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I am getting a motor together for the upcoming AROSC race. My question is: What kind of oil should I use for break in? Spruell sells this stuff:

Brad Penn SAE 30 Break-In Racing Oil 100% USA Product - Spruell Motorsport, Inc - Performance and Your Store for Sports Car Performance and Racing Parts

I ordered some from Spruell but I am not sure it will get here in time due to the weather in Georgia.

At my local auto parts store I can find some straight 30-weight, and some really cheap store brand oil, which may actually be better for break in since I assume for less money it would have less additives.

What do people think?

Doug Bender
 

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For my daily driver 164S V6 I used NAPA non detergent for 300 miles.
 

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I just talked to Paul and we agree, yet differ. For racing, I use Valvoline 20-50 Racing oil. With the pumps I rebuild for BB customers, I run them in with Valvoline 20-50 Racing. This is a non detergent oil that contains a dispersant rather than detergent for anti-foaming. I also use this as a break in oil. Many feel the lighter 30 weight will not "pull" bearings on fresh rebuilds for spun bearing shells. This has not happened to me using this 20-50 Valvoline as an assembly oil. Perhaps I'm either lucky or careful, I don't know. I do know, Pauls Brad Pen 30 W works fine as well. MANY engine builders use a straight weight, non-detergent, high quality mineral oil. Others I know use my formula. Some feel the properly set up (mixture / ignition) engine needs that initial full throttle and then let off for ring sealing, BUT even F-1 engine break in has a period of time running at relatively low speeds, looking for leaks or other problems before the on-off throttle. As such the multi weight Valvoline should warm to be about 30 W by the time this procedure is initiated. This is just my opinion from my experience. You need high quality lubrication, with no possibility of foaming, (air in the galleries!) in a new engine, with minimal bearing pull or drag.
 

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Why is non-detergent important? I am not challenging anything, just want to be educated.
 

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Foaming, early on, with dry bearings and air in the galleries. Later, some hydrocarbon chunks, non-dissolved, may aid in ring seating. Some microscopic grit left in the cylinder cross hatch, may aid in the same way. These ideas, greatly simplified, have been mentioned to me over the years by some old time engine builders (older than I? Thats pretty old!) I have a very old Ford Model A service bulletin handbook, that discusses engine break in with non detergent, single weight, the only oils available 1928-1931. Same issues discussed! Maybe a F-1 engine builder could really tell us why?
 

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I have a very old Ford Model A service bulletin handbook
Is that the one that also discusses how to replace main bearings with strips of leather cut from the tounge of boots?
I remember my grandfather telling me of the process at one time forever ago.

I'd hazard a small part of the reason for non~detergent is that you don't want to have the oil washing away some of the specialty assembly lubes too early on, and also (and this is pure speculation on my part) 'extra' residue from rings bedding in would be washed down into the sump by detergents where it could find its way into the sparkly new bearings and such which likely wouldn't be very good for them.
 

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Multi-grade oils contain film and shear strength additives to maintain their multi-viscosity characteristics. When seating new rings we don't want that much protection. I think a good "poor man's" break-in oil would be any decent 30wt with a zinc additive for the flat tappets. But then, the Brad Penn isn't that expensive.

Hey Ed....How's the thumb?
 

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Hi Jon. Surgery went fine, as far as I can tell. I will know more next week when they take out the stitches. Got off the pain killers a few days ago. Chose a good time to get it done. My garage is colder than my beer refridgerator. I don't care that I cannot wrench for a while.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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That is very interesting to know about the valvolines, racing, non detergent, white bottle 20/50 detergent, did not know that, thanks!

you can also get the brad penn oil on amazon.com with free super saver shipping. I used that as breakin on my last rebuild but now that I know about the valvolines I might try the racing for the breakin.
 

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Lucas Break-In Additive

I just talked to Paul and we agree, yet differ. For racing, I use Valvoline 20-50 Racing oil. With the pumps I rebuild for BB customers, I run them in with Valvoline 20-50 Racing. This is a non detergent oil that contains a dispersant rather than detergent for anti-foaming. I also use this as a break in oil. Many feel the lighter 30 weight will not "pull" bearings on fresh rebuilds for spun bearing shells. This has not happened to me using this 20-50 Valvoline as an assembly oil. Perhaps I'm either lucky or careful, I don't know. I do know, Pauls Brad Pen 30 W works fine as well. MANY engine builders use a straight weight, non-detergent, high quality mineral oil. Others I know use my formula. Some feel the properly set up (mixture / ignition) engine needs that initial full throttle and then let off for ring sealing, BUT even F-1 engine break in has a period of time running at relatively low speeds, looking for leaks or other problems before the on-off throttle. As such the multi weight Valvoline should warm to be about 30 W by the time this procedure is initiated. This is just my opinion from my experience. You need high quality lubrication, with no possibility of foaming, (air in the galleries!) in a new engine, with minimal bearing pull or drag.
I'm about to start the 2.0 engine I rebuilt for my '88 Spider. 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 told me he worked for a race-car engine builder and said that is what 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.

