used cam lubrication - Pontiac GTO Forum
User Tag List

  • 1 Post By john23
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: aurora, colorado
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
used cam lubrication

Hey everyone,
i broke the 455. the good news is that it was at the last race of the season (for me) and i was in the semi-final round. that's right, just 4 of us left. it's quite a story but it'll have to wait for another time. back to the issue at hand. i am replacing the 455 with a used 400 that has been sitting inside the garage for 15 years. i have the pan, heads and valley cover off and it is in good shape. my question: i have removed the lifters, keeping track of which lobe each goes on. i am about ready to button the motor up. i am going to submerge each lifter in clean 30 wt., pump them full of oil, and reinstall them on the appropriate lobe. i would feel better if i coated the cam lobes with something. any ideas? also i generally use Valvoline full synthetic 10w-30 in the 455. the 400 was built probably 20 years ago. should i use regular mineral oil with a zinc additive? any thoughts around the whole oil and initial startup would be appreciated. thanks, john
p.s. blizzard conditions here in aurora, co as i write this...
john23 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Don't think you'll need any of the thick cam break-in paste, if the cam & lifters were broke in years ago. I'd just pour some of the oil your gonna use on all the lobes.

Wouldn't hurt to prime the engine with oil, by turning the oil pump driveshaft counter clockwise, with a 1/2" drill. I made a priming tool out of a Pontiac HEI housing & a Chevy HEI shaft, if I remember correctly. Just primed my 455 bracket engine with it yesterday, before cranking it.

I think I read somewhere that it's a good idea to turn it about 30 seconds, then rotate the crank 90, and turn it 30 more seconds, then 90 more, & so on, so that you turn it 30 seconds in 4 different crank positions, 90 apart. Don't know that this is absolutely necessary, but I suppose it won't hurt anything.

As for the oil, I've never used synthetic oil, nor oil that thin, in a Pontiac engine. Not saying there's anything wrong with either. But, if you'll be driving in cold weather, I suppose thinner oil would be a good thing. For my 455 drag engines, I used either 50w or 20W-50, plus a can of STP--the really thick stuff. Was careful to keep the rpm low, til everything got warmed up good. The thick oil gets thin after it's hot.

In the last few years I've switched to 15W-40 oil, which is suitable for diesel engines. Lots of guys use it. But, lots of guys badmouth it. Just like lots of guys have run aviation gas in their hot rod for years, and some say don't use it. Different strokes. Car guys will all never agree about which oil and filter is best.
bigD is online now  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I agree with bigD, Your lifters are already broken in and mated to the cam shaft. so long as you are putting them back in the same order in which they came out in you should have no problem starting the engine as if it had been running from the beginning. Do prime the pump to get oil throughout the whole engine then pop the thing off. Let us know how it goes.
gmjunkie is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: aurora, colorado
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
thanks d and junkie,
good info as always. after a little more research, i've decided to use valvoline racing oil which is a conventional stock with additives, notably zinc and others to reduce wear. it costs very little more than regular valvoline. i plan on flushing the inside of the block with clean cheap oil then buttoning it up. thanks for jogging my memory. i too have heard of the crank the motor, rotate it 90 degrees, crank it again, rotate it 90 degrees. etc. i will give it a try. i plan on changing the oil and filter after i get it to operating temperature. give it a couple more heat cycles, re-torque the heads, and i should be good to go. i'll let you know how this turns out. thanks
john23 is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 06:01 PM
64-67 Expert
geeteeohguy's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fresno, California
Posts: 8,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
No need to lube up the cam if the lifters are lubed. It's already broken in. 10w-30 was factory fill in these engines. It will work just fine, as long as it has the needed amount of ZDDP. 20/50 and 50W oil is good if you have a very worn engine or a racing engine with very loose bearing clearances. I wouldn't run it in a healthy or stock clearance engine. Been driving Pontiacs for 40 years.
geeteeohguy is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: aurora, colorado
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
thanks geeteeohguy,
years ago i had a volvo with an engine that was completely shot. between oil usage and oil leakage, oil consumption was measured in miles per quart. i started buying kendall straight 70 weight. don garlits endorsed it and that was good enough for me. i think a lot of the top fuel and funny car guys used it back then. i would pour a quart in with the engine running and you could hear it get quieter.
geeteeohguy likes this.
john23 is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Engine Tuning and High Performance

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Pontiac GTO Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
to cam or not to cam Mayhem5417 Service, Maintenance and Technical Discussion 12 09-26-2018 03:20 PM
Tie rod end lubrication recommendation Red74Goat 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO Exhaust, Suspension, Alignment, Fuel Tank and Brakes. 9 05-05-2017 04:11 PM
Cam Chose ms4 vs livernois strage 2r cam GTOMOE9 Engine Discussions 7 03-08-2011 10:20 PM
Lubrication for Door Hinges PatrickNJ 2004-2006 GTO General Discussion 3 01-12-2007 09:20 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome