Running in a new engine
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  1. #1
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    Default Running in a new engine

    I'm wondering what the fashion is these days with a new engine. New cars have their own ways, but my new engine is an old one with new bits.
    It's a 403 engine with new piston/sleeve kit, plus new bearings and a head job with hardened inserts for the exhaust valves.
    When I was a kid engines had to be carefully run in with limited revs for specific mileages. Plus there was the theory of not maintaining steady revs that might develop hot spots, so it was important to vary speed for quite awhile as well.
    Then we have the hoon method that states that an engine run fast from the start will rev out more freely than one that was molly coddled. that the act of being careful at the start somehow sets the engine into a careful mode that will not allow it to really spin out .
    Personally I don't adhere to the latter thought but I can see how a car treated carefully for a very long time could wear the bore to a particular level such that a really good thrash in old age might do other types of damage than if the thing had always been caned.
    I know theories abound on this subject and at times superstition and ignorance can shape the argument, but I'd just like to know what the state of the art knowledge is on this subject.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Perhaps someone who works in the auto industry can let us in on how they run their engines ont he assembly line. Not sure how relevant that would be though for our question here.
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    My last visit to a Peugeot factory had brand new cars being started up for the first time , then driven about 20m to a rolling road dyno and run to full power and full revs until a green light on the dyno came on to tell the drivers the cars is good.
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    Fellow Frogger! chez00's Avatar
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    I'm an engine machinist. Use a mono-weight 30w mineral based oil without additives (Penrite have a running in oil readily available - we use ULX110 but that's probably overkill). For the first 500km, the key is to make the engine work in its torque range. Don't allow the car to labour, i.e. change gears before the car "bogs down" going up a hill. Go for a good long squirt through the hills and rev to 80% of maximum, but don't sustain, and don't idle for extended periods. If you warm your car up (recommended), do so "off idle".
    After 500km change oil and filter. Use oil that you will be using and stick to it. An old girl like that just wants a good mineral based oil. For the next 500km do as above, but use the full rev range: make sure you really ring it's neck occasionally, otherwise she'll never get there.

    Hope this helps

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    There is a thread on this forum which covers this very well. From memory, the main thing you want is the bedding in of the rings to be optimal. This is done by (on a warm engine) judicious use of the loud pedal. Note I said, "use" not "abuse". Avoid constant speed running. Hard acceleration, don't 'baby' it, give it to it but dont abuse it. Sounds like fun hey?



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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    Then we have the hoon method that states that an engine run fast from the start will rev out more freely than one that was molly coddled. that the act of being careful at the start somehow sets the engine into a careful mode that will not allow it to really spin out .
    Maybe the hooned ones get a head service and skim sooner, and the missing meat retards the cam timing and helps the beast rev harder. Thats my theory pertaining to fuego's.


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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    This is one of my favorite reads ... everything this guy says makes complete sense

    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

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    Yes, I've heard similar, - about the same as the guy in break_in_secrets says.
    In fact its no secret at all if we've heard out out here in the bush

    Bed in the rings correctly by warming it up, lots of good oil & coolant etc, & make sure the timing is correct then using an open throttle on an (up) hill run from 1/3 max rpm to 2/3 max rpm. Not too steep a hill, enough so the engine has a load to work against but still can accellerate the car up it.

    Ive seen lots of 03 motors with gummed up rings, thats definitely a nono .... people think they are looking after it, but they work on momentum and are made to spin.

    People are suprised at the revs my 203 1200cc uses, its lasting very well, they are great engines and should be used that way. Luthier, has your motor been balanced?

    Last edited by DaveB; 22nd October 2011 at 10:11 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
    Luthier, has your motor been balanced?

    No I haven't done that. It's a new set of pistons and sleeves from Germany. I suppose it would pay to get it done. I was thinking the modern machining would be good enough and the crank I'm using came from the engine I just removed which ran very smoothly. Still, balancing's not very pricy is it? You need it almost assembled with flywheel on the crank and preferably clutch as well right? Depends how fussy you want to be I spose.

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    Iv been rather careless while running in my RS 250. On two occassions ive reved it to max and tacken a little long to change gear. This caused the rev needle to bounce for a moment. Is this what they term valve bounce and having done it twice can it damage the head or engine?

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anesti View Post
    Iv been rather careless while running in my RS 250. On two occassions ive reved it to max and tacken a little long to change gear. This caused the rev needle to bounce for a moment. Is this what they term valve bounce and having done it twice can it damage the head or engine?
    I think thats rev limiter.

    My old R21 injection would go NingNingNingNingNingNing.I'd sit on it in a tunnel just for the sound.
    Whereas my new efi just blows a raspberry and sounds crap

    I'd imagine you would need to bugger up a downshift to get valve bounce in a stock RS car.

