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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's almost that time to start the stealth for the first time after its rebuild. This is the first rebuild I've ever done (with a mechanic friend of mine) and I just want to make sure everything is done correctly.
What is the best break-in method for an engine (what have you had the most success with)?

I currently have AMS break-in oil in the car and had planned to run it with the same oil for the first 500 miles but after more reading it looks like i should probably change it after the first warm up?

Also when starting the engine for the first time, do i let it idle without touching the gas or do i keep it at 2k RPMs? I've heard both..

As far as the first drive, I had planned to vary the throttle and let the car decrease in speed (foot off throttle while in gear) a number of times (for about 20 minutes). All while attempting not to let the engine lug, idle at the same speed or go up steep hills.

My other concern is the tune... Right now I have 560cc Evo Injectors installed with an ARC-2. I have just hooked up the ARC2 so it has never run in the car and I don't know what are the best settings for my setup. I've heard that you should go to stock injectors for the first start but I don't have my stock injectors. Will this be okay? And are there any suggestions for a starting tune?

Here are the main mods, i'm sure I'm forgetting a few:

• 15G turbos (Will be getting DR750 after the motor has about 1500-2000 miles)
• 3SX Stainless Steel Pre-Turbo Intake Pipes
• 3SX Super Street Grind Cams (264/272)
• 3SX Valve Springs Set
• 3SX Rods with ARP2000 Rod Bolts
• Kevlar Timing Belt
• New Hydraulic Tensioner
• Chromed Stainless Steel Polished Valves
• 3SX Single Pass Radiator
• Clevite Coated Engine Bearings
• Mahle Pistons - 91.5 bore
• Ported & Polished Heads
• MSD wires, NGK plugs
• FMIC
• HKS SSQV bov
• Evo injectors
• Stainless headers
• 99' Big Bore Lifters
• 3SX Fuel Filter Kit
• 3SX Adjustable Cam Gears (Yes I'm aware of the inaccurate timing marks, I accounted for that)
• Turbo-back stainless exhaust, turns to 3”, with test pipe
• New Oil cooler lines
• EGR Block-off Plates
• Fuel pump (Installed by previous owner, not sure of model/brand)
• 3SX Fuel Rails w/ Loop
• Short Shifter - Bearing-Loaded w/ Stabilizer bushing kit
• New waterpump, thermostat, etc.
• AEM Uego wideband
• Greddy boost gauge
• Manual Boost Controller
• Greddy Turbo timer
• H&R springs
• Replaced axles
• Brand new Transfer case
• New Transmission
• Stage 6 Southbend 6 puck Clutch
• Lightweight Fidanza Aluminum Flywheel

Some Pics:






 

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Discussion Starter #3

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I PMed Ray asking what to do when I was about to start my car after its rebuild. This is what he said:

"hey man, do the crank with no cas for oil prime and change the oil in the first hundred or so miles. the thing with ring break in is this... they will break in when its run hard.. whenever that is. it could be right away, it could be 2000 miles later. it doesnt matter.

this is how i do it. get it running, drive it around change the oil. then, put 500-1000 miles of regular driving to make sure everything is ok. make sure there is no metal in the oil, its not making any noises etc. when you know all of those things are fine, then you can start making power pulls with it.

i usually have my customers do the 1000 mile thing to be safe. that way they can catch a problem before it becomes more of a problem. i have however taken cars off the lift and put them right on the dyno. the end result is the same as long as everything is good."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did you actually use a degree wheel, piston stop, and dial indicator?
No, after I had put the motor in I had read about having to do that after surfacing the heads and with cams but It was a little too late. I don't really want to pull it again.

Nice clean build .
Thanks, engine bay is all painted too.

I PMed Ray asking what to do when I was about to start my car after its rebuild. This is what he said:...
"
That's pretty much what I've heard people saying is that it has to be pushed hard at some point to seat the rings. Just makes ya nervous right after the rebuild.
 

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To seat the rings, get it running well in the driveway and take it to a feeder road or something. Bring it up to about 70mph and engine brake in 3rd gear to about 40mph. Do that a couple of times. Lots of vacuum really helps expand and seat the rings. Drive around for like 500-1000 miles and engine brake every time you slow down (if you don't already). Push the engine hard when you are comfortable with it. This is a nicely sized build so it will be pushed sooner or later. Unfortunately, you can't be 100% sure the engine is strong and secure until you do push it. In case you didn't know, do NOT use synthetic oil for the break in period.
 

