Pushrod cup ends turning blue

Big Block A body Tech

  1. femtnmax

    femtnmax Well-Known Member

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    432 "B" engine, Crower hyd street cam with .50 valve lift, Comp single valve springs with 120# seat and under 300# open. Smith Bros ball/cup pushrods with thru the pushrod oiling activating Crane 1.5 ratio iron rocker arms.
    After approx 600 miles the cup ends of most of the pushrods (not all of them) are now blue in color, turning to straw/wheat color and back to natural metal color within approx 1 inch from cup ends. The Crane rocker arms do provide oil to the rocker arm adjusters. I added the pushrod oiling thinking it would be an added benefit, but now the color change.
    I am wondering if I should go back to a solid cup pushrod, where the full cup shape would help support an oil film better than the hollow pushrods where a portion of the pushrod cup is not there due to the oil passage.
    Any comments or experience would help. I plan on talking with Smith Bros, but also wanted your user feedback.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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    Do the lifters supply oil through the pushrods? If not, there was no point in hollow pushrods.
     
  3. Mopar Tim

    Mopar Tim FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Blue color means it is getting hot. In an engine, that means no lubrication. Lack of oil. Wont be long till "see you later engine"! MT
     
  4. GMachineDartGT

    GMachineDartGT Senior Member

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    Are the adjusters out so far they are not aligned with the oiling hole in the rocker?
     
  5. mderoy340

    mderoy340 Well-Known Member

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  6. jockeyshift

    jockeyshift FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Must use oil through lifters
     
  7. krazykuda

    krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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  8. moper

    moper FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I'm not sure on Crower - but many cam companies now only list one part number for Mopar and AMC lifters - and it's the AMC oil-through version. Are you certain the lifter end is the same radius as the plunger in the lifter?
     
  9. bOb shingler

    bOb shingler Well-Known Member

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    what type of crane rockers do you have that don't oil the adjuster?
     
  10. femtnmax

    femtnmax Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
    Lifters are Crower, and are AMC type with provision to pushrod oil.
    Rocker arms are Crane iron, they have internal groove to provide oil to rocker shaft and adjuster end. Rocker adjusters are out 2 threads, so they should be receiving oil from rocker arm.
    Are the pushrod ends same radius as lifter plunger ends? When ordering the pushrods I matched the OEM pushrod diameter. But I will do more research/measuring on this question.
     
  11. moper

    moper FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Diameter is one thing - radius of the ball end (and radius of the cup too)is another. If you custom ordered the pushrods they might have extrapolated a little you might have a flow issue at the top or bottom. You should have a ton of oil up there and you don't have much for spring presure so I'm thinking it's starvation for some reason.
     
  12. femtnmax

    femtnmax Well-Known Member

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    Ok
    I preoiled the engine block, so the lifters should have had oil real soon on start-up. I'll look again at pushrod cup and ball diameters, lifter cup diameter, and rocker adjuster ball.
     
  13. moper

    moper FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Did you recall seeing a lot of oil out the pushrods at the adjuster? Because that method provides 100% oiling I would think you would have seen a boatload running down the pushrods as the pressure came up.
     
  14. femtnmax

    femtnmax Well-Known Member

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    I did not. I thought maybe the lifter location in the lifter bores or lifter internal design had an effect on whether the lifters were allowing oil to the pushrods or not. School me on this...should oil have been leaving the tops of the pushrods regardless of lifter position in the block/regardless of whether the lifter was preloaded or not?? I preoiled with the intake manifold OFF, so everything was visible.
    I install my hyd lifters with the internal piston "dry" not presoaked in oil, to reduce the valve lift on start-up and initial cam lobe breakin.....is this a mistake, or only has an effect on oiling thru pushrods?
    I could not think of a way to fill the rocker shafts with oil, so I moly lubed the shafts and rocker arms. There is no scuffing or such on either the shafts or rocker arms. Maybe I'm too used to my old Ford 428 were a constant flow of oil is sent to the rocker shafts regardless of camshaft clocking.
    When I took the rocker shafts off and found the color problem, all the pushrod cups were wet with oil, so I'm thinking it was an initial start up issue...
    Just the other day, before finding the pushrod color, the lastest road test was 80mph+ (100 mph at times) for 2 hours solid....Idaho has 80 mph speed limit now...its great. thats 3500+ rpm for 2 hours...no issues...the engine/ebody hummed along wanting me to go faster.
    Let me know what you think...things I should change or improve. I appreciate it.
     
  15. moper

    moper FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Pushrod oiling is 100%. There should be oil coming up the pushrods as soon as you have pressure in the oil system. It won't be gallons but you should see it. I'm almost thinking that because they were dry for a while, the heat might have gotten in them before the oil started reaching them. Like you say - an "initial start up issue". Question then becomes is that enough oil volume? If you really had a "not enough" situation you would have burnt the ends off during that blast. So maybe replace the parts that show damage, and this time prelube until they all show oil. The upside is you don't have to rotate the engine while preoiling...lol.
     
  16. MOrePowAR

    MOrePowAR Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine had this issue with a built 440, push rods turning blue from heat, low lubrication, turns out the push rods where cut to the wrong length had them re-done gets all the oil it needs. He also bought some cheap valve covers and cut the tops off to adjust rockers with running engine.
     
  17. perfacar

    perfacar Well-Known Member

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    hi, did you moly lube pushrods also? I never use grease in an engine. if you moly lubed the rockers, then oil can't get out to rockers and pushrods. I seen a hemi, engine did same and cooked 4 sets of pushrods.
     
  18. femtnmax

    femtnmax Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. So just heavy duty engine oil? How to fill the rocker shafts with oil without turning the cam to just the right clock position? Or should I find the cam clock position vs crankshaft clock position to allow oil to each rocker shaft while pre-oiling?

    Moper - I will replace the pushrods and rocker arm adjusters. I will do another pre-oiling check to see if the lifters feed oil up the pushrods during preoil...If not I may ditch the hollow pushrod feature.
    thanks.
     
  19. perfacar

    perfacar Well-Known Member

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    hi I use 10-30 oil usually. I oil the shafts, pushrod ends, , etc. prime the oil system run it. so far in 38 years in my 340, never had a galling problem on shafts. once engine fires, its pumping oil up there . you can rotate if you like, its a personal preference. also, I wouldn't run hollow pushrods with regular oiling to shafts. probably taking away oil to shafts? use one or the other..
     
  20. moper

    moper FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    The shaft oiling is taken off the main bearing feeds and only oils foe a few degrees of camshaft rotation but it is downstream so to speak of some of the lifters along the lifter galley. I don't think starvation would be a big deal unless the bearing clearances are on the wider side but nothing's been said about the oil system. Personally I prefer shaft, and I might modify the cam to get more oiling... In fact I do that a lot to make sure the oil volume up top is high enough.
     
  21. femtnmax

    femtnmax Well-Known Member

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    Perfacar - Ok, I will ditch the pushrod oiling and assemble with engine oil.

    Moper - what are you doing to increase topside oil volume? flycut the cam journal at each oil hole to increase the degrees of rotation when oil flows, or cut a full circumference groove in the cam journal for constant topside oiling (like Ford FE), or....?

    thanks again for the feedback.
     
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