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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2012, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by raguza123 View Post
I made the mistake 2 yrs back of hearing a ticking sound so I decided to replace the lifters only, that was the final nail in the coffin for the cam.
You can put new lifters on a used cam, but you need to go through the break in process all over again, using an oil with high zddp content.

Bill

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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2012, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by raguza123 View Post
I put a vac gauge on it, it idles at 12" steady, when I remove my bake booster and the advance and trans modulator, it goes to 13" steady.
When I accelerate it has no lag or bog, the needle drops to 2" then up to 18", if I hold it at 1500rpm's she go back to 12 or 13" and bounce a little between the two of them.
It's has about 18000 miles on it since it's total overhaul, I just realized I'm running a modified from stock specs at stock specs. since it was rebuilt.
It starts good and revs good, but I have a sputter at idle out the exhaust.
At least now there is a cause. Although I do have to say that while a worn cam lobe can account for the engine not running right (tapping/noisy valve train, valve(s) that will not hold an adjustment, popping through the carb or exhaust, etc.), in your case the diagnosis wasn't cut and dry at all. Here is a page w/info that can help avoid another cam failure.

Good luck.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2012, 08:23 PM
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I did not go through the break in process like that, I will now, as it cost me a lot of time and the cost of a Camshaft and headache and it was the culprit the whole time. So is there a good break in oil or just an additive like comp cams recommends.
There's some interesting stuff there about cam's and what will happen.

Last edited by raguza123; 09-07-2012 at 08:39 PM.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2012, 04:33 PM
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I found 5 lobes worn, 2 are starting to get worn and 1 is iffy. I removed all the compoenents and I ordered a Cam/Lifters/timing set and should have it tomorrow.
I also went through her, I drained the oil and drained it through a paint strainer and found very little dirt. I then opened up the filter and inspected the element and it was farely clean, it was from last year. I then left the drain plug out and dumped in the block and heads mineral oil, and then jacked up the rear to be sure it all drained out and strained that and it was clear.
Then I checked the pushrods, rolled them on a piece of glass and found one bent, some with wear at were they come thru the head.
That's about it, now on to the what do I do next?
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by raguza123 View Post
I found 5 lobes worn, 2 are starting to get worn and 1 is iffy. I removed all the compoenents and I ordered a Cam/Lifters/timing set and should have it tomorrow.
I also went through her, I drained the oil and drained it through a paint strainer and found very little dirt. I then opened up the filter and inspected the element and it was farely clean, it was from last year. I then left the drain plug out and dumped in the block and heads mineral oil, and then jacked up the rear to be sure it all drained out and strained that and it was clear.
Then I checked the pushrods, rolled them on a piece of glass and found one bent, some with wear at were they come thru the head.
That's about it, now on to the what do I do next?
Ideally, you would take the engine back down to throughly clean it of any traces of the worn out cam and lifters.

This means pulling the engine and will require you to reseal it w/new gaskets and seals as well as replace the bearings if they are damaged. If the cam bearings aren't removed, the oil passage/groove behind them has to be completely flushed out. Same thing for the passage under the rear main bearing in the block (more on that HERE), the oil pan baffle, and all the oil galleys including those alongside the cam bore, the crank oil passages. Basically everything exposed to oil needs cleaning. The less cleaning, the more chance there will be increased bearing and journal wear and a shorter engine life.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2012, 11:28 AM
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So what you are saying is I will have to pull this engine in the very very near future to replace everything bearings and such.
It doesn't matter how much I clean her now. It will fail soon again?
Unless I do it now.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2012, 02:01 PM
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I've been told to check my Valve Lash?

Yeah! that is what I heard. The metal from the cam and lifters has to be somewhere. As you said you didn't find much in the oil filter or in the pan when you flushed it.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2012, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by raguza123 View Post
So what you are saying is I will have to pull this engine in the very very near future to replace everything bearings and such.
It doesn't matter how much I clean her now. It will fail soon again?
Unless I do it now.
Thorough cleaning is definitely the preferred method. Unless the vehicle is needed for work or something important that makes getting it back on the road fast a priority, I will still have to say to pull, clean and reassemble. If that's not possible, just do the best you can- pull the pan and spray it down w/a strong 409-type spray cleaner and rinse w/plenty of (hot if possible) water. Carb spray can also be used to get into the crevases. The oil galleys that run alongside the cam tunnel are hard to clean in the car, as is the grooves behind the cam bearings, but w/persistance you can get most of it.

Unfortunately, no one can say w/certainty how long the engine will last if it's not totally disassembled for cleaning- but it probably won't have the same life expectancy as an engine that was assembled 100% clean. That said, it might go 100K miles w/o a tear down- who knows...
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2012, 05:11 AM
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I have never been happy with it anyway, it's been a headache since she was rebuilt. Maybe this was the issue from the start, I don't expect it to last 100K, the engine needs to pulled out for a cleaning just on the outside alone, and when I get around too it it'll be torn down then. I realize the shop has done something wrong and it needs to be looked into and I may decide to scrap it and go for a little bigger engine.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:20 AM
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Looks like I got in on the tail end of this one... Hard to address all the issues covered by the thread.

