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Old 02-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #1
fldrummer
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Updated--Big decision: new cam and gamble, or rebuild engine

After spending a big chunk of change getting my leaky AC evaporator replaced last week, my engine started making chirping noises. 'Turned out to be damaged lifters. We thought it was just one, until pulling the cam and discovering each lobe was scarred pretty good. In the weeks leading up to this, I noticed my oil pressure at idle had dropped to 15psi (was still running Mobile 1 5w-30). I decided to switch to Joe Gibbs LS30. That didn't seem to make a difference. A week later, my AC started blowing hot (evaporator leak) and the chirping lifter noise started a week after that, just before getting the AC fixed. My SS just hit 70K miles when all this happened, BTW...

Now the questions start. Did I just get a bad Comp cam core (mine has 35k on it; 10k since adding the blower) or is it something more internal (cam bearings, etc.)? I can either put it all back together, run new Melling oil pump (my current one might still be good), cam (a real blower cam this time), lifters & lifter trays...and a thicker grade oil and cross my fingers, or wait to have my engine rebuilt and waste more money on my expensive rental car while I wait. I was just about to upgrade my clutch and rear when all this happened, so that will have to wait (again) if I do the latter. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:33 PM   #2
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Here are some pics...
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:43 PM   #3
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Sorry to see imho if you can swing it rebuild.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago with my comp cam. Luckily I was already planning a rebuild with ADM and he seen the cam when he pulled it out. I now have a 417 with a new comp cam and I hope this cam was treated right. I would go ahead and rebuild with forged internals. Sorry to hear this and hopefully they have fixed the problem with their cams.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
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It looks a though your top end was starving for oil Which means you probably have more damage. how long has your oil pressure been at 15 psi at idle ?
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fldrummer View Post
After spending a big chunk of change getting my leaky AC evaporator replaced last week, my engine started making chirping noises. 'Turned out to be damaged lifters. We thought it was just one, until pulling the cam and discovering each lobe was scarred pretty good. In the weeks leading up to this, I noticed my oil pressure at idle had dropped to 15psi (was still running Mobile 1 5w-30). I decided to switch to Joe Gibbs LS30. That didn't seem to make a difference. A week later, my AC started blowing hot (evaporator leak) and the chirping lifter noise started a week after that, just before getting the AC fixed. My SS just hit 70K miles when all this happened, BTW...

Now the questions start. Did I just get a bad Comp cam core (mine has 35k on it; 10k since adding the blower) or is it something more internal (cam bearings, etc.)? I can either put it all back together, run new Melling oil pump (my current one might still be good), cam (a real blower cam this time), lifters & lifter trays...and a thicker grade oil and cross my fingers, or wait to have my engine rebuilt and waste more money on my expensive rental car while I wait. I was just about to upgrade my clutch and rear when all this happened, so that will have to wait (again) if I do the latter. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
Pull the Pan and Oil pump and inspect, if the pump is all scared then pull a couple bearings and have a look.

Inspect Piston skirts for embedded metal chips.

If everything looks good You don't have much to lose.

There is only a slight chance everything stayed in the bottom of the pan but that really depends on how hard you drove it.

2 areas of concern when we see this is Valve Springs and Lubrication.

Worn Springs allow Lifter bounce, when the lifter starts to bounce on the lobe it will self destruct.

Just our Way, We always switch to 10/30 Mobil 1 when doing Cam Swaps.

Hope this Helps.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:45 PM   #7
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I would say Jannetty just gave you the absolute best advice that can be had. As for my opinion , you're probably not going to luck out on this one .
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:08 PM   #8
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Drummer I would rebuild with bulletproof internals man...even now that you have a Maggie and your gonna get a specific blower cam your gonna want that voice in the back of your head saying ...Don't worry its ok you have built internals its ok to have a lead foot
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:57 PM   #9
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why does it look to me as if the lifter/roller locked up first and then ate the cam?
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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Shit, tear her down and see what else is wrong... bound to be something.