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You will hear mixed reviews and get different opinions on how or when the motor should be run hard when it's being broken in. I don't think there is hard enough data to show how quickly the rings stop wearing as in the rings plus the crosshatch grooves are worn down enough where you can wear them anymore to get them to seat better. I will say this though that idling your car around the garage or shop multiple times before you actually go out and break the motor in will never let your rings seat properly. I have seen multiple friends of mine do this and it all resulted in lower compression numbers even a subsequent re-ring because they were down on power and consumed a little oil.

You can use your own discretion. What I have done in the past is let the car warm up to operating temps, check for leaks during this time, and drain the oil. Check your oil for bearing material or other metals. There will be a little but it shouldn't be a ton of material. If there is you know there's something wrong. Cut open the oil filter if you want and check it for metal. I know it sounds like overkill so use your own discretion.

After that you can go out and drive your car. The engine needs good vacuum to pull down the oil and material from the wear of the rings against the cylinder wall. Remember the cylinder ring only has a few lbs of spring pressure pushing out. You can put them on by hand because there's that little. You need to load to the engine in order to create cylinder pressure to push the rings against the cylinder wall making sure they wear and thus break in. The vacuum from decel will help pull down the oil and material so always let the engine do most of the braking.

Go ahead and do some pulls in 2nd or third your choice. Vary your throttle and rpm range that you rev out. The key is not to baby the engine or just cruise around town/on the highway. The constant rpm will create no load to push the rings against the cylinder. I would also refrain from just reving the engine thinking it's going to help load the engine. Unless you have anti-lag setup and are pulling timing at low rpms say 3k rpms, you will not be creating any load or building boost with the engine so it's pointless to rev it. You can verify this with evoscan if you datalog ecu load. Just go out and drive. You can wait to change your oil until 500 miles or do it before. It's up to you and will be a little controversial. I would probably give it close to 1000 miles to break in. Don't be afraid to get into boost or rev to redline while breaking the engine in. Just make sure you progressively work up to there in throttle and rpm increments. They do this all the time breaking in a car on the dyno.
 

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You will hear mixed reviews and get different opinions on how or when the motor should be run hard when it's being broken in. I don't think there is hard enough data to show how quickly the rings stop wearing as in the rings plus the crosshatch grooves are worn down enough where you can wear them anymore to get them to seat better. I will say this though that idling your car around the garage or shop multiple times before you actually go out and break the motor in will never let your rings seat properly. I have seen multiple friends of mine do this and it all resulted in lower compression numbers even a subsequent re-ring because they were down on power and consumed a little oil.

You can use your own discretion. What I have done in the past is let the car warm up to operating temps, check for leaks during this time, and drain the oil. Check your oil for bearing material or other metals. There will be a little but it shouldn't be a ton of material. If there is you know there's something wrong. Cut open the oil filter if you want and check it for metal. I know it sounds like overkill so use your own discretion.

After that you can go out and drive your car. The engine needs good vacuum to pull down the oil and material from the wear of the rings against the cylinder wall. Remember the cylinder ring only has a few lbs of spring pressure pushing out. You can put them on by hand because there's that little. You need to load to the engine in order to create cylinder pressure to push the rings against the cylinder wall making sure they wear and thus break in. The vacuum from decel will help pull down the oil and material so always let the engine do most of the braking.

Go ahead and do some pulls in 2nd or third your choice. Vary your throttle and rpm range that you rev out. The key is not to baby the engine or just cruise around town/on the highway. The constant rpm will create no load to push the rings against the cylinder. I would also refrain from just reving the engine thinking it's going to help load the engine. Unless you have anti-lag setup and are pulling timing at low rpms say 3k rpms, you will not be creating any load or building boost with the engine so it's pointless to rev it. You can verify this with evoscan if you datalog ecu load. Just go out and drive. You can wait to change your oil until 500 miles or do it before. It's up to you and will be a little controversial. I would probably give it close to 1000 miles to break in. Don't be afraid to get into boost or rev to redline while breaking the engine in. Just make sure you progressively work up to there in throttle and rpm increments. They do this all the time breaking in a car on the dyno.
Yes. All very well put.
 

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Very good write up turbo since birth. I agree 100%. The rings need cylinder pressure which gets into the ring gap in the piston with then pressurises behind the ring forcing it into the cylinder wall.
It would be much better to run the engine in with stock injectors and computer but not nesessary. U dont want to run to rich and wash to much of the oil of the cylinder walls or they will glaze up. Then dilute the oil, which will damage ur new bearings. Just be careful it's not flooding the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for all of the responses. And thank you for the write up turbosincebirth!

