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Old 09-08-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
Michael Mayben
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Default I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Must be the weather? I'm gittin' covered up with phone calls and emails wantin' to know:

...what's that bangin' sound in my motor?

...why do the hydraulic lifters rattle?

...why did I find a broken/bent push rod?

...my oil pump must be bad!

...I rebuilt my engine and now it's stickin' valves.

...a mechanic said I needa valve job cause my vacuum reading is all squirrelee!

...I put a gallon of motornew in tha engine and now the overhaul is no good!

So in this thread we're gonna start from the beginning in explaining/diagnosing the good points and the not so good points regarding the lubrication scenario involved with all I-4 and sv engines. This is gonna be looooong and deetaled so if ya gotta short attention span, go play on the binder bulletin. We're gonna show ya what happens, why it happens, and what to do when it happens ('cause it will happen to you!).

First off...a teezer jpeg. This the infamous sonjascout, whose 345 guts are currently residing onna roller pallet in my shop (and have been for awhile). Pic shows a nine stand rocker assembly, passenger side. This one has the "welded" rocker arms, those require pushrods with a "cup" tip at the rocker end, and a "ball" tip at the lifter end.

All we will be talking about through this thread is the nine stand/welded rocker assembly. That design is the one that gives the most problem on these old motors. We'll have another thread that will show the five stand assembly that uses the "stamped" or "boat" rocker arms, that system was a major cost reduction deal phased in slowly around 1977 or so. But regardless of "which" rocker system you are concerned with, the diagnosis and service process is exactly the same.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Let's continue...

Attached is a scan in .pdf format of the lubrication diagram for all IH sv engines, this is found in every IH service manual if the vehicle platforms were available with the sv engine option.

This same diagram serves exactly for the I-4 engine, just take away the driver side bank of cylinders.

I'm not gonna go through this diagram in detail, but in order to be able to follow through the rest of this thread, you must completely understand how these motors lubricate! So print this diagram and study!

In both engine series, oil which is supplied to the rocker shaft(s) lubricates the rocker arms, the push rod sockets, and the valve tips. Then it's returned by gravity through a single drainback passage at the rear corner of each head, and down through the block in corresponding passages. If those passages clog with accumulated sludge, carbon, small children, etc., the oil return to the crankcase will be impeded. For reference...see this thread posted by ron:

http://www.forums.IHPartsAmerica.com...do-I-have.html

When diagnosing these issues...it's very important that no additional lubricant be added or "poured" over the valve train. We must watch the flow (or non-flow!) of lubricant under actual operating conditions, if ya add additional lube, then you just scruud over the evidence and added greatly to the workload.

And...if ya have an extra valve cover available (the more rotten the better), then think about slicing it right down the middle length-wise to make a shield for any oil that's gonna go flyin'. These are not like a sbc which will fling masses of oil everywhere when running without the valve covers. But the valve cover directs the oil return back and down through the return port in the head(s). Without having that in place, then oil will drool all over the exhaust manifold and make a smokee mess! We May have to run the motor with the valve train exposed for observation for 30+ minutes, so plan ahead accordingly!
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

In order to try and keep all resources regarding the topic of this thread in one place, I'll re-post a document I've prepped (it's in draft form and has not had the jpegs embedded) regarding how to treat these motors that have been sitting non-rotated for several months/years.

The whole idea here is to prevent wiping out the cam bearings during initial dry-start rotation of the crank/cam shafts. Much of the time, the cam bearings in these engines are not damaged going in, but will quickly fail if a proper pre-lube procedure is not performed. All it takes is about three rotations of a "dry" cam that has "stuck" to the babbit layer of the cam bearing to wipe 'em out. From that point on, it's all down hill, no way to go back and "fix" anything except for replacing the cam bearings with new!
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

And here's worst case...cam bearing material that has taken a hike. And this is just one of the five cam bearings, this is the one that feeds oil to the passenger side rocker assembly.

In my experience, it's nearly always the passenger side (number 4 cam bearing feed) that is affected for some reason, I ain't figgrd that out yet! It goes into failure mode first...but if it's goin' south, ya can bet the driver side is in failure also, it just ain't got there yet!
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

And here's shot of the cam bearing debris after fishin' it out of the pan, these are the big chunks, not the little stuff that was not easily picked out.

This is only one of several cam bearing failure modes which might be experienced.

Another common scenario is that the babbitt layer simply peels off the base material and looks like a wadded up chewing gum wrapper laying in the pan.

Worst case is that one or more cam bearings actually seize to the journals and then "spin" in their respective bores. In that case, the bore(s) in the block are now badly distorted.

