so i have a rebuilt 390 here. new rings bearings cam heads intake so on. motor runs great but always had a slight clacking noise from rockers. basically i pulled off my valve covers and inspected to see if rocker shaft was ok and not broken as the tend to do from time to time. they were both fine. then i checked to make sure the rocker bolts were put in correctly and they were not. i sorted that out and put that short neck down longer bolt into its correct spot on each side for oiling...(the "F" bolt). i then torqued them all to 45 lbs. put in all new oil and filter 20w 50 as machine shop guy said i should run this for my crank specs years ago. problem is now i dont see oil getting out from rocker shaft even when i rev it up with the valve covers off. the rocker shafts are pointed the right way with oil holes pointing down towards heads. so whats going on here? do they always not get oil up there or what? is my oil pump shot. the motor doesn't really seem to make this clacking noise anymore but i'm a lil scared to drive it now in this state. any suggestions would be great.
Yes, do Krewats test...very good idea. But I'm not sure about the cam bearing issue. Seems to me there's a groove machined in the block behind the cam bearings that lets oil from the top gallery, down to this groove, along the groove, and then to the lifter gallery.
Can you clarify please: Are you telling us that you did have (at least some) oil to the rockers, but after changing incorrectly installed rocker shaft bolts, you now have no oil?
i drove the truck yesterday with valve covers just snugged on and no gasket maker on my rubber gaskets. just wanted to test out truck and make it out to watch/spot my brother in the local tough truck challenge. by the way it does still have that slight clacking noise still to the motor. and yeah i am getting no oil at all coming out to the rocker shafts. this is so annoying and making me paranoid to ruin my motor or do something stupid to it. i wonder myself about the cam bearing being put in wrong i would have thought i had it right but who knows. if the rocker bolts can be out of order then why not the cam bearing as well but i hope not. i have enough things to deal with on this massive 4x4 toy as it is. i dont have an after market oil guage on this truck yet but the stock dash one works fine and pressure is normal and goes up as i rev the motor. i think i am going to try that test here and see whats up with this motor. also how hard is it on the motor with only the top end not getting that oil. seems like it just oils the pushrods and rocker shaft/springs....? not saying i'm going to just forget about it but what could happen or wear out?
First, you are going to want to double check the location of those oil bolts. Here's a diagram:
If those are in the correct place, I would take a look at your oil pump. Maybe pick up an old pump shaft and see if you can turn the pump manually or with a drill. If you turn in CCW you should see oil flowing.
If you don't see oil flowing, you could have a blockage in the passages (did you or the shop wash out the block oil passages after getting it back from the machine shop?), or like the other guys said the cam bearings could be installed backwards, or the bearing has spun (which ironically could be because the bearings were in backwards and/or didn't get enough oil or lubed at initial startup).
If you are lucky, the bolts are in the wrong place. If you are unlucky, you need to inspect the cam bearings, which means puling the intake and valley pan and cam to get a look.
Did you get the rebuild done at a shop? If so I would take it right back.
Aint likely to be cam bearings. Normal FEs have an annular groove behind the bearings so installation location is not critical.
might be the lack of or improper location of the longer & reduced shank bolt that holds down the rocker assembly. Or could just be full of gunk. Try what was suggested - pull the rockers and spin the pump with a drill - oil should spray out of those holes in the heads like a geyser...
I'd purposely pop the plugs on the shafts and ream them. I have sold several sets on ebay pulled from the yard and I do this and replace the end plugs as a courtesy measure never to receive a bad review and never to see an FE roadside at my own hand. 30 min well spent and the rocker assembly as well as the rest of the build will thank you for the extra effort
I am getting a lot of "experience" on the FE oiling system with my "Frankenstein 390"; you can look at my thread on this site to see what not oiling the lifters will do!
For the rest of you guys, I have a question - the Frankenstein motor had pushrods with no holes in the ends. I bought a complete set of new pushrods and they have oiling holes in both ends. Does the FE motor send oil up thru the pushrods to the rocker arm or not?
Second question for you FE guys: I can't budge the 5/16 X 1/4 socket-head button screws that hold the camshaft retainer plate onto the block. I have tried an impact screwdriver, I have cut off a hex socket as short as possible and tried to loosen them; no good. I hate to get the torch out to heat the two bolts up or have to drill them out, I am stuck. literally