Supposedly "new" engine - Noisy valvetrain and Leaky rear main. - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:50 AM
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Supposedly "new" engine - Noisy valvetrain and Leaky rear main.

Ok so im considering ordering a GM crate motor for my 86 monte and then decided to go with a Local guy just to stay close by and if I had questions etc....

so I bought a 355 "never fired, professionally built" 9.5:1 motor.... having been more of a cadillac guy in the past I didnt look real closesly at the specs.. but did note the hone marks on the cylinders indicating to me it had been rebuilt...

so I drop it in my car as im doing a total front end rebuild.. you know everything in front of the firewall... thats when I also installed the alan grove accessory brackets, A/C etc...

spin the oil pump with a primer rod.. rotate the crank... dash gauge reading 40 PSI.. ran it till oil came up through all the rockers.......

started it up and BLAM.. wiped the cam clean within the first 5 minutes....
the engine builder had told me to use 'ND-30" oil as we needed to "break the chrome moly rings in".. yeah well we sure BROKE it!...

pulled it out.. tore it completely down.. luckily not much metal got into anything. bearing caps looked good.. flushed it.. assembled it.. and this time used Joe gibbs break-in oil... broke the cam in and all is well except the valvetrain seems a bit clattery... oh and the rear main seal was leaking oil...

the builder tells me roller tip rockers are noisy... but i swear this thing sounded like a singer special sewing machine....

back to the oil leak.. we drop the pan replace the RMS... its a 2 piece block... fire it up... still leaks.. in the meantime.. I have tried a couple different moethods for adjusting valves... and still no change on the noise..

engine builder comes back and says it needs a new crank to fix the oil leak.. so out the motor comes again... so I decide if its on a stand... that extra mild cam has to go... so install the blue racer WG1064k(234/244 at .050, and .488/.510 lift (hydraulic flat tappet cam and lifter kit and also the matching springs to go with)... he checks all clearances on the springs for coil bind and lift... new crank in.. motor goes back in the car... along with a nice new 3000 stall lockup converter.

start it up break it in... and WOW! this motor is Awake!! much better response and runs great... except i still got the singer special going on under the valve covers... POP! broke a stud.. so engine builder puts a new stud in and I install a stud girdle... motor feels even more awake...

I also notice along with the singer special a few tick-tick-tick over and beyond that sound.. go through all the valves again still same thing....

however I noticed that all this is VERY quiet when the engine is COLD... I first start this thing up in the morning and for the first 5 minutes its beautiful.. and slowly but surely the clittety tickety and the tip-tap-tip return.. it does seem to mostly go away at about 2000-2500 RPM....hmmm..

I talk to rep at crane cams who says.. oh yes the lifters in the kit i have are variable duration similar to rhoads lifters... so I say those gotta go... and install all new regular lifters... break em in... and guess what.. NO DIFFERENCE...... still lots of noise.. no evidence of stud pulling out (they are pinned). poly locks are staying put.. I marked them.. and the girdle holds them too...

ive got 36 PSI IDLING oil pressure when the car is HOT (driven 30 minutes 90 degree day, A/C on) and anywhere from 50-50 at cruise (2200 RPM or so)...

oh yeah and I STILL have a small rear main seal leak... ayyyyeee!..

my engine builder claims the upper end noise is perfectly Ok... but gosh really I didnt buy a volkswagon TDI, I bought a Chevy 355... he claims its roller tip rockers... he claims its my big cam... yet lots of streetrods in town this past weekend for the goodguy nats.. and I specifically listened to their cars for noisy lifters and didnt hear a one....

so I hail to you experienced engine builders for your thoughts.. perhaps my lifter bores have too much clearance allowing oil to squeeze by hot? i cant find any evidence the coils are binding on the springs.. ive got lots of oil through the pushrods...

the block is a 1968 327 Large journal block outfitted with a 350 rotating assembly.. that should be fine.. right? same block basicilly?

im ready to yank it out and take it to a machine shop and have it torn to pieces because it just doesnt seem right....

oh yeah and the oil leak.... warped cap? bad block?

-Christopher

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Old 07-15-2008, 11:47 AM
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Supposedly "new" engine - Noisy valvetrain and Leaky rear main.

Chris,
Bottom end is the motor builder not you. The cam failure is not related to the seal and he should fix !!

Joe Gibbs oil is the best thing...
My rockers were noisey just like yours I went with the stainless rockers I hated it !!! Went with Crane Gold alum still a little noisey but acceptable.

RMC When you pulled out the old seal was the rope square or still round?

I have herd that crankcase pressure will push oil out this seal make sure your valve covers are vented well....
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:14 PM
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well the cam failure was first fire and he did fix - brought a mild nothing cam and put in it.. ran fine.. the oil seal isnt rope they are neoprene seals... before he replaced the crank i noticed a little groove in the crank where the seal rides... new crank doesnt have that... still leaks...

oroginal seal was offset in the caps.. second was straight, and the latest seal is offset in the caps again....

the thing eating me is that if the rockers are supposed to be noisy thats fine but why do they quiet down above say 2000 RPM... thats what makes me wonder if i dont have cam bearing issues, worn lifter bores, or something else causing issues... everything Looks fine but looks are deceiving when it comes to engines... along with the fact when its cold i have no noise... sure oil is thicker but rockers are rockers and would make noise regardless if they were going to.. so it leads me to believe ive got something internally wrong somewhere....

and since the engine builder listens to it and basicilly takes the attitude clatter is ok as long as it runs im pretty much SOL... but by god ill make sure if it turns out there;s really issues when I or a shop tears it down that this builder never sells another engine... I shouldve known when it seems all he does is whine about how the hotrodding economy is in the toilet and no one is buying anything.. yet other shops are stacked busy and say business is great that there is a reason for that...
-Christopher
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:51 PM
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re: Supposedly "new" engine - Noisy valvetrain and Leaky rear main.

Chris,
Check if the rockers are hitting the cap spring, take off a rocker and look in the radius and see if it's hitting, also check push-rod length maybe too short ..... I know that Roda's type of lifters will bleed down and make noise at low speed. The Vodoo cam's are noisy by design
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