Question on oil for flat tappet camshaft.

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The 454 in my sig was last rebuilt 20 years ago and has just over 5,000 miles on it and has eaten the cam, a Crane Commander . Noticed a loss of power. After checking carb and and timing pulled the valve covers and saw the bad news. Was broken in according to Crane specs with their additive and Valvoline 10-30 dino. after 800 miles switched to Castrol muscle car oil. Next engine will be a roller cam. Thinking an LS 6.2 or a 502 BB.
 

joegreen

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If you need "high zinc" oil because you are drag racing or something, be sure and NOT use the HDEO oil. The high amounts of detergent literally displace the zddp molecules, rendering a 1400 zddp oil no better than a 700 zddp off the supermarket shelf. By "no better" I mean no better in the ZDDP department.
This truck is mainly used for plowing my driveway and yard maintenance. I think the trans shifts around 4500 rpm so the engine never sees high rpm. It spends most of its life street driving or idling. I was going to use mobile delvac 1300 super 15w40 plus zddp additive for the break in process then use the mobil 1300 as the normal oil after.
 

OVERKILL

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The 454 in my sig was last rebuilt 20 years ago and has just over 5,000 miles on it and has eaten the cam, a Crane Commander . Noticed a loss of power. After checking carb and and timing pulled the valve covers and saw the bad news. Was broken in according to Crane specs with their additive and Valvoline 10-30 dino. after 800 miles switched to Castrol muscle car oil. Next engine will be a roller cam. Thinking an LS 6.2 or a 502 BB.

There have been huge QC issues with the FT camshafts with many of the cores coming from China. A roller stick and link-bar lifters cost more, but if you don't have to worry about it? That has value you can't ignore.
 
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The 454 in my sig was last rebuilt 20 years ago and has just over 5,000 miles on it and has eaten the cam, a Crane Commander . Noticed a loss of power. After checking carb and and timing pulled the valve covers and saw the bad news. Was broken in according to Crane specs with their additive and Valvoline 10-30 dino. after 800 miles switched to Castrol muscle car oil. Next engine will be a roller cam. Thinking an LS 6.2 or a 502 BB.
BBCs eat cams more than any other engine. Your 1st line of protection is the base oil viscosity. For example, SAE 30 has a thicker BOV than
15w40.
Quite often, the oil will become over heated during cam break-in and a lobe will wipe out.
20 minutes of 2,000 or so rpm is recommended, but it doesen't have to be 20 minutes all at once non-stop.
Also, prime the oil system with an old distributor shaft and housing or prime tool.
 

joegreen

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BBCs eat cams more than any other engine. Your 1st line of protection is the base oil viscosity. For example, SAE 30 has a thicker BOV than
15w40.
Quite often, the oil will become over heated during cam break-in and a lobe will wipe out.
20 minutes of 2,000 or so rpm is recommended, but it doesen't have to be 20 minutes all at once non-stop.
Also, prime the oil system with an old distributor shaft and housing or prime tool.
Yes i bought the tool to prime and distribute the oil using a drill
 
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When I was 18 or 19 I worked in a machine shop that was in a big marina. We built 99% marine engines. It was 1986-1987. When lots of small block Chevys were eating cams.
We used to get a delivery every other week of core engines from the owner’s brother’s wrecking yard. It would be almost entirely Chevy small blocks unless the boss ordered something else, like a Ford or a Chevy big block. We would tear these engines down and hot tank the blocks, heads, cranks, rods and intakes. The cranks then got sent out and cut .010 and .010.
Anyway, one thing I always remembered was the used car engines had bad cams about 60% of the time. Always small block Chevies. The rare 302 Ford or 454 I saw never did.
Another thing I found curious was marine engines NEVER did this. I figured it was because they ran at higher RPM so they were oiled better and they received better maintenance. The core engines were nasty when they arrived. Every 305 or 350 we built from the core engines was built almost exactly to Mercruiser specs and I know we used Melling cams in them. Never saw one of them fail. I even put one in my then girlfriend’s Chevy Caprice Classic when it ate a cam. That car was around for years after I fixed it.
I just recently was tasked with helping a friend sort out a 427 Chevy in a Chevelle he bought. Lumpy idle. I figured it was a roller. When I was under the valve covers checking the lash, I looked and saw it’s a flat tappet hydraulic. When I voiced my concern, he showed me this high zinc content oil he uses in it. So far so good. We’ll see how it lasts.
Another thing I wonder about is the new beehive and conical valve springs. They do the job with less pressure. I would have to think a flat tappet cam would have a better survival rate with them.
 
