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Old 10-17-2014, 10:03 PM   #1
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Break-in period

Gents - What is the consensus on breaking in the car?

I have now covered just over 500 gentle miles, i.e. No aggressive accelerating, max 4000 revs/80mph.

Would you now start to gradually "put your foot in" or wait until the 1500 mile point as the handbook suggests?

Also, when would you recommend doing the first oil change?

Thanks

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Old 10-17-2014, 10:54 PM   #2
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I would just follow The Book
However you will find out , that some people around here will tell you otherwise
I just happen to believe that those guys and gals that designed , developed , and built these machines , do have more knowlage and best interest about what they put together
Stick with what you are doing , and I belive that way you will have more longer years of trouble free , then doing what weekend worriores may tell you
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:50 AM   #3
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Andy, I for the most part did try to conform to the break in procedure as well. I had a few rev limiter hits due to loss of traction during the break in. I feel the most important part of a successful break in is to heat cycle the motor with short trips and vary the rpms frequently. One Very important thing. These motors have an electronic rev limiter. That does not help stupidity. It is very easy to mistakenly place the trans in the wrong gear at the wrong time this is bad because the car is now mechanically over speeding the motor. This is how a few of Z06 owners met with engine failures. That and a few heads from a certain vender had excessive guide clearance issues. I changed the oil at 1450 miles. don't forget the pan has 2 drain plugs. Mobil 1 5w30 EP. Make certain you use the correct oil filter UPF48R # 12626224 the regular Pf 48 will fit but is not for the LS7. Also the correct filter is black not blue.
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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Oldfriend and bptman - thanks for the advice, I will carry on being gentle. While the weather remains good I am using the Z as a daily driver so lots of short trips, multiple gear changing using different revs. I must admit the temptation to open her up a few times is hard to ignore!

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Old 10-18-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
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There is no break in period PERIOD. I drove mine off the lot like I stole it with 18 miles on it and it runs fast and hard with no issues. The rings are seated within the 1st 100 miles so you want a hard break in, after that you are set.

Felix- speeding in my SS/RS
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:06 PM   #6
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There is no break in period PERIOD. I drove mine off the lot like I stole it with 18 miles on it and it runs fast and hard with no issues. The rings are seated within the 1st 100 miles so you want a hard break in, after that you are set.

Felix- speeding in my SS/RS
yep. drive it hard from the get go to get the rings seated properly. ask any engine builder worth anything and they will tell you the same
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:44 AM   #7
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Andy, for what its worth, you the owner are responsible for the condition of this car. The break in is not only for the motor, but for every mechanical wear surface and bearing in the vehicle. GM is not like dealing with Walmart. They use word's such as Misuse & abuse to quite often deny warranty claims. In the unfortunate event that you should have a problem, It will be between you and GM. I would want to have all my ducks in a row.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:49 AM   #8
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Beat the heck out of it and then throw it away and get another (or so seems the thought pattern on this site sometimes, LOL).
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:50 AM   #9
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I agree with bptman. I'll be breaking mine in as per GM's guidance.
Who knows what is transmitted to GM via satellite as regards to how you break in the car.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGM 1LE View Post
ask any engine builder worth anything and they will tell you the same
I too have heard this before but isn't that more like after 500 or 1000 miles?

Why do you think GM wants under 4000 rpm's varied for 1500 miles? What is their reasoning if hammering it sets the rings better?

Maybe you set the rings better hammering it but there are many other aspects of new motors that are better protected by the slow break in?

btw...I did mine with 4 runs up to the border and back down the thruway but it was hard to do at varied rpm and under 80mph...I had track dates already and needed to expedite the process.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:09 AM   #11
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First, to each his own. That said, I've never understood the "drive it like you stole it" break-in philosophy. I've known lots of engineers and have yet to meet one who subscribes to this concept. I get the idea of seating the rings, but (as BackToTinTops points out) there are lot of other things going on during break-in.

I did my break-in on a TX to CA drive. I was careful to vary speeds and engine rpm, and slowly brought up both the revs and duration after the 1K point. So far my engine has used a half-quart of oil over 4K miles and 6-7 track days. If I factor in oil changes (two), there's a chance that's a touch higher...
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:22 PM   #12
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you have a warranty for a reason, just drive it as its intended to be driven. if anything happens its on gm. drive it
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:27 PM   #13
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My take on this is adhere to the manual if you intend to keep and run this car 100k+ miles.

