Mechanics

BREAK IN OIL AND FLUIDS

1970 Pontiac GTO

Engine Mechanical problem
1970 Pontiac GTO V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 0

I am completing a a complete overhaul of engine. With new standard crank, cam, pistons, rings, bearings, oil pump, lifters.
This rebuild will not be used for racing purposes, only for show and sunday drives.
Although engine has over 180,000 miles, it has all original drivetrain; I have owned the car since new and religiously changed the oil and filter over the life of the engine at 5000 mi or less intervals. The cylinders had minimal wear and are still within 1/1000th of factory tolerance.
Consdiering the change in motor oil specs over the last 40 years, I suspect that use of the current shelf grade penzoil multiweight resulted in a main bearing seizing.
I want to properly lubricate this engine for break in and it's future occasional use. What brand/specs of lubricants and servicing processes do you recommend?
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Gtojbc
November 7, 2009.




First, being that you say the cylinders were within.001 of factory tolerance -- What machine work was done to the cylinder walls -- re-honeing or re-boreing? Did you change the piston rings? If so, what material are the rings? In order to seat the rings properly, I must know exactly what was done to the cylinder walls.

Tiny
Pear69
Nov 7, 2009.
The cylinders were honed, note bored. All replacement parts are factory standard; crankshaft, cam shaft, bearings, lifters, valve guides, pistons, rings, oil pump (increased to high volume). Valves were undamaged, however the valves and seats have been ground and are still within tolerance. Block and heads have been cleaned.

Tiny
Gtojbc
Nov 7, 2009.
The important thing as it relates to engine break in, and oil, is the cylinder walls and the piston rings. These are the parts that really MUST be properly addressed -- everything else is important (don't get me wrong). First realize this, the cylinder walls and the piston rings are NOT perfectly mated (yet). They have microscopic ridges or bumps on them that must be " worn" off. This is what is called break in. The break in, perfectly matches the cylinder walls to the piston rings so you can have the best compression possible - and this period will be VERY important (to you especially) because is seems that you will not be putting many miles on this engine.
An important step, BEFORE you fire the engine for the first time, is to pre-lube the engine. This is done by inserting a tool, connected to a drill, into the distributer hole. I have a Comp Cam pre lube tool (part number 4921) they are about 25 or 30 bucks. This will ensure that you have oil distributed properly BEFORE the initial start. OK - now to answer the question --LOL -- I suggest using straight 30 weight NON DETERGENT (if you can find it) and NON SYNTHETIC oil for the first to 800 to 1000 miles. The breaking process MUST be done as follows: Do not go over 60 MPH for the first 1000 miles. In these 1000 miles, vary your speed and drive up and down hills (if possible) often. Do not drive at steady consistant speeds. Do not " lug" the engine by driving in high gear. The reason for this is to vary the loads " gentaly" on the piston rings. If you load them too hard or too soft you will not get a good seal and it will result in smoking and/or excess oil consumption.
Also, drive these 1000 miles as soon as possible. Not all at once, but do not just drive on Sunday and every once in a while. It is important not to let oil drain off of the cylinder walls and condensation to accumulate in the crank case, which is what happens when you let any engine sit for a long period.
After the 800 to 1000 mile break in period, you should use 10w30. Also, if you want, you can use synthetic oil at this time. I do suggest switching to synthetic for reasons I will discuss, if you want. I further suggest using either Mobile 1 (not just Mobile) or Castrol oil brands -- for reasons I will also discuss if you want.

BTW - Im sure you replace the oil filter every time you replace the oil, but if it is possible and not too messy, try to replace the filter only after the first 200 miles. This is not really necessary, but I do it and I have found (when inspecting oil filters) excessive debris in it from the rebuilding process. If you do - do this -- be quick about it, it is a little messy, and be sure to add a little oil afterwards.
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Tiny
Pear69
Nov 7, 2009.
One more thing, change the oil more frequently, being that you are putting low miles on this engine. Every internally combustion engine accumulates condensation (water) inside of the engine. It is a result of the heating and cooling of the engine and there is no way to avoid it. This gets into the oil. This water usually does not cause a problem because it is evaporated effectively during the next engine heat cycle, which in most cases is, the next day. It seems that you will not be consistantly running the engine every day (after the break in period) so change the oil more frequently -- maybe every 2000 miles or at least twice a year (before storage and before long storage periods in the winter is best)
Factory suggested oil service periods of 3000 or 5000 are assuming that the car is being driven frequently.

Tiny
Pear69
Nov 7, 2009.
Thanks. That is very helpful. Two additional issues.
1) Is it helpful to use special lubricant aditives during the first 1000 miles for properly mating cam and lifter surfaces. If so what product do you recommend?
2) Materials in my research indicated that current multigrade petroleum oils in use do not have sufficient zinc to keep internal mating surfaces smooth over time in these older engines. Is that a problem I need to address with an additive, or special specification engine oil? If so, which product(s) do you recommend?

Tiny
Gtojbc
Nov 7, 2009.
Thanks. Usually, the car is driven at least 25 miles at a time, round trip, at least once per week. But thanks for that reminder about oil change intervals.
As to break in procedures: It will be challenging to break it in. I usually drive a late model cadillac for extensive driving: )

Tiny
Gtojbc
Nov 7, 2009.
Sorry about that--
There is no additive that should be put in the oil at break in. However, when installing the cam, it must be coated with cam shaft assembly lube during installation.
As far as the zinc content of oil goes, your research has a little merrit. The most important thing about oil is its' ability to carry dirt and debris away from the bearing oil " wedge". This wedge is measured in thousandths of an inch - (bearing clearences). If this wedge is interrupted for any amount of time - while the combustion is taking place - and the pistons are pounding down on the crankshaft -- the engine will eventually fail.I suggest switching to fully synthetic Castrol Syntec 10-30 or Moble 1 10-30. These two oils -IMO- have the proper chemical compounds/detergents/and debris suspension properties that are the best for any engine.

Tiny
Pear69
Nov 17, 2009.
Thanks. Will do.

Tiny
Gtojbc
Nov 17, 2009.

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