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Valve Train Noise after Cam Break-In

Bob Nossal

Dodgefor72
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My 440 was rebuilt years ago. I finally got to a point of starting it for cam break-in.

Valve train clatter is excessive. It has adjustable rockers. I checked and adjusted preload. It is a bit better but still excessive.

This is my first rebuilt engine break-in. Any recommendations from the wealth of experience in the Mopar world?
 
What type of cam? Did you use oil with goodly amounts of both ZDDP and phosphorus?
 
Flat tappet cam. Builder lubed everything during assembly. I used VR1 with zinc additive for startup.
 
If it's a fast ramp rate cam they are a bit noisy.
My Charger had a fiberglass pad under the intake from the factory. I think somewhat to cushion the sound.
I have a fast rate in there now which clatters but I've run it probably 3,000 miles and it's running well.
 
So it sat for years, before you fired it up? What was your break-in procedure? What kind of cam lube did the builder use? How many times did it turn over before you got it running? It doesn't look good from my side of the fence. It takes about 2 revolutions to wipe the cam lube off of the cam. More info?
 
Remove a valve cover. Check for loose rockers [ up & down, not side to side ]. If you can push the p'rod down into the lifters, that means the lifters did not pump up. Could be faulty lifters, or jammed internally.
 
Remove valve covers with help of another look into valley and manually rotate engine look to see if lifters are rotating in their bores. Any that are not replace those that are not
 
Oil pressure ok? Have a reliable gauge?
VR1 is good quality oil, but what viscosity did you use, mineral or synthetic?
 
Oil pressure ok? Have a reliable gauge?
VR1 is good quality oil, but what viscosity did you use, mineral or synthetic?
Oil pressure very good. Reliable gauge in place of the sender for startup. A local Mopar racer said it was ok to use heavier oil at startup.
 
I build quite a few Mopar engines and i use a lot of old new stock flat tappet lifters to avoid premature lobe/lifter failure which is all too common with new stuff.
Often, old lifters have stuck plungers due to the oil inside drying up after years of sitting around. Actually its the little check valve that is stuck and preventing the lifter from pumping up. You can tell which lifters have this problem as oil will pour out the top around the pluger. they must be taken apart and cleaned to get them to pump up instead of pucking massive amounts of oil out the top. If you are lucky...this is your problem and not a wiped lobe.
 
A lot of reinforcing ideas. I’ll keep plodding along and check the lifters, compression, etc.
 
Thick oil is not your friend at start up.
why do Mopar racers insist on 2050 oil?
not the hot ticket for Break in
 
Thick oil is not your friend at start up.
why do Mopar racers insist on 2050 oil?
not the hot ticket for Break in
I disagree I've used 20-50 for break in many times with no issues. That not the cause or contributing factor to lifter failures
It's all about lifter bore rotation and adequate bore height for lifter bodies.
 
I disagree I've used 20-50 for break in many times with no issues. That not the cause or contributing factor to lifter failures
It's all about lifter bore rotation and adequate bore height for lifter bodies.
Well stated.
 
I disagree I've used 20-50 for break in many times with no issues. That not the cause or contributing factor to lifter failures
It's all about lifter bore rotation and adequate bore height for lifter bodies.
Oh I believe you can do fine with it, and probably not the problem here, but there is no advantage to 20/50 over thin oil at breakin.

Breakin is a no load situation that will appreciate as much lubrication and cooling as you can get. 20/50 won't give any of that.

In the past I used 20/50 in everything, at the recommendation of long time racers. But then I did some research and learned there are better ways. Start with bearing clearances and the way you are using the engine.
 
"VR1" I assume is Valvoline 1 Racing Oil? They took all the good stuff out of that oil years ago and it is not suitable for flat tap cam engines without additives. With additives, do you really know what you have? It's better to go with an oil that is fully prepped for flat tap engine break-in right out of the bottle IMO.

Hard to say without hearing it, but I'd pull the intake and pushrods, inspect lifters for rotation and wear, cam lobes, and if good..... swap in an off-the shelf break-in oil, reassemble, re-lube, set preload and try again. It's a lot of work, but at this stage caution is the word of the day.
 
"VR1" I assume is Valvoline 1 Racing Oil? They took all the good stuff out of that oil years ago and it is not suitable for flat tap cam engines without additives. With additives, do you really know what you have? It's better to go with an oil that is fully prepped for flat tap engine break-in right out of the bottle IMO.

Hard to say without hearing it, but I'd pull the intake and pushrods, inspect lifters for rotation and wear, cam lobes, and if good..... swap in an off-the shelf break-in oil, reassemble, re-lube, set preload and try again. It's a lot of work, but at this stage caution is the word of the day.
That’s what I’m considering to be safe.
 
"VR1" I assume is Valvoline 1 Racing Oil? They took all the good stuff out of that oil years ago and it is not suitable for flat tap cam engines without additives. With additives, do you really know what you have? It's better to go with an oil that is fully prepped for flat tap engine break-in right out of the bottle IMO.

Hard to say without hearing it, but I'd pull the intake and pushrods, inspect lifters for rotation and wear, cam lobes, and if good..... swap in an off-the shelf break-in oil, reassemble, re-lube, set preload and try again. It's a lot of work, but at this stage caution is the word of the day.
VR-1 10W-30 has 1400ppm of zinc. Why would that need an additive? Been using it during and ever since break-in with no problems.
 
VR-1 10W-30 has 1400ppm of zinc. Why would that need an additive? Been using it during and ever since break-in with no problems.

Thanks, I wasn't sure what product that was. I switched quite awhile ago.
 
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