1949 331 CI upper valve lubrication

Started by brucewoerner, May 11, 2017, 03:17:51 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

brucewoerner

After not running the 1949 for 6 months, a "tick-tick-tick" developed in the "upper end"; removing the valve covers and noticing not every rocker arm was receiving oil to drip down over the valve springs. Removed the rocker assembly, expecting to see "pushrods with oiling holes", but found none. Cleaned the "rocker arm oil hole" but still no oil coming out to that rocker arm. I did notice the push rod to that rocker arm was not turning, all others were tuning.

Any ideas to get the oiling working in that area?

Bruce Woerner
269-254-1277

Jay Friedman

On a 331 the push rods don't have an integral oil hole.  Oil come up around one of the cylinder head bolts and under pressure is distributed in the interior of the rocker arm shaft and the rocker arms.

To clean out any gunk in these passages, I suggest you remove the rocker arm assembly.  Take it apart by first removing the cotter pins at both ends and then slide off the components one after the other.  Before doing this, since I'm old with a poor memory I always take some photos so that I put everything back in the same order.  Also, note first that there is a notch at the front end of the rocker arm shaft pointing toward the middle of the motor.  It's important when putting everything back together and mounting it back on the motor, that the notch points the same way toward the middle of the car. 

Clean out the interior of the shaft as best you can with wires and anything else you can stick in the various holes.  Un-bent paper clips might work.  I also wash out the interior with mineral spirits in a parts washer.  Since it's difficult to get to the inside, another thing you can do is take a small chain, stuff it in one of the larger holes, shake it around and pull it back out.  This may dis-lodge some of the gunk inside.  You can also buy a brand new shaft from Terrill Machine, DeLeon, Texas.  I would not remove the plugs at either end of the shaft since you may not get it back in securely and oil is under pressure in the interior of the shaft.

The rocker arms each have several small oil holes in the round part of the arm which goes around the shaft as well as right over the place where the push rods are seated.  Poke out the dirt from these holes with an un-bent paper clip. 

Clean out the oil drain hole at the end of the rocker arm area of the cylinder head with a push rod or other rod such as a pencil or small screwdriver. 

Also, keep in mind that 331 motors will tick like yours if not run for a while because the valve lifters have "leaked down" and lost the oil in their interior.  On my car the tick disappears after a few minutes of running at road speeds.

Hope this helps.
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210, since 1984
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

brucewoerner

Thanks Jay, you are kind to explain most everything I didn't know. Now that I have removed the "rocker assembly" for the 2nd time I can proceed with confidence, Thanks Again!!

Bruce Woerner

Jay Friedman

1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210, since 1984
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."