I think I may have bent push rods--and other issues (76 GMC W/455 Olds). Crap.

85K304SPD

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I would pull the lifters on those loose cylinders and make sure that they aren't flattening the cam. They get concave on the bottom.
 

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@Bextreme04 I did all this work myself, and did not actually measure installed height. In hindsight I should have done a lot more than just degreeing this cam and thinking all else was ok....because it wasn't.

Also, as I stated above I followed break in to a tee from Comp....no inner valve springs, engine oil not primed, lifters not soaked in oil, used cam break in additive, ran it at the RPM's stated for the length of time. After that I dumped oil, changed filter and put in fresh oil and added a zinc additive...and also installed inner springs.

Took off drivers side valve cover tonight, pushrods look good, but I have a bunch of very loose rockers. So, the work continues to redo the rockers, and machine pivots down.

I will probably still put in those heavier 3/8 pushrods from the link above also, just to be sure.
Comp said to not prime the engine oil before first startup on a fresh build? That doesn't seem right. The not soaking of lifters is in line with what I've seen from the lifter manufacturers, but I've never seen anyone say to not prime a fresh engine. In my own personal testing on SBC and BBC engines, it has taken up to 2 minutes of running a priming tool with a 1/2" high torque drill before I started to get oil to the rockers.

No bent pushrods but loose rockers sounds an aweful lot like wiped cam lobes.... I'd have a hard time at that point in not removing the intake manifold so that I could look at the lifter and cam lobes. Comp cams has a terrible reputation in the last 2 years or so for having junk chinese lifters wiping out cams even when all the right precautions have been followed. I'm a part of several engine building groups and it's happened enough times even with experienced builders that people are jumping through all kinds of hoops trying to find american made lifters or just going to roller setups.
 

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Comp said to not prime the engine oil before first startup on a fresh build? That doesn't seem right. The not soaking of lifters is in line with what I've seen from the lifter manufacturers, but I've never seen anyone say to not prime a fresh engine. In my own personal testing on SBC and BBC engines, it has taken up to 2 minutes of running a priming tool with a 1/2" high torque drill before I started to get oil to the rockers.

No bent pushrods but loose rockers sounds an aweful lot like wiped cam lobes.... I'd have a hard time at that point in not removing the intake manifold so that I could look at the lifter and cam lobes. Comp cams has a terrible reputation in the last 2 years or so for having junk chinese lifters wiping out cams even when all the right precautions have been followed. I'm a part of several engine building groups and it's happened enough times even with experienced builders that people are jumping through all kinds of hoops trying to find american made lifters or just going to roller setups.

Correct: They stated no engine priming because they didn't want the lifters to have any oil in them because it would be too much pressure against the cam right away, they also stated no inner valve springs. They stated they want the lifters to naturally build up pressure against the cam lobes for proper break-in. So, what I did is used a metric-shitton (more than a standard shitton :Big Laugh: ) of assembly lube all over the cam, lifters, pushrod ends, rockers, pivots--enough to where it was kind of gross to even work with. On top of that, I was dousing the crank mains, rods, cylinder walls, timing chain....basically everything else with Shell-Rotella T4 10w30 oil also because they stated no oil priming. Holy balls did this thing smoke when I fired it up for break in.

I only pulled 4 pushrods lastnight, on cylinder #1, and #3 and none of them were bent (could they flex under load??). The lifters came with the camshaft that I purchased. Unsure of where the thumpr cam, and lifters are made that I have from comp.

As for pulling the intake at this point I need to check the oil filter first and open it up as Matt stated to check for cam/lobe shavings. If I find something, the intake will get yanked. If I find nothing, I will leave it alone. I could also setup my dial indicator on each intake/exhaust and check the amount of lift on each cylinder. I also wonder after chatting with Matt if the main cam circle is smaller too than stock, even if by a small amount to make these rockers do this because the lifters would naturally sit lower into the block.

For the life of me I am trying to remember if I noticed these loose rockers on the stand and said "screw it" or if I never checked to begin with because there is no adjustment so I just "did it anyhow"...ugh. Sometimes I just like making more work for myself apparently :banghead:
 

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Correct: They stated no engine priming because they didn't want the lifters to have any oil in them because it would be too much pressure against the cam right away, they also stated no inner valve springs. They stated they want the lifters to naturally build up pressure against the cam lobes for proper break-in.
This seems idiotic to me... 2 minutes of running at 2000+rpm is WAY too long. It makes sense on an engine that is getting a cam swap, but not a brand new engine that doesn't even have oil in the galleys.

