Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 16, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Jon
 
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Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Howdy all,

My rebuilt 67 Q-Jet came in the mail today, so I think that I finally have all the parts I need to try to start the engine for the first time this weekend.

I bought my car from a shop (Camaro Concepts in Houston) that bought it from the previous owner who quit during his restoration. Engine was rebuilt, original 327/275, and reinstalled, but never run. So, I get to crank it for the first time. I'm not sure exactly how long the engine has been sitting.

I've read several different threads here on the forum, and also in other places around the net, offering advice on the steps to take. I happened upon this article, and was wondering what the experts here thought about the process described here:

http://www.leverfamilysite.com/image...rst%20time.pdf

One piece of info - the car doesn't have any glass in it at the moment, so I can't take it out for a drive just yet.

Cheers,
Jon
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 16, 10:13 PM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Seems pretty thorough to me.
Check valve adj.
Get the timming close
Check radiator level, hoses.
Power steering pump,level.
Belts
Check transmission/clutch,fluid.
Prime the oil system
Charging system ready.
Fuel system ready to go.

Fire it up.

1968 Butternut Coupe,
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 06:23 AM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScudRunner View Post
the car doesn't have any glass in it at the moment, so I can't take it out for a drive just yet.
Who says you can't drive it? I've been driving mine all summer with no side or rear glass. The windshield is just laying in place. It won't go anywhere unless you're doing 50 in reverse...

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 03:25 PM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Wear goggles and wrap a scarf around your neck wear an aviators cap. Pretend your Snoopy.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 04:21 PM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Jon: Having seen the results of others who skipped details this is how I do the initial start on a rebuilt flat tappet cam engine assuming yours is flat tappet crammed, the single most important thing you want to do after double checking connections, fluid levels etc is to do your initial start up using specially formulated break in oil. It contains proper levels of zinc and other additives that have been removed from conventional over the counter oils. Comp Cams sells good break in oil. This is mandatory especially if you have a new cam and lifters. Without break in oil you can probably expect to flatten some lobes during break in. If you do have a new cam once the engine is running bring the RPMs up to 2500 to start and then after a few minutes to verify oil or other fluids are not gushing out take the RPMs up to 3000. Then after a few minutes reduce to 2500 then alternate every 5 minutes between 2500 and 3000. If you have electric fans, temporarily wire them to run continuously during the break in. Also a good idea to run a box fan in front of the radiator as a newly built engine may want to run hot as everything is new and snug. Also keep a close eye on oil pressure and water temp. Run the engine at elevated RPMS for 15 to 20 minutes then bring it back down to idle and make carb adjustments and set timing.
It may sound crazy to run a newly built engine this way to start but it sets your cam up for a long and happy life.
I always change the oil and filter after the initial run in and check it chunks. It's normal to have a little glitter in the oil but you don't want to see a mound of metal when you empty the drain pan. Then I refill with another round of break in oil ( I never said this was inexpensive to do). After checking again to make sure I don't have any leaks I will run the engine for the first 1000 miles on break in oil before switching to conventional oil making certain with each oil change I add a ZDDP zinc additive to keep my cam happy.

Good luck with your project. Sounds like fun. It's always a thrill to me to be part of an initial start when all your hard work is rewarded.
WILL
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

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Originally Posted by budro6968 View Post
wear goggles and wrap a scarf around your neck wear an aviators cap. Pretend your snoopy.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwallman View Post
Jon: Having seen the results of others who skipped details this is how I do the initial start on a rebuilt flat tappet cam engine assuming yours is flat tappet crammed, the single most important thing you want to do after double checking connections, fluid levels etc is to do your initial start up using specially formulated break in oil.
Thanks, Will.

