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Technical 2nd flat cam lobe in 100 miles

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by birdman1, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 959

    birdman1

    I have been fighting a miss/backfire out the exhaust for 3 weeks now. It's on my 351 Cleveland in my 1955 tbird. It was freshened up with rings and a reground crank before I installed it.Heads gone through too. I even tried a new distributor and coil, it got a new 3310 Holley when I installed the engine.Checked the fuel pressure, timing. Then it was getting much worse, and I could hear the lifter rattling. So I removed the valve covers and found the number 4 exhaust valve rocker arm was very loose. I installed the elgin cam and the lifters that came in the kit. I drained the old oil and filter, valvoline vr1 10w40. I coated the elgin cam and lifters with the assembly lube that came with the cam. Ran the engine 20 minutes like the instructions said. It's a mild cam , 204&214 duration, .485&.510 lift. I even used the correct springs.so what is going on with this engine??? I have bought a new Crower cam and lifters kit, I sure don't want to go through this again!
     
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  2. First thing to check would be the respective lifter bore. Were they resized? Oil passages, cam bearings, possibly even a bent valve stem binding. A lot of things to check.
     
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  3. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,514

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Once an engine experiences a cam failure , the entire engine is full of destructive ground up metal . dumping the oil does nothing to the metal already imbedded in bearings ,pistons , ring grooves , oil journals etc . the ONLY way to insure the engine is clean it to disassemble it and wash it out , just like you did when you got it from the machine shop ! Isky rev lube or similar moly paste is the only thing to coat a flat tappet cam & lifters with .that red snot is useless . you must run a high zinc oil AND an additive on initial startup ,then a zinc additive OR high zinc oil from then on. Sorry , but that's how it is !
     
  4. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,946

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    When you say "ran engine for 20 minutes" , at what RPM?
     
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  5. DigDugMd
    Joined: Dec 18, 2011
    Posts: 11

    DigDugMd
    Member

    X2 on everything 2OLD2FAST said. Always use Lucas ZDDP additive with a flat cam, even with the Valvoline VR1. Take it apart clean and inspect everything. Check for sticking valves. Be sure your cam is nitrided. It is worth a little extra $ because almost all cam grinders these days use cheap Chinese cores to make their
    cams. Use the thick black moly paste on the lobes. When reassembling check your push rod length especially if the heads were milled. Clevelands don't have adjustable rockers so push rod length can be critical.
     
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  6. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,177

    6sally6
    Member

    Yep!!!.............Need to pull the engine and dis-assemble. Clean and wipe with lacquer thinner or Brakleen (I love this stuff) Prolly need new rod and main bearings...and oil pump at a minimum. Sorry.
    6sally6
     
  7. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,516

    RmK57
    Member

    I forget which brand of lifters I have but the set I have use an oil hole in the face of the lifter. I have them in my 460 and have a much more aggressive cam than you. The quality of the lifters these days are much more of a problem than the oil IMO.

    Here's the brand I have been using.....https://www.johnsonlifters.com/
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  8. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 669

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I did the same in my BBC 427. I used the solid lifters with the .024 oil hole laser cut in. Also I removed the inner spring from the dual spring valve springs for cam break in, then reinstalled the inner spring after.
     
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  9. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 10,542

    AHotRod
    Member

    2OLD2FAST has told the Gospel. No short cuts.

    We only use Penn Grade oil in all of our engine builds, as well as the proper additives.
    A dusty-dirty environment will kill the best built engines.
     
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  10. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,219

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    Friend of mine lost 2 cams in a row, 2 different SBC's, he has broke in at least 300 cams with no problems. He contacted the supplier of the cams, both were Elgin, and they blamed the lifters. He sent both cams to them and they made them good along with extra parts for his labor.
     
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  11. Whose lifters? I have an Elgin cam and lifters waiting on a shelf.
     
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  12. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,894

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not fun. I have used two Elgin solid cams and lifters with no issues.
     
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  13. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,149

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    I mark the pushrods with a marker and watch them while turning engine over with a ratchet, lifters have to rotate or you will wipe out a lobe. As long as they are all spinning its fire up time for 20 minutes at 2500 with break in oil. So far so good.
     
  14. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,475

    sdluck
    Member

    There are at least 2 Elgins,One is Dema Elign and one is Elgin Industries. They are not releated. Both do cams.
     
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  15. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 959

    birdman1

    I used a set of the face oil lifters in a boss 302 I built a few years ago. They worked fine. Maybe I will use a set of them in my Cleveland. Thanks for all your help.
     
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  16. I'm talking this Elgin
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,177

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Finished a 351 Cleveland a few months ago, took longer to get the valve train set up properly than it did putting the hole bottom end together. Lot's of figuring out rocker to valve stem relationships and shimming this and that...…………..
     
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  18. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,914

    sunbeam
    Member

    I know it is an extra expense if you want a flat tappet to live I recomend light valve springs to break in. Or if you do quite a few engines low ratio rockers are easyer to change out. X2 on the solids with the lube hole in the face.
     
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  19. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 959

    birdman1

    Well, they don't use the small hole in the face of a hydraulic lifter, just a slot up the side. I called the guy at competition products, where I am buying the new cam and lifters.He said vr1 oil still needs a can of zinc addatiive added to it. Just like throwing shit at a wall to see if it sticks
     
  20. Pontmerc
    Joined: Jul 13, 2013
    Posts: 100

    Pontmerc
    Member
    from Finland

    When i last time install new cam on 59 Pontiac, i leave valve covers off, and put little dots on top of pushrods with white paint marker pen.
    This way it was easy to see in cam break in period, that all 16 lifters starts to spin like they should.also easy to see which rpm was best to get them spinning.dont know if its known trick, but Works for me.
     
