Damage to Cam Lobes and Lifters on 454. What caused it? - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 12:46 AM   #1
leejoy
 
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Damage to Cam Lobes and Lifters on 454. What caused it?

well here we go again - more problems..............

I was disassembling and cleaning my hydraulic lifters on my 454. It was going well until I got to the rear cylinders and found I could not remove the lifters from their bores on cylinders 7 & 8. Upon further examination I discovered there was slight damage to the cam lobes (on the edges) and the edges of the lifter bases. The lifters would not come out of their bores as a result - clearance was too tight. It appears the cam lobes are not aligned well with the lifters (is that normal on a BBC?) and eventually the lobe edges starting eating away at the lifter bases.

I'm running a comp cams 11-250-3 hydraulic extreme energy FT cam.

What do I do now? I need to get those lifters out and they won't clear the bores.

1) do I have to pull and replace the cam?

2) do I have to replace the lifters?

3) what caused this? Are the cam lobes and lifters supposed to be perfectly aligned - mine are not. I don't want this to happen again.

Lee
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 12:50 AM   #2
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If it were me I would replace the cam and lifters and clean up the lifter bores. Did the lifters go in tight when the engine was assembled? Were the lifters and cam lobes lubed on assembly? I would also flush the pan in case any pieces broke off of the cam lobe. From your description, it sound like the lobe was mushroomed on the edges.
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 12:54 AM   #3
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there are guys here that are WAY stronger than me technically,but i believe the lifters are slightly offset to promote them to turn slightly and eventually rotate 360 degrees.
if you ate up a lifter or two i would examine the 'break-in' procedure first.if that was done correctly i would examine the lifter bores and measure them for roundness and be sure there are no burrs to hang up on.if that checks out,get the manufacturer to check batch #'s to see if anyone else is having a problem.could be bad lifters.also,are the hydraulic or solid?did you have them set too tight cold and the expansion bit you in the butt?
good luck.perhaps some techie guys can chime in too.
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 01:01 AM   #4
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the cam lobes and lifters were lubricated and setup correctly during break in period 2 years ago. I remember doing that. I also performed the break in procedure if I recall - something like running the motor at like 2500 rpm for like 15 minutes or more.

Lee
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 01:14 AM   #5
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Cam failures have been rampant. Low zinc in oils, weak metal, poor quality lifters.... who knows. Get a roller

Kev
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 08:49 AM   #6
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Sounds like you are seeing the beginnings of a cam failure. As stated it's not uncommon. If you know the valvetrain was good so nothing was binding or hitting then it probably just went away. There was a bunch of issues with lifters a few years ago. RM
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 09:56 AM   #7
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Your cam is shot. The lifters are mushroomed on the bottom from the cam rubbing the bottoms off. This is a lubrication failure, probably. If your oil did not have the proper additives, you will wear out the cam. See other threads on this site about oils.

Now, the bad news. The paritcles from the cam and lifters has been distributed throughout your engine crankcas. Your wrist pins are probably contaminated and the pin holes now have particles in them, thus causing piston failure quickly if not addressed!! This means pulling the pistons and cleaning out the wristpin holes and usually requires at least oversized pins. If you don't do it, you will have wristpin failures. Been there, done that
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 10:23 AM   #8
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No doubt about it, its rebuild time.
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 12:43 PM   #9
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Some will argue you can run it after a cam wipe, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Kev
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1quik69 View Post
If it were me I would replace the cam and lifters and clean up the lifter bores. Did the lifters go in tight when the engine was assembled? Were the lifters and cam lobes lubed on assembly? I would also flush the pan in case any pieces broke off of the cam lobe. From your description, it sound like the lobe was mushroomed on the edges.
I will replace the cam and lifters. very difficult for me, I don't do this often, and the motor is in the car and I do NOT have a shop. Last time I left the motor in the car and removed the radiator and bumper/grill to pull the cam. It sucks.

I assemble the cam properly last time, using the cam lube anad so on, and doing the break in procedure. The lifter bores were NOT tight during assembly - they are/were perfect.

I dont want to use Comp Cams again. Can you suggest a good cam manufacturer that I should look at instead of Comp Camps? I will probably go Solid lifter setup this next time - not hydraulic.

some of you guys are saying to pull the motor and rebuild everything - new bearings, etc.

Now hold on a minute. This is a very very serious time consuming costly option. Think about what you are saying please and only say it if you really think it is NECESSARY? I'm not arguing with you guys it's just that some of you guys say "pull the motor and rebuild it" like it's the equivalent to making a grilled cheese sandwich or something. I want other people to weigh in on this please. Don't get me wrong, if I knew there was "eminent" engine failure in the future I would certainly do as you say, you guys are much more experienced than I am, but if there is "a slight chance" of engine failure I will take my chances and just replace the cam & lifters, run the motor and change the oil immediately after the break in.

Lee

Lee

Last edited by leejoy; 22nd-November-2007 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 12:53 PM   #11
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Since ya gotta tear it down anyhow, check the block for core shift....


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Old 22nd-November-2007, 01:17 PM   #12
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I'd change the oil and filter , replace cam and lifters and drive for a little then change the filter again. I wiped out a cam on my first 350 and replaced cam/lifters and changed the oil and filter three or four times within the first 1000 miles and it ran fine and dandy for a long time.
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 01:25 PM   #13
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On the plus side, I think you have definitively found the reason for it running poorly in the upper RPMs. No need to change out your intake, now.

As far as excessive cam wear, it could be any number of things, from poor oil care to low zinc content in modern oils to improper set up of the valve springs. All you can do is set it up properly when you go back together with it and break it in right with the right oil. From there, change the oil regularly and keep an eye on things.
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 02:42 PM   #14
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I have only run one comp cam and that is in my 72 at the present time. I have had no problems with it. I have run Crane, Lunati and Engle in the past and had no problems
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Old 22nd-November-2007, 03:12 PM   #15
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guys

thanks very much for you tech support. All of you. I really appreciate your help.

I should add that the damage to the (3) lifters is very minor in nature - almost impossible to notice unless you look right at it and feel it. It's not like chunks of metal are missing. the cam lobes look good to my untrained eye. It's just those 3 lifters that had minor damage to them.

Lee
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