smile


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4568357
11/08/17 10:33 PM
11/08/17 10:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,003
Cajun Country, La.
BlueOvalFitter Offline
BlueOvalFitter  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,003
Cajun Country, La.
Originally Posted By: bunnspecial
I'm getting ready to throw a new cam(and lifters) in my MG. I won't be don't any other work to the engine at the time aside from the things I'm directly disturbing with the cam(new timing chain, gears, etc).

The engine is more or less stock with relatively mild(albeit new) valve spring pressures. I think they're 80lbs or so. The new camshaft will have more lift than stock, but it's still a street cam.

I know this has been discussed at some length here, but what's the favored break-in oil these days? I normally run VR-1 20W-50, but am open to anything since I know the first few minutes with a new cam can pretty well dictate the rest of its life. Assuming it's still the recommended procedure, my plan is to run the new cam for 20-30 minutes at 2-3K, change the oil, and then change it again after 200 miles of driving.

BTW, this IS a flat tappet engine.

I have built/rebuilt about 30-35 small block Chevy engines. Every camshaft was broken in with SAE 30 wt. oil for 20 minutes at 2200 rpm. I would change the oil and filter using either 5W30 or 10W30 dino oil, then again at 500 miles. After that I recommended 3-5K OCI's with dino or synthetic 5W30 or 10W30.

Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4568503
11/09/17 07:18 AM
11/09/17 07:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 354
West Yorkshire, UK
NGRhodes Offline
NGRhodes  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 354
West Yorkshire, UK
Whatever the cam manufacturer recommends, as you don't need to worry about breaking in rest of engine.
If you have any issues, they can't complain it was installed wrong.

Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4568530
11/09/17 07:51 AM
11/09/17 07:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 63
Pennsylvania
340_Magnum Offline
340_Magnum  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 63
Pennsylvania
Remember Brad Penn Penn Grade 1 offers two 30 weights. One is a regular performance oil and one is a break-in oil. Obviously make sure you get the break-in oil. Penn Grade 1 offers a wide range of oils that are great for engines with flat tappet cams as long as you don't have catalytic converters.

Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: NGRhodes] #4568660
11/09/17 10:21 AM
11/09/17 10:21 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 814
US
bunnspecial Offline OP
bunnspecial  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 814
US
Originally Posted By: NGRhodes
Whatever the cam manufacturer recommends, as you don't need to worry about breaking in rest of engine.
If you have any issues, they can't complain it was installed wrong.


Good point on that.

The cam maker includes a 10g tub of assembly lube(which I'm guessing is probably repackaged Crane lube) with instructions that "if you need more than we supply, you're using too much" so at least that's one thing to not worry about.

Their website is a bit of a mess, so I can't pull the full break-in instructions but I'm assuming they'll come with the cam. If not, I'll pester them to send them to me.

At least in the US, aftermarket BMC B engine parts are enough of a niche market that there are only two or three major suppliers for cams. The well known ones tend to have pretty good customer support.

Incidentally, I buy most of my parts through a reseller. The resller I use actually manufactures the cam blanks that the major suppliers grind into cams, so things come a bit full circle. If I follow the instructions they supply, I have two people to blame if something goes south smile .

BTW, the only emissions system on this car is the PCV system. It would have had an EGR valve and smog pump when new, but those were long gone before I bought the car.


2010 Lincoln MKZ-Mobil 1 5W-30
1970 MG MGB Roadster-Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Re: New Camshaft Break-in Oil [Re: bunnspecial] #4568741
11/09/17 11:30 AM
11/09/17 11:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 325
Rockies
Scdevon Offline
Scdevon  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 325
Rockies
What's really lame is how oil companies are allowed to conceal the amount of anti-wear additives in their oil under "proprietary secrets".
If modern oils are fatal or harmful to flat tappets, doesn't this open up a liability issue? There are still tens of millions of cars on the road with flat tappet cams. Wouldn't a company like Mobil want to print a warning on bottles of Mobile One that adding a low ZDDP oil is "slow death" to your flat tappet cam? Wouldn't they be risking a huge class action lawsuit from owners of wiped out flat tappet cams? (Good luck proving it I guess).

Is it possible that an 800 ppm zinc modern oil formulation is as good as a 1300 ppm oil from decades ago with modern formulations and that a company like Mobile could prove it in a court of law if they needed to? Is Brad Penn oil really better for a flat tappet cam than Mobile One?

("Better" as in a Mobile petroleum engineer testifying in a court of law with tens of millions of dollars at stake defending a class action lawsuit from flat tappet cam victims).

Last edited by Scdevon; 11/09/17 11:37 AM.

2003 Mustang Mach 1. 32V 4.6 Liter. Motorcraft Syn Blend 5W30
1970 Mustang Convertible 302-2V Auto (Stock) M/C 10W30
1970 VW Beetle 1600 DP
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