The hard break in side:
If you are only interested in fast lap times, break it in hard. You will probably pull it apart and build the engine anyways.
Engines I've broke in hard always seem to rev quicker and run better. Have I ever had them long enough to check durability? No.

Factory break in:
These engines are set up with a 3 micron bigger piston than bore.
Enough said for me.
Engine builders set up clearances for short to no break as track time is a premium(at least the ones I know). No team has time to drive 1,500 miles before testing on the track. Ferrari Challenge engines are broke in at the factory. They recommend replacement at 9K kilometers. So, a Z/28 break in is 25% of a 458's engine life. I suspect that GM engineers along with designing the Z/28 to be fast also had 100k mi lifespan in mind.

Oil change 500 mile have analysis done. 1,000 mile have analysis done then decide if going to 1,500 for the next. I suspect these engines will be a little cleaner than most.

As far as warranty, screw that. I trust no manufacture warranty. Been screwed enough to know its my bill and they may or may not pay it depending on how the planets aline and how many claims they have had ect., ect.

Last edited by tahoeacr; 10-19-2014 at 04:31 PM. Reason: add
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:55 PM   #14
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OP...

Notice how the people telling you to beat the shit out of your brand new car don't have Z/28's?
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:48 PM   #15
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OP,

I think that you should baby the engine and car at least until 1500 miles. Break-in period also counts for the suspension and wearing in brakes... and other vital parts. I personally bought my 1SS with 67 miles on it and followed the instructions to a "T". I have had no problems. The LS7 is an amazing piece of tech. Break it in gentle, then give it hell. 2 cents
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:01 PM   #16
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This is the predicament I find myself in ...

The Z/28 isn't my DD and I've been swamped with work lately, as a result since I bought her 16 days ago I've only had a chance to put 170 soft miles on her ... soft as in I think I've been to 4000rpm but once and never past it.

The thing is I have a track day booked on Nov. 21st, and at this rate I'll be lucky to have 500 miles on her by then. So even though I'm a novice track driver (I bought the Z to learn) who will likely never push her to her real limits, I am super apprehensive about tracking her with such low miles.

I've been really looking forward to it but now I dunno if I should cancel or not. :/

Thoughts?
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:27 PM   #17
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My $.02....

I wouldn't think if any of the break-in parameters were violated that it would mean your car is doomed....lol

....Varying the speed and rpms seems to be the most prudent for the rings and safely street driving and keeping the rpm below 4k?...(not sure if that's in the Z/28 break in or not)....

I would suggest that the break-in period suggested in the manual is a good middle ground to drive safely, break in the engine, and get it in for a look-see by a mechanic before it is put to hard use....

As far as tracking it....man, that's a tough one....Personally, I would wait....If you really want to track it, make time to put some break-in miles on it....Might be worth the peace of mind in the long run....Good luck....

Last edited by 90503; 10-20-2014 at 06:36 PM. Reason: fixed "doomed" to "not doomed"...lol...went back to doomed...confusing myself on grammer....sorry...lol
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:32 AM   #18
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Have you done any track days at all?
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:08 AM   #19
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Having done and instructed at countless track days I would give you the green light on attending, but with the following caveats...

1) Get 500 miles on the car
2) Short shift during the track day(under 5000rpm)

I give the green light because experience tells me that you will NOT be doing threshold braking or cornering at the limit of adhesion during your first day. What you will do is learn the basics of "the line", and begin to get an understanding of the "friction circle".

All of this will be done well below the limits of the car so revving it out wont be necessary at all. The car has plenty of grunt to shift it at 4500-4800 rpm and still be gaining more than enough velocity to make most any corner a braking event at a novice level.

So go have fun and don't worry about it. Plus it'll be a good opportunity to really bed in your brakes.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoeacr View Post
Have you done any track days at all?
20yrs ago when I lived in the UK a friend gave me a two day lesson package at Silverstone ... but it's so long ago the answer is really no. I mean I understand braking points, apexes, accelerating through corners, and a few other basics, but no real on track experience to speak of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kartracer View Post
Having done and instructed at countless track days I would give you the green light on attending, but with the following caveats...

1) Get 500 miles on the car
2) Short shift during the track day(under 5000rpm)

I give the green light because experience tells me that you will NOT be doing threshold braking or cornering at the limit of adhesion during your first day. What you will do is learn the basics of "the line", and begin to get an understanding of the "friction circle".

All of this will be done well below the limits of the car so revving it out wont be necessary at all. The car has plenty of grunt to shift it at 4500-4800 rpm and still be gaining more than enough velocity to make most any corner a braking event at a novice level.

