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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm driving on the freeway, car starts to squeal, smoke comes out of the breather, klunk, klunk, and starts running like crap. Pull it over, call a tow truck, and tear off the valve cover. One intake rocker on cylinder number three has been knocked off, with serious wear on the cam, and unbelievable wear on the rocker, in the process, it appears to have compressed the spring in such a way that a keeper flies off (thank god the other one held on), and proceeds to decapitate the number 3 exhaust lash adjuster. The two intake rockers on cylinder number 4 show significant wear and signs of heat, as do the cam lobes. The exhaust in cylinder 4 is fine, as are all the rest of the valves. I had 80 psi oil pressure, and when I removed the cam, all of the cam journals and lifter bores were wet with oil, so it doesn't appear it is an oil starvation issue. (at least up to the point where the exhaust lash adjuster was decapitated.) I pulled the head, and thank god the valves didn't hit the piston.

I'm struggling to find the root cause. The heads are essentially Livernois Stage 3 heads with bronze guides, stiff springs, and the large valves. the rockers and lash adjuster were new. The cam is a Comp Stage 1 Blower cam. What the heck caused this? Light Audio equipment Electronic component Engineering Gear
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My guess:

Lash adjuster failure. Something caused the adjuster to collapse which allowed the follower to come off the valve tip and get crushed by the cam against the head and valve retainer. Had to be oil/debris related. I know you said you had good pressure, that makes me believe it's debris related. Once the initial damage was done, the "chain reaction" ensued causing the other damage. I don't see the other half of the valve lock, so i think that being chewed up may have caused some other carnage.

Keep in mind, this is only a guess, but judging by the color and damage to the cam, the oil was very burned which to me means flow impaired (or lack of fresh oil getting where it needs to go). Sorry for your loss...has to suck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My guess:

Lash adjuster failure. Something caused the adjuster to collapse which allowed the follower to come off the valve tip and get crushed by the cam against the head and valve retainer. Had to be oil/debris related. I know you said you had good pressure, that makes me believe it's debris related. Once the initial damage was done, the "chain reaction" ensued causing the other damage. I don't see the other half of the valve lock, so i think that being chewed up may have caused some other carnage.

Keep in mind, this is only a guess, but judging by the color and damage to the cam, the oil was very burned which to me means flow impaired (or lack of fresh oil getting where it needs to go). Sorry for your loss...has to suck.
A collapsed lash adjuster would explain it.

After I took the head off, I turned it upside down, and banged it the bench (gently I tell ya! .... LOL), and I found the other keeper . The keeper looks normal.

I might try disecting the lash adjuster which started the chain reaction to look for debris which might have clogged it. I pulled the VCT valve body off and looked at the screens, clean as a whistle.

Once the exhaust lash adjuster was decapitated, there would have been very little oil pressure to the valve train.

I have the Boss 5.0 block, and if you look at the oil feed location (which is on the rear on the right side) there is a significant mis match between the block and the head. I think the mismatch is significant enough (at least half the hole) to impact the oil flow to the valve train. I've asked 3 or 4 engine shops about this, and they all said the mismatch is o.k. Funny how the left side valve train is fine (the ports line up). I'm doing some oil passage porting on the head so that they line up before I put the head back on.
 

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Sounds like a good idea to line the ports back up with a little "massaging". I wonder though...you can't be the only person with a boss block and 3V heads. This wouldn't be an isolated incident when the parts are cast that way from the factory. Failures would have to be happening often. Did you buy an assembled engine? How many miles were on it when this happened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
1st time around Hawaii Racing assembled the short block, and I assembled the valve train. At 1100 miles, I discovered that Comp didn't clean there cams (see the new cams are clean? post). From that mishap, I rebuilt the motor (had to have the right head line bored), pulled all the galley plugs in the block and heads, riffle brushed and 1500 psi pressure washed everything, new bearings, new pump, new lifters. I pressure primed the oil system, and made sure I seen oil coming out of the valve train on both sides before I buttoned it up as well.

