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Old 10-03-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
hoeser
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Default Break-in oil consumption... does not seem normal to me...

Hi Guys,

I just dropped my car back off for its final tune today. When they gave me the car for final break-in on a break-in map, the oil was checked before I left the parking lot - it was just above the F mark. When I dropped the car off after 830 miles it is at the L mark - looks like its burned about a little over a quart according to the dipstick. This seems excessive to me, but I'm no expert. I checked the oil consistently every 100 or so miles during the break-in and it seems like its been a steady loss with no indication of slowing down. Checked for leaks and can not see any. Car throws black smoke occasionally but is running rich right now. Have not seen any blue smoke and I had people follow me to verify.

Update: I've got a video of the engine after 950 miles.
I will say that it seems much louder on video than it is in person, the camera picks up A LOT.

My question is: Is this amount of consumption normal for a built engine break-in?
and my second question is... how much oil did your built engine consume during break in?

Details on my build:

Engine had less than 5000miles on it (2011) and popped 2 ringlands. Bores were surprisingly clean. Shop decided it did not require machine work engine was rebuilt with:

99.5mm CP Pistons
Manley Turbo-Tuff rods
new bearings (OEM I believe)
stock crank
Crower 272 cams
supertech valves
supertech springs/retainers
stock oil pump & pan.
ARP Studs
Turbo is a brand new Blouch Dom 2.5 XT-R


Any feedback is appreciated... thanks!
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Last edited by hoeser; 10-03-2011 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Added video
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:20 AM   #2
the suicidal eggroll
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How did you break it in? Mine went through about a quart in the first 1k miles, and stopped after that.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:27 AM   #3
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That sets my mind at ease somewhat...

The break in map is set for 5000rpm redline and 15psi (which seems a little on the high side to me). The shop did the first 100-150 miles on a mineral oil and some (I hope) light driving and dyno work for base mapping. They changed the oil to Rotella T (unsure of grade) and then I took it for 830 miles. Lots of stop and go, always warming it up and just all around logical non-abusive break-in driving with lots of engine breaking.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:57 AM   #4
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If you were really running rich and you did a easy break in chances are rings are still trying to seat. It should get better once you put more miles on the block and turn up the boost. Do you know if the shop broke the engine in on the dyno?
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:23 AM   #5
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They did at least 100 miles on the street before giving it to me. The dyno was just to build me a break in map. I don't know if it was all that easy, it did go into boost during break in. Hopefully when they lean it out on the final tune and I drive it another 1000 miles it improves.

I am just so paranoid about this car right now... so much money invested and so little return, it let me down at like 3000 miles from new and it's reached the point that whenever I get in the thing I have a feeling of dread like its going to collapse on me like a neutron star.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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If it uses oil now, it's gonna continue to get worse as your rings are already seated. What do you mean no machine work? Did they even hone the bores for the new ringset?
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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I was told they were going to lightly hone the bores, yes. I do not believe it was sent to a machine shop for that work. :/
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:51 PM   #8
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why are you engine breaking a lot. boost helps seat rings. if you have not been boosting it all chances are the rings are not fully seated, which may take more time if all they did was bottle hone the block for new pistons. its not a bad thing to do. I did it to my own engine and I dont go through any oil at all.
Just talk to the shop about it. 15 lbs isnt too much. i ran 12-15 on my break in. we always suggest 10lbs of boost on break in.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoeser View Post
The shop did the first 100-150 miles on a mineral oil and some (I hope) light driving and dyno work for base mapping.
light driving = bad for break in. I hope you haven't driven those last 830 without boost...
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the suicidal eggroll View Post
light driving = bad for break in. I hope you haven't driven those last 830 without boost...
I guess everyone has a different opinion of "logical non abusive break-in driving".

I will clarify:

I boosted often enough, frequently to the 15psi limit set by the shop - I was just smart about when I was doing it, and how I was doing it (smooth application of throttle, not hammering WOT through all the gears). I realize boost is required to seat the rings, I was not driving it like an 80 year old man. When the engine was hot, I was frequently accelerating in boost.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:18 PM   #11
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I sent the shop an e-mail yesterday about the consumption and did not hear anything back. I followed up today and their response was "not sure yet". So it doesn't appear they are calling this normal (yet).
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoeser View Post
I guess everyone has a different opinion of "logical non abusive break-in driving".

I will clarify:

I boosted often enough, frequently to the 15psi limit set by the shop - I was just smart about when I was doing it, and how I was doing it (smooth application of throttle, not hammering WOT through all the gears). I realize boost is required to seat the rings, I was not driving it like an 80 year old man. When the engine was hot, I was frequently accelerating in boost.
Ah, that sounds fine then
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:25 PM   #13
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I asked them how they wanted me to drive it during break in before I left... their words to me were:

"You can not hurt this engine"

What they meant was that with the 5000rpm red line and only 15 psi, I could not do any damage (seems a little hard to believe). They had however already completed the first 100 miles of break in which I hear is the most important part.

