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Discussion Starter #1
This may have been addressed before, and although I see this all over the motorcycle forums, I don't see it as much on auto forums so I'm not sure if it is a myth or real.

I have 500 miles on my car and am going to change the oil because the car sat for at least a year before I bought it, and most of the metal particulates that are going to come free should have done so at this point so I want to get rid of them.

I will say that when I buy a new motorcycle, I change to oil at about 200 miles and the oil looks like metallic paint.

So here is the myth or reality, does changing the oil too soon ruin the break in period by making everything too slick? I've heard all kinds of horror stories about losing compression, etc. I think it's a bunch of hooey, but I don't know everything.

Any thoughts?
 

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Hi again....yep, 500 miles is about right for first oil change which I am surprised the garage did not carry out for you before collection / delivery as a first service, my sump plug was loaded with filings and sludge when i did mine, so although logged in my service book by Fiat dealership as having been carried out at 500 miles....when I serviced the 124 Spider at 2000 miles I would have expected far less .if any rubbish to have collected. You may wish to read the "Engine Oil Tech Talk" thread ( type in above in search and click on it) the contents throughout are brilliant, page 5 I have added some stuff that will assist you with any doubts about engine oil choice, Cheers
ron
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, considering how dusty the interior was, I doubt they did much to it at all.
I did read the oil change thread and it is very helpful. Kudos to Xtremerevolution on that one!
 

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Because these FIAT engines are manufactured so precisely there is almost no actual metal wear during the first oil change mileage. Motorcycles usually have their transmission gears lubricated by the engine oil which creates a lot of metal wear particles. It won't hurt to change oil early to get rid of any absorbed water condensation. The recommended service oils will not prevent proper break-in which is really work hardening of metal by heat cycling.
 

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Because these FIAT engines are manufactured so precisely...
Sorry, that statement can't be further from the truth, it is a mass produced engine. Ask anyone who has taken one apart. Look at my pictures of all the things I've found along the way. The internals are grouped into 3-4 tolerance categories and match up the closest other part tolerance window. They don't Plasti-Gauge the bearings, check bolt stretch, nothing. Match up the colors/letters and torque or assumed stretch from rotation angles. The crank is close to balanced but not perfect.

If anything, they are broken in, set the rings a little at the factory, and they do the true "initial" oil change that would have the highest probability of shavings, etc. I am going to have to run break-in oil in mine once the rebuild is complete and then swap to the normal 5W-30 at 3-500 miles after the rings set. I expect to see some stuff even though I know that every single component is now fit based on actual measurements and not just "close enough". The current delay in the rebuild is the rod wrist bearing was ever so slightly too large, would have worked but not perfect, and had to be sent back to have new brass bearings pressed in and then honed to match each pin. Fiat would NEVER do that.

work hardening of metal by heat cycling.
Gonna be a bit more pedantic here, my apologies.

True, metals can harden from being worked but heat is completely different. Heat cycling the way the engine warms and cools slowly would be annealing the metals or softening them and balancing out the work hardening. Quenching, or rapid cooling will harder more, yes.

One of my OTHER hobbies is bullet casting from various lead alloys and reloading the ammo with almost sniper like precision. High velocity/pressure round bullets need quenching after cast and then heated to almost melting and ice bath quenched again to almost triple the as cast hardness. My bottle neck rifle brass hardens at the neck after a few resizings/reloadings and needs to be annealed to keep it from cracking. That is achieved by heating the necks to red hot and then allowing it to cool slowly and naturally.
 

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When Iain Tyrrell (Iain Tyrrell's Classic Cars) was re-building a Harry Metcalfe's Espada engine he used cheap mineral oil to bed in the pistons etc. claiming that "old" engines required this, refilling with better quality oil (I assume synthetics) after 500 miles or so. He didn't offer an alternate view on new (modern!) engines as he works mostly on old stuff.

He suggested that the new synthetics were inappropriate for this engine as they "coated the surfaces" and restricted proper bedding in. How all this relates to our engines is something I'm not conversant with.

