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Old 11-03-2002, 01:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

Hey Fellas, I need your advice and help.

I started the car about 1.5 hrs. ago just to move it from one side of the garage to the other. Started it, backed it out, moved it back in and something started popping. Hollow popping. Shut it down immediately. My girlfriend said it was coming from the drivers side valve covers. I frantically removed the valve cover and the #6 left side rocker arm stud was busted and was just laying there. I pulled off the top nut and rocker arm.

I pulled the pushrod and it is still straight. The valve is still there along with the retainer, cap and double valve springs.

I put a socket on the dampner and rotated the crankshaft to hear for any wierd noises. Nothing.

Can I just replace the rocker arm stud? What could have caused this? Is there anything else that could have been damaged? It's running a solid lifter flat tappet camshaft.

I'm still pretty frantic because i'm unfamiliar with this and don't know what to do.

Thanks so much in advance!!

Erik

http://cdrbackup.homestead.com/files/DCP02182.JPG

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[ This Message was edited by: stangclassic66 on 11/3/02 1:57pm ]
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Old 11-03-2002, 02:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

What kind of rockers were you running?If they were stock the slots might not be long enough and they will be binding on the stud.If you look at the stud is it a clean break or does it look like the rocker has been chewing on it for a while.The rocker should also be showing signs of damage if this is the cause.
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Old 11-03-2002, 03:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

did you check clearances when you swapped cams? A valve may have nicked a piston?
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Old 11-03-2002, 04:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

frdnut, it's a clean break. I'm using Harland Sharp roller rockers. When it started popping, I assume it's because it was going through the power cycle and not allowing gasses to enter or exit. I'm not sure which one is intake or exhaust. I have a link on my first post of this thread.

Could I theoritically just replace the stud and install the roller rocker?

Erik


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Old 11-03-2002, 06:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

You could "just replace" the stud, but you would continue to worry about what caused the problem.

looks like you are running 3/8 studs, it takes a lot to break them. No damage to the rocker arm? Any sign of binding on the push rod?. Pull the coil wire, turn it over a few times, check for cam lobe damage, is the push rod moving?

The hollow sound you heard, "probably" was the push rod, bumping into the valve cover, after the rock/stud assymbly failed. Check inside the valve cover for marks.

It might be that the stud just failed, it is unlikely but it happens. The other posts, about valves contacting the piston is another possiblity, usually you notice it pretty soon after first firing up the engine...or later at higher rpm, from valve float-your engine has been running for some time?...of course it could have fractured earlier and is just now getting to the point of failure. You say it is a "clean" break...take a close look at it, see if maybe some parts are stained more. If its been cracked for a while, it might show more discoloration, then a shinier part where it just failed.

If you can pull the spark plug and get one of those flex scopes inside, you could take a look around for damage. Or you could pull the coil wire,put a compression guage in the spark plug hole, turn it over a few times to see if the you have a leak...that could give you an idea of whether the valves have been damaged. Shor of pulling the head and going through a full diagnosis, these are the best ideas I can come up with. check all the othter studs and rocker too, you might have some geometry issues...push rod length, if it is too short, could allow the rocker arm to hit the stud...usually it gets noticed right away...but if could happen over time.

Just some ideas you might be able to use.

[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 11/3/02 6:57pm ]
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Old 11-03-2002, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

If you are running a solid cam with a good amount of seat perssure and 3/8 stud check to see if you can see them (the studs move back and forth a little i seen that on a chevy with 3/8 studs} you should put 7/16 in there and you wont have a problem. I wouldnt consider a 3/8 stud for nothing.
Just my .02
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Old 11-03-2002, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

I agree with Bill I had to 3/8 studs break in one night one was at the track running 12.00s and the other broke driving home switched over to 7/16 had no problems again
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Old 11-03-2002, 11:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

I fergot toanswer your question You didnt hurt anything when the stud broke it wouldnt let anything out of the cylinder when the intake valve or the exhaust opened out comes the pressure with a pop. Had a nut come loose on an exh rocker when the int valve started to open it had a hell of a poping sound coming out.
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Old 11-03-2002, 11:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

Quote:
On 2002-11-03 04:38, stangclassic66 wrote:
frdnut, it's a clean break. I'm using Harland Sharp roller rockers. When it started popping, I assume it's because it was going through the power cycle and not allowing gasses to enter or exit. I'm not sure which one is intake or exhaust. I have a link on my first post of this thread.