They basically didn't outline any break in instructions beyond that. I decided to just follow the way I used to break in turbo diesels and just wait until the oil is hot, do not drive all highway, do not keep consistent RPMs, and apply boost smoothly and frequently. Basically, drive normally just not like a total douche.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:46 PM   #14
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Update:

I uploaded the video I took when I dropped the car off. It sounds much louder on camera than it does in person... I mean, it is an engine after all... but wow, much more mechanical sound than when you're standing in front of it. I should have put the camera on a towel or something to absorb some of the vibration. Anyway... let me know what you think, it sounds decent enough to me but I'm no expert. with the hood closed, door open, you can't hear any weird knocking or ticking.

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Old 10-03-2011, 09:25 PM   #15
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jesus what are those sidefeeds in perrin rails.
"you can not hurt this engine" thats funny. SO does that mean it comes with a full warranty? thats what i would think. We dont warranty anything unless its our fault. anyone can take any engine we built and blow it up in 5 minutes. Thats the dumbest thing a shop could have told you.
honestly it sounds like you got cp pistons with a loose ptw clearance.
what kind of injectors are those. the id2200s we use sound like stock injectors.

sounds to me like you followed a good break in procedure. obviously they didnt blue print the motor at all right? you just have big ptw clearance is what it seems to me.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:58 PM   #16
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even loose ptw wont make it consume a lot of oil, i ran .0045" on my sti and used less than 1qt in 3,000 miles and a bit of that was in the catch can. what are you doing for crankcase ventilation?
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlavorDave@MPS View Post
jesus what are those sidefeeds in perrin rails.
"you can not hurt this engine" thats funny. SO does that mean it comes with a full warranty? thats what i would think. We dont warranty anything unless its our fault. anyone can take any engine we built and blow it up in 5 minutes. Thats the dumbest thing a shop could have told you.
honestly it sounds like you got cp pistons with a loose ptw clearance.
what kind of injectors are those. the id2200s we use sound like stock injectors.

sounds to me like you followed a good break in procedure. obviously they didnt blue print the motor at all right? you just have big ptw clearance is what it seems to me.
I agree, that is a dumb thing to say regarding the engine being "unbreakable". I knew this was BS information and I treated it as such.

Sidefeeds? No idea what you mean. Running a Perrin FMIC, Perrin standard inlet, and Perrin CAI though.

They are DW1300 injectors. I am guessing they blueprinted nothing. From what they told me, they lightly honed the factory bores and installed 99.5mm pistons. I have heard some videos of VERY loose PTW clearance and it was noisier than my old TDi... but yes, it does seem to me now that this engine could be quieter.

So... I guess my question is, if that's the case and I have loose pistons... what am I in for? Seems to me like it wont last very long compared to a tighter engine.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:02 PM   #18
hoeser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2oiroc View Post
even loose ptw wont make it consume a lot of oil, i ran .0045" on my sti and used less than 1qt in 3,000 miles and a bit of that was in the catch can. what are you doing for crankcase ventilation?
I don't know what they did there at all... but I can say its not running an AOS or catch can yet. I was thinking of putting the Crawford AOS on it though when it comes back from being tuned.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:38 PM   #19
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Well, there could be a couple things going on as far as the noise you are hearing.

(1) They installed cams, valves, did a valve job etc.
They could have done the final adjustment in a couple of ways or a combination of the 2 really.
(A) Use the same buckets the car had stock, and "tip" the valves the achieve the clearance they were after, or used whatever buckets they had lying around and then "tip" the valves to get them where they wanted them as far as clearance (perhaps on the loose side to be safe).

Some of that noise could be noisy valve train.

(2) They did drop in pistons which from everyone's (including my) account yield somewhere between .004 and .005 PTW clearance on B bores. (you may have A and B or you could have either all A or all B, the difference is south of .001" so thats why you could have between .004 and .005 PTW clearance.

@ .004 and for sure @ .005 PTW clearance, you will have a noisy engine, even when it is up to temp.

So, if you compound the (possible) error of both of those components, you end up with a noisy engine no matter what you do.

That's the noise possibility.

The oil consumption issue could be a couple of things.

Rings not seated (A) due to poor cylinder bore prep. (B) not enough boost to seat them properly. (C) a combination of A and B.

Or, it could be that when they did the heads, they decided to reuse your valve stem seals based on how few miles you had on the engine before tear down, and they inadvertently nicked one (or more) of the seals when (re) installing one or more of them. Or they could have damaged a brand new one when they installed them.

