It’s not typical to have the amount of smoke I experienced after first getting my rebuilt motor installed and running. I immediately started looking for answers from piston ring damage on assembly to valve stem wear. I put on new seals but as this was a partial rebuild I didn’t replace the stock valve guides and valves. As I am using AMSOIL products, engine wear is on my side.

Well it seems the issue was corrected by break-in. Perhaps it was an issue of ring position or perhaps even an incorrect dipstick (wrong level mark). But bottom line is the motor is no longer smoking! The high zinc petroleum base SAE 30 break-in oil was designed for quick break-ins.

corvair_engine_breakin_oilThe car has been parked outside and amazingly the car starts quite easily. In fact on the first turn of the key after a couple pumps before hand even if it has sat for four days. It’s been outside in Sioux Falls weather averaging 10 degrees F since I started driving.

Anyway, it’s time to change the oil after two months and about 300 miles. I only can do short trips as the suspension is needing serious repair as well as tires and a heater!! Also we are not decided which oil I want to use and when exactly I will install the oil bypass kit. I am leaning on the ZROD 10W-30 High ZDDP (Zinc) oil but may run XL one change to help get out some of the break-in debris. Corvairs called for 10W-30 or 10W-40. I suggest you use the lowest first then increase viscosity based on oil consumption.  Other choices would be the HDD 5W-30 or the AMO 10W-40. One could also use the AME 15W-40 as it’s easy to find in my garage due to the product of choice for my Studebaker Hawk.


one note our customers may find useful is that they can break in their motor just fine with the XL line. No friction modifiers allow this to be true. AMSOIL suggested the Breakin Oil was intended for motors which are 500HP or higher. Motors with less power really didn’t need it..

Staytuned!! More to come on this exciting project for maximum Corvair performance using AMSOIL products!!

Ches Cain


Sucess with AMSOIL break in oil
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