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View Poll Results: Built motor break-ins Easy vs. Hard
Easy break-in 68 27.31%
Hard break-in 181 72.69%
Voters: 249. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-27-2010, 02:22 PM   #26
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first thing came to mind was cobb talks about a newly built engine, and motoman expresses his opinion and experience about engines out of a factory already considering that they been "heat treated and tested by the factory" and cobb is considering the teqniques needed for a "virgin" engine never ran. id like to " run it hard" on a newly built engine, however is that logical without heat cycling?
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Wrx View Post
first thing came to mind was cobb talks about a newly built engine, and motoman expresses his opinion and experience about engines out of a factory already considering that they been "heat treated and tested by the factory" and cobb is considering the teqniques needed for a "virgin" engine never ran. id like to " run it hard" on a newly built engine, however is that logical without heat cycling?
What do you mean 'heat treated and tested by the factory'?

Have you seen factory engine break-ins? I know I've seen a few dyno break-in's on prototypes at one of the GM factories on an FSAE tour. They didn't do anything special and it was rather short to be honest.

To be honest, I would assume it was much like the fore-mentioned method.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:35 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbtech View Post
When I worked at Garrett we had many engineers that came from auto manufacturers, most told me the break in most used (in a vehicle) is:
Start vehicle
warm up at 1500-2000 RPM
after oil temperature reached operating temp (about 10 mins after water) shut down
check all fittings connections make sure everything is stout.
after engine cools down about an hour start engine wait for oil temp to reach operating temperature again.
Drive vehicle slowly make sure you have all gears and oil pressure is 100%, and temperatures are good.
Now the break in
Maintain 20-25mph in second gear. Slowly open up throttle to 50% until 55mph is achived(or about 5000rpm)
then let off throttle. (still in second gear)
Let engine braking slow vehicle back down to 20 mph. Repeat 4 times.
Now open up to 75% and 5000 rpm and once again engine brake down to 20mph.(4 times)
Now open throttle to 100% and up until 6000rpm.engine brake once again down to 20 perform this about 6 times.
(some transmission with very short gearing may perform this cycle in third gear)

I have been told after this cycle engine is almost broken in. (depends on ring material) I have run this cycle many times. Works good but I never had any intramentation installed to verify effectivness.
Seem a really good procedure
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:55 AM   #29
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Do what ever your engine builder tells you to do for run in as they know best..
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:55 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbtech View Post
When I worked at Garrett we had many engineers that came from auto manufacturers, most told me the break in most used (in a vehicle) is:
Start vehicle
warm up at 1500-2000 RPM
after oil temperature reached operating temp (about 10 mins after water) shut down
check all fittings connections make sure everything is stout.
after engine cools down about an hour start engine wait for oil temp to reach operating temperature again.
Drive vehicle slowly make sure you have all gears and oil pressure is 100%, and temperatures are good.
Now the break in
Maintain 20-25mph in second gear. Slowly open up throttle to 50% until 55mph is achived(or about 5000rpm)
then let off throttle. (still in second gear)
Let engine braking slow vehicle back down to 20 mph. Repeat 4 times.
Now open up to 75% and 5000 rpm and once again engine brake down to 20mph.(4 times)
Now open throttle to 100% and up until 6000rpm.engine brake once again down to 20 perform this about 6 times.
(some transmission with very short gearing may perform this cycle in third gear)

I have been told after this cycle engine is almost broken in. (depends on ring material) I have run this cycle many times. Works good but I never had any intramentation installed to verify effectivness.
I really like this method. Did they say to change the oil and filter after the first initial warm up? Also did they say to run boost? If so what levels?

Last edited by NWSTi-wa; 08-28-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:22 AM   #31
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I'm very interested in following this thread as my 04WRX is sitting in the shop waiting for an 07 STI longblock to be dropped in. The block has 22K and is being torn down and rebuilt with aftermarket pistons. The break in conflict has been my biggest question mark. My builder wants me to run 0 boost until 500 miles and then get a tune and go nuts after that.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:15 PM   #32
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chris^^^update me on your build brother...or start a thread! rallispec?
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:35 PM   #33
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Drive it like you stole it. If you don't run it hard, the rings won't seat and you'll have an oil burner.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:50 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by maxpowr View Post
chris^^^update me on your build brother...or start a thread! rallispec?
Valve broke lose and damaged a piston. I bought the 07 STI longblock from Rallispec. My car is at AREA1320 waiting for them to begin work. He's planing to have my new block torn down, honed, throw CP pistons in and put it back together. We''re reusing the WRX intake and DW750 injectors. I had the 07 air pump delete and Cosworth cam sensor relocator sent directly to the shop. We're also gonna throw in a wideband, boost and oil pressure gauge. He's gonna give it a tune with 0 boost, I'm gonna drive it 500 miles, oil change and tune, probably at Precision Tuning in Lakewood.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:51 PM   #35
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This is an interesting thread and I've been a fan of motoman since back when I was into bikes. The first GSXR-750 I had was broken in the Motoman way and it was a missile. I completed the break-in for my new '02 WRX the Motoman way and it ran awesome throughout its life in the car. Broke it in on the drive home from the dealership and changed the oil after 42 miles. Even when I spun #4 rod bearing at 108K miles (oil starvation) upon tear-down the pistons were in great shape. New motor is in and was broken in "hard". Oil changes at 25, 300 and 600 miles so far.