That definitely clarifies the break-in process when driving it. I think i feel pretty comfortable with that part.

As far as just starting it (first turning the key) do I just let it idle for 20-30 minutes or do i rev it at all?

Yeah I'm a bit worried about the ARC-2 being installed and not knowing good settings.... I'm going to see if I can hunt down some stock injectors in my garage. But if not, i guess i may have to adjust the ARC-2 on the first start up and hope it doesn't run too rich/lean.
 

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Let it run until temp gets to normal and the fans kick in indicating the thermostat has opened . Don't let it sit at one set rpm though, vary the rpm the whole time. Just rev it up and down slowly. Not high revs just 2-2.5k and back. Once warm switch it off check oil level, leaks, water etc. then go for ur fist drive. Enjoy
 

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Thank you for all of the responses. And thank you for the write up turbosincebirth!

That definitely clarifies the break-in process when driving it. I think i feel pretty comfortable with that part.

As far as just starting it (first turning the key) do I just let it idle for 20-30 minutes or do i rev it at all?

Yeah I'm a bit worried about the ARC-2 being installed and not knowing good settings.... I'm going to see if I can hunt down some stock injectors in my garage. But if not, i guess i may have to adjust the ARC-2 on the first start up and hope it doesn't run too rich/lean.
The time it takes for the car to warm up 5-10 minutes is plenty sufficient enough to check for leaks, etc to make sure the car will be ok for a drive. The only reason I don't rev it at idle is because it isn't doing anything for the motor. Under no load you're just sitting there with spring pressure pushing the rings against the cylinder wall since there isn't enough cylinder pressure to load them up. The rings are riding up and down at a faster rate in the cylinder which leads to them wearing faster not getting a proper break in. Again, I realize there is conflicting info on how quickly the rings seal initially so people will do both. I figure if I want to give it the best chance of breaking in why both reving it at idle and just go drive it?

A good reason I will change the oil after letting it initially warm up is to check the health of things. For example, my last motor the local machine shop ended up screwing up the copper o-rings on the block surface. They either used the wrong size wire or didn't close the end gap to make it really really tight. As a result it pushed coolant into the oil. I mean it was bad. My oil was thin and blackish green. I bet I had an extra quart of coolant in there or at least is seemed like a lot. Had I not checked my oil I would not have know the machine shop screwed up until I started noticing low oil pressure or overheating. It could have worn my bearings good had I driven on it. The shop never took fault and they also went out of business a year later due to shoddy work. It kind of soured me for the whole build because I was too sick to my stomach over it so I sold most everything and went back to a simple setup, my current one. I'm going bigger soon though hopefully for 750-850AWHP this next time around.

Anyways, for the ARC-2 I would try Low 0, Mid -7(this will never change no matter what your mods so you only tune with 3 knobs), High +1, and Accel +1. This should get you close and at least running. I don't know if you have the R5 or DR version, an 83, 87, or 92mm maf but it does make a little difference. Mostly with the bigger mafs you have to run a few less clicks on the High knob because it flows more air. A problem with the Evo 560cc injectors is running richer at idle say 12:1 to 12.5:1 instead of 14.7:1 AFR. This is because of the latency values and injector battery offset being different enough from stock that the piggyback can't compensate for this so don't fret too much if you can't get a stoich 14.7:1 or even a little lean idle. This can be completely solved with a flashed ecu because we know all of the injector settings for the Evo 560cc injectors and also Evo 8/9 MAF upgrade so the car will run stock.

A few things to keep in mind is to not chase your tune too much while the car is warming up. You won't dial in the tune until you let the car warm up. Otherwise, you will be fighting the ecu trying to add more fuel until the car warms up to operating temperature. You don't want the car to be at one extreme or the other. If it is you will need to adjust the tune before it warms up but I'm talking about someone like a 10s AFR which will put fuel in your oil and is bad for your bearings. You can periodically smell your dipstick during the break in to see if you have a bunch of fuel in there. If you do change it immediately. The other thing I've noticed is to make sure you pressure test for any vacuum and boost leaks. No don't just do a visual check. You have to do a pressure test. Buy an intake pressure tester or build one. The only time my tune has drifted with the ARC-2 was when I had boost or vacuum leaks. I could compensate but it was more of a reminded that I needed to pressure test again. Outside of that I never change the tune.

