454 bbc ring break in procedure and oil help
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454 bbc ring break in procedure and oil help

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    Member rick1964's Avatar
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    Default 454 bbc ring break in procedure and oil help

    Newbie here,

    Recently I had my .060 over 454 short block rebuilt/ new flat top pistons and rings ( not sure what kind of rings) with the original cam, for my 1970 Schuster Torino Tahiti. I've installed the hydraulic lifters in their original bores. I also had a valve job done for both heads. This is my first motor that I've assembled and so far it seems to be going well. What is the correct break in procedure and oil? Do I want non-detergent oil while breaking in the rings? Since I'm running my old cam, is this going to be a ring break in procedure? How do I run the engine after first start and under what kind of rpm variances and loads. I just got thru reading an engine builder's article that says to go semi hard on it from the start, that the pressure will force the rings against the cylinder walls more helping to better wear them into seating. I don't know which way to go. Also should total timing be at 35 degrees max for best performance?

    Thanks much
    Last edited by rick1964; 06-29-2015 at 10:18 PM.

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    I try to run my engines on a dyno before I ever put them in the boat. It's warm up, make sure the timing is right, make sure it's running the way it is supposed to, and start loading it. It's either good or it's not. Think of it this way-you can buy a brand new car off the lot, take it and just drive the shit out of it. Chances are, it will be fine. If the clearances are right, and there is no contamination (dirt), it is designed to work that way. As for oil, what ever you want to use (not used oil of course). Good luck.

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    put valvoline 50w vr1 for break in (its what i run full time any way ) altho the cam is the same the lifters need to seat to the cam

    start the thing up check every thing quickly than run at 2000 ish rpm for 20 min its ok to very the rpm from 1000 to 2000 just dont let it sit and idle for long the the lifters are designed to spin in there bore but at low rpm they spin to slow and will cause came and or lifter to go flat during break in

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick1964 View Post
    Newbie here,

    Recently I had my .060 over 454 short block rebuilt/ new flat top pistons and rings ( not sure what kind of rings) with the original cam, for my 1970 Schuster Torino Tahiti. I've installed the hydraulic lifters in their original bores. I also had a valve job done for both heads. This is my first motor that I've assembled and so far it seems to be going well. What is the correct break in procedure and oil? Do I want non-detergent oil while breaking in the rings? Since I'm running my old cam, is this going to be a ring break in procedure? How do I run the engine after first start and under what kind of rpm variances and loads. I just got thru reading an engine builder's article that says to go semi hard on it from the start, that the pressure will force the rings against the cylinder walls more helping to better wear them into seating. I don't know which way to go. Also should total timing be at 35 degrees max for best performance?

    Thanks much
    As an engine builder, I would suggest you talk with your builder and get his recommendations. You want to do it "his way" in the event there is any issue with the engine, he can't say you didn't listen to him. You need to know what oil he suggests, since he set the bearing clearances. You need an oil with a high level of zinc, or an additive, or possibly both for the initial run in. I like Brad Penn Racing Oil, and don't add anything to it. I would not start out with 50wt unless you have some special engine, maybe blown or turbo or other race type engine, but instead maybe a straight 40 wt and see how your oil pressure is.

    Really you are just seating the rings, but hopefully there is assembly lube on the lifters for insurance.

    35 total is probably pretty good, but once again, your engine builder should know.

    For my engines, I do suggest intervals of increased RPM and load, but keeping the rpm lower at first, stopping to check for leaks a couple of times, and not maintaining a steady speed. Stopping the boat means you have to put it on plane again, which is perhaps the hardest load the engine will have in a boat, so that does help seat the rings. Basically an engine should be ready to run hard from the beginning, but even when I take an engine to dyno I have the dyno operator vary the load and cycle it a few times before any pulls, once again checking for any leaks or problems prior to just making the thing grunt.

    Lastly, even though it's a used cam and lifters, besides assembly lube, I would consider getting the engine fired immediately and bringing it up to at least 1800 rpm or so to get some oil splashing on the cam asap.

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    Thanks guy's for the info, very helpful.

