Just put a V on order. Anyone have advice on break in period? I've read that the engine is test run at the factory for four hours so it should have a couple hundred miles on it. Is that enough? I've also read that this engine likes to be pushed hard to seat the rings in their grooves. Any advice?
It isn't run for 4 hours at the factory. It is run for about 15 minutes at varying loads.
The biggest "breakin" item is to properly bed the brakes. That is one of the reasons that you are often cautioned to take it easy on a new car during breakin...to keep from overheating the brakes, nothing to do with the engine. When the brakes are brand new they do not have nearly the capacity that they will when properly bedded so it is easy to overheat them by high speed hard stops when green.
To bed the brakes properly, find a vacant stretch of road. Accelerate briskly to about 35-40 MPH and do a firm, aggressive stop to just about zero. Roll off the brakes and accelerate back to 35-40. Stop firmly and aggressively to near zero. Do 12 stops like this. Hold the brakes firmly on each stop, stop hard but don't do a panic stop or try to engage the ABS. Just stop aggressively but at about 8 tenths.... Roll out of the brakes just as the car is about to stop each time. You don't want the hot rotor to stop completely with the hot pad contacting it in one spot. Just roll off and accelerate again.
Do the first 12 stops and then drive normally for awhile to cool everything off completely. Several miles on the freeway or county road with no stops is perfect.
Do 12 more stops the same way. Drive to cool things off.
If you do this properly you'll start to see some brake smoke and certainly will smell the brakes. That is good. you want to get the brakes up to a high temperature to burnish the rotors, mate the pads to the rotors and clean any contaminants off the rotors and pads. This procedure also lays down a thin layer of brake pad material on the rotor. All in all it properly conditions the rotor for maximum stopping efforts in the future.
Just normal driving can possibly never adequately bed in the brakes which results in lack of complete brake effect and complaints of brake fade, noise and roughness when the brakes are then pushed. Always bed in new brakes and rebuilt brakes especially on a performance brake setup. ALWAYS.
The whole idea behind the repeated hard stops from 35-40 is to build a lot of heat into the brakes without danger of overheating them when they are still not at full capacity. Even in a hard stop from 35-40 the brakes will not "overheat" but they will build a lot of temperature due to the repeated stops. Higher speed stops are specifically NOT recommended. Use the low speed 35 MPH stops repeated 12 times as described to properly build temperature without danger of overheating something.
The engine is really not too much of a concern for breakin. Occsionaly heavy throttle operation for short intervals is fine. Varying the load is one of the important parts. If you really want to expedite the breakin you want to include some engine overrun or engine braking into the schedule. Put the trans in 2 gear. Run the engine up to 5500 or so with heavy throttle. Lift and let the engine brake the car back down in speed. Do this several times and then cool it off with normal driving. The load/overrun operation is one of the quickest and most effective ways to breakin the rings/cylinder walls. If you refrain from any extended high RPM operation there is no chance of overheating rings or anything. Just give it some heavy load and then allow the overrun braking to slow it down.
The final drive will also run cooler with breakin. Repeated, brief, heavy load operatin expedites that breakin. Doing the brake burnish schedule is an excellent way to start the final drive off correctly.
Give it 500 miles with varying loads and speeds including the brake burnish schedule ASAP and then give it hell.
Road and Track must not have paid attention when they were told about the "factory" hot test of the engine. It is definitely not run for 4 hours...LOL. About 15 minutes to run a variety of checks including a black light examination for any oil leaks (the factory fill oil has an ultraviolet visible dye in it) and that is all.
Trust me, breaking in the brakes correctly is just as important as breaking in the engine....that is, if you want maximum braking effectiveness.