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1989 2.9l break-in procedure


Pix3L8

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Alright, guys, I need your collective ford knowledge for the little predicament I'm in. I'm on my second 2.9 rebuild and I'm slowly learning from my mistakes from the first time I tried this. I recently purchased an 89 block from a pick and pull yard, the engine has roughly 140k on it, in decent shape. I ran a leak down test and got results leading me to replace my piston rings. I replaced the rings, honed and deglazed my cylinders and replaced every engine gasket top to bottom, new fuel injectors, sensors, etc, etc. what I want to know is the proper break-in procedure once I get the engine in the truck. I've heard everything from run it at full tilt for 20 or so minutes to baby the engine for the first thousand miles. I know I need to run high zinc break-in oil and change it after 500 miles but the exact process for successfully breaking in the rings eludes me...Haynes manual is less than useless for this. The only new internal parts are the rings and gaskets so 99% of the engine was left alone I just don't want to do something wrong and have to redo all this work again. And before you say it, I should have done a 5.0 swap and saved myself the stress of messing with the 2.9 but what can I say, I'm stubborn.
DSC06662.jpg
 


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1990RangerinSK

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Alright, guys, I need your collective ford knowledge for the little predicament I'm in. I'm on my second 2.9 rebuild and I'm slowly learning from my mistakes from the first time I tried this. I recently purchased an 89 block from a pick and pull yard, the engine has roughly 140k on it, in decent shape. I ran a leak down test and got results leading me to replace my piston rings. I replaced the rings, honed and deglazed my cylinders and replaced every engine gasket top to bottom, new fuel injectors, sensors, etc, etc. what I want to know is the proper break-in procedure once I get the engine in the truck. I've heard everything from run it at full tilt for 20 or so minutes to baby the engine for the first thousand miles. I know I need to run high zinc break-in oil and change it after 500 miles but the exact process for successfully breaking in the rings eludes me...Haynes manual is less than useless for this. The only new internal parts are the rings and gaskets so 99% of the engine was left alone I just don't want to do something wrong and have to redo all this work again. And before you say it, I should have done a 5.0 swap and saved myself the stress of messing with the 2.9 but what can I say, I'm stubborn.View attachment 38373
Break-in procedure is simple:
Step 1: Remove 2.9 from truck
Step 2: Install 3.0 in truck.
 

1990RangerinSK

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From the 1990 Owner's manual ('89 should be similar):

Your new vehicle goes through an adjustment or break-in period during the first 1,000 miles (1,600km) that you drive it. During the break-in period, you need to pay careful attention to how you drive your vehicle. Follow these special instructions for the first 1,000 miles (1,600km):​
* Change your speed often as you drive. Do not drive at one speed for a long time.​
* Avoid sudden stops. Because your vehicle has new brake linings, you should take these steps:​
* Watch traffic carefully so that you can anticipate when to stop.​
* Begin braking well in advance​
* Apply the brakes gradually​
The brake in period for new brake linings lasts for 100 miles (160km) of city driving or 1,000 miles (1,600km) of highway driving.​
* Use only the type of engine oil that Ford recommends. See Engine Oil Recommendations in the index. Do not use special "break-in" oils.​
 

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@1990RangerinSK I chuckled at the brake break in inserted into the engine part....

What the sarcastic snarky one said is definitely true of OEM Ford rings and engines.. but since you have done nothing to the valves or crank case, I would contact the manufacturer of the rings themselves especially if they are not actual Ford rings and see what they recommend and what oil they recommend. with just the rings, you might not need to do an extensive break in period. Our resident 2.9 aficionado is taking a sabbatical (most likely locked in @Dirtman s basement but maybe @rusty ol ranger has some tips...(he is the other 2.9 aficionado..)

AJ
 

1990RangerinSK

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@1990RangerinSK I chuckled at the brake break in inserted into the engine part....

What the sarcastic snarky one said is definitely true of OEM Ford rings and engines.. but since you have done nothing to the valves or crank case, I would contact the manufacturer of the rings themselves especially if they are not actual Ford rings and see what they recommend and what oil they recommend. with just the rings, you might not need to do an extensive break in period. Our resident 2.9 aficionado is taking a sabbatical (most likely locked in @Dirtman s basement but maybe @rusty ol ranger has some tips...(he is the other 2.9 aficionado..)

AJ
For the record, that was exactly what I was told to do with my 2010 Honda Fit when I bought it brand new, too. So I'd suspect that break in procedures are pretty much the same for all manufacturers.
 

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From the 1990 Owner's manual ('89 should be similar):

Your new vehicle goes through an adjustment or break-in period during the first 1,000 miles (1,600km) that you drive it. During the break-in period, you need to pay careful attention to how you drive your vehicle. Follow these special instructions for the first 1,000 miles (1,600km):​
* Change your speed often as you drive. Do not drive at one speed for a long time.​
* Avoid sudden stops. Because your vehicle has new brake linings, you should take these steps:​
* Watch traffic carefully so that you can anticipate when to stop.​
* Begin braking well in advance​
* Apply the brakes gradually​
The brake in period for new brake linings lasts for 100 miles (160km) of city driving or 1,000 miles (1,600km) of highway driving.​
* Use only the type of engine oil that Ford recommends. See Engine Oil Recommendations in the index. Do not use special "break-in" oils.​
Besides the brake lining part, id follow this.

