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Thread: Opinions appreciated on plugging the oil passage holes on my FE390 heads
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    stotzbotz is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Opinions appreciated on plugging the oil passage holes on my FE390 heads

     



    Hello friends. I am anxiously awaiting the call from the machine shop who has my FE390 heads after my recent valve guides leakage problem. I wondered if you experts could give me your opinions about something I was told by a gentleman who has built and raced several of these motors over the years. It seems as though when my engine was losing oil some due to it being blown out the exhaust from the leaking valve guides, my oil pressure gauge was fluctuating quite a bit once I was about a quart low. If there was not a full 6 quarts flowing through the motor the gauge would go back and forth between 40-70 psi when I was going down the road and pushing roughly 4000 rpm. I'm fairly certain I have a high volume oil pump in this motor as the previous owner stated. I do have solid lifters, high performance cam and valve springs. This motor was recently rebuilt and has been bored .060 over. Cam bearings were replaced. Anyway the gentleman told me that with these FE motors they tend to pump more oil into the valve/rocker/head area than needed and less is being pumped into the crank area causing several things to occur that could be causing my problem. Has anyone ever heard of clogging the hole in each head which I believe is the one that the rocker rail bolt with the hole in it is used to pump more oil into the heads? Since I'm getting ready to put them back on the motor it will be easier while they're off to do this. I was told this will keep more oil downstairs but still allow enough to come up and keep the rocker rail area happy. Any guidance in this area would be greatly appreciated and as always, thank you very much for taking the time to help me with my issues with this motor.

  2. #2
    DennyW is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Well, you will hear lots of things people do...
    I never did that to mine, and mine is a 5 qt pan, and yes, I run a high volume oil pump. Pull 6200 rpm's, and oil pressure stays steady.
    You need to concentrate on the oil drain backs. That is key. And, also, clearances is the most important thing when dealing with oil pressure at different parts of the engine. You need to know exactly what all clearances are, before you make the mistake of limiting the oil to a constantly moving parts under pressure.

  3. #3
    34_40's Avatar
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    I'll echo Denny's thought. If your experienced, and have the tools, go for it.
    But - unless you're spinning it in excess of 5 or 6 thousand for hours at a time, there's no need to modify the oiling system.
    The high volume oil pump has a remote possibility of flooding the cylinder heads, but if the motor was setup with loose clearances, it isn't likely.

  4. #4
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    Turn the block upside down on the engine stand. Build a little cone of modeling clay about an inch high and mush it down onto the oil pump pickup. Oil the clay so that it will not stick to the pan bottom......do not use PlayDoh, it will not hold its shape. Use oil-based modeling clay from Michaels or other craft or hobby shop. Lay a new pan gasket in place and snug down the corner pan bolts. Take the pan back off and measure the height of the cone of clay. That will tell you how far the pickup is off the bottom of the pan. Shoot for 3/8" to 1/2". If the pan is closer than that, the pump can suck the pan bottom up against the pickup and shut off flow to the pump. If the pan is farther away than that, you may be starving the motor for oil if she's down a quart or more.

    .
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  5. #5
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    Stock size oil pump, don't restrict oil flow to top UNLESS you have a full roller bearing rocker system-----and I doubt that you do-Erson out of business-----
    If you don't have a block with NO oil to lifter galleys( early 58 fe and later HP solid tappet versions) you can use lifters with edm hole in bottom for lubing cam lobe and hollow pushrods to oil rocker arm end------

    The FE family needs as much oil drain back to oil things as any engine out there and mods usually down grade that-the offset flow for about an inch or so in the headgasket area typically looooads up with sludge and blocks flow to the top.if you restrict the oil galleys at the top you will accelerate this blockage
    pepi likes this.

  6. #6
    stotzbotz is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Thanks everyone. Sounds like a good idea to leave everything as it is and keep the engine oil topped off properly. On pins and needles waiting for the outcome of the machine shop wondering how they're going to handle my heads situation.

  7. #7
    Ranch is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    No Problem

     



    Quote Originally Posted by stotzbotz View Post
    Hello friends. I am anxiously awaiting the call from the machine shop who has my FE390 heads after my recent valve guides leakage problem. I wondered if you experts could give me your opinions about something I was told by a gentleman who has built and raced several of these motors over the years. It seems as though when my engine was losing oil some due to it being blown out the exhaust from the leaking valve guides, my oil pressure gauge was fluctuating quite a bit once I was about a quart low. If there was not a full 6 quarts flowing through the motor the gauge would go back and forth between 40-70 psi when I was going down the road and pushing roughly 4000 rpm. I'm fairly certain I have a high volume oil pump in this motor as the previous owner stated. I do have solid lifters, high performance cam and valve springs. This motor was recently rebuilt and has been bored .060 over. Cam bearings were replaced. Anyway the gentleman told me that with these FE motors they tend to pump more oil into the valve/rocker/head area than needed and less is being pumped into the crank area causing several things to occur that could be causing my problem. Has anyone ever heard of clogging the hole in each head which I believe is the one that the rocker rail bolt with the hole in it is used to pump more oil into the heads? Since I'm getting ready to put them back on the motor it will be easier while they're off to do this. I was told this will keep more oil downstairs but still allow enough to come up and keep the rocker rail area happy. Any guidance in this area would be greatly appreciated and as always, thank you very much for taking the time to help me with my issues with this motor.
    Tap the hole supplying oil to the stand/shaft (on top of the head). It's about 5/16" and that's tap drill size for a 3/8"-16 tap. Now you can thread in a short 3/8 set screw, you just don't want to use hardened ones. You can drill maybe a 3/32 hole thru the set screw this size will be a good starting place. If you want to restrict more you can remove these set screws and install another set with smaller holes. they screw in and out with a 3/16 allen wrench after you remove the rocker assembly, no need for loc-tite the set screw is trapped in place.
    But all this is really only a Band Aid to loose clearances around the rockers, you should have no more than say .004, make sure the holes in the shaft are down. your HV pump wouldn't drain your pan if it had no where to pump it out. remember pumps don't make pressure, restriction does. Hope this helps
    Mike P likes this.

