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Discussion Starter #1
I built a new motor over the fall and winter with a TVS blower to swap for my stock n/a motor. The new build is on a BOE Nikasil block with low compresison psitons. EFI 1.2 for management.

I know there are a lot of conflciting opinions on breaking in. Seems like most people recommend a series of fairly stout pulls to get the rings hot and seated. A lot of people say to use a mineral oil, not synthetic.

Questions:

1. What's your recommendation for a break in oil? Should I use something different to coat the bores? (The motor has been sitting for a few months, so I need to lube the bores anyway, which I can do from below while the pan is still off.)

2. Should I run a break in period before boosting? Or should I go right to FI? In that case, I'd probably tune on a dyno and break it in with dyno pulls.

3. How many miles should I run the break in oil before I change to my usual Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel? Should I run it in further before a track day?

4. Any additional advice?

TIA
 

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Dyno oil for break in, add ZDDP to protect cams. Gentle break in to avoid "micro welding" the rings until they are seated (look up micro welding rings). Switch to synthetic at 2500 miles. Be prepared to perform to back to back synthetic changes, (even though they claim synthetics are compatable with dyno oil, this is not always the actual case, I have ran into two cases where the small remaining amount of dyno oil curdled the synthetic oil).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input. Don't be afraid to throw out some brand names…
 

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good advice there.

I will add: Don't drive at steady engine speeds, keeping varying. So, around town and back roads better than highway.

If must go on highway, move between, say, 50 - 70 a lot.


These techniques, including addertooth's, were deemed perfect by Lotus engineer at LOG in Alabama.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you, TVS with BOE engine. Heres what I did.

A couple days before I first started, I took off the valve cover and just drizzled fresh oil over all the cam lobes, followers and valves.

Put the valve cover back on and added oil like a normal oil change.

I wanted to spray some WD-40 into the cylinders, but the little plastic nozzle was not long enough and I didn't want it just coating the spark plug area with WD-40. So if you can find a longer nozzle then that would be a good idea.

Before I put the belt on, I attached the battery and used jumper cables to attach to a running vehicles (engine running...for the extra amps) and I held the button on the starter for about 30 seconds and did this about 3-4 times. Just to prime everything without any actual load on the engine. With the belt off the engine will spin at a pretty good speed.

Then got the car all ready to start. Started it up and let it run for about 15 minutes, mostly just to make sure the cooling was stable.

Then the next day I took out for a drive. Keeping it under 4K RPM (which isn't much in ours :) ). After I could tell everything was at least stable, I did do just a few stabs on the throttle just enough to make sure the intake tract could actually go into positive pressure....hit maybe 5 PSI. Just to make sure nothing popped off or made weird noises and make sure the supercharger was at least functional.

Now I will get the body put back on and probably just drive up and down the highway for maybe 100 miles just to make sure the cooling is actually long term stable and get the rings seated.

I'll do an oil/filter change after a couple hundred miles just to clear out any contaminations that may have gotten in the system while all the work was done.
 

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Do they sell a adapter to spin up the oil pump with a drill? You don't want to turn over a dry motor if at all possible, no matter how much pre lubing of parts you did.

I throw in reg oil (15w40), run for 15-20 mins at 2-3k to break in cam and everything else, dump oil, new filter and more 15w40, run for 500 miles drive gentle but not like your 75 years old. Change oil to whatever you want to run and run it like it's stolen.

Just about all rings new are setup to break in correctly. The "microwelding" is something common on plain rings which haven't been used in 20-30 years on most everything. It'd be near impossible to do with the nikisil liners on the motor too.

I've never heard of synthetics and dyno not working with each other, I've been turning wrenches for over 15 years.
 