The other thing about Motoman is he got me to critically think about engines and what is actually going on inside them. Exchanging correspondence with him and Mike Shields really gave me sound direction.

So needless to say I'm a devotee of the so-called hard break-in method. I do also think there are some things people need to understand about their cars and engines.

The first thing is that new cars have their engines "run-in" at the factory. This takes less than one minute to do in practice and is much like the procedure detailed by mbtech in post #24. This or similar methods are a part of the QC of most every car off any automotive or motorcycle production line. The point is to ensure that the rings begin to seal. It also pretty much guarantees that the break-in will not fail regardless of how the owner drives the car after that. This is not to be confused with complete break-in. The break-in is complete when ring wear has stopped. A failed break-in is when the rings have not seated and the bore no longer has sufficient surface roughness to wear in the rings.

I am confused about some of the break-in procedures put out by COBB and others though. No boost for 300 or 1,000 miles? Why? What magically changes in your new engine at 301 or 1,001 miles that allows you to run full boost and full throttle? Someone also mentioned that bearings "wear in". Huh? What!? The thing that wears bearings is metal-to-metal contact. If you have any metal-to-metal contact on your bearings then they are finished instantly. No two ways about it. Bearings don't wear in normal operation at all. Some have impossibly thin coatings that may come off over time but it's not from contact wear. I've got a bunch of new and used Subaru rod bearings laying around. I'll post pics of several for comparison.

OK, first stages of bearing death:



Unfortunately the this particular motor ate the bearing that actually spun. These are all "pre-spun". From left to right: Bearing is dead and all that's left is the copper layer, the last bearing #4 ate through to the steel and ground about .25 mm off the journal and disappeared.. Next bearing shows some slight eating into the copper layer. There is some babbitt layer scarring mostly caused by metal debris. The last bearing is not in so terrible shape but has definitely picked up some scars from metal debris.

This is what happens when your bearings "wear in"....



Next are four OEM bearings in very good shape:



From left to right: Brand new bearing with the coating rubbed off with a shop towel, 28,000 mile bearing from an STI (part out totaled car), Brand new STI rod bearing with zero miles, and 40,000 mile bearing from an EJ255 motor (totaled Legacy GT part out). The bearings look pretty much the same and the pics may not do complete justice. I did not mic the bearings however the babbitt layer on all bearings is fully intact and because it's only about .01 mm thin any wear into the copper would be apparent to the eye.

The point is that bearings don't wear and if they do something has gone wrong and the motor is dead...

I wonder if the guys at COBB break-in their race motors with no boost for 1,000 miles or whatever. I wonder if Subaru put-put the cars around for 1,000 miles before putting the test cars on the track at Tochigi or the Nurburgring...

The reality is that rings need gas pressure and vacuum (load) to seal properly in a new bore and there is only a short time available to do this before the bore roughness is worn down and can not abrade the rings in normal operation. With today's modern ring materials, such as plasma-moly, this happens very very quickly, basically within a few dozen miles if the engine is assembled correctly. That's why the hard break-in guys get it done straight away, no waiting and non reason to wait.

Doing it other ways will not necessarily cause the break-in to fail but the ring seal will not be as good as it would otherwise be. And sadly there are reports on NASIOC where builders suggested keeping the newly engine under 3K revs for 1,000 miles or some such nonsense. Needless to say the break-in was not successful and smoky oil-burning motors resulted.

Again with modern aftermarket ring technology break-in is going to happen easily and quickly even if you do not use a hard break-in procedure. However if you don't use the hard break-in then ring seal will not be as good as it could be and take a higher risk of having an engine that consumes oil significantly. By using the hard break-in the only risk you take is revealing poor assembly of the motor. Nothing about the engine changes in the first miles except the bore condition as no other parts on the engine are made or designed to "wear-in"



-soobaviator

Last edited by soobaviator; 06-21-2011 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:27 PM   #36
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Chris, I say zero boost when you get it back because we will be putting it through it's paces once we fire it up. We also impose the "hard" break in method but like said above you have a VERY short time for things to wear in and seal. We usually give the car back with about 15-30 miles on it. During that time we do 3 oil changes and the motor sees around 15psi. The only reason why we want the customer to limit boost is because most people won't know what to listen for, watch with various sensors attached etcetera etcetera. Especially with an untuned car.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:13 PM   #37
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Updated #35

