What would cause this to be? There is only a little trickle of oil
coming out the pushrods for the number 1 piston (the front one on the
drivers side), none at the rest. I'm noticing it now because I just
had the head off the drivers side to fix a broken exhaust valve and
once it was all put back together the noise was terrible; before taking
the head off there was no noise but still hardly any oil coming out the
I pulled the oil pan off and the pump looks fine - no plugged screen or
damage. I also pulled off the bearing cap on a couple of the pistons
and that looked ok - no visible problem. A local motor shop told me
that if the cam or cam bearings were bad we might have oil at the back
(closest to firewall) tubes but none torwards the front. SO - I'm at a
All and any help is greatly appreciated.
You might go to a local autozone and "loan a tool" the oil pump primer tool.
You put it in place of your distributor and use a drill to spin the oil pump
shaft to give you oil pressure without running the top of your engine
without any lubrication.
> Distributor 180 deg out?
Right.....the motor runs, but the dist may be 180 out?
Where do you guys come up with these guesses?
Even with the dist 180 out, what does that have to
do with the oil pressure?
It's not a guess but a foggy remembrance of some engine that has a
distributor body that impedes the flow of oil to the lifters if fitted
correctly. If fitted incorrectly it blocks the flow of oil completely.
Now do you have some advice for the OP?
That guess is so far off it can't even be described as "wild assed"
>> Right.....the motor runs, but the dist may be 180 out?
>> Where do you guys come up with these guesses?
>> Even with the dist 180 out, what does that have to
>> do with the oil pressure?
> It's not a guess but a foggy remembrance of some engine that has a
> distributor body that impedes the flow of oil to the lifters if fitted
> correctly. If fitted incorrectly it blocks the flow of oil completely.
> Now do you have some advice for the OP?
Yes, I just gave him advice...hopefully he'll take it and
not fool around with his distributor hoping for more
Here's a little background that may help the experts. This all started
when I took the truck on a trip much longer than we normally use it.
Typically, on the farm, it doesn't run for really more than 30minutes
at a time, but I was helping my brother move and had to drive it on a 3
hour trip, including some highway. On the way, after about 2 hours, I
started hearing a ticking in the motor. It's hard to describe the
noise; it was louder than the tick that comes from a loose rocker, but
not as loud and deep as a connecting rod problem. It's frequency was
dependant on RPM, but the noise did not get louder if the motor was
revved up; it just ticked faster. I had no idea what the cause was,
and since I was far from home anyway I figured the motor was toast and
I tried to make it as far as I could. It made it the rest of the way
to his house and back, running the same way.
I started working on the motor and found the spark plug on the #5
cylinder was smashed flat on the end, and that with a new spark plug
the piston was not working right; it skipped and removing the spark
plug wire from that spark plug made no difference in how the motor ran.
I pulled the valve cover and found only a tiny amount of oil flowing
down the rockers when it was running, went farther and pulled the
drivers side head and found the exhaust valve on #5 was broken - 1/2 of
the outer ring of the valve was gone and the piston dome was pretty
lumpy. No pieces inside.
I had the head checked and fixed, put it all back together. Now the
motor runs very smooth, but the loud ticking is still there. With the
motor running, I loosend the rocker on the #5 exhaust valve, and the
noise got less and less; with no tension on the pushrod tube (it just
going up and down but not compressing the valve, it was almost gone -
the loud ticking noise (normal valve ticking was going on though cause
it was loose). As soon as I slightly tightened the rocker the ticking
started again. I pulled the intake off but everything looks ok, but
what do I know?
So - what does this mean? Can hydraulic lifters go bad and cause this?
Could a bad lifter keep oil from going to the top of the head?
Oh, and by the way - when I took the distributor out I think I know
where the idea about the distributor came from. The channel in the
rotor housing that passes oil from the pressure port behind it to the
lifter ports on the side is not a consistent shape; one side narrows
down and is much smaller than the other side. I think if it was in 180
degrees backward it could impede the oil flow, but it didn't look like
it would block it completely on my engine. It was in 'wrong' from what
I could see - the narrower restricted side was towards the oil pressure
port in the block.
Tomorrow I will replace the lifters and spin the oil pump with a drill
to make sure oil is getting up there. If that doesn't work I do not
know what to do next.
While doing all that, ensure ALL holes are open all the way thru the
pushrods--no crud, no battered ends, as oil MUST flow thru these. Note that
those short 30-minute running sprees cause undue wear on lubricated parts;
and these cold sprees can also cause oil holes in push rods to stop up ( as
well as oil return holes in the heads and internals of lifters ) due to
constant cold running & oil never heating enough to let the detergent do its
cleaning. Ever tried to wash grimy hands with bar soap and cold water?
Then try it using warmed, detergent engine oil: you may be surprised how
well it cleans!
Re: your questions: yes, hydraulic lifters can go bad and cause
...and: Yes, a bad lifter can keep oil from going to the top of the
head--they are what actually what pump oil thru the push rod holes to the
I think it may have been clocked wrong before you started as well.
It really sounds like your distributor has to fit one way only and if it
is off a tooth it will impede or totally block oil flow.
The vehicle can 'run' easily with the distributor 'body' physically
pointing in any direction as long as the wires are clocked to the rotor.