    I went to see my engine builder yesterday (Hopsings Machine Shop) here in San Diego. He told me there is no break in on my engine. He showed me why, he always uses a multi stage honing process. And that on the final stage he always uses a fine or soft plateau hone. He said it closely duplicates cylinder break in. He said alot of shops don't do this, and that he doesn't charge extra for it, and that its an extra honing step that he always does. I've known Hopsing for decades, friends and customer reviews say he does top notch work. He's been around for along time. He said I can run any good quality 10-30 in it. I ended up getting Non Detergent Valvoline straight SAE 30 to run in it.

    After setting my valve lash, I filled my engine with oil by pouring it over the entire cam and lifters. Then I primed the engine with my oil pump primer tool and drill, had a buddy turn the engine over and pumped up all the lifters, got oil out of all the rockers. Then I put the intake on. I think once I drop my engine in the boat next week, I'll prime it again just before I put the distributor in.
    Last edited by rick1964; 07-02-2015 at 09:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick1964 View Post
    Thanks guy's for the info, very helpful.

    I went to see my engine builder yesterday (Hopsings Machine Shop) here in San Diego. He told me there is no break in on my engine. He showed me why, he always uses a multi stage honing process. And that on the final stage he always uses a fine or soft plateau hone. He said it closely duplicates cylinder break in. He said alot of shops don't do this, and that he doesn't charge extra for it, and that its an extra honing step that he always does. I've known Hopsing for decades, friends and customer reviews say he does top notch work. He's been around for along time.

    After setting my valve lash, I filled my engine with oil by pouring it over the entire cam and lifters. Then I primed the engine with my oil pump primer tool and drill, had a buddy turn the engine over and pumped up all the lifters, got oil out of all the rockers. Then I put the intake on. I think once I drop my engine in the boat next week, I'll prime it again just before I put the distributor in.
    The rings still need to seat to the cylinders. If you have seen a used set of rings it makes more sense, they actually do wear in a bit.

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    I have no experience but that's what I think too. I have the inclination to take it out on the water and run like normal right off, but not real hard..... I'm thinking a hard ring seating method would be alright....What do you think of my choice to run Non detergent Valvoline SAE 30 in it...?
    Last edited by rick1964; 07-02-2015 at 09:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick1964 View Post
    I have no experience but that's what I think too. I have the inclination to take it out on the water and run like normal right off, but not real hard..... I'm thinking a hard ring seating method would be alright....What do you think of my choice to run Non detergent Valvoline SAE 30 in it...?

    No Bueno, read my post above. You are still running a flat tappet cam, need the additives(racing oil or otherwise), and I suggest running whatever brand and weight you will end up with.

    I also indicated the way I suggest to my customers to go out and run and check the things on the first outing. It's your engine, and your engine builder, that's why I suggested asking him. Certainly you can run it however you please and if everything is right it's likely to be fine.

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    I re-read your post. I did exactly as you said and went back to talk with the engine builder yesterday. His exact words were to run any good quality 10-30 in it. He said nothing about additives, He told me flat out that there's no break in. I was like, are you sure? He kept saying he don't know why I'm so worried about it Lol. I told him cause I don't know nuthin about that! There's a bit of a language barrier but I understood what he was saying. He's been in business 40 years. I'm taking your advice tho, I'll do it as you described for the run in. I didn't mean I'm going to run like a bat outa hell, I'll take it easy for a while and I'll be stopping to check for problems. Getting up on plane is about the hardest I'll be on it, and keep the rpm's low at first like you said. I'm also going to get and zinc additive to put in it. How long should I run that oil before changing it out?

    Thank you very much for the help.
    Last edited by rick1964; 07-02-2015 at 04:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick1964 View Post
    I re-read your post. I did exactly as you said and went back to talk with the engine builder yesterday. His exact words were to run any good quality 10-30 in it. He said nothing about additives, He told me flat out that there's no break in. I was like, are you sure? He kept saying he don't know why I'm so worried about it Lol. I told him cause I don't know nuthin about that! There's a bit of a language barrier but I understood what he was saying. He's been in business 40 years. I'm taking your advice tho, I'll do it as you described for the run in. I didn't mean I'm going to run like a bat outa hell, I'll take it easy for a while and I'll be stopping to check for problems. Getting up on plane is about the hardest I'll be on it, and keep the rpm's low at first like you said. I'm also going to get and zinc additive to put in it. How long should I run that oil before changing it out?

