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My rocker arm is broken in half!!! (pics)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by TX Mudder, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    I was doing nothing more than taking off my old valve covers and replacing them with non-chrome ones and found this:

    Rocker arm pic

    And here's a close-up

    As you can see, one of my rocker arms is broken and ALMOST in two pieces. There is still a small part of the rocker arms that connects the two, but I'm pretty sure I could snap it in two with my bare hands.
    PLUS:
    The rocker right next to it is missing it's pushrod. It's gone, man, no sign of it. I peered through the pushrod hole and don't see it. No pieces of it, nothing. Yes, I am 100% sure it was there because when I rebuilt the thing I set the lash on every valve myself.

    So, now what do I do?
    I can get a new rocker arm and replace the broken one. I can also buy 2 new pushrods and put them in.
    But what about hte missing pushrod?
    I was looking at my extra 4-bolt 350 block and if it somehow fell into the valley, it shouldn't do anything but roll around in there harmlessly. I don't see why I should take off the intake just to hopefully retrieve it.

    What do you think caused this?
    I don't see why it would matter, but those are 882 heads with an RV type hydraulic flat tappet cam. I replaced the pushrods, lifters, and cam with all new when I put it together.
    -- Mike

    p.s. If someone has 1 or 2 extra stock type rockers I can have, I'll pay for shipping! I used to have a complete extra set, but I think I threw them away.
    -- Mike
     
  2. YtseJam

    YtseJam 1/2 ton status

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    I would suggest pulling the heads, and installing new screw in studs and guide plates. Hardened push rods and some roller rockers. Pull the pan and get the old push rod out of there too.
     
  3. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    Why do you think the pushrod is in the oil pan?
    Do you really think I need hardened push rods and guide plates? Roller rockers would be nice, but the cheapest I've seen is $100.
    Screw-in studs would be nice too, but that doesn't seem to be the problem I'm having.
    I really would like to have all those parts, but I don't want to sink that kind of money into 882 heads. When I upgrade to Vortecs, yes, but not now.
    I think I'll buy a complete set of new rockers and pushrods from powerhouse (www.enginekits.com) for $45, and just replace them all.

    So, if I replace the broken and missing with new, what to do about the missing pushrod?
    Do you think it's in the valley or the oil pan? If I believe it to be in the oil pan, I'll pull that no problem. I honestly just don't feel like pulling the intake, but I've done it before so maybe I should stop being lazy.

    So this still leaves me with:
    1. Won't new stock-replacement rockers and pushrods be fine? This is a mild 350.
    2. Thinking about it logically, where shoudl that pushrod go? I think in the valley.
    3. What in the world caused this? Insufficent lash (could be, I did it) or worn out rockers?


    -- Mike
     
  4. YtseJam

    YtseJam 1/2 ton status

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    odds are the tip of the valve is peened or mushroomed and needs to be either tipped or replaced. replacing the rocker and push rod is fixing the symptom not the problem. If the tip of the valve is effed up The rocker arm will walk off the tip of the valve again. Guide plates will help keep the rocker arms from walking off of the tip of the valve.
     
  5. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    So I would have to remove the head anf fix the valve, no matter what?

    I'm looking at it again and those two rockers (the broken one and the one without a pushrod) are the intake and exhaust valve for the same cyclinder.
    Does that mean anything?
    -- Mike
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I'd say break out the check book !!!!!!! Screw in studs, guide plates, and some Harlen Sharp rollor rocker arms /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Maybe someone stole your pushrod...
     
  8. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Its most likey in the lifter valley. If your going to do it, might as well get in there and get dirty.

    Don't feel too bad, my BMW suddenly turned of a few days ago while driving down the street. I towed it home where upon looking down the oil cap saw a loose piece of aluminum. I pulled the valve cover and found every single intake lifter broken in pieces and a broken timing belt... now I'm wondering just how rediculous I can get with an engine swap before it becomes obvious at the sniffer!
     
  9. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    I think your problem is the press in studs, they tend to pull out and that makes room for the rod to move and then drop.
    Screw in studs are better.
    I don't think you have to do the rest but I strongly suggest you do the studs.
     
