[Healeys] ZDDP, Break-in and Oil on Lifters and cam shafts

editorgary at aol.com editorgary at aol.com
Mon Jun 27 18:04:47 MDT 2016

 Beaten to death is an understatement. 

There is a load of garbage still floating around the nothing-ever-goes-away internet.

The point is simple -- Rebuild engines desperately need ZDDP in the rebuild grease and a good non-synthetic oil during the break-in period because it helps microfill the porous areas while the oil carries away the metallic junk that gets ground off as the microscopically high parts of the surfaces are worn down. Without those, the rubbing surfaces microweld with each other and then rip off and then microweld and rip off, ruining the cam shaft surfaces.

BUT -- all of this happens essentially during the first five minutes of the first firing of the engine. 

So, it's all very simple -- put on the ZDDP-rich break-in grease on the cam shaft surfaces and tappet rubbing surfaces. Use a very high quality break-in oil. Stop the engine after 10-20 minutes of running and change out the oil. Run the engine again with another fresh dose of break-in oil for the first hundred or so miles of gentle break-in driving. Incidentally, doing all this on a dyno, perhaps even before the engine is installed in the car, is the very best possible idea. Then change the oil again to a high-quality dinosaur oil or synthetic oil and drive for the first coupld thousand  miles, or first weekend if it's a race car, and change again then go to the standard 5,000 miles on regular oil or 10,000 miles on synthetic oil, or every year, whichever comes first. 

Repeat after me -- extra ZDDP is essential at break-in and then after that doesn't matter all.



Gary Anderson
Author, Restoration Guide to Austin Healeys
Car magazine editor for 20 years.


-----Original Message-----
From: healeys-request <healeys-request at autox.team.net>
To: healeys <healeys at autox.team.net>
Sent: Mon, Jun 27, 2016 12:52 pm
Subject: Healeys Digest, Vol 9, Issue 175

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Lifter and Cam Wear ZDDP Issue (WILLIAM B LAWRENCE)


As you are probably aware this subject was beaten to death on the British
Car Forum. The conclusion I came to at the time was that thinner, fully
synthetic oil was the best way to go. However there was still some
ambiguity regarding whether to look for a fully synthetic that had the 1200
ZDDP or whether to ignore that. 


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