I'm assuming everything is properly set up, that the timing is correct
and the carbs are at a datum setting. It's a good idea to have a buddy
or two available with a fire extinguisher to look for leaks in fluids,
smoke, check timing or help with the idle settings etc. during the
initial firing. It is best to pre-lube the engine by pulling the
distributor and drive gear and using an adapter, rotating the oil pump
with a drill set in reverse. If this is not possible you can remove the
plugs and turn the engine with the starter until you have oil pressure.
I've had problems with the new oil pump not pumping so I place a
generous amount of assembly lube in the pump during assemblyy so it will
As soon as the engine fires get it to a steady 2000 rpm for at least 10
minutes and then vary the rpms between 1500 and 2500 for another 5
minutes. You can then determine if the engine will idle on its own. If
it dies, try to get it running again right away. After it has run for
about 30 minutes you should shut it down and drain the break-in oil
which will be contaminated with assembly lube and microscopic bits of
metal worn off during the initial break-in process. BTW,I use straight
30 weight with a can of GM "engine oil supplement" (I think that's the
name, the guy at the local Chevy dealer always knows what I want if I
get the name slightly off). The GM stuff was recommended by a custom cam
grinder in Tallahassee that JK Jackson uses, so I go with it.
As the engine is cooling, take this opportunity to check intake and
exhaust nuts for tightness, as well as coolant hose clamps. After the
engine has cooled and the oil has drained, replace the oil filter and
refill with new oil. When you crank it again to dial in the timing and
carb settings, try not to allow the engine to idle for extended periods.
I set up a pole fan to blow directly on the engine and another to blow
into the radiator.
When all is set and after that satisfying maiden voyage, I recommend
re-torquing the head nuts hot. Yes, it's a pain but you'll be surprised
how much looser they are after running it awhile.
I'm getting ready to start my motor for the first time since putting a
cam and new lifters in. What is the procedure for cam break in. I will
be reinstalling new carbs at the time which will need to be synchronized
too. So a good smooth idle probably won't be obtains for at least a
couple of minutes (LOL).
Thanks for the input!!!