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Discussion Starter #1
I have a small block chevy with the factory hydraulic roller cam.

I have been fighting a lifter ticking problem for a couple of months now and have decided that my problem is a lack of adequate oil supply to the lifters. I have tried lots of things and this is all that I can think of is left.

My question is:

Can the rear cam bearing or rear oil galley plugs be installed in such a way as to restrict oil flow to the lifters?
 

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As roys63 pointed out, we need more details. I fought something similiar a little while back and ended up having a plugged oil passage in the block.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The noise is coming from both sides, the engine is freshly rebuilt, and the oil pressure is 45 psi at hot idle.

The engine is pretty guiet when it is first started cold but as it starts to warm up it start to make noise.

I can give lots of information but I was affraid it would bore everybody to death but here goes.

1. Fresh rebuild using late style roller block.
2. Block bored, line honed, cleaned, freeze plugs and cam bearing intalled by reputible machine shop
3. New GM ZZ4 cam 208/221 @ .477/.509
4. Matching ZZ4 GM vavle springs and rockers (non-roller)
5. GM factory roller timing chain.
6. All bearing checked for clearance and clearnaces are on tight side of specs
7. Used set of vortec heads machined for higher lift (valve seats and guides look good)
8. Flat top 4VR pistons w/ .025 deck height
9. New Hi-volume oil pump
10 New comp cams hi-energy hydraulic roller lifters

Things I have tired:

1. Adjusted valves several times both hot and cold, with engine runing and off, and at 1/4 1/2 3/4 and 1 turns from zero lash.
2. Replaced lifters 3 times with both new comp cams and a good low mileage set of factory GM
3. Replaced fuel pump
4. Checked and tightened header bots (not loose)
5. Tried 2 different oil pressure guages to verify oil pressure.
6. Tried 10w40 10w30 and 5w30 dino oil with fram and AC delco filters.
7. Pulled rear lifters out on each side and stuck a fuzzy pipe cleaner back in oil galley hole looking for crud. Couldn't find any but not real sure how effective this was.

Things I have not tried (yet)
1. Tap into front of lifter oil galley and measure oil pressure (difficult)
2. Remove front accesories, water pump, and cam sprocket to inspect the front oil galley plugs for leaks (probably my next step)
3. Remove engine to inspect rear oil galley plugs.
4. Inspect rear cam bearing for proper installation (don't know if this would matter)

3 and 4 is what my original question in this thread was about.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am getting a slow "stream". It is not squirting out but it is flowing enough to fill up the rocker, flow down the spring, and puddle up in the head.

Seems marginal to me but my machine shop says it is plenty.
 

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Did you check the pushrod tips and rocker cups for wear? You should be getting a good squirt out of the rocker tip!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have used 2 different sets of rockers both are GM self aligning. The 1st set was used from the vortec heads and the current set is new.

I have inspected the pushrods (which are used) and they look good to me.
 

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Are you sure it is a lifter?

Looks like you checked just about everything!

Is it fuel injected? I chased "ticking" lifters on my Camaro for a long time until I realized by accident that the noise is actually the fuel injectors. I was using a piece of heater hose as a stethoscope and went by an injector and heard the source of the "ticking".

Sometimes I think that I am overly sensitive to sounds and smells. At least my wife tells me I am. "Honey, you smell some oil burning? Does that smell like antifreeze?" The average person would never think twice about some of the "problems" we hotrodders come up with (lol).

Just food for thought. Good luck, Ed www.edgesz28.com

__________________________________________________
Who is Jesus?.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No, I am running a carb.

Thanks for the help trying to diagnose my problem but I am about convinced it is a lack of oil supply to the lifters. I think this is cause by either:

1. The oil is blocked somewhere between where the oil pressure guage reads the pressure and the lifter oil galleys, or

2. The oil pressure is leaking out somewhere in the lifter oil galleys, maybe out the front oil galley plugs or possibly a defective (porus casting) block.

I am not sure #2 is likely because it seems if I had a leak somewhere in the oil lifter galley it would show up back at the guage as low oil pressure. Also, if #2 were the cause, both sides would need to be leaking which doesn't seem likely.

Can anybody answer my original question?

Can the rear cam bearing or rear oil galley plugs be installed in such a way as to restrict oil flow to the lifters?
 

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The rear cam bearing actually closes the ridge in the block that allows oil to flow to the lifter galleys if I remember correctly. If the bearing is not pushed far enough back completely close the gap, you would loose oil to the top end. I could be wrong on this, but if memory serves.......

