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Heads back from machine shop, now what?

638 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  johnpro
I just got my heads back from the machine shop. Found out I need new rockers. Where is the best place to get just a plain of set nothing special? A place likeNapa or Advanced something like that? Also I had a cam I wanted to put in now but I decided against it. Because if I am going to mess something up on this project its going to be putting the cam in. But I have the set of lifters that came with the cam, would it be worth putting them in, or no because I didnt replace the cam? Also what else do I need to know about putting my heads back on and getting the motor back together, any tricks or advice will help.
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Couple questions...

How are your pushrods guided? In the head slot or by a rail-type rocker?

Did you keep the lifters in order (matched to their cam lobes) when pulling out the old camshaft?

Do you have an engine building manual?

Get back to us..
The VMF can help talk you through this but it really sounds to me like you need to find somebody to help you that has assembled a few dozen engines.

It would help to know exactly what all you have had done or was done and what you have bought to do with. Did you do the block and did you have new cam bearings installed? Why did you buy the new cam? Have you checked the old cam to see if it has worn out lobes? Did you have new valve springs installed in the heads? Lots of stuff to know about.
Ok, I can see I need to be more clear. I got the heads back from the shop. They were resurfaced, had a few seats replaced given a valve job and had new valve seals put in. The block is in the car, I just pulled the heads. I havent touched the cam yet, but I was going to. I decided against it though. All the lifters are still in the block. I just wanted to know if it would be worth putting in the new ones I had even if I dont put the new cam in. Again the lifters are still in the block as well as the cam. The block is in the car. I had the heads redone becuase they had leaky valve seals. I have done this before but it was on a bad engine that didnt run and that was out of the car. I have the general idea of what needs to be done I just am not exctied about messing things up. Oh and I took all of this apart, so I figure I can get it back together but the real trick will be making it run once its back together.
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Sounds like you need to keep it simple. You can always change cams later if you like, save the lifters until then. Get your motor back together and running. If you haven't disturbed the lifters and they're OK, no need to replace them.
If you choose to swap cams later, you'll already have the new lifters required. A cam swap is also an excellent time to install a new timing chain and gears.
Since the intake is off, theres not much more work to replace the cam. A bit more money since you will put in a new timing gear and maybe a water pump. It just ain't that hard.
I agree with Mr_Mike . You're 80% there for replacing the cam now, so now would be the logical time to replace the cam, IMHO.

A couple more questions, though ... what is the new cam? If it's a high lift cam, DO NOT run it with stock valve springs. A cam swap, though, is not that big a deal. At this point in your engine project, all that's left is to pull the water pump, timing chain cover. Pull the timing gears off (one bolt in top gear). Remove the cam thrust plate (2 bolts), lift out the lifters (keep them in order), carefully slide out the cam, and reverse the whole procedure with the new cam/lifters.

If you decided to hold off on the cam, though, DO NOT use the new lifters with the old cam. There's likely nothing wrong with your current lifters, and they're worn to your exisiting cam. Replacing all the lifters will put un-needed wear on the old cam.

And to answer your very first question, look at Summit racing for your rocker arms. They have a set of Roller Tipped rockers (made by Comp Cams for about $140) that are real nice improvement over stock rail rockers. I'm running those on my son's '65.
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