Can't seems to make things add up. When you get it back together, neither the booster or vacuum modulator should cause any change in the reading. A wiped lobe on the exhaust would definitely cause "sputtering" exhaust on accel, but would also cause a jumping vacuum gauge, not steady. Should also have been "fluttering" thought the intake. Hard to tell if 12-13" was normal, not knowing what the cam spec is for duration. For stock, you should have 18-20. If it was gutless or doggy from day one, then I would have suspected the cam timing was off, be it incorrect keyway location, or a worn chain/gearset. (Crappy products available today can go south in a hurry.)

If you're using Fram oil filters... don't. They rate the worst in particulate passage and bypass circulation. Hastings is up at the top, as well as the Gold series Napa with close to a 10 micron absolute filtration. If you change your oil as much as you say and are using good filters, you shouldn't incurr any problems by not tearing it completely down. Not saying that tearing it down is not the way to go, just saying that many can't afford it, and I've seen a LOT of severely dirty engines go a LOT many more miles after having been flushed and oil changed at short intervals for the next few hundred miles. You'll never go wrong running Royal Purple, either.

Didn't see any compression numbers, which would be highly relevant to where your iginiton timing should be, also correlating to the lift/duration specs of the cam. The best you could do is leave it at the stock 8 degree setting, especially when running in the area of 9.5:1 or higher. The high numbers provided work great for high revving racers, but don't produce the drivablilty you're probably looking for. Same with the cam. The best you might want to do is use the numbers of a Ram Air III 400. Nice, smooth, stable idle with really good light foot drivability and torque, turns on like a rocket above 3500 rpm. Don't run your base timing any higher than 8 degrees.

1970 was the last year for advanced cam timing gear keyways. 1971 retarded the cam timing by cutting the keyway in a different location. Back in the day you could have a gear from a 70 and a 76 side by side and see the difference. By 1980, all replacement gears were produced with retarded cam timing. (This does NOT inlcuded performance manufacturers like Cloyes, Crane, etc) Again, spec out the Ram Air III 400.

Though I saw the articles on Pontiac valve adjustment, I would tend to disagree, since Pontiac is designed to tighten the nut against the thread bottoms of the studs, hence the reason for the 25 ft-lb of nut torque. One of the biggest drawbacks in their day was the pressed in studs that would work themselves up out of the head. Most shops would convert them to screw-in studs or dill and pin them to eliminate the issue. Valve train dimensions were specific and didn't have the broad tolerances of the small block Chevys. If you bottom out a lifter on a Pontiac, it's because one of the valve train componenets is out of spec, not because you misadjusted the lifters. On a smalll block Chevy, you could literally run a collapsed lifter down until the plunger bottomed out in the bore. Not a recommended practice, but it at least kept you from beating the rest of the valve train until you could replace it.

This site is not really good at sending notifications to my email, so it may be the last I hear of this. I'd really like to hear how things go for you when you're up and running again. Email me at thestaff "at" elderlyiron.com. If you'd like to see what we're doing with a pair fo 389 Ponticas, just search "This Old Truck" on YouTube. We're building one for a 57 GMC restoration project, and another was a junkyard haul that we're resurrecting "old school!"

Jeff
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2012, 12:49 AM
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I read this one all the way through and finally Elderly Iron had it pretty well nailed down. I will say that most Comp Cams I ever installed in the past 30+ years had some lifter noise of some degree. Comp denies but the more aggressive ramp speeds on their flat tappet hydraulic performance cams, like the 268H has always been noisy for me. As long as the lifters are adjusted correctly, you'll have to live with it - especially with cast aluminum valve covers.

Nothing was said about the cam surface of the lifter which also tells a tale.

You can live dangerously and just shove a cam and lifters in it but I doubt you know how to degree the cam in anyway. Pull the engine, tear it down, get it real clean and put it back together with what ever it takes. I'd not only recommend having an engine builder do it but dyno the thing, tune it and then install it. OH, a good engine builder often has a dyno or access to one and will usually warranty their work...I do!

Good Luck!
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:23 AM
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you are right, Don't know how to degree, the cam is a XE256H mild cam, lifters were not bad, some wear, the mistake was changing them and I believe I did not break in properly with break in lube or use proper additives with oil changes. I believe when it overheated during break in process and I pulled the heads to look for any problems back in 2005, I caused more harm than good, I also lost the valve adjustment too.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by raguza123 View Post
well the carb is a Carter AFB 4242S from a 400 Pontiac, and the ignition is set to around 8deg BTDC, it's a petronix Ignitor with an Aceel super stock coil and the plugs and wires are brand new.
I relocated the coil onto the firewall above the heater box and the ballast resistor is next to it.
The cap is new but has aluminum in the towers not brass or gold.
Which ignitor do you have? Some models don't use a ballast resistor.....you might check that out.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:28 AM
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The unit is the Pertronix Ignitor 1181 and the Pertronix tech claimed I needed the ballast resistor because of the coil (Accel Super Stock 8140C) and the fact I ran a 12v wire from the bulkhead to the coil.
All I know I had the wrong wires on her solid core 7mm, found some lobes on the cam worn, valve lash was adjusted wrong.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:33 PM
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LOw Vacuum

I've always adjusted valves with the engine running , set idle as slow as possable back off adjustment until they clatter then tighten until they stop clattering and then another 1/8 to 1/4 turn more. Any more than that might hold the valve open. ALSO BE AWARE THAT WITH A RADICAL CAM YOU WILL HAVE LOW VACUUM, check cam specs.
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