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We typically heat cycle them 2-3x, then run it as it's intended. - If the rings ain't seated by then they aren't going to, and if its gonna come apart its going to no matter how long you were easy on it before hand.
What temp to you run it up to, and how long do you run it after it reaches that temp?
 

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Old friend of mine when I said what is the best way to break a motor in. One of the many times i was helping him we get ready to fire up the new motor hands me 7 qts of 10/40 penz. I fill up the filter put the rest in the motor. Do our final checks he fires it up nasty mean and pissed off s/s motor 427. Oil pressure 85 lbs, water 145, timing set, runs motor up to 3500 for about 30 seconds and shuts it off. I said it is broke in? Maybe ran 3-4 minutes. He says its ready, drain the oil and lets ck the filter. All looks great. Put new oil 10/40 penz and a new filter he says lets load it up. We gonna make a test hit. Im like ok. We load it up take it to this old road lots of guys ran shit there. I am thinking oh he will make a light hit. NOPE 6500 rpm burnout makes a full hit shifts it at 9200. He says felt good, did some checks ran it again left like a rocket ship clean and crisp. Comes back yup its ready. Go to the track the following weak breaks the national record. He says so much for having to break it in kid if it is built right no need for all that bullshit they are ready to run after the first minute of being fired up stop reading all those magazines. Well after learning a great deal from him as always I have done it the same way for 30 years never had a failure on a breaking in a motor. I just think there is to much hype srrounded by all these break in oils etc back then we had none of that.
 

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As much because my garage is not as sanitary as a pro engine room as anything else, I am changing oil after a few hits anyway. Therefore, I figure why not use break in oil? Otherwise, I use the above process unless it is a flat tappet. Yes, some guys still run these.
 

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Varies totally with the type of engine, ring and application.

If its an endurance engine that will be run many miles before a rebuild then you want to take the time to bed in the rings under moderate rpm and load as shown in the video then make a few pulls to verify and finalize the process.

If its a 3000 hp drag race engine with an inch plus of valve lift then you do not have the luxury of going through a couple of sets of springs and a set of lifters just to seat the rings.

That said running the engine with no load and god forbid no load and high rpm are always a no no regardless of the build.
 

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2,000 miles ?

Run it down the street a few times in 2nd gear and or find a grade to pull and then drop the oil, check the filter and then run the piss out of it. 2,000 miles is a great waste of time and gasoline.
Well it’s not like you aren’t driving it anyway!
 

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If its an endurance engine that will be run many miles before a rebuild then you want to take the time to bed in the rings under moderate rpm and load as shown in the video then make a few pulls to verify and finalize the process.
As you probably know, I've been around a few endurance engines. We have tried just about every single break in procedure over the years, mostly due to our past extensive use of flat tappet cams, but also in the quest for ring sealing and performance. Through this testing, we have found that if quality parts are used, and the hone is round and straight, with the proper finish, there is really nothing to a special oil or extended break in procedure. As I have mentioned, we run our engines at around 3000 rpm with about 50-75lbs of load, until things get warm enough to start making pulls. In our case, it is 160* oil in temp. This is usually about 5-10 minutes or so. Then, we start making full sweeps until full operating temp is achieved. At this point we do a hot valve adjust, change the oil filter, and run a 20-30 race lap track simulation to bed the engine in. Then, we begin testing. That is our break in procedure, and oddly enough, it is done with the same full synthetic oil we race.
Now you can say that we have really nice parts and equipment, and we do. But in the times of when most everyone is using a profilometer to measure every single cylinder they hone (we don't) and most today using similar ring designs and face coatings, there is no reason imo, to have to circle chicken bones, and use some special oils and procedures to "finish machining the parts"!

Just my 2 cents.......
 

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Get it up to operating temp, and then beat the shit out of it!
Change and inspect the filter after the warm up and first few romps.
THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^. Now MAYBE, just MAYBE you won't get 700,000 miles out of it doing the above, but maybe you will???? We always do what WARP said. YRS ago a buddy who is a good Cleveland engine guy, built my buddies 440 Mopar. Popped the motor about a week before going to big show down south IN Duquoin IL. Motor fired the first time after rebuild, warmed up and builder said "take it out front and make a couple FULL passes". Said "IF it breaks, might as well be where we don't need to push it very far"! Made it the 11hrs each way to the show and was still fine 5 yrs later when he sold the car.
 

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I never believed in all the elixirs and powders - just use oil. I fire them up. Check for timing, leaks and whatnot. Get them up to oil temp and water temp for 10 or 15 minutes. Then I will make a couple progressively longer short pulls to look at A/F and make sure everything looks, loads and sounds OK. Cut an oil filter and check lash if needed. Then start working it. By the third or fourth full pull they seem to stabilize and repeat numbers & I tune from there. Maybe 30 minutes from first fire to trying to kill it. We use break in oil on flat tappets, normal dinosaur oil on rollers. Nothing fancy since I assume we'll be throwing it away after we're done.
 

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I never believed in all the elixirs and powders - just use oil. I fire them up. Check for timing, leaks and whatnot. Get them up to oil temp and water temp for 10 or 15 minutes. Then I will make a couple progressively longer short pulls to look at A/F and make sure everything looks, loads and sounds OK. Cut an oil filter and check lash if needed. Then start working it. By the third or fourth full pull they seem to stabilize and repeat numbers & I tune from there. Maybe 30 minutes from first fire to trying to kill it. We use break in oil on flat tappets, normal dinosaur oil on rollers. Nothing fancy since I assume we'll be throwing it away after we're done
Do you use oil on the cylinder walls or something like wd40? How much oil on the rings/ring lands?
 

