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break-in oil

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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bentvalves
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break-in oil

Post by bentvalves »

likely been beat to death already, and in a second I will have a list of threads to sort through underneath this one - but. How long are you guys leaving break in oil in the engine to bed the rings/lifters/cam? If it isn't a flat tappet engine, are you even using break in oil?
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Re: break-in oil

Post by MELWAY »

I have had awesome results with Driven BR oil. I run it on dyno for 40-60 min. Then get it out
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Re: break-in oil

Post by ProPower engines »

After dyno time is over then dump it and ad what its going to see for the duration of life.
I like to run engines with the new oil in them and do a few light pulls before removing it from dyno.
The driven oil is all we ever use. Used some CC oil and it seemed to be too slick with the extra zinc in it.
It seemed like too much of a good thing was bad in this case [-X
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Re: break-in oil

Post by RDY4WAR »

I use Driven BR30 and run it for 100-250 miles or 30-40 1/4-mile passes. I do the break-in with sustained 2000 rpm for 5 minutes, shut it off, and let it completely cool down. Then bring it back up to temperature and start varying the load and rpm with periodic heat cycles. Then I change the filter (not the oil), top off the oil, and go the 100-250 miles above or just start WOT high rpm pulls. Then change the oil and filter for your choice from then onward.

Note that an API rated conventional oil with a ZDDP supplement dumped in it is not a break-in oil. Break-in oils are more about what they don't contain than what they do. Yes, you want high amounts of highly reactive secondary ZDDP, but more importantly you don't want any friction modifiers, viscosity modifiers, neutral detergents, or any other additives that may reduce ZDDP reactivity. High friction, while not good for power, is good for additive response (due to shear stress). This is why you don't want a synthetic base oil lowering the friction coefficient and delaying ZDDP reactivity and don't want friction modifiers in there doing the same thing. Neutral detergents are surface aggressive and tend to compete with ZDDP for surface area, not what you want when a ZDDP tribofilm needs to be formed as fast as possible. Viscosity modifier polymers also reduce friction through shearing which goes back to the synthetic issue. Conventional API oils contain all of the above, Rotella and VR1 included, and dumping a bottle of extra ZDDP in it doesn't take those additives out. This doesn't mean an engine won't break-in on an API oil, it'll just take longer, and have more wear in the process. Driven BR30 / BR40 is what I use, but Amsoil break-in oil is great, as is Lucas and Red Line break-in oils.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by rustbucket79 »

I’ve witnessed Gibbs BR oil salvage other shop’s rebuilds (blowby issues that an oil change to BR eliminated) and we use it in all performance builds, it’s great oil. It’s pretty expensive, so the initial race weekend or first few hundred kilometres before changing oil is okay with us.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by steve cowan »

I have used BR 30 for last few years,yes its expensive nearly $300 20ltr here in Australia but worth it.
I mix BR30 and Joe gibbs assembly grease into a runny paste for engine assembly.
I don't have dyno so I drive my car to track ,run a meeting then home then change out break in oil with no issues, flat tappets,rollers etc all good.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by RDY4WAR »

steve cowan wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:04 am I have used BR 30 for last few years,yes its expensive nearly $300 20ltr here in Australia but worth it.
I mix BR30 and Joe gibbs assembly grease into a runny paste for engine assembly.
I don't have dyno so I drive my car to track ,run a meeting then home then change out break in oil with no issues, flat tappets,rollers etc all good.
Driven now has an assembly gel which sounds like it would be what you'd prefer. A good thing about gel is it doesn't contain thickeners like greases do so that actually improves additive response on engine startup.

https://www.jegs.com/p/Driven-Racing-Oi ... 4/10002/-1
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Re: break-in oil

Post by Krooser »

Lake Speed Jr told us at his oil seminar that we could run it several nights in a dirt car before changing it.

This kind matches their recommdations of running their oils for 10 nights, then change the filter and top off the oil.

I know guys that run the oil 20 nights which is more than a season here in the northwoods.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by ptuomov »

What is the purpose of the break in in the first place and then how does the break in oil fit into that?
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Re: break-in oil

Post by Krooser »

Let me clarify.... Speed sez run the break-in oil several nights then switch to their normal racing oil.

Then run their oil 10 nights, change the filter and top off.

Didn't mean to say run the break-in oil all season.

I know guys who do this, not just with Driven oil, and have good luck with it.

I'm going back to my old days and run CenPeCo next year. I had good results with it in the 80's.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by Walter R. Malik »

I have used Driven, (both 30 & 50), AmsOil break-in and VP break-in and they all seem to work just fine.
I usually leave it in a car until the leak-down stabilizes.

On the dyno, I do the original tuning with it, (usually about 10 to 15 runs), and then change it to what will be used from there-on.