So go have fun and don't worry about it. Plus it'll be a good opportunity to really bed in your brakes.
Thanks k, that sounds like good advice and take it all on board. My mind is a little more at ease and I'm almose positive I will be going.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartracer View Post
Having done and instructed at countless track days I would give you the green light on attending, but with the following caveats...

1) Get 500 miles on the car
2) Short shift during the track day(under 5000rpm)

I give the green light because experience tells me that you will NOT be doing threshold braking or cornering at the limit of adhesion during your first day. What you will do is learn the basics of "the line", and begin to get an understanding of the "friction circle".

All of this will be done well below the limits of the car so revving it out wont be necessary at all. The car has plenty of grunt to shift it at 4500-4800 rpm and still be gaining more than enough velocity to make most any corner a braking event at a novice level.

So go have fun and don't worry about it. Plus it'll be a good opportunity to really bed in your brakes.

2nd

Let me predict the newest member to get the "track bug" will be Soulsea.
You drove Silverstone. Now Watkins Glen and Road America, maybe even Daytona will be on your list by the end of November. Then I see a road trip under the term "vacation" to the West coast. Infineon, Laguna Seca. Yeh, your going to be hook. Should have bought a Prius. Never seen one of those on the track.
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:16 PM   #22
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I was actually also planning to take an extensive course at Spring Mountain next time I'm in Vegas ... but obviously not in the Z.

For now Roebling Rd race track will have to sufice as it's the nearest road course to me.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoeacr View Post
My take on this is adhere to the manual if you intend to keep and run this car 100k+ miles.

The hard break in side:
If you are only interested in fast lap times, break it in hard. You will probably pull it apart and build the engine anyways.
Engines I've broke in hard always seem to rev quicker and run better. Have I ever had them long enough to check durability? No.

Factory break in:
These engines are set up with a 3 micron bigger piston than bore.
Enough said for me.
Engine builders set up clearances for short to no break as track time is a premium(at least the ones I know). No team has time to drive 1,500 miles before testing on the track. Ferrari Challenge engines are broke in at the factory. They recommend replacement at 9K kilometers. So, a Z/28 break in is 25% of a 458's engine life. I suspect that GM engineers along with designing the Z/28 to be fast also had 100k mi lifespan in mind.

Oil change 500 mile have analysis done. 1,000 mile have analysis done then decide if going to 1,500 for the next. I suspect these engines will be a little cleaner than most.

As far as warranty, screw that. I trust no manufacture warranty. Been screwed enough to know its my bill and they may or may not pay it depending on how the planets aline and how many claims they have had ect., ect.
I seriously doubt the car is built to go 100k before rebuilding drivetrain/suspension.
I had a friend in 'Nam that had his folks order a 1969 ZL1. It was sold with no warranty and though it had a VIN, you had to sign a document that you were going to race it and not drive it on the street. BWAHAHAHA
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:07 PM   #24
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Whiplash...I like your sig line but it's not true...the glue guys have more fun http://youtu.be/tSggEhvfi9U
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andig View Post
Gents - What is the consensus on breaking in the car?

I have now covered just over 500 gentle miles, i.e. No aggressive accelerating, max 4000 revs/80mph.

Would you now start to gradually "put your foot in" or wait until the 1500 mile point as the handbook suggests?

Also, when would you recommend doing the first oil change?

Thanks

Andy
I pull the drain plug 10 minutes after buying the car. Not to drain the oil, but to put in a magnetic drain plug. Then at around 1500ish, change the oil, trans, diff.. putting better than OE in all. With the Z, you'll also want to bed in the brakes and put in a good Dot 4 like Motul.

Break in wise... You never hammer brand new ring and pinion gears. So the drive it like you stole it off the showroom floor peep... good luck with that. Gee, wonder why so many people complain of diff problems and gear whine. And yes, there will be plenty of people that get away with it. That doesn't mean it was the right thing to do, means it was well built and they got lucky. Being unlucky might be an engine with some parts on the tight side, such as valve stem to guide clearance, piston to cyl, rod side clearance... When you're dealing with mass production, you're dealing with variation. Have a friend in powertrain development, he always tells me when they xplode one on the dyno, often root causes to tight parts galling. That same engine broken in with moderate loads would have been fine.

Just an opinion, and they will vary. When in doubt, go middle ground. Nothing wrong with moderate loads until you get to 1000 ish, then give it some blasts... around 1500ish, change the fluids. No limits from then on.
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