455 ticking noise when hot

Discussion in 'Street/strip 400/430/455' started by MOLpe, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. MOLpe

    MOLpe New Member

    Hi guys,

    Recently I've build in a stock 45 Buick engine in a 1973 Riviera project (bought it without engine and transmission). The engine had been sitting for for a while, but had it running in a engine stand without any problems.

    It runs like a champ, very smooth and without noises, untill I've took it for a spin. After 20 minutes driving, I stranded on the side of the road, since the engine was hesitating and stumbling a bit. I let it cool down for 5 minutes and it runs great again, but with a ticking noise on the passenger side of the engine. I've managed to get back to my garage and did a check on the oil pressure. Wasn't that great, around 30 psi @ 3000rpm, so I rebuild the oil pump. Now I am reading 18psi idle and 46psi @ 3000rpm. Still not the highest pressure, but I think good enough for an older stock engine.
    There is not much oil coming on the rocker arms, but they are a bit when and pusshing some oil out of the rods now and then.

    Now I can drive it for a longer period, but still a ticking noise (now from drivers side) comes back after the engine is getting on temperature.

    I think it could be a hydraulic lifter, losing pressure when hot. Running SAE30 monograde oil in it, but thinking about going heavier.
    What would cause this noise and how can I prevent getting stucked on the side of the road again? Which weight of engine oil would you recommend on a stock engine with unknown miles on it?

    Video of the noise can be found on YouTube:
  2. john.schaefer77

    john.schaefer77 Well-Known Member

    Re: 455 thciking noise when hot

    Not to be negative but little or no oil to the driver's side rockers can mean the #1 cam bearing is clogged with material, I believe I've heard it referred to as melt out. Hopefully this is not your issue. Try 10w40 (with zddp) and see what happens. Your pressure doesn't sound bad. Did you check your rockers after running to see if a lifter is collapsed? Good luck.
  3. LARRY70GS

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

    Re: 455 thciking noise when hot

    You need to remove the valve covers and observe the rocker arms and push rods. Look for a rocker arm(s) that are not moving as much as the others. All the push rods should be spinning. If not, neither is the lifter, and that can mean you are losing a cam lobe or more. Did you break in the cam correctly? Did you use the proper lube on the cam lobes and lifter bottoms, and a break in oil. As mentioned, the driver's side lifters get their oil from the passenger side lifter galley across the front cam bearing. If the front cam bearing is damaged, it can starve the driver's side lifters. As you have discovered, to get the oil as hot as it will get, requires driving the car, preferably at highway speeds. If you have a stock pressure relief spring in the oil pump, 40 psi or so is all you will see. Using a white stage 1 spring will raise the relief pressure to 60 psi. Rule of thumb is to use the thinnest oil that gives you sufficient oil pressure, for a BBB, 11-12 psi/ 1000 RPM.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  4. Stevem

    Stevem Well-Known Member

    You've got two things going on here as one lifter ticking should not have left you stranded on the road side!
  5. buick64203

    buick64203 Supercar owner Staff Member

    And just be advised that a Riviera only has a 40lb relief spring in the oil pump

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