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Discussion Starter #1
Getting ready to start engine #4. Seeking recommendations on the proper oil to use.

Here's the motor:
68 302 Block cleaned and machined, new SCAT 331 rotating assembly
Camshaft and roller lifters from previous engine (1 year old)
New AFR heads
New oil cooler

Being that the cam is already run, and matched the lifters back in original position during re-assembly, and they are roller, do I still need a specific break in oil for the first start? I will prime the pump with a drill prior to putting in the distributor. (BTW, run drill CW or CCW to prime?)

Would like to hear thoughts, opinion, recommendations

Many thanks in advance,

Dan
 

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309 Posts
302 pump turns CCW. I used Brad Penn 20W-50 for break in and normal operation. Great product and never had an issue on two motors.

Scott
 

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Rotor turns ccw in dizzy so prime same direction.
 

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No, you do not. I always start the engine on the cheapest 5W-30 SAE motor oil I can find. Wally World works just fine. I run it through 4-5 heat cycles in the garage - set timing and idle, adjust mixture, look for leaks, etc.

Then change oil and filter. Using the same cheap oil works great. Then I run it through 3-4 gentle heat cycles on the street. Getting it tuned and such.

Then I change to a real synthetic oil, with a quality filter. A few more heat cycles, drive it like I stole it, change it again. The 3rd/last change probably isn't really necessary. But it purges out the majority of the cheap oil. And it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. ;)
 

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with a roller cam, "break in" oil is not really needed. the viscosity needed is determined by the clearances that the engine is built with. if they are close to standard specs, a 10 w 30 will be appropriate (includes 5 w30 to 10 w 40)
 

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I just called Tristar Engines, they built my 408 Windsor. It has similar components to your 331. Ryan there said to use good quality non synthetic for 500 miles. Refill with non synthetic and change that at 3000 miles. Then you can use synthetic if you choose. My add is to change it if it looks dirty, but you knew that.

Glen
 

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I agree with the others, cheap 5-30, run it 500 miles and change to a brand name 10-30. No need for 20W50 in these engines, it robs HP and stresses out the oil pump shaft and distributor/cam gear. I was always told that 10 psi for every 1000 rpms is plenty. The quality of the oil is more important than the viscosity since you can get any brand in any viscosity. NAPA has had pretty good prices on oil where we live, not sure if you have Napa near you. Napa gold filters are good too so its a one stop shop for my oil changes. If the oil is dirty that means its doing its job although it may not even look dirty after 500 miles if your engine builder had a clean environment to assemble and all the parts were good and clean to start with. My last engine that I assembled for this years Hot Rod Power Tour went 2500 miles in a week on the break-in oil, I changed it when we got back home and it still wasnt that dirty. Good Luck on fireup and with engine #4 overall.

Mike
 

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Might want to cut open the oil filter after first oil change and make sure its not "making metal" for peace of mind.
Also prime your fuel system to pressure (if EFI) and check for seepage/leaks before trying to start. keep the hose and a fire extinguisher nearby.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, Saturday Morning (10/5/19), it started with very little fanfare. Friday night I finished putting it all together, and spun the oil pump with an old Dizzy shaft for a ling run, making lots of oil pressure. Did put in inexpensive 10w30 for the first fire. Then put the distributor in.

Hooked up the fuel, made sure no leaks under pressure. First just spun the motor with no ignition, listening for noises, anything abnormal.

Ignition and fuel on, set timing, sounded normal, got a sputter. Second crank, it started right up, rough idle, but ran. Smoothed out, and idled. No noises, leaks, ran! Finished the break in, and out for a run! Smooth, powerful, good.

Out for a long highway run, watched the oil temp slowly decline (Car does have an oil cooler), and all temps fully stabilize. After 30 minutes of constant temp, brought it home.

One more round of break-in drives, then an oil change for something good.
 
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