Normal valve-train noise?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    Default Normal valve-train noise?

    Is this normal valve-train noise? for a fresh motor? I have 15w-40 rotella in it. I thought about going to 5-30 royal purple break in oil



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    No it's not, Nick. The engine's valve train should be quiet as a mouse.

    I don't think the noise is the oil you're using it could be one of several other things. I would check in this order;

    • Does the engine have oil pressure at idle and how much? Where is the oil pressure sensor located?
    • If you disassembled the oil pump for cleaning or service did you properly reassemble the pressure relief valve?
    • If it is an original Cobra pump I would give consideration to putting in a new GT500 pump with billet gears.
    • If you use a remote oil filter, is the oil going in to the engine going into the top oil port on the side of the engine?
    • Pay attention to the oil line routing. Most filters have anti drawback features and only flow in one direction. If the lines are flip flopped the engine will get little or no oil. Your remote oil filter should have the ports labelled. Follow their labelling.
    • If you changed cams, did you check the clearance between the cam base circle and the roller on the cam follower with the lash adjuster fully collapsed? See the pic after this list. Cams with non stock base circles will need to shim the lash adjuster to meet spec clearance.


    This is the cam base circle clearance check I was speaking to. The dimension is in millimeters so the Imperial equivalent is 0.020" to 0.030".

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    In particular do not run the engine if the oil pressure is zero or near zero. Most people worry about rod and main bearing damage. Our engines use a priority oiling system that oils the crank and rods first. The last place to get oiled is the cams. You will do irreparable damage to both the main and rod bearings and possibly the crank also, if they get starved.

    More importantly you will also starve the cams because they are the last to get oiled. If you scuff up a cam journal by running with out oil pressure, the cam will eventually seize destroying the heads, breaking the timing chain and doing very impressive damage to the short block with lots of bent and broken valves.

    If you are lucky you will just have two oil lines that got mixed up. Correct the routing and you should be good to go. If you don't use a GT500 oil pump give it some serious thought going forward.



    Ed

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    I will check the lines again but when I first put it on the car the bottom oil line was going out and the return line from the filter housing was going in. Te oil pressure sensor is in the out port going to the remote filter housing and I'm seeing 35-40 psi at warm idle and 85-90psi at cold idle. The car has a TSS oil pump in it and as far as the lash adjusters and air gap I would hope the engine builder checked all that.

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    It sounds like the plumbing is correct. When the heads were off did the cams come out and then go back in before assembly? If they did then the driver side and passenger side heads may have gotten mixed up. If they are on the wrong side you would have oil delivery problems to the heads.

    What might be a short way home here would be to take the car to the engine builder or bring him to the car and let him hear the valvetrain noise. Inform him the engine never did this before and you don't.want it to do it now. That way the whole fix-it event is on him not you should something go bump in the dark.

    Some engine builders, understandably, will now warranty their work after you have fiddled with the engine.


    Ed

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    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    Well a long story short is the motor came out because the converter spacing was wrong and took out the thrust bearing. This starved oil to the heads, the heads had some cam journals put in them because they are Ford GT heads and have rather extensive port work done to them. I do believe though that I will be the one having to end up fixing this. I guess I'm going to try and check the lash gap and see how that looks before I pull the motor out.

  8. #6

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    I am still suspicious of the oil system, Nick. While I don't intend to be pedantic it is worth a second look at the plumbing. At the front driverside of the block this is the oil flow directions (see pic below)

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    The flow path for spin on oil filters is from the outside to the inside and exiting through the threaded center hole back to the engine. The anti-drainback feature that virtually all filters have today both prevents oil from seeping out of the engine and back to the pan but also prevents oil from entering the engine if the hoses on the remote filter are swapped.

    I know it seems trivial but it is much easier to check than the lash on the hydraulic valve lash adjusters.


    Ed

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    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    I will give that a check just to be 100% sure. I have a Peterson remote mount filter housing and a Purepower reusable oil filter so I can take it apart and look for metal caught in the filter. Could it possibly be adjust not pumping up all the way?

  10. #8

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    Nick,

    If you can do it, without a lot of pushups, try placing the oil pressure sensor between the Filter oil out port and the engine block instead of before the filter.

    The reason I am suggesting this is that if the inlet and out hoses are swapped and the filter is not passing oil to the engine it will show up immediately as no oil pressure. Where the pressure sensor is located right now, if the filter were being fed backwards (hoses swapped) the oil pressure sensor would still show pressure at idle. The internal oil pump pressure relief on the OEM pump would act like a fuel pressure regulator holding pressure in the lines up to the filter at whatever it's blow off pressure was set at. All the additional oil volume the pump could produce would be returned through the pressure relief.

    To a driver sitting in the car the engine would appear to have oil pressure but in fact the oil galleys would be at a zero oil pressure and the engine internals would be at risk.