The lifters came with the camshaft that I purchased. Unsure of where the thumpr cam, and lifters are made that I have from comp.
Comp Cams and lifters are now chinese castings. They are the primary culprit of wiped cams and lifters that I see in the engine build groups in the last year or two.
 

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It sounds like you did everything that you were supposed to do when you put the cam in. I have done less than that before and didn't have that problem. I know you feel sad and disappointed that it didn't work out. At this point I would have to pull the intake, both valve covers and probably all the rockers and check those lifters and cam lobes. If any of them are wiped out, you will need to re build the bottom end again, after you clean all the particles out.
 

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I'm with these guys, even if the filter comes out clean, I'd be yanking the intake so I could look at the cam directly. Even measuring with a dial indicator, I'd want to actually see the cam itself. This sounds an awful lot like wiped lobes
 

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I've never seen anyone say to not prime a fresh engine. In my own personal testing on SBC and BBC engines, it has taken up to 2 minutes of running a priming tool with a 1/2" high torque drill before I started to get oil to the rockers.
^ Yes, exactly this. And then sometimes you need to rotate the crank to get oil to all the rockers.

Correct: They stated no engine priming because they didn't want the lifters to have any oil in them because it would be too much pressure against the cam right away
^ This just seems wrong.

I sure hope your cam is alright. If it's not, maybe Comp Cams will make it up to you after they provided you with some bogus break in advice. Or maybe no prime is correct on the big Olds engines... It just doesn't seem right though.
 

85K304SPD

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An Oldsmobile is no different than any other flat tappet motor, no matter who manufactured it. They all should get primed before initial startup. I remember making a priming tool out of a piece of 3/8" All thread to prime the one that I built over 30 years ago. I just ground some flats on it to fit into the hex on the oil pump. It was the first motor that I ever built. It was tough, but the guy that I sold the Firebird to, was able to blow it up. I think he said he was on the freeway racing a BMW at well over 100 mph for several miles. Probably overheated it.
 

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It was tough, but the guy that I sold the Firebird to, was able to blow it up. I think he said he was on the freeway racing a BMW at well over 100 mph for several miles. Probably overheated it.
Cool story. And I agree, it should be primed. Just giving @OldBlueDually the benefit of the doubt since I've never messed with any BPO stuff. Why do their distributors rotate backwards (CCW)? That's enough to weird me out.

I remember making a priming tool out of a piece of 3/8" All thread to prime the one that I built over 30 years ago.
I used the old ESC distributor from my K10 to make my priming tool. When the pickup coil quit, a new HEI went in and I dumped the ESC stuff.

As for pulling the intake at this point I need to check the oil filter first and open it up as Matt stated to check for cam/lobe shavings.
Good luck Justin and let us know what you see in the oil filter (hopefully nothing).
 

OldBlueDually

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This seems idiotic to me... 2 minutes of running at 2000+rpm is WAY too long. It makes sense on an engine that is getting a cam swap, but not a brand new engine that doesn't even have oil in the galleys.


Comp Cams and lifters are now chinese castings. They are the primary culprit of wiped cams and lifters that I see in the engine build groups in the last year or two.

Yup, I thought the same...dumb (hence the reason I loaded it with assembly lube). However, I wanted to be sure I did crap right so I followed their instructions exact. Keep in mind this was NOT a fresh built engine either. I am going to assume a very low mileage car it came out of. My dad and I pulled this engine from a 69 Olds two-door 88, or NinetyEight. Poor car caught fire, so hot it had melted glass on the doors, and melted aluminum pieces. Beautiful rust free original car too. Anyhow, when I put a mic to the cylinders, the mic did not even so much as twitch. So I had my dad do it too since he did a lot of that stuff and he even said they were perfect. So, I left the bottom end alone, and did the top end only. I also lapped the valves myself too, they looked really good and seated well.

An Oldsmobile is no different than any other flat tappet motor, no matter who manufactured it. They all should get primed before initial startup. I remember making a priming tool out of a piece of 3/8" All thread to prime the one that I built over 30 years ago. I just ground some flats on it to fit into the hex on the oil pump. It was the first motor that I ever built. It was tough, but the guy that I sold the Firebird to, was able to blow it up. I think he said he was on the freeway racing a BMW at well over 100 mph for several miles. Probably overheated it.

When I built my Olds 350 Rocket ages ago with my dad (that was a fresh from machine shop, balanced rods, line bored...the works) I primed the crap out of it, and found that I forgot to put the oil sending unit on the top of the stem....a stream of 1/4 diameter oil all over the garage ceiling and then dripping on everything, it was actually funny.