  8. #8
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    Haven't had any issues before, but only thing I do to EVERY "FE" that comes in is to do the oil galley mod. The casting is thin between the water jacket and oil galley for the heads, so what you do is install a 2" long 1/4" split roll pin into the hole. The split faces the lifter valley, and you drive it to just over 5" to the bottom of the pin. This should always be done, as you do not know if and when it may crack and leak. If anyone is interested, I can post up the info from the AERA bulletin.
    NTFDAY likes this.

  9. #9
    DennyW is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Sorry guys, but I don't agree with the restrictions. It solely depends on year of the block, as in older Y blocks, and bearing clearances used throughout. Plus what Jerry mentioned...
    ((The FE family needs as much oil drain back to oil things as any engine out there and mods usually down grade that-the offset flow for about an inch or so in the headgasket area typically looooads up with sludge and blocks flow to the top.if you restrict the oil galleys at the top you will accelerate this blockage)).
    Never had a problem with mine. It's a 67 410 engine block.

  10. #10
    69Bee's Avatar
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    The mod I mentioned doesn't restrict the oil flow, but merely prevents the oil and water from mixing if it cracks.

  11. #11
    DennyW is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    I would be interested. I'm not quit sure I know what your talking about exactly. I check all thicknesses on everything during assembly. So this would be interesting to see a picture of.

    (( If anyone is interested, I can post up the info from the AERA bulletin.))

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennyW View Post
    (( If anyone is interested, I can post up the info from the AERA bulletin.))
    I'd like to see it Denny.

  13. #13
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    Having had my fair share of FE's

    You do not want to block the hole completely in your 390 FE heads, instead, believe it or not, you want to add a small restrictor to them, such as a Holley fuel jet (see attached). This has been an old school trick for years.


    rspears likes this.

  14. #14
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    If you don't have roller bearing rocker shaft assys, you not only don't want to restrict the flow up there but possibly add to the flow-this has been done many times back in the sludge days(non detergent oil) by running exteral lines to the upstairs from the oil pressure sender port and entering under the valve covers then hooking to the hollow shafts.

    In the non drilled solid lifter blocks I have fabbed individual lines to run to each tappet boss for additional oil plus also ability to run hydraulics.

    Layer aftermarket rods don't have adquete side clearances plus don't have the oil squirters to oil upper areas of crankcase-----

    These mods over the years have made it even more important to have proper and adqueqte drainback to the valley

  15. #15
    DennyW is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Lets see if anyone understands this...

    An already statement made...
    This is actually used for race engines, not everyday, and street stuff. But
    seems they apply it to everyday driving.

    (Often oil flow is restricted to the rocker arms, so more oil flow is
    maintained across the main bearings. This common FE modification can be made
    either in the head or at the deck.)

    So, they restrict oil to the rocker shafts because they choose to run big
    clearances on the mains ??? Oh, and now we have to run a windage tray, so the
    extra oil stays at the bottom... And, we are now starving the rocker shaft to
    rockers on the end.

    Lets put it this way. Restriction::: To keep or maintain an even pressure
    throughout the entire oiling system ???
    Well, guess what, if you keep all the clearances equal, or close to it, and adjust the oil pump relief pressure correctly, you then correct all the oil pressure through out the oiling system. That's why the oil holes (galleys), are different sizes. Goes with pipe sizes to make volume or pressure.

    By the way, oil to the rockers, which is under constant pressure by springs, and cam lift, and, rpm's, does not need to be restricted. All you do there, is create excessive wear, by lack of oil and some unwanted heat. Think about it...hahaha

    One last thought is, instead of doing all the work to put a restriction in the
    head location, carb jet for example, why don't you simply grind a new bolt at
    a different O D size. After all, that is the restriction in the normal use.

    Drain backs is key, along with bearing clearances.
    But, what ever trips your trigger, is also included...hahaha

    End story is, that's why you see many rocker assemblies loose as a goose, and
    lots of wear, and wonder why that is.

    Main thoughts are, if you keep all the clearances even as possible, you then
    oil everything evenly, and end up with total even wear, and less part failure. That's my thinking. That's what I myself do.

    But, if you are strictly racing, then all clearances are usually a lot bigger, or modified to do a specific job at 10,000 rpm's. So is the oil pump size. Totally different story...jmo.

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