High vs Low Valve Covers - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 09, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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High vs Low Valve Covers

I want to stay with the tall valve covers on my SBC. Comp Cams said using tall covers was the reason I have blued roller rockers. Blued on the lower rounded area. Inside the half moon washers pivet and they do have oil groves in them. The valve covers are from GMPP - I would think that GM covers should be OK and not be a oil delivery problem.
Any help appreciated!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 09, 04:24 PM
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

Are you saying they said you burned your rockers because of lack of oil delivery?
That doesn't seem right, but low oil delivery can burn them up...
I have tall valve covers from GMPP, the cast aluminum ones that have a red bowtie that say chevrolet behind them, are those the type you are referring to?
Mine have drip rails, and the roller rockers get plenty of oil, even when I only had roller tip rockers they never got hot or lacked oil delivery.

Sounds like you may not be getting enough oil to the top end, which could be a number of things, push rods blocked, low pump pressure, failing lifters.

The only thing I noticed with mine is that after the first few runs the full rollers had some metallic mixed in with the oil that they were covered in, looked like someone took a sharpie to them.

On some roller set ups depending on the heads you use, you can't use anything but tall covers, I cannot.

Are you sure you have full roller rockers and not roller tip? I don't know of any full rollers that use the ball and cup pieces.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 09, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

Yes I have roller tips only made by Comp Cams (Magnum without the Pro). Can you explain how the lifters move oil into the push rods? I nver really understood. Just so you know I have the Thumpr cam, E-tech 170 Edelbrock heads, Comp Cams lifters and Magnum rollers.

I am re-using these parts from the motor that spun a bearing and crashed No 2 cycler piston and rod. I now have a new GMPP short block and want to avoid more issues. I am not sure if the pump was bad or other reason for low oil delivery to the heads. All rockers blued - some more than others. Please reply and thanks for taking the time.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 09, 05:30 PM
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

The lifter has a recessed area about its circumference. This area is in the oil galley and has a hole to allow oil to enter inside the hyd lifter. The cup on top of the lifter, held in place by the circlip, has a hole in it. This hole supplies oil into the hollow pushrod and up the pushrod to the rocker arm. The rocker arm has cup the pushrod sits in, also has hole to allow oil to flow.

If the valve cover is short, the oil bounces off the cover top and dribbles/sprays onto the pivot ball to lube and flows down to the end of the arm and flows out over the end to cover the spring for cooling the spring and lube the junction of the rocker to valve stem.

If the cover is a tall one, more than likely, a dripper rail, shaped like an arc, redirects the oil from the top and drips it onto the rocker ball. Otherwise, no dripper, oil flows down the top and side and misses the pivot ball and valve stem, spring overheats.

The majority of us here know how much oil gets pumped to the upper end with the valve covers off. Adjusting a complete set of hyd lifters at idle rpm, less than 400-500 rpm, have pumped out a quart onto the fenderwells, frame, fenders, your shirt, face, hair, driveway, and anything else within 10 feet of the car.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 09, 05:38 PM
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

I have had tall valve covers and short on many of my engines with no drippers and never had any problems with blueing on my roller rockers. I think you had an oil delivery problem.

When you prime your new engine leave off the valve cover and see if oil is coming out from the hole in the rocker. You may have to rotate the engine a few times.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 09, 08:32 PM
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

It sounds like you have some nice stuff on the motor. I'd at least get a set of full roller rockers with the needle bearing fulcrum instead of using the pivot ball ones. That's just me though.

You can get a Summit set for not a whole lot more than a nice set of valve covers.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 09, 10:39 PM
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

I don't know if it's just me or what, I've adjusted vlaves numerous times, with roller tips and full rollers from 600-100rpm and oil wasn't squirting everywhere, the oil would pool in the heads that's about it. I guess some motors circulate oil differently, which could be the reason for your upper end over heating, mine never has, though it gets really hot.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 09, 09:32 AM
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

Definitely sounds like an oil delivery issue to me so a couple things come to mind. Don't re-use the oil pump that was on the bad motor, that's just asking for trouble. If the rockers and pivot balls are "blued" or galled then replace them, again re-use of damaged parts is just asking for trouble. Cam and lifters along with bearings should always be new in a new motor UNLESS you are 100% certain they have no damage or ill wear and have the lifters matched to the specific lobes on the cam.

Reusing parts will save you a few bucks up front but will create headaches down the road and risk the long term reliability of your new motor.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 09, 08:32 PM
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Re: High vs Low Valve Covers

I agree something isn't right. Back when I was building circle track engines we used full roller rockers (as opposed to roller tip) and tall valve covers and still had too much oil to the top end. We used oil restrictors in place of the outer 2 oil galley plugs at the back of the block to cut down the amount of oil going to the rockers and had NO problem with burning up rockers or valve springs. Of course we were turning some serious RPMs and there was plenty of oil pressure & volume. With rollers as opposed to stock pivot ball type rockers you need less oil to keep things happy. Did I read you right that you reused the oil pump out of the blown up motor ? NEVER EVER do that......
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