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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Latest report is that the Valvoline 20-50 Racing oil has plenty of ZDDP. The place you might need that is after break in if you change to a conventional motor oil sold for modern cars with the trick cat converter. as far as the Lucas break in additive, I have never found that necessary with either the Brad Penn or Valvoline Racing products.
Should you continue to use the Valvoline 20-50 Racing oil after break in, for street use, it requires a different oil change routine than detergent oils. Send me a PM and I'll explain.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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Your in good shape. I just finished a 2L and used the Valvoline racing straight 30 for the exact same reasons. It had used a little less than a quart when I changed it at 1000 miles to 20-50 Valvoline conventional. We've had 55 days of over 100 degrees this summer and oil pressure is good, darn well should be since I also put a new oil pump in. After 40 years of playing around with Alfas I've come to the conclusion that the most important thing, much more so than what oil one uses is how clean you get the liners and don't dunk them in oil, a light spray of light machine oil, a little dab will do ya sort of thing on the piston is all that's needed for a long and happy marrarige between the side of the ring and the cylinder wall.
 

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Hi Gordon,
I have Valvoline 20/50 racing in my GTV6 and I would like to be educated on the oil change routine.
Thanks.
 

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It used to be 221 Jim when I bought it in drums. It could be different in the quarts.
 

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Here is what I have done, for years with some engines, using only Valvoline 20-50 Racing oil. Many, 25-30 years ago, it was explained as follows by a Valvoline track representative. Again, this may have changed, but still works. The Valvoline 20-50 Racing contains a dispersant. This keeps debris in the oil while circulation. Detergent oils keep debris in the oil at all times, to a degree, even when the oil is just sitting, not circulating. Over time with the Valvoline, the debris will settle out, falling to the bottom of the sump. Here it can be picked up right away, and blown through a cold started engine. Not good.
The solution is the function of the filter, use of the engine, and observation of the oil. If the engine is run often, the debris does not settle out, and the oil functions like other conventional detergent oils, except, it WILL NOT FOAM with high rpm use. If you put a cup sample of hot, dirty valvoline 20-50 Racing aside, you can visually see how quickly the debris settles out, leaving "clear" oil on top. I don't bother with this. In use, when the oil, hot, gets non-transparant on the dip stick, I change it. If it's cloudy (moisture) or blackish (carbon), translucent it is getting close to change time, but not quite.
Different engines dirty up this oil at different rates, driven in similar manners. My Alfa GTA engine keeps this oil clean about 2000, 2500 miles, while blow by in a 12 cylinder 275 Ferrari makes it opaque in sometimes less then 1500 miles.
In conclusion, just look at the hot oil on the dipstick often. When it's clearly dirty, change it.
I have used this routine for many years with Italian and American performance engines, both big and small. My friend, Richard Jemison, says I'm tempting sludge. If it sits in your engine with moisture in it, you will get sludge. Always change it hot, always change it at storage time, always use a quality filter. Doing these things, this oil is just fine for street use. I have NEVER had an oil related problem using Valvoline 20-50 Racing oil on the street or track.
From my experience.
 

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I use Shell Rotella T 30w for break in then I change to Valvoline VR1 20-50.
I've never had the ring seating problems that are discussed elsewhere on the BB.
Can anyone explain why a liner would differ from a bore in the block?
I think the key to proper ring seating is to not let the engine idle, upon start up, run at 2500-4000 rpm for 30 min.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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Here's my therory on why liners are different from blocks. When you take your block to the machine shop and bore it they also wash it afterwards in basicaly a big dishwasher. If we take our blocks for this they don't have the liners in and they, the liners, don't get the "treatment" thus the difference.
x2 on the idle which I'm figuring is to keep slap to a minimun right at first, just a guess
 

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Here's my therory on why liners are different from blocks. When you take your block to the machine shop and bore it they also wash it afterwards in basicaly a big dishwasher. If we take our blocks for this they don't have the liners in and they, the liners, don't get the "treatment" thus the difference.
I don't know, but it is a variable, so next time bring the liners.

As for the higher power settings, that has to do with gas pressure behind the rings. The spring pressure from the ring itself is not enough to seal the combustion chamber. It's gas pressure, B.M.E.P, that goes behind the ring and forces it to the cylinder wall, so a higher power setting equals more B.M.E.P equals more force on the rings, in effect after all that careful assembly the final "machining" is done by the engine it's self, one more reason to change that break in oil.
 

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BMEP is good, not much at high idle speeds though or no load driving, (mo gas and air, more BMEP) piston slap is only going to occur at a slow idle speed but will be reduced with a higher idle (not much gas and air so not much BMEP) hence the no idle rule. I don't know anyone who can rebuild an engine and as soon as it cranks, back out the garage and go for a drive to get some BMEP. At a minimum I'll at least set the timing at the "M" then and run it at a fast idle to check for leaks before I head out. Just throwing stuff out there to see what sticks:)

I use my pressure washer and elbow grease to clean the bock. I just wash my liners in my dishwasher because there is really no reason to take an aluminum block to be boiled out, no rust or corrosion to deal with which is what they are doing with the iron blocks.
 
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