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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a week or two I will be trying to start up my new 318 TBI engine. I was just wanting to get some opinions on what I should and should not do on start up. My current thinking is get in truck and turn key :D but I know that can't be right. Keep in mind that it is a computer controlled ignition so I am unsure of whether the timing needs to be set or not and it is a .... oh what is it called.... not the "old style" camshaft but the newer type with the rollers...

Gosh guys my wife is due in two days and I am starting to lose my marbles!!!

Anyway, any advice to help me save my engine?

Marcus
 

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I would think one of the primary concerns is lubrication. In the older days we would turn the oil pump with a drill motor (with the distributor removed) to insure the pump was primed and we'd watch for oil to appear in the upper valve train. AND, when we were ready to start the engine leave the coil wire off and crank until oil pressure appeared on the pressure gauge, then reconnected the coil wire and started up the engine and let run at 2000-2500 RPM for a time. Of course that was back with non-roller lifters/cam.

Within the first several hundred miles change the oil often as the oil will contain metal particles from the engine breaking in. Look in the pan that you drain the oil into, stir it around and it'll look shimery almost like metal flake paint.

I know this might not help with a computer controlled engine, but this is just some old time basics.
 

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Well since it's a roller you don't have to do cam break in but you will need to prime the motor oil wise before turning the key what you need to do is remove the dist. and prime the oil system with a drill and then after getting pressure i like to turn the motor like 15 degree increments and prime again till you get pressure again this way you know oil got into every galley then quickly install the dist and fire it up ( you can start by 1st setting top dead point the dist and get everything zeroed then start priming from that point on the dist then drop everything back in according to your zeroed settings)
 

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You absolutely, positively, have to get oil all through the engine prior to firing it up, to ensure a long life for the motor, and priming it like the previous poster have said is the way to go. After it fires and starts, you need to elevate the idle speed to about 2000-2500 RPM and let it run at that speed for about 15-30 minutes. Do not let it idle below that.

Once the time limit of the elevated idle has passed, let it drop to idle and drive it. You may take it out and drive it easy for awhile. Do not let it run at the same speed for more than a minute for about an hour. Do not run full throttle at any time during these preceedings. If you have an oil pressure gauge, watch it closely.

Once the hour is up, bring it home and let the engine cool. After it has cooled for a few hours, check the oil level, and fill if needed. Start it back up and let it idle until it reaches operating temperature. (what this does is allows all the oil to flow back into the pan and take any contaminants back to the pan with it) Once it reaches operating temp, shut it down and change the oil and filter.

Drive the vehicle normally for about a week or so, varying the throttle like before (still no full throttle running) and check the oil DAILY. After about 100 miles, CHANGE THE OIL AND FILTER AGAIN. Ifyou want, at this point check compression on all cylinders. They should not vary more than 10 psi on a new rebuild.

We did this procedure on all street high performance motors we built in the shop I used to work at, and we NEVER had a premature failure. This may be a bit of overkill, but I have used it on rebuilds since working at that shop and I have always had good luck with it.

YMMV,

Mike


 

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Its been my opinion and understanding that all you really need to do to a typical engine is prime it and break in the cam. LIke EVD3 said, since you have a roller cam you do not need to break in the cam, so just prime the engine. Good luck if you need any help give me a holla i'm in the DC area fot the summer

Mike
 

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There is a breakin procedure for race motors that is usually the 1 that goes like this 1st pass half throttle thru 2 shut down 2nd pass a lazy all out till 3rd back off 3rd pass all out, for street motors(regular hydro and solid cams involve alittle more pre running before hitting the streets) i like to drive them around in a stop and go situation for alittle while while hitting all the different rpms
then a cool down drop the oil,replace no synthetic yet then hit a highway for 5 miles or so all the while watching gauges like your life depended on it and do not let it over heat recheck timing and oil and then a little abuse i like to add synthetic after 500 miles if you do so decide on adding synthetic
 

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Yes, the object is to seat the rings... That is what the 2000-2500 RPM thing is all about. If a standard hydraulic cam is used, it breaks in at the SAME time. The crosshatch on the cylinders will "meld" with the ring surface and you actually hone the ring to fit the bore with the break-in process. That is why the cross-hatch pattern is so important to be done correctly. If you do not run the requisite time at initial startup, the rings may NEVER seat. This is why it is not recommended to use synthetic oil for break-in. It is TOO slippery for the honing process to work.