Then this happened at about 800 miles after that. This time around, the shortblock is fine, (no debris on the oil pan), so it's just the valve train. Also no debris in the VCT valve body screens as well. I keep thinking there might be something wrong with this head in regards to the oil starvation. Maybe a bad casting? The oil pressure was reading 80 psi when this happened, so I think that would elliminate any major issues with leaky connections or a cracked passage in the block. Do you know of anyone else who has a 3v Boss5.0 block setup?

Frustrated as hell on this motor, I have some really expensive hardware in it. I'm only aware of two other 3v's runing the Boss5.0 block, Don Whitiker, and modaddict. I think Don's car is fine, and modaddict had major issues the first time around on his motor.

Anyone who has experience with a 3v setup using the Boss5.0 block please pipe in.
 

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your cams have been "jinxed" since you first found all those filings with your first install i would see if comp cams will help you out, filings might not have been the only problem with the cam
 

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I'm running a Boss Block with Livernois St. 3 heads. I have had 0 problems with it and it was built by Modular Performance. I know about 10 people running the Boss Block with out issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm running a Boss Block with Livernois St. 3 heads. I have had 0 problems with it and it was built by Modular Performance. I know about 10 people running the Boss Block with out issues.
I've been talking to a few performance modular engine shops, and they concur the issue is not with the Boss 5.0 block / 3v head compatibility. It appears that the issue is somewhere in the head / valvetrain setup. I'm going to take the damaged parts and head down to one of the shops to get the damaged guide replaced, get a new intake valve (The tip was mushroomed from the lash adjuster), and have them look at the valvetrain geometry.

Out of curiousity, Is your setup still twin screw, and what cams are you running?
 

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belinda06gt Just want to clarify your mod. You put 3v heads on a new 5.0 Boss short block? Are you able to run all your 3v accessories? Which intake? I have an 05' DD I want to build, any other areas of swap concern I should know about? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It is not one of the new 2011 5.0 shortblocks. It is a Ford Racing M6010BOSS5.0 cast iron 3.700 bore block. Which is essentially a simease bore, big bore Cobra block. I stroked it, so I ended up with 5.3L instead of 5.0L.

The only think you need is a left side motor mount adapter (PM me and i'll send you a drawing) which is a 1/4 in thick plate with 6 holes. All the 3v accesories, water pump, front cover, oil pump, and intake bolt right up. The timing chain guide pins are pressed in instead of threaded in, and the only other difference that I know of, is that the Boss block only has a single tapped knock sensor boss.
 

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I feel sorry for you Belinda06GT, you have had a lot of grief with your setup. I think you are correct that the problem is in the valve train assembly. I have almost the same combination as you, in a 2007 GT I put in a 5.3L Boss50 big bore with Livernois stage 3 heads and Livernois stage 3 blower cam, I have a Whipple 2.3 blower making 15 lbs of boost. I put about 3000 miles on it and about 20 passes at the 1/4 mile. I have not had any of the type of problems you are having. I hope you figure out what is the issue, and then can enjoy the car with that strong engine, it puts a grin on your face that you can't erase when you smoke the tires at 50 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wonder if its' something I am doing in setting the valve train up. I'm following the Factory manual in set up the valve train, with the exception that I am degreeing in the cams per the cam spec (102 degree intake centerline). Is there something beyond what is in the factory manual for setting up lash adjuster / rockers? I have heard about lash adjuster shims. I assume that these go beneath the lash adjusters? Are there any writeups about these? and where do you find the shims?
 