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  21. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,177

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    On the 351c we did we bought a cam & lifter from a supplier that broke both in on his brake in machine. All we had to do is make sure we put the lifters in the rite order. There was a small extra charge for that service but well worth it and would do it again...…………...
     
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  22. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,487

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    KWBR6273.jpg BWYQ6888.jpg
    I had about 50 miles on this cam in a 327 SB, also broken in like the sheet said. It was not my first Rodeo. The new lifters are so soft, I actually damaged their hardened layer by gently pulling them from the lifter bores using pliers. I replaced it with an old factory GM 327 cam . The old lifters can not be damaged using pliers and they even sound brighter when I hit them with a wrench. My uneducated guess is: not the cam, but the lifters are to blame. I used extra Zddp, extra break in oil, removed inner valve spring and all that baaahoo . Now this very 327 has been running flawlessly for 25k miles on a cam from maybe 1965 with unkonwn milage....
    I tear down your engine , give it a good wash and use a NOS or NORS cam and lifters...
     
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  23. TOMMY'STOWINGAZ
    Joined: May 4, 2020
    Posts: 19

    TOMMY'STOWINGAZ
    Member
    from Goodyear

     
  24. TOMMY'STOWINGAZ
    Joined: May 4, 2020
    Posts: 19

    TOMMY'STOWINGAZ
    Member
    from Goodyear

    Greetings Tommy's Towing Goodyear az.....FORGIVE THE CAPS IT'S A MILITARY THING THAT MOST WON'T UNDERSTAND....OK I DID SAME THING....A AFTERMARKET RV CAM WENT FLAT TOP ON TWO CYLINDERS....MY FIX WAS TO GET THE BEST STOCK CAM FOR MY MOTOR SIZE PONTIAC 350...... 69 GTO 455 GRID......AND STOCK LIFTERS AND 1 2 PUSHROD...ALL PARTS FROM CHECKER UNDER WARRANTY.....NOT SEXY....ITS A RAT ROD CAR AND THAY DONT LOOK GOOD BUT THAT RUN GOOD........GOODYEAR AZ.
     
  25. TOMMY'STOWINGAZ
    Joined: May 4, 2020
    Posts: 19

    TOMMY'STOWINGAZ
    Member
    from Goodyear

    2 PUSHRODS NOT 12....SORRY.
     
  26. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 959

    birdman1

    How about a genuine ford cam ? Are they made by ford fo just reboxed from the lowest bidder? The springs I have in it now are 280# open. I don't consider that a very high rate spring. If I did something wrong, why didn't more of the lines wipe out,?
     
  27. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,514

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Still in denial ? 99% chance you screwed the pooch , move on . I used Lucas break in oil & Lucas hotrod/ muscle car oil on the last two motors. Mine has About 15k on it my friends has about 20 K. No problems on either. Both Elgin cam& lifter kits from Competition Products
     
  28. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,523

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    REALLY? I'd like to see that break-in machine. I'd bet that the lifter bores on four brand new blocks wouldn't be closer than .010 of each other, never mind a "machine". .010 close enough? I just think it lets "him" find a problem, if there is going to be one but I would not consider the cam and lifters to be drop in and need no break in, in the end user block.
     
  29. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,516

    RmK57
    Member

    .485 / .510 lift 204 / 214 is a pretty mild cam and you broke it in with Valvoline 10w-40 vr-1 racing oil.
    As long as you followed all the proper break in procedures and it still wiped out a lobe I'd be looking at a different cam manufacture.
     
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  30. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 401

    Ericnova72
    Member

    Ford doesn't make their own cams....no domestic auto manufacturer does. They are mode by outside vendors, nearly all stock and aftermarket flat tappet hydraulic cams are made and ground by one of two Michigan company's: CMC - Camshaft Machine Company in Jackson, Mi, or CWC - Campbell, Wyant and Cannon in Muskegon, Mi....and this includes most all your aftermarket names - Comp Cams, Crane, Lunati, Elgin, Melling, Howards, Erson, Sealed Power, Speed-Pro, etc unless you order one in a custom grind. Anything you order that is boxed and on the shelf, these cam companies didn't grind, either CMC or CWC did for them, in job lots.

    One big thing to make sure of with flat tappet cams....put the cam in the block and all the lubed lifters, don't worry about the timing chain yet. rotate the cam and make damn sure ALL the lifters rotate while you turn the cam a few dozen revolutions. Mark them if it helps you to keep track of them. You'll find them all turning at various different rates, if you've got one or two barely turning try swapping those for a couple that are tuning a bunch faster....try to get them all to rotate somewhat the same.
    Any lifter that doesn't rotate, you need to figure out why - tight lifter bore or burr in the bore or on lifter, damaged lifter bore, lifter bore off location, cam ground messed up without enough taper on the lobe, lifter ground with incorrect crown on the face - because if it don't rotate, it will quickly fail no matter what lube you use.

    Why was it only one, that's a question with a dozen variables that could be the cause,...bad lifter, bad lobe grind, bad lifter bore, bad lifter-to-bore clearance, etc. Sometimes it is one, sometimes it can be a handful wiped out.

    I've not had any trouble with Elgin cams either, but the stuff I do is all solid lifter and I use the EDM oil hole faced lifters, make sure they all rotate, only use Crane moly paste for break-in, and use light springs or remove the inners from any double spring during break-in.
     

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