Yes, the best way to break-in a motor is on a dyno...
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:33 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soobaviator View Post
Updated #35

Yes, the best way to break-in a motor is on a dyno...
agreeed.. but on a load bearing dyno. An inertia dyno cannot put enough load on the car to create a heavy vacuum off throttle and at speed.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:48 PM   #39
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i guess some of it depends on how the motor is built/prepped, i.e.

great series to watch. parts 3 and 4, they bore out a block and talk about break in
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:49 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewayz View Post
Chris, I say zero boost when you get it back because we will be putting it through it's paces once we fire it up. We also impose the "hard" break in method but like said above you have a VERY short time for things to wear in and seal. We usually give the car back with about 15-30 miles on it. During that time we do 3 oil changes and the motor sees around 15psi. The only reason why we want the customer to limit boost is because most people won't know what to listen for, watch with various sensors attached etcetera etcetera. Especially with an untuned car.
AHHHH...thanks for popping in and clarifying that! That makes sense!
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:56 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyNubieToo! View Post
Valve broke lose and damaged a piston. I bought the 07 STI longblock from Rallispec. My car is at AREA1320 waiting for them to begin work. He's planing to have my new block torn down, honed, throw CP pistons in and put it back together. We''re reusing the WRX intake and DW750 injectors. I had the 07 air pump delete and Cosworth cam sensor relocator sent directly to the shop. We're also gonna throw in a wideband, boost and oil pressure gauge. He's gonna give it a tune with 0 boost, I'm gonna drive it 500 miles, oil change and tune, probably at Precision Tuning in Lakewood.

Chris, At least have Ryan just have psi at stock boost. You also want some pressure inside the cyl to help seat the rings. You dont have to get on it all the time, but just drive it regular and put some pressure on it every now and then.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:21 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by foolio View Post
Chris, At least have Ryan just have psi at stock boost. You also want some pressure inside the cyl to help seat the rings. You dont have to get on it all the time, but just drive it regular and put some pressure on it every now and then.
OK...the plan, unless Ryan says I should do otherwise, is to drive this from Area1320 directly to get it tuned, unless you or him have a better recommendation. I don't wanna drive this untutned.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:36 PM   #43
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whatever your engine builder suggests for your motor break in is what i would do.

jodie/rallispec has built a few of these.

i am researching more into what i am hearing about hard break in.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soobaviator View Post
This is an interesting thread and I've been a fan of motoman since back when I was into bikes. The first GSXR-750 I had was broken in the Motoman way and it was a missile. I completed the break-in for my new '02 WRX the Motoman way and it ran awesome throughout its life in the car. Broke it in on the drive home from the dealership and changed the oil after 42 miles. Even when I spun #4 rod bearing at 108K miles (oil starvation) upon tear-down the pistons were in great shape. New motor is in and was broken in "hard". Oil changes at 25, 300 and 600 miles so far.

The other thing about Motoman is he got me to critically think about engines and what is actually going on inside them. Exchanging correspondence with him and Mike Shields really gave me sound direction.

So needless to say I'm a devotee of the so-called hard break-in method. I do also think there are some things people need to understand about their cars and engines.

The first thing is that new cars have their engines "run-in" at the factory. This takes less than one minute to do in practice and is much like the procedure detailed by mbtech in post #24. This or similar methods are a part of the QC of most every car off any automotive or motorcycle production line. The point is to ensure that the rings begin to seal. It also pretty much guarantees that the break-in will not fail regardless of how the owner drives the car after that. This is not to be confused with complete break-in. The break-in is complete when ring wear has stopped. A failed break-in is when the rings have not seated and the bore no longer has sufficient surface roughness to wear in the rings.

I am confused about some of the break-in procedures put out by COBB and others though. No boost for 300 or 1,000 miles? Why? What magically changes in your new engine at 301 or 1,001 miles that allows you to run full boost and full throttle? Someone also mentioned that bearings "wear in". Huh? What!? The thing that wears bearings is metal-to-metal contact. If you have any metal-to-metal contact on your bearings then they are finished instantly. No two ways about it. Bearings don't wear in normal operation at all. Some have impossibly thin coatings that may come off over time but it's not from contact wear. I've got a bunch of new and used Subaru rod bearings laying around. I'll post pics of several for comparison.

OK, first stages of bearing death:



Unfortunately the this particular motor ate the bearing that actually spun. These are all "pre-spun". From left to right: Bearing is dead and all that's left is the copper layer, the last bearing #4 ate through to the steel and ground about .25 mm off the journal and disappeared.. Next bearing shows some slight eating into the copper layer. There is some babbitt layer scarring mostly caused by metal debris. The last bearing is not in so terrible shape but has definitely picked up some scars from metal debris.

This is what happens when your bearings "wear in"....



