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Olds 394 ticking and oil pressure (movie included)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SweOlds, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. SweOlds
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 25

    SweOlds
    Member
    from Sweden

    Hello!

    I have rebuilt my Olds 394 with an deluxe engine kit bought via ebay from falconglobal. Once I started to rebuild, I noticed that they forgot to include freeze plugs and new rocker arms as the description on ebay says. Well, I bought the freezeplugs here in Sweden but the rocker arms were harder to find over here. I ended up using the old ones, just cleaning the rocker arm shaft and rocker arms.

    The camshaft, pushrods, lifters and everything else is new.
    Now when the engine is running, you can hear a ticking sound (see the movie). Can this be because of the old rocker arms? Or maybe bad oil pressure?

    I bought an cheap oil pressure gauge ($24) and it displays the value in Kg (1kg is just above red) instead of psi (europeans you know). When the engine is idling, I got like 1 kg (approximately 14 psi) and sometimes a little bit lower. Is that to low? I know that you can't trust those cheap gauges like the more expensive ones. The original oil pressure warning light does never come on (At which psi does the original warning light come on?).

    When I hit the gas, the aftermarket gauge will rise to about 2-3 kg (29-43 psi) depending on the rpms. I can't find any information on what oil pressure the 394 should have.

    Also, the oil pump was rebuilt when I rebuilt the engine.

    I guess I may have to order new rocker arms from ebay, too bad that I live in the wrong country :rolleyes:

    Movie with engine sound:
    http://videobam.com/JBRCi

    Thanks again,
    Andy from Sweden
     
  2. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,098

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    goatroper02 on here is the Oldsmobile guru. send him a PM
     
  3. papajohn
    Joined: Nov 2, 2006
    Posts: 880

    papajohn
    Member

    Ticking is probably worn tips on the rocker arms. Last 394 I had I ended up picking the best rockers from two engines then replacing push rods and hydraulic lifters. Still had a slight tick.

    Oil pressure seems low. I think mine idled around 25 psi and cruised around 45.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  4. WillyNilly
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 239

    WillyNilly
    Member
    from NorCal

    If the 394 is anything like the later 350's, the pivot hold downs are worn. I thought the ticking came from collapsed lifters for a long time and a lot of money. Then read somewhere the pivots wear beyond limits due to them being aluminum. Try checking them first.

    http://www.supercarsunlimited.com/Rocker-Arm-Pivot-(Bridge)-d1207.aspx

    Good luck.
     

  5. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,148

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Really doesn't sound bad according to the video. Did you paint the engine gold? I thought the 371's were gold, and the 394's of 1960 were green.

    My 371 (1960 with 59 pistons) had around 20 psi oil pressure at idle. I went up to about 40 psi at 2000 rpm. My present 371 (1958 block) has about the same oil pressure. The issue I had with my 1960 371 was that I put an Isky 3/4 grind cam in it and the engine required longer lifters and adjustable push rods. I kept wearing out one of the cast rocker arms, so I adjusted the push rod back and had no more problems.

    I would check two things: 1) where does the lifter piston sit when valves are closed, and 2) do you have exhaust leaks. Exhaust leaks do sound similar to lifter clatter.
     
  6. Bobert
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 820

    Bobert
    Member Emeritus

    Not like 350 Chevies. 394s use rockershafts and are not like the later family of Olds engines.
     
  7. WillyNilly
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 239

    WillyNilly
    Member
    from NorCal

     
  8. SweOlds
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 25

    SweOlds
    Member
    from Sweden

    Thanks for your replies!

    I found out that the cheap oil gauge have been displaying 0,9 (13 psi) for some other people when the oil pressure actually was 1,9kg (27). Maybe thats why the stock oil pressure warning light doesnt come on when the crap-gauge gets around 1kg? I got myself an autometer gauge too, thinking on comparing the values on those.

    I have searched the internet but can't find any more information about that warning light. All I found was that if it lights up when I turn the ignition on, it should be working?

