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Engine lube

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When it comes to engine assembly, what are the upsides and downsides to using a lubrication specifically for engine assembly vs. plain engine oil?

They are usually made with a greater shear strength, so there is less chance of irregularities breaking through the oil film, and have greater resistance to running off the parts if left in storage.

Basically, a better film strength.

Many have other benefits as well.

If the engine isn't going to be sitting, but used almost immediately, mineral oil with selective use of anti-scuff/cam lube if/when required, 'should' be fine.