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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm getting pretty close to first start up on my 97 DelSol Si. Just recently rebuilt the D16Y8 bottom end with new rods, pistons, rings, bearings, etc. I've done a lot of homework but I'd like some input from the crew on here. Was wondering what's the best viscosity of oil to use, I understand conventional oil is the way to go, should I just use a 5w30? How long before the first oil change after? Also, what's the best way to prime the engine before the first start? My plan was, pull plugs, couple drops of oil into the spark plug holes, prime the oil filter as best as possible, and then crank it over with the fuel pump off and plugs out until it gets a decent oil pressure. I have an aftermarket pressure gauge to see where it's at. I'm just really nervous to be honest. I wanna make sure everything's going to go smoothly the first time I start it. I've worked really hard on this little turd!
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If it's just a stock rebuild, normal 5w30 will be fine. Conventional or synthetic. Oil formulation and weight preferences beyond what's on the oil cap are really only necessary to ponder/consider when you start doing power adders, etc.

To prime, pull plugs, disconnect distributor so coil isn't firing for no reason during priming, and unplug injectors.

Couple drops of oil in the hole won't hurt. Crank over till oil light in the dash goes out, then reconnect/install everything.

If everything was built properly, it should fire right up and purr.

Break in oil change is usually done after a handful (5-10) of heat cycles? I don't know, thats usually what I follow. So many opinions out there. I did my recent build once before and after the dyno session lol, I barely broke my engine in before the dyno. Honestly, if something is going to F up, it will happen sooner rather than later. The important thing on first start up is to make sure you establish oil pressure before allowing the engine to fire so all your important journals get their oil film.

No real need to baby the engine during break-in if everything was built correctly and care was taken to keep as much foreign debris out of the open engine as possible. Break in oil change is really just to remove the metallic particulate generated from your parts getting to know one another, and any larger debris, dust and dirt while the engine was apart and open that found its way into cracks and crevices, that typically finds its way to the bottom of the pan or ends up in the oil filter. This doesn't take long, engine is usually worn in after a few heat cycles.

An important part of break-in is ring to cylinder mating. You will need to rev the engine up under some load (driving) a few times. Don't be afraid if it smokes a bit out the tailpipe at first under load. Once the rings seat and wear to the cylinder bore, the oil control rings will do what they were designed to do.

Just make sure after the car has heat cycled a few times, to pull valve cover again and recheck/readjust valve lash if you notice the top end is ticking louder at idle than it did when you first started it. This is essential to do if you replaced the cam and/or rocker arms. A ZDDP additive is good to add to the oil for new cam/rocker break in.
 

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5w30 Dino, one heat cycle to check for leaks, top off water/coolant, and check timing. While it cools give the motor a nut and bolt, including the oil drain plug to make sure it is snug as well as the oil filter. Don't laugh, it's happened before! Axle and lug nuts as well. Once up to temp, say 175-180 F water, go for a short drive 2-3 miles of just normal driving. About a 1/2 mile before you get back home do a 2nd and 3rd gear pull to 5500-6000 rpm, the coast down in 3rd gear to 200-2500 rpm, clutch in and pull into the shop, let it all cool down. Swap oil filter, nut and bolt again, top off fluids and recheck valve lash. Open the oil filter to see how much metal you find. If you find nothing, you might have a bad problem.

Car owner was a bit shocked, he was my cylinder hear porter, but our friend loudly proclaimed "That's how you break in a motor!"...two weeks later 185-190 psi cranking test, 2% leakdown or less.

After that, oil change at 500-1000 normal miles, again another filter as well. Then drive as normal.

Now for "race motors"....you can't break them in on the street. Install it, send it out for 2-3 laps shakedown, keeping the RPM lower than redline, check everything over. Raise redline second second set of laps out. Repeat as needed. Third session is full send. It's either going to go full song or full smoker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool thanks guys, it's pretty much a stock build. I have SpeedFactory long rods and Vitara's in right now, doing boost down the road.
 

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Cool thanks guys, it's pretty much a stock build. I have SpeedFactory long rods and Vitara's in right now, doing boost down the road.
Break her in on 5w30 dinosaur oil like Transzex suggested :)

When you get to boost, start researching! Synthetic at that point will help with oil coking in the turbo. If you don't know what that is, research that as well. Your turbo, oil and engine will thank you.

A lot of newer low weight synthetic diesel engine oils are excellent for non-factory turbo cars, because (aside from racing off road oils) they have better sheer properties and about the highest levels of ZDDP compared to any kind of current year spec API certified oil you can find off the shelf for road going gasoline vehicles. Your cam and bearings will appreciate you for it :)

They are also typically cheaper per gallon than comparable weight automotive oils! You can get a gallon of T6 for about 18-20 bucks, compared to most gallon synthetic jugs going for 35-40.

These oils also deal with keeping HD turbos rolling for hundreds of thousands of miles, in extreme heat and conditions, at hundreds of thousands of RPM, all day long. This is no small task, and is an insane engineering feat. I personally use Rotella T6 5w40.

I say diesel engine oils are decent for "non-factory" turbo cars, because most emissions equipment is all but removed on those types of modified vehicles (ours included). The higher levels of ZDDP aren't really good long term for catalysts or oxygen sensors, but new generation diesel engine oils honestly don't have insane amounts of it (compared to dumping in a bottle of ZDDPlus), and they are remarkable in there ability to protect extreme pressure metal internal rotating components and not deteriorate new diesel emissions components. HD diesel engines now a days typically have 2 to 3 different types of precious metal catalysts in their exhaust systems, each for different things, as well as NOx sensors which are pretty much wideband oxygen sensors that interpret the presence of oxygen molecules in a diesel exhaust stream a slightly different way. Those devices are typically warrantied to between 150,000 - 250,000 miles, so the newer oils can't cause deterioration to emissions components like some older gen oils might.

Food for thought when you get there!
 
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