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Shims are only used in reground camshafts. They shouldn't be needed on a non-regrind. If the cams aren't super huge, or you have notched pistons, why not just keep the VCT active? Then degreeing isn't necessary at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Shims are only used in reground camshafts. They shouldn't be needed on a non-regrind. If the cams aren't super huge, or you have notched pistons, why not just keep the VCT active? Then degreeing isn't necessary at all.
The cams are Comp Stage1 Blower cams which are fairly aggressive and fairly high lift and have a different intake cl than stock. Also, the heads have oversize valves, and came with stiff springs. The heads also came with phaser limiters, and per Ford Racing are required due to the stiff springs regardless of cams. (The VCT's can't deal with the added force from the stiff springs) The cams also require stiff springs.
I do not know if the oversize valves would work with stock springs due to valve float.

I went to lockouts to elliminate the timing issues I was having. (The cams would spring forward as soon as I passed the cam cl). I also installed lockouts to elliminate the potential cam / crank synchronization codes issues I was getting when I just had limiters installed.

Also I had to have the right head line bored, which essentially brings the cam location down a few thousandths closer to the valves / lash adjusters (assuming they didn't shave more than a couple thousandths off the cam towers). I would think this would essentially change the geometry in such a way it would be equivelent to having a larger cam base diameter in relation to the vlave train geometry, but I'm not sure about this.

The shop I'm having look at the heads indicated that it was not a oil starvation issue, but a valve sticking issue or a valve train geometry issue.

I just don't know what to believe any more. I haven't given up on these heads yet, but I'm considering going back to stock heads, stock cams, and fully functional VCT's due to this nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: Found the problem, every guide in the head, except for one was loose. Keep in mind these are brand new $1849.00 per side heads with less than 1500 miles on them. The guides are being replaced, and the seats are going to have to be ground. I do not know the condition of the left head, as it has not given me issues yet, but I'm going to have my head guy tear that head down and check it as well.

As it turns out, these heads are actually Livernois Stage 3 heads that are re packaged by Ford Racing, (M-6049-463VP3) with a 200.00 per head markup over the price of the Livernois heads.

I'm not real happy about paying $1800.00 for a head that has 11 loose guides after 1500 miles.

I've also been told to measure the ports as they may be so large as to protrude into the gasket area on the intake.

So the cost of this rebuild after 1500 miles is:

1 more set of Cometic gaskets at 140.00 each
1 new camshaft at 350.00
1 valve job with 24 new guides/seals, 1 new valve/retainer/keeper set 600.00
1 more set of cam bolts, 4 new rockers, four new lash adjusters 100.00
8 more quarts of oil, 2 gallons of antifreeze 60.00

I'm giving this head / cam setup one more shot. If they give me issues again, I'm going to pull the stock heads / cams out of my old 4.6.
 

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Hi Belinda06GT, That really sucks, it's to bad that when you pay a lot of money and get a bad product from a big company that they couldn't step up and help you out. I don't know what your intake manifold looks like, but on my Whipple manifold I greased the intake manifold gasket and set it on the head. I then took the manifold back off, you can then see the grease tracks how they fit to the heads. It was quite close, within a 1/16", some places they almost touch, I had my manifold ported to get as close as possible to match the heads. Good luck on putting it all back together, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I don't know what your intake manifold looks like, but on my Whipple manifold I greased the intake manifold gasket and set it on the head. I then took the manifold back off, you can then see the grease tracks how they fit to the heads. Good luck on putting it all back together, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
The greased gaskets is a darn good idea. I was trying to figure out a way of how to get a footprint of the gaskets on the head, and you just solved that problem. I will probably use some long studs in place of the bolts temporarilly so that I can lower the intake straight down without smearing the grease. I already know someone else who has had this issue. The question I have is if the gaskets protrude over the edge of the port what do you do? RTV around the outside of the gaskets and install it while the RTV is still wet? That would make taking the manifold back off a real pain.

Although I could potentially send the heads back to Ford Racing or Livernois, the shipping costs, the turn around time, and the hassle just aren't worth it.
 

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good luck, ford racing is not quick to step up if there is a problem with their parts. i thought you learned your lesson with the filings in the cams, lol. you are just having some of the worst luck i have seen in a while. these engines are hard enough to work on without all the add ons
 
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