I seem to remember that years ago ('60s), although maybe mistakenly, that the first service at 1000 miles or so had a oil change. I assume this was for that very reason but it doesn't seem to happen now as first services are just a check over only?
 

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As you said, bedding in the rings is crucial to compression. When the cylinders are honed at the end, a cross-hatch diamond pattern is cut into the surfaces. During the break in period, the rings rub the peaks of the hatch down smooth and achieve proper seal. With modern "normal" oils, this would take much longer with all the friction modifiers in them*. That is why I have 5 quarts of AmsOil Break In oil to go in first and spoke with Andrei about how long to leave it in this engine before switching to the "normal" 5W-30 for part longevity.

*Back to friction modifiers and something JCC said above about motorcycle design. Can't really use car oil in a motorcycle because of the clutch being in the oil and the extra slick is not a good thing there.
 

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Change the oil, or not. If this is a street car, I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t believe you will find any solid evidence that changing the oil early or at the recommended interval makes any difference. Follow the break in period for the first 1000 miles, just like the manual says.

FWIW, I changed mine at 3000. The first 1000 were from SC to MI, after picking up the car. As far as type of oil, there’s a big thread on that, with the first post listing a few comparable oils to the recommended Penzoil.
 
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I have a 2014 500L (same engine as the 124) with about 117,000 miles on it. I always changed the oil on schedule, meaning when the service light came on and told me to. I never changed it early. The engine still has full power as verified on the dyno, doesn't burn oil, and has full compression. This engine has NOT had an easy life. It's been tuned nearly it's entire life and driven hard. So, I don't think early oil changes in these engines are needed. I do think you need to use the correct weight oil, don't deviate from that.

Greg
 

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If anything, they are broken in, set the rings a little at the factory, and they do the true "initial" oil change that would have the highest probability of shavings, etc. I am going to have to run break-in oil in mine once the rebuild is complete and then swap to the normal 5W-30 at 3-500 miles after the rings set. I expect to see some stuff even though I know that every single component is now fit based on actual measurements and not just "close enough". The current delay in the rebuild is the rod wrist bearing was ever so slightly too large, would have worked but not perfect, and had to be sent back to have new brass bearings pressed in and then honed to match each pin. Fiat would NEVER do that.
Honestly I haven't watched a F.I.R.E. engine line but I have seen other Italian engine lines and the precision is superb. The only break-in needed for these robotic builds is a combo of heat & pressure to change the cylinder wall crystalline structure. The plateau honing is better than what's done in most professional race shops. There aren't any peaks just valleys to retain oil. This is why low friction ester synthetic is usually factory fill.

For your rebuild with machine shop surface finish and hand assembly I would definately use a break-in oil with changing like you plan. While this is over-kill you could heat the high friction parts before assembly in a booth for 24 hours with zMax additive. This is what the Aurora Indy car engine builders did. zMax is one of the few additives that isn't an EP agent so won't prevent a running-in fit if needed. I'm not pushing zMax but will admit to having seen data showing less blow-by in the Aurora race engine.
 

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Honestly I haven't watched a F.I.R.E. engine line but I have seen other Italian engine lines and the precision is superb. The only break-in needed for these robotic builds is a combo of heat & pressure to change the cylinder wall crystalline structure. The plateau honing is better than what's done in most professional race shops. There aren't any peaks just valleys to retain oil. This is why low friction ester synthetic is usually factory fill.

For your rebuild with machine shop surface finish and hand assembly I would definately use a break-in oil with changing like you plan. While this is over-kill you could heat the high friction parts before assembly in a booth for 24 hours with zMax additive. This is what the Aurora Indy car engine builders did. zMax is one of the few additives that isn't an EP agent so won't prevent a running-in fit if needed. I'm not pushing zMax but will admit to having seen data showing less blow-by in the Aurora race engine.
Ah, I see what you were meaning now by precision. I was referring to how much more cast pistons heat expand over forged, the 3-4 tolerance windows for individual parts, ie pistons, rings, bearings, etc. Strictly torquing bolts and not measuring stretch where it is most important. The plastic intake on mine was glued/melted together misaligned in every way possible and I found voids in the plastic as I was sanding down the ridges and flashing.
 
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