    Sound quality is very bad in the movie, you can't really hear the ticking as I could via my Iphone.
     
  9. SweOlds
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 25

    SweOlds
    Member
    from Sweden

    Yes I painted the engine gold and black with gray exhaust manifolds. Mostly because I had that colours in the garage alredy :rolleyes:
     
  10. SweOlds
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 25

    SweOlds
    Member
    from Sweden

    OK, I got some news now.

    The rocker arms are a little bit worn, but my biggest problem = oil pressure.
    When the engine is cold, it has good oil pressure I think but when it gets hot, the oil pressure begins to drop and the rocker arms gets louder.

    What could be causing this? I have been watching pictures of other olds 394 engineblocks and tried to see if I have missed some oil plugs or something, but no :confused:.

    Read somewhere on this forum that another swedish guy forgot to mount the two front plugs on his 394 and that caused bad oil pressure, but I did mount those (under timing chain and gears).

    I'm using 20w-50 oil right now from 76 and the filter is new too.
    The oil pump has been rebuild with new gears and spring. Can the oil pump be sucking air? Wouldn't it suck air all the time then?

    Please help me :/
     
  11. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 814

    Diavolo
    Member

    I hate to be a nit picker but did you have your rotating assembly brought up to spec? I mean the crank wears and may have had to be turned. Did you use plastigage at least to make sure your clearances were within spec?

    Did you change your cam bearings for new ones? A lot of the time a worn set of cam bearings is enough to drop oil pressure way down.

    With 20/50, you should be pretty pegged if your clearances are within spec.

    I am only asking because if you haven't built many engines you may have assumed throwing new rings and bearings would bring it back to new. This is not often the case and you didn't say that you had machine work done, just that you rebuilt with a kit.

    Sorry if it comes across bad, I just want to find the solution to the oil pressure problem. A stock pump should pump up fine with good clearances. The things I mentioned are things that would directly affect it.
     
  12. the switch that operates your warning light operates at 3 - 5 psi .... so is pretty much just "salt in the wound" if it does come on while the engine is running .



    .
     
  13. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,317

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    My 324 had a tick in it I could never get out after two tear downs and a lot of new parts. I kept driving it, and it was eventually catatrophically fatal. RIP
     
  14. SweOlds
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 25

    SweOlds
    Member
    from Sweden

    I forgot to mention that. The block was made 030 oversize and the machineshop also got the crank grinded (or what you call it) and balanced with the new pistons. The camshaft bearings are also new and installed by the machineshop, they even installed the valves for me and checked the cylinderheads.

    I'm starting to think that the oilpump sucks air somehow? I guess I have to pull the pan off and check it.
     
  15. Fairlane Mike
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 389

    Fairlane Mike
    Member

    Another possibility; I believe your engine has floating piston pins. In other words there is a bronze bushing in the connecting rod SMALL end. These can wear and have a very small clearance; typically .0001 to .0003 between the pin and bushing. The pistons themselves can wear on the pin area, but I believe you stated that the pistons are new, so this would eliminate that possibility. Your oil pressure sounds about right. Does this noise get louder as the motor warms up??
     
  16. if it will idle @ 15 and run @ 40 it is good.

    The idiot light will come on in a Stock early '60s olds @ 7 psi.

    If the rockers and shaft are worn (they probably are) no amount of oil is going to chage it and the ticking may very well be from the poor rockers.

    I have a few questions that maybe cannot be answered here but they are questions then neeed to be asked none the less.

    When wondering about oil pressure one should always ask what is the condition of the crank and what it the bearing clearance? Are your clearances within tolerance and are your journals round or egged?

    Next the rebuilt pump, did the machinist that rebuilt it know what he was doing? did he use clearances suggested by the manufacturer or did he just use what he figured would work?
     
  17. SweOlds
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 25

    SweOlds
    Member
    from Sweden

    Wait a minute here! I heard something about different cylinderhead gaskets between different years of the 394 and some kind of plugs, what about that?
     

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