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Miles Before Synthetic?


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Whenever you decide to make the first regular oil change interval run once you feel its broke in and cleaned out.
I personally would do it the first change after the break in and clean out oil dump. But then again I would have done the break in with syn as well but that's just me, I just go out back and give the ol money tree a couple more bumps. :) Heck oil is trading at $38+- a barrel the last few days, they are almost giving it away now. :rolleyes:

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I would never break-in an engine with synthetic that was not originally designed and built for it. The rings won't seat properly, or it'll take excessively long for the rings to seat. 

 

Doing some research I've seen 10k.... I've seen 5k.... I've seen after the first oil change or two.... I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I've been waiting for AH64 to show up.

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What I want to know, is what is different about engines designed for synthetic vs the same weight non synthetic.

Do they run tighter bearings? Looser? Higher oil pressure? And if so,why.

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Just my observation and 2 cents worth. On a diesel like the Cummins 5.9 I don't think "break in" is necessarily a matter of the number of miles driven. Yes, I agree there is some break in or run in on the initial start up and hours of run time immediately after but to properly break in and seat the rings and other wear components in the engine completely, I believe the engine needs to be run under significant (not extremely heavy) load. That could be a cross country run with a loaded trailer. In my case, a sugar barrel run (I will load about 3,000 lbs. of sugar) The heavier load will allow the turbo charger to maintain a more even and consistent boost level, loaded egt, and the wear components in the engine will obviously wear differently under significant load as opposed to running empty or no load. Short bursts of high load will not accomplish this and are not even beneficial in the break in process. Gradually easing into a sustained, moderately heavy load on the engine is the best way to break in, in my opinion. Not more than 20 psi of boost sustained and keep an eye on EGT to keep below the 900 degree range and of course and good cross check of coolant temperature and oil pressure is a must in addition to fuel pressure.

Once you have accomplished this you can switch to synthetic since you already have dino oil in the engine. I think break in can be accomplished with either type of oil. Many engine manufacturers are now recommending selling new vehicles with synthetic oil in a brand new engine.

Edited by LiveOak
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I love it when people all think rings have to "Seat" They run on a micro film of oil in the cylinder liners via splash lube or cooling nozzles ect, when the cross hatch disappears and they get excessive blow by and or use oil is when they have officially "seated" which is then ring to cyl wall contact with little to no oil film left or dirty oil or dirt through the air intake has caused wear to the ring and cylinder ect which is what cause the engine cylinders to wear, there is no Seating of rings, bad misnomer old wives tale.

 

If one thinks every engine on the planet gets babied for days and week that goes back to "Work" then there would be no use to rebuild they would just buy new. All equipment gets warmed up to full temp checked out and maybe run on a dyno with a slight load in some cases then thrown back into full load service.

 

Heat is the enemy of new engines and why all run and require syn versus dyno more stable and better lube characteristics with the extreme temps new rigs run due to emissions standards and tight tolerances and also syn oil will be a lot cleaner out of the jug than dino, if anyone ever looked at the bottom of a dyno oil jug or quart that has sat for a while would be horrified to see the natural silt sediment which has settled out of it, not good for todays tight tolerance engines.

 

Also Heat is the friend in breaking in a freshly built engine as Live oak pointed out.

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Do you honestly think there is no "seating" that takes place? If you believe that, please let this thread take its course.

 

Now I can say this truck had a lot of blowby right after the rebuild. It has progressively become less and less. There was a very noticeable difference after hauling and working the engine hard.

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I will rephrase then, think of it as cylinder bore grooming as a break in period, there will be a very very small amount of ring surface wear so to speak as it knocks the peaks down from the boring and honing process that is why there is blow by at first before the peaks are knocked down creating more surface area for the oil film to help the rings float on that oil film can not compensate for in the beginning.

The misconception is that ring to cylinder it metal to metal all the time which there is contact in the beginning known as seating but it is more about the cylinder walls than rings as the rings are way way harder than the block and forget that there is a micro film of oil that the rings actually ride on much like main and rod bearings and an even better example is the cam in a B series where there are no cam bearings in the middle section of the block, the cam rides on a film of oil only.

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I will rephrase then, think of it as cylinder bore grooming as a break in period, there will be a very very small amount of ring surface wear so to speak as it knocks the peaks down from the boring and honing process that is why there is blow by at first before the peaks are knocked down creating more surface area for the oil film to help the rings float on that oil film can not compensate for in the beginning.

The misconception is that ring to cylinder it metal to metal all the time which there is contact in the beginning known as seating but it is more about the cylinder walls than rings as the rings are way way harder than the block and forget that there is a micro film of oil that the rings actually ride on much like main and rod bearings and an even better example is the cam in a B series where there are no cam bearings in the middle section of the block, the cam rides on a film of oil only.

Now this I agree 100% with! I can see the misconception by some thinking that the ring actually contacts the cylinder surface, but I have been taught better. Thank you for the clarification.

