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Engine break in with flat tappet cam

Engine Building Fundamentals

Discussion and questions related to the course Engine Building Fundamentals

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I agree with the process in the break in video. However, in our peticular racing class, we use small block Chevy engines and the rules restrict us to using a flat tappet cam. While seating the rings is a high priority, properly breaking in the cam is probably the biggest concern, as they tend to "go flat" during the first firing of the engine if the cam is not properly "work hardened". What are your thoughts on breaking in a flat tappet cam?

Hey Bert, sorry about the slow reply. Yes the flat tappet cam does present some conflicting issues. You'll normally find that the cam manufacturer will offer specific instructions on bedding the lifters. This normally starts with a specific oil and you'll need to constantly alter the rpm by slipping the throttle during the first 15-20 minutes of operation. The worst thing you can do is let the engine idle which is also the worst thing you can do for piston rings so the aims of the processes aren't that far apart.