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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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.:eek: Guess I spent too much time away.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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Discussion Starter #7
I'll try adjusting like that this afternoon and let you know what happens. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #13
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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Discussion Starter #15
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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I've never seen one in coil bind although I'm sure I've ridden in more than a few.:D

This engine hasn't run very much at all has it? You said it came with a project car. I think coil bind would go to breaking things. How close is the valve reatiner getting to the guide? A collision ther would piss an idling engine off bad, and maybe prevent starting. And probly ruin the guides or seals. It wouldn't cause zero compression like you had with preload, I don't think.

I would idle the damthing until the oil was hot and change oil and filter. Refill with good oil and add a quart of MM oil instead of 1 quart of oil, run it some more and then readjust valves while running and see what it does with 1/4 turn preload. Give it the preload SLOW.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I backed the valves off enough to get it running and let it run until good and warm. It started sounding better. I readjusted valves and it would not run again. I backed them off just a little bit and it ran but the idle was slower. It didn't sound as free as it was. I didn't adjust with it running because I don't have a spare valve cover I can cut up yet. I didn't really want to make a mess. Should I back them off more so it idles like it did when I started? I drained the oil right before I came in for the night. Thanks for all the help.
 
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