350 No oil to top of block?

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by bob1090, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    Hello all,
    New member to the forum here, not my first time I've used posts from ya'll though. Great source of info!

    Anyways, picked up my first Skylark with a buick 350 a few weeks back. Guy I bought it from apparently "went through" motor, rebuilt oil pump, timing cover, HEI distributor, rebuilt carb and apparently new stock cam and pistons? Haven't tore it apart yet to see the truth on the internal parts. I was hoping I didn't have to. After driving it a handful of times I started hearing a clicking noise. Pulled off the valve covers, found a really loose rocker and unfortunately also found that I'm getting little to no oil to the top end! (Rookie mistake for not checking before first drive, I know). However, I had no reason believe there were any issues as my temp and oil pressure gauges seemed to be reading ok, 190* and @23psi at idle.

    Recently, changed the oil. No shaving in the old oil so I through on a Delco filter and poured in some 10W-40 with a bit of ZDDP additive. Still nothing at top end. I'm afraid to run it any longer for obvious reasons. I'm looking for advice on what my next step should be? My best guess here is the culprit is the oil pump or a clog somewhere under the manifold. I've pulled off the roller rockers, blew out the push rods with some air, reinstalled and still nothing after running for a minute. (Dash gauge says I have oil pressure though?) What should I do next? Pull out distributor and check the bottom to make sure the oil pump tang is still in tact? Tear off manifold to see if there's a clog somewhere? My guess is I'll have to end up doing both because the one rocker that's real loose has quite a bit of play between itself and the pushrod, I'm hoping the cam lob isn't wiped. I don't know, I'm fairly new at this whole game. It's fun, but frustrating when all you want to do is drive your new toy! I'm open to any suggestions! Please? Haha

    Bob
     
  2. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Buicks shaft mounted rockers are sloppy on the shaft when the engine is off, no big deal.
    Buick engines typically don't send a lot of oil to the top end as a Chevy engine does, as long as theres the presence of oil your ok, check all your pushrods to make sure there clear/clean.
    Are your lifters noisy?
    Have you run the engine with a valve cover off to see if theres oil there?
     
  3. Roland72Buick

    Roland72Buick Active Member

    Same problem here with the plugged push rods and limited oil to the rockers. Probably 10 of the 16 have oil on them. I am still trying to take the intake off to see inside (my other post).
     
  4. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    There's oil in the galley under the valve covers which tells me they got oil at some point in time. Pushrods are clean and clear. I've run it with the valve covers off, but oil doesn't seem to even drip out of the hole in the rocker where the pushrod meets. I can put pressure on the noisey rocker with my thumb and the clicking goes away. I should also mention that 2 cylinders have a pair of rockers that look orange/burnt from lack of oil, one of them being the noisey one.
     
  5. alec296

    alec296 i need another buick

    I wonder if he used 68-69 lifters or got bad lifters.
     
  6. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    I wouldn't have an oil pressure reading on the guage if the oil pump wasn't working correct? So it's not probably not the pump? I should tear off the intake manifold and take a look at the lifters first, right?
     
  7. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Good point! Check the lifters
     
  8. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    Maybe I missed it, but did the OP tell us what year engine or even car we are talking about? Really need to know that.
     
  9. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    I would also suspect a miss match of parts... List the numbers of the heads and block. I would not be surprised if there were old style lifters with the new style pushrods.... The 68 and 69 engines oiled the rockers through the passage in the block and the 70-80 engines oiled through the pushrods.
     
  10. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    Hey guys,

    Sorry, been real busy lately. The car is originally a 71 Buick skylark custom. Exterior cloned by the previous owner to replicate GSX. Finally got a chance to grab the engine and head numbers. "TO 249" for block, and heads are "B1237650 D/6" and "B1237650 D/7" for driver side and passenger side, respectively. My little bit of research via teambuick.com tells me it's all from year 1971.

    Now for my ugly news...Seems I must have been driving her around for a bit too long without proper oil circulation. I had already inspected pushrods for clogs in my previous post, and I've since taken off the intake manifold and found newer hydraulic lifters, but the cam seems to be pretty darn worn. So I've already started ripping off the radiator, alt, steering pump, etc, in order to replace cam. Lack of oil seems to have also caused the original clicking noise too...the exhaust rocker on cylinder 3 seems to have gotten so hot that's it worn and started to wobble real good on the rocker shaft. The shaft still seems good and straight, is it possible to get a single rocker for this somewhere? Found the whole rocker setup on TA but would rather not go that route if I didn't have to.

    Still haven't identified the cause of lack of oil though. I plan to yank to distributor and make sure it's still driving the oil pump and give her a prime first, but like I said before I had oil pressure when running so I'm assuming the distributor shaft is alright and that the oil pump itself is the suspect. Or should I be looking somewhere else? Again, I'm a total rookie here and can use any and all advice/suggestions!

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  11. alec296

    alec296 i need another buick

    Might have damage to shafts for rockers. Your gonna want to pull some and check shafts for grooves. I assume you have aluminum rockers?better off getting rocker kit but do inspection first.do prime pump with drill and check oil pressure. You need to find cause oil pressure loss to confirm engine is OK or you might have to pull engine. Post a pic of oil pump housing.I wonder if they added a hi volume pump during rebuild which can be a problem for cam bearings .a lot of different issues could be causing your problems. I personally think you should pull engine at this point to inspection bottom end . the ticking could be the start of another issue if oil was starved to anything else. Would also be a good time to some oil system updates . bigger pickup if wasn't done on rebuild. I drill out pickup passage to oil pump to at least 1/2 inch, 9/16 if you can center drill well.
     
  12. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    Alright, I'm at a loss. I pulled the distributor and inspected it, stuck a drill on the oil pump and I'm getting plenty of oil to the lifter oil gallery. I don't know why it wasn't reaching the rockers? I pulled the oil filter to make sure it wasn't collapsed and to be sure oil squirted out when I spun the pump. It all seemed well. I'm posting a picture of the pump housing. Yes I'm a rookie and all this, but I know it can't be original the filter adapter says "metric". Could it be I was driving around the whole time with the oil pump not fully primed? When I started to really crank up the drill it seemed like I saw a little bit of petroleum jelly squirt out near lifters with quite a bit of air bubbles at first(This was before I had taken the filter off to inspect). No idea what my next step should be here. I didn't really want to have to pull the engine, but I suppose I should. However, once I do I still don't know where to troubleshoot as to why I'm not getting oil to the top end. Any more suggestions?

    Thanks again,
    Bob
     
  13. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    ...Okay. I don't know why I can't upload any pictures. I've tried chrome, firefox and explorer with no luck, keeps saying upload error. I've tried uploading picture and as an attachment. Any ideas ? haha
     
  14. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    Do the lifters have an oil feed hole in the middle of the plunger?

    You can also open a free account at photobucket.com and link them to this site.
     
  15. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

  16. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    OK, so my next move would be to remove all the rockers and push rods. Then run the oil pump with a drill to see if oil comes out of the lifter plunger holes.
     
  17. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    I suppose the picture is a bit deceiving. There's actually no hole in the lifter plunger. Just a small dimple where the pushrod sits. Is there supposed to be a hole?
     
  18. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member


    Oh Yeah. I was wondering about that. It looked like a hole. Yes, that is how oil gets up the push rod to the rocker. You have the wrong lifters. 1969 and prior engines oiled the valve train through passages in the block/heads. 70 and up oiled through the lifters to the hollow push rods to the rockers. That's your problem.
     
  19. bob1090

    bob1090 Member

    Sweet baby Jesus! That simple huh?! Thank you so much. Any suggestions on a brand to go with?!
     
  20. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

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