Need help getting a big block to run - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 08, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Need help getting a big block to run

Guys, I have a 454 that came with a project car. I'm having trouble getting it running. It is a mid 70's engine that has been bored .030 over and has 10.5:1 pistons. The heads are the stock peanut port smog heads. I have no idea what the cam specs are. It has a holley strip dominator intake, a street avenger 770, msd 8360 and blaster coil. It also has Harland Sharpe 1.7 roller rockers.
When I got it the heads and oil pan and stuff were off so I could see it. The bottom end looked good. I was told it only had about 100 hours on it. I put it all back together and got it in the car and hooked up. I adjusted the valves according to the comp cams web site. I tried to start it and it would not start. I did a compression check and I could not get any readings. That told me the valves were too tight and not closing. I backed them all off 1 full turn and tried to start it again. It started right up but there is a lot of ticking from the rockers. I have tried adjusting them about 10 more times but the only way it will run is with them backed off way to far. I have the initial timming set at 10, although it seems to run better around 20-25. This is going in a car that I'm going to sell so I don't want to dump a ton of cash into it, but I need to get it running good. Does anybody have any insight as to what I should try next? Thanks, John

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 08, 04:57 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

Sounds like you have a solid cam and are adjusting for hydraulic to me, or are using too much preload. Or pumped up hyd lifters but I doubt it.

How much are you preloading the lifters?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 08, 04:59 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

sounds like mabe bad or stuck lifters.they mite not be pumping up .mabe some one else has more to offer.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 08, 05:13 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

Hmm, I had to leave and think about this one,,,,,, OK, The key to the puzzle seems to be; how are you adjusting the valves? Are you assuming that they are hydraulic and setting them a half turn tight after the pushrods tighten or are you setting them with feeler gauges? What compression did you obtain after backing them off? Not that it's important right now. Yeah, Tim said the same thing. Guess I spent too much time away.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 08, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

I adjusted just as the comp cams instructions say. When the exhaust starts to move, adjust intake until the push rod stops turning then 1/2 turn more. When intake is almost closed, adjust exhaust. The compression readings I got were 150 to 175. The motor did sit for at least a year or so. Do you think maybe the lifters went bad?

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 08, 07:23 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

DO NOT adjust UNTIL PUSHROD STOPS TURNING. Adjust until Push rod has no UP/DOWN slack when wiggling up and down. If you adjust until pushrod stops turning then you are too tight right away. Try to lift the push rod up and down while tightening. When you feel the slack start to tighten, you are tight enough. The push rod will still turn freely. if these are hydraulic lifters then you will be in the ball park. You can then start the engine and adjust while running/ warm. Loosen 'til the valve clacks, tighten slowly 'til the valve quiets, then slowly go another 1/4 to 1/2 turn. Done.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 08, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

I'll try adjusting like that this afternoon and let you know what happens. Thanks

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 08, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

I adjusted the valves again. I turned down until there was no up and down movement of the pushrod and then 1/4 turn more. The motor will not start. It turns over slowly like the valves are too tight. I'm thinking I should change out the lifters. If I do that I may as well change the cam to so I know what I have. Does this sound like the right thing to do? Any other ideas? Thanks

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 08, 05:14 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

I would pull a couple pushrods and get a flexlight down in there and see if it had solids before I started yanking stuff.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 08, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

How can I tell hydr. from solids while looking down there?

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 08, 03:25 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

Solid has no clip holding all the cup, wafer and piston and spring inside. It is solid

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 08, 03:45 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

John, it sounds like you need to break out the feeler gauges. Set the valves at .020-.020 and try again. You could well have solid lifters. That clearance will be in the ball park until you can track down what you have. Standing by,,,,,

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128.79mph 1.428 60'
All with 1960's stuff. (except tires and converter)
+ MT Super Scavenger headers & 3" full exhaust with X pipe. 3700 lbs. with me in it.
1000cfm AED and HD Harold-Lunati SR, 725 lift with shaft rockers too.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 08, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

Thanks guys, It will be tomorrow evening before I can get back at it. I'll let you know what happens.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 08, 04:03 PM
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

I agree with Fred

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 08, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help getting a big block to run

I was able to get out there long enough to pull a pushrod out. These are hydraulic. There is a clip holding it together. I was reading that when the valve spring is fully compressed, there should be at least .060" between each coil. I just checked one that looked like it was fully compressed and it only had .035" between them. If these are the stock springs, maybe the cam is too big for them. Would this cause the condition I'm seeing? Any other thoughts? Thanks

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