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Old 01-31-2011, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Motor Break In help

i have a brand new 88" motor still on the motor stand from Harley, never been installed much less ran. i am currently putting my 95" big bore kit, 211 cam and 2006 heads with compression release on it. once everything is bolted up and i instal it in my frame how should i go about proper break in. is there special lube to use for the first 500 miles? special riding need? any and all info/reccomendations are welcomed. also if it matters the tranny i am using is used. only the motor is brand new. thanks

Last edited by Jake707SBFMC; 01-31-2011 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ride it like you will ride normally...
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Big Don View Post
ride it like you will ride normally...
even for the first 500 miles or so with the break in oil?
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Let me qualify this before we even get started that I'm not a professional mechanic but I am a pretty good shadetree mechanic. First off I'd use assembly lube on all you're critical lubricated surfaces that are gonna be dry the first time you fire the motor. Next ,I'd use HD360 oil to break it in. Don't go out and run the crap out of it but don't baby it either, short freeway stints, ride it around town varying you're engine speed. I'd put 100 miles or so on it then change oil and filter, put another couple hundred on it and change again, would run it up to at least 1000 miles or so then change out the oil and put synthetic in it. During the break in heat cycles are important so take alot of short rides, heat it up and let it cool down. I'm sure you'll get many answers so read them all as I'm sure there are guys on here that have more shop time than me. Good luck on you're build.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i was also told by a buddy that i should prime it before i actually start it, by pulling the spark plug wires off and cranking it over a few times does that sound correct? where all does the assembly lube go?
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i was also told by a buddy that i should prime it before i actually start it, by pulling the spark plug wires off and cranking it over a few times does that sound correct? where all does the assembly lube go?
The purpose of primeing is to get some oil flowing before you actually start the motor. I'm not sure if what you're buddy told you will actually create enough oil pressure in a HD engine to circulate any oil. As far as the assembly lube it will be diluted by you're oil and be washed away and mixed with you're oil. After you get you're oil flowing there's no more use for the assembly lube, by changing you're oil after 100 miles or so it gets this out of the system, the disadvantage of leaving it in is that it might effect you're rings seating properly.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My mechanic at my dealership just replaced an engine that had damage from dry firing it at the factory. The new engine he used the starter to build up to 30lbs oil pressure then shut it down, then did it a few more times to be sure there was oil on all the moving parts. Then he heat cycled it in 30 second increasing increments until he had about 10 minutes of time on it. After that he deemed it ready for some gentle riding. Keep in mind the first 50 miles are the most important. Anyhow, just relating what he does and what he will be doing on my build. -Tutt
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CowboyTutt View Post
My mechanic at my dealership just replaced an engine that had damage from dry firing it at the factory. The new engine he used the starter to build up to 30lbs oil pressure then shut it down, then did it a few more times to be sure there was oil on all the moving parts. Then he heat cycled it in 30 second increasing increments until he had about 10 minutes of time on it. After that he deemed it ready for some gentle riding. Keep in mind the first 50 miles are the most important. Anyhow, just relating what he does and what he will be doing on my build. -Tutt
By using the starter do you mean pulling the spark plug wires so it doesn't fire and just keep turning it over? What are heat cycles? I noticed a few people bring that up
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboyTutt View Post
My mechanic at my dealership just replaced an engine that had damage from dry firing it at the factory. The new engine he used the starter to build up to 30lbs oil pressure then shut it down, then did it a few more times to be sure there was oil on all the moving parts. Then he heat cycled it in 30 second increasing increments until he had about 10 minutes of time on it. After that he deemed it ready for some gentle riding. Keep in mind the first 50 miles are the most important. Anyhow, just relating what he does and what he will be doing on my build. -Tutt


That is exactly the way I broke in my 117ci Start it for 15 seconds...shut it off. start it for 30 sec shut it down. wait 5min to cool start it for 45 sec. let it cool 20 min. I just kept doing that(up 15 sec ea time) till I was up to 2 min run time and 45min cool down. then out for a shake down ride
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've often wondered about the 50 mile 500 mile break in period myself for the Harleys I've owned. I've went through it w/2 new bikes just like the dealership said and everything turned out fine. I've also bought several new cars/trucks pulled them off the lot and hammered them like they were on a Nascar track. They turned out fine also. So what's the deal is the steel in cars/trucks engines different than in a Harley? I'm kinda in the dark here because I've just done some engine work to my bike and said screw it and did the "hard break in" and so far everything seems just fine. Does anybody know the truth of myth or fact???
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Heat cycling seems like a good idea, but piston rings only have so much time to take advantage of the hone marks before they are worn off. It's best to do a few hard accelerations/ deaccelerations within the first twenty miles, in order to seat the rings. Some may not agree.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Jake, yes he disconnects the wires. Forgot to mention that.

Here is a reprint of the S&S break in method.

http://www.steelthundercc.com/enginebreakin.html

When I first took delivery of my '09 Street Bob, I rode it on curvy roads in 20 minute increments varying rpm and then would stop and shut it down and let it cool for the same amount of time. I can't remember the exact figures but after about 100 miles I would ride it for 30 minutes and do the same. After 300 miles I would ride it an hour. That sounds about right. After a few oil changes along the way I put synthetic in at about 1500 miles.

The motor has been torn down for it rebuild and the pistons had a perfect ring seal and the cylinders still had the cross-hatching they need. So overall, while it may seem very conservative, I think it worked.

You only get one chance to do it right.....

-Tutt
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I should add the motor was torn down with 18000 miles on it prior to its rebuild. Amsoil 20-50 Motorcycle Oil seems to work very good! -Tutt
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Here's how I break in my motors... I run five heat cycles to break the rings in... I start the bike up and run it up to 180 degree's head temp then shut it down and let it cool down to room temp... Then I start the bike up and run it up to 190, repeat the process, 200, 210, 220... I have a good heat gun to measure the temps while I'm doing this...

Then I take the bike out and I do slow run on's up to 2500 rpm's for the first 50 miles... I don't keep a steady rpm, I will pull the clutch in and rev it a couple times every once in awhile... If anything is going to break, it's going to break in the first 50 miles...

Then I change the oil out and do the same slow run on's up to 3000 rpm's for the next 50 miles... Then I ride the bike ez but I do take the gears thru the rpm's... At 500 miles I change out the oil and then I ride it like I stole it...
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Heat cycling seems like a good idea, but piston rings only have so much time to take advantage of the hone marks before they are worn off. It's best to do a few hard accelerations/ deaccelerations within the first twenty miles, in order to seat the rings. Some may not agree.
Rob, I tend to agree with you on the "semi-hard break-in" idea. I rode my bike for short increments but while I did not rev it too much higher than recommended I did give it some throttle to seat the rings. The important thing is not to let the engine get to hot (obviously).

-Tutt
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