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Just finished a rebuild on my 396 in my 69 Camaro. Less than 2 hours of run time and I had a knock in the engine. Looked like a couple of collapsed lifters. Took the intake off and this is what I found. Brand new summit cam with lifters. Fried the cam and destroyed my main bearings. 7 of the 16 lifters were bad. All I get told is that I didn’t break it in right. Told that EOS and zinc additive doesn’t work anymore. Thoughts?
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There are plenty of stories just like this one. Go with a quality roller set up.
 

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Reminds me of when Comp Cam had a batch of bad BBC cam cores in the early 90s. About a dozen of us here local wiped out their cams on break in - to which they always replied that it was “improper break in”. Funny thing is, all of us switch to another brand and had no more issues.

i have never purchased another Comp Cam product, and not planning to after what all a buudy and I was told when we took some of the cams and lifters to Comp in Memphis.

Mine failing led to my meeting, and friendship with Harold Brookshire. (Rip)
 

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Reminds me of a build for my Mach1, a 460. I was talked into (by a buddy) to go with a VooDoo flat tappet cam and lifters.

I did that ... twice. Burned up both of them. In all fairness (in retrospect) we think we know why those failures probably occurred.

Anyway, I took my own advice and went roller. Roller is all I ever do now, if for no other reason than I don't have to sweat out a cam break in.

I don't blame Voodoo or anyone else. These cams can be run successfully. I choose to simply avoid the entire situation.
 

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For the lifters to be that bad they had to have given you some type of clue. I know they had to be tapping almost from the start. This is why I tell my customers to break the cam in and then pull the filter and cut it open. If all is good put in another qt of oil and continue. If there is a problem you will catch it before it becomes bad.

As far as EOS and Zinc additives I agree that they are old school and not really the right thing to use. There a several very good break in oils available exactly for this reason. Any type of oil additive is a crap shoot. It may or may not properly mix with the oil and might even react badly with the original oil additives. All of this information is very well documented.

Are you certain that the cylinder heads were set up properly for the camshaft as far as valve spring pressures and travel ? If it was a dual spring did you take the inner spring out for break in ? This is almost universally recommended.

Just thinking out loud. Hate to see stuff like this.
 

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1968 Camaro LS3 TH400 Moser 9” DSE mini tubs
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I’ve seen two small block builds go this way in as many years.
I talked to a guy that used to work for Reher-Morrison
He said he no longer builds anything flat tappet.
It’s far to iffy due to poor quality components.
The more I see…the more I agree ✌
 

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Fell for you! Had exact same thing happen last summer with my rebuilt motor and hyd flat tappet cam. After pulling and cleaning, hone bore, new cam bearings etc. went with hyd roller works great or should I say was working great until heads went bad. Poor machine work on valve job. Now waiting for a set Dart aluminum heads.
 

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FWIW even with new motors with full hydraulic cam/lifters...I always use break in oil like VR1 or Joe Gibbs. Even on my new BPE crate motor that had already been dynoed by them. As I was ordering the motor I said include your break in oil so we won't have any discussion on "what oil did you use" should there have been any "issues

I also agree with Bill on his notes on spring pressure and dual springs relative to engine break in with flat tappet cams and I will add valve lash is very critical (read too much and you will flatten lobes and lifters quick)...especially with "short travel" aka "racing" lifters
 

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Just finished a rebuild on my 396 in my 69 Camaro. Less than 2 hours of run time and I had a knock in the engine. Looked like a couple of collapsed lifters. Took the intake off and this is what I found. Brand new summit cam with lifters. Fried the cam and destroyed my main bearings. 7 of the 16 lifters were bad. All I get told is that I didn’t break it in right. Told that EOS and zinc additive doesn’t work anymore. Thoughts? View attachment 293912
View attachment 293909
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That’s very no bueno. I have no idea of your engine building knowledge, so I’m curious what assembly lube you used for the cam, if you used a primer pump to verify oil all the way to the rocker arms, and what your break in procedure was.
 

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My buddy was building motors for Roush nascar motors. He just had two motors wipe out lifters in bbc same way. Parts were from performance products, the parts have been coming from anywhere they can get em. The metal quality is terrible. This COvid bs has caused issues in the parts business. The lifters were soft. Take a good lifter and put it in a vise. Hit bottom with a punch. You will see how soft it is. It’s either that bad of metal or u forced lifters that were oversized (too big) into a block that needed bushed.
 

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Did your cam need to have the oil groove in it? I know some 396 motors need the groove to oil the cam properly.
 

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That's hard to imagine, having that much wear in 2 hours, must have sounded like a grinder working in there. Rollers aren't foolproof either. I had a Comp Cams one break and destroy my bearings etc and have had two friends with the same problem. I've switched to Isky EZ rollers, pricey, but no roller bearings

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Definitely more to the story.

What valve springs did you use? Did you measure pressure at the seat? Then measure pressure at full open?

I agree; it is more than just a break in issue.

With some valve springs you have to remove the inners and break the cam in with just the outers. Then pull them off and install the inners.
 
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