The ARC-2 is simple to tune. I've been through 550s all the way up to 1000cc injectors on both 91, E85, E70, and any mix between E35 to E55 mainly because I was messing around with adding more boost due to the higher 108 octane rating of E85 but at the time wasn't ready to upgrade my injectors again nor was I running an aftermarket AFPR. I've also used 4 different fuel pumps which people say even at 400 lph it should overwhelm the stock FPR. You can tune it out easy enough. I have had my car idle pegged lean 18 AFR on ethanol, which isn't a good idea, but I know even the biggest fuel pump won't overrun it. What I'm getting at is that it took longer for the car to warm up than it took me to tune the car. I can do it in 2-3 minutes now since I understand what's going on. I only need enough time to idle, drive down the street, and do a WOT pull.

The Low knob is mostly for cruising. High is only for WOT. Accel is mainly for idle enrichment. Now the Low and Accel knobs go hand in hand. One knob effects the other. Don't go for a huge Accel correction say +6 to 10 clicks. If you do more than likely your Low knob will be negative and you will complain that both your idle and cruising AFRs just can't get dialed in, the car will hesitate with a little throttle input, and it just won't run right. I always keep the Accel in the 0 to +3 range. Any higher and I know I have a vacuum leak. Go cruising in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gear your choice. If your car is lean add a click to the Low knob. If it's rich take one away. Rinse and repeat until you get where you want. Do the same for the High knob. Start a pull in 2nd gear WOT. If you go lean, see any knock, or have it pegged 10:1 because it's too rich, stop and adjust the high knob. I shoot for a 11.5:1 AFR on pump gas WOT and 12:1 on E85. You could go 11:1 on pump but your best power would be at 11.5:1. With only 560s you shouldn't have a problem hitting that target. The larger injector you go the larger of a change each click makes because it's percentage based.

There should be no reason it would take you longer than 20-30 minutes your first time tuning the ARC-2 after you have all the boost/vacuum leaks fixed and the car is warmed up. It may sound long or tricky but it's really easy once you understand what each knob does. It becomes second nature when you get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The time it takes for the car to warm up 5-10 minutes is plenty sufficient enough to check for leaks, etc to make sure the car will be ok for a drive. The only reason I don't rev it at idle is because it isn't doing anything for the motor. Under no load you're just sitting there with spring pressure pushing the rings against the cylinder wall since there isn't enough cylinder pressure to load them up. The rings are riding up and down at a faster rate in the cylinder which leads to them wearing faster not getting a proper break in. Again, I realize there is conflicting info on how quickly the rings seal initially so people will do both. I figure if I want to give it the best chance of breaking in why both reving it at idle and just go drive it?

A good reason I will change the oil after letting it initially warm up is to check the health of things. For example, my last motor the local machine shop ended up screwing up the copper o-rings on the block surface. They either used the wrong size wire or didn't close the end gap to make it really really tight. As a result it pushed coolant into the oil. I mean it was bad. My oil was thin and blackish green. I bet I had an extra quart of coolant in there or at least is seemed like a lot. Had I not checked my oil I would not have know the machine shop screwed up until I started noticing low oil pressure or overheating. It could have worn my bearings good had I driven on it. The shop never took fault and they also went out of business a year later due to shoddy work. It kind of soured me for the whole build because I was too sick to my stomach over it so I sold most everything and went back to a simple setup, my current one. I'm going bigger soon though hopefully for 750-850AWHP this next time around.

Anyways, for the ARC-2 I would try Low 0, Mid -7(this will never change no matter what your mods so you only tune with 3 knobs), High +1, and Accel +1. This should get you close and at least running. I don't know if you have the R5 or DR version, an 83, 87, or 92mm maf but it does make a little difference. Mostly with the bigger mafs you have to run a few less clicks on the High knob because it flows more air. A problem with the Evo 560cc injectors is running richer at idle say 12:1 to 12.5:1 instead of 14.7:1 AFR. This is because of the latency values and injector battery offset being different enough from stock that the piggyback can't compensate for this so don't fret too much if you can't get a stoich 14.7:1 or even a little lean idle. This can be completely solved with a flashed ecu because we know all of the injector settings for the Evo 560cc injectors and also Evo 8/9 MAF upgrade so the car will run stock.