Break-In oils have no "friction modifiers" in their normal additive pack but, are usually good base oils.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by dfarr67 »

What the penalty if left in? Say 1000 km's?
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Re: break-in oil

Post by Krooser »

None... she me will disagree but I have never seen a problem especially in today's world with higher quality parts.

Back 50 years ago we would drain the oil after a few hundred miles and find metal specs in the oil...lot fewer today.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by RDY4WAR »

ptuomov wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:54 am What is the purpose of the break in in the first place and then how does the break in oil fit into that?
With even the best machining practices, there will always be micro-asperities and ridges in the metal that don't "align" (for lack of a better term) well with one another. The purpose of the break-in is to ensure proper uniformity of parts moving past each other with the best lubrication, lowest wear, and lowest friction possible. The blow-by past the rings of a new engine is rather high due to inconsistencies between the ring faces and cylinder hone. By putting heat cycles on the engine, with varying load and rpm, you allow the parts to seat.

A true break-in oil is designed around this.

Base oil - Should be a conventional (group I or II) base oil. The reason for this is the higher surface tension and shear stress of the conventional base oil. This shear stress creates more fluid friction, but with that comes greater additive response, ZDDP in particular. Additives need to undergo a reaction to start working. In many cases with most anti-wear additives, higher shear stress in the oil film creates the environment for additive reactions even at lower temperatures. This is why a conventional base oil is important for break-in to ensure good additive response at low temperature (ie: first startup) where it's needed the most. Synthetic base oils have a lower friction coefficient which delays additives response. This isn't a problem when you already have a protective anti-wear tribofilm established, but not what you want when you're trying to establish that film.

Anti-wear - Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP or "zinc") is the critical component of wear protection for all engine oils but especially for break-in. ZDDP isn't actually a single additive but is a family of additives. There's ~200 different ZDDPs out there and each one behaves a little differently. ZDDP is called a multi-purpose additive because aside from its anti-wear properties, it also acts as an anti-oxidant. Some types of ZDDP are more catered to the anti-oxidant side of things while others favor the anti-wear side. It depends on the alkyl groups used, the molecular structure, the chaining, etc... Anyway, the type used for break-in should be a short chained, secondary alkyl ZDDP as they promote excellent additive response at low temperatures to keep down wear while the parts seat. The goal is break-in without excessive wear. The wrong type of ZDDP, while it may still get the job done, will take longer to establish that needed tribofilm and thus the break-in takes longer and undergoes more wear. The type of ZDDP in common conventional API oils off the shelf is a blended primary/secondary alkyl (for gas oils) or all primary alkyl (diesel oils) so not ideal for break-in.

Friction modifiers - A break-in oil should be completely free of friction modifiers. Going back to the point about synthetic base oil, you want that high amount of friction there for the greater additive response. You don't want friction modifiers lowering the friction coefficient. All API conventional oils contain friction modifiers to some degree. Adding a bottle of ZDDP break-in supplement to an API oil does not take out the friction modifiers.

Viscosity modifiers - These are commonly in the form of liquid polymers and are used in multi-grade oils to broaden the operating temperature range of the oil. Not only is this useless during break-in (unless you're trying to break-in the engine outside in -40*F weather), they also tend to reduce shear stress in the oil film which goes back to the issue mentioned under the base oil. All multi-grade conventional API oils contain viscosity modifiers in 2-14% concentrations.

Esters / Naphthalenes - These are group V base oils with rather high solvency. They're usually added in small concentrations (0.5-1.5%) to all engine oils as seal conditioners. Some of your high end oils use these in higher concentrations of 5-40% for solvency and thermal/heat protection. None of these conditions are an issue during break-in so no need for it to be there.

Detergents - You have two types of detergents commonly seen in engine oils: neutral and overbased. Overbased are further broken down into soft and hard based. All types of detergents are surface aggressive, but neutral detergents are especially. What you don't want during break-in is detergents competing for the same surface area as ZDDP. Conventional API oils are high in detergents (1800-2500 ppm) where as break-in oils contain just enough to keep down acidity during the break-in process (Driven BR30 has ~350 ppm).

So the purpose of the break-in oil is to establish a protective anti-wear tribofilm as fast as possible to ensure proper break-in and keep down excessive wear.
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Re: break-in oil

Post by ptuomov »

Thank you, RDY4WAR.

So the break in oil isn’t really about “wearing” the parts to shape, it’s more about adding a protective layer of anti-wear compounds to the parts?

My experience with break-ins is that with Nikasil played cylinders, one revs the engine to the redline three times and then it’s broken in — either the rings seal or don’t seal.

For flat tappet cams we run, the break-in may take longer and anti-wear substances may be more important. (We have to run high seated loads because of the turbo exhaust manifold space constraints.)
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