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Old 11-24-2012, 06:56 AM
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440 failure cause

Recently had my 440 fail, I was not in it at the time so I don't know about oil pressure/water temp at the time. Pulled blower/top end off but have not pulled heads yet. besides the obvious damage, there is also water in the valley so head gasket also for sure.

My question is what are likely causes? and what else should I be looking for? Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:11 AM
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Broke a rocker arm, may have dinged the piston with the valve. I cant see head gasket from that, unless it broke part of the head somehow.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:20 AM
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is the silver on the rocker from you clearancing it for the retainer or from them becoming kiss'n cousins
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:32 AM
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lol, no...not from me, must have happened when they met, and the "magic" happened
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:09 PM
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Hydrolocked? Id check the rest of those rockers and see if any of the others are hitting. As for the water? Dunno, head gasket, cracked head. Does it roll over by hand?
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:26 PM
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I see both keepers and another piece of metal next to the keeper on the right, what is that? Definately would have to check the piston as I can almost guarantee they met. Check for bent pushrods and condition of lifters. You will probably have to replace that valve. The water in the valley is weird. There has to be a crack in something. Is there water in the oil pan?
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:59 PM
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I can only guess without taking it apart myself but i would bet you blew the head gasket a cylinder got full of water and hydrolocked which also prevented the valves from opening. Once the piston is up on a cylinder with water in it the head will lift and the valves wont open so they probably just snapped the rockers.

I would say it was a head gasket. Always the cheapest part is the one that fails. Had you just changed fuel or boost settings. For blower motor alway carry your own gas with you. Get it from the same place every week and bring it to the track. You can never be sure of how good the gas at a strange track can be.

Hope you get it back together.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:09 AM
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The pieces that were laying in the head were what was left of the retainer on the spring. The valve shot up (with a boost from the piston) through the head, broke the rocker arm and broke the spring and exploded the retainer.

So I got the head off and found some more out... It is the #4 cylinder and when i pulled the spark plug out, i got a nice surprise of about a gallon of antifreeze out of the spark plug hole, then the rest came out when I disconnected the header from the exhaust pipe.

Well, my wishful thinking went down the crapper when I saw the piston...Maybe some JB weld and it will be right as rain...
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcolby View Post
The pieces that were laying in the head were what was left of the retainer on the spring. The valve shot up (with a boost from the piston) through the head, broke the rocker arm and broke the spring and exploded the retainer.

So I got the head off and found some more out... It is the #4 cylinder and when i pulled the spark plug out, i got a nice surprise of about a gallon of antifreeze out of the spark plug hole, then the rest came out when I disconnected the header from the exhaust pipe.

Well, my wishful thinking went down the crapper when I saw the piston...Maybe some JB weld and it will be right as rain...
Wow was the hole from pre-ignition or the valve stem going into the piston. Doesnt seem to line up but in sure that the piston moving so fast can push the stem around into any postion. Were you ale to pin point the cause kind of looks like the keepers or retainer failed and dropped the valve. But could have been knocked loose by high rpm float.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:37 AM
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As far as I can tell, the hole lines up "good enough" to point to the valve stem I haven't pinned the cause, and probably wont be able to, but at this point it is probably due to retainer getting tired of holding on and let go..

WOW, this is going to be expensive..
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gcolby View Post
As far as I can tell, the hole lines up "good enough" to point to the valve stem I haven't pinned the cause, and probably wont be able to, but at this point it is probably due to retainer getting tired of holding on and let go..

WOW, this is going to be expensive..
Not sure what the engine is for but in a bracket car i would be tempted to replace the piston and valve use a die grinder to clean up the head and any other parts needed and run it. Of course that wouldnt be right but in a normal car you would never notice. It would run ok even if it was a little bit off from the other cylinders. Valve if it does not have bad cuts in the seat you may be able to cut the seat again and get it to seal up. But it will be lower in the head and a little less compression but still not to bad.

Big problem, is the rod bad? Piston and pin can be replaced pretty easy but rods usally cost a lot more to replace. If the rod is streched or bend it would need to be replaced and everyting rebalaced. But i have no clue how much rpm or boost you are running. It may fail again if cause is not found. It may also run for years with a tweak of the rev limiter. Sometimes its better to give up a tenth or two in the 1/4 and be able to race every weekend than it is to rebuild your engine starting from scratch.

With all that said you may be able to salvage parts to make a new engine. Might not be smart to really blow the motor over a few races if the rotating assembly is going to be costly to replace. Since im on the internet and not under the hood cant really tell what is best for your situation.

My money is still on this all starting with a blown head gasket and a few hundred rpm later it broke everything to ****. If the valve dont move it may flex enough to alow the rocker to push past the stem and hit the keepers or retainer and pop off. Once the valve was loose everthing made contact several times before it could be shut off. Probably all happend in a second.

Be sure to use head gaskets made for boosted applications. Not aure which one call felpro or use copper head gaskets but they are a pita if felpro makes one they know will take massive boost pressure use it. Detonation can kill any engine gaskets and will blow even if they are copper if its knocking.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:11 AM
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I am going to keep pulling the motor down, hopefully I can find some more info out once I get it out and can pull the pan on it...
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:53 AM
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I would say the head gasket started to weep (small leak) into the combustion chamber. Valve most likely stuck in guide as a result of having the oil film "steamed off" the stem. Piston kissed it,forcing towards closed position, like a hammer, and lets keepers drop out when that happened.
I couldnt see the keepers very well. Are the lands and grooves still OK ?
If the lands sheared off, then that would be the cause of the bent valve.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:46 PM
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the valve head flipped and the little stud that was left made the hole..
head gasket show any signs of a leak?
sorry man. looks costly to fix.. but a great reason to get indy heads
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:50 PM
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You can see in the picture where the head gasket blew out and burned the head. Not sure what the gasket looks like couldnt see it in the pistures well enough but the large rust spot shows where the heat and water blew past the gasket. The heat makes the metal rust instatly for some reason.
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