396 Valve Adjustment Question - Team Camaro Tech
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  #1  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 09:50 AM
mtdubvee1 mtdubvee1 is offline
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Default 396 Valve Adjustment Question

Okay heres the problem, I had a very loose rocker arm on my 396. So now Im going to adjust my valves. Problem is I dont know what type of CAM I have to get the specs. Is there like a "good universal" gap setting for these that I could use. Anywhere between .020 to .040 or what. Oh and will i be measruing like .020 or .002? Please help
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  #2  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 10:21 AM
Fred Ficarra Fred Ficarra is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

You're on track. When you don't know the spec, .020 is the way to go. Ah, one thing, are you sure you have a solid cam?
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  #3  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 10:31 AM
67CamaroRS/SS 67CamaroRS/SS is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

First, you need to figure out why the rocker is loose. Is that cam lobe worn, are the threads on the rocker stud worn/stripped or could the nut be bad?
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  #4  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 05:13 PM
mtdubvee1 mtdubvee1 is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

What is the tall tell sign of a solid cam? how do I tell the difference? I cant see the cam because my intake is on. My nut looks fine and so do the threads.
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  #5  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 05:28 PM
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Skeeter55 Skeeter55 is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

............................................Thats a good question.
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Last edited by Skeeter55; Dec 7th, 08 at 05:51 PM.
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  #6  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 06:30 PM
phel69 phel69 is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtdubvee1 View Post
What is the tall tell sign of a solid cam? how do I tell the difference? I cant see the cam because my intake is on. My nut looks fine and so do the threads.

If the nut is down approximately the same number of threads as all the other nuts and the rocker is loose then you very likely have a bad cam lobe.This is assuming that the rocker stud is good.
Have someone turn the engine over and watch the loose rocker to see how much movement it has.
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  #7  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 06:56 PM
Unreal Unreal is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

Pull the lifter out of the one with the loose rocker. If it has a recess with a keeper, it's a hydraulic lifter. if it's one piece, it's a solid lifter.

You may want to pull the lifter anyway to inspect for damage. When I had a valve tap, it turned out to be a wiped lobe. (lost about 1/4" of lift) The lifter was so worn, the spring was rubbing on the cam!! And I only drove about 30-35 miles after it started to tap!

If the lobe is really worn, you can see that the pushrod is moving less than the others.
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  #8  
Old Dec 7th, 08, 07:08 PM
tony -Di tony -Di is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

i just went tru something simular with my 350 i had a rocker go loose i have hyd lifters but anyways pull the plugs do a compression check. and while your cranking the engine check or watch you rockers and valves move .allso measure the rocker stud hight if the stud is not pulling out of the head .you can see the the rocker shafts move and measure them the get a rought idear if the cam lobs worn but i had a bad valve seat so when i adjusted the rocker it would loosen again because the valve was being pulled thru the seat
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  #9  
Old Dec 8th, 08, 05:22 AM
mtdubvee1 mtdubvee1 is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

Well I gapped them all at .020 last night. I started the engine and the clicking/tapping noise went to a deeper noise after i tightened the rocker.

Ill pull all the plugs and do a compression check. I plan on starting it up and looking at the valves move to see if it moves the same as the others.Let me know if you guys come up with anything else.
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Old Dec 8th, 08, 06:19 AM
67CamaroRS/SS 67CamaroRS/SS is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

It sounds like you may have a worn cam. Since you have already adjusted the valves, remove the valve cover from the side that was loose, and measure the travel of that rocker and the other rockers. They should all have the same amount of upward travel. If not, then the cam is worn and needs to be replaced. That is, provided the stud is not bad. I wouldn't just leave it like it is without inspecting it. Not to mention, you said it now has a deeper sound. I would do the inspection with the engine off and turning it by hand. It easier to watch the rockers that way, but that's just my opinion.
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Old Dec 8th, 08, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony -Di View Post
allso measure the rocker stud hight if the stud is not pulling out of the head .
no pressed in studs with a BB. I agree it's a fairly common problem with smallblocks that have stiffer than stock valve springs. Do you have access to a dial indicator with a magnetic base so you can check the cam lift against the other cylinders ? You can do that at the rocker without taking anything apart. If it's less than the others you need a cam & lifters. If it's the same look for a sunken valve.
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Old Dec 8th, 08, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtdubvee1 View Post
Well I gapped them all at .020 last night. I started the engine and the clicking/tapping noise went to a deeper noise after i tightened the rocker.

Ill pull all the plugs and do a compression check. I plan on starting it up and looking at the valves move to see if it moves the same as the others.Let me know if you guys come up with anything else.
What was it gapped at before the .020... Maybe they are hydraulics and you adjusted them incorrectly, (NOT AT ZERO LASH) so if they are hydraulics and you adjusted them with the lifters already collapsed then they are to tight and that might be the deeper noise you are hearing... Don't start it back up, pull the plugs like other have said and turn over by the crank bolt, check the lift on all rockers... Most of all what was it gapped at before you started.
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  #13  
Old Dec 8th, 08, 02:25 PM
82Vettrin 82Vettrin is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

one can't go by looks anymore. I used this method back in the Spring and it got me in DEEP doo-doo because when I saw the snap-ring, I too said "hey, hydraulic cam", and adjusted the valves accordingly.
man, did I EVER have a time gettin that straightened out.
there is actually a solid lifter now with hydraulic-lookin inners, and my solid-cammed 454 happens to have 'em.
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  #14  
Old Dec 8th, 08, 03:33 PM
mtdubvee1 mtdubvee1 is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

Now the car will not even hit one time. It pulled fuel up to my small fuel filter 6 inches from the carb and no further. I dumped gas into the carb and still wont hit.It wont fire at all. I adjusted my rocker arms until there was no swivel in the rod. I did it by the method here. http://www.centuryperformance.com/ad...h-spg-149.html.
Please help Me!!!

P.S. Should I be tightening the rocker arm at the top when it comes up or at the bottom when its pressing on the spring?
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  #15  
Old Dec 8th, 08, 04:21 PM
82Vettrin 82Vettrin is offline
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Default Re: 396 Valve Adjustment Question

if you haven't already done so, remove the coil wire or disable the engine in some manner so that it CANNOT fire !
then chill.. it's just nuts and bolts....
remove #1 plug. looking in from the radiator, it's on the rh front cyl.; from the driver seat, lh front cyl. (not demeaning you bud, but we gotta make sure, OK ?)
takes a helper, or a remote start-switch,, from this point:
hold a finger over #1 plug port, crank the engine. if you got no compression, the valves are absolutely wrong. this is what I encountered back-when I assumed I had a hydraulic cam and incorrectly adjusted my valves .
post your findings.
(some of the rest of you got~to jump in here now; I have a committment to attend)
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