Zinc additive during maiden start / cam break in - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Zinc additive during maiden start / cam break in

So the guy at my work that recommended the machine shop that did my engine ran into an issue. He had a jeep 4 liter rebuilt and after less than a thousand miles he wiped out a cam lobe. He was pissed and called the machine shop. They told him that last year (and during the last several) they have been removing the zinc additive ZDDP from engine oils because it was damaging catalytic converters. Evidently the zinc is of paramount importance during cam break in. The guy was pissed at the machine shop for not telling him he needed an additive.

This affects me because I have ran my engine for 40 minutes or so and I did not have an additive in there. The guy used assembly lube just like I did and still wiped his cam. I decided this warranted a thread for future readers as I had never heard this. I am not going to tear my engine back down so I plan to add the zinc, change my oil and cut apart the filter to see if there are any (more than normal for break in) metal shavings. I will check again down the road a couple hundred miles...

Any input? experience? thoughts?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 01:31 PM
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This is an old topic that has been addressed here and on other forums many times. Pretty much all of us regulars here run a ZDDP additive or Diesel-spec oils, or, now that Rotella and Delo have less ZDDP, both. The ZDDP went away in conventional motor oils around 6-8 years ago. I recommend that you run Brad Penn oil in 10/30 or any oil you like in 10/30 if you add ZDDP PLUS or one of the available additives (GM EOS, etc.) I have been running Rotella in 15/40 for years, but will probably change to Brad Penn to get the right viscosity (10/30). I have also run Valvoline 10/30 with an addiitve (EOS). Whatever the case, you need to add ZDDP to todays oils if you run a stock or flat tappet cam.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 01:50 PM
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Definitely advised for any flat tappet cam, especially a healthy one with heavier than stock springs. Not so much of an issue with a roller...

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 03:16 PM
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I think it's a non-issue with roller cams. The only other thing I've read is that the ZDDP also protects wrist pins or any other place where there is high load. So, a roller motor would possibly gain a little benefit, but not camshaft- wise. If I had a roller motor, I would probably just run straight Rotella or Delo and no additives.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Do you guys think I will have an issue since I have already done 40 minutes of 2000ish rpm time? Cam break-in is already done... Also I plan on switching to synthetic after a few thousand miles, does it still need zinc?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 06:22 PM
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I think you will be ok since you did have assembly lube (which has zinc in it) and you ran it unloaded at 2000 rpm...you didn't run it a 3000+ rpm down the road. Dump the oil after the cam break in (now) and add whatever mineral based you choose with ZDDP added as well, and change that out at 500 to 1000 miles. You can run synthetic after the rings seat...around 1 to 2 thousand miles, to be safe. You WILL have to add the Zinc additive to synthetic oil, as it does not have sufficient quantities, either. The law banning ZDDP applies to pretty much all the synthetic and mineral based stuff these days, with the exception of Brad Penn and some of the Diesel Spec oils. I personally like diesel spec Rotella or Delo anyway, based on what I've seen over the years....minimal wear at teardown. These oils are used in rigs that get over 500,000 miles between overhauls, under punishing conditions, so this is good stuff.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 10:58 PM
 
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I would run Diesel oil with a ZDDP additive. Some say to run break in lube with the oil change for the ZDDP, so you are safe so far. I wouldn't bother with synthetic oil, as you will be doing 3000 mile oil changes or twice a year with less miles, as your car probably wont' be a neglected DD. This has been addressed and always the same answer, need ZDDP. Rollers don't need ZDDP at all, wristpins maybe, don't know. I've heard there are chinese lifters that just don't make it through break in, sorry for your buddy's problems.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 01:25 AM
 
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Look into Joe Gibbs "Hot Rod Oil" or Comp Cams break-in oil, both claim to have the necessary additive package to protect flat trappet cam/lifters. Both are widley available.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 07:17 PM
 
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If you can find it, use GMs EOS. I find time and time again that GM engineers were pretty smart and they were using EOS 40+ years ago.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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Do you have to run oil with zinc all the time? or just for new engine break ins? My dad's had a few issues with his sbc's lately cause of this too. Had one rebuilt and it sat for a lil while. when he got it in and going the cam wore out the lobes just like the OP's buddy.

I've been running regular oil in my Lemans as well and no problems so far. Curious cause I wasnt sure.

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