Some would have ya believe that a block in that condition is beyond use. But not true...the cam bearing saddle can be line-bored by a competent engine machine shop and then "oversize" shell o.d. Cam bearings installed in order to "save" the block. No big deal, some extra expense involved though. Key word there is "competent" and will spend a little extra effort in locating the oversize shell cam bearings, and then actually measuring the shells to be installed to determine the proper degree of interference fit for line boring the saddles. Bearings of this type will not be sourced from some localyokel auto parts house, these come from distributors who specialize in supplying engine reman components to the pro engine builders.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Ok, now you've seen the devastation that can result from actual cam bearing failure. But what is the key clue that leads ya to trying to cure the "lifter noise" in the first place? Let's assume for the sake of this thread, that the cam bearings are ok, the cam does not have one or more "flat" lobes, and the motor is makin' decent/usable oil pressure, the compression on all cylinders sez the valves are actuating inna proper manner, a leakdown test sez upper cylinder condition is at least usable, etc. In other words...the "typical" scenario ya have when either a new-to-you rig has been acquired, or ya are dealing with a motor that is not/has not run onna regular basis.

First off...the basic design of the IH lubrication system does not promote great hydraulic lifter stability when it's allowed to sit static say overnight. One or more lifters can simply "bleed down" due to internal condition, and the fact that the lifter galleries will allow drainback of the oil supply to the sump. Once the motor is cranked and running, it takes up to maybe 30 seconds if everything is "normal" for the lifters to harden off and the "tick" noise to subside. In order to do that, full oil pressure must be developed and a major control point for that, is the oil filter element itself. This is simply an IH design anomaly that cannot be compared to other engines! And it's not really something to worry about or try and correct, it is what it is and does not create any issue other than being an annoyance!

This drainback deal is also made worse if the rig is parked so that the nose is uphill say inna drive way, parking lot, campsite, etc. If parked nose down, the lifter tick May never be experienced! And this sitch can/will occur even with new lifters freshly installed. Just get used to it and move on! At least it's an audible indicator that the engine is running, ya have oil pressure/flow, and it's an endearing quality!

On the other hand...the problem comes in when the tick is heavy and sounds like a hammer whackin' an anvil! And the noise won't subside or go away after several minutes of operation. Now we're talkin' the reason for this thread!!!

Folks with experience in dealing with chryfordrolets motors will say it'sa "rod knock", or it'sa "cracked piston" and try and sell an engine overhaul. Those are the folks ya wanna run away from 'cause they have no experience in dealing with IH junkiron!

So...if ya have heavy lifter knock, I'd first change the oil! And the filter! Just put anything in there that is fresh. The most common "cause" of the lifter bang I've found is an oil filter that is past it's useful service life for whatever reason!

Once you have completed your diagnosis and have verified proper rocker assembly lube...then change the oil again using whatever you decide to run in the motor onna permanent basis. Same for the oil filter, I'll now use only the wix filter, the baldwin filter, or the purolator "pure one" series as I've verified the effect those filters (haven't actually verified the baldwin....yet!) have on hot oil pressure, and the resulting reduction in lifter tick "time" inna cold start sitch after an extended non-running period.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

On page 3 after you complete the first round of running the oil pump it states you rotate the engine backwards 10 rotations.

Just curious, what is the purpose of rotating it backwards vs forwards?



Quote:
Originally Posted by michael mayben View Post
in order to try and keep all resources regarding the topic of this thread in one place, I'll re-post a document I've prepped (it's in draft form and has not had the jpegs embedded) regarding how to treat these motors that have been sitting non-rotated for several months/years.

The whole idea here is to prevent wiping out the cam bearings during initial dry-start rotation of the crank/cam shafts. Much of the time, the cam bearings in these engines are not damaged going in, but will quickly fail if a proper pre-lube procedure is not performed. All it takes is about three rotations of a "dry" cam that has "stuck" to the babbit layer of the cam bearing to wipe 'em out. From that point on, it's all down hill, no way to go back and "fix" anything except for replacing the cam bearings with new!
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_ert View Post
on page 3 after you complete the first round of running the oil pump it states you rotate the engine backwards 10 rotations.

Just curious, what is the purpose of rotating it backwards vs forwards?
Good question! No one has ever asked about that "10 turns backwards"!!

The reason...I'm anal about this stuff since we've seen so many engines destroyed by cranking over with the cam journals "stuck" to the cam bearing surfaces. I want to create a lubricating oil "wedge" between the journal and the bearing, just like the oil wedge that forms when the crankshaft is rotating at speed. That is standard practice when dealing with "friction"-type bearings such as the cam bearings in these engines. A "friction bearing" is one that has no rolling elements incorporated in it's design.

