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Proper break in

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I read where some guys here are using synthetic oil for break in which seems to be a no-no in the rest of the motorized world.  Dino oil as they call it with no additives is preferred.

That and cycling the engine under load both as you accelerate and decel down from high revs (not too high) in gear.

So far I've just spend my time on the new bike cycling it

 

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7 hours ago, ViperGTS said:

I read where some guys here are using synthetic oil for break in which seems to be a no-no in the rest of the motorized world.  Dino oil as they call it with no additives is preferred.

That and cycling the engine under load both as you accelerate and decel down from high revs (not too high) in gear.

So far I've just spend my time on the new bike cycling it

 

If you're talking about a new motorcycle then it is pretty much broke in by the factory and all you have to do is ride it. Most will agree that you should put at least 1,000 miles on it before switching to a full synthetic. 

I have the benefit of having a proffessional dirt bike mechanic work on my bike and he tells me to not worry about it or waste my money and just run the Honda oil and change it very often. 

Doing a proper break in is very important for rebuilt  engines or installing Bore kits ... :thumbsup:  Everybody was teasing and making fun of me in the 305 thread .... :lol:  

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8 hours ago, ViperGTS said:

I read where some guys here are using synthetic oil for break in which seems to be a no-no in the rest of the motorized world.  Dino oil as they call it with no additives is preferred.

That and cycling the engine under load both as you accelerate and decel down from high revs (not too high) in gear.

So far I've just spend my time on the new bike cycling it

 

No engine (aside from model T era automobiles) should be run with an oil with no additives in it. Usually "break-in" oils have higher levels of anti-wear additives in them. However, a good oil with a decent level of additives will break in an engine just fine whether it is synthetic or not.

Break-in oil gets changed to quickly though that it isn't worth the extra money you'd pay for synthetic over a decent mineral oil that will get changed at the same mileage.

Edited by MotoTribology

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9 minutes ago, Kompact said:

 

Great write up  ....   :thumbsup: 

 

Quote

 

The factory approach to addressing issues that turn up at this point also varies, but any bike that makes it to the dealer has been run long enough to skip the initial steps above and go right to the second phase; run it  for about the first 10-15 minutes at up to about 60-75% of its capacity, then step it up for another 10 to 15.  You want to avoid thrashing it right at first, but don’t “baby it” during the process, either.  Shut it down, look it over, and if all looks well, call it done and have at it.  

The truth is that the break in period has been reduced to a less than one hour experience by improvements in metallurgy and machining methods, improved engine oils, and proper assembly practices.  The main keys to success are to put it together right, avoid either being too hard or too easy on it at first, use a good oil during the period, and do a complete oil change early.

Richard Ribley

 

 

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20yrs ago when I was a test driver for GM, part of the new car instructions for us was to take it up to 85 mph or so then coast down under compression load repeatedly

Edited by ViperGTS

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In the days of cast iron piston rings this accelerate under load, vary the speeds, baby it ... was important. Now, with moly rings, advanced engine oils, it is a thing of the past. Take it easy for the first 1000 km. No high revs. And never, ever during the life of any engine ... lug it. After 1000 km, ride it like you stole it. Had turbo bikes, HD's, dirt bikes, all the same. Identical bikes where one was babied and one was run hard ... the hard runner was always faster. Speaks volumes about efficiency that.

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Richard is right.  I've worked on bikes as a hobby for a long time, but my career has been in the Auto industry.  Most of the actual "break-in" is what he refers to as a "Dead run", and is typically done on the assembly line, at the end, the engine is started, checked for problems, then shipped to dealers.  They assemble the bike, run it hard for a couple minutes to check it over, then it's off to the buyer.  By the time you get it, everything is pretty much worn into spec and seated, but you just complete the process over the first couple hundred miles as brakes and clutches wear in completely, and the engine loosens a little bit more.  No problem with running synthetic when new, other than dumping out expensive oil after a very short ammount of time.   Since moly rings came around, I've always run an engine hard, at moderate RPM, it seems to loosen up faster, and without any problems.  High static compression loads from frequent WOT, while limiting heat buildup by avoiding long periods of high RPM work for me.

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6 hours ago, alucard0822 said:

No problem with running synthetic when new, other than dumping out expensive oil after a very short amount of time.

Exactly what I have been arguing with friends for years. They state that synthetic doesn't allow for enough wear to let the engine break in properly. I've always said non sense, it's just stupid expensive as I believe that you should dump your oil at 100, 400 and 800 so you might as well just use quality dino up until that point.

 

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13 hours ago, Kompact said:

Exactly what I have been arguing with friends for years. They state that synthetic doesn't allow for enough wear to let the engine break in properly. I've always said non sense, it's just stupid expensive as I believe that you should dump your oil at 100, 400 and 800 so you might as well just use quality dino up until that point.

