vallvetrain clatter
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vallvetrain clatter

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    HI, I have a pretty much stock Hardin Marine 454 with 049 heads. Ever since I have owned it, it has made valve train noise from about 3700rpm on up to 4700. Ive removed the covers and ran the engine to see if I could locate the source and really couldnt find a culprit. All rockers seem to be working fine. I have stock stamped rockers with hydraulic cam.
    Im not sure of the amount of hours on the engine but I have put 4 seasons on it myself. Compression test comes out fine.
    What should my next course of action be? Thanks

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    Is this a Mark IV, or a Gen 5/6? flat or roller cam?

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    Its a iv. With flat cam. Its a little advanced but the plugs look fine. Im timed at 36degrees. The sounds seems to lessen as I go over 4200 and on up.
    Not sure what my next course of action should be....

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    Your next course is to actually check the lash on the lifter/rockers. Don't just look at them. You may have a cam going flat. Wouldn't shock me in the least. What oil are you running in it. Absolutely no water in the oil. Does it sound like one rocker, or more than one.



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    Quote Originally Posted by 79miller View Post
    Its a iv. With flat cam. Its a little advanced but the plugs look fine. Im timed at 36degrees. The sounds seems to lessen as I go over 4200 and on up.
    Not sure what my next course of action should be....

    Being a IV is a good thing, because you can adjust them. If they have stock GM adjuster nuts on them, its really possible that they have loosened up over time. This article by Crane gives you some good basics on how and what to check when setting them.

    http://www.cranecams.com/?show=techarticle&id=2

    Checking them to make sure they are correct should be the 1st thing you do. Then run it and see if it makes the noise. But before you start replacing stuff or anything major, check the settings and then go from there.

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    Also, look for dried, burnt oil, crusting looking rockers, down around where the rocker ball sets. It will let you know if you toasted a rocker ball. Mainly on the exhaust rockers.



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    thanks for all the advice........ Ill do some checks in the morning.
    As far as oil... Im running synthetic 10-30 with some Lucas Oil additive in it.
    Not sure if its the best combo/ weight but I boat in hot weather with pretty warm water. Plus my oil pressure from day one has been on the high side with it never going below 40lbs. Its always read that even with old gauges and senders.
    Since on the topic of valvetrain..... would I get any noticable gains from some good rockers or should I just leave it alone.

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    From what I have seen the better oil is Syn 20-50. 10-30 is too light to handle the loads and heat that boats put out. May be okay if this is a jet, but I have no idea what jets do or don't need.

    If you have a stock motor, changing rocker arms gains you nothing except bling. Save that money for when you want to do upgrades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 79miller View Post
    HI, I have a pretty much stock Hardin Marine 454 with 049 heads. Ever since I have owned it, it has made valve train noise from about 3700rpm on up to 4700. Ive removed the covers and ran the engine to see if I could locate the source and really couldnt find a culprit. All rockers seem to be working fine. I have stock stamped rockers with hydraulic cam.
    Im not sure of the amount of hours on the engine but I have put 4 seasons on it myself. Compression test comes out fine.
    What should my next course of action be? Thanks

    ok so it's made this noise for 4 seasons? are you sure you dont have a exhaust manifold leak?

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    Well I went ahead and did a valve lash adjustment on all the valves. While I was there I took some pictures. Here is a couple of general site of engine with worst looking pushrod and rocker. All the pushrods were straight. I went ahead and checked the rocker studs and torqued them down. All were up to the correct torque value. Here are some pics:







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    Won't really know till you run it.

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    One thing I wanted to note is that I did the valve lash as per Crane's website with engine cold and not running. Also with exhaust valve before opening and then going to intake and adjusting lash. What I noticed is that when after I let the lifter sit a minute or 2(as per instructions), I would tighten the rocker nut enough to get resistance on pushrod then 1/2 turn. After I did this I could press the pushrod in a little...... Is that normal. It would spring back. Is the reason that I can do that being that the lifter is or has bled out?
    Is that allright?
    I also noted (just for kicks), before I loosened the rocker, how many threads were shown on the rocker stud(how far the nut was tightened), and indexed the nut as a reference. I wanted to see after I adjusted the lash, how far of an adjustment was made. All of them were pretty close to the same as before only I would say that they are now a little loose compared to before.

    Lastly... After i go and test it and if the sound still persist, should I maybe to a running valve lash adjustment?


    As far as the exhaust leak issue I had the exhaust manifold milled true a couple of years ago and no leaks are evident. Its not a tick but rather chatter.
    Ill take me steth out too this evening.
    Last edited by 79miller; 08-19-2010 at 02:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 79miller View Post
    One thing I wanted to note is that I did the valve lash as per Crane's website with engine cold and not running. Also with exhaust valve before opening and then going to intake and adjusting lash. What I noticed is that when after I let the lifter sit a minute or 2(as per instructions), I would tighten the rocker nut enough to get resistance on pushrod then 1/2 turn. After I did this I could press the pushrod in a little...... Is that normal. It would spring back. Is the reason that I can do that being that the lifter is or has bled out?
    Is that allright?



    I also noted (just for kicks), before I loosened the rocker, how many threads were shown on the rocker stud(how far the nut was tightened), and indexed the nut as a reference. I wanted to see after I adjusted the lash, how far of an adjustment was made. All of them were pretty close to the same as before only I would say that they are now a little loose compared to before.

    Lastly... After i go and test it and if the sound still persist, should I maybe to a running valve lash adjustment?


    As far as the exhaust leak issue I had the exhaust manifold milled true a couple of years ago and no leaks are evident. Its not a tick but rather chatter.
    Ill take me steth out too this evening.
    Picture a hydraulic lifter like the shock absorber on your truck. When you apply pressure, it will colapse a little bit. As oil pressure rises (with rpms) the lifter gets more and more difficult to compress, since oil pressure is what supports the piston in the lifter. When not running the engine, it's very normal for the lifter to collapse with a bit of valve spring pressure.

    When I reset hydraulic valve adjustment...I take all the rockers off, get the cam on the base circle for a particular valve, reinstall one at a time and tighten the rocker nut as I spin the oil pushrod in my fingertips....you can feel the exact point where the valve lash is zero, then go a 1/2 turn or whatever the cam manufacturer recommends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 79miller View Post
    One thing I wanted to note is that I did the valve lash as per Crane's website with engine cold and not running. Also with exhaust valve before opening and then going to intake and adjusting lash. What I noticed is that when after I let the lifter sit a minute or 2(as per instructions), I would tighten the rocker nut enough to get resistance on pushrod then 1/2 turn. After I did this I could press the pushrod in a little...... Is that normal. It would spring back. Is the reason that I can do that being that the lifter is or has bled out?
    Is that allright?
    I also noted (just for kicks), before I loosened the rocker, how many threads were shown on the rocker stud(how far the nut was tightened), and indexed the nut as a reference. I wanted to see after I adjusted the lash, how far of an adjustment was made. All of them were pretty close to the same as before only I would say that they are now a little loose compared to before.

    Lastly... After i go and test it and if the sound still persist, should I maybe to a running valve lash adjustment?
    Everything you said is normal. lbhsbz used a really good analagy with the shocks. It sounds like you did it correctly.

    You can do a running adjustment, but its a PITA on a boat, because of removing exhaust to pull valve covers. Not to mention that you usually make an oilly mess somewhere.

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