The Nissan KA24E engine test is designated to replace the Ford Sequence VE engine test as the low temperature valve train wear requirement for ILSAC (International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee) GF-3. The KA24E (recently designated the Sequence IV A) represents much of the current world-wide material and design technology while retaining the sliding cam/follower contact found in earlier engine designs. The work presented here is the first of two reports. In this first report, the physical and chemical environment the KA24E engine presents a lubricant is characterized and compared to those of the Sequence VE engine. Valve train materials and wear modes are investigated and described. Although chemical analysis of drain oils indicate the KA24E procedure does not degrade the lubricant to the extent seen in the Sequence VE test, valve train wear appears to proceed in a similar manner in both tests.