When you build, rebuild, or buy a new engine, one necessary concept for you to consider is that of breaking the engine in properly for use. This is an important part of your engine’s life, and without breaking in an engine, the engine’s seals and rings might not mate properly. This can result in a loss of performance or engine failure. Following specific driving guidelines during the first few hours of its use usually breaks in a new engine. The focus of breaking in an engine lies within the contact between the piston rings of the engine and the cylinder walls. There is no universal preparation or set of instructions for breaking in an engine, and the experts disagree on whether it is better to start engines on high or low power to break them in, or whether you should break them in on a Dyno or in the vehicle.
One thing everybody can agree on is that the first time you fire up your engine it’s the most crucial time. We stopped at Eddings Engine Rebuilding Inc. of San Fernando, CA, where we got the chance to view the process being done on a Dyno. With longevity and reliability as the top priority, the crew used Lucas Oils engine break-in additive. This 16oz additive will help protect the camshaft lifters and valve train during the break-in period of the motor. It’s also excellent for older engines with flat tappet camshafts during break-in or as an additive to any motor oil to prevent premature wear.
Using a Dyno will help tune and get the most out of an engine as the diagnostics will be displayed on the computer, showing the engines flaws and give you some insight on how to better tune it. You still need to break in your engine first, so let us show you how the Team Eddings Engine Rebuilding Inc. uses Lucas Oil products and additives to break in the engine, making sure that the Edelbrock-equipped big block also gives us the best performance possible.
1. Lucas Oil products ready to do the job.
2. Eli started off by connecting the engine to the Dyno and connecting all the accessories that would normally come with the car. Since headers are going to be used, Eli connected the headers to the engine. When using a Dyno, you always want to tune the engine according to the equipment you car is going to be running.
3. Last on the list before turning the engine was to add the throttle cable so it can be controlled from safety of the engine room.
4. We started off the breaking-in process by adding a 16 ounce Lucas Engine Break additive, which is added to your normal 5 quarts of oil that your engine should be running.
5. After one last visual inspection of all of the components, Eli was ready to run the engine for 15-30 minutes to allow the cam and lifters to marry each other. Each cam manufacturer has their own process, so you should follow their recommended process to avoid voiding any type of warranty that they might put out.
6. Once the engine was broken in, we were ready to drain the Lucas break-in additives and add Lucas’ Hot Rod oil.
7. The Lucas Hot Rod oil has zinc, which has been removed from normal oil. This is common, as most manufacturers have gone to a roller style valve train that requires less zinc and thinner lubes.
8. After a few adjustments to the carburetor, this engine was ready to be dialed in. These Dyno pulls are so important because you can program the weight, type of car, and gear ratios, allowing the tuner to give you the most out of the engine.
9. From inside the control room, Eli monitors the engine temperature and the oil pressures. Even more importantly, he controls the throttle on the engine while doing the Dyno pull.
10. This engine was ready to be dropped in as it was now broken-in and tuned. When this engine gets installed, only minor adjustments, if any, will need to take place.