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Discussion Starter #1
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...
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 
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