Re: Ruined my hyd lifters? (long question)
If you're gonna try new lifters, I would definitely check the cam lobes first!
Ticking noises in a metal engine are amazingly hard to pinpoint. I have a mechanic's stethoscope and it allows terrific audible feedback, but it's tough to say for certain where the noise is coming from.
The last engine job I did was in Spring '06, on my own car. I put in a fresh 468 and within a hundred miles heard a loud ticking, almost EXACTLY as you describe. The roller cam and hyd roller lifters were like new, so I just didn't see how it could be them. I kept checking things and scratching my head, then finally I ended up yanking the intake manifold and the problem was revealed! Like a complete idiot, I had installed two of the lifter pairs backwards, dohhhhhhhhhhhhh, so the rollers were at an angle, which wiped the cam lobes, so I bought new cam and 2 new lifter pairs. All is good now.
I'm thinking you should pull intake, rockers, pushrods and lifters. Examine cam lobes carefully and use dial indicator to confirm each lobe is still within specs (lifter and pushrod in place, indicator mounted on cyl head). Also look hard at all the other parts - rockers, rocker balls, pushrods, etc. If you're using flat tappet, then you'll need to keep lifters matched up to the lobes, assuming you're gonna use same lifters.
Dave F. in Rhode Island
'68 Camaro SS Accel DFI 454 (SOLD - I'm a boring Corvette owner now)
Bought my first big-block Chevy in 1970