    Ed
    Last edited by eschaider; 11-09-2019 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Spelling and Grammar

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    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    The oil lines are in the correct location, I guess I need to determine if it’s just one side the noise is coming from or both and go from there

  12. #10

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    The other thing that can produce this effect is the wrong head on the wrong cylinder bank. The Modmotor head castings for the driverside and passenger side are identical, interchangeable castings. They become side specific once the oil routing plugs for a specific side are installed in each head.

    The way the mix up usually happens is when heads are sent out for service without cams. If they are not marked driver side / passenger side it is easy to confuse them and put them back on the wrong bank of cylinders.

    When this happens the oil supply holes for the primary chain tensioners end up on the back side of the engine and open to the air. The easy check for this whoops is low oil pressure and the heads are leaking oil down the back of the engine onto the ground. If it is not then the heads are on the correct sides.

    Keep us posted as you go about unravelling this one, Kevin and we will keep thinking of possible causes also.


    Ed

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    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    just to be clear, the spec for the air gap is .020 to .030 is acceptable and anything higher needs to be shimmed?

    Thanks

    Nick

  14. #12

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    That's correct, Nick. I think a small deviation i.e. 0.032" total would likely be useable as is. The issue is two fold and both folds (so to speak) are plunger travel related.

    If the lash gets too great the plunger runs out of travel and can not take up the lash between the valve train finger follower and the lobe. This will cause clatter similar to what you are hearing (I am not suggesting that is the cause of yours although it might be). The additional clearance beats up the valvetrain because cams cut for hydraulic lifters do not have the clearance take up ramps that solid lifter designs have. The absence of the ramp means the valve train hammers itself on each valve opening getting progressively worse until some bad happens.

    If the lash gets too small, it might be possible to block the oil feed hole and the clatter would start again but for a different reason. In pushrod engines there a was long held the belief that the hydraulic lifter should be run at nearly the maximum extent of its travel to minimize lifter pump up and valve float. Although I have repeatedly heard that over the years, it has always been my opinion that valve float was caused by a poor cam profile and/or too weak a spring rate. I think in our engines the whoops for too little clearance is likely limited to blockage of the oil feed hole. Ford places a spring in each lash adjuster to raise the piston even w/o oil pressure I presume to insure the oil feed to the piston in the lash adjuster is not impeded.

    Closing thought;

    It might be possible for one maybe two adjusters to have an out of spec clearance. For all 32 to have the problem would be unusual and the sort of whoops you should have had audible warnings about from day one. That said it never hurts to know where you numbers actually are although it is going to be round to do in car. Pick a couple of easy to get to cylinders to start with. If they check OK then the others are most likely OK also and your problem lies elsewhere.

    Ed
    Last edited by eschaider; 11-15-2019 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Spelling and Grammar

  15. #13
    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    Excuse the accent



    Drivers side


    Passenger Side
    Last edited by 03yllwcobra; 11-18-2019 at 04:41 PM.

  16. #14

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    Nick,

    While it is possible for all the lash adjusters to fail simultaneously it is highly improbable. I am increasingly of the opinion the heads are being starved for oil. The fact that you needed to repair cam saddles in the heads is a pretty good indicator they were oil starved prior to that failure. In the FWIW bucket the thrust bearing has no relationship to the cam journal oiling. There is a separate passage off the main galley to the heads that oils all the cams, finger followers and lash adjusters. My suspicion, at this point, is there is some sort of obstruction in that oil delivery path between the heads and the oil pump.

    An obstruction in the oil delivery path would account for the earlier failure that cost you some of the cam journal saddles in the heads. I suspect that passage may still be obstructed. Lash adjusters have springs inside to maintain them in an extended position even without oil pressure. Once the galley sees oil pressure the lifters fill and the oil maintains the zero lash condition the motor likes to see.

    Your lifters are not filling and your internal lash take up spring appears to be non functional. I would definitely check out all the oil delivery passages which is going to require the removal of the engine from the car and subsequent disassembly. It is possible the problem is all lash adjusters failed simultaneously but again this is highly improbable. I am suspicious of an oiling system blockage somewhere before the lash adjusters.

    A quick check if you believe all the adjusters are bad is replace them with new pieces, spin the engine for oil pressure, fire it and listen to what it sounds like. If it has gone quiet, then it was lash adjusters and you are out of the weeds. If not you have a oil system blockage you need to find and fix.


    Ed
    Last edited by eschaider; 11-18-2019 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Spelling and Grammar

  17. #15
    Senior Member Array 03yllwcobra's Avatar
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    The motor was disassembled and cleaned when the trust bearing was took out. The car was on the dyno when this happened which is why the oil starvation happened to the cylinder heads. The engine was taken out after this and sent back to the engine builder and I would assume that he checked all the oil passages and all then. I also could spin over the remote mount pump on the filter housing to check to see if oil is getting to the cylinder heads. The pump only produces 20psi, would this be enough pressure to tell?

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