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Scorpion1110 02-26-2012 04:15 PM

Need a BBC Guru - 454 pushrod oiling question
I am rebuilding the 454 that was in my '74 Chevy Camper Special- had a wiped cam so decided to go through the whole motor.

I finished setting the valves today, set up a mechanical oil pressure gauge and primed the oil pump. Gauge reads 60psi after 10-15 seconds priming the pump.

So here is the problem, virtually no oil is coming out the pushrods to the rockers. When I put them in I dabbed both ends with Comp cams lube. You can see several where it has just started to push the lube out.

Quick web research seems to suggest that this is normal on a 396 or 454- but you guys know all.

On a small block it should shoot out the holes pretty good at 60psi, but seems a BBC its just a dribble.

Is this normal?

Thanks, Scorp

coolracing 02-26-2012 05:07 PM

One major problem I have seen whith chevys that most people overlook is the oil galley's! Most of the time when a chevy murders a lobe on a camshaft the galley's will get the material from that previous camshaft or the galley had been plugged with engine grime from use over the years and will wipe out the camshaft. 9 out of 10 times when a person does a cam swap on these engines they do clean the debris from the galleys and in return you have problems... Not saying this is your problem but something to keep in mind!

Scorpion1110 02-26-2012 06:30 PM

I had the block boiled out and had the machine shop do the cam bearings and plugs. I read on line that its normal for BBCs not to spray out the pushrods.

Normal for light drips at 60psi?


TS1955 02-26-2012 06:38 PM

Hey Scorp, are they all the same? Or does a couple oil more than others?


Scorpion1110 02-26-2012 06:51 PM

I dabbed the tips with Comp Cams break in lube. Pressure is starting to bump it out. Some are slightly oiling, others aren't yet.


markdunlap 02-26-2012 07:34 PM

Keep priming and roll the engine over to different positions every 5 minutes. It takes a while. If the drivers side oils and the passenger side doesn't, look at the distributor height. It forms parts of the passenger side galley for oil to go thru.

If all else fails try pressure priming form a tank. You can also start the engine with the valve covers off and verify every rocker oils. Messy, but it works.

Don't forget to use an additive that has Zinc concentrate to protect the lifter/ cam surfaces during break in if it is a flat tappet cam. Todays oil doesn't have any.

TheYellaBrick 02-26-2012 07:51 PM


:P :P

Scorpion1110 02-27-2012 06:35 AM

Thanks Mark.

I called my machine shop and they told me that when they pre-oil a BBC sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes. He said to rotate the engine and prime it until just a dribble of oil comes out of the rocker.

I am going to pull the push-rods. Clean out the CC heavy lube and readjust the valves using regular oil on the tips.



Harbone 02-27-2012 07:34 AM

The lifters just dont push that much oil up through the rods when priming, they need a much higher RPM to get to the rockers.

482 02-27-2012 03:11 PM

Also, I had a priming tool that apparently blocked oil passage when the lower part of it would get out of alignment where it fit in the distributor hole.
I primed and primed and rotated and rotated with a 1/2" drill, Nothing!!

Changed tool and that thing immediately pumped oil everywhere.

The first tool had a little c-clip on it letting the shaft move up while trying to prime.

The new one had a pin through it so it could not move.

Just a thought!

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