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View Full Version : Engine Break-in - Debate the Break In Secrets website's recommendation



rtwolfe
07-08-2011, 05:31 PM
Expect this will be a good discussion. On the 'net, there is a big split on the best way to set up a new engine. Pat McGivern (http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm) disputes the usual methods for breaking and he's got some impressive pictures of piston's to support his approach. Basically, he says.. "What's The Best Way To Break-In A New Engine ?? The Short Answer: Run it Hard !" More specifically, "Warm the engine up completely. The main thing is to load the engine by opening the throttle hard in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear. The best method is to alternate between short bursts of hard acceleration and deceleration. You don't have to go over 65 mph / 104 kph to properly load the rings."

He addresses the usual objections that you will damage the engine by his technique. "The Problem With "Easy Break In" ... The honed crosshatch pattern in the cylinder bore acts like a file to allow the rings to wear. The rings quickly wear down the "peaks" of this roughness, regardless of how hard the engine is run. There's a very small window of opportunity to get the rings to seal really well ... the first 20 miles !! If the rings aren't forced against the walls soon enough, they'll use up the roughness before they fully seat. Once that happens there is no solution but to re hone the cylinders, install new rings and start over again."

I have to say the pictures are pretty impressive.

His approach (http://www.mototuneusa.com/BreakInF3Pistons.jpg) Hope the image shows.
http://www.mototuneusa.com/BreakInF3Pistons.jpg


Easy Breaking Approach (http://www.mototuneusa.com/1BreakInHawk.jpg)http://www.mototuneusa.com/1BreakInHawk.jpg

So, first, has anyone seen this Break In Secrets website and tried the method on their new Fiat? IF so, what did you find?

Let the debate begin

ciddyguy
07-09-2011, 12:47 PM
Expect this will be a good discussion. On the 'net, there is a big split on the best way to set up a new engine. Pat McGivern (http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm) disputes the usual methods for breaking and he's got some impressive pictures of piston's to support his approach. Basically, he says.. "What's The Best Way To Break-In A New Engine ?? The Short Answer: Run it Hard !" More specifically, "Warm the engine up completely. The main thing is to load the engine by opening the throttle hard in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear. The best method is to alternate between short bursts of hard acceleration and deceleration. You don't have to go over 65 mph / 104 kph to properly load the rings."

He addresses the usual objections that you will damage the engine by his technique. "The Problem With "Easy Break In" ... The honed crosshatch pattern in the cylinder bore acts like a file to allow the rings to wear. The rings quickly wear down the "peaks" of this roughness, regardless of how hard the engine is run. There's a very small window of opportunity to get the rings to seal really well ... the first 20 miles !! If the rings aren't forced against the walls soon enough, they'll use up the roughness before they fully seat. Once that happens there is no solution but to re hone the cylinders, install new rings and start over again."

I have to say the pictures are pretty impressive.

His approach (http://www.mototuneusa.com/BreakInF3Pistons.jpg) Hope the image shows.
http://www.mototuneusa.com/BreakInF3Pistons.jpg


Easy Breaking Approach (http://www.mototuneusa.com/1BreakInHawk.jpg)http://www.mototuneusa.com/1BreakInHawk.jpg

So, first, has anyone seen this Break In Secrets website and tried the method on their new Fiat? IF so, what did you find?

Let the debate begin

That's more or less what Fiat recommends so as to properly seat the rings although they have a slightly longer period to do this.

In the past, it was recommended you don't go over 55mph for some period but now many manufacturers are requesting you do pretty much this method for the first few miles (20-100 mile range) and keep varying your speeds up to as much as 300 miles and your good to go after that. Some hard acceleration/brief full throttles are definitely what is being recommended and I doubt revving to close to redline in brief hard throttles when still in the break in period isn't doing harm, it's when you rev it up there and KEEP it there for long periods during the break in may well do harm down the road.

The trick is, BRIEF hard accelerations/decelerations is the key to help seat the rings properly.

I went in and read the article, makes sense and seeing the photos with his descriptions makes it much more clear what is being shown between the 2 pistons.

I've known for a long time that how one breaks in an engine helps determine its longevity.

