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Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it?

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Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? Empty Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it?

Post  Landship_Captain on January 12th 2020, 10:18 pm

Well, I apparently either fucked up when I torqued them down originally or loosened them when I was setting the lash or maybe I messed with the guide plates. I had 3 get loose and back out about a quarter inch during the first 5 minutes of break in (well, minus the few seconds I did it without valve covers). I stopped as soon as I heard anything (It made 2 smack/popping noises, I couldn't hear anything else over the exhaust), turned it over by hand to make sure it had no rough spots then found the rocker studs loose after I pulled the valve covers.

For reference its a 460 stock stock stroke and block with AFR 280 heads on it. Its got a lunati hydraulic flat tappet cam I ordered from through rmcomprandy, 0.564 intake lift 0.567 exhaust lift, duration at 0.050" is 227 intake and 233 exhaust (I can provide the rest of the specs if it matters). I used used Lucas 30w break in oil (product number 10633) with some Lunati additive thrown in too (too much?).

This is what 2 of the lifters from the loose pushrods looked like, the third one looked like it hadn't been damaged at all but the power went out before I could take a better look at it...

Lifter Top:
Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? XgWfIrB

The cup part on this one popped out completely while I was lifting it out of the bore and dropped right back in when I sat it on top.

Other lifter:
Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? VXeKqyj

The pushrods seem straight but I haven't rolled them on a piece of glass yet, the worst looking end I could find on any of them was this one. They are Manley 3/8" pushrods with 0.135" thick walls if it matters.

Pushrod end:
Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? FwwwVCp

This is what the bottom of one of the 2 messed up lifters looked like

Lifter face:
Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? YYuSnhA

The cam lobes looked OK from what I could see and feel but I havn't turned it over and inspected every part yet. I did get these crappy pictures of the parts that were exposed when I pulled the lifters.

Cylinder 6 intake:
Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? Hr1ye6S
Cylinder 2 exhaust:
Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? LA2rZyw



So what should I do now? If the cam lobes look good should I just order another lifter for each lobe that had a loose stud (or at least the two that were messed up? Should I try to gut the ones I have and use parts from new ones in them so the surfaces mate better? For reference they are Crower Camsaver lifters (model 66015X3 ).

I figured I would take the oil pan off and check that next weekend, I did stuff a huge stack of N52 magnets on the drain plug so I would think I could easily find any iron debris. I have to anyway to adjust my oil pump since I might have left the adjustment screw in too far after I modified it (Pegged the 100psi summit racing gauge I got, the trucks old gauge showed it just below the lines for high though).

I will be going through and retorquing all of the studs and whatnot, but should I use loctite this time? If so what type? I was thinking purple kind since it would still be possible to take it apart with a wrench then but I don't have any experience with it.

Well, thanks in advance for any advice anyone can give me!


Last edited by Landship_Captain on January 12th 2020, 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I had "ed" added to "back" in the title but I didn't mean to.)

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Post  rmcomprandy on January 13th 2020, 11:24 am

I would lightly polish those lifter faces with 600 emery in a lathe and put 'em back in covered with moly lube.
Put the one back together first.

Put the uneven worn pushrod tips on the lifter side; that is, if they are not bent at all.

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Post  c.evans on January 14th 2020, 5:59 pm

check the rocker stud bosses in your AFR heads and see if they are cracked, thus not holding torque.

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Post  Landship_Captain on January 18th 2020, 9:41 pm

Thanks you two, I really appreciate the help!

rmcomprandy wrote:I would lightly polish those lifter faces with 600 emery in a lathe and put 'em back in covered with moly lube.
Put the one back together first.

Put the uneven worn pushrod tips on the lifter side; that is, if they are not bent at all.

Would I have to use something like a lathe or would spinning them by hand, in a tube, at a slight angle, against some emery cloth on a piece of rubber work? What does this do exactly? How little should I do it to avoid going through the hardened surface or messing with the shape?

Fortunately the pushrods rolled fine on a level piece of plate glass so they seem good.

Unfortunately the bottom of the pictured lifters pusrod seat part was a bit damaged, the rest of the lifter looks almost unscathed though. I think I will shove some innards from a new lifter into it.

Damage potato quality:
Had 3 rocker studs back out during break in... how bad is it? LKphVX1

c.evans wrote:check the rocker stud bosses in your AFR heads and see if they are cracked, thus not holding torque.

I took a close look at those and there wasn't any blatant cracking, I will keep a close eye on those in the future though, thanks!

I did end up cleaning all the threads, then carefully I put a bit of purple locktite on the first 3 threads, and lubed up the rest of the threads before torquing them all down really carefully. I'm not sure if it will do much more than act as a placebo but I do feel better about them now.

I pulled the pan, adjusted the oil pump and shook everything down, it looks like I torqued everything else just fine. I didn't find anything more than a tiny pinch of very fine iron with the magnets either so I don't think anything else is having problems.

I still need to inspect all the cam lobes with my cheap borescope tomorrow, anyone got any advice on what to look for? I'm pretty sure the lifters all spun fine from the marks I put on the pushrods and the tiny bit of wear they had against the guide plates at least.

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Post  rmcomprandy on January 19th 2020, 12:12 am

Landship_Captain wrote:Thanks you two, I really appreciate the help!

rmcomprandy wrote:I would lightly polish those lifter faces with 600 emery in a lathe and put 'em back in covered with moly lube.
Put the one back together first.

Put the uneven worn pushrod tips on the lifter side; that is, if they are not bent at all.

Would I have to use something like a lathe or would spinning them by hand, in a tube, at a slight angle, against some emery cloth on a piece of rubber work? What does this do exactly? How little should I do it to avoid going through the hardened surface or messing with the shape?

Fortunately the pushrods rolled fine on a level piece of plate glass so they seem good.

Unfortunately the bottom of the pictured lifters pusrod seat part was a bit damaged, the rest of the lifter looks almost unscathed though. I think I will shove some innards from a new lifter into it.


LIGHTLY surface polish, (merely tenths of a thousandth), those lifters by holding them by HAND, with 600 grit paper placed on a hard, flat surface like a piece of glass ... NOTHING MORE than that.
DON'T change any of the inside from any other lifter; use a whole new lifter if you need to do anything like that.

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Post  Landship_Captain on January 19th 2020, 2:42 pm

rmcomprandy wrote:

LIGHTLY surface polish, (merely tenths of a thousandth), those lifters by holding them by HAND, with 600 grit paper placed on a hard, flat surface like a piece of glass ... NOTHING MORE than that.
DON'T change any of the inside from any other lifter; use a whole new lifter if you need to do anything like that.

Ah, so should I move them in a figure eight once or twice like when hand lapping something? Or am I trying to put a circular pattern of abrasion on the surface, like I would imagine a lathe would?

Thank you by the way!

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Post  rmcomprandy on January 19th 2020, 5:25 pm

Landship_Captain wrote:
rmcomprandy wrote:

LIGHTLY surface polish, (merely tenths of a thousandth), those lifters by holding them by HAND, with 600 grit paper placed on a hard, flat surface like a piece of glass ... NOTHING MORE than that.
DON'T change any of the inside from any other lifter; use a whole new lifter if you need to do anything like that.

Ah, so should I move them in a figure eight once or twice like when hand lapping something? Or am I trying to put a circular pattern of abrasion on the surface, like I would imagine a lathe would?

Thank you by the way!

There should be no visible consistent pattern showing on the surface; this is done to get rid of any wear pattern which might previously have been there.

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