#41  
Old 02-17-2024, 10:13 PM
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I used to use straight 30 across the board, and at one time used VR1. I went to a 'regular' Valvoline oil for a while too, and tried some of the 'darker' oils as well.

Over time, found oils that seemed to be better for the type of builds and driving I did, and reasons for switching. I'm not stuck on any specific oil, but definitely don't trust cheaper oils. The additive packages that are better cost more, simple as that. The rest is just oil.

Racing oils need to be changed more frequently, because of the types of additives. So I moved away from those because of the type of my types of use.

I like lighter colored oils better, as they dilute or get polluted, you can physically see it, and have a better gauge of when it needs to be changed. Different conditions, gas quality, etc, all end up in the oil, as it should. It's a good thing. When it looks like crap, you change it.

Moly paste, cam lobes. That grey muck is just a carrier, it may wash away quickly, but the actual lubricant remains much longer. The lobe surface (or bearing surface, or whatever) is not micro-smooth, it has a 'grain', however small, the lubricant remains in the roughness of the surface.

Some carriers can actually be a problem, because they can clog pleats in a filter, reducing flow, and filtration. That's one very good reason to change your oil right after initial start up. Another is to remove any debris/contaminants that may have found their' way into the sealed area of an engine during assembly. As well as any wear material, and coatings manufacturers use on certain parts.

Viscosity depends on the build, particularly clearances used. Here's a general background on the topic that some may find interesting:

https://www.enginebuildermag.com/201...ng-clearances/

Some builders know that the machine shop they use do not get work done to a specific degree (to be polite), and intentionally use wider clearances to compensate. Those builds require a heavier oil.

Tolerances on factory assemblies these days have become much more 'tight', and can use closer clearances, hence why they use light weight oils.

Then there's the film strength aspect, which is based on a combo of clearances and load. Here's a general overview of the topic:

https://www.machinerylubrication.com...-film-strength

That article has additional references of articles that dive deeper on some of the topics mentioned, which also are good general overviews, browse over ones that might catch your eye, just to help get a better understanding.

To say 'one approach' works in all cases is not accepting it's more complicated than understood. That one approach may work for the types of builds a commenter normally performs, hence the 'it's worked for me this way for years' statements could hold water in certain cases.

Best thing to do is, do your homework to the best of your abilities, and choose an approach that suits you, and makes you comfortable. The more you know, the better off you will be.


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  #42  
Old 02-18-2024, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeteeohguy View Post
Didn't read every post, but I'll say that when breaking in a cam be SURE to NOT use detergent oil. Use break-in oil ONLY. Not racing oil. Not diesel oil. Break in oil. We used to simply use non-detergent 30 weight that was the cheapest. Probably not available today.
Detergents in pretty much ALL oils except break-in oil will remove the lube from the cam and lifters quickly and render them useless for the cam break-in. And, NOT changing the oil after the cam break-in is false economy. My method is a 20-30 minute cam break in, dump the oil and filter, fill with normal fill, run about 500 miles, dump oil and filter again, and good to go. I've been using Rotella diesel spec in all my flat tappet engines for the past 23 years with no issues. The '65 has about 55,000 miles on the cam and lifters and the '67 has about 90,000 miles on the cam and lifters. No issues. Both broken in with non-detergent oil. But to be fair, in the '80's when parts quality was decent.
Agreed, years ago 30w non-detergent oil was was recommended for break-in. This was before they change the additive package with reduced ZDDP. Most people didn't really understand why Non-detergent was so important but we just did what was recommended. It is true that the detergents work against the ZDDP and make it less effective. Todays diesel oils have been reformulated to meet the newest API rating and now have about the same ZDDP levels as an off the shelf gas engine oil.

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  #43  
Old 02-18-2024, 08:40 AM
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The cam/lifter thing is a completely different deal and far as I'm concerned ALL of the issues we see there are due to the market being flooded with "soft" imported lifters instead of good USA made high nickel iron lifters that are crowned/finished correctly so they spin on the lobes their entire life.