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    I've heard that after an engine overhaul (new pistons & sleeves) the car should be left idling till it finishes a full tank then start driving; but I'm not convinced though. They say the logic behind this is to create some carbon deposit on the new parts to protect them. So, does anyone support this ? or should one proceed directly after the engine is reassembled to the methods mentioned below (the run hard methods) ?
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    This is one of my favorite reads ... everything this guy says makes complete sense

    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by chez00 View Post
    I'm an engine machinist. Use a mono-weight 30w mineral based oil without additives (Penrite have a running in oil readily available - we use ULX110 but that's probably overkill). For the first 500km, the key is to make the engine work in its torque range. Don't allow the car to labour, i.e. change gears before the car "bogs down" going up a hill. Go for a good long squirt through the hills and rev to 80% of maximum, but don't sustain, and don't idle for extended periods. If you warm your car up (recommended), do so "off idle".
    After 500km change oil and filter. Use oil that you will be using and stick to it. An old girl like that just wants a good mineral based oil. For the next 500km do as above, but use the full rev range: make sure you really ring it's neck occasionally, otherwise she'll never get there.

    Hope this helps
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doush_504 View Post
    I've heard that after an engine overhaul (new pistons & sleeves) the car should be left idling till it finishes a full tank then start driving; but I'm not convinced though. They say the logic behind this is to create some carbon deposit on the new parts to protect them. So, does anyone support this ? or should one proceed directly after the engine is reassembled to the methods mentioned below (the run hard methods) ?
    That is one of the worst things you can do as you will more than likely glaze the bores. There's a school of thought that you should give it a bit of a flogging as the pressure gets behind the rings and pushes the outwards against the bore, helping them bed in. Various loads, over various revs is the key.

    For the record, after last rebuilding the engine in the 505 I drove it about 60kms to a hillclimb, then it spent the rest of the day competing in a gravel hillclimb, spending a lot of the time above 6,000 rpm with no ill effects. I probably should do a compression test to see how it looks.

    The problem with running in an engine is there are so many different theories, and everyone will tell you their theory is best. To do otherwise will undo all your hard work - apparently.

    The common thread I've seen though is don't let them idle or labour too much.

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  14. #14
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    For years I used to hang around helping while Dad rebuilt engines for people.
    Initial bed in was always 10-15km of going from about 20kmh to 80kmh at about 2/3 throttle then letting it coast down and repeat.
    He would then advise for the first 500km not to go over 2/3 revs and vary the speed, never letting it lug.
    Change oil, then for the rest of the first 2,000 or so not to thrash it much but to use most of the rev range and to vary the speed a bit on long trips.
    The only two times he ever had problems with an engine he rebuilt both times the owners insisted on a crankshaft polish rather than a full grind and undersize bearings and he told them it wouldn't last too long and both times he was right.
    Then the next time someone wanted dodgy bits put back in he gave them back their engine in bits and said to let him do it right or finish themselves...
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    That's pretty much what I did with my R12, and the engine turned out to be a beauty. Except I didn't use any special oil for the first 500km. I also made sure I constantly varied the speed during any freeway driving, and put it under moderate load when re-accelerating up to speed.


    Quote Originally Posted by chez00 View Post
    I'm an engine machinist. Use a mono-weight 30w mineral based oil without additives (Penrite have a running in oil readily available - we use ULX110 but that's probably overkill). For the first 500km, the key is to make the engine work in its torque range. Don't allow the car to labour, i.e. change gears before the car "bogs down" going up a hill. Go for a good long squirt through the hills and rev to 80% of maximum, but don't sustain, and don't idle for extended periods. If you warm your car up (recommended), do so "off idle".
    After 500km change oil and filter. Use oil that you will be using and stick to it. An old girl like that just wants a good mineral based oil. For the next 500km do as above, but use the full rev range: make sure you really ring it's neck occasionally, otherwise she'll never get there.

    Hope this helps


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    Bit of a thread resurrection here, but my local engine builder (mainly big dollar racey v8's) upon asking him this very question, said simply, "Bleed the cooling system with a pressure tester, crank the engine without the plugs to get oil pressure and once you are 100% sure it's all good to go, start the car and go for a spin to the top of Mt Macedon - by the time you get to the top, it will be run in".

    I thought about that for a while and he's got a point, it really is a ideal run in drive. He lives only 100m or so from me, so the drive to the top of Mt Macedon for us involves a slow slightly down hill trip through town for the first 1k (warms things up and circulates the oil).
    There is then a moderate gradient climb for about 2k into a 100 zone, then it levels for another k or so and then it's another slightly steeper climb before it becomes a bit 'up and down' for a few k's (the ups are steep enough to require 80% throttle to maintain 100km/h in a N/A Fuego). The road then levels out for about 4k before you turn and head up the mountain, which due to the winding nature requires some moderate to heavy acceleration, but only for short periods.

    The engine builder said to change the oil when it's home again (it'd only be a 40k round trip), and again in another 400-500k. Then change it again and use good stuff.

    He said to use Pentrite run in oil for the first two changes (as it has less friction modifiers or some such) and it lets things wear and bed in properly. He recommended Royal Purple Synthetic for the regular oil (which I have never used before but will do some research on).

    He also said that with modern ring designs and materials, however good you can get the rings to bed in and seal after about 200k is pretty much as good as they'll get.

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