Performance Q&A

Hi-Tech Engine Swap

Kevin McClelland Mar 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)

I've been very happy with Applied Racing Tech nology, which sells a 12- point 'cage kit under PN 19713, made of 15/8x0.134-inch-thick mild steel tubing. The kit includes a Funny Car 'cage, a roof diagonal brace, a Kidney bar, and Door X-bars. Vehicles aren't listed by application in the catalog, but the company has bent up a 'cage for just about every application out there. If there's no data in-house, you just need to supply the proper dimensions so the perfect-fitting 'cage for your S-10 can be bent up for you.

Good luck with your monkey bars. I hope you never need to use them.


Break-In Debate
Q I just finished assembling a 396 small-block Chevy. It's a one-piece rear main seal block bored 0.030 inch over, 3.875-inch stroke, with a 6.0-inch rod. It has AFR 210 race heads (66 cc) making 11:1 compression. I'm running a Comp solid roller cam that specs out at 268/274 duration at 0.050 inch lift and 0.676/0.653 max lift. It's topped off with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake and a HP 750 Holley. The fire is lit with an MSD Pro Billet distributor and a 6AL ignition, and the spent gases go through 17/8-inch Hooker Super Comp headers.

The machine shop that did the shortblock assembly (so I didn't do all the work) said to start it and run it for 20 minutes. However, talking to people at the track, some say run it for 5 minutes with 30- weight oil then change it-this gets all the assembly lube and any dirt you may have in it out-then run it with the new oil for 20 minutes. Everything I've read says once you start it, don't turn it off unless you have to. What do I do?
Rich JohnsonSt. George, UT

A The proper break-in procedure for a sliding contact (flat-tappet) camshaft and lifters is to run the engine for 20 minutes above 2,000 rpm, varying engine speed between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm. This is required to splash enough oil up to the tappet and camshaft surface to prevent undue wear during the mating process of break-in. There isn't enough leak age between the lifter body and the block to adequately lubricate the tappet face. Also, when assembling the engine, you must use an extreme-pressure lube on the camshaft lobes and tappet face. Finally, use a high-quality racing oil, engine oil, or GM Engine Oil Supple ment PN 1052367 to fortify the oil with extreme-pressure additives to make it through break-in. This is the most critical period for the long life of your engine.

Next, we move on to any engine that has a roller follower for the camshaft action. It doesn't matter if it is a mechanical or hydraulic roller tappet; neither requires a break-in period. When you fire an engine with either of these camshafts, you may bring the engine to an idle right after firing.

With any engine, I run the vehicle until the engine is fully up to operating temperature and may even take the car around for the first testdrive before draining out the break-in/ start-up oil. Never put the engine under full load with start-up oil. Yes, you will wash down any debris that wasn't caught in cleaning and all the assembly lubrication. The filter will catch anything that will cause a problem. Drain the oil when it's at full operating temperature to ensure that you get the most of the start-up oil out. Then add a fresh batch of your choice of quality engine oil. I hope this clears up engine start-up procedure based on camshaft selection.


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