The 24V isb is the same as the B series as well. There is a cam bushing at the very front of the motor and no bushings on the rest, just a nice film of oil. Above 4500rpm though it's recommended to have those bored out and bushings installed. 

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i dont know about new cars, but when I bought the 2500 I was worried about hooking up the 5th wheel to new engine and pulling it. The mechanic at the dealer told me strap that thing on there and drive. Even the owners manual said the same thing just worded a little different. Something about driving the truck empty would hamper the time frame it took to break the engine in, final finish i think they called it. for the most part I did drive empty out of necessity and it took about  20 to 25000 miles before I saw any difference in it. I was a little disappointed in the truck until I reached that mileage. For a period of about 3 months at that time It just got stronger and stronger and then leveled out. Did anyone else who bought theirs new experience anything like that? I am speaking of a diesel and not a gas engine.

 Tyler are you expecting something like that out of your rebuild? Bill and Tyler both, Is what I described above seem normal to either of you? It seemed weird to me when I went thru it.

 

Hope I did not turn this thread around, my truck has been on Dino since day one. 350k and she is still as strong as an ox. I have nothing on synthetic to compare it to.

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Don't all new cars come factory filled with synthetic now? Probably 99% of them don't get run through any extended break in process, just driven off the dealer lot with 2 miles on them and driven normally. Just an observation.

Ok I answered my own question. Here's a pretty good read for any one interested.

http://www.stealth316.com/2-breakin.htm

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Good read, that is a good pic of what I was eluding too. I was doing some digging on Amsoils site last nite for a customer and came across actual engine break in oil from them with a similar diagram, been a dealer for years and never looked at the stuff before, they also offer engine assembly lube.

 

http://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/motor-oil/gasoline/break-in-oil-(sae-30)/?code=BRKQT-EA

 

http://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/motor-oil/gasoline/engine-assembly-lube/?code=EALTB-EA

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Cummins does NOT recommend break-in oil in their motors and my builder has seen more than one initial failure on a Cummins from a break in oil. 

 

Here are my 0.02 on the subject. I personally like to change my oil more frequently on a new engine. More oil means more money, and more synthetic oil is even more money so dino it is. 

 

I think I had a little more blowby on the new engine as well since it smelled a lot more last summer after a long tow than this summer. I never lost any oil but I could smell it a little, so nothing to even think twice about. 

 

I do know that after we had our 1966 T-Bird with a 390 rebuilt we switch to synthetic too early for the rings as it started burning oil with synthetic. We went back to dino and had no burning and after a few thousand more miles it is back on synthetic and doesn't burn any. Rings do seat MUCH faster in a diesel and even faster in a turbo diesel but I sill think it isn't bad to run Dino...

 

That being said the oil in the Cummins on the showroom floor is synthetic and the first oil change doesn't have to be done until you are told to by the EVIC and it is a full service schedule change. I also don't know if they get any run time at the factory and an oil change. 

 

My personal oil change schedule after the rebuild was...

 

0 miles: Mobil Delvac 1300 and a 57620 Oil filter (builder choice/supplied) with Hamilton ZDDP additive

477 miles: Valvoline Premium Blue, ELF7349 EaBP-110 and a bottle of ZDDP

3026 miles: Valvoline Premium Blue, ELF7349, and a bottle of ZDDP

5659 miles: Valvoline Premium Blue, ELF7349, and a bottle of ZDDP

7692 miles: Amsoil AME 15w-40, ELF 7349, and a EaBP-110. 

 

I used the same bypass for all 3 Valvoline changes. I could have gone longer on the 3rd change but was coming up on Elk season and I wanted synthetic in the pan for potentially COLD weather in the mountains. I no longer use ZDDP since I run CI-4+ oil. At my last oil change I did a UOA and had plenty of Zinc after 7,730 miles. 

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Thanks John. I'd like to get enough miles on it to switch by winter, but I'm not sure if I'll have enough run time on it yet. It's got about 2,500 miles and I'm putting on around 500 each week. I don't think I'll be able to plug it in during the winter so synthetic would really help those cold starts.

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Anyone have any experience with switching to synthetic after a break-in? I'm wondering just how many miles I should wait before I switch.

I did the switch at about 240K miles no issues except a small pan gasket leak due to loose bolts. All is well after a retorque and running Baldwin BD7317 filters.

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 and also syn oil will be a lot cleaner out of the jug than dino, if anyone ever looked at the bottom of a dyno oil jug or quart that has sat for a while would be horrified to see the natural silt sediment which has settled out of it, not good for todays tight tolerance engines.

 

 

 

 

I've noticed that also on old jugs of unopened dino oil.  Hopefully my MotorGuard TP bypass will filter it all out!!!

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I've noticed that also on old jugs of unopened dino oil. Hopefully my MotorGuard TP bypass will filter it all out!!!

Not sure what your seeing but if there are contaminants at the bottom of the jug I would stop and find out why. Not to mention quit pouring it in or using that product.

Edited by Vais01
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