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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a motor that sat for a number of years before i got it, i havn't checked the springs to see how good they are, but i would imagine that a couple would be weak from being held open for a number of years.

Anyway, i have a bad ticking coming from the valvetrain, i replaced the pushrods as they were worn and rocker arms too, adjusted them for even more preload than required and i have a ticking still. Wondering if it would possibly be caused by having a weak valve spring, or springs?

Other possibilities? bad lifter? still not enough preload? studs pulling out?

Thanks for the help.
 

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I was wonder that myself. I have a new 396 that makes more valve train noise than I would like. I know my springs should have a little more shim but I left them light for the cam break in. I recently added 20w50 and a high volume pump because the oil pressure seemed a little low. These mods reduced the valve train noise a lot. Next I need a little more spring pressure to increase the rpm range before valve float.
 

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ticking lifter?

first figure out which lifter(s)?

with the motor running and warmed up at idle use a long screw driver or a piece of steel pipe against the valve cover and to your ear, you can hear the valve train pretty well.

My guess is the lifters are varnished up from storage.

Try this. Go get some 5W20 oil,
Set your idle as low as it will go so you don't spray oil all over (or buy some rocker oil clips)
With the engine running back off the the preload till they do click
Tap tap tap on the rocker nut with a soft (brass?) hammer for 5 minutes.

If that doesn't work it's dirt in the lifter, go buy new lifters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
is it allright to run new lifters on an old cam? i'm assuming you would follow the same cam break in procedures as if you had replaced the cam
 

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is it allright to run new lifters on an old cam? i'm assuming you would follow the same cam break in procedures as if you had replaced the cam

Yes that is fine,just do not reverse it and run a new cam with old lifters.New cam= new lifters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Would an over preloaded rocker arm cause the valves to slam back on their seats causing ticking??

i dumped in a can of wynn's engine restorer (i think that's what it was called) that said on the can would free stuck lifters, remove varnish and gum ect. Still has the ticking though.

The studs arn't all the same height when checked with a straight edge so not sure if some were pulling out or what.
 

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Dubz,

what is the motor and how many miles are on it?

Change the subject, you said the motor sat for three years, you need to back flush the #### out of the block. The scale builds up fast exposed to the air with no antifreeze to slow it down. Can cause you radiator problems near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Dubz,

red65mustang said:
what is the motor and how many miles are on it?

Change the subject, you said the motor sat for three years, you need to back flush the #### out of the block. The scale builds up fast exposed to the air with no antifreeze to slow it down. Can cause you radiator problems near future.
motor was in the car, topped up of all fluids, rad has been completely drained and cooling system flushed anyway.

Motor is a 74 351W, with 62K miles on the odo.
 

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Dubz,

A 30 year old Windsor motor with only 62K miles on it? Very very rare. More probably 162k...

First go back and set the rocker and lifters the right way,(here's a trick to keep the oil from pouring onto the floor: jack up the side your working on, so the head has less tilt) with the motor running at a low idle and warmed up, loosen each rocker nut, one at a time till it clack-clack-clacks. Now slowly tighten it till no clack, turn it 1/4 turn more. do all 16 rockers. May need new valve cover gaskets?

Now do a compression test, that will tell you if it's 62 or 162k miles. Cause 162k can be LOTS of different worn parts clicking!
You should be reading 140-170lbs if it's 62k (all in the the same + - 10% range, 160,155,162,etc, or 140, 145, 142, etc, depends on the compression ratio). Probably 120-140 if it's 162k. Compression tester, $40? local parts house. Pull all the plugs so the motor can spin with just the starter. Screw the tester hose in the spark plug hole and crank the motor till the guage stops.

Post the numbers so we can give you more guidance. It may not be a lifter.

"Fix in a can" rarely works by itself.
But I should have been more clear: buy 5 qts of 5W20 detergent/turbo approved oil and a can of Marvel oil/Wynn's/whatever.
Go ahead and do that after you set the rockers, the thinner oil (that's what the Wynn's does, thins the oil) really cleans up all of the motor parts pretty quick. Yes you will make black smoke out the exhaust. Ignore it, your getting all the carbon out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
please answer my question, will rockers that are too tight cause a ticking noise?

it has 62K on it, i bought it from the woman who bought the car from the factory. She didn't drive it too much as it was hard on gas. She only ever changed the battery and a set of tires other than the schedualed oil and lubes.

Compression is at 8.0:1 so there would be no high numbers come out of this motor new. The car is an hour away, so if you wouldn't mind going into more detail when you say to try something i'd appreciate it, as it's not just a walk to the garage.
 

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Dubz,

The only way I can think of for to much preload to make a ticking noise is: if you tightened the nut down so far that when the cam is off the lobe (spring is relaxed) the valve is not against the seat, it's hitting the piston.

I would expect the car to idle really rough if that was the case, your sucking air in the exhaust port on the intake stroke

Sorry the car is an hour away but you need to do some testing to diagnose what's wrong. Or take it to a shop and let them fix it.

first get a 30" piece of 3/4" galvanized pipe and listen to the valve train to find out which cylinder/valve/lifter is ticking.

Take the valve cover off and reset that cylinder's rockers as I wrote.

Still got a ticking noise, do a compression test on that cylinder and a couple more cylinders so you can tell it's not low. Great if they match or are pretty close, that tells you it's not a valve problem.

Then it probably is a bad lifter, you are going to have to take off the intake manifold to replace it.

So maybe the best answer is, for this problem, cause it is an hour away,take it to a good mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i have a mechanics stethoscope, all on one side are ticking now, all on the other side are quiet. I can harldy imagine that 8 lifters would go bad, and i wouldn't imagine the car would run with 8 valves hanging open. The sound also comes from when the valve closes, not a time after that so i would think that the piston would be at bdc for when the intake valve closes correct, so the pistons hitting the vavles is also not very viable.

