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Discussion Starter #1
While hunting around for information on break-in and flat tappet cam lifter information, I came accross a post regarding a guy having problems wiping out his cam repeatedly after break-in.

Somebody mentioned he should use Valvoline VR1 racing oil which has a zinc additive that prevents galling of the cam lobes.

I guess today's motor oils like your typical $2 quart of multi-vis type oil no longer contain enough of the lubricating additives that they used to have in them, and it's causing problems for flat tappet cam engines.

I have heard this from other race motor builders recently, so I think it's a legitimate concern. I will be using nothing but VR1 in my motor from break-in period onward.
 

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Wurf,

It seems to be true that the latest SM oils have even less zinc than the SL rated oils. Something about long term effects on the cats. There are also some very good fleet oils worth considering such as Rotella (available in both dino and synthetic) aswell as Mobil's Delvac and Cheveron's Delo-400. They all contain higher levels of zinc as compared to the regular car oils. For flat tappet break in maybe consider using GM's E.O.S. (Engine Oil Supplement) it has a large dose of zinc in it.

I broke in my Craft 347 with Valvoline VR-1. It is easy to find at either Pep Boys or NAPA but usually they only carry 20W50. 10W30 is also available and that is what I used.

For some very interesting reading go to www.bobistheoilguy.com There is more information about oil than you can shake a stick at. A lot of the "opinions" are backed by actual oil analysis. Very interesting stuff. For some fun, just do a search on your favorite brand of oil...


Olli

P.S. see you and Julie in June??
 

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There has been several post about flat tappet cam failures. The camshaft mfg. are pushing for engine start-ups with only a single valve spring to take some of the preload off the cam during the first start or break in . If your cam was coated with a good amount of cam lube when built just prelube your engine set the timming and go for a start. You need to run your engine above 2000 RPM to get the particles of oil to lube your lifter and lobes in the first cycle. They make new lifters that have EDM hole in the center of the lifter so they can handel higher loads. You just need your choice of lube and lot of it on start and don't grind on the starter for 20 min.
 

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Never wiped out a cam in 30 years so heres my take on the subject.

1.Lightly Lube the cam with cam lube
2.Insure the tappets rotate freely in the lifter bore (very important!).
3.Put a little cam lube on the bottom of each tappet (do not put cam lube on the sides of the lifter...oil the lifter sides).
4.Add a bottle of crane cam additive to 10w-30 or straight 30 conventional motor oil.
5. Prelube the motor with an electric drill rotating the crank by hand through 2 rotations.
6.Get you motor dialed in so it starts right away not 10 minutes after you crank the starter.
7.Run the motor between 1200 and 3000 RPM for a min of 15 to 20 minutes up and down the RPM range.
8.Cool the motor down to 100 degrees.
9. Repeat step 6.
10. Adjust the valves and set the timing and the idle.
11. Change the oil and put fresh oil in and another bottle of crane cam break in lube.
12. Another oil change 500 to 1000 miles after step 11 .

Do the above and I don't see the need to remove the inner springs or any other tricks. Most important , lfters must rotate freely in the lifter bore , if they don't figure out what the issue is and use a brake cylinder hone on the lifter bores if necessary.
 

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As for oil I use 10-30 Valvoline Racing VR1 in the performance cars . For break in if you use the Crane Lube in a bottle I talked about above you can use Castrol 10-30W or equiv. for the break in exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Olli - guys...Thanks for the replies.

Solid lifters are available with the EDM hole but not hydraulics. I wanted to try a set and discovered this myself.

Heard about the single spring for break-in, however Comp does not specify doing this as far as I am aware. I know it can't hurt, but why bother if it's not required? This cam has been broken in once before and it was done right.

The Crane break-in lube sounds like a great idea. I have seen this someplace but hadn't considered it and don't know anybody who has tried it. I will definitely try this stuff - cheap insurance.

I have some Castrol 20W-50W but I think I'll just buy some cheap quarts of 30W instead, and pickup the VR1 oil at the same time. I think the 20-50 is too heavy.

Thanks again guys

Steve
 

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Steve - Remove the inner springs and don't worry about getting the cam moly on the sides of the lifters.
I've not used the break-in lube, but it can't hurt. I typically use a good high detergent 10w30 oil in this step.

One thing to make sure of - when you are breaking it in - don't let it idle for even a moment - you have to keep a good bath of oil on those lobes. Also it's a real good idea to have a garden hose with sprayer handy so you can spray down the radiator if she starts getting too hot during the break-in process. If you have to shut it down in the middle of the break-in, the cam is going to have to make a dry start when she cools off and you are taking a chance at tearing up the lobes / lifter faces.
 

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Avoid the cam lube on the sides of the lifters , If your lifters don't rotate freely you will wipe out the cam....good luck. Again removing the innersprings is a waste of time unless you are using very high sprig rate springs which you don't need for a motor running under 7000 RPM.
 

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Originally posted by BostonBuster:
Avoid the cam lube on the sides of the lifters , If your lifters don't rotate freely you will wipe out the cam....good luck. Again removing the innersprings is a waste of time unless you are using very high sprig rate springs which you don't need for a motor running under 7000 RPM.
There is no need to avoid cam moly on the side of the lifter - it will do absolutely nothing to impede the rotation of the lifter as long as the bore is smooth and the crown on the face of the lobe is in good shape - the lifter *will* rotate.

If the lifters do NOT rotate, it is typically because of the following;
1) Bore is in bad condition
2) Bore is not perpendicular to the centerline of the cam (had a 305 GM machined this way once)
3) The camshaft was already flat or had insufficient remaining crown (used - worn out)
4) Poor oil pressure which contributes to the galling of the lifter / bore.
5) The lifter is worn out (dished) and will not engage the crown of the cam properly

Springs - If your springs have an INNER spring (I am not talking about a ribbon damper) - they typically have sufficient open pressure to cause excessive heat / friction during break-in.
We will put 2-3 Dyno hours at light load around 2500 RPM "AFTER" the break-in cycle with just the outer springs. This will get the cam entirely out of the green-zone where the lifters and lobes are completely worn in to each other through the parkerizing layer of the cam. Then we will do 4-5 good pulls to 4500-5000 RPM after changing the oil filter to get all of the moly out of the engine (that's now trapped in the filter) to get the rings seated. Dump the oil and put in fresh - it's time to install the inner springs, finish the tune-up and power pulls.

Another thing you can do is to use a lower ratio rocker arm during the break-in process. You can find some rockers that are as low as a 1.25 to 1.3 ratio - this will exert less pressure on the cam.

I've lost 2 cams in the last 30 years. One was due to running battle-ship springs and improper break-in technique (okay I was young and dumb at the time) and the other one was last year and it turned out that the cam was indeed faulty as it had never been parkerized or heat treated. It was also with single springs and was a relatively low-lift cam.
 

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We disagree but thats ok , I like to keep the cam lube where it belongs , on the bottom of the lifter , we do agree that the lifters need to rotate freely and one should make sure they do . Im not a "professional" but Im 0 for 30 lost cams in 30 years , on a smaller sample size.
Wurt , I think you got good information with your post , good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I picked up a case of VR1 from NAPA today, even though I won't need it for another week or so. I have to take the heads apart again due to some unforseen port alignment issues, so I'll just run the outside springs to be safe when I reassemble. I have the tools to remove the springs while the heads are on the car ( thanks Scott Shumaker ).

I'm going to try the Crane break in-lube with the VR1 oil and hope for the best. A buddy of mine is loaning me his 750DP for the break-in since his carb is dialed in and ready to run.

Thanks for the help guys.
 
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