Any issue in your mind with using Comp Cam Muscle Car Oil for full time driving? I realize that opens up the Mineral vs Synthetic debate...but, hey, it's a blend, right?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 16, 10:34 AM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Comp and others do not recommend using break in oil beyond the break in period. Red Line oil makes an excellent ZDDP additive that can be added to conventional petroleum based oils that will protect your cam and lifters. For the record, after the first thousand miles on my personal engines I use NAPA 10W-30 with Red Line additive and change oil and filter every 3000 miles or annually if I drive less than 3000 miles as oils can decay with time and forms acids that can be harmful to your engine. I also drive each car at least 20 miles a month to keep seals lubricated and pliable not only in the engine but transmission and rear end as well. I have never had a lubricant related failure in all my 63 years and have used NAPA oil as long as NAPA has been in business. I also buy my NAPA filters in bulk from Fleetfilter.com. They sell NAPA/WIX filters at about half the price I can buy them from my local NAPA outlet. Finally if you are running a small block Chevy there are three different size ( capacity). Passenger car 1/2 quart, light truck 1 quart and heavy truck 2 quarts. I use the light truck filter as it gives me an extra half qt of oil and double the filter area and does not hang below the engine. The passenger car filter looks like a pimple on a bugs *** and can be difficult to get a strap around at oil change time. The heavy truck filter is nearly a foot long so if you use that you will lose it on the first speed bump you encounter.

Best wishes for a successful initial start ( remember to point your #1 distributor tower at your #1 cylinder as a reference and setting initial timing is much easier) That's the way they came from the factory. WILL

Detective Lt. Will, Chief of Homicide/ Chief Deputy Coroner: RETIRED AFTER 32 years.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 16, 10:58 AM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwallman View Post
Jon: Having seen the results of others who skipped details this is how I do the initial start on a rebuilt flat tappet cam engine assuming yours is flat tappet crammed, the single most important thing you want to do after double checking connections, fluid levels etc is to do your initial start up using specially formulated break in oil. It contains proper levels of zinc and other additives that have been removed from conventional over the counter oils. Comp Cams sells good break in oil. This is mandatory especially if you have a new cam and lifters. Without break in oil you can probably expect to flatten some lobes during break in. If you do have a new cam once the engine is running bring the RPMs up to 2500 to start and then after a few minutes to verify oil or other fluids are not gushing out take the RPMs up to 3000. Then after a few minutes reduce to 2500 then alternate every 5 minutes between 2500 and 3000. If you have electric fans, temporarily wire them to run continuously during the break in. Also a good idea to run a box fan in front of the radiator as a newly built engine may want to run hot as everything is new and snug. Also keep a close eye on oil pressure and water temp. Run the engine at elevated RPMS for 15 to 20 minutes then bring it back down to idle and make carb adjustments and set timing.
It may sound crazy to run a newly built engine this way to start but it sets your cam up for a long and happy life.
I always change the oil and filter after the initial run in and check it chunks. It's normal to have a little glitter in the oil but you don't want to see a mound of metal when you empty the drain pan. Then I refill with another round of break in oil ( I never said this was inexpensive to do). After checking again to make sure I don't have any leaks I will run the engine for the first 1000 miles on break in oil before switching to conventional oil making certain with each oil change I add a ZDDP zinc additive to keep my cam happy.

Good luck with your project. Sounds like fun. It's always a thrill to me to be part of an initial start when all your hard work is rewarded.
WILL
Everything Will has is great advice. Some might wonder about the high RPM mentioned. Its because the cam gets it lubrication from crank oil splash, a little from oil passing past the lifters and drip from the top end oil running back down into the valley.

You did mention it has been sitting. Something I would do is remove each plug and spray each cylinder with a good dose of WD40. This will get you some lubrication back in the cylinders, it mixes with oil and also burns off cleanly. If it's been sitting the oil it was built with could be gone or only lightly coating the cylinders and rings. The WD40 will help keep you from sticking a ring at the initial rotation, It will quickly get lube int them from the higher RPM.

"If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn.......
Then, you have enough horsepower."
-Mark Donahue
My 67 Camaro Time Line
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Last edited by 69-Pace; Sep 3rd, 16 at 05:50 PM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 16, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Harrison View Post
Everything Will has is great advise. Some might wonder about the high RPM mentioned. Its because the cam gets it lubrication from crank oil splash, a little from oil passing past the lifters and drip from the top end oil running back down into the valley.