No type of oil, break in or otherwise, or special "break-in" procedures are going to save your cam/lifters from a miserable death with "soft" parts in the mix. I also do NOT believe in any type of "break-in" oils or additives. I so smear the lobes and lifter bottoms with Moly Grease during assembly because I know it will still be there if the engine sits for weeks or months before being started. No other reason for that move other than any type of oil or sticky stuff they supply with cams is going to run off those parts over time.

Another contributor to the cam/lifter failing deal is the use of HEAVY valve train parts and "battleship" spring pressures which have pretty much become the norm in this hobby. There is NEVER any need for springs with much over 100lbs seat pressure and 200lbs over the nose for 95 percent of these builds that will never see the high side of 5500rpm's and most are DONE making power well before that. This assumes you haven't added big heavy retainers, rocker arms and anything else to add weight above the lifters.

Maybe I just got lucky with these things but have never had the first issue one with lobe failure on one of these engines and never really paid much attention to "break-in" one way or the other.

I have added to the engine assembly process (about 25 years ago) taking a paint marker and putting a white line on the visible portion of the pushrods just below the rocker arms. Once the "fresh" engine is warmed up, timing set, and fluids topped of I idle it really slow and remove the valve covers for a quick verification that ALL the pushrods are spinning like they should. I then dump the oil and catch some of it in a clear glass jar and cut the filter open for inspection. If all looks well we commense to run them like we stole them!.......

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  #44  
Old 02-18-2024, 09:18 AM
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A couple more references on assembly lubes:

https://blog.amsoil.com/what-is-assembly-lube/

"Once you start the engine and oil pressure builds enough to lubricate the engine with oil, the assembly lubeís job is done. It now must make way for the motor oil to protect the engine. If itís excessively thick, however, it can clog narrow oil passages and prevent good oil flow. The lube needs to dissolve in the oil and leave little-to-no trace of its existence."

https://www.amsoil.com/p/amsoil-engi...?code=EALTB-EA

The FM/Sealed Power assembly lube works very well, and the properties stay in place for long periods of time:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/slp-55-400 (The 'Green Stuff')

"The prelubes have special additives which withstand the extreme pressures exerted on cams and lifters. These easy flowing petroleum based lubes function as oil additives, which will not affect oil viscosity. They also hold fast to surfaces on which they are applied and won't run off like engine oil, even after prolonged storage time."

Moly clogs filters & passages. If you need to have a 'visual' image of the 'grease' staying in place, and use moly, just be aware of the procedure of changing oil & filter immediately after initial startup. But just to say, you turn that engine over by hand a number of times before you start it, so that 'visual image' gets wiped away regardless.

As stated in the one comment on Amsoil, the initial protectant needs to get out of the way within a reasonable time to allow the oil to reach the part. If what you use prevents or delays that, it can have negative impact(s).

Additional threads on topic:

https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ly+lube+brands

https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...=assembly+lube

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  #45  
Old 02-18-2024, 10:26 AM
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There is a dry film product available to coat items before assy it dries doesn't get wiped off, if you sprayed a mirror you could scratch it off but over parkerization that is rough like on a cam lobe no

I have used it a couple times on new cams

the way i prep a cam is i chuck it up slow in my drill press using a 1/2 bolt with head cut off tape off lobes next to bearing journals use wet dry sand paper for auto body wet with oil start at near 1000 grit working in steps up to 5000 grit then finish with Flitz metal polish

after that i spray the whole cam down good with brake clean then tape off journals and spray lobes with LPS Force 842 let it cure for a while / few days usually in the sun then use moly paste on install

I cannot speak for how much or how long 842 stays incorporated on lobes because they are still in fine running engines and after breakin time it doesn't really matter

overall my proceedure doesnt have any potential downsides it can only help

just using brake clean to clean lobes then spraying 842 will work fine as well along with natural assy proceedures .

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Last edited by Formulas; 02-18-2024 at 10:42 AM.
  #46  
Old 02-18-2024, 11:11 AM
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Yeah, not sure if that process will actually have any positive effects or not, but I would be cautious with something like that.

