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Old 12-14-2003, 11:51 PM
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Header leak or bent pushrod?

well i put new headers on my truck a while back now... and noticed a ticking noise.. but i can;t see y the headers would leaking.. i cleaned and prep the heads and headers before installing.. i even use a little bit of gasket goop.. and retighted the bolts.. they barly moved.. but anyways.. im almost thinking its a bent pushrod since i have had many of these in my old 454.. but this motor is 350.. anyways.. just curios if any out there has any tricks or idea's of telling where its coming from.. i would hate to pull the header off and notice it wasnt leaking.. then putting it back on and does leak.. same with valve cover... either way im gona look more into it.. just thought i'd see wut u guys think..

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Old 12-15-2003, 12:07 AM
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Header

I have only had limited experience in this area, but I have had a few of both (bent pushrods and blown header gaskets). When i was having a similar problem on my sbc, someone told me the usually a header will leak from the front of the block or the back of it, rarely in the middle. They suggested I run the car, maybe around 1000 rpm and run my hands about 1/2-1 inch above the gap between where the header meets the head all the way around the header, except under it because of the HOT location of the exiting pipes, and feel for air coming out. I did this and it turned out that I had a bad header gasket. It broke on the No. 7 cylinder all the way on the right. I run Super Comp headers by the way. I changed the gaskets to a set of Hooker Pressure Master Gaskets with Earl's Sealing Technology.

http://www.holley.com/HiOctn/ProdLin...PrssrMstr.html

I got them from Jegs I think, maybe summit, for 34.99. They are really great. It is basically a frame with graphite insert where the ports are. This way you can use them over and over...if you wear out the graphite, you can buy new inserts without needing the whole gasket set. They are pretty thick too.

When I first did the test, I didn't think I would feel the air, but I guess there is pretty substantial pressure there. I would do this as quick as possible as the headers tend to heat up real quick. Not sure how to check for a bent pushrod except to pull the valve covers and look for a crooked rocker or a really loose one. Even then, it could be hard to tell. mine was easy to spot...the rocker wasn't moving at all...with the engine running! A situation like that can really mess up your engine if left untreated. HTH!
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:00 AM
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Ya those gaskets are awsome!
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Old 12-15-2003, 07:25 AM
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Why would a ticking noise be a bad header gasket?

Most likely it's either a bent pushrod, worn rocker arm, or lifter creating a "ticking" noise in the valve train. Could also be a half-way plugged oil passage causing a rod or arm to get less oil and tick.

If everything checks out up top, then start looking for piston slap either from the piston hitting the cyl. wall, or slap caused by a worn rod bearing letting the piston tap the bottom of the head.

If it's a chevy 350, I hear alot of people here (no personal exp.) talking about rocker arm adjustment and maybe it's that? Someone needs to take some rockers off an olds/buick and see if they willl interchange with a cheby motor so you dont have to adjust them anymore
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Old 12-15-2003, 08:08 AM
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Another idea is to plug the exhaust somewhat to add some pressure to make it easier to feel a leak. Also, you could drip a little ATF in the carb to make some smoke. My mom's Mercury Sable with the 3.0 Vulcan (with pushrods like a hotrod) has a ticking when it is warm that a person like 442 could mistake for a lifter, but is a leaking exhaust manifold.
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Old 12-15-2003, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94lt19c1
Another idea is to plug the exhaust somewhat to add some pressure to make it easier to feel a leak. Also, you could drip a little ATF in the carb to make some smoke. My mom's Mercury Sable with the 3.0 Vulcan (with pushrods like a hotrod) has a ticking when it is warm that a person like 442 could mistake for a lifter, but is a leaking exhaust manifold.
The ATF is a good idea, this is true. You could also get some other de-carbonizer product and see if it is blowing out smoke. Blown header gaskets make more of a popping/poofing noise though, not a ticking.
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Old 12-15-2003, 01:18 PM
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A leaky header WILL make a noise that sounds like a ticking. This is when the gasket is just starting to fail. Don't forget the collector gasket as well, these are the one that burn/blow out the most. I prefer to use Percy's soft aluminum gaskets they are reusable and I have never had one fail. If you used the paper gaskets that came with the headers it is a matter of time before you have to replace them. Of course the only way to see if is is a bent pushrod or loose rocker is to remove the valve cover.
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Old 12-15-2003, 01:54 PM
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I might be wrong but I've heard bad piston rings will make a ticking noise...
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Old 12-16-2003, 05:25 PM
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thanx for all the replys.. i'll do some research and try your ideas...
thanx again
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