As for the plugs, they would have to be really deep. You can access the lifter galley flow ports from the plugs, but I dont think you can screw them in far enough to cause issues.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Does anybody else (thanks TurboS10) know anything about the rear cam bearing installation effecting oil flow to the lifter oil galleys?
 

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lifter oil trouble/nitemare out of hell

I seen this post, and I could have wrote it. I'm in the same sittuation; about to go nuts. I'd like to know how this guy made out with it. At this point I'm at a stand still.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I never resolved the problem. I put the engine in a 69 chevy truck that I only drive occasionaly.

It still ticks.

Also when I step on it and run the revs up to 5000 to 6000 I get a lot of noise from the engine which I think might be either valve float or the lifter collapsing. I'm betting on lifters collapsing from lack of sufficient oil.
 

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I've had same problem w/ 351W for 10 years; ticking is worse when engine hot.

Cold idle is quiet.

Have adjusted valve lash hot and cold; 1 to 1.5 turns tried. No ticking after adjustment but ticking always comes back.

Thicker oil seemed to stop it for awhile.

Ticking louder at higher RPM when hot; Jasper class II 365 351W.

My engine has high volume low pressure oil system designed by Jasper.

Cold pressure is high but drops to about 15psi at hot idle. Jasper said 15psi at idle is right. Need to check hot high rpm PSI w/ better gauge.

All lifers getting medium oil flow.

Plan to mic lift of each lifter while spinning engine.

Don't know how much pressure is required to pump lifter up???
 

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If you have oil flowing enough to puddle in the rocker and flow out over the valvespring nothing is wrong there. I'd be looking at some other issue, it isn't an oil flow problem to the lifters. Your machine shop is correct.
 

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The closest tolerances of any engine component is the lifter bore to the lifter piston.

If there's even a trace of contamination, grit, metal shavings, etc. that got left behind- or found its way into the lifter- it can cause the piston to stick or be sluggish. This is especially important to consider if the noise diminishes or stops w/the engine fully up to temp.

The cure is to either replace the lifter (only if a roller) or if it's a flat tappet, to remove, disassemble, clean then reassemble and reinstall the offending lifter(s) back into the exact same bore they came from.

When the lifter's apart and cleaned, pay particular attention to how the piston feels in the bore, and to the check ball and spring located under a cap on the bottom of the piston itself- the cap can become loose or dislodged (it just snaps into place), allowing the check to leak or not work at all.

Lifter pistons are computer matched by size to the lifter body/bore they go with. But in a pinch- and if the original "guts" are damaged beyond repair- another lifter's guts (from an identical brand/type lifter) can be swapped for the originals. You'll be able to feel if the piston is too tight. Don't use one that's tight, try another one. if it's on the loose side, you won't be able to tell as easily, but it's better than too tight or a lifter that has a terminal internal problem.
 

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lifters

If a lifter gets stuck near the rear of the block; will that block oil flow to the other lifters down stream?
Also, what is it that happens with low oil to the lifters? I understand that they don't get the pressure to pump'em up, but do they compress and plunger gets stuck down? if so, can the lifter be fixed, or is it scrap at that point?
 

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superscott said:
If a lifter gets stuck near the rear of the block; will that block oil flow to the other lifters down stream?
Also, what is it that happens with low oil to the lifters? I understand that they don't get the pressure to pump'em up, but do they compress and plunger gets stuck down? if so, can the lifter be fixed, or is it scrap at that point?
Because the lifter has a machined band around its circumference, oil will still be supplied downstream from a stuck lifter.

The lifters will stay pumped up w/as little as 5 psi- but obviously that wouldn't be enough to allow the engine to run normally at much above an idle, the lifters would quickly bottom out w/very low oil pressure, I would think. Nevermind the bearing damage that could result.

If a lifter bottoms out, as long as it's not damaged somehow, it should pump back up on its own accord given sufficient oil pressure. If it doesn't, the lifter may need to be removed and disassembled for inspection and cleaning.

To answer one of your original questions, if the rear cam bearing is installed incorrectly, this can affect the oil flow. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see how the rear cam bearing isn't installed deep enough, only 1/2 of the bearing oil hole is aligned w/the annular groove. If the bearing were a bit further forward the hole would be totally occluded.

The same thing can happen if the bearing is too deep.




If a gallery plug is leaking or missing, that can lower oil pressure also. If the oil pump is badly worn, damaged or has a sticky pressure relief, or if the oil filter is defective or the oil filter mount by-pass is defective- all these can cause oil pressure woes.

What brand of filter are you using? If it's a Fram, you might try a different brand- like NAPA or Mobil 1, etc. Some filters are just like Fram but I don't know which ones they are, you can google oil filters and see what's up for yourself.

How was the oil pickup/screen installed?
 

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