Cam lobes do have a 'grade' across the lobes, only one side actually contacts the lifter, which causes the lifter to rotate in the bore.

Also, one wear indication is when the lobe is smooth/worn across the entire face, that would be gone after that process.

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  #47  
Old 02-18-2024, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by HWYSTR455 View Post
Yeah, not sure if that process will actually have any positive effects or not, but I would be cautious with something like that.

Cam lobes do have a 'grade' across the lobes, only one side actually contacts the lifter, which causes the lifter to rotate in the bore.

Also, one wear indication is when the lobe is smooth/worn across the entire face, that would be gone after that process.

.
cam lobes have a grade that match the contour of the lifters somewhat like 2 beveled gears meshing so one turns the other

spraying on a very thin layer of dry film does not change any angles
as i stated even if it wears off eventually its there at startup and break in

of course anything new is going to be scary to most people its not new to me anymore.

that dry film is rated to 6890 bars pressure, online converter says equates to 244968.7 psi

I'm not selling it Iam using it especially after seeing it in use in military aircraft


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Last edited by Formulas; 02-18-2024 at 11:59 AM.
  #48  
Old 02-18-2024, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Formulas View Post
cam lobes have a grade that match the contour of the lifters somewhat like 2 beveled gears meshing so one turns the other

spraying on a very thin layer of dry film does not change any angles
as i stated even if it wears off eventually its there at startup and break in

of course anything new is going to be scary to most people its not new to me anymore.

that dry film is rated to 6890 bars pressure, online converter says equates to 244968.7 psi

I'm not selling it Iam using it especially after seeing it in use in military aircraft


.
So what are you sanding when it's chucked up in a drill press?

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  #49  
Old 02-18-2024, 12:45 PM
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This was true 25 years ago when i built my 1970 455 (still running with the same 744 cam).

Same procedure, except i added CompCams "break-in" additive, used last year when i built my 1965 421. 30 years old new Perfect Circle 744 cam and 30 years old new DANA lifters, lobes slope and lifter crown checked.
The push rods spin a little jerky, but they spin anyway.
Fingers crossed, so far so good.
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Old 02-18-2024, 12:51 PM
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It's been a while since I've done a HFT cam, but those Crane instructions were on the wall of 2 of my garages for years (one was actually covering a hole in the wall!), and I used that procedure for as long as I can remember.


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  #51  
Old 02-18-2024, 01:45 PM
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So what are you sanding when it's chucked up in a drill press?

.
I wasnt real clear on that specific point but i did say i tape off lobes next to journals hence iam NOT sanding lobes

I polish the cam bearing journals since the time when 4 out if 5 cam bearings went south on me for no reason, good thing was the only good one was in the rear so i replaced front 4 in the car and slid the same cam back in polished

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Old 02-18-2024, 02:06 PM
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Ah, yes, did miss that, and understand now.

Interestingly enough, I had a few issues with cam bearings, and think I did 2 or 3 sets of bearings in the same block, in a short period of time too. Think the cam bores were out of alignment or maybe it was the actual bearings not in spec.

The last time in that nightmare of doing it over I paid attention to the alignment and installation of the bearings, as well as how tight it felt. I had to pop one out even and replace it. Was good after that.

Not sure if it was tunnel alignment, bearing manufacturing issues, or installation error, but did notice that bearing was slightly mushroomed, guessing from installation. But it might have been a combo of factors.

Some look for high spots in the bearings after test fitting cams (w light coat of oil) and correct them.

I think I have pics from that episode, may even have posted here, I will look, sure I have at least some pics.


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  #53  
Old 02-18-2024, 02:20 PM
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Here's a couple pics in post #73:

https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...bearing&page=2

This thread mentioned it again with a couple pics, posts #7 & #8:

https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ht=cam+bearing

I also brought it up on this thread too:

https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ht=cam+bearing

But I can't find the original thread I posted. Seems there was a rash of cam bearing issues with folks around the 2000-2009 year range.

