Do You Have to Break In a Roller Cam

Breaking in a roller cam is necessary for its proper functioning. To prevent any damage, make sure you break in a roller cam before using it extensively.

When installing a new roller camshaft, you must break it in before using it to ensure maximum performance and longevity. Breaking in the camshaft involves following a specific procedure to ensure the camshaft and other engine components are properly lubricated and have time to wear in gradually.

This process helps prevent damage to the camshaft lobes and bearings, which can be costly and lead to engine failure. While it may seem like an unnecessary step, taking the time to break in your new roller camshaft can save you headaches down the road and ensure your engine performs at its best.

So, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and be patient while breaking in your new roller camshaft.

Understanding Roller Camshafts


The Basics Of Roller Cams

A roller camshaft, or simply a roller cam, is a type of camshaft that uses a cylindrical or barrel-shaped roller to reduce friction between the camlobe and the lifter. Roller cams work by using the roller to ride on the surface of the cam lobe, reducing wear and tear and allowing the engine to perform more efficiently.

There are several types of roller cams available, including hydraulic and solid roller cams, which can be made from various materials such as steel, titanium, or even ceramic. To answer the question of whether or not you need to break in a roller cam, the answer is yes, it still needs to be done, but the process is different than with a flat tappet cam.

With proper installation and maintenance, a roller cam can provide many benefits to the performance of an engine.

The Importance Of Breaking In A Roller Cam

Breaking in a roller cam is crucial for ensuring its longevity and proper functioning. During the breaking-in process, the cam and lifters are mated together to create an even wear pattern. This helps prevent premature wear and malfunction. To ensure proper break-in, use a high-quality oil with adequate zinc content.

The risks of not breaking in a roller cam include excessive wear, reduced performance, and possible engine damage. Some common misconceptions about breaking-in roller cams include the idea that they don’t require a break-in period at all. Remember that proper break-in is necessary for the longevity and optimal functioning of your roller cam.

Roller Cam vs Flat Tappet Cam – Summit Racing 101

How To Break In A Roller Cam

Breaking in a new roller cam properly is crucial for optimal performance.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • first, use a conventional break-in oil during the first 20-30 minutes of initial run time.
  • Next, keep the engine at a steady rpm for 20-30 minutes, allowing the lifters to spin on the cam lobes.
  • Then, use high-performance oil and gradually increase the rpm over the course of 30-60 minutes. Make sure to avoid excessive idling or high rpms during break-in.
  • Additionally, don’t forget to properly test the cam after break-in to ensure smooth operation.

By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can extend the life of your roller cam and achieve optimal performance.

Advanced Roller Cam Break-In Techniques

Advanced roller cam break-in techniques require some alternate procedures that can help you avoid flat spots in the cam. One such procedure is using additives for faster break-in. These chemicals aid the cam in adapting to its environment by facilitating the smooth movement of valve lifters.

Addition of molyslip, comp cams camshaft break-in oil additive, or zddp and other similar additives can significantly aid in compression buildup, providing protection during initial operation. However, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the additive you are using, as adding too much of it can have side effects.

Regardless of the method you choose, it is crucial to follow the instructions and be patient during the break-in process.


After going through the above information, it can be concluded that breaking in a roller cam can be necessary for optimizing its performance and longevity. Although, it may not be all that obligatory for every engine, but for high-performance engines, it is highly recommended.

The process of breaking in a roller cam can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the cam and the engine it’s installed in. It is important to follow manufacturer instructions closely for the best results. Once the cam is broken in, it should be operating smoothly and efficiently, providing better power and torque, and decreased wear and tear.

When it comes to engine building, taking the time to break in your roller cam can make a substantial difference. So, don’t be reluctant if you need to break in a roller cam – it’s most likely worth it in the long run.