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1964 Convertible, 1974 Corvette coupe, 1974 Corvette Vert
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
G'day,

I pulled the right head of my '64 429 to have a water leak repaired and the technician pointed out that several of the rockers were badly worn at the valve tip, plus one valve had almost seized in the head.
He said that I needed to bring in the other head, so I unbolted it today but did not remove it as I didn't have a helper. The Workshop Manual describes the flow of oil to the rocker shaft, but there seems no way for it to get there.
The top four head bolts that hold the rocker shaft on are a very tight fit in the holes in the shaft and I can't see how the oil gets up there. Is it possible that someone has fitted a different rocker shaft to the engine before I bought the car?
By the way, it is not the original engine as it had seized. I bought it from Lancaster CA, where it had been out in the PO's back yard for several years without an air cleaner or distributor, so plenty of sand must have gotten in there.
I still have the original engine and pulled one rocker shaft from it and the rockers are in better shape than the running engine that was in the car when it was shipped to Australia.

So, can anyone shed some light on the way the rockers get the oil? Should I bore out one of the head bolt holes in the rocker arm to allow a less restricted path for the oil to get up there?
I don't have to tell you how rare these engines are, especially Down Under. I don't want to have to pull the engine apart in a few thousand miles to put new rockers in it.

Regards from Down Under.

aussiejohn
 

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1964 Convertible, 1974 Corvette coupe, 1974 Corvette Vert
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
G'day, 87 views but no replies??? Surely someone must have an answer.........

TIA

Regards from Down Under

aussiejohn
 

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1970 Coupe De Ville//Cessna 172
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551 Posts
Do you have the ability to pressurize the oil system? If so, spin the pump with the rocker covers off and see if you see any oil coming up/out/around anything. Maybe do that after you put the repaired (cleaned) head back on the other side. You could have plugged oil galleys in the dirty head which would make it hard to see.
As for lifting the old head out without a helper, take 2 Aleve and call in the morning.
Jeff
 

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1964 Convertible, 1974 Corvette coupe, 1974 Corvette Vert
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Jeff, thanks for the reply. I had a helper for both heads. I used a seven foot length of steel pipe and welded a T handle 15" long on each end. I welded on a flange with a 3/8" hole in it and used a short length of chain mounted to the outer inlet manifold holes and a D shackle in the middle that went through the flange. Easy peasy! I like your idea of spinning the pump and I made up a tool for this (for my 350s) out of an old Chev distributor but don't know if it will work in the Cad. And I have to pull the dissy, but putting that back in will be a cakewalk compared to the heads and rockers, etc. By the way, there appears to be no way of adjusting the tappet clearance, I'm assuming that the hydraulic lifters take up the slack. I hope so, as that's what I'm working on.

Regards from Down Under.

aussiejohn
 

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1970 Coupe De Ville//Cessna 172
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551 Posts
You have me wondering on this one too. The pushrods are hollow so that mite be it.
Jeff
 

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1964 Convertible, 1974 Corvette coupe, 1974 Corvette Vert
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Jeff, I should have said in the first post that the push rods are NOT hollow like a Chevy, the oil has two internal galleries, one at the rear for the right head and one at the front for the left head. Both run off the longitudinal gallery that provides oil to the crank and cam bearings.
Luckily I'm not in a hurry as it's the middle of winter here now, but I want it ready for the spring.

Regards from Down Under

aussiejohn
 

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73 LD Ragtop
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40 Posts
The oil goes around the outside of the bolts that hold down the rocker shafts.
if you look at the bolt, you'll notice the bolt is a smaller diameter than most of the bolt hole of the rocker shaft.
The bolt is larger than the hole, the oil comes through the oil gallery, and around the rocker shaft bolt, and into the rocker shaft pedestal on it's way to the rocker arm.
Look at the bolt.. it's funny lookin'
 

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1964 Convertible, 1974 Corvette coupe, 1974 Corvette Vert
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Jaykeane, I noticed that, but when you place the bolt in the pedestal shaft, the thick upper part protudes lower than the pedestal. The bolt is 6-1/4" long and the upper 3" is 7/16" dia. and the lower 3-1/4" is 3/8" dia. The pedestal through which the upper part of the bolt passes is just 1-13/16" in length so over an inch of the wider half of the bolt sticks out below the pedestal. The bolt is not an "interference fit" in the pedestal, but it looks tighter than I thought would have been appropriate.
Regards from Down Under.

aussiejohn
 

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Registered
1964 Convertible, 1974 Corvette coupe, 1974 Corvette Vert
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
While I'm on oil, what do you guys recommend for the '64 429? Not so much a brand name, but the weight and the SX rating. The tips of some of the rockers were badly worn, indicating that there had been a supply or oil quality problem where the rocker touches the valve. I have re-fitted the heads and am about to put back the manifold, carb, etc. and think it would be wise to dump the oil and put some good stuff in. I just want to put the best possible oil in the engine.

Regards from Down Under.

aussiejohn
 

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1926 Model T street rod, 2000 Jaguar XJ8, 1999 Corvette.
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6,737 Posts
I prefer oil designated for passenger car/ truck diesel engines. Shell Rotella, Chevron Dello. I use 15/40. Diesel formulated oils have a small amount of zinc which helps prevent scuffing on flat tappet engines.
 
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