You did mention it has been sitting. Something I would do is remove each plug and spray each cylinder with a good dose of WD40. This will get you some lubrication back in the cylinders, it mixes with oil and also burns off cleanly. If it's been sitting the oil it was built with could be gone or only lightly coating the cylinders and rings. The WD40 will help keep you from sticking a ring at the initial rotation, It will quickly get lube int them from the higher RPM.
Thanks, Joe. I bought some Marvel Mystery Oil, based on other threads that I read, for that exact purpose.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 16, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwallman View Post
Comp and others do not recommend using break in oil beyond the break in period. Red Line oil makes an excellent ZDDP additive that can be added to conventional petroleum based oils that will protect your cam and lifters. For the record, after the first thousand miles on my personal engines I use NAPA 10W-30 with Red Line additive and change oil and filter every 3000 miles or annually if I drive less than 3000 miles as oils can decay with time and forms acids that can be harmful to your engine.

Best wishes for a successful initial start ( remember to point your #1 distributor tower at your #1 cylinder as a reference and setting initial timing is much easier) That's the way they came from the factory. WILL
Thanks again. Just noticed we have the same car, except for color - 67 RS, 327/275, PG w/ 2.73. So, our "meeting" here seems fortuitous to me.

I live in the middle of nowhere so I had to order the break in oil. I'll have to wait until next weekend to do the start. Good news is I have lots of interior work to do still.

One thing - I don't have any gauges in my car. I have the factory gauge kit sitting in a new console, but haven't installed it yet (my 67 didn't come with factory gauges, so I have to do some wiring modification). I bought an oil pressure tester that I was planning on using, but don't know the best way to set up to monitor water temp during that first start. I suppose I install my console, but that wasn't the order I was planning on doing things.

Another thing - I've read some threads about the best way to "break in" the transmission. Any thoughts on that from the crowd here? I never get tired of reading what folks think about these things.

Cheers,
Jon
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 16, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwallman View Post
They sell NAPA/WIX filters at about half the price I can buy them from my local NAPA outlet. Finally if you are running a small block Chevy there are three different size ( capacity). Passenger car 1/2 quart, light truck 1 quart and heavy truck 2 quarts. I use the light truck filter as it gives me an extra half qt of oil and double the filter area and does not hang below the engine.
Is this the filter?

Part Details

67 RS, 327/275, PG

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 16, 08:18 PM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScudRunner View Post
Is this the filter?

Part Details
That's the Wix filter, drop the leading 5 in the part number and you have the NAPA number for the same filter which is what I use - https://www.napaonline.com/p/FIL1061

Also, NAPA oil is Valvoline oil, just bottled for NAPA but the same as what comes out of a Valvoline oil container.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 16, 02:34 PM
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Re: Starting Rebuilt Engine for First Time

Scott nailed it for the filter. WIX makes NAPAs filters and Valvoline supplies their oil. NAPA is an automotive parts giant that retails quality parts sourced from hither and thither, all quality stuff however.

Regarding your question about how to monitor your engine's vitals before you have the inside gauges installed, if you are using mechanical gauges you might be able to get reducer bushings at your local Hardware that will permit you to thread the gauges directly into the manifold. If you are using electrical gauges you install the gauge sending unit in the manifold and fabricate a small wiring harness with wiring short enough to keep the gauges under the hood in their gauge mounting bracket and find something like a hood hinge to zip tie the gauge package to. Using small alligator clips connect your hot wire as identified in the gauge instructions ( it's probably red or white ) to the hot lug on the horn relay that is affixed to the driver side radiator support and your ground wire as identified from gauge instructions ( probably black) to the common ground lug also on the driver side of the radiator support ( it's marked on my support with an electrical symbol for ground ) and finally connect your sending unit wires as identified in your instructions ( probably green) .
Now you have what is known as a Rube Goldberg solution to monitoring your engines vitals before final install of the gauges in dash. On the safety side, disconnect the ground from your battery while fabricating and connecting this Rube Goldberg concoction. Only after the final wire is connected will you connect the battery ground and watch for smoke just in case you got something connected in error. Absent smoke and flames, fire that baby up. Shoot me a website e-mail to my website mailbox and let me know how things went on your start up.

Yes indeed it does appear we have similar rides. I was fortunate to find mine with slightly under 30,000 miles supported by service receipts. It is no drag, stoplight racer but it's probably the coolest cruiser I've ever owned. Take care.

Detective Lt. Will, Chief of Homicide/ Chief Deputy Coroner: RETIRED AFTER 32 years.
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