The studs themselves are the positive stop type, i set the rockers to 0 lash then 1/2 turn, but the nuts will not stay there, so they must be tightened another 1/2 turn to hit the stop so the nuts will not back off (tried using a jamb nut to lock the nuts but that did not work either). All hit the stop after the same amount of turns. Two were tapping badly, an exhaust and an intake on another cylinder, both on the same head (why i figured possibly valve springs) but after going and dumping the stuff in, and adjusting them all again, they all are tapping. Either the other nuts weren't as tight on the ones not ticking, and now they are overtight, or the studs are all pulling out now, or all 8 lifters went bad, or ??
 

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Dubz,

To confirm the now clicking lifters were varnished/rusted, slowly loosen one rocker on the quiet head and listen with your (I wish I had one) stethascope. My bet is it will be the same click.

Your describing worn threads on the rocker nuts and rocker studs if the nuts won't stay where you put them. I seriously doubt if the studs are pulling out.
My rockers are adjustable,the studs are worn on my car, nuts won't stay precisely (I race) where I want, what worked for me was new jam nuts to precisely set the lifter then I put on a second new jam nut upside down and tightened it hard while holding the first. I used just plain new jam nuts from (?) Lowes or Ace Hardware.
To get enough threads for both I had to grind the nylon off the tops of the nuts where they meet.
Next option is a set of rocker nut locks from Summit or Jegs.

Sounds like all the lifters were varnished/rusted up. The Wynn's is working! Those lifters are working now! That's a good noise!

Here's my best guess. You set the rockers (?) when the lifters weren't pumping up and collapsing, they were acting like solid lifters (with no solid lifter rocker gap)which maybe making the nuts back off. You probably won't need the second nuts on the studs but it is cheap insurance.

I'd add another can of Wynns and some 5W20, back off all the rocker nuts and let them clack as if it was a solid lifter cam to help clean the lifters, let it sit there and clack for 20? minutes then set the rockers again.
I would do both heads. I'm worried the quiet lifters are not/have not been getting enough oil and are still varnished/rusted. The 5W20 helps for that.
Lifter male/female wall tolerances are extremely tight, have to be to make a hydraulic (cylinder) seal. The tinest bit of surface rust will freeze them usually collapsed.
I don't suspect the springs at all, 62k, they are brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
there is lots of oil coming to the top half of the motor, is that not the oil that would be getting to the lifters?

also after running with the wynns i noticed a white buildup on the inside of the valve covers, any idea what this would be?

I ordred a set of heat treated stover lock nuts today that are the same thing sold in a kit from comp for my motor, so when those come in i'll give the rest a try
 

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for the price of lifters and springs at places like ebay motors stores and powerhouse,competion products,speedway motors,speed-o-motive,elgin pro stock,speed tech,doug herbert perf.parts,used racing parts.com,fast engine parts,well you can see what i mean.if you look around you can find good parts dirt cheap.may not be up to running the indy 500 but you should not have to listen to tic tic tic because of lifters or valve springs or.
 

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Try this. Put a quart automatic transmission fluid in the oil. Let the engine warm up to operating temperature. If anything will revive stuck lifters that will. I had the same problem you have on a 78 Seville. I tried all that crap in a can with no results. An old time mechanic told me about the tranny fluid and it stopped it within a half an hour. The next time i started it it ticked for about 10 seconds then never again. Be sure to change the oil after it warms up for 30 minutes or so. Another neat trick he showed me that worked is a shot glass of nail polish remover in the transmission if you have a problem with slipping. My friend had a car that hardly moved and after he put the nail polish remover in it worked fine and ran for 5 more years. Sometimes the wierdest things work. Of course, there's no substitute for new parts but sometimes we can't afford them. Rick
 

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Dubz, change of plans...

I slept on it.

Using Wynn's and ATF and 5W20 on a $200 "junkyard dog" motor that maybe is going to last 10,000 miles before a rebuild is fine

Your motor is brand new at 62k and should last for another 62k before showing any/much wear. There's "lots" of oil coming up to the rockers because your brand new oil pump is putting out 30psi at idle(bearings are brand new and tight). Later when the pump and bearings are worn, it will kinda "gurgul" the oil onto the rockers, 10-20psi.

Buy this excellent book on Ford small blocks: "How to rebuild Small-Block Ford Engines" by Tom Monroe, HP Books

"Do it once, do it right and sleep good". 16 new Mellings lifters at Autozone, $48, New intake manifold gaskets kit (?) $20 and a tube of red Silicone. You should use a torque wrench when putting the intake back on and do re-torque it after about 100 miles.

351 Windsor, long block crate motor new $3,000approx
351 Windsor complete, 62 k, 8/1 comp and all cylinders match, worth about $1,500+, that's definitely not a "junkyard dog".

The "white stuff" is another good clue that the lifters are/were rusted and stuck. That is water in the oil from condensation from the motor sitting so long, the oil pump is a 2gears "egg beater" mixing the oil and water. (didn't hurt anything yet)

The alternative scares me, woman+car= trouble! They turn the key and go, never check anything!

Change the oil and filter, use the 5W20 to clean the motor bearings, let it warm up/cool down 2-3 times. Very probably (I hope) no more white stuff. (Go back to 10-W30 after 2k of driving/cleaning).

If there is still white, drain the radiator into a bucket, look for black (oil) and white stuff, read the diagnostics section of the "How to" book.

Dubz,
Buy the book!
I am not a ASE certified mechanic, I have been building motors for about 30 years.
Your motor is worth some bucks, get a second professional ASE opinion before you do anything else.
 
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