Look at what we found during the break in period!!! - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:23 PM
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Look at what we found during the break in period!!!

See attached pictures! About 10 minutes into break in period we started hearing a loud metal smacking sound coming from the valve area! We popped the cover and after much research noticed one rocker arm had very little oil coming from it and sounded like metal smacking metal! We pulled the intake off and checked the lifter. Well we checked what was left of it! This is a new Lunati cam, lifter and springs setup! We followed the install instructions to the tee and the three of us experienced mechanics double and triple checked everything as we went! We used the lube that came with the cam. We pre-lubed the engine and ran 30wt oil like the instructions side! We adjusted the engine to 1,800 rpm as soon as the engine started. So what happened? I will be calling Lunati and Jegs first thing in the mourning!
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:13 PM
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lack of zinc killed it. The gov forced oil companies to remove zinc and other anti wear agents from oil. So flat tappet cams go flat very quickly in the break in procedure. Diesel oil was suggested to you on other threads, but it likely wouldn`t have did you any good either, they removed the package from it too. One of the few things left that still has it is STP oil treatment. GM had a additive that worked the same way, it too has been discontinued. I`m sure Lunati will cover your loss this time, but likely won`t a second time. You will also have to check the bearings, the hardened steel of the lifter and cast iron likely ruined the bearings. They will all have to be checked for clearance, don`t just inspect them. If they measure okay the engine will have be flushed very very well to get it clean.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:15 PM
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Ooooh, thats ugly!

From the looks of the bad lifter, it looks like a piece of the bottom of the lifter broke off. It's not an even wear down but looks more like a piece or pieces came loose for some reason. When you pull the pan to ck the mains and rods, i'll bet you find some chunks in the pan too. Keep us informed as to how Lanati handles this.

Mark
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:53 PM
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That doesn't look like a wear induced failure, looks more like the hard face of the lifter sheared off. Was this a high lift long duration cam?? Cams with faster lift rates put far more side load on the lifters, resulting in a shearing force as the edge of the lifter tries to climb the cam lobe. High pressure springs only worsen the problem. I'd be real surprised if the lifter bore isn't broken also.
Shouldn't be much other damage, It looks to me like the lifter sheared off in one piece and probably just dropped to the bottom of the pan. There will be some particles that wore off the cam however.

I'm in the group that will likely never build a flat tappet engine again, especially with a larger than stock cam. Yes, rollers are expensive, but what did this episode just cost in time and $$$$????


BTW, how come the lifters look like they're rusty???
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdkkart
BTW, how come the lifters look like they're rusty???
Looks to me like assembly lube. Red/Brown....sometimes hard to tell the difference.
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:02 AM
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lifters

Give a little bit more info on the combo.. what are the lift and duration @.050 numbers on the cam. Solid or hyd.What heads. I assume it a chevy 350??? How did you initially set the valves??? Did you soak the lifters in oil???

Keith
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-star
Give a little bit more info on the combo.. what are the lift and duration @.050 numbers on the cam. Solid or hyd.What heads. I assume it a chevy 350??? How did you initially set the valves??? Did you soak the lifters in oil???

Keith

( It is not making much difference, what size, shape, lift, the non-roller cams are going flat at a terrible rate.) I did here a suggestion. Joe Gibbs Racing, is suppose to have a racing oil, that is loaded with zinc. It is a thought?????
Dave Tallant Hot Rods Shop KC Mo.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
From the looks of the bad lifter, it looks like a piece of the bottom of the lifter broke off.
After a very solid investigation, I came to the same conclusion......
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:32 AM
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cams

I don't really think percentage wise that the rate is much different then 10 years ago. Now we have the internet and everytime a cam goes flat the entire world knows about it..

There was a period a few years back where a bunch of bad lifters got out and that added to the amout of failures.

I personally do not know of one stock cam failure where proper break-in procedures were used. A place like Recon builds 1000's of stock engines with no problems,with stock cams.

IMO, (others feel free to jump in ) all the problems (lack of zinc, spring pressure, lobe rates, lifter bore location/perpendicularity, lifter crown, cam and lifter hardness,etc) are greatly increased as the cam gets more aggressive...As the lobe gets faster the need to pay attention to all the above increases....

If you have a cam with 270@ .050 duration and the lifter bores are out of location/perpendicularity you can add zinc to the cows come home and every cam that goes in that block will go flat. Put a stock cam in the same block with zero zinc and the thing will run forever...

It's not always the cams fault. That is why i asked the questions.

Keith
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:46 AM
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Some good points Keith. One thing the original post mentions is that he used the supplied assembly cam lube. If it's anything like the goo Crane and Comp use, I'm sure lube failure is not very likely.

Im still holding out on a lifter failure. I still think there is a big chunk or two in the pan!

Just a thought on the "high zinc racing oils". I'm wondering how true the claims really are. The feds have a tight hold on production of these products and I don't see how one lone supplier can get by with putting out a product that is not in compliance with federal mandates.


The problem with the ZDDP levels is there is NO real current info out there. The older reports are from 5 or 6 years back and i'm sure the formulations are changing on a regular basis.