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Nate379,
I understand you are a great diesel mechanic. However, diesels naturally have better lubrication, no undesirable cylinder washing (diesel is a good lubricant), lower stressful RPMs... etc. High strung 8500 RPM, force induced, gasoline engines introduce issues which are normally not experienced with diesels. (Yes, I have worked considerably on diesels too, courtesy of being assigned to an Army OMS and UTES shop as a mechanic and machinist). I am a huge fan of synthetic oils, but have experienced nearly total loss of oil pressure after converting my vehicles to synthetic twice. Examination of the oil filter revealed large thick globs clogging the oil filter. It resulted in oil pressure (after the filter) of about 5 PSI (the threshold for the oil light on one of the engines). I realize the new synthetics are not supposed to react with dyno oil, but recently I had it happen on my truck, which I converted to synthetic only 9 months ago. With the large investment on an upgraded supercharged engine, it merits (perhaps excessive) caution during the break-in period. I have seen too many hard break-ins fail prematurely.
 

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I had a motor built for a Saab a few years back. I used dyno and low boost (under 5 psi) for 100 miles. I would slowly bring the engine to redline, always been told the motor needs to be broken in how it will be driven.

I switched to synthetic at 100 miles and allowed 10 psi of boost....... Varying engine speed and load constantly. 500 miles I did another oil change at same boost then again at 1000 miles and allowed the 25+ psi

Always thought oil is cheap..... Change often for the first few thousand miles
 

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I've always heard that it was best to ask your engine builder how they want you to break in the motor...

Meh, probably just wive's tales....


;)
 

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I just took my car to the track and kept the r's down to 6,000 and made sure I put my foot down to floor at every shift...After 3 half hour sessions, I got 102-km on the engine and took it home to change the oil.
 

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What if the engine builder is me? The motors I have thrown together I do what I posted... gas or diesel, doesn't really make a difference... well other than changing oil on a diesel is $$ when your looking at ~5-10 gallons of oil plus several filters.

Addertooth, wasn't saying that the dyno/synthetic oil deal couldn't happen but I have never seen it. Think maybe it was just a load of sludge that washed out with the better detergent package of a different brand of oil?
 

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Oils are here: Red Line Synthetic Oil - Motor Oil

Use the break in additive for breaking in.

Street cars run the 10-40 motor oil and race cars run the 40wt race oil. If running the race oil, you need to change it pretty often. The street oil can go for ages---10K miles sort of thing.

Can also swap in Royal purple. Not the parts store stuff, but the XPR. Decent stuff to be sure. again, 40wt is good for these motors- typically... They do tend to like thicker oil. Save the thin stuff for spec race class and cold climate.

I'm not going to debate the merits of how to break in these motors. I don't care much what Lotus says. They didn't build the motors and the ones they did reportedly build seem to fly apart faster than the ones they plucked from a toyota assembly line! The 2ZZ actually is pretty forgiving. It's not a super tight engine when rebuilt--typically. The stock lining is soft, so break it in quite quickly to avoid losing the minimal hash it has.

Pretty similar to what Nate said, really... I use time rather than miles, but sure....

Warm motor up, and do standard checks. Remove air from cooling system, etc. Air in cooling system is a PITA on this car... or can be... Allow to cool. Check for leaks and air in cooling again.

Bring back up to temp. Drive <50% Load (not throttle, but load-- There's no sensor for this, but you can be a decent judge) for a good 20 minutes-40 minutes. Varying RPMs is all good/fine/whatever--- I realize you're likely on the street for this.... Again, check coolant and for leaks. All looks, fine 75% load and spirited driving-- preferably on a dyno for all this, but not an option in most cases--- again, I realize....

Need some pressure behind the rings, so the 75% load is needed. I'll usually get a good 1 hour on the more in this phase of 75% load frequented and might see short bursts at 100%. This is typically sufficient to get the majority of ring seating in and be able to identify if the motor is going to be OK.

Change oil/filter. Examine for unusual metal particulates.

All looks well, then it's typically OK run your road-going oil from here out. Again, a more frequent change early on for one more check. All looks good, then you're set.

Typically, if the motor is going to be OK, you'll know in that first 20 minutes.