Since at that point we've run the oil pump for an extended period and hopefully fully flooded the rods/mains/lifters/cam bearings/rocker shaft assembly, we wanna spread the oil wedge across all the flat bearing surfaces so that when we do fire the motor off, it will be fully lubed as well as possible. Not as good as doing "assembly lube" when we build the motor, but next best thing!

By rotating backwards, we are spreading the oil wedge all around the bearing/journal circumference (I hope!) in the opposite direction from the direction the wedge forms when the engine is running, we're simply doing the best we can without pulling the main and rod caps to slime the journal/bearing interface, same for the cam journal/bearings.

The 10 rotations is just a judgment thing to make you think what is occurring and not rush to fire the motor in your excitement after determining that it is oiling and does have oil pressure!!

Thanks for bringing this up, it reminds me that I need to go back into that document and complete it with the embedded pics!
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Well that makes good sense. I appreciate the answer.

Also, I am in the process of following the document. I am up to the point of the the 10 backwards rotations. I also do not have oil on the valve train yet. But I do have 50 psi. I am hoping it shows up after the rotations.

I will take your advice not not dispair just quite yet...

Thanks again.


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Originally Posted by michael mayben View Post


By rotating backwards, we are spreading the oil wedge all around the bearing/journal circumference (I hope!) in the opposite direction from the direction the wedge forms when the engine is running, we're simply doing the best we can without pulling the main and rod caps to slime the journal/bearing interface, same for the cam journal/bearings.

The 10 rotations is just a judgment thing to make you think what is occurring and not rush to fire the motor in your excitement after determining that it is oiling and does have oil pressure!!

Thanks for bringing this up, it reminds me that I need to go back into that document and complete it with the embedded pics!
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael mayben View Post
in order to try and keep all resources regarding the topic of this thread in one place, I'll re-post a document I've prepped (it's in draft form and has not had the jpegs embedded) regarding how to treat these motors that have been sitting non-rotated for several months/years.

The whole idea here is to prevent wiping out the cam bearings during initial dry-start rotation of the crank/cam shafts. Much of the time, the cam bearings in these engines are not damaged going in, but will quickly fail if a proper pre-lube procedure is not performed. All it takes is about three rotations of a "dry" cam that has "stuck" to the babbit layer of the cam bearing to wipe 'em out. From that point on, it's all down hill, no way to go back and "fix" anything except for replacing the cam bearings with new!
Is there a version of this "old iron" document that has the missing photos? Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Quote:
Originally Posted by weswsimpson View Post
is there a version of this "old iron" document that has the missing photos? Thanks!
Unfortunately, I don't think so. And as life happens, he has not had a chance to update some of the missing information. Unless another forum member has some of the information elsewhere
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Just want to pose an idea for discussion, I have lots of 9 stand rocker shafts, all showing alot of wear from the welded type rockers, would it be possible to flip them over, use boat style rockers with the 9 stands to move the wear area to the other side? Is this feasable or am I just putting off a major problem for a few miles.....
Thanks,
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Flipping a nine stand/welded rocker shaft over and using with boat rockers is feasible. Look at post #58 in this thread and you will see one.

That means the witness marks on the nine stand rocker will be mounted down. The plugs should also be removed and the rocker shaft cleaned internally and then re-plugged.

You will also have to use the ball/ball pushrods that work only with boat rockers. The rockers and spacers are installed in the same order as the original welded rockers, no spacer springs will be used if using nine rocker stands.

Boat rockers are a totally sloppy fit on the rocker shaft, not a snug "bushing" fit like the welded rockers. The bearing point against the shaft are only those two distinct wear pads on either side of the oil hole.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:24 AM   #14
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Question Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Ok so I went through the old iron part 1 deal. Spun the oil pump with a shaft I made. It didn’t take too long and lots of oil was coming out the drivers side rocker shaft. Turned motor over by hand a little bit spun it again this time lots of oil on the passenger side. Here is the question: if I am getting good flow up that high shouldn’t my in dash oil pressure gage go up? Because it did not. And I think it should have. Do I need the battery hooked up isn’t the gage electronic? Is my gage bad? I don’t have a pressure tester. What is my problem

thanks
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: I-4 and SV Engine Non-Oiling Rocker Assembly

Yes, the factory gauge is electric and does require energy from the battery via the ignition switch in order to register. Beyond that, there could be an issue with the op sender which is threaded into the block on the driver side, or the wire running from the sender to the gauge, or the gauge itself. You could temporarily install a mechanical op gauge which would eliminate the potential electrical concerns and would provide a numerical reference that is quite a bit more meaningful than what is displayed by the stock unit. In the future, I recommend starting a unique thread for your issue(s) in favor of tagging onto a somewhat unrelated existing thread.
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