PFVA63
07-10-2011, 01:21 AM
Here's a clip from one of the PDF versions of the Owner's Manuals posted on the Internet.

http://members.cox.net/psjn/Break-In.JPG

My take is that Fiat suggests that in high gear giving it some gas is a good thing, but its probably not a good thing in low gears.

My big concern with the comment on doing stuff within the 1st 20 miles is that when I bought my car it already had 11 miles on it,and previous new cars that I bought may have had up to 17 miles on them (or more) so that by the time you get a new car it could be to late to reaally do anything yourself, though I guess maybe if the builder were to do something as part of Quality Control and Factory Testing you might be able to get something done in the 1st 20 miles.

Regards

Pat

einy
07-13-2011, 07:59 AM
In the old days, prior to the advent of "platea honing", the crosshatch pattern - or more accurately the peaks that resulted from creating the c.h.p. during the cylinder honing process - acted to some degree as "file points", wearing away some level of the piston ring surfaces during the course of initial operation. During this process, the peaks were rather quickly worn away / broken off / folded into the valleys, all creating less than ideal long terms cylinder bore to piston ring contact surface attributes. With the change to plateau honing - which is in use industry wide for a number of years now - the overall characteristics of the finish machined cylinder bore surface has changed. Now, the peaks created during the initial bore honing process are (for lack of a better term) "shaved off", and the torn and folded resulting material is removed during the finish honing / finish bore brushing process, leaving what was really intended all along - cross hatched valleys to retain oil during the piston movement process. In addition, the block washing processes have advanced considerably over time, resulting in very effective removal (to what is called a millipore spec set by each manufacturer) of the resulting machining debris. In today's engines, using the parts machining / washing process noted above, the end net result is minimal wear of the piston rings' wear surfaces during initial break in - enough to establish a good gas seal but that is about it - and minimal additional deposits of junk into the engine oiling system from break in. All of this said, it is very important during initial break in to use brief periods of high cylinder pressure (i.e. "open throttle") to force the rings out to seat against the cylinder bores, followed by somewhat longer periods of light throttle to allow the rings to cool / relax. Despite the minimal creation of debris noted above, and despite the better level of part cleanliness after machining has been completed, I still (personal choice here!) choose to do the initial oil change earlier that the normal intervals. (That part of my old fashioned nature hasn't changed!).

Hope this diatribe didn't bore too many out there ....

rtwolfe
07-14-2011, 01:24 AM
Einy and Pat. Thanks to both for the feedback. Based on the website and your advice, I plan to use the 'more aggressive' approach with brief high rev-ing and cool-down, during the breakin period. And einy, like you, I was intending to do an early oil change - like after 200 miles, to get the metal bits out of the engine.

Ciao

SeaDawg
07-14-2011, 10:03 AM
Hope this diatribe didn't bore too many out there ....

Not at all. I found it extremely well presented and educational.

einy
07-15-2011, 09:06 AM
I appreciate that .... !

Fiat500USA
07-15-2011, 09:32 AM
Great thread!

rtwolfe
08-18-2011, 12:02 AM
I picked up my Fiat 500c tonight. Had 17 miles on it and now has 67. Am following the recommendations at the start of this thread. I made my way to out of the city to some wide open county roads and opened it up. Just kept between 3500 and 5500 and occasional 6000. And the car really accelerates well.

As they say on the Top Gear Abarth show (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcenmuVHt88&playnext=1&list=PL9F20DDC2648A7F00), "This car makes you feel...Happy!" I was grinning from ear to ear, with the top down on a perfect summer evening.

I also grabbed an audio patch cable and my iphone sync cable, fired up the TuneIn (http://tunein.com/mobile/)Iphone app, set it to Martini in the Morning - LA (http://www.martiniinthemorning.com/)and later to Radio Flemme (http://www.radioflemme.com/rf/) - Paris. So, I'm driving around the Minnesota back roads and listening to great music from other parts of the globe. But the best sound, was that growl the Fiat makes as you accelerate. Is just a wonderful car.

Ciao.

Abarthlyness
08-30-2011, 04:16 PM
I agree that this is a great thread.

I really enjoy the "tech talk" especially when explained so well.

I now consider myself... informed :)