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Sbc guru challenge

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CalGasser, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    I did a search and found a similiar problem but the fix is not my situation. I know there're some pretty knowledgable SBC people on here so calling for your help as I'm totally stumped. I've spoken to some pretty savvy people and they're stumped too. Here's my situation: I installed and fired up a 350 that sat around for about 12 - 15 years that ran when I pulled it out. I pulled the pan and heads and cleaned it out best I could, did a valve job and reassemble it. This BTW is a temp engine just to get the car running and bugs worked out before "real" motor goes in. Primed it and got it to fire with 60# oil pressure. While adjusting the hyd. lifters, I notice there's no oil coming out of the rockers. Engine ran for about 15 - 20 minutes. Things I did: checked the front three oil galley plugs - all in; blew out all rockers and pushrods with air; installed another set lifters; swapped the rockers (Crane gold) with stock rockers & pushrods; pulled lifter out, primed engine and saw oil going through oil galley; stuck lifter back in and oil is coming out of lifter - but won't push it out the pushrod. This is with 60# of oil taken from front of the block (so I can watch as I'm priming). I even checked the diameter at bottom of the distributor shaft and it's same size as a stock HEI unit. I've been wrestling with this for too many days now - totally stumped! Anyone come across a problem like this before??? :confused: Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mad Mouse
    Joined: Apr 1, 2007
    Posts: 93

    Mad Mouse
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Make sure that someone hasn't blocked off the oil to the lifter galley. Pull the galley plugs from the back of the block and check for a retriction plug. Used a lot with roller rockers and lifters.
     
  3. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    This engine came out of my car that ran before. I never plugged the oil galley when I initially built it. As mentioned, I'm getting oil down the galley and to the lifters (#2). I'm beginning to think I should just put a set of stock rockers and pushrods and just run the damn thing - either it'll oil up or blow up...:eek:
     
  4. Kaiser
    Joined: Mar 17, 2007
    Posts: 3

    Kaiser
    Member

    I've had to prime engines for 5-6 minutes with a drill for oil to come out of rockers before. Running an engine that's dry and sitting usually takes a couple minutes to oil up there in my experience. Just put good assembly lube on stuff and run till u have oil.

    2000 M5
     

  5. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

  6. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    Even with cleaning everything like you did have you tried running it with ATF in it until the heads start to get warm. I have had luck in unpickling engines and it cleans them out pretty well. Then I run some cheap oil though it a couple times after draining the ATF with a new filter. You obviously are not getting 60 psi if it will not get through the lifters to the head. You have some kind of restriction plain and simple.
     
  7. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member


    Agreed. Try this first to see if this will solve your problem. What he says is completely true. I usually leave the valve covers off until I see oil out of both
     
  8. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,408

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    Wonder if the valve train geometry could be off far enough to keep the oil holes from aligning properly between the rocker and pushrod.
     
  9. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO

    What's in it for a distributor....some of the early housings where not grooved in a full circle at the base where the oil travels around......if its not clocked correctly you block the passage off.

    I can give a pic tomorrow morning if needed.

    Tony
     
  10. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    Thanks for ideas guys. I have a new WIX oil filter and oil is coming up to the lifters as I can see oil coming out of the top of lifter with the pushrod off the lifter. Like I said, I ran the engine for about 20 minutes without oil coming out of the rockers. I thought about the misalignment of rockers to pushrods too so I installed a stock set of rockers and pushrods on one cylinder as to go back to basics - still nada. I've never tried the ATF idea but that's good as ATF has detergent. As far as not having 60# oil, both gauges (front & back of block) register 60#. With the ATF, what can I expect regarding oil pressure? If I do have a blockage, I'd love to know where it's at because like I said, oil's getting to the lifters. I have a valve cover where the center is cut out for adjusting hydraulic lifters and can watch the rocker arm action and even run it without a cover on - makes me nervous so I oiled the fulcrums manually while running.

    Think I'll reassemble the engine and try the ATF idea and go from there. Maybe I'll just run the sumabitch until it either oils up or blows up...! :mad:
     
  11. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    Thanks Tony but this distributor is grooved all the way around as is my oiler. My oiler is an old distributor housing. Vic
     
  12. Might have a spun main(or bearing installed wrong) and blocking the oil to the cam. good pressure on the bottom but not on top end.
     
  13. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,408

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    You said you swapped parts but have you actually checked the rocker geometry? Are the rollers staying near center through travel? Said you went through the heads, were they shaved or valves changed?
     
  14. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,973

    sunbeam
    Member

    Id drop in a new lifter and prime the motor and see if oil showed up on that valve.
     
  15. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    mustang6147
    Member
    from Kent, Ohio

    if your lifters are pumping up or getting oil, then it either plugged pushrods, or your getting oil just enough for the lifters, and wont pump up more.

