Why are my Lifters getting smaller? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 05, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
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I rebuilt my sbc 327 engine and added a new cam and lifters. After break in I double checked the valve lash before taking it out on the road. Everything seemed fine. After a few weeks I noticed a slight upfire and noise coming from the valve covers. I adjusted 3 rockers that were loose. A few days later I had to do it again, But this time the #8 cylinder exhaust rocker wasn't moving. I originally thought the rocker arm nut was loosening up by itself but when I removed the lifter it was no longer flat but rounded on the cam side. The cam ate over 1/4" from the lifter. I've checked other topics on this subject and think maybe there is a lubrication problem. When I built the motor I installed screens on the two ends of the lifter valley as well as plugged the (4) 3/8" drain holes in the middle of the valley. Are these holes critical to cam lubrication or does the cam use splash from the crank to get its oil?


1967 Camaro w/327 Chevy
23 deg Trick Flow
Performer Rpm
Holley 750 DP
(XE262H-10) Cam Grind- Comp Cams
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 05, 01:54 AM
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Cams/lifters do get "splashed lubed." Not only from the crankshaft, but, also what runs off from the cam bearings and what drains from above, sometimes.

I had seen this problem once before on a friend's car. IMO, it appeared the lifters were of "soft" material. They were not treated to the same hardening treatment the camshaft was subjected too. Thus, the cam wore a hole into the lifter.

Check to see the cam lobe(s) is(are) not damaged by this action. If they are not damged, you might get away with replacing the lifters with better quality, GM IMO, and be on the road again.

If camshaft is damaged, then a replacement of all is warrantied.

I would think you would have a hard time getting a replacement from the camshaft manufacturer, even if you bought it as a cam kit.

Also, another characteristic of this problem is too much spring pressure. Goes along with the "deluxe" cam kit, cam, lifters, springs, retainers, and pushrods.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 05, 02:22 AM
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If #8 valve still didn't move after tightening, the cam lobe is rounded and the cam is ruined. You're going to have to replace the cam and lifters. Drain the oil, and flush the engine out as best as you can. Take the plugs out of the lifter valley, there's no reason to have the holes plugged. All that does is keep the oil at the top of the engine where it is not needed. You want the oil to drain back to the pan so it can be recirculated.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 05, 11:41 AM
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I had this problem with a mild Brand Name cam. The #8 intake and exhaust lobes ground round and ruined two lifters. Same as you, I thought the nut was backing off. Stuck a similar grind Lunati in and haven't looked back since. By the way, no warranty because the sales rep said he didn't know how it was broke in. I told him I thought you only had to do seven and hung up.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 05, 05:05 PM
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We use the hydraulic lifters from GM for years with zero problems. There is a lot of junk lifters still floating around out there.
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