New Engine Break-in Instructions
Congratulations on your recent Fordstrokers engine purchase. The topic of breaking in a new engine is very subjective and ask 10 people and you will get 8 answers. I will outline the VERY simple steps I have used for the last 15 years. It's not rocket science, it's very simple and effective.
If you are a short block purchaser WITHOUT an oil pump, oil pan, pickup installed. I can NOT stress enough how important oil pump pickup to oil pan clearance is. This clearance is the difference between life and death in a very short time. I recommend .375 to .500 clearance between the pickup and the bottom of the pan. This has worked for me for the last 15 years, but you would be surprised how many people don't even think to measure this clearance. IF the pickup is laying on the bottom of the pan, expect oil starvation very quickly.
If you purchased a short block or long block with oil pump, oil pump pickup and oil pan installed, you need not worry as we have set the pickup clearance already.
Each engine is hand assembled and we use a special teflon additive assembly lube, yes it is very sticky, very messy BUT you MUST ALWAYS prime the oil pump mechanically before starting your new engine for the first time. If you do not own an oil pump shaft priming tool, you can easily use a 1/4 inch extension with a 1/4 inch socket taped to the extension and chucked in your drill. Proceed to spin the drill counterclockwise for 15-20 seconds, rotate the engine 1/4 turn, continue to run the drill again for another 15-20 seconds and turn the engine over by hand another 1/4 turn. Do this until you have turned the engine over a full revolution AND you have oil at all pushrods.
As for the actual break in, unless you have had specific instructions from me in regards to your engine, keep it simple. Run a good oil filter. I have used an FL1A for 15 years with much success, I ALWAYS run a large magnet on the outside of the oil filter, (it obviously won't fall off ) this will keep any small particles in the filter that may have otherwise gotten by.
Again unless I have given you specific instructions, run any name brand conventional 10w30 motor oil. I always do two quick oil changes, about 75-100 miles apart, then cut the filters open to make sure there is nothing in there. After 1000-1500 miles, feel free to run any oil you are comfortable with, whether it be conventional or synthetic.
Now onto the piston rings, the way we hone nowadays and the rings we use, rings are typically seated within minutes, after a few full heat cycles, the rings are surely seated. Take precaution to minimize washing the cylinders with gas on initial startup, if all goes well on the first start, run the engine for a few heat cycles. Feel free to do a leakdown and you will see the rings have seated almost immediately. Once you are comfortable, by all means go ahead and start banging gears. If there is a problem with the engine it will rear it's ugly head quickly. I don't follow or buy into the 1000-2000 mile break in theory, I run my engines hard right from the get-go, and my engines are no different than the one I built for you.
The above guide is strictly a guide, your engine we built may not adhere to the above steps, BUT you will know this because we will talk about your specific engine and I will tell you what steps to follow, but the above guide is a good method to use and has treated me and 100's of my engine customers well.
As usual, any questions please use the contact us page on my store here and we can discuss, again I appreciate your business and friendship more than you know. Take Care