ZTR break in

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    There have been several post about what oil to use to break in an engine. Kawasaki and Briggs and Stratton often recommend strait 30wt. Some have said that you should use synthetic at break in. Here is what I found that NASA has said about engine break in:

    I am a NASA Engineer at Marshal Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. My field of work is Tribology which is the study of friction, wear, and lubrication. In our spare time, our group collects and tests different motor oils using the Shell Four Ball tester. This tester tests the extreme pressure properties of oils. These areas in a motor are cam to lifter contacts, valve stem to guild, and piston skirts. Over the years we have found synthetic bases oils to out perform mineral based oils by a large margin.

    Do not run synthetics in a new rebuild. A new engine needs the added friction allowed by mineral oils to set the rings properly. Chevy found this out on the corvette. These cars came from the factory with Mobil 1 and owners brought them back because of smoking and oil consumption (rings did not seat). Run a good single weight oil for the break in period. We found Havaline 30 to be a good mineral oil - in fact we use it for our standard.
    Phil Hall, NASA

    OK, what I got from those excerpts is Synthetic is superior but not during break in. He also goes on to say multi-viscosity dino oil breaks down faster because of additives (faster than 30wt). Adding thickeners like polymer chains in multi-visosity dino oil (which may make them break down faster)are not necessary in multi-viscosity Synthetic oils.
  2. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 951

    That is about the same thing that I was told by the tech man at a Generac repair shop for my region. I have a relative who is a distributor for Schaefer Lubricants and he gave me a good deal on some 10-30wt synthetic oil. My engine manual said that it was acceptable to switch to a 10-30wt synthetic after the break in oil was changed at 8 hrs. So I changed to the syn. oil and had put only 3 or 4 hrs on it when I found out after talking to the Generac tech. that their engines are considered to be what he called a "green" engine when breaking in, which mean't that it was not considered to be broken in until 100 hrs. at which time it would be fine to switch to the synthetic oil if I wanted. So I changed back to straight 30 wt oil until I get the 100 hrs on it. He sounded like he was very knowledgable and experienced so I'm going with the info he gave and not what the operators manual said, in this case. I wonder if anyone else has foound many inconsistencies between what the engine Mechanics recommend and what the operators/engine manuals state? Razorblades
  3. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 623

    I know alot of people say go ahead and do it right away. We have found that if we do the first oil change at 10 hrs. to clean out the manufacturing gunk, then run 50 hrs. on dino, then we swithch to synthetic. Anything less seems to burn the oil off. After that your'e good to go. The diesels in our skidloaders we have found not to switch until around 300 hrs, so maybe in a ztr diesel you would want to wait longer too. We don't see any leakage or anything, I think it seeps past the rings and just burns off.
  4. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,148

    I thought it was common knowledge to break an engine in on dino oil? Rings need to seat and synthetic doesnt allow that to happen properly. I am on the break in oil on my new 160Z. At 10 hours I will change the oil with dino again and at 60 hours I will switch to synthetic.
  5. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I thought this was common knowledge also, but went back and checked my facts after some members thought this was outdated thinking.
  6. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,148

    Yeah I have gotten in on those arguments on here. I love the "tolerances are tighter now days so there is no need for dino oil during break in". So because of tighter tolerances the rings no longer need to seat against the cylinder wall? :laugh: I just have to sit back and shake my head at some of the things I hear people say on here.

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