Mark


Mark
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:18 AM
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Specs

The cam is Lun pn# 60103, it is a Voodoo cam .489 in .504 ex. Duration at tappet .050 is 227 in and 233 ex. We bought cam, lifters and springs kit! Just spoke with Lunati, they want to see a picture of the missing part before we go any further. I told him that I am going to pull the engine and take it all back apart again and look for the missing pieces but isn't it possible that the pieces got ground up by the cam? He said maybe, gave me his extension number and said to call him back when I get it apart. Called Jegs ask for manager! After asking if I had a receipt he said that they sell hundreds of cams and that I am the only one to have this problem! My guess is he thinks we did something wrong. I had to interrupt his speech 2 or 3 times to explain that the lifter looks like a metal rod with the end broken off. He said that was not possible. Then he asked for my name so he could look it up on the computer. After 10 minutes he said well I have no record of you buying it from us and said if you can find a receipt to call him back. I then remembered that my son picked it up. Called Jegs back and got a different manager. He found the sell on his computer (they had my name mis spelled) and said call me back after you get it all apart and we will make good on it.

Now I have a question for you all. I have changed 6 or 7 flat tappet cams over my life and never had a problem. The last thing I want is to have this happen again. So, would this be a good time to go to a roller setup? With the springs and heads I have I am limited to around .525 lift. I am thinking I can return cam and pay the difference to go roller. Then again if I find that the bearings and other things are damaged because of this, I am not gonna be a very happy person.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro freak
The cam is Lun pn# 60103, it is a Voodoo cam .489 in .504 ex. Duration at tappet .050 is 227 in and 233 ex. We bought cam, lifters and springs kit! Just spoke with Lunati, they want to see a picture of the missing part before we go any further. I told him that I am going to pull the engine and take it all back apart again and look for the missing pieces but isn't it possible that the pieces got ground up by the cam? He said maybe, gave me his extension number and said to call him back when I get it apart. Called Jegs ask for manager! After asking if I had a receipt he said that they sell hundreds of cams and that I am the only one to have this problem! My guess is he thinks we did something wrong. I had to interrupt his speech 2 or 3 times to explain that the lifter looks like a metal rod with the end broken off. He said that was not possible. Then he asked for my name so he could look it up on the computer. After 10 minutes he said well I have no record of you buying it from us and said if you can find a receipt to call him back. I then remembered that my son picked it up. Called Jegs back and got a different manager. He found the sell on his computer (they had my name mis spelled) and said call me back after you get it all apart and we will make good on it.

Now I have a question for you all. I have changed 6 or 7 flat tappet cams over my life and never had a problem. The last thing I want is to have this happen again. So, would this be a good time to go to a roller setup? With the springs and heads I have I am limited to around .525 lift. I am thinking I can return cam and pay the difference to go roller. Then again if I find that the bearings and other things are damaged because of this, I am not gonna be a very happy person.
Looking at the picture from what I can tell it looks like a stress fracture within the hardened zone of the lifter face, this would be caused by incorrect/inadequate/careless treatment of the hardened wearing surface. These are not unheard of failures, perhaps uncommon, but not unique. I'd say the failure had nothing to do with your installation or the type of lubrication employed, there was a residual shear plane that formed in the lifter face upon manufacture that when put into service the forces were simply large enough to allow a chip to come off. This, also, could have resulted from the lifter being dropped at some point and a "flake" formed from the pressure in a manner similar to how pressure applied to a piece of flint rock is used to chip off flakes to make a stone arrow or spear point.

Bogie
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:52 AM
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More...

Just go off the phone with a friend who is a tool and die maker. Sent him the lifter pictures. He says, to him, it looks like there was an air pocket or air bubble in the casting. Sounding more and more like a defective lifter.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:05 AM
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I use white lithium grease and stp mixed together as a cam lube. also build oil pressure with a drill before i start eng. if the eng turns ovr alot trying to start it will wipe the lobes clean of lubricant. in your case it looks like material failure
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:32 AM
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lifter

I have my doubts that you will find a "piece" of lifter. That lifter looks like standard issue failure. You will probably find debris through the filter,oil and bearings....If it's only one bad lifter you might get blessed and not have any bearing damage.

Cams are case hardened to 55 rc. If you start the engine and the lifter does not rotate it will go right through the case hardness and cause the exact look that you have on the bottom of the lifter.

If you could somehow do a survey i would bet that 70 to 80 percent of cam failures are with cams right in the same number range as yours... Maybe because they sell 50 of them to every 1 thats more aggressive.

IMO there could be a few causes. Like was mentioned earlyer if you did not add any EOS or other zinc rich additive. Could be that the lifter did not have the proper crown on it but it's way to late to check that. I check every single lifter that i install. They should be right around .002" crown. There for awhile i would throw away 1 to 3 lifters out of every set because they had less then .001 crown. With that cam i would not put any lifter in it with less then .002 crown, but that me.

You are going to need to take the engine apart and clean it.If there is any debris in the oil galleys, that instant death to the next cam you install...not to mention that the bearings will be junk in 1,000 miles or less..

Get a indicator and check the next set of lifters for crown, go to GM and pick up a bottle of EOS and also a bottle of cam and lifter lube. Use the EOS on break-in and the cam and lifter lube every time you change the oil.

You should be ok for the next time,,,or go roller and the issues go away..

Keith
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