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I have an engine build in progress and planning ahead to the first start-up...

The Windsor engine is getting a new Comp Cams roller with .530/.510 lift and 322 lbs/in springs.  In the instructions CC state that the inner valve springs should be removed for break-in...2 things cross my mind:

1) changing valve springs with the engine in a Pantera is not a going to be at all easy.

2) the Comp Cams installation manual is generic to their whole range of cams, flat tappet and roller, mild and wild...

What recommendations from people WITH experience on this topic?

If it's defo run in with just outer springs, I'm thinking I'll take the engine out to put back the inners....

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Go on YouTube, there are a ton of videos that discuss cam lobe failures over the last 10-15 years. Some say they will never use a flat tappet cam ever again because they believe the cam cores, lifters and materials are the cause of the failures because they come from China. Other say get US based cams and lifters and make sure the lifters rotate in the lifter bores is critical.  Also there are manufacturers that have different lobe finishes or maybe it materials that are significantly better. I recall Comp Cams is one of them that makes higher qualify cams.

Terms to search: Cam Failures, how to break in your cam, etc.

Here's one of the videos to watch:

@forestg posted:

My guess is that the instructions are generic for all comp cams and are meant for flat tappet cams. A roller cam does not need to be broken in.

+Correct. The rollers on the lifters don't need a break in procedure. Just oil the lifter bores heavily an crank the engine for a couple of minutes to make sure there is oil pressure and the oil pump has the opportunity to prelube the engine.

... and make sure you use break-in oil, when you first run the engine. There are as many opinions as to how long you should leave it in, as there are engine builders. On the Driven Oils web site, they recommend 400-500 miles. Others recommend 10-12 heat cycles. I've even seen recommendations of 500-1,000 miles, which seems like too much to me. Mind-you, if I was running a flat tappet cam ...   

Such workshops are very rare in France, they are generally specialized in racing engines and very expensive.
It is easier to find workshops equipped with roller dynos, much cheaper, but much less convenient for working on the engine, especially on our Pantera where the engine is difficult to access. In addition, V8s are quite rare and there are few specialists in these engines, especially when they are old and powered by a carburetor.

There is nothing special that needs to be done to break in a new engine like this.

Use the "break in oil". Set the ignition timing to stock. Use the stock jetting in the carburetor as supplied.

It's best to actually break the engine in by driving it through normal driving cycles.

There is no hurry on changing out the break in oil at all. In fact, don't hurry draining it out. Mileage wise, put 1,500 to 2,500 miles on it. Then when you change it, even though you are going to roller lifters, I recommend treating the oil as if it had conventional lifters using what the cam manufacturers consider an adequate amount of ZDDP in it.

That does not hurt the engine. The issue with ZDDP is that it fouls up catalytic converters in exhaust systems. There should be no "cats" on a Pantera.

When you drain the oil, you will actually see the ZDDP in the oil since it tends to be a mixture and will seperate from the rest of the oil and float separately. It does not go into "solution" as many expect it to do.

ZDDP is a zinc additive specifically added for flat tappet camshafts. It is to specifically lubricate where the lifter rides on the cam lobe but it helps where the lifter rides in the lifter bore of the block as well.

Read your cam instruction sheet about the minimum amount that should be in the engine oil for the camshaft.

The quantities are also listed on the contents label of the oil.

You can buy it separately to add to the oil but the "break in oil" generally contains sufficient amounts.

Read your content labels.

With a roller lifter camshaft ZDDP content is really a minor issue as the point of the roller lifter design is that the lifter rolls on the cam lobe rather then slides on in. That reduces, but doesn't totally eliminate friction, and it permits the cam lobe to have a steeper ramp that the roller lifter can follow whereas the flat lifter cannot follow a ramp that steep.

So therefore the cam lobe can be ground to improve the performance with a smoother idle then can be obtained with a flat lifter design.

@dang2407 posted:

Thanks panteradoug. Any thoughts on the viscosity?

I like 20-50 in a Cleveland. That was the original Ford recommendation for the Cleveland engine. It won't hurt others either but is a little thick to run in very cold climates.

The 289-302-351w are good with a 10-30 or 10-40. The 5w's are for the current engines. Don't go that thin with a high horsepower engine. The intent of it is to reduce internal friction and give the "fleet fuel average" better numbers but I think is too risky on the main bearings.

It wasn't unusual in the '60s for race engines to run strait 30 under race conditions. That isn't necessary here and you want "street engine" oil because of the detergents it contains.

Last edited by panteradoug

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