View Full Version : 401 engine oiling??

06-22-2002, 12:33 PM
I received a call from a man that has a lifter problem. The engine carries 40 PSI at 1500 RPM but the lifters will not pump up. I suspect that the front cam bearing was installed wrong, but I hate to tell him to tear down the engine ,and then find it was something else. Any help would be appreciated.


09-09-2005, 01:15 AM
I am having the same problem. When you find out would you please let me know. Thanks.

09-11-2005, 06:01 PM
I have never had my nailhead apart, so be advised that the information provided is "book knowledge". If it adds something, good. The 1960 Chilton's manual says the nailhead lifters and rocker assemblies are oiled through passages in the block and "metered" through the front cam bearing. Although you didn't mention it, if the cam bearing was improperly installed, I would think that the rockers would be dry also. The February 1997 Street Rodder segment on nailhead block preparation goes into more detail. If your caller removed the plugs in the oil galleries to clean the block, he may have put the new ones in too deep. There is one plug at the rear of the block, which probably is NOT part of this problem, and three at the front. The article specifically warns of plugging an oil passage by installing a new plug too deep and causing problems. Your post did not specifically address lack of oil to the rockers, but since the general discussion is about lack of oil to the valve train, there is one more detail that could cause a laack of oil to the rockers: The front rocker shaft pedestals have an oversized hole to allow the oil to get to the rocker shafts. I believe that it is possible to reassemble the shaft/pedestal assemblies with other than the large holed pedestals in the front position, causing a lack of oil to the rockers. If I were troubleshooting this, I would go from easy to difficult: First check the pedestals, then the plugs, the the cam bearing. It seems like your caller has some work to do. It would be nice to know what he/you determine is the problem. Good luck.