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Old 05-18-2013, 08:06 PM
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Newbie First Engine Build Problems

This is my first motor build. The top and bottom end were done. I had a shop rebuild the shortblock.

Last weekend I broke in the cam. I had to shut down a couple of times for some leaks, but it did get 20-25 min of runtime with varied RPM's between 2,000 - 2,500. Due to transmission issues I didn't get to drive it that day. During break in the engine sounded great and there were no problems.

Thursday I got to drive it around some for the first time and logged 19 wonderful miles before the engine started making a "smack" noise.
I had been running without the vacuum advance all day, when I decided to plug it in. I drove for maybe half a mile before I decided this was a step in the wrong direction, so I unhooked it. Then I drove another half mile or so and that is when the noise started (maybe this is coincidence). Was I supposed to back off base timing before hooking up the vacuum advance?

I did find one melted plug wire on the header, so I replaced it and wrapped with header wrap...but that didn't make a difference. I pulled each plug and labeled what cylinder they came from (see attached pic). I tried to back off timing, but that didn't make a difference either.

So I need ya'lls help to figure out what is going on. I let the engine idle for a few minutes today while I captured the noise on video (the mic didn't do a good job of getting the sound though). After I was done I felt each header with my hand and they all felt the same. I then used my hand held infrared thermometer and verified that each pipe was in the same ball park (105-125). So it seems like all cylinders are firing OK.

The smacking noise sounds like metal on metal. I verified piston/valve clearance, and valve spring retainer clearance before installing the engine. The noise is irregular though, I would expect it to have a regular "beat" if it was something in the reciprocating stack.

I am tempted to remove the accessory belts to see if it is something stupid like the water pump or power steering pump.

Sorry for the long post, just trying to get all the relevant info out there...I am very paranoid right now!

Here is what I have for hardware:
SBC 350 (bored +.060" and decked .020")
Factory crank
Factory rods
ARP rod bolts
Sealed Power H345H Hypereutectic Pistons (H345-60) (1.548" compression height)
Total Seal Rings cast iron, second compression ring is gapless (S9090-60)
CompCams XE274H cam (complete K kit with lifters, springs, etc)
Factory Vortec heads
Melling M55 oil pump with Melling hardened shaft and Melling pickup)
HEI ignition
ACDelco R44LTS plugs
Howards Cams fuller roller 1.5:1 rockers
Quadrajet 750 CFM
Edlebrock Performer RPM intake

Other stats:
9.9:1 compression ratio
Squish is around .046"
Base timing 24 (total is around 34-36, not sure when its all in by, as I have not gotten that far yet with tuning)
The engine was balanced
Oil pressure is good 55+psi
Not sure how accurate the dash temp gauge is, but is it a little on the hot side, but not in the red.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:19 PM
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Make certain you're not hearing a header leak. They can make all kinds of sounds. It you're certain the headers are sealed up, then I would do as you suggested and pull the belts and run the motor a little.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
Make certain you're not hearing a header leak. They can make all kinds of sounds. It you're certain the headers are sealed up, then I would do as you suggested and pull the belts and run the motor a little.
Thanks Tech! What is the best way to do this? Disable the mechanical fan and use a stick and a piece of string?
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:46 PM
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was the engine line hones/bored on the mains?? if so did you or the machine shop use a shorter timing chain set.. if not you might be hearing the timing chain smack the timing cover..
please don't ask how I know this.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadslife View Post
was the engine line hones/bored on the mains?? if so did you or the machine shop use a shorter timing chain set.. if not you might be hearing the timing chain smack the timing cover..
please don't ask how I know this.
No it was not line honed. I am using the timing set that came with the cam and a new timing cover.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:23 PM
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Vortec heads machined for the lift of an XE274?
Or
What style valve cover are you using and could you be hearing a rocker hitting them.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bygddy View Post
Vortec heads machined for the lift of an XE274?
Or
What style valve cover are you using and could you be hearing a rocker hitting them.
Yes they are clearanced for the lift. The heads and the valve covers I got used and came off a GM crate motor. The roller rockers are definitely bulkier than the stamped steel units...I did have the valve covers off today, and while I wasn't looking for any witness marks from contact, nothing jumped out at me.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:34 AM
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Problem solved! A poly lock had backed off intake #5. I relashed and have roasted the tires. Thanks all!
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:37 AM
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post a video,we would like to see/hear it
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:07 AM
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post a video,we would like to see/hear it
Now that is a great idea! I am going to try to take the wife for the first ride tonight, hopefully I can remember to bring the camera and get her to shoot some documentary footage!
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:14 PM
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post a video,we would like to see/hear it
Here ya go Vinnie!
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:16 PM
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Damned kids!
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:23 PM
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Thats purty good....
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:34 PM
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nice looking truck.Love videos that show the engine is health,,,thanks
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:23 PM
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Thanks for support guys! I couldn't have without your support and answering my dumb questions over the last few years.
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