    What I would do? either put Kerosene, or Seafoam in the oil, lube up the rockers, and run it for a little bit. see if its just old crud. as you said its not the good engine its just a temp one to work the bugs out
     
  16. BootleggerJim
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 202

    BootleggerJim
    Member
    from SC

    The only thing you changed was the rockers.......must be it....
     
  17. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,304

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

  18. slinginrods
    Joined: Oct 6, 2008
    Posts: 422

    slinginrods
    Member
    from florida

    when the rocker arms are at certain points it will block the oil flow.crank the engine over by hand as you prime it with a drill it should eventually oil all the balls in the rockers.
     
  19. i just got a sbc running that was sitting 25+ years. i spun the oil pump with a drill...it took almost 20 minutes to get oil to one rocker. i then used a oil can and pushed oil down the push rods using the hole in the rocker, that seamed to prime it up and they all started pushing oil. we started the motor and it ran like a clock.
     
  20. The oil galley that oils the mains, oils the cam journals first then drops down to the mains. The other two galleys feed the lifters only.

    I've had this happen with me. What happens is the the push rod is always covered by the ball socket and can't bleed out air much less oil. Put your #1 cly at TDC on compression stroke, remove the 2 rockers for #1 cly then primer engine with a primer while making sure push rods are seated will in lifters. If oil comes up, you have a push rod length issue.
     
  21. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    Thanks but oiling the cam is not the problem - it's the rockers that's not oiling.
     
  22. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    Roller is sitting on center of valve tip so that tells me pushrod length's okay.
     
  23. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    Valves are the original ones and heads not shaved. I just did a valve job.
     
  24. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    Already installed another set of lifters and primed it and oil gets to the lifter - but not up the pushrods.
     
  25. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    I've rotated the engine by hand several times while priming it and nothing.
     
  26. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    I've blown all the pushrods out so they're clean as well as the rockers. I'm getting oil into the pushrods but nothing coming out. I know I'm getting oil because when I pull the pushrods out, oil flows out of it.
     
  27. Clevername
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 316

    Clevername
    Member

    I don't know what the plumbing schematic of an SBC looks like, so I can't be of any specific help; however, I would think it would be entirely possible to have good oil pressure and have no flow to the lifters. My guess would be that the oil has just found an easier path back to the pan. Maybe the check valve in the filter is letting it bypass? Maybe you got a plug missing somewhere that is letting the oil bypass the intended path to the lifters.

    My point is, maybe you should not be looking for a blockage, but just the opposite.
     
  28. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,273

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Seems to me that you have a restriction (not total restriction) to the lifters which is why you are getting a 60# oil pressure reading, oil pressure is built up because it has no where else to go. Get the lifters to push rod oil thing figured out and I bet the oil pressure drops to normal. Nother words I think you have an obstruction from sitting, and it will take a complete or partial tear down to fix it. JMO
     
  29. CalGasser
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 792

    CalGasser
    Member

    I already did this and no oil comes out the top. I can see the lifter getting oil with the pushrod off and that's it. I know the pushrod is getting oil as when I pull them, they drip oil out.

    Thanks for all your input guys! All signs say it should oil but reality says otherwise. I've started reassembling the engine and what I'm going to do is install stock rockers and pushrods then fire her up and let 'er rip! I'll manually oil the fulcrums and watch her run and see what happens. Worse can happen is ruin a set of stock rocker arms. :( This has become a witch hunt and I don't have time to go hunting for witches! :eek: I've already run the engine for about 20 minutes w/ no luck so I'll let her run longer this time just to see what happens - wish me luck!!!
     
  30. 333 Half Evil
    Joined: Oct 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,440

    333 Half Evil
    Member

    I've had this before with several sbc's as well as two sbf's, the first one was same situation as yours, ran fine when pulled but once it was going to be fired back up it wouldn't prime oil to all the rockers. I just fired it up and let it idle. It took about 45 second to a minute before all the rockers had oil getting to them. The last one was a sbf that was built by me four years ago, sat for 9 months with the rockers(these were roller rockers) backed off. When we went to fire it up this spring, set the lash on the valves, primed it, got oil to only the rear two cyls' on drivers side and one rear cyl on pass side. Told the owner to just fire it up and let it idle, we'll keep an eye on it. Sure enough no more than ran for a minute or so and it spent the summer making pass after pass at the drags without an issue. Not sure why these situations happen, but I'd set the lash and fire it up. It will run for quite a few minutes without any problems. If you are concerned, keep an oil can handy and oil the pivots until it's oiling itself.

    When you set the lash, or have it running, make sure the lash is loose, almost to the point of ticking or ticking lightly, this may help.
    sometimes when you slowly open the lash when adjusting rocker while it's running it will push a lot more oil.
     

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