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Old 07-14-2009, 12:20 PM   #1
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Engine: could I be lucky?

Pulled the valve covers off of 454 in my Argosy 1977. One of the push rods wasn't under the rocker and another one the lifter was out took off intake manifold there it lay. A little history ,had taken it to a shop they did acompression test on one bank they were all about 120 the other bank was 0 120 0 60. The engine looks original the valve covers had been off recently but nothing else on the engine looks touched. Could I be lucky enough that that is my only problem. A friend that is helping me seems to think so he does have mechanical experiance . 90,000 miles on coach .Best guess is it sat for awhile and somebody got in and revved it up. thoughts anyone ?
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:25 PM   #2
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keep your fingers crossed

I think you could be lucky. Put the lifter back in, reseat the push rod , set the clearances and hope you are in business.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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Ummmm, but unless I'm missing something here, the lifters and pushrods work to OPEN the valves. If they're out of the valve train, the valves would stay CLOSED (assuming that the valve springs, retainers, etc. are all there) - and that would not explain your zero compression. So it seems to me that you've got other and larger issues.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
Ummmm, but unless I'm missing something here, the lifters and pushrods work to OPEN the valves. If they're out of the valve train, the valves would stay CLOSED (assuming that the valve springs, retainers, etc. are all there) - and that would not explain your zero compression. So it seems to me that you've got other and larger issues.
Sure it could.. if it's the intake valve not opening, no air to compress.

Unfortunatly, compression gauges don't generally show vacume, which might have been handy in this case.

I sure hope that is the only problem, my fingers and toes are crossed for GJ.. but my experience tells me it won't be easy to pull that thing for a rebuild.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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Oil pressure was lost while the lifter was out of its bore.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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I'd be worried about anything for of the missing lifter if the engine was run without oil pressure.

What I would do first is remove the spark plugs on that side and with an air hose and stopper blow into each cylinder with the oil fill cap off. If you have any air flow out the fill pipe then I would be ready to remove the head, possible piston cracked and passing air to the crankcase.

What is the reason for the 60 lbs. cylinder?
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #7
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Having a pushrod come out from under a lifter usually indicates an over rev condition at some point. This same thing happened to Susan's race car when she missed a shift and over reved the engine. One of the pushrods popped out. She drove into the paddock, I pulled the valve cover, saw what was wrong and reinstalled the pushrod. After setting the valve lash she went back out on the track and the engine ran just fine after that.

Not to say you'll get so lucky but I wouldn't be surprised if at some point while the previous owners were driving with the cruise control on something happened like a failed speedometer gear in the transmission which caused the cruise control to immediately advance the throttle to offset the drop (loss) of speed indication. This would over rev the engine until the driver turned the cruise control off.

This same thing happened to me in an old Chevy pickup I was driving. Torque converter failed and the engine over reved until I hit the brake pedal. I got lucky in that the engine was still ok, just had to deal with a bad transmission.

Good luck!

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Old 07-14-2009, 03:01 PM   #8
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you might have to soak the lifters in oil to refill them. pull out any lifters that compress by hand and pump them while in oil. put them back in and set the valve lash to specs. don't even bother to put the valve covers back on. if it starts, you'll know in 30 seconds if it is toast or not.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:12 PM   #9
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What is the reason for the 60 lbs. cylinder?
Me thinks too, the 60 may be saying something nasty.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for everyones input. I was checking the push rods, friend said I should check to see if they were bent So I pulled them out one at a time is it possible that I pulled the lifter out.I am finding it hard to be optimistic about this but it would be so nice.I like the idea of the air in the cylinders .I still have the intake manifold off is it possible to check itwith the manifold off. Will be getting new gasket for it tomorrow .I figure it is worth it to try adjusting the valves and see if that helps if not I,m out some time and if it works well I'm sure you will know how I feel. As to 60 cylinder ? see no obvious reason .I have driven it a little couple of blocks it had oil pressure at the time not 60 more like 40 did not smoke to bad tranny works but will not hold fluid.I had it pulled to where it is now I started it up to move it and it blew black smoke .More than I had noticed before as amatter of fact I don't remember any black smoke from before.
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:18 PM   #11
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if you get the valve train back together with the valves adjusted and the plugs out, you can get a valid compression reading. also, verify that the distributor rotor still lines up with #1 cyl. TDC to make sure the timing chain didn't slip.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:24 PM   #12
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Thanks for everyones input. I was checking the push rods, friend said I should check to see if they were bent So I pulled them out one at a time is it possible that I pulled the lifter out.
Very possible, it's happened to me more than once, (with the intake off though.)
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:06 PM   #13
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Like Robert I've had the lifter pull up with the push rod on a number of occasions on Susan's race engine but then that is a Triumph Spitfire engine and not a 454 .

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Old 07-26-2009, 11:16 PM   #14
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Finaly got back to the Argosy. 100 plus degrees and earthly duties have kept me from her. Its a no go on the engine. Put it back together and tried to adjust valves the one that the pushrod was out from under the rocker arm almost immediately bent ,tried again same thing so now to plan B. I have a donor motor and transmisssion in 1988 mh. I am currently living in. 454 with a newer transmission po had put in,am sure it was probably cheapest on market but it works .This motorhome does 75 mph no problem not that I do that a lot, just accidently.33,000 on coach I have done 10,000 of it. The engine exchange won't happen for a couple of months .Need to have Argosy ready to live in.I am going to start a new thread on questions I have on changing running gear, front and rear ends Thanks for all the advice and help at least people here understand stand the insanity . I don't think I have mentioned how impressed I am with the workmanship and designing of this mh. From pulling the carpets up without having to take out the cabinets to accessing engine to work on this mh continues to make me glad that I chose it as my new home.
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