A few things to keep in mind is to not chase your tune too much while the car is warming up. You won't dial in the tune until you let the car warm up. Otherwise, you will be fighting the ecu trying to add more fuel until the car warms up to operating temperature. You don't want the car to be at one extreme or the other. If it is you will need to adjust the tune before it warms up but I'm talking about someone like a 10s AFR which will put fuel in your oil and is bad for your bearings. You can periodically smell your dipstick during the break in to see if you have a bunch of fuel in there. If you do change it immediately. The other thing I've noticed is to make sure you pressure test for any vacuum and boost leaks. No don't just do a visual check. You have to do a pressure test. Buy an intake pressure tester or build one. The only time my tune has drifted with the ARC-2 was when I had boost or vacuum leaks. I could compensate but it was more of a reminded that I needed to pressure test again. Outside of that I never change the tune.

The ARC-2 is simple to tune. I've been through 550s all the way up to 1000cc injectors on both 91, E85, E70, and any mix between E35 to E55 mainly because I was messing around with adding more boost due to the higher 108 octane rating of E85 but at the time wasn't ready to upgrade my injectors again nor was I running an aftermarket AFPR. I've also used 4 different fuel pumps which people say even at 400 lph it should overwhelm the stock FPR. You can tune it out easy enough. I have had my car idle pegged lean 18 AFR on ethanol, which isn't a good idea, but I know even the biggest fuel pump won't overrun it. What I'm getting at is that it took longer for the car to warm up than it took me to tune the car. I can do it in 2-3 minutes now since I understand what's going on. I only need enough time to idle, drive down the street, and do a WOT pull.

The Low knob is mostly for cruising. High is only for WOT. Accel is mainly for idle enrichment. Now the Low and Accel knobs go hand in hand. One knob effects the other. Don't go for a huge Accel correction say +6 to 10 clicks. If you do more than likely your Low knob will be negative and you will complain that both your idle and cruising AFRs just can't get dialed in, the car will hesitate with a little throttle input, and it just won't run right. I always keep the Accel in the 0 to +3 range. Any higher and I know I have a vacuum leak. Go cruising in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gear your choice. If your car is lean add a click to the Low knob. If it's rich take one away. Rinse and repeat until you get where you want. Do the same for the High knob. Start a pull in 2nd gear WOT. If you go lean, see any knock, or have it pegged 10:1 because it's too rich, stop and adjust the high knob. I shoot for a 11.5:1 AFR on pump gas WOT and 12:1 on E85. You could go 11:1 on pump but your best power would be at 11.5:1. With only 560s you shouldn't have a problem hitting that target. The larger injector you go the larger of a change each click makes because it's percentage based.

There should be no reason it would take you longer than 20-30 minutes your first time tuning the ARC-2 after you have all the boost/vacuum leaks fixed and the car is warmed up. It may sound long or tricky but it's really easy once you understand what each knob does. It becomes second nature when you get it.
Wow you are the man. That helps a lot knowing which knobs do what. I think i feel much more comfortable with everything now having this information. You have been a lot of help! I plan on recording the first start and first drive. I'll post results once I get it going. I think i'm going to plan for this coming weekend. Just have to triple check all of the work and it should be ready to go.
 

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Wow you are the man. That helps a lot knowing which knobs do what. I think i feel much more comfortable with everything now having this information. You have been a lot of help! I plan on recording the first start and first drive. I'll post results once I get it going. I think i'm going to plan for this coming weekend. Just have to triple check all of the work and it should be ready to go.
It's really easy to tune. The most trouble you may have is adjusting the accel and low knobs. Just don't go crazy with the accel knob running it above +3 because your low knob is set too far counterclockwise. WOT is the easiest to dial in. Start with idle, then cruise, go back and readjust idle if necessary after setting your cruise, and then do WOT. Those settings I gave should get you close and you can go from there when your leaks are all fixed from pressure testing.
 

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Break it in hard. And looks like from the pic your timing tensioner pulley isn't set right. The two holes should be right of center, yours are left of center.

-Chris
 

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What kind of oil do you all recommend straight weight or multi for break in.

And seeing as how the manual calls for 20w-40/10w-30 what do you all usually run normal use. I know 20w is not made anymore so options I have are 10w-30
5w-40 or 15w-40.
 

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U should be able to buy proper running in oil. I have a bottle at home made by penrite(an Aussie brand) it is a 10w40 MINERAL OIL. A synthetic oil lubricates too well and will extend the run in period.
 
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