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Old 03-30-2005, 08:41 AM
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454 ticking about to light a match

Hey all axle snappers, have watched this forum for some time and found it very helpful in many areas. A lot of great people on here. I have been a wrench twister for many years and put together countless motors stock and built. I have one that is driving me insane and burning up the midnight oil only to leave ready to light a match to the F%$##% thing. Fresh 454 when it warms up it sounds like solids. Ticking, oil pressure on 2 different gauges is reading 50psi at idle hot. Talked to the machinist that did the block and head work and was told that the balls were not spinning in the rockers. I then replaced the studs, and rockers only to get the same problem. Drove the truck to the machinists, he said that springs were to strong. Pulled a spring out at his shop, he tested it and then said they are weak but the problem lies in the rocker balls, he said to pitch the ones with the slots and replace with smooth. This was done. Same problem. I am reaching out into the great wide world of motor heads and asking for some dire help. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I will also note that the cam is very mild and of the rv factors. We have ran 5w30, 10w40, and 20w50 no change noted there. The rockers have been adjusted hot, cold, and even running, no change. My instincts tell me the lifters and not working properly, the machinist says no because of the amount of oil that is reaching the heads is perfect. Going crazy here , please help, thank you……….twistedwrench

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Old 03-30-2005, 09:05 AM
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I know what your machinist is telling you but what do you see when you run it without the valve covers ? It sure sounds to me like the oil isn't get to the rockers regardless of what your machinist is telling you. Are you running valve covers with the drippers in them ? That helps on a Rat. It's been a couple decades since I was around a Rat but what I remember brings these 2 possibilities to mind:

Cam bearing out of position?
Grooved rear cam journal or bearing for a '65 396 instead of the solid versions for '66 and later?

I'm sure you've already considered all this but more often than not I find it's the things that you just know it CAN'T possibly be. Definitely let us know when you figure it out. I'll be building a 454 one of these days and it's always nice to know what NOT to do.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:18 AM
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I know the feeling, I have wanted to do the same thing a few times myself



Are you running a Hydraulic Roller?

Last edited by brainsboy; 03-30-2005 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:35 AM
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Ticking

Boy sounds are tough to fix over the net......

Some questions...

1. Is it one thing ticking or 8 or 16?????

2. Is the sound at engine speed or 1/2 of engine speed... you know like tick,tick,tick or tick......tick.....tick.....

3. Did you personally build this engine????

4. So the engine is perfectly quiet when cold and only makes this sound when warm??? What temp does it start ticking at?????

5. Give use the process you used to adjust the valves.

6.What year 454 is it????

Keith
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:14 AM
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Thank you for the fast replies, the temp is around 200 when it starts ticking, it does not do this at all when cold. Adjusting methods have been what I have used for years without problems. I used the spin and ¼ turn. Another mechanic and the machinist told me to use up and down movement of the push rods until 0 lash and then half turn. And I set them one time running and hot but all of the above made no difference. it sounds like all are ticking , not just a few , both banks. I did rebuild this myself. I am so hoping that the machinist did not incorrectly install a cam bearing. The mill is thought to be around a 79.the valve covers are edelbrock signature tall. The tick does follow engine speed from idle and continues up to around 2800 and the fan and exhaust starts to drown it out. My hearing isn’t the best any more, gee I wonder why that would be, being a mechanic, anyways. Thank you so much for the help here and waiting for return……..troy
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:57 AM
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Are you using roller rockers with poly locks?
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:42 PM
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they are stock
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:52 PM
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Tick

Just for kicks and giggles,,,warm the engine untill it starts ticking, then remove the fuel pump and fire the engine and see if the noise goes away..

Keith
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:07 PM
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I didnt see you answer, is it a hydraulic roller cam?


Are the lifters crane? Crane has released new info on some of their lifters which need 1-1.5 turns instead of 1/2. Just curious because I have the same problem with my ford windsor, tried everything, no one seems to know, even the techs.
The only thing I was able to come up with on mine was that Im using a larger base circle cam and the lifters although they dont come all the way out, they wont work properly. I ordered a new cam setup so hope this helps. I would love to know what your problem comes from too. I dont know if chevys have different diameter lobed cams or not when it comes to camshafts, but you may want to see how far out the lifters are coming.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:30 PM
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I'm having the exact same problem with a fresh rebuild on my 454. I've done some of the same things that you have. Adjusted the valves 3 times, hot, cold, running etc. Since I'm running a comp cams 268H extreme energy cam I thought maybe the stock slots were too short, so I changed the stock rockers to long slot roller tip, also went to slotted rocker are pivot balls and even tried a 20-50 oil thinking maybe the 10-40 was too thin. Still having the same problem.