Cool story. And I agree, it should be primed. Just giving @OldBlueDually the benefit of the doubt since I've never messed with any BPO stuff. Why do their distributors rotate backwards (CCW)? That's enough to weird me out.


I used the old ESC distributor from my K10 to make my priming tool. When the pickup coil quit, a new HEI went in and I dumped the ESC stuff.


Good luck Justin and let us know what you see in the oil filter (hopefully nothing).
My 350 Rocket is when I found out the Olds engines oil pump and distributor run backwards. It would not prime, or put a load on the drill so I asked my dad and he said "reverse the drill".....I had the deer in headlights look at him, but it worked! They use a hex shaft from distributor base to oil pump, so it was easy to throw a socket on an extension and let it buck. They run backwards because they are badass, that's why! Honestly I have no clue....:)

Oil filter is off right now, I let it drain for about 15 minutes then put it back upright. I will borrow my friends oil filter cutter tomorrow so I can cut it open to check it out.


Thanks for all the feedback guys, I do appreciate it. I hate finding crap out like this, but I tell you what this whole damned truck has been a whole new learning experience for me. I can do sheetmetal/bodywork/paint all damned day and make it look like a show piece, but some of this stuff makes me wonder "ok, what did I do, or did not do to make this happen"!!!
 

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Oldsmobile distributors turn the opposite direction because the distributor gear is on the other side of the camshaft.

No need for a fancy oil priming tool with a Olds. All that’s needed is a 1/4 drive extension and a 5/16 socket. Just be sure to tape the socket to the extension!!! Somewhere there is a 403 Olds from a Trans Am with a Craftsmen shallow 5/16 socket in the oil pan.

I have heard from many sources about the lousy quality of lifters, I think it’s affecting everyone. Many of the engine builders on the Olds forums I frequent refuse to even build anything with flat tappet cams, it’s either roller r they won’t mess with it. Can’t say I really blame them. The cam company might warranty the cam and lifters, I seriously doubt they will reimburse a dime for other damage.

Comp Cams has been around for at least 50 years. I will never understand the bean counter mentality, I understand the goal of any business is to make money. But if the cost cutting process hurts the reputation that a company spent decades building, what’s the point? For a business to make money, the business needs customers!!
 

85K304SPD

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This is what I came up with to do first start up on rebuilt engines. I can start them up and break in the cam and check for leaks and everything else, before I put the engine in a vehicle. That way, at least if it does wipe out the cam, I dont have all the time and labor of installing and removing the engine.
It seems like every time that I put an engine in a vehicle, there is always something that I don't like about it.
On this one, I had a slight leak on the back of the intake (because I pulled the intake off at the last minute, because I thought that I dropped a valve cover spreader through the head, but I didn't), and I didn't put new silicone on it. It was easy to pull the intake and re-seal it while it was on the stand, instead of in the truck.
Not to mention how fun it is to just start it up and hear it run in the shop.
 

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OldBlueDually

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Here are some pictures. I tried my best to get a clear picture of this. I used my friends oil filter cutter to open this, talk about slick!!

I seen some very tiny flakes that I was able to get out, but couldn't feel them. Here is a picture I took, I tried my best. Red paint pieces are from ages back when I painted it with the valve covers off!!

Anyhow, the below pictures is from between 1 pleat in the oil filter. I will post some more pictures as I go along here.

Now, after the initial break in-->I did an oil change, added zinc, and total run time on engine after break in/oil change is probably 30 minutes. Not sure if that makes a difference or not...


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I zoomed in as best I could here for this one....

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OldBlueDually

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Ok, so I feel now I can rest a bit easier. I cut the filter pleats out carefully with a razor blade, got my bright light on each crease, the shines I did see were tiny, and looked to be common wear/break-in type stuff. No chunks (except some black carbon I was able to break up in my fingers). Some non-magnetic also making me think my stock rocker arm pivots/towers (aluminum) hate this camshaft. I did see a bit of wear on those pivots, could've been prior anyhow. Shame on me, I should have updated everything.....

I think all this valvetrain noise is a combo between non adjustable lifters/rockers, and extra wear I noticed on a few pivots. I'm honestly thinking I had loose rocker arms from the get-go and didn't do anything about it due to them being non adjustable anyhow.

This valvetrain will be updated using rocker arms with a roller on the valve stem, polylocks that hold the rocker arms to make them adjustable so I can set lash & preload on the lifters, and pushrod guide plates.

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