God forbid you're running a new setup and a new motor all at once. Much more complicated now, as you MUST be observent of the new tune and state of the new setup in addition to the motor. Standard sensors, that this car doesn't really have, will help to save you if a mistake was made... If you don't have good sensory input (AFR, spark, oil pressure to name a few--- and then of course know what values you're looking for!)... then, well... you need to be SUPER careful with all this...

-PV
 

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Discussion Starter #13
God forbid you're running a new setup and a new motor all at once. Much more complicated now, as you MUST be observent of the new tune and state of the new setup in addition to the motor. Standard sensors, that this car doesn't really have, will help to save you if a mistake was made... If you don't have good sensory input (AFR, spark, oil pressure to name a few--- and then of course know what values you're looking for!)... then, well... you need to be SUPER careful with all this...

-PV
Thanks, all, for the input. I was hoping Phil would chime in.

The above issue, breaking in and tuning a new induction system, is why I asked about breaking it in n/a initially. I'd love to just run it in on the stock ecu, but it's a 9:1 motor. So it seems I have no choice. Or am I missing something?

Btw, does anyone have a 9:1 map i can use for starters?
 

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Thanks, all, for the input. I was hoping Phil would chime in.

The above issue, breaking in and tuning a new induction system, is why I asked about breaking it in n/a initially. I'd love to just run it in on the stock ecu, but it's a 9:1 motor. So it seems I have no choice. Or am I missing something?

Btw, does anyone have a 9:1 map i can use for starters?
I ran a 9:1 motor with a non-intercooled TVS on an X2 EFI if that would work. Not sure if 1.2 and X2 maps are interchangeable. Phil or Kris might be a better resources. I can check for the map when I get home if you'd like though.
 

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There are some differences between the 1.2 and X2 (we did an ECU swap on the dyno loading same map and found some differences that were not picked up) and the map may not automatically translate ... check with Kris at DRS.

Kris did my motor breakin -- Motul Mineral Oil with additives -- on the dyno Kris went thru about a hour of high load low rpm work then progressively worked up to higher rpms. Then we changed the oil while car is still on the dyno and switched to synth Motul 5W-40 ... check the break-in oil drained to make sure nothing abnormal.

Race engines usually run a thinner weight oil ... about the thinnest you can without damage. I'd avoid straight weight oils in more modern engines with tighter tolerances. If you go synthetic, I'd suggest you make sure it's a Group IV (PAO) synth and not a Group III. I think Mobil 1 are producing a Group IV synth now also.
 

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If you're not hurting for every last pony, err to the side of thicker oil on the race track. Just my 2 pennies. Thicker oil might cost literally a couple horsepower and a couple degrees of oil temp, but it's worth it, IMO. It's always safe to run oil "too thick"... but if you run oil too thin, bad things happen...

Redline 40wt is a 15w40 oil and had very high sheer strength and really makes for pretty tear-downs.... It's the best oil I've come across so far... It's race only oil, as it has no detergents...
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks again, everybody. Lots to think about…

Phil, would boostu's X2 map run on my 1.2?
Is there a N/A 9:1 out there somewhere that I could use to break in the motor?
I'm still kind of lost as to what my options are other than breaking in the motor while tuning (given the change to 9:1). ??

On the upside, I met Eyelise today and he gave me a great tutorial on working with the editor and files. We had to goof around a bit with port parameters, but he got the laptop and ecu talking and we upgraded the firmware. Thanks, man! Bonus: found out I have a datalog module. Score!
 

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I suppose one would start with asking "What happens during break-in that is critical?" and then develop a break in strategy from there.
Unless something is wearing-in there should be no break-in?
Here is one opinion: Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power

I have heard that:
1) the cams need to be run at >= 2500 to prevent them from scuffing the lobes.
2) The engine needs to be driven hard to break in the top ring
3) The engine needs off throttle (under vacuum) to break in the 2nd ring - so high RPM and then throttle completely shut.
4) The majority of the cam and ring break in is within the first 20-30 minutes so there is no time for idling it, but you also need to get it up to temp.