  10. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Don't just replace the missing and broke if you're thinking about keeping the heads for very long. I had one bust on my 72, replaced it and it's neighbor and then a month later had another one go (this is of course, shortly after I bought the truck, so I was thrilled). If one broke, then likely the others are in not great shape either.

    On the plus side, I had a really cool James Bond-type smokescreen when I broke the second one coming out of the tailpipe. Best I can figure, I broke the intake, which wasn't opening, but the seals were bad enough to pull oil past them (prob a little gas too past bad seats) and whammo - instant blue smoke!
     
  11. 4x4 Cowboy

    4x4 Cowboy 1/2 ton status

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    i have the same rocker arms as you but when i pulled out my 305 for a 350 i found that mine were broken so i double springed mine and ive put my engine thru tough crap and there fine. less chance of failure this way
     
  12. twenty_below0

    twenty_below0 1/2 ton status

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    if this motor is fairly new as I believe you had said, then pull the intake and heads...better off to do it once and right then to have something else maybe WORSE happen to your engine, have the heads checked for valve height and ok'd by a machine shop...they will tell you if you need a couple new valves. Also you can PIN the rocker arm studs for about 10.00 yourself which WORKS and will do until you have the cash for the V-tec head swap. this will all cost less than a 100.00 (plus rockers and pushrods) if you order a gasket kit from Summit. Better to be safe and confident then other wise /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    Pinning the studs means what? Putting a little spot weld on them? I have a mig welder, plus it does fluxcore so I could do that.
    Yes, the motor is the one I rebuilt not too long ago (a year maybe) and it hasn't seen a ton of miles.
    I frankly want to do the minimum. It's a fine engine otherwise, but I really want to spend the money on the NEXT engine.

    What is the idea about the valves? I don't want to pull the head just the take it to the race shop and have them charge me to tell me it'll be OK.

    I have seen a set of pushrod guides sell for $20 in JEGS. I haven't done that before, but it looks like you just put them under the rocker.
    So we're looking at:
    pinning the stud - ?
    hardened pushrods for guideplates - 35
    guidesplates - 20
    rockers (new, stock type) - 30

    Am I getting this right?
    -- Mike
     
  14. YtseJam

    YtseJam 1/2 ton status

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    Guide plates require screw in studs. So you'd have to pull the heads and have the studs pulled, milled, drilled and tapped.
    I would suggest if you are going to try and save it the way it is start by pulling the intake, finding your missing push rod. Pulling the oil pan and cleaning it and the oil pump screen of any metal or crap and make sure the valve tips are flat. Replace those rockers and push rods. That is the least I'd say you should do and then see what happens.
     
  15. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Mine has broken 6 of 8 rockers on one head over the last year. It is totally obvious when one breaks cause the thing starts rattling, running rough and sputtering. I even go so far as to carry a spare rocker set in the glove box. There seems to be no rhyme or reason why they are breaking. Its a 327 with 80s 350 heads, rv cam, .060 over so not built too much. No one can tell me why they are breaking. I havent broken a new set yet, just the stock ones I reused so the only thing I figure is that they were fatigued from before. It sounds like yours was broken for a while, and the other was flipped off the pushrod for a while too. You didnt notice it running rough? If the pushrod was flipping around in there for any length of time it would eventually fall off the lifter and slip inside the valley. If it was me, I would pull the intake, retrieve the rod, buy 2 new sets of rockers (13.00 at NAPA) and bolt stuff back together. Set up the valves as per CK5 directions (search for valve setup), and enjoy your newfound power from the motor working on all eight cylinders. Oh ya, double check ALL the rest of the rockers, reset ALL the valves as per CK5 directions, and put a spare rocker set in the glove box.

