Best engine assembly lube?

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
8,022
113
Queens, NY
When I first tried assembling an engine I asked at the local parts store what to use. A guy I trusted said he always used STP and white lithium grease. I have used that ever since- no problems.
 
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olds307 and 403

Geezer
Thread starter
Oct 14, 2008
7,454
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
I use Permatex assembly lube because it is sticky!

View attachment 179310
Yeah, I think this is the route I will go. I have used STP, it worked but who knows. Enough people on this site and CO have used and liked it. My old boss used Lubriplate but the idea of grease, I know probably just in my head.
 
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Supercharged111

Royal Smart Person
Oct 25, 2019
2,433
113
Colorado Springs, CO
I feel like white lithium grease is old school (which doesn't mean it's ineffective). I've used Brad Penn engine assembly lube since 2010 and my bottle is about empty. I call it camel snot. It's green, thick, and sticky as all Hell.
 
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Jakefromstatefarm

Master Mechanic
Feb 26, 2014
403
93
I've had no issues with Lucas.
 

ELCAM

Greasemonkey
Jun 19, 2021
166
43
My way of thinking on this is time. If the engine will be installed and running in a week oil is fine. In a month something a little stickier is needed. A year and it becomes very important what you use.

If you build for others and have no say in when the engine is installed and run you just might want the "best".
 

Streetbu

Know it all, that doesn't
Supporting Member
May 22, 2011
2,645
113
Central NY
My way of thinking on this is time. If the engine will be installed and running in a week oil is fine. In a month something a little stickier is needed. A year and it becomes very important what you use.

If you build for others and have no say in when the engine is installed and run you just might want the "best".
I would agree. To an extent. Now the real question is if you used the "correct" lube for your anticipated time frame, then why do people still prime engines? You shouldn't have to do both. Either use oil to assemble and prime it before starting, or use thicker stuff and simply start it up when you're ready.
 

olds307 and 403

Geezer
Thread starter
Oct 14, 2008
7,454
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
My plan is this, Permatex on all the bearings, ATF on the cylinders and STP probably on the roller cam and lifters. I could go with a Moly paste of some sort. Am I correct in thinking that the Moly isn't as necessary for a roller cam? The ATF is not leave deposits on the little 1mm piston rings. I remember reading engine oil can do that.
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,620
113
It appears from the answers given is the same conclusion as what is the best assembly lube is the same as the best oil, trans fluid, paint, gas, or car wax, etc., etc.

My thoughts on assembly lube and oil priming...YES. They go together IMO. When assembling the engine, assembly lube sticks to and lubes the bearings and contacting parts while the crank is turned to put that next rod pair together. The cam moves, the crank moves, and thrust bearings need protection from metal to metal rubbing. Assembly lube doesn't really flow. Oil does. If primed right before startup, you've filled all the galleys and got rid of all the dead space, so as soon as you start to crank the engine over, you should see oil flow. So what if it washes off the assembly lube? You want that to happen anyway. You're done with assembly, now on with the operational part of it. That's why they don't call it start-up lube.

While many engines see no problem with it, I still believe it's best to wash out everything possible with the normal oil flow that the engine would see for the rest of its life after initial startup.

As far as the camshaft, roller lobes don't slide against each other so assembly lube should work just fine. As mentioned, depends on how long you plan on letting it sit as even the liquid-type assembly lube will drip off lobes if left long enough. Using moly paste won't hurt it, though.

JMO, yours may differ.
 
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