New engine - What oil to use for break in? - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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New engine - What oil to use for break in?

It was suggested that I do NOT break my new engine in with synthetic oil, but that I should use conventional oil.

Any suggestions??
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 01:54 PM
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I wonder why they told you that ?

GM was/is putting synthetic oil in the cars at the factory...

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Saveaux View Post
It was suggested that I do NOT break my new engine in with synthetic oil, but that I should use conventional oil.

Any suggestions??
I have heard that too, to use dino oil for the first 1 or 2K. Theory is that it's less slippery and allows quicker bedding-in of moving parts. No idea if there any truth whatsoever in that theory, though.

Here is a whole bunch of opinions... read and choose the one you agree with: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...1774872&page=1

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 03:06 PM
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i would use a blend, like quacker state defy/highmillage and change the oil&filter after 1 day max. mine get oil&filter changed at the first 35m then again with filter after a hour more and then again with filter after the next 1~1.5 hours. the main beding in is the rings. and they dont relly bed in but they do breakin and "seat".as does the valve springs. the valve springs require a few heat cycles before there ready for hard high rpm blast. hard blast helps the rings seat, just dont go past about 5000 for the first 2 hot/cold heat cycles then up to 6000 till you get another 2 full heat cycles, more heat cycles is better and the springs last longer doing it that way. if your turbo then I wouldent get the turbo too hot till you go to the full synthetic. I would not break it in on straight syn, but thats me.Ive seen rings that did not seat when syn was used in the first go round. there are breakin in oils and breakin additives, used exsclusevly for the first batch of oil only.they willl harm the system if continued usage.( mostly ash deposits,hot spots etc, I havent a clue what they can do to a turbo or cat)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 03:24 PM
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i would use a blend, like quacker state defy/highmillage and change the oil&filter after 1 day max.
Duck walks into an auto parts store; asks the counter guy if they carry Quacker State. Counter guys says sure..but how is a duck going to pay for the oil? Duck replies.. I was hoping you could put it on my bill.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 03:48 PM
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conventional wisdom ages ago was to use 30wt non-detergent as a break-in oil for the first 500 or so miles...

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 04:00 PM
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Break-in on a new or rebuilt engine is literally to properly 'wear in' the parts, such as piston ring to cylinder wall.

If the engine was built the way GM would have built it, then doing what GM did is the 'proper' technique

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 04:25 PM
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Back in the dark ages when Mobile 1 first hit the market there were stories about it being so slippery that a new engine would not wear-in its rings and leakage/oil consumption would result. I never saw evidence of that actually happening, it was always "someone who knew someone" that had it happen to them.

If the engine is an NA you can obviously use whatever you want, since they will very happily run forever on conventional oil. If it is a turbo anything conventional oil would improve would be overshadowed by problems that it would have with heat from the turbo.

If it is a "built" engine, ask the engine builder. If it is a GM crate engine Chris got it right when he said to follow GM's example, and run synthetic.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 05:51 PM
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What about using Seafoam in it?

Sorry.


Just kidding.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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@sirwm ATK told me to use conventional oil over synthetic because they said that engines that run synthetic oil run hotter than if they used conventional and that there was no sense in having a new engine run hotter than it has to. I've done zero research into this and just listened to what he had to say. He suggested that I run conventional for the first 5-6k miles prior to making the switch. Said to only do in-town driving for the first 500 miles with lots of RPM changes, before getting on the highway.

@marksbug Thank you for the advise!

@ChrisBlair I agreee completely, but unfortunately I can't identify what I purchased, to really know if it was GM. The seller recommend that I call one of their customers to see if they could tell me what they are. The customer told me they were made in Europe for a Fisker Karma and that they have the Opel injectors on a LDK block/head. ATK described the engine as being brand new and not remanufactured but that the engine would come with tags stating it to be "Remanufactured by non-oe". Well the engine came with tags on the wooden crate saying that it was remanufactured and the engine is definitely sand cast vs the foam cast of the LNF. What I didn't expect to see was the "Hecho in Mexico" on the lower block, however when I inspected my block, it too said that!. The engine comes "as-is" with no warranty according to the website. The price was good enough that I felt it was worth the risk of the purchase. Do you know the GM break in process?

@chickenwire Been there, done that. Maybe that was my problem all along?

Martin at RPM told me that he had an ATK engine go after less than 250 miles. ATK claimed that it went due to him using synthetic oil and not conventional for the break in process.

