<VV> RE: Zero Compression update 3 and engine brake in period question

Tony Underwood tonyu@roava.net
Thu, 12 Aug 2004 12:00:00 -0700

At 07:24 hours 08/12/2004 -0400, Sam & Marissa Andolino wrote:
>Thanks for all the replies.  Now I am confused.
>According to the Clark's catalog, which is where I bought all my replacement
>parts, for turbo moly rings, they say on page 24 "use non-detergent oil
>until broken in and no synthetic oil for the first 5,000 miles."
>All the replies I received said do not use non-detergent oil.  Does everyone
>disagree with Clarks?

If Clarks actually said to use N.D. oil in a rebuilt engine for break-in...
*absolutely* I would disagree.   

Always use the Best oil you can get for *any* modern engine, and that
includes a Corvair engine.   Back When, in the "olden days" it used to be a
policy among some mechanics to use nondetergent oil for breaking in an
overhauled engine since it was subject to having the oil changed soon
anyway and there would likely be a  bit of dirt and debris and who knows
what all in the engine anyway following the overhaul, what with many
engines in those days being overhauled on tree stumps in back yards, and
clean shops like you see today were few and far between.   Thus, a buck
saved on anything was always desirable so the cheapest oil was arbitrarily
picked since it would be changed soon anyway so as to flush out the dirt
and grass and metal fragments left behind during the overhaul.   

Anymore, this is NOT the case.    Engines today don't usually get rebuilt
in back yards and they don't get assembled with flies and grasshoppers
crawling through the oil pan or intake ports etc.    And the oil that goes
into a freshly rebuilt engine goes through a filter (many old engines from
Back When didn't have oil filters or they used shunt filters that didn't
actually filter the pressurized oil that was pumped to the bearings) and
the particulates that might have managed to find their way inside the
engine would be filtered out, meaning that the break-in oil wouldn't need
to be arbitrarily be changed in a couple hundred miles.    People would
rationalize that since it was gonna be drained back out fairly quickly
anyway, you might as well use the cheapest stuff.         

Nope... not anymore.   You should always use good engine oil in  a Corvair
engine, the best you can get.   Corvair engines are already rough on engine
oils to begin with so it should go without saying that you will get better
results by going the extra mile (no pun) and using a premium grade of
engine oil, synthetic if your wallet can afford it.    Even if the engine
is old and tired and showing wear, I'd still use good oil in it,  no point
in taking chances since the cost differences between the best engine oil
and cheap grade-z oil are much smaller than the cost of an engine rebuild,
especially in an engine that just got a rebuild in the first place.    

Don't take chances...  use premium grade dinosaur juice for breaking the
engine in, and then consider switching to a premium grade of synthetic oil
for regular highway use after the first few oil changes.   And don't skimp
on oil filters either.   Do the homework and use a good filter with a
proven track record.    A clogged oil filter will get bypassed by the valve
in the rear engine pump housing and send unfiltered oil through the engine,
so when you change the oil, change the filter too.     

If Clarks still holds the philosophy of using nondetergent oil for engine
break-in, it would come as a surprise to me.    I'd have thought they'd
have upgraded their commentary by now.