    /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Mike
     
  16. twenty_below0

    twenty_below0 1/2 ton status

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    OK let me explain.... pining the studs is to eliminate having to pull them (rocker arm studs) and have the head machined for screw in studs. You cant run the guide plates unless you have the machine work done and install screw in studs.
    ///
    OK so this is how you do it, You drill the head boss right under the studs,.. buy the pin kit from summit then tap the little pins supplied with the kit in the holes, this holds the stud in the boss so they wont pull out with use. This is VERY EASY the kit will come with instructions and a drill bit to use. If you do this you wont have to buy screw in studs or guide plates and you wont have to pay the machine shop to do the machining on the stud towers for the screw in studs. which you dont want to spend the cash on these heads so this will accomplish what you want and save some cash.
    ////
    The machine shop will charge you probly 20.00 to check out your heads and tell you what they need if anything. This is a wise thing to do!!!! You need to also check and see what the lifters look like on the 2 valves with problems, make sure there's no dishing in the bottom of the lifter etc. before reassembly.
    //
    //
    //
    So a break down...
    1. Stud pin kit= 15.00 shipped
    2. Gasket kit= 60.00
    3.machine shop cost= 20.00
    4. rocker arms & pushrods 60.00
    5.1 days labor
    ///
    I dont envie you having to tear it down but this is my advise for the cheapest most dependable, CORRECT way to solve your problem "effectively". But like I said this is my advise and what you do with your truck is your decision.
    Though I wouldn't want you to do a quick fix and have it break worse on you in the near future and cost MORE money again. Also the pan suggestion was i thought a GOOD one it dont take but a few minutes maybe an hour to pull the pan and check for debries or babet from your bearings. Better to be safe then sorry, the complete gasket kit will come with a pan gasket so it wouldn't cost you anything but your time.I f you have any more questions just mail me and I will help with what I can, good LUCK /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    To me, sounds like if you can afford to leave the vehicle down for awhile, and plan on changing heads anyways, leave the stupid 882's alone, and spend the money on some good heads so you don't duplicate work.

    Vortecs (for instancene, because you mentioned them) need machining for high RPM/high lift applications, so why do the 882's with new rockers, screw in or pinned studs, new springs, new pushrods, new gaskets, and guideplates, (and perhaps have other problems like valves now) then end up spending the same money to do the same thing on Vortecs, which don't need guideplates anyways, and "can't" (they can, but not as stock) use the same rockers, and maybe pushrods, either?
     
  18. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    You didnt notice it running rough?

    [/ QUOTE ] '

    Well, yes, but there's a sequence of events that occured that helped to mask it.
    I had terrible leaking exhaust on the engine, so I took it to the exhaust shop and they put in a whole new system. In the process, they managed to break a spark plug. SO i drove it home on 7 cyclinders. I replaced the spark plug later, and it felt better, but I didn't know what it was supposed to run like witht he new exuast, etc. Plus it isn't run every day.
    Yes, it had a rougher idle than I thought it should. Also, down on power from when I rebuilt it. I just conveniently overlooked it rather than admit something might be amiss. I really only found it because I was changing valve covers.
    I am curious as to when this happened. It did not happen during engine breakin or the first few hours of engine time because I re-lashed all the valves after a break in.

    I don't want to put the Vortecs on this engine. I have another engine that I want to stroke to 383 and then I'll put the Vortecs on. I don't want to run them on this engine and then swap them.

    My plans now:
    Another member is sending me some screw-in rocker studs and a few spare stock rockerarms (thanks big83chevy4x4!)
    I will buy new pushrods. I may or may not get new rockers arms - leaning towards yes since they are cheap at NAPA according to an above post.
    And yes, I'll break down and remove the intake. I know, I know, it needs to be done so I'll do it.
    I don't plan on removing the head to check the valve. Crossing the fingers on that one.

    I'm glad to hear that others have had stock rockers break - makes me think this is not a catastrophic problem like I envisioned at first. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    -- Mike
     
  19. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    Just to give a partial update, I got it fixed today.
    I was right about the rocker that was broken - I snapped it in two in my hands very easily.
    Also, the rocker wasn't deformed at all. When it was still on the engine, it looked like it was beat up and mishaped, but in fact it had a stress crack going up both side. The two broken pieces fit together nicely.

    Couple of new pushrods and rockers and it's running pretty good.
    Thanks for the help.
    -- Mike
     
  20. motorheadnelson

    motorheadnelson Registered Member

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    Maybe it got tired of being pushed around! (sorry)
     

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