I'm thinking that I should go with one of the big names for break-in specific oil. Lucas Oil, Comp Cams or Royal Purple. Anyone have a reason not to use one of these?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 04:27 AM
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Last time I head a new motor, I was given a break in procedure. Put in conventional oil. Start and idle for two minutes then let sit till cool. Repeat several times. This is seating the rings. If you get a hot spot before the rings seat, they can weld a ring to the piston and they stop rotating and don't wear evenly. Then start and run up to quarter RPM several times and cool again. Then drive car athalf RPM max for five minutes and cool again. Repeat three times.
Finally drive car at low throttle but up to three quarter RPM for ten miles changing RPM to avoid continuous running at one RPM. Drain oil and put in synthetic and drive the car normally for 500 mile avoiding continuous RPM and high RPM
Change oil and you are done.
It has worked for me in the past.
The challenge with a turbo car is you want the rings to wear and seat properly but not cook the oil in the turbo. Heat and RPM control during the first few run cycles is important
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 08:06 AM
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Priming the engine is as easy as removing the crankshaft position sensor and cranking the engine until the oil light shuts off. It's also a good idea to remove the fuel pump fuse. if you don't have an oil pressure light on your dash, purchase an aftermarket gauge so you can keep an eye on oil pressure. Ensure you're making pressure while turning the engine with the CPS unplugged. If all is good, connect the CPS or Fuel Pump Fuse, and start the car.


Proper RPM's and Engine Run Times

After the first start, let the engine run for 20 minutes at varying speeds between 2000 and 3000rpm. It is critical to vary the RPM's for proper camshaft break-in and to ensure the piston rings and moving components are properly broke-in. After the first 20 minutes, inspect for oil, coolant, or fuel leaks. If all is good, take it on the road. Driving periods vary based on application, but no less than 30 miles is recommended. Head off to a low traffic area, where you can do long pulls at low load followed by engine braking back down to idle. This process is called "Vacuum Pulls" and helps seat the piston rings. Repeat no more than 50 miles and avoid open throttle and full boost scenarios. Watch your gauges like a hawk, and make any adjustments to your AFR's at this point.



Initial start up requires SAE 30 break-in oil and a new oil filter. If you dont have any SAE 30, conventional oil is fine. This oil will be in the engine from initial startup to the 50 mile mark. Change the oil at 50 miles, and again fill with SAE30 break-in oil or conventional oil type and run using the process outlined about for another 450 miles. At 500 miles, you'll change the oil once again with conventional oil and a new filter. The last oil change you'll make before completing the engine break-in procedure will be at 1500 miles, at which point will be conventional or synthetic oil and a new filter. From here on out, the typical 3000 mile interval is recommended.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 08:10 AM
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And another opinion, though basically the same thing. :-)


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 09:33 AM
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cams do not need braking in they are roller cams and require zero break-in in. as for floor it yes you do want to do that to load the rings so they can seat properly.do not over rev the engine, do not go out and race it. I sea foam quite often when I drive over one of the bridges and the tide is changing you can see the turd line as we call it( sea foam). I'm a retired performance /race engine builder / machinist,( still have a small machine shop for my stuff only now days) I've seen lotsa stupid stuff come though my shop.and some not so stupid and lots of effed up stuff from doing the 500 mile or more mile break-in before changing the oil. also the manufactured do usually do some run time witch include full throttle Ive watched Hyundai do it on their drag strip all cars go down then a short road course to the parking area. manufactured cars are a bit different tolerances are different that what you get from atk. also they build the engine, it's spun up. then sits for a week to months. letting the debris settle to the pan/wind-age tray where it will stay. then it's in the car and gets a few blast to the parking lot, on too the truck/train.then off at depot all the time settling more dibris into the pan & filter. lots of settling time, then it's at the dealer for more settling tyme. if you have ever pulled appart a new car engine you would be astonished with all the debris in the pan. even on crate engines. oil &filters are cheep. how much is a new engine.... also the old 2500~ 3000 rpm for 30 min or more is out the door thats for flat tappet cam, not roller cam. make sure all things are tight, full of h2o full of oil, and go for a short lighty fun drive for about 30 min then change the oil&filter let it cool down. of coarse they didnt put new springs in then you dont have to let it cool but it's not a bad idea. I would atleast do 1 more oil&filter change befoore 200 miles. then proceed as usual. ( me, I wood do more but your not me) good luck !!!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 01:35 PM
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Breaking in worked fine for GM using synthetic, but if it gives you a warm feeling by all means use dino oil for your break in. But keep your foot out of it during break in if you have an LNF, and use the technique you should use on shut down - idle the engine down after anything like decent pull before shutting it down. Dino oil can easily ash in the turbo bearings if you do a hot shut down.

For best of both worlds, use dino for a couple of hundred miles and then change the oil to synthetic. You'll get rid of any floating particles from early break in that way.

We used to have issues with breaking an engine in on synthetic when racing but that was because the miles we put in on the track didn't amount to much in total and by the time the rings seated we might be tearing it down again to deal with something else. We used larger clearances than a street build of course - piston to wall of 0.001" would have been unthinkable back then. IIRC, the hypereutectic pistons in the LNF do need less clearance than a forged piston does, so check that if you are using non-stock pistons in a rebuild.

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