Before I went totally nuts on it, I would find a book or photo that
shows the proper positioning of the distributor body and set it that
way. You might have to rotate the oil pump pickup and reclock the plug
wires to do this.
I also think you have at least one collapsed lifter on that #5 valve or
the oil pressure is just too low to pump it up or pump the crud out of
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00
88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's
Short burst operation over a lot of years is a good way to crud up the
insides of an engine, and those small passages through the pushrods are
prime candidates. I once pulled apart a Ford 302 that had done years and
years of short-operation work on our farm, and the darn thing had *ONE*
open pushrod on the driver's side, all the others were filled with sludge.
My guess is that the long trip freed up a lot of goop in the engine and
added a collapsed lifter to the problem. New lifters and cleaning out
the pushrods will probably get things back in shape, though the bearings
may have taken a beating from crud passing through them as well. Be sure
to break in the new lifters as though you were breaking in a new cam
(first 20 minutes should be sutained at no less than 1500-2000 RPM, and
use a good break-in lube on the bottom of each lifter) or else you may
wipe a cam lobe in the process.
I will also make sure to install the rotor 180 degrees oposite to the
way it was. Will let you all know how it comes out. Thanks for all
> Ok, I am going to go along with the distributor clocked wrong from
> what you are saying.
(laugh) you guys kill me!
If the vehicle runs fine but your not getting oil
LEAVE THE DAMN DISTRIBUTOR ALONE. IT CANNOT NO WAY NO HOW BLOCK THE OIL
FLOW UNLESS YOU STUFF THE OIL PASSAGES FULL OF CRUD.
The oil channel goes all the way around the dizzy, notice that? Guess
where the oil also goes? That's right it will go around the distributor,
regardless of the position of the housing. Doesn't make a bit of
I would bet that when you started running the engine some old crud broke
free and plugged the oil passage feeding the lifter gallery. Pull it
apart and clean it out or you WILL trash the cam, lifters, rockers, push
rods. Oil pressure at the port means that oil is getting there BUT it is
probably bypassing back into the pan because the passage is blocked.
DON'T install the new lifters on that used cam that has been running
without oil. It will eat them REAL fast.
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As for last nights progress - intake pulled, pushrods removed for both
banks, lifters removed. Ran the oil pump with a drill and had good oil
flow to the fist lifter hole, where it drained down into the pan as the
lifter wasn't in there. Checked all passages between the lifter holes;
they were clear. Made decision to leave head alone and not check to
see if contact was being made to the exhaust valve because we could
believe it was - the noise wasn't that severe. New lifters put in
after soaking in oil, reset pushrod tubes, blowing each one out first.
reset valves (tighten until no up and down movement possible, then 1
turn tighter, intake back on, distributor reinstalled in same position.
Started it up; after a few minutes we had oil running down every
rocker. BUT - THE NOISE IS STILL THERE.
Let me tell you - it is not rocker noise that we here; it is somewhere
in between rod knock (loud) and rocker noise (soft and clicky). With
the motor running, if I back off the #5 exhaust rocker until the valve
is not being depressed at all, the noise almost completely goes away.
My plan now; pull the head and see if contact is being made between the
#5 piston and the valve. Pull piston and inspect wrist pin, clips, and
such. If no indication of a problem is found, I think we're going to
pull the motor and rebuild it; I'm not putting it back together in the
truck again to have it continue to make the same noise.
What do you all think?
Rod knock starts off "soft and clicky" but it's hard to hear.
When it gets loud there goes the oil pressure/flow.
If the crank is "ok", bearings and a high volume oil pump should work.
The bumps are small - maybe the size of #2 pencil lead, but there are
several and they are shiny from hitting.
Will post a followup when it's all back together.
Thanks again for all the help - lot of smart people here.
> The oil channel goes all the way around the dizzy, notice that? Guess
> where the oil also goes? That's right it will go around the distributor,
> regardless of the position of the housing. Doesn't make a bit of
> difference. NEVER.
What I want to know is what genius (not) thought it was a good idea to
stick the distributor right in the middle of an oil passage anyway.
Another reason I rarely touch anything Chevrolet. Shims on starters,
distributors in oil passages, connecting rods that are too short for a
model airplane engine, oiling through pushrods, skinny lifters that
limit the cam profiles that work... GAH!!!
> Let me tell you - it is not rocker noise that we here; it is somewhere
> in between rod knock (loud) and rocker noise (soft and clicky). With
> the motor running, if I back off the #5 exhaust rocker until the valve
> is not being depressed at all, the noise almost completely goes away.
I wonder if in the process of pounding that piece of valve around, the
#5 piston hurt itself. Cracked maybe? Or egged out the wrist-pin hole.
Bent the #5 connecting rod slightly?
When you back off the valve on #5, you're basically shutting down that
piston so its not getting combustion loading. See if the sound goes away
when you just pull the #5 spark plug wire. I'll bet it does....
Thanks for the advice on the piston; I replaced it with a new one and
new wrist pin, with new bearings and rings. The bore was actually in
good shape, a few passes with a hone cleaned it up.
Put it back together - runs like it should, no noise, oil everyplace it
Thank you to everyone who helped me get through this - the truck was
done today and is needed for corn harvest, which we started today as