Or, it could be a combination of rings, ring gaps, valve stem seals, PCV issue, etc.

There are so many things that "can" go wrong, that it is nearly impossible to guess at it.

Have you pulled any of the plugs to have a look at them yet?

I would pull all 4 plugs and have a look, take pics of each one as it comes out, and REMEMBER WHERE IT GOES so you can identify which cylinder it belongs to if a bad one shows up.

Monitoring the tune (logging) could help with some of the diagnosis.
closed loop corrections, roughness monitoring per cylinder etc.

I will tell you this.

Before you let them do a final tune on the car, make sure you voice your concerns. Do NOT tell them you pulled the plugs to have a look, and if they start in on the tune without pulling the plugs to have a look themselves, then they are not really on the ball too much.

The fact that they had the cases split to install the rods, they installed (I am assuming ARP) head studs and did not bother to hone the bores to make them round, and prep them for new rings WITH A TORQUE PLATE, and the ARP studs torqued to spec raises a few red flags for me.

I hate to sound like the doomsday prophet dude, but they cut some corners based on the info you have provided, and for your sake I genuinely hope that it turns out good for you.

You may be the one in a dozen that gets away with drop in pistons on a used engine, and everything works out great. I seriously hope you are that guy.

Keep us posted and let us know what you find.

This is obviously just one persons opinion.. mine.

Last edited by Team Scream; 10-04-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:31 AM   #20
hoeser
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Quote:
I would pull all 4 plugs and have a look, take pics of each one as it comes out, and REMEMBER WHERE IT GOES so you can identify which cylinder it belongs to if a bad one shows up.

Monitoring the tune (logging) could help with some of the diagnosis.
closed loop corrections, roughness monitoring per cylinder etc.

I will tell you this.

Before you let them do a final tune on the car, make sure you voice your concerns. Do NOT tell them you pulled the plugs to have a look, and if they start in on the tune without pulling the plugs to have a look themselves, then they are not really on the ball too much.

The fact that they had the cases split to install the rods, they installed (I am assuming ARP) head studs and did not bother to hone the bores to make them round, and prep them for new rings WITH A TORQUE PLATE, and the ARP studs torqued to spec raises a few red flags for me.

I hate to sound like the doomsday prophet dude, but they cut some corners based on the info you have provided, and for your sake I genuinely hope that it turns out good for you.
Well you are probably right on them cutting corners, which is very frustrating... but I'm in this now. I did not pull the plugs before I dropped the car back off, but I definitely did voice my concerns about the oil consumption quite loudly. I did monitor the break in tune quite closely and didn't see anything unusual in terms of roughness, knock counts, dynamic advance, etc.

Making an educated guess about what they did - They probably re-used the stock buckets, and the stock seals in the heads. I would bet my first born child they didn't use a torque plate when they honed the bores, if they even honed them at all. Sucks to be in this situation. I don't even want the car at this point.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:53 AM   #21
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Did you check your intercooler piping for oil?
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:15 PM   #22
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If you are indeed burning all that oil, pull the plugs and you can see it on them. Like team scream said, drop in pistons are real loose with a torque plate, without a plate they SEEM okay. Check your IC piping for the oil as you don't have a catch can installed. Loose clearances attribute to a noisy motor and oil consumption as well as improperly seated rings.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoeser View Post
I don't know what they did there at all... but I can say its not running an AOS or catch can yet. I was thinking of putting the Crawford AOS on it though when it comes back from being tuned.
that could be part of the problem. do me a favor and remove the intercooler pipe coming off the turbo outlet. rub your finger in the turbo outlet and the intercooler pipe right where it bolts to the turbo. if its dry then crankcase ventilation is fine. if its wet with oil, that is most likely the problem.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2oiroc View Post
that could be part of the problem. do me a favor and remove the intercooler pipe coming off the turbo outlet. rub your finger in the turbo outlet and the intercooler pipe right where it bolts to the turbo. if its dry then crankcase ventilation is fine. if its wet with oil, that is most likely the problem.
As soon as I have the car back, I will do just that. Will report back on Thursday.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:13 AM   #25
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UPDATE:

I inspected the hot side of the intake loop and found a pretty significant amount of oil, enough to pool in the ridges of the pressure fittings on my Perrin intake lines. I installed a Crawford V2 AOS on Tuesday. When I removed the cold side and throttle body I found quite a bit of oil build up in there also. At least some of my consumption seems to be crankcase and head vent related. Hopefully this curbs the consumption significantly. I am now putting miles on to see what happens. It's still too early to tell if consumption has normalized. The shop that built it suggested that an "acceptable" rate of consumption would be half a quart every 3000 miles. I feel that is resonable... whether or not they back up that statement if the consumption continues will be another story.
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