    Thank you very much for the help.
    There are lots of different opinions,, similar to some people like Ford, some Dodge, and some Chevy. Which is right?

    I build my engines with specific oil clearances that work well with a high volume oil pump and a slightly heavier oil. I like to use straight weight oil on performance marine builds. Out here in the southwest it's usually pretty warm during boating season, and I don't like the concept of an oil that acts like it's only 10 weight.

    If you didn't buy oil already, you can easily buy Valvoline RACING Oil in many parts stores, that will have the necessary additives already in it. It would not be my first choice for oil to put in one of my engines, although I used to recommend it most of the time since it was the easiest "race" oil to get. Make sure not to use synthetic for seating the rings.

    Since you are not actually breaking in the cam, I would say if you run it one time at the lake it should be changed. The rings breaking in against the cylinder walls will put tiny amounts of metal into the oil(Even if he tells you there is no break in). It's almost scary looking to closely inspect oil after a cam break in, or dyno run. I know it costs some money to through away that "fresh" oil and filter, but I am sure you would like to lessen the chances of that material running back through the engine, even though the filter should catch it.

    It's been just under 40 years since I first worked for Gale Banks, and much of what I learned there about building an engine still holds true.

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    Sounds good to me. I don't mind throwing the oil and filter out after first run. 50 bucks in oil is small change compared what I have into rebuilding it.
    Last edited by rick1964; 07-02-2015 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Success!

    .



    Update. I finished putting together my 468 last week, after first start up procedure, and setting timing , it's running well on the water. We took it out for a break in run last Monday, so far it's running sweet. I only ran it for an hour with mild varying throttle, a number of stops to check for problems and then getting up on plane. Found no problems. I changed the oil and filter after the first run. I'll change it out again after 2 or 3 more runs. This is my first build and I'm very happy with it. Now to see how it does in the long run. Sure sounds good tho with thru transom log headers. It's not a radical motor, but the estimated 400 horses is good for me. I included a picture of my rebuild in my 1970 Schuster Torino Tahiti.

    I have another question, I run it in salt water at the bay, when I get home I flush fresh water thru the engine for about 10 minutes, then I flush salt away thru it. My question is, is it better to leave everything full of water by shutting off the pump valve, and the flush valve, thereby trapping the water/salt away in every water cavity, or is it better to let it drain out what it will drain?
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    Last edited by rick1964; 08-06-2015 at 10:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick1964 View Post
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    I have another question, I run it in salt water at the bay, when I get home I flush fresh water thru the engine for about 10 minutes, then I flush salt away thru it. My question is, is it better to leave everything full of water by shutting off the pump valve, and the flush valve, thereby trapping the water/salt away in every water cavity, or is it better to let it drain out what it will drain?
    Good question. When we used to race at Mission Bay, I would run water through the engine until I could not taste the salt on my fingers, however that was usually only once a year. I never did drain the block, and it looked fine when I finally tore it down, but once again, I was not in salt water that often.

    I would guess it would make sense to leave the salt away in the block, but maybe the people who make it would be the real ones to ask.

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    Wow, that looks just like the SideWinder jet I used to have in the 80s. Even faded the same way!! I had a great time with that boat, even with the 455 Olds. I sold it to my brother and he still has it.

    In theory, keeping the block full should reduce the progress of any corrosion. In practice you will never know the difference if you let it drain or keep it full.

    I used to boat exclusively in salt water and flushed the engine until the water didn't taste salty after each time I used the boat, and that block is still in the boat. If you use salt away, so much better. A good flush is the most important thing to do. After that, keep everything wiped down and polished, salt spray and even salt air will discolor and pit all the hardware in the boat over time.

    Doug

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