DO NOT run the thing crazy hard in the first 500 miles, and id be spotty about full throttle dumps between 500-1000. Also avoid towing for 500 miles and like stated, try to vary your RPMS to get the internals "adjusted" to different driving conditions.
 

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To seat the rings well your going to want to engine brake. Nothing crazy, but engine brake.

Change the oil at 500 and then once more 1000 miles after that.

Vary rpms while cruising.

Don't be afraid to give it the beans occasionaly either.. Again.. Nothing crazy.. But give it a taste.

I've seen motors get babied while getting broken in end up with worse leakdown numbers than motors that have been driven like an Aussie skid car since day 1 lol.
 

Pix3L8

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so what I'm hearing from everyone is to drive it easy but occasionally give it the beans and to engine brake, varyingRPMS. My last question, how long can I take once the engine is running to time and tune it?? I have heard letting an engine with fresh rings idle is a huge NO NO.
 

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No racing the first 500 miles, basically is what it means, not sure but I don't think racing anything with a 2.9L V6 would win you anything anyways, but basically don't race and don't tow anything and it'll all be fine. With today's traffic trying to break in an engine in the real world is pretty impossible. Just don't drive around with the skinny pedal to the floor and all will be fine. Biggest thing is to change the oil shortly after the rebuild, then doing it again around the 1,000 mile mark. Once you do that it should be good to go, I still run a zinc additive in my Bronco 2 even though the engine rebuild was done almost 2 years ago. Doubt it really does any good but I'd rather not find out with another $5k engine replacement bill....PO didn't do anything helpful to that poor Bronco 2.
 

Pix3L8

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I’ll be putting the engine back in this week, I’ll keep you guys updated. Thank you for all the input.
 

gaz

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I’ll be putting the engine back in this week, I’ll keep you guys updated. Thank you for all the input.
Hello Pix3L8

This is the correct way to break in (seat the rings/valves) a freshly rebuilt engine:

-this procedure is performed parked in neutral for a manual or in Park for an automatic.
-use conventional motor oil for the break in.
-start the engine and let it bring itself up to normal operational temperature.
-after it has warmed slowly raise the engine RPM until you get to 2,000 RPM. Once there, slowing accelerate and decelerate the engine RPM from 2,500-1,500-2,500.... This needs to be done for 20 minutes.
-after 20 minutes, drop that conventional oil and add your choice of oil; I recommend full synthetic.

Now your rebuilt engine is fully broken in and ready to drive on the road. You should change the oil again after the first 500 and 1,000 miles. After that change the oil according to the manufacturer's recomendations.

For the record, I did not come up with this procedure, I asked the advice of professional engine builders and they all used this very process. After learning this I adapted it as the proper way to break in an engine and am still enjoying every engine I have rebuilt.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask ..)
 
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Hello Pix3L8

This is the correct way to break in (seat the rings/valves) a freshly rebuilt engine:

-this procedure is performed parked in neutral for a manual or in Park for an automatic.
-use conventional motor oil for the break in.


-start the engine and let it bring itself up to normal operational temperature.
-after it has warmed slowly raise the engine RPM until you get to 2,000 RPM. Once there, slowing accelerate and decelerate the engine RPM from 2,500-1,500-2,500.... This needs to be done for 20 minutes.
-after 20 minutes, drop that conventional oil and add your choice of oil; I recommend full synthetic.

Now your rebuilt engine is fully broken in and ready to drive on the road. You should change the oil again after the first 500 and 1,000 miles. After that change the oil according to the manufacturer's recomendations.

For the record, I did not come up with this procedure, I asked the advice of professional engine builders and they all used this very process. After learning this I adapted it as the proper way to break in an engine and am still enjoying every engine I have rebuilt.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask ..)
That’s a cam break-in procedure. Any engine with a roller cam or used cam/lifter set, that’s a waste of time.
 

gaz

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That’s a cam break-in procedure. Any engine with a roller cam or used cam/lifter set, that’s a waste of time.
Whatever, OP has rebuilt a Colone 2.9L, they use standard hydraulic lifters; he needs to do this to seat the new rings...and it is the proper break in procedure.
 

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Whatever, OP has rebuilt a Colone 2.9L, they use standard hydraulic lifters; he needs to do this to seat the new rings...and it is the proper break in procedure.
Yes, but he’s didn’t replace them... no need to break them in again.
 

1990RangerinSK

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Whatever, OP has rebuilt a Colone 2.9L, they use standard hydraulic lifters; he needs to do this to seat the new rings...and it is the proper break in procedure.
No, sir. The proper engine break-in procedure was posted a few posts up, by me. Taken directly from the 1990 Ford Ranger Owner's Manual.
 


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