I wouldn't go chasing parts until I knew full extent of the damage.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #11
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like jannety said.. pull oil pump and pan.. If you have any doubt in ur head go ahead and build it.. a nice LME 416 wih trickflow 255s sound good right
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:55 PM   #12
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I agree with the consensus here. I'm afraid some of that metal made its way to the bearings. It would also be hard to get rid of the shavings piecemeal. If you can swing it, pull the motor and rebuild it. And get blower appropriate pistons while you're at it. Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:00 PM   #13
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I'm going to the shop for a closer look soon. I've been told the pistons still look pristine, as do the valve springs (they were changed 10k miles ago during the Supercharger install). They were about to check the oil pan and pump as I was typing the original post, but I'm already leaning towards a rebuild. Oi.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:01 PM   #14
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It would be best to tear it appart.refresh the bearings,pump,cam,lifters,check the springs and the rest of the valve train.
If your in a budget,use the same rotating assembly,but upgrade the pistons to forged.
At first,nobody made a forged piston to be used with the stock rods,but BTR racing has them available now.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spd2612 View Post
It looks a though your top end was starving for oil Which means you probably have more damage. how long has your oil pressure been at 15 psi at idle ?
About 3 weeks before the noise started.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:59 PM   #16
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Your cam looks just like mine did but I never had any noise. Now would be the perfect time to build it right if it's in your budget, better now then later since it's already being tore apart.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:19 PM   #17
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I've dealt with this about 8 times last year. All different makes of Cams so that I took out of the picture. Before this I had 1 cam failure in 10 years like this.
We narrowed it down to oil quality. EPA had the oil company's cut the zinc content in a lot of oils including Mobile 1 5w-30. All our failures came from cars running lower zinc oil.Figure the extra load from the cam springs puts the stress level high enough to promote wear.

As for the fix.
Most of them just got a new cam,lifters,oil pump and clean out the oil pan, oil pump pickup. They have been fine since.
Problem I see with yours is that the car was driven a long time with the issue. Usually starts with 1 lifter lobe and works it's way down as metal gets caught in the others. It could very well have a lot more damage to the bearings now.
Safe thing would be to pull the motor and check all the bearings.Rings should be fine. While out flush out all the oil ports going through the motor.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:28 PM   #18
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I've dealt with this about 8 times last year. All different makes of Cams so that I took out of the picture. Before this I had 1 cam failure in 10 years like this.
We narrowed it down to oil quality. EPA had the oil company's cut the zinc content in a lot of oils including Mobile 1 5w-30. All our failures came from cars running lower zinc oil.Figure the extra load from the cam springs puts the stress level high enough to promote wear.

As for the fix.
Most of them just got a new cam,lifters,oil pump and clean out the oil pan, oil pump pickup. They have been fine since.
Problem I see with yours is that the car was driven a long time with the issue. Usually starts with 1 lifter lobe and works it's way down as metal gets caught in the others. It could very well have a lot more damage to the bearings now.
Safe thing would be to pull the motor and check all the bearings.Rings should be fine. While out flush out all the oil ports going through the motor.
What oil do you use/recommend?
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:34 PM   #19
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What oil do you use/recommend?
Mobil 1 5W30 full synthetic, and add a bottle of comp cams break in oil with every oil change.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/cca-159/overview/

If it has high spring pressures, treat it like it is a flat tappet cam..... use assembly lube, break it in good, change oil often and give it zinc its whole life.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:17 PM   #20
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I just installed the JRE 470 cam this Christmas, I'm running Amsoil Z-rod, it is a high zinc full synthetic oil I hope this stuff helps my cam along the way.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:38 PM   #21
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Great stuff, we are an Amsoil Dealer if anyone needs any Z-Rod.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:32 PM   #22
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Thanks for all the input, guys. Since this is my daily driver (and probably will be for a while) and I plan on keeping it for a long time, I I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and do a rebuild now with forged internals, rather than gamble (it would have to get done some day, one way or another anyway, I figure). 'Will probably go with 9.5:1 compression and up the boost a bit. It's also a perfect time to upgrade the clutch since it has to come off anyway.

It's a good thing my car loan and Maggie are paid off and Uncle Sam came through quickly this year, or this would be a lot more painful. 'Still hope to make it to Camaro5 Fest, but won't be racing with the rest of my drivetrain still being stock. Hopefully it will last a bit longer (was just about to invest in a 9-inch and twin-disk clutch when this mess happened, but at least part of that will have to wait now).
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:41 AM   #23
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We mostly run mobile 1 0-w40. It has a higher zinc count and we have not lost a motor on it yet. There are many other good oils too.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:34 AM   #24
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Mobile 1 5W30 is garbage. The have reduced the zinc too much to run in anything other than a stock engine. Some run it with no issues, then again all kinds of inferior parts are used also, and work out for some people. Put the odds on your side by using a good oil with more zinc in it. I use Driven (joe gibbs) LS30 but I'm sure the other higher zinc products are fine too.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:44 AM   #25
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I have been running Rotella 5W40 for 2 years after the rebuild with a avg of 10 hard passes a month at the track and 5,000 highway mile. Changed the oil this passed week cut the oil filter open and its clean.
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