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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read the threads on this topic, but still have one question. I have posted it in the engine-rebuilding section, but so far no answer. I'm posting it here, too, in hope that I'll get an answer. In advance, thanks for the help.

By the way, the oil I purchased yesterday (Valvoline Racing 10-50) is recommended by Raymond Gordon in one of the threads. I was unable to locate Brad Penn oil suggested by Paul Spruell.

It is a 2.0 engine rebuilt for my '88 Spider. As I mentioned, I couldn't obtain the Brad Penn oil in a timely manner, so yesterday purchased Valvoline 20-50 Racing Oil. The guy at the NAPA store who waited on me told me he worked for a race-car engine builder and said that is the oil they used.

He also urged me to buy Lucas Engine Break-In Additive (it's in a 16 oz bottle) and include it in the mix. I also have on hand a 4 oz. bottle of ZddPlus -- a ZDDP additive.

Question: Should I add either (or both) of these to the Valvoline oil during the initial break-in period?

I plan to go the aggressive route on the break-in. The rings are Hastings.
 

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break-in oil

When I rebuilt my engine on my ITB Alfetta GT, I used cheap, no-name 30 wt non-detergent oil to break it in. After first start and checks, I drove it 250 miles on the freeway at night (I had a race that weekend). I did not give it full throttle until I changed the oil for Valvoline 20w-50 racing before my first practice session. I used Deves rings in the rebuild (which I've heard are more difficult). I raced it 3 more seasons before selling the car without any oil burning issues and 200 psi compression.

I wouldn't bother with the additives. Maybe I am a skeptic, but I figure the oil company engineers would have already put it in if it was all that. If you used assembly lube on the cam lobes and lifters and fill the cam boxes with engine oil, you should be fine.

My 2 cents.

I read your thread and you know this I'm sure, but pull the plugs and ground the ignition and crank it until you have oil pressure, then re-install the plugs and ignition and fire it up.

Have fun!

~Chris
 

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I would use the Lucas Engine Break-In Additive the first time since you already bought it. Use the the ZddPlus in the first oil change. After that I would go with just the Valvoline VR1 Racing 20w50. It has a higher than normal zinc mix, lots of people use and swear by it. I have also heard good things about Brad Penn oils, but have never used them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks

Thank you Richard and Chris,

I'll think over night about using the Lucas stuff. On the one hand, probably won'd do much harm. But then, on the other hand, it might make things a little too slick and cause the rings to be slow in seating.

But you both agree the Valvoline oil is ok, so that gives me confidence.

Larry
 

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Everybody does things differently, Larry. Some with sucess and others... Well :)

When an engine is rebuilt you want to have the small particals from the break-in process flushed out of the pores of the liners and bearings and deposited into the oil filter. Breakin-in is a wear process, gets rid of the high spots, or wears them down till there is no friction.

Breaking-in with a thick oil, like 20w50, doesnt get the flushing action needed as well as using a thinner oil, like a 10W. Since that is hard to find, 10w30 works just fine.

Most of the oil additives are friction modifiers, and defeat the purpose of the break-in process. Premium oils have better lubricity than regular oils and also defeat the purpose.

The parts store man is recommending what oil works in a customers racing engine that is broken in, and probably has large clearences and needs a thick oil to maintain oil pressure and the effects of the heat build-up from racing.

I recommend breaking in the engines i build with any inexpensive 10w30 oil, changing the filter after one hundred miles, then the oil and filter after 250 miles. What oil to run after break-in??? For street engines 10w30 is just fine in crude oil based oils, or 5w30 in a good synthetic. The oil pressure only needs to be 4-5 pounds at idle and 40-55 pounds above 3000 rpm. Go to a slightly thicker oil to achive this if needed.

And while we're on this subject, I've started using low viscosity synthetic oils in the race engines as well, as long as the engine maintains the 40-55 oil pressure hot and winding. The flushing action of the thinner oils keeps the bearings cool, and the thinner oil pumps at a higher volume to better lubricate as well as cool. The thinner oils also transfer heat better to the aluminum oil pan and/or the oil cooler on the race cars.

And I couldn't believe that the recommended oil for my motorhome (30 foot) is 5w30 synthetic. 65,000 miles. And the Miata race car runs on 5w30 synthetic. 150,000 miles on that engine.

Use Google to find the tech articles on the reasons to follow the above suggestions.

Hope this helps, George
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Geroge,
I just returned from NAPA, where I returned the Lucas stuff. So, it'll be straight oil tomorrow when I try to start it. In another thread I have documented the resurrection of what should have been a parts car. Lots of parts were missing, including wiring looms and the ECU. Along the way, I have done some modifications. So, I'll be amazed if it kicks over right away. If so, I'll stick with the 20-50, because it's still above 90 degrees here. The oil should thin down quickly enough.

I'll heed your advice to change the filter at 100 miles (assuming the odometer works, which will amaze me if it does). I have a spare filter on hand. I'll track the hours I put on the engine, in the event the odometer doesn't work.

The thread that documents the resurrection process is under "Another Budget Rebuild." Turns out the "budget" part of this project didn't quite work out. These little cars eat hundred dollar bills. A good rule is to never, ever keep track of what you are spending on toys. But on this one, my wife politely challenged me to keep a spreadsheet after I promised her that with a mere $2,500 after the initial $450 purchase I'd have it running fine. I hate it when she's right. I just ordered Corbeau Clubman seats for it, and haven't added them to the spreadsheet.

Thanks again to all on this bb. Really does help. A lot.

Larry
 

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budget

Larry-

I've read your thread. You've done an amazing job building a nice track car and keeping the cost down. If your wife knew what this usually costs, she would be thrilled by your skills and diligence. Respect.

~Chris
 
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it's almost a alfa romeo spider
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....what seats ???? the car came with seats.. they look like they belong there... so why are you asking about the ' seats ' then duck and run..:):):)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Larry-

I've read your thread. You've done an amazing job building a nice track car and keeping the cost down. If your wife knew what this usually costs, she would be thrilled by your skills and diligence. Respect.

~Chris
Thanks, Chris,
Yesterday I told my long-suffering wife that the fasteners I picked up at Ace Hardware -- about a $7.00 purchase -- would be about it for the spending on the Spider. She laughed -- aloud.

Bianchi1,
Had to buy new seats. The originals had been left to sit in the rain, then sun, by a P.O., while the car sat ... dead. They are total trash.

The two local upholsterers (I live in a small town, so don't have the choices available in your Sacramento area) each quoted $300 per seat.

And those original seats are heavy. I know this, because I carried them into their shops. The Corbeau seats I ordered weigh, I think, less than 20 pounds. Because I have not built hp into the engine, I need to pick up performance by lightening the car. Plus, they are FIA certified -- for whatever that is worth.

Larry
 

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....what seats ???? the car came with seats.. they look like they belong there... so why are you asking about the ' seats ' then duck and run..

I'm with Bianchi1, too!
Larry, you did have these "dusty" Corbeau seats on the car....
 

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There is no scientific evidence that any engine requires oil additives for engine break in. Many of these rumors are based on the sacred cow syndrome. Much marketing of elixirs targeted on the mass audience - typically members of which will do little research to verify exaggerated claims by snake oil peddlers.
 

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snake oil

+1

Sad but true.

~Chris
 
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