FYI, the cam breaks in almost immediately, it is the cylinders/rings that require the time...

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So how do I prime the engine with oil? I have already installed the gear drive do I have to remove it?? Cause that will be a PITA! Or do I use it?

And what about timing? Isn't that controlled by the computer? I know the computer on my 95 and 2000 vehicles controls the timing. Just was not sure on the 88 truck.,...

Marcus

 

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Far be it for me to cut across the grain :). But I have built quite a few engines without the priming method. In fact, in the late '70s and '80s, we never primed them. And have had some of those engines long enough to be the one who breaks it down for the next overbore to freshen it up. And I've never seen any difference in the bearings between engines that were primed, and engine that weren't. I've never had to break down an engine due to low oil pressure, cam rounding, or premature ring failure that I built.

The beginning of short bearing life happens long before you prime. It starts with improper clearancing, or failing to check clearances at all, installing unpolished cranks, failing to clean the shot media out of the oil passages (that's the big one!), etc. Harsh break-in methods, like exploring the new found power before it even has any miles on it.

There's nothing wrong with priming, and I know it doesn't hurt. I use my priming rod, when I can find it. But the vast majority of wear comes from improper maintenance after the mill is on the road. Infrequent oil changes, cheap oils, improper fuel mixtures, overloading, insisting on running a tranny cooler but never thinking about an engine oil cooler, etc.

With my engines, I run them for a time at about 2,000 rpms after initial start. Cams are splash lubed. Time it, set my mixture a touch on the fat side for the first few jaunts, then set the mixture on the money.then drive as normal around town for a few hundred miles for the rings to set. This last engine, my Wife actually broke it in. I held it for the first 200 miles, then turned it over to Her. And I fully expect it to be around for the long haul.

That's why, if I need a particular sized engine, and I don't have a rebuildable core, I'd rather buy an engine kit than a preassembled engine. It gives me the opportunity to check for their mistakes and over sights..................Los
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Mala I really value your input. I had been told priming was not needed by a few other Mopar nuts and that will probably be the way I go. So long as pressure builds up quickly.

So it looks like now I just need to make sure that all of the wires are connected and start her up. Keep it at 2000+ for 15-20 minutes and then drive around for another 15-20 at various RPM ranges...

Big question for you though. How do you know RPM on a vehicle not equiped with a Tach?

Marcus
 

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88Dodge150 said:
Thanks Mala I really value your input. I had been told priming was not needed by a few other Mopar nuts and that will probably be the way I go. So long as pressure builds up quickly.
No problem Marcus. Priming is not a prerequisite for a long lived motor. Mainly because Mopar SBs have, without a doubt, the finest, best thought out oiling system of any small blocks out there. Pure galley fed, and not reliant on lifters and push rods. But I must reiterate, the priming rod can do no harm. If you have one, use it. The best thing about primers is. It will show an obstruction before hand.

For instance. The #2 or #4 crank are obstructed. You will not find it by starting the engine. Assuming the engine is buttoned up. But with a primer bar, you will, as the rocker covers would most likely be off. Those are the 2 galleys which feed the rocker shaft on LAs. My advice is to start it with the rocker covers off if you don't use a primer bar. If you do not get oil to the rockers within a minute or so, shut it down. The bearings will survive this momentary shortage of oil due to the moly lube, and feedback from another wet journal.