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Old 02-18-2024, 02:21 PM
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This reminds me a little of comments in this post about cam cores:

https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...4&postcount=25


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Old 02-18-2024, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenth View Post
This was true 25 years ago when i built my 1970 455 (still running with the same 744 cam).

Same procedure, except i added CompCams "break-in" additive, used last year when i built my 1965 421. 30 years old new Perfect Circle 744 cam and 30 years old new DANA lifters, lobes slope and lifter crown checked.
The push rods spin a little jerky, but they spin anyway.
Fingers crossed, so far so good.
This is the reason it has to be poorly manufactured parts and not if the zinc additive is already in the oil. Those instructions from 25 years ago are no different than using a non-detergent oil and a zinc additive today.

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Old 02-18-2024, 05:37 PM
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The cam/lifter thing is a completely different deal and far as I'm concerned ALL of the issues we see there are due to the market being flooded with "soft" imported lifters instead of good USA made high nickel iron lifters that are crowned/finished correctly so they spin on the lobes their entire life.

No type of oil, break in or otherwise, or special "break-in" procedures are going to save your cam/lifters from a miserable death with "soft" parts in the mix. I also do NOT believe in any type of "break-in" oils or additives. I so smear the lobes and lifter bottoms with Moly Grease during assembly because I know it will still be there if the engine sits for weeks or months before being started. No other reason for that move other than any type of oil or sticky stuff they supply with cams is going to run off those parts over time.

Another contributor to the cam/lifter failing deal is the use of HEAVY valve train parts and "battleship" spring pressures which have pretty much become the norm in this hobby. There is NEVER any need for springs with much over 100lbs seat pressure and 200lbs over the nose for 95 percent of these builds that will never see the high side of 5500rpm's and most are DONE making power well before that. This assumes you haven't added big heavy retainers, rocker arms and anything else to add weight above the lifters.

Maybe I just got lucky with these things but have never had the first issue one with lobe failure on one of these engines and never really paid much attention to "break-in" one way or the other.

I have added to the engine assembly process (about 25 years ago) taking a paint marker and putting a white line on the visible portion of the pushrods just below the rocker arms. Once the "fresh" engine is warmed up, timing set, and fluids topped of I idle it really slow and remove the valve covers for a quick verification that ALL the pushrods are spinning like they should. I then dump the oil and catch some of it in a clear glass jar and cut the filter open for inspection. If all looks well we commense to run them like we stole them!.......
The late 70s is whe I first started seein HFT failures in GM products. This is the same time the pennypinchers at GM tried changing the nickel content in the cast iron parts cast for engines. This made the blocks incredibly wear prone.

The 2.5, 4 cylinders had cylinder ridges that you could catch your nail on at 30,000 miles. The #1 cylinders were notorious for going out of round, and having severe taper. That promoted the piston slap noise in the ealy FWD cars that you could hear from 50 feet away.

The 301 blocks wore so quickly, and had so much ridge that unless you used a ridge reamer you couldn't get the rings past the ridge.

Along with this money saving measure to cheapen the cast iron parts the wear in those late 70s early 80s engines was way above the rates that GM engines had for decades previously.

As Cliff has already touched on, the off shore low quality parts with poor metalugy, along with poor finish machinig added to the compounding problems of FT valvetrains. Aftermarket was hell bent to put valve springs out that just added to the stack of problems already in play. The ramps trying to be as fast acting as possible, defied physics. Add in questionable machining to the litany of other problems, and you end up with what we have today.

There is no one specific problem that caused all these flat tappet failures, just a comedy of errors stacked one on top of another.

I have often wondeed if mushroom tappets would alleviate some of these problems. Before roller tappets they were used by the aftermarket to add reliability to flat tappet applications. NASCAR in it's early days prohibited roller lifters, and for years NASCAR engine builders circumvented the rules by using mushroom tappets. More load bearing area, plus a better lever action further from the center of the lifter to promote rotation. It has worked for small engines, like B&S for decades. B&S now use composite cams in their later engines with mushroom tappets. The only bad thing is they have to go in from the bottom, complicating the labor needed to change them.


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