Help with valve seal job gone wrong
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    1. #1
      Junior Member
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      Jul 2014
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      Help with valve seal job gone wrong

      So after having the head off, new head gasket, valve seals, and everything else involved (no machine work done to the head) valves kept in matching order, didn't lap them, buckets *not* kept in matching order, assembled and felt a handful of the threads on the cam cover yield in a not-so-good way, now on first start up immediately upper end clicking was heard that sounded so bad, it sounded like a cold diesel, and the engine struggled to maintain idle speed and died within a few seconds.
      My first thought was (since the car sat for a few months after getting the freshly cleaned and lightly oiled head on) that the oil had dried off the camshafts. so I dumped a half a quart in, seeing first that yeah it looked fairly dry in there, and tried again and same thing, horrible clacking, waiting for oil pressure to build and noise to relent, 5 seconds, nothing was improving, let it die and squeak to a halt.

      Any advice on what I ****ed up? It really sounds bad I'm expecting the worse. As of now I am thinking improper torque on the cam cover due to some of the cam cover threads giving way causing camshaft misalignment? Maybe I switched up the cams in the wrong position? When I set the timing I gave it a good few rotations by hand to check for interference and everything, and it does start up easily so that leads me to believe timing and everything is o.k. Are you supposed to keep the buckets in order when servicing the head?

      Please, thanks, any advice appreciated.

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    3. #2
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      I would surmise not being able to torque the cam covers down correctly because of threads giving way is the issue. You should always keep all the components in order. Why would you think that was acceptable? That it starts easily is a good thing. Anyway should be able to heli-coil or timesert those threads.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggz8AguYtKM

    4. #3
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      Thanks, I've never had to actually use helicoils before, I guess I just figured there were so many of them that... well.. just send it? Yeah pretty stupid now that you mention it. I hope that's the cause. Lesson learned by the way don't break out the 1/2" torque wrench for 17 ft/lbs or whatever those bolts call for.
      Thx for the link to timesert - definitely looks like the better option as opposed to helicraps
      Last edited by spiffy926; 01-18-2020 at 10:43 PM.

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    6. #4
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      For 17lbs a ¼ inch torque wrench is what is called for. ½ inch is not going to give a correct reading at 17lbs. Even a German made $400 torque wrench. I think TimeSerts are better. You live you learn. I give you a lot of credit fro trying this yourself. Everyone else just looks at their iPhone these days.
      Last edited by Thommykent; 01-19-2020 at 01:45 AM.

    7. #5
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      The solid lifters are how you adjust the valves. You have to keep them in order.

    8. #6
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      Hey so I just checked the torque on these bolts and thank god none of them are actually stripped, yeah what had happened is like you said Thommy: it was too low of a torque to get a correct reading, and to me it felt too squishy and at the time I assumed the worst that I had felt the threads start to chaff, but really I was feeling the bolts yielding.
      Since that wasn't the issue I was facing, I did pop the timing cover off, and found the belt alarmingly slackened... everything is still in time, looks like the top plastic cover did its job in retaining the belt up in the cam gears so it didn't slip, and I found the hydraulic tensioner to be at fault. It just doesn't have enough travel to fully tension the belt. The poor thing was probably never meant to be re-set about... 5, 6 times when I was trying to get the belt set after re-assembly.

      @Tech These are hydraulic lifters aren't they? I thought that meant they are self adjusting with oil pressure.

    9. #7
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      Honestly, I can't remember the last time I had a head off one of those cars. I don't remember exactly when they used hydraulic, that's why I said "if" they are solid. You had them out so I figured you would know. If they are hydraulic, one might just be dead or take a while to pump up.

    10. #8
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      Thx they are hydraulic and that's good news maybe that's the clacking, they haven't pumped up yet cuz the head was all drained and cleaned.

    11. #9
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      *** I think I have the wrong timing belt installed, the later model one for engines with mechanical tensioner, the belt must be longer on those. I think that's whats happened.

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