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I've just reached the first 500 miles of breaking in my new engine (ATK with roller cam). I'm using Royal Purple 10W-30 break-in oil and according to ATK's break-in procedure, I shouldn't use synthetic oil until at least 4000 miles to ensure the rings seat properly. They recommend changing oil/filter at 500 and again at 1000 miles. Should I continue to use the break-in oil or switch to a regular conventional oil? RP website states running the break-in oil for at least 500 - 100 miles, and up to 2500 miles. Even then, it won't get me to 4000 miles as ATK recommends.

I'm thinking stick with the RP break-in oil until 2500 miles, then potentially switching to synthetic - is that long enough to seat the rings?

Suggestions?

jim
 

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There is a ton of info on this. But I do this.

I change it immediately after break in.

Then put more in and do the initial drive arounds, etc.

Probably change it within an hour or so or a 40 miles or so.

If no issues, especially no coconut glitter spray in the oil, put some more stuff in and drive.
 

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Jim,
Your rings should have been seated after a few miles of driving if the cylinders were finished properly. I would switch to whatever oil you plan on running at this time. Not sure why ATK says to run non synthetic for that long but I guess you should follow their directions :)
 

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I agree, this engine IS NOT suited for synthetic snake oil, it has pre-historic metallurgy made of silly putty, NOT hardened metals as later model engines have, even though the cam is a roller design, and synthetics are not good for older metals.
 

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I had my engine rebuilt a couple of years ago. The guy who rebuilt it bench ran it to break it in for 20 min. and then replaced the the break in oil with Penn Grade 15-40. Wix filter. That's what I use from now on. Runs great.
 

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My machinist has spent many a phone conversations with some of the engineers/developers for BradPenn….they say use their break in oil for no less than 500 miles.
 

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I would for sure go to a conventional now, like PennGrade or VR-1.
 

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No matter what, you need to follow ATK's instructions.

I have been using Castrol GTX conventional oil for a few years now in engines that really dont need synthetic and dont need high zinc. I have been very happy with it and it seems to be easier to find around here compared to the VR1 or Brad Penn. I am a Mobil 1 fan as far as synthetic goes mainly because I have been using it for 35 years or so with no problems. Personally I think some of the "specialty" synthetics like the Royal Purple etc are just way over priced and really no better.
 

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Jim,
Just curious, exactly what engine is it ?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jim,
Just curious, exactly what engine is it ?
Hi Bill -

It's an ATK SP04 short block. According to the specs, it's a 90's roller cam, four bolt main block. I'm running a Straub roller cam and a set of iron Vortecs I had on my previous build.

I have an email in to ATK on this question - still awaiting a response, but thought I'd check with others to see what suggestions they have. At this point (500 miles), I'm thinking of changing the oil and running the same RP break-in oil for another 500 miles. That's of course unless ATK comes back with a different recommendation.

Thanks -

jim
 

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For sure Jim. Before i switch to MOB1 I'm also going to check with Mark Jones. I have one more VR-1 dino change ahead of me is all, and then?
 

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Why are you looking to switch?

For sure Jim. Before i switch to MOB1 I'm also going to check with Mark Jones. I have one more VR-1 dino change ahead of me is all, and then?
 

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I run it on the dyno for 10 minutes to get hot with minimal load at about 2000 rpm, then make a pull to 6800. IF everything is ok make a pull to 7500. Do it 4 times and change the oil. That was my break in. Put it in the car and went 8.94 off the trailer.
 

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I recently finished a 496 with total seal rings, broken in with driven BR40 break in oil. Total seal recommended changing oil after 100-150 miles. I mentioned valvoline VR1 and they liked that choice. They recommended I stay away from synthetic.
 

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I agree, this engine IS NOT suited for synthetic snake oil, it has pre-historic metallurgy made of silly putty, NOT hardened metals as later model engines have, even though the cam is a roller design, and synthetics are not good for older metals.
What older metals would be in a new engine with all new parts?

If a built LS uses the same brand of bearings, the same brand of pistons and rings.

Aside from the block itself, wouldn't the internals be using the same metals as a modern built LS engine?
 

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If the cylinder hone and ring pack are up to modern standards, the engine is well broken in with a break-in, non-synthetic oil after a couple hundred miles, probably after about a hour or less run time. Valve springs need a couple of heat cycles to relieve stress so I start an engine, let it come up to operating temp, then shut if down, drain that first fill of oil, refill with more break-in oil, and let it cool overnight. Old time chrome rings took forever to seat especially when someone honed the cylinders with fine grit stones until they were shiny. Since it's a roller cam, you can use any quality oil. Flat tappet cams need an oil with more ZDDP than the newest oils have.
 

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No matter what, you need to follow ATK's instructions.

I have been using Castrol GTX conventional oil for a few years now in engines that really dont need synthetic and dont need high zinc. I have been very happy with it and it seems to be easier to find around here compared to the VR1 or Brad Penn. I am a Mobil 1 fan as far as synthetic goes mainly because I have been using it for 35 years or so with no problems. Personally I think some of the "specialty" synthetics like the Royal Purple etc are just way over priced and really no better.
Bill I would have agreed with you until my last boat with a Merc 350 Magnum engine. Keep in mind this was a newer fuel injected catalyzed motor but if I ran the boat on the harder side 4k-4.5k when I went to low cruise I would see the oil gauge fluctuating significantly with Merc Marine Synthetic. I suspected the oil was foaming causing this situation but that was only my assumption.So I tried Royal Purple and I no longer had the condition so it made a big difference in that situation telling me it's not snake oil. I ran it from then on without any issues. This was in Fl so heat also came into the picture with hotter water temps. Engine was closed freshwater cooled but water temps ran in the higher 80s.
 

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So I tried Royal Purple and I no longer had the condition

But I wonder if Mobil 1 would have done the same thing for less money and a lot easier to get ?



Most of the marine engines I do are Big Blocks and pretty much all of them have some type of performance modifications. Those guys all swear by Mobil 1



But bottom line is ..... whatever works for each person is what they should use :)
 

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But I wonder if Mobil 1 would have done the same thing for less money and a lot easier to get ?



Most of the marine engines I do are Big Blocks and pretty much all of them have some type of performance modifications. Those guys all swear by Mobil 1



But bottom line is ..... whatever works for each person is what they should use :)
Having used Mobil 1 in the past I did try it and my oil pressure still fluctuated. Remember even the exhaust manifolds have cats in them and are cooled by the same closed system. I did a lot of research on different oils and their abilities and why I chose Royal in the end. However I do not use it in my cars. My 68 is Valvoline high zinc but my others get Ford synthetic and who know who makes that. When I get enough miles on the 68 I will go Royal if it is safe for flat tappets.
 
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