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Do you use oil on the cylinder walls or something like wd40? How much oil on the rings/ring lands?
We scrub cylinders down with multiple solvents. Soap & water. Thinner. WD40. Seems like different stuff removes different crud. Honing with Diamonds seems like they are easier to clean - old vitreous stones left more embedded dirt as they broke down. Once clean its just oil - thin film massaged onto rings, skirts and walls.
 

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In case anyone is curious, this is how the OEMs break-in their engines. This was per a conversation with a former (now retired) engineer for FCA.

"Regarding the break-in of an engine you are spot on there are a billion theories, experiences etc. I'll give you the short version of what we had data on in the dynos specific to the Hemi 5.7L V8. The blunt answer is break in's are important but with how good manufacturing is these days a "poor" break in is unlikely to show the owner much of difference from a "great" break-in. That is mostly because engines rarely are in one owners hands for that long and engines rarely ever actually see the end of the mechanical life before their financial life expires. I think that is the core of where the debate comes from and yes it is super frustrating.

Anyway, we did to break-in's on all dyno engines and the data shows less wear when we did. Therefor is became a standard procedure. The funny thing is most of new engine break in happens in seconds, followed by minutes and MAYBE the last 10% in hours. Essentially the first time the engine fires up every manufacturing imperfection, aka a peak and valley left by cutting/grinding tools smash into each other. That mess is spit into the oil, the oil pump sucks up huge chips (and will be just fine) then its all caught in the filter. Done. Then we spend the rest of the time arguing the last 10% of wear that is going to happen and how to best polish the results.

Regarding that last bit, it does have some science to it. Because the all the high spots are still "higher" but not "high enough" to wear down in seconds the engine will take some time to polish these out. There is where the "take it easy" at first comes from because these areas are being worn down and creating heat. If they get too hot (excessive RPM, load) they make expand relative to their neighboring parts and score the surface. Causing damage to bearing surfaces and ultimately lowering the performance of the journal bearings, cam bores, piston skirt whatever. So after initial break-in (aka starting the darn thing) we would sweep the engines through low to medium RPM and load cycles for about 1 hour with a few high RPM and lighter load runs. The sweeping allows for the conditions in the engine to change. That way we could both wear down high spots as well as flush and cool those areas. We never spent very much time and any single RPM or load and that is the key to a good break in. An almost impossible feat on the road (city cycle is best, clearly). We did in the last 15 min run it up and do a few WOT runs but again we quickly brought the engine back down to low load. Allowing any "hot spots" too cool and flush out debris. We would then start the actual test after changing the oil and filter. This to my knowledge was and is still accepted by chrysler engineering teams and shown to be best of the engine long term. I believe they run each hellcat on a 42min break in as well because they dont trust the customer. That is also very important for the supercharger. Long story there. Fun fact but shows the value.

The run it hard theory isn't exactly all that different but the key is I am sure those who are "running it hard for break in" are still sweeping the loads and RPM's just like our cycle. It's just faster and you MIGHT get away with it. You also might have a tight spot that is interfering at high load and high rpm and, because you wont give it a break to cool and flush your steel cam is eating your aluminum cam bearing alive. Now its sloppy and will only last 345K vs. 550K haha. Doesn't matter because it'll rust in half at 290K in a farm field. Also, based on the stack up tolerances, you have no tight spots large enough to matter. So it's just fine.

Me personally, with the data I have seen, I'll take the city cycle with a few fun light to light burns and do an oil change at my convience anytime between 500-1000mi. I personally would have nightmares of my piston rings microscopically melting to my cylinder walls and pitting/scoring the bores for lift with the run it hard approach. Hope this sheds some light on the problem.

PS Trans and drive axles have break in too, exact same problems. I wonder why nobody every talks about those! haha.
"
 

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I remember asking a certain well known member here who raced 10.5 and Promod how he broke in his engines. He told me "this is a race engine, they don't break in they wear out". Haha, straight from the engine builder to the track. I about shit.
 

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One guy on a motorcycle forum bought two identical bikes.Broke one in by the book. The other one went right to the racetrack. The one broke in by the book used more oil and made less horsepower than the one that got beat on early. His theory was,seating the rings as early as possible kept the carbon to a minimum and lead to less leak down.
That actually sounds more like that website that got passed around for years where the guy recommended to do that and claimed to have all this evidence from extensive testing versus standard break-in procedures. Mototune or something?


Edit: Wow. Can't believe I remembered that.

 
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As you probably know, I've been around a few endurance engines. We have tried just about every single break in procedure over the years, mostly due to our past extensive use of flat tappet cams, but also in the quest for ring sealing and performance. Through this testing, we have found that if quality parts are used, and the hone is round and straight, with the proper finish, there is really nothing to a special oil or extended break in procedure. As I have mentioned, we run our engines at around 3000 rpm with about 50-75lbs of load, until things get warm enough to start making pulls. In our case, it is 160* oil in temp. This is usually about 5-10 minutes or so. Then, we start making full sweeps until full operating temp is achieved. At this point we do a hot valve adjust, change the oil filter, and run a 20-30 race lap track simulation to bed the engine in. Then, we begin testing. That is our break in procedure, and oddly enough, it is done with the same full synthetic oil we race.
Now you can say that we have really nice parts and equipment, and we do. But in the times of when most everyone is using a profilometer to measure every single cylinder they hone (we don't) and most today using similar ring designs and face coatings, there is no reason imo, to have to circle chicken bones, and use some special oils and procedures to "finish machining the parts"!

Just my 2 cents.......

Jay
Do you guys use diamond honing heads/stones and do you finish with a plateau brush?
 

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Jay
Do you guys use diamond honing heads/stones and do you finish with a plateau brush?
No, haven't found anything there yet, but always looking!
 
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