Next are four OEM bearings in very good shape:



From left to right: Brand new bearing with the coating rubbed off with a shop towel, 28,000 mile bearing from an STI (part out totaled car), Brand new STI rod bearing with zero miles, and 40,000 mile bearing from an EJ255 motor (totaled Legacy GT part out). The bearings look pretty much the same and the pics may not do complete justice. I did not mic the bearings however the babbitt layer on all bearings is fully intact and because it's only about .01 mm thin any wear into the copper would be apparent to the eye.

The point is that bearings don't wear and if they do something has gone wrong and the motor is dead...

I wonder if the guys at COBB break-in their race motors with no boost for 1,000 miles or whatever. I wonder if Subaru put-put the cars around for 1,000 miles before putting the test cars on the track at Tochigi or the Nurburgring...

The reality is that rings need gas pressure and vacuum (load) to seal properly in a new bore and there is only a short time available to do this before the bore roughness is worn down and can not abrade the rings in normal operation. With today's modern ring materials, such as plasma-moly, this happens very very quickly, basically within a few dozen miles if the engine is assembled correctly. That's why the hard break-in guys get it done straight away, no waiting and non reason to wait.

Doing it other ways will not necessarily cause the break-in to fail but the ring seal will not be as good as it would otherwise be. And sadly there are reports on NASIOC where builders suggested keeping the newly engine under 3K revs for 1,000 miles or some such nonsense. Needless to say the break-in was not successful and smoky oil-burning motors resulted.

Again with modern aftermarket ring technology break-in is going to happen easily and quickly even if you do not use a hard break-in procedure. However if you don't use the hard break-in then ring seal will not be as good as it could be and take a higher risk of having an engine that consumes oil significantly. By using the hard break-in the only risk you take is revealing poor assembly of the motor. Nothing about the engine changes in the first miles except the bore condition as no other parts on the engine are made or designed to "wear-in"



-soobaviator
One of the best, well thought-out posts ever. Not only that but he is completely, 100%, dead-on right about everything he says.

Motors need heat and pressure to break in properly, driving it really gently will not produce either. With most modern ring materials, you have 100 miles or less to get the rings seated, then it's too late. If you are having a motor built, get it on a dyno and get it broken in and tuned as soon as possible...i would even go so far as to tow it to the tuner. Dyno break-ins are the best, and most controlable way to properly break-in a motor.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:49 PM   #45
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"Motors need heat and pressure to break in properly, Driving it really gently will not produce either. With most modern ring materials, you have 10 miles or less to get the rings seated, then it's too late."

i wonder if this is really true. no offense OP , i just don't know , and i wanna find out.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:15 AM   #46
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Chris are you on open source? If so I can do a base map to get you around to be safe. Also if we get the dyno delivered sooner we will most likely be able to get it up and running in time to break your motor in.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:03 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxpowr View Post
"Motors need heat and pressure to break in properly, Driving it really gently will not produce either. With most modern ring materials, you have 10 miles or less to get the rings seated, then it's too late."

i wonder if this is really true. no offense OP , i just don't know , and i wanna find out.
That should be about 100 miles...not 10.

Just a bit of a typo on my part.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:00 PM   #48
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^You were more right the first time...

There are many builders of performance engines (offshore power boats and racing aviation engines) who say one heat cycle or 5-7 hours of run-in is enough to seat rings. These would be moly and plasma moly types with taper facing. The bore finish is critical and a fine cross hatch is required. For iron or chrome rings a different finish is needed but the time factor is the same.

The bore finish has to be appropriate for the type of rings used, get it wrong and the rings will not seat properly. And getting it wrong has led to a lot of misconceptions about ring seal. Racers don't have 100 miles to break-in motors, just minutes or even less! And aero piston motors run at 75-100% power their entire life! Lycoming test cell break-in procedure says to use full power after 20 minutes of warm up and system checks! They don't use any different ring materials than we are in our motors so why should we use any different procedures to seat rings. Start the motor, warm it up, and run it hard. If it can't survive full throttle and load from mile 0 then it won't survive full throttle after 100, 1,000, or whatever point you decide to stop putting around.

Engines built for hard use and full power for prolonged periods have clear instructions and and procedures and those procedures say to run the engine hard in controlled conditions. There are no fundental differences between those engines and our engines with aftermarket performance internals or even the motors as they come from the factory. My opinion is that the debate has been muddied up by the OEM's and their break-in procedures that are written by legal departments and not engineers. At the same time I would dare to say every car produced in any volume at all is run in hard at the factory. Even if it is only for 10-30 seconds. It's hilarious that we are told to keep it under certain revs and avoid full throttle when they've already done it at the factory!

Enough ranting...
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:10 PM   #49
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ok run it hard!!!! I'm serious. I feel bad for my motor now.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:47 PM   #50
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Always ran mine hard ..
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