I know, as this has happened to me. A #2 journal feed was obstructed right at the branch from the main galley. So close to the main galley, I didn't notice it with the cleaning brush. That cut of the oil to the driver's side rocker shaft, but the crank journal itself was back fed. It's this that prompts me to have the machinist leave my engines unplugged. That way, I can look down the galleys while cleaning. This way I can see my brushes hit the main galleys. Then I install the galley plugs myself.

So it looks like now I just need to make sure that all of the wires are connected and start her up. Keep it at 2000+ for 15-20 minutes and then drive around for another 15-20 at various RPM ranges...
Yes sir. And try to avoid the highway for a spell. Constant speeds do no good for ring seating in the first few hundred miles of the engines life.

Big question for you though. How do you know RPM on a vehicle not equiped with a Tach?
No biggy Marcus, just do it by ear. Keep it up at at speed for 20 or so minutes. I doesn't have to be a particular speed. It's just as I said before, cams are splash lubed, and it splashes better at higher speeds than idle. Not only that, but it will put the initial dress on your bores and rings. Keeps oil pressure higher and makes it easy to spot leaks. Good luck with it................Los
 

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Another trick is to fill the oil filter with oil before you install it...helps get the oil to the critical parts a little faster.

Marsmith
 

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88Dodge150,

Sounds like you have the whole story...

Good luck...

Mike
 

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Every engine can be primed if you can't do it with a drill and a rod get an external pump and route it into the engine

I majorly disagree with not priming a dry motor, yes dry meaning no oil anywhere but poured or squirted on mating surfaces when being put together
 

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I still tend to agree with Los about dry start-ups. I have built a many of engine and had a dry startup and not seen any disadvantages to it. Of course just an opinion. I think that this is a topic that can be debated till the sun doesn't rise.

Mike
 

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Evildriver_3 said:
I majorly disagree with not priming a dry motor, yes dry meaning no oil anywhere but poured or squirted on mating surfaces when being put together
I won't. For RCCentral's well being, I won't, I won't, I won't ::).

You know, I thought I had read everyone's comments on this thread. But apparently, I missed someone's post who said it was ok to start a dry engine. Can someone who reads better than I do please point this out to me? ::)

But that is a hell of an idea! Why no one ever thought of it before is beyond me. We should do an FAQ on assembling engines. But this one will have a twist. We'll instruct members to use lubricants on metalic mating surfaces! Think of the possibilities gentlemen! I wonder if history will record and credit this novel idea as originating on RCCentral.

I think this lubricant thing is the best idea since the delete button! And we owe it all to one man {cool}.

Un-be-frickin-lievable ::).........................Los
 

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Mala-Sangre said:
You know, I thought I had read everyone's comments on this thread. But apparently, I missed someone's post who said it was ok to start a dry engine. Can someone who reads better than I do please point this out to me? ::)
Just for clarification...when I meant dry I mean not primed...opps. I never assemble an engine without plenty of assy lube. Los I know it wasn't directed towards me...just starting

Mike
 

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just for clarification...when I meant dry I mean not primed...opps. I never assemble an engine without plenty of assy lube. Los I know it wasn't directed towards me...just starting

Mike
Have no fear Mike. We all know what you meant. Well, not everyone. Let's just say, most everyone who's read this thread. Apparently, Someone felt it necessary to nit pick a generic phrase, that quite frankly I would use myself if the engine's unprimed. And imply someone is stupid enough to leave an engine dry. For what purpose, I do not know. Maybe some are just very literal in their approach.

It's not like anyone here's saying anyone's wrong. Hell my buddy uses a cut, grind, & polish means of acceleration bursts to break his rings in. And guess what? His engines do over 100K consistently. The main thing is, he pays attention to detail, uses quality parts, and cleans them religiously before assembly.

Whatever floats one's boat I guess................Los
 

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Mala-Sangre said:
Whatever floats one's boat I guess................Los
Couldn't be more true of life and everything in it.

Mike
 
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