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Old 07-02-2008, 07:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rocker arm damage question with pics

So I'm tearing apart my 2000 RamJet 350 because of what I'm 95% sure is a blown head gasket and I find this:







The more heavily damaged one (the one on the right in the first pic) is from the intake of cylinder 1 and the other is the intake of cylinder 4.

What could cause this? Valve lash seemed OK with a quick check before I pulled everything apart.

Roller still spins freely, should I file down the burrs and run them or is this a definite replace item?

Heads go in for testing tomorrow so I don't know if there are other issues yet.

Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like you didn't get the correct feeler guage when you set the lash on those puppies.

Or your springs are a bit weak for your application and allowing possibly too heavy valves to float.

Hydraulic lifters? Might have a couple sticking on you.

I gave up on self-aligning rocker arms after having these issues in the past with a set. I was chasing my tail with some of the above mentioned points to ponder, and of everything, an oil pump upgrade and better springs whooped it.


Hows your valve stem tips looking?
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It has hydraulic lifters. The engine is new to me. According to the prev owner it has never been opened up before and internals are stock. It's a crate motor with approx 15K miles but again this is according to the PO and I can't verify any of this for certain. Valve stem tips look good with no discernable damage.

Still wondering whether I can still run these rocker arms if everything checks out OK on the head.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Those dont look like the rockers that came with that engine.
Should be self-aligning stamped steel IIRC.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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regardless of whether they are stock or not, the rockers are exhibiting damage that looks like they were not seated correctly when the valve lash was set initially. that would cause this type of damage, as would an over rev of the engine.

file em down, and try to rotate the washers enough to get a bit more guide from them. Be sure to clean clean clean clean. and make sure the roller tip on the rocker rolls freely after your modification.

reset the lash, and when you restart it, watch them closely.

either that, or buy a pair of rockers from the company... are those Crane rockers? they might sell just a pair if you ask them nicely.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In eighther case that engine requires guide plates or self-aligning rockers. IIRC.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odin K30 View Post
In eighther case that engine requires guide plates or self-aligning rockers. IIRC.
Those are roller rockers with self aligning roller tips. They do the roller tip self aligners one of two ways. His are the style that are like the non-self aligning, but then they put those washers on to keep things lined up. The other option is that the axle for the roller tip is mounted above centerline and the lower section of the rocker arm itself does the aligning. The moved axle type are considered stronger, but will possibly require some pushrod length adjustment to deal with geometry (mine did not). The washer style is cheaper and in theory could be rebuilt since the washers are sacrificial, but I sure haven't ever seen a rebuild kit for them.

Either way...those are not stock Ramjet 350 rocker arms. I would check the lobe lift on the cam and the geometry of the rockers. There is a chance someone changed the cam out or put higher ratio rockers on without doing anything else and that could be a problem. Your valve lift should be .431/.451. If you're closer to about .461/.480 you might want to look at the other components of your valvetrain as this would indicate 1.6 ratio rockers.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies.

I'm going to go ahead and replace the rockers. Here's a pic of the rocker itself:



It is a 1.6 ratio rocker. I spoke with Scott @ Gilbert Chevrolet and sent him the pics. He says that these are the stock Ramjet 350 rockers and are actually made by Crane. I ordered two of them and he was nice enough to break up a complete set to get me them quicker while he orders the individuals to replace his stock. He did say Crane might have a rebuild kit but in the interest of getting everything back together I just went ahead and got new ones.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Make sure you prime the engine good before you restart it. Are you gonna dead set the hydraulic lifters? Just make sure your lifters are pumped up before you fire again, because as Grumpy said, this looks like it could have happened at inital startup. Good idea for any engine with hydraulics that has sat a while. Pull the plugs and crank it over till you get oil pressure. Then install plugs and fire it.
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Make sure you prime the engine good before you restart it. Are you gonna dead set the hydraulic lifters? Just make sure your lifters are pumped up before you fire again, because as Grumpy said, this looks like it could have happened at inital startup. Good idea for any engine with hydraulics that has sat a while. Pull the plugs and crank it over till you get oil pressure. Then install plugs and fire it.
OK, will do. It'll probably be a week or so before I have it ready to run again.
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