I favor using this: Joe Gibbs Driven - Break-In Oils
And this Red Line Synthetic Oil - Motor Oil for Racing - Engine Oil Break-In Additive

The polar opposite is put in good synthetic and baby it for a few k.


======================


...Gentle break in to avoid "micro welding" the rings until they are seated (look up micro welding rings).
...
OK I looked it up and it said from high temp, and nothing about breaking-in.


...
A couple days before I first started, I took off the valve cover and just drizzled fresh oil over all the cam lobes, followers and valves.
...
Assembly lube is designed for that, so that is another proven option.


...
I wanted to spray some WD-40 into the cylinders, but the little plastic nozzle was not long enough and I didn't want it just coating the spark plug area with WD-40. So if you can find a longer nozzle then that would be a good idea.
...
Why would that be a good idea?
How would the rings seal if they are lubed up in a pool of oil that could potentially coke-up the ring groves?
 

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I was a big fan of Redline engine oil, but having repeatedly heard bad things about Redline oils from engine builders and pro-racers, I'll be moving to Mobil 1 0W-50 racing oil.

Yes, too heavy weight an oil can be as bad as too thin (especially with drain back). I'd also avoid high sulphur phosphorus content oils IF you run Nikasil coatings.

Most engine wear occurs during startup from cold condition ... thinner oils help here. Nothing wrong with additives - especially zinc (good for pistons and bearings) for wear which doesn't react at all to typical oil contamination, and sulphur phosphorus is a high pressure additive (good for cams/gears).

Having said all this, I've never attributed a engine failure to a specific oil brand/weight/type ... however, engine wear is another matter and one's goals (how many hours you want out of an engine and it's primary purpose).

Rob
 

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Funny- I've heard similar bad things about Mobil 1. Seriously.... But that's also the point. Lots of opinions propagated about the pits and forums without engine lab data behind it... Not many engine programs can afford lab data anyway, save for F1, NASCAR, etc... The rest of the data is likely hearsay, oil voodoo, and might have some limited tear down experience with a few motors they've built. Personally, I tear down a lot of 2zz motors (but not 100s of them), and generally find decent findings regardless of the oil. However, it is evident that that redline race oil seems to protect better than the road going Mobil 1 oils of comparable viscosity --- but it should! Since its a race oil.... Mobil 1 also has their race oils as well... again, oil voodoo! :)


Personally, I prefer to buy oil from companies that actually blend their own oil so I can actually talk to someone who had something to do with the process-- which I have and do talk to these guys....Redline, royal purple, Mobil, motul all fit that bill. Joe Gibbs doesn't since they just brand someone else's oil... I'm sure it's fine stuff, I just don't prefer it...

I also find some comfort in low-detergent race oils for track only duty. There are companies that boast long life detergent race oils, but I just feel better with traditional low-detergent race oil...Can only fit so much "stuff" into a part of oil and I just assume all that "stuff" be something to aid in lubrication, film strength, etc... Leave the long-life detergents, which are just that-- detergents---, for road going motors that need it...

As for thick oil and drain back--- sure if you're running gear oil in a motor or something, you might have that issue.... I guess...In a 2zz, 50 wt oil is going to drain back similar to 20wt oil. You're just losing film strength with the 20 wt oil compared to the 50 (just using those random wt oils as an example). At full temp, they both flow down a drain back hole similar... It's the film strength that's a fair bit different. In the 2zz motor specifically, the crank isn't submerged in the oil like an old chevy 350, so your parasitic loss of the crank sloshing through the oil minimal. Also in the 2zz case, where the rod journals are tiny and the typcial rebuild rod bearings are tiny, film strength is quite important--- so again, err to the thicker side, IMO.....

-pv

edit: Making a lot of generalities in these discussions... Also the Mobil 1 race oils are sure to be decent oils. Again, I chose redline, but would not be opposed to Mobil 1 race oil-- in the case of the 2zz, 0-50 as Rob mentioned over their 0-30... Of course neither Mobil 1 or redline race oils are for road-going motors, which I think the OP is looking for:D
 
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