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Ecklers AutoMotive
Username Post: lubrication problems....        (Topic#357977)
"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 612
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Reg: 02-09-06
09-08-19 05:56 PM - Post#2775078    

I have a lubrication problem on a 327 street only motor.
This motor was professionally built by a well thought of shop here in Albuquerque, shop went out of business 4 months ago, so can't ask them any questions. Motor was built approx. 15 years ago and has run approx. 30K trouble free miles. Cam and lifters are Isky hydraulic rollers, very mild grind. Oil pump is Melling 55 pound, indicated oil pressure has always been 58-60 psi with 10W-30 Pennzoil changed at 2K intervals.
Now for the problem: approx. 200 miles ago I noticed upper valve train squeak coming from both sides of motor. Pulled valve covers, cylinder #4 & cyl. #6 & # 3 Comp cam 1.52 ratio steel rockers, with corresponding push rod tips and valve springs black from lack of oil and heat caused by lack of
oil. Replaced all effected parts with new Comp cams stuff, talked it over with two mechanics at Chevy garage. They agreed it could be a blockage at the roller lifters. So, installed 16 new comp cam lifters with the correct length push rods and reassembled motor. Fired up motor with covers off, looked to me like plenty of oil coming up. Drove car less than 200 miles, problem has reoccurred!
I will pull complete motor (not just valve covers & intake) and start looking for the cause of all this.
What I need from you guys is things to look for. My first thought is a restrictor of some kind in the two oil passages at rear of block that feed lifter galleys.
My big question is why the first 15 years were trouble free and now she is falling apart!
Sorry for the lengthy post. but wanted to include as much info as I could. Let me know what you think. Thanks! Bill

Ecklers AutoMotive
"5th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 321
Loc: Mankato, MN
Reg: 11-23-09
09-08-19 10:07 PM - Post#2775106    
    In response to vet65b

Any chance that 3, 4 & 6 share a common oil supply? If so, something physical may have restricted/plugged it. Just speculating.

1965 Impala SS Coupe
Regal Red with Black Interior
L74 327
3.31 Open, 12 bolt

65-66 FSCC #512
NIA #2832

"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 612
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Reg: 02-09-06
09-09-19 02:32 PM - Post#2775171    
    In response to Gaspains

Tim & Kevin,
I talked with an engine builder here in Albuquerque today about my problem. Also mentioned (which I didn't in the original post) that the Pennzoil I am using now is labeled "For high mileage motors). This oil is different than the Pennz. I was using. The engine builder believes there is a very good chance that the ZDDP level has been lowered in the Penn. I am now using. He suggested inspecting rocker balls & push rod tips then adding zinc to the crankcase or switching to Brad Penn or one of the other high oils made for older cars.
What do you guys think....have any heard of extreme wear on rocker balls and push rod tips caused by wrong oil? BTY, valve seat pressure is 115 psi on the seat. Thanks! Bill

A White Sport Coupe 
"9th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 397
A White Sport Coupe
Reg: 08-19-10
09-09-19 04:55 PM - Post#2775180    
    In response to vet65b

Hi vet,

Roller cams and rockers don't require ZDDP. That's for flat tappet cans and lifters. Did the same 3 get blackened as before or haven't you looked yet?


Mel Foye 
*VIP* Founding Member
Posts: 4849
Mel Foye
Reg: 09-29-00
09-09-19 05:30 PM - Post#2775187    
    In response to vet65b

What about using a modified old distributor or a special oil pump tool and build up oil pressure?
Can very slowly hand crake---plugs out-- and trace back where low or no oil flow?
Kind of oil used I don't think is a problem. Mel

"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 612
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Reg: 02-09-06
09-09-19 06:51 PM - Post#2775194    
    In response to A White Sport Coupe

The lifters are roller, the rockers have roller tips but the fulcrum point is ball in socket.
Since the problem started shortly after changing to the different lube I thought the problem might be related to the oil.
Right now I am guessing and grasping at straws, I apricate all ideas. Bill

Very Senior Member
Posts: 4247

Reg: 12-29-02
09-10-19 10:09 AM - Post#2775254    
    In response to vet65b

LS engines run rockers with bearing fulcrum, ball/socket at the pushrod and no roller tip. They use lighter weight low zinc oil. They don't seem to suffer from issues with the ball/socket pushrod joint. So, I'm doubting it's oil related. If you were only seeing fulcrum issues then maybe oil related.

Did you run it again with the valve cover off and check the pushrod oil flow?

Posts: 908

Age: 59
Loc: Burnaby BC Canada
Reg: 09-22-14
09-10-19 10:15 AM - Post#2775255    
    In response to vet65b

Is the oil pickup screen clean?
Oil pump drive shaft splines in good shape?


65 Impala SS convertible 283 2V with Powerglide and 10 bolt 3.08 open
Build date Dec. 21 '64 Oshawa

"7th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 353
Age: 59
Loc: Albany, eNZed
Reg: 11-04-12
09-10-19 02:40 PM - Post#2775274    
    In response to vet65b

I suggest you post in Chevy high performance forum

Someone there will give you a quick answer

1966 Caprice 396 496 496mkII TH400

"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 89
Loc: Texas
Reg: 11-01-16
09-12-19 09:12 AM - Post#2775387    
    In response to Crusty66

Just a couple of thoughts, because I've never run into this specific problem before.
The oil leaves the filter, full pressure to main (center) oil galley running toward the front. It feeds each cam bearing rear to ft and around the cam bearing some is leaked out, the remainder of pressurized goes to the two parallel outside cam lifter galleys and the rest drops down to the main bearing under each cam bearing.
Now being that it is #3, #4 and #6 that are having a problem all feed thru cam bearing #2 and #3 could you have a problem there, with too much leakage or one of those bearings have become misaligned?
Again just going over in my head as to how the oil travels, if we had low pressure throughout the main galley then you would have low oil output to the front lifters.
I like what was suggested up top, that maybe pull the distributor & intake, spin the oil pump and look in those areas. The other thing is you may pull the pan to see if #3 main looks staved, but that is a lot of trouble for low probability of return. It may be necessary to have the block disassembled to find the problem.
Good luck. Sam

"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 612
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Reg: 02-09-06
09-12-19 10:55 AM - Post#2775392    
    In response to Texasray

Thanks for the ideas. If I wind up pulling the motor it will be inspected carefully piece by piece. I am hoping inspection of pushrods and rockers will reveal no damage to the parts installed a month or so ago. If they look good I will fill crankcase with a good racing oil containing ZDDP at 1200 PPM or better, then run a few hundred miles and hope the valve train stays quite. This will take some time to resolve but I will report back when I have more info. Thanks to all who offered advise.
What A great web site this is! Bill

Ecklers AutoMotive
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