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joegreen

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I have some rislone zddp additive that says it boosts the zddp level to around 1700ppm in sn oil. I was going to use that as my break in additive along with some diesel 15w40 but the rislone bottle says not for breaking in engine but states its great for flat tappet cams. I can’t figure out why not. If im just breaking in the cam in a stock engine and i want to boost the zddp to around 2000ppm total with the diesel oil this sounds like it will work great? I was also looking at lucas break in additive but reading some posts it seems like it may boost the zddp to 5000ppm at least which seems crazy high to me. Some people were talking about only adding a couple ounces of the lucas for break in. Im just trying to figure out why the rislone doesnt recommended its use for break in?
 

OVERKILL

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I have some rislone zddp additive that says it boosts the zddp level to around 1700ppm in sn oil. I was going to use that as my break in additive along with some diesel 15w40 but the rislone bottle says not for breaking in engine but states its great for flat tappet cams. I can’t figure out why not. If im just breaking in the cam in a stock engine and i want to boost the zddp to around 2000ppm total with the diesel oil this sounds like it will work great? I was also looking at lucas break in additive but reading some posts it seems like it may boost the zddp to 5000ppm at least which seems crazy high to me. Some people were talking about only adding a couple ounces of the lucas for break in. Im just trying to figure out why the rislone doesnt recommended its use for break in?
I've never used a break-in additive (YMMV). When we broke-in the two FT SBC cam's in my buddy's dad's S-truck (the 2nd being a Lunatti Voodoo, so pretty wild ramps) we just used 15w-40 and followed the instructions regarding RPM.

That stick held up just fine FWIW, never had an issue with it, but we eventually converted the truck to roller with a fresh shortblock.
 
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Used to use a light coating of moly paste on the lobes and lifter faces for some protection till the oil got there for start up.

I still have the tube, not sure if it's available anymore. Moroso moly paste.
IMG_20211010_122347810.jpg
 

joegreen

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My cam kit came with mellube which is mellings liquid lube you wipe on the cam. I understand its not as good as the moly grease as it will eventually drip off but i plan on installing it and then breaking it in all the same day. I will just use the wipe on cam lube and one bottle of the rislone zddp to break in the cam.
 

joegreen

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Well i got the cam and lifters out today. Honestly the cam looked way better that i thought it would. There were only two obvious wiped lobes. They were both exhaust lobes. One on cylinder 4 and one on cylinder 7. My truck was running so poor I couldn’t even move it in my driveway without stalling many times. I’m skeptical that two bad lobes could have caused this issue. Anyway here is a picture of one bad lobe. The other looks the same. Also here are the two lifters.
1ED18C5F-5E11-4ED9-9D2D-58A08F2CCA91.jpeg
9872240D-C1BB-4816-8364-C839D41B16AC.jpeg
37A3F424-56DD-47A5-9AA0-203BA6B811F2.jpeg
 
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All that metal went to the bottom of the oil pan. Any metal, junk etc is sucked into the oil pump. I know it's a pain, but I would also drop the oil pan, clean it out. I would also pull the oil pump and check the gears and insides for pitting galling etc. Good Luck!!!
 

OVERKILL

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All that metal went to the bottom of the oil pan. Any metal, junk etc is sucked into the oil pump. I know it's a pain, but I would also drop the oil pan, clean it out. I would also pull the oil pump and check the gears and insides for pitting galling etc. Good Luck!!!
This. All that metal went somewhere and it can definitely cause damage.
 
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