Could I theoritically just replace the stud and install the roller rocker?

Erik


I'm not sure if this is what you meant but its the exhaust valve that the stud broke on.Its easy to tell which is which by whether the valve lines up with an intake port or an exhaust port.Do you know what kind of valve spring pressure you're running?Any other signs of damage(doesn't look like it from the pic).It may have just been a fluke thingI had a pushrod chew through the side of a guideplate for no apparent reason.Replaced the guideplate and pushrod and ten years later its still going .
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Old 11-03-2002, 12:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

Yes, you can 'just' replace the stud. Just be careful, since if they are factory heads, they screw into water. Make sure the engine is cool, and don't let the escaping water drain down the oil return holes, or you'll be in for an oil change.

I got a harsh reminder of this in the middle of the night out in the middle of nowhere when a stud broke. (for the second time, so I had a spare and I always carried tools) I pulled the stud, and got a bath of hot water, and my tools went flying in all directions!

This was 15 years ago and the mustang was my only transportation, and I was working and living in Baltimore during the week, and driving 6hrs back to West Virginia Friday nights for the weekends.

My cure was to switch to 7/16" studs. These are MUCH stronger than those puny 3/8" units. They will flex less, and more importantly break less. They cost the same as the 3/8" units, and the ONLY modification needed to use them is a set of 7/16" rockers. (they have 7/16" holes for the studs, rather than the stock 3/8&quot

If you don't want to go for new 7/16" rockers, at least buy the best 3/8" studs you can find... which would be ARP brand.

As for anyone looking to buy roller rockers, GET 7/16" THE FIRST TIME!

Good Luck!
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Old 11-03-2002, 04:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

one more word of _caution_!. I noticed in the picture that the valve lock is not touching the other one.. I have seen this before! - when my brother's Slopar 383 blew up on him..valve float, piston got slapped by a valve...that valve lock was separated (bent) like the one in your picture. His valve was chipped, and the chip made a really nice long gash in his cyl. wall.. I'd be doing what the fellow above mentioned - a compression test.. It's $20 for a gasket, and 6 hrs of work to pull yer head to check it out?.. think about it.
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Old 11-05-2002, 01:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

ANd after you pull that head to check the valve(which could be done with a scope on the car, if one's aviable to you), stick a new 3/8 stud in the head, and then invest in some stud girdles. Nice solid cam like that, with alot of spring pressure, can break a 3/8 stud after some abuse, and buying new 7/16 studs and new rockers, is costly, stud girdles would be a little cheaper(can usually find them used with the correct polylocks for around 100 bucks), and would add alot of regitity, to the set up. 2 ways to skin a cat.
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Old 11-05-2002, 08:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

Quote:
On 2002-11-03 16:24, SteeLDawN wrote:
one more word of _caution_!. I noticed in the picture that the valve lock is not touching the other one..
This is normal.
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Old 11-05-2002, 01:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

Hey Guys,

The studs are 7/16" standard studs that the previous owner believed came assembled with the heads from World.

I went to the speed shop yesterday and they didn't have the ARP studs in stock but they had a single Dorman type stud that they sold me. TEMP fix just to make sure everything is running.

Anyways, per POs instructions, I rotated the crank till the pushrod was at it's lowest point + another 90 degrees to be sure the pushrod was sitting on the flat spot of the cam. Torqued the stud (w/loctite) to 55ft.lbs. per World spec sheet. Installed the rocker arm w/poly lock and put my feeler gauge in (.020 per cam card). Tightened it till the feeler gauge had a slight drag. And tightened the allen head screw down as hard as i could to prevent loosening.

Installed the valve covers and it fired right up!! (relieved!!)

Thanks for the help guys!! And this week I WILL be ordering a set of ARP studs!! Is Dorman that low of a quality product since this stud was 7/16"?

Thanks a million!!

Erik


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Old 11-05-2002, 03:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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URGENT: rocker arm stud busted. Help!!

Way to go! Many more happy, trouble free miles to you. So, how did your Dad deal with it? PO'ed or proud that you took the initiative and fixed it yourself?
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