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Rebuilt engine woes

999 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  1of40
This is not my first engine build by a long shot but the troubles I'm having are ridiculous. I picked up a really clean 02 D2 that apparently suffered a second headgasket failure. This used engine was acquired from Will and installed by Drew about a year earlier prior to the failure according to the owner. The heads were skimmed and pressure tested. New ering gaskets and headbolts were installed. Afterwards, I noticed an incessant tick at idle but no oil light flicker. I rebuilt the upper valvetrain with new components and put in a new 4.6 cam/lifters. The tick persisted as did low oil pressure (viewed using a mechanical gauge). Breaking it down I also noted 2 wiped cam lobes. I had a completed D1 short block in the garage so I moved all the new stuff over to this engine (changing out the CKP sensor bracket), and installed a new camshaft/lifters and new front oil pump/timing cover. The upper engine was primed with oil but I didn't open the oil pump and pack with petroleum jelly. When I fired up the engine yesterday afternoon it clattered like crazy momentarily until oil pressure built to 50 psi at 3k rpm which steadily dropped as time went by. After 20 minutes of break-in I dropped it to idle. Oil pressure became nonexistent (mechanical gauge installed) and the oil light flickered. There was a light knocking sound which I thought was a rod. It was shut down and I walked away very disheartened. A couple of hours later I started the engine and it sounded much better. There was no knocking and oil pressure was 25 psi at fast idle but dropped to 0 as it warmed up. The tapping noise returned but at lower db's. I haven't decided what direction to go in now but think I'll have to pull the engine yet again. Can anyone offer up what I missed here? The cost and frustration are wearing me down.
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oil pump pressure relief valve sticking perhaps?
Started it up this morning and brought it to temperature. Swapped out the mechanical oil pressure gauge too. It has 12-15psi at idle and jumps up towards 50psi when I blip the throttle.The knock is still there and gets more pronounced as it warms up but it hasn't exploded yet. I'm guessing I should pull the pan and inspect the rod bearings. Maybe I could swap out the offending one, if that's the real issue, and try again assuming the crank isn't damaged.
Do drop the pan, and when you do, look up to the camshaft. I while back, about 3 engines ago, I used a crower cam and we modified the cam for the Rover. We didn't expect the cam to go in as far as it did and as a result the lifters were not hitting the center of the lobes--matter of fact, it slipped so far back that it destroyed the lifters and the camshaft. It had that sound too. Something to inspect at least.

What configuration are you running this engine--with a crank driven oil pump like on the later engines or the early style?
I inspected the lower rod bearings and a couple of uppers. Everything looks like normal wear. The rod journals are fine. I did not pull any main caps as I don't suspect them to be the issue. I noticed that I've lost a second camshaft due to lobe wear and it's in the same location as before. The lifters do sit offset to the lobes (OEM 4.6 camshaft) but I thought that was intentional to force the cam to the back of the block and allow the lifters to rotate correctly. I guess there is some oil flow restriction or clearance issues not allowing that tappet to rotate properly. That must be where the noise is coming from. I'm going to pull this engine out again and build another block or possibly locate a decent used engine. The time and costs are freaking aggravating!
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Mark, sorry to hear the engine troubles. I've got a low mileage GEMs 4.0 out of a 98 D1 that has good heads and all new seals and gaskets. This is a complete engine from intake to oil pan. It's located in NOVA and on a pallet.
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