 

Fewer contaminants in the base, uniform film thickness, more resistant to heat and chemical breakdown, better suspends debris and contaminants, all would be advantages to breaking in with synthetic.  The main difference in theory is synthetic being a "tougher" oil as it is refined to have a very uniform structure with the base oil having consistent molecule size as opposed to some variation in conventionally refined oil.  Like a bunch of ball bearings, the largest bearings get broken down first, the smallest bearings don't make contact, having all "bearings" the same size spreads the load, and reduces the number that are damaged from hard use, like a tight engine with high friction and heat, aka a new engine.  In theory high spots would initially wear in FASTER with synthetic than conventional provided they exceeded the uniform molecule size, conventional would have to have the largest molecules break down first to reach the same level of friciton/wear.  This is part of the reason most O.E. car manufacturers use synthetic engineered oils and assembly lubes in production now, easier to match a film strength/thickness to desired wear and avoid breakdown.  

 

I switched to synthetic after my first 100mile oil change on my LRP, as I do on most new engines I buy or build, then might switch back down the road depending on the cost of the oil vs conditions I use the engine in.  The dustier and dirtier the conditions aka offroad use, the more frequently I change the oil, and the more expensive synthetic becomes, especially on offroad engines that will probably need to be rebuilt anyway every 100 hours or so, so they get conventional.  stuff that sits for a long time, used in extreme temps(like my snowblower), or that is used frequently in clean conditions tend to get synthetic, if I'm going to go a long time or a lot of miles between oil changes, then it's probably worth it to use oil that is refined to a higher state.  At least in auto engines the additive package in conventional and "blend" oils have gotten really good, and the simplification/mass production of refining/distilling synthetic base oils from crude oil has made them cheaper, so there isn't that big of a difference anymore.

Edited by alucard0822
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1 hour ago, alucard0822 said:

Fewer contaminants in the base, uniform film thickness, more resistant to heat and chemical breakdown, better suspends debris and contaminants, all would be advantages to breaking in with synthetic.  The main difference in theory is synthetic being a "tougher" oil as it is refined to have a very uniform structure with the base oil having consistent molecule size as opposed to some variation in conventionally refined oil.  Like a bunch of ball bearings, the largest bearings get broken down first, the smallest bearings don't make contact, having all "bearings" the same size spreads the load, and reduces the number that are damaged from hard use, like a tight engine with high friction and heat, aka a new engine.  In theory high spots would initially wear in FASTER with synthetic than conventional provided they exceeded the uniform molecule size, conventional would have to have the largest molecules break down first to reach the same level of friciton/wear.  This is part of the reason most O.E. car manufacturers use synthetic engineered oils and assembly lubes in production now, easier to match a film strength/thickness to desired wear and avoid breakdown.  

 

I switched to synthetic after my first 100mile oil change on my LRP, as I do on most new engines I buy or build, then might switch back down the road depending on the cost of the oil vs conditions I use the engine in.  The dustier and dirtier the conditions aka offroad use, the more frequently I change the oil, and the more expensive synthetic becomes, especially on offroad engines that will probably need to be rebuilt anyway every 100 hours or so, so they get conventional.  stuff that sits for a long time, used in extreme temps(like my snowblower), or that is used frequently in clean conditions tend to get synthetic, if I'm going to go a long time or a lot of miles between oil changes, then it's probably worth it to use oil that is refined to a higher state.  At least in auto engines the additive package in conventional and "blend" oils have gotten really good, and the simplification/mass production of refining/distilling synthetic base oils from crude oil has made them cheaper, so there isn't that big of a difference anymore.

Ok, lets start at the beginning.

1. Synthetic oils are not uniform in molecular size. PAO are fairly uniform but still have a range (for instance C12-C16). Even despite that fact, fully formulated oil is made up of many ingredients and not just a single base oil. All of those ingredients have different molecular sizes so the "uniform molecular size" theory is not accurate. With regard to film thickness, synthetic oil's film thickness is no more uniform than a conventional oil in any practical sense.

2. I'm not sure how you are proposing synthetic oil "better suspends debris and contaminants". I am not aware of any mechanism of synthetic oils that give it that ability. If anything, synthetic oils are inherently worse at this because they do not readily dissolve sludge like conventional oils do because of their solubility properties.

3. Circling back to the molecular size and molecules "breaking down"; what you are describing is molecular shearing, and it does not occur in base oils. It happens to viscosity modifying polymers, but not base oils. So their molecular size does not get reduced or damaged from hard use. If anything, they would become larger as more oxygen atoms bond to any unsaturated bonds they might have. Also ,the size of molecules and the size of asperities in metal surfaces is drastically different. The molecules do not need to be reduced in size in order to fill asperities. Thousands of molecules can fit into each asperity of a metal, so molecular size is not a limiting factor in filling asperities.

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I would just ride it like you ride it.  I wouldn't go out of my way to baby it, nor would I go out of my way to get compression load.  The most important thing in my mind is to change the oil early the first time and not worry about it after that.  Use whatever oil you want to.  One kind isn't going to make or break your break in over the other.  Plenty of machines ship with synthetic from the factory and break in fine. 

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