I'm curious about this 1 - 1.5 turns with the Crane lifters. Has anyone else heard of tightening them that tight? I don't want to wipe out a new cam.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:50 PM
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Well it seems you've covered the obvious and abit of the not so obvious. Without being there it is tough to diagnose. My first thought would be weak lifters as the cause of the ticking. You didnt say what brand of cam and lifters you used, but if the lifters are generic try replacing them with quality lifters.

I might also suspect excessive clearence between the lifters and lifter bores.

My next thought would be to check valve train geometry to insure that the rocker arms are properly contacting the tops of the valves. To do this you must:

1.) Pick a cylinder that you are certain is a source of the ticking.

2.) Rotate the engine till the intake valve is fully closed, which should be when the exhaust valve has just begun to open.

3.) Remove the intake rocker arm and wipe all oil from the rocker and the top of the valve where the rocker makes contact.

4.) While you have the rocker off check the slot in the rocker where the stud rides in for damage on the valve stem side. Then check the side of the rocker stud that faces the valve spring. If there appears to be any damage or excessive wear in these areas the rocker might be contacting the stud. If this appears to be the case alll the more reason to continue.

5.)Once you ve checked the rocker and stud take a black marker and lightly color the top of the valve stem.

5.) With the pushrod still in place carefully set the rocker arm and pivot ball back in place as if you were installing it.

6.) Then with your thumb and index finger apply a light downward pressure on the rocker as if you were trying to push it further down on the rocker stud. With the pressure applied,(the pushrod properly seated in the rocker and the the rocker firmly contacting the valve stem top), wiggle the rocker left to right in a short twisting motion. This should leave a mark in the top of the valve stem.

7.) Remove the rocker arm and thier should be a shiny wear mark on the top of the valve stem were the rocker has made contact. The mark should appear to be in the center or very slightly off center of top of the valve stem.

If it appears to be to far off center in either direction your valvetrain geometry is off. If its off far enough to cause this, the mark will be way off center. Granted this is a long shot given the mild nature of your cam, but you did say the block and heads have been machined. Since decking blocks and milling heads can change valvetrain geometry its possible.

EDIT: I also forgot to say that improper length pushrods can also through the geometry off as well this is especially important for those of you reading this that have medium to large camshafts. Installing the proper length pushrods for your new valvetrain is very important.

Good luck and keep us posted

Doc

Last edited by Docs91RS; 03-30-2005 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:17 PM
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Thanx again for all the help. I have never had to be concerned with geometry of rockers, but the learning never ends. I am sack deep into changing a northstar motor in a caddy “oh what fun that is, I would rather go back to my ex wife, ok maybe not but anyways” I wont get back to the 454 till tomorrow. I am going to pull the intake and replace the lifters and check the lifter bore. I will also be checking the geometry of the rockers. I know the block wasn’t altered this time around but is hard to say what was done to it in the past. When it was first brought to my shop it had been rebuilt really cheesy and had a cam in it that should have been in a damn dragster and not a 4x4. Also the cam in lifters in it is made by clevite. Thank you again, you all rock. …………………troy
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:20 PM
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Another thought I just had was, depending on how well you trust your machinist, it could be improper valve guide clearance. This would cause the valves to stick and slightly hang open as the cam moves down its closing ramp. Its would also make sense that it would happen as the engine warms up and the clearances tighten slightly due to the heat. This would cause enough valvetrain clearance to make them tick. Just a thought

Doc

Last edited by Docs91RS; 03-30-2005 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:24 PM
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454 ticking

I know a guy who had ticking problems in his 454 4x4. He could never get the valves set. The oil pump had a bind spot in it. This caused the cam to walk back and forth. The upper timing gear kept slamming back into the block, cutting a groove out of it.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:58 PM
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Are you sure its not a header leak?

Also if this thing had a big cam in it with push in vs screw in studs it could have pushed a stud further out and require more turns to adjust.
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