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Thread: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

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    Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    This is slightly off topic since my project is a Porsche 914 with a Rover 3.5 conversion. However, I hope to redeem myself by the fact that I've got a TR8 - I LOVE those engines.

    Anyway, I'm priming the oil pump on my Rover 3.5 and I get 35 psi with my
    electric drill. This makes me happy but I'm getting almost no oil to my rocker
    shafts. At the front pedestals I get a VERY slow weeping of oil, almost nothing
    at the rear. However, if I loosen the pedestal bolts oil comes gushing out like
    crazy. I switched the shafts from side to side, reversing the ends. Same
    thing. FWIW, I'm using Rover 4.0 heads and valve train.

    I know the rocker shafts are designed for left and right installation, but for
    the life of me, I can't tell the difference between them. Looking at the
    pedestals that mate up to the oil passages, there are recesses that match the
    holes, but no holes that actually lead up to the rocker shafts. The only way I
    can see for oil to get up to the shafts is through the mounting bolt holes.
    Since these holes are a tight fit with the bolts there isn't a lot room for oil
    to get up there, especially when the oil is cold and thick (15w-40 in a cold
    garage). Would I see more flow when the engine and oil are warmed up?

    So, my question is, how much oil should I be seeing at the rocker shafts?
    Thanks.

    Tom
    The first step in recovery is the acknowledgement that you have a problem. I thought I had the habit kicked...then came the TR8.

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Hi Tom - don't have all the answers here but oil will definitely flow a bit better once warm, but how much better is hard to predict. These engines run pretty low oil pressure as normal anyway, but they are known for eating camshafts as well.

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    They wouldn't show much more than a loosely defined "slow drip" even at normal operating temp. If the shafts are correctly placed (left and right in proper sides), it'd likely take 3K RPM with covers off to see anything "spectacular" in the way of oil splash, IMO.
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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    You need to wait for Mike. He be around shortly.He got the answer.
    Or, go to woody's site and e mail him. If you use the forum there it might get dust on it before it gets answered.
    Oh yea, Todd might pop on too. He'll know too.
    Don
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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    You don't get much oil up there. The shafts only get oiled thru the rocker pedestals. Best place to ask Rover v8 questions is over at the British V8 forum. If a shop owner gives out advice on a forum, is he somehow liable if something goes wrong? Might explain why many questions go unanswered by the "experts".

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Just as Todd explained there is not a lot of oil that passes up into the rocker shaft assemblies. Even when you start the engine up and let it run without the rocker/valve covers on they is not a bunch of squirting oil all over. The TR8 manual tells you that on one end of each rocker shaft only there is a notch. The notch must be upper most and towards the front of the engine on the right hand side (Passenger's side) and towards the rear on the left hand side (Driver's side). I dont know how this applies to later rocker shafts after the 3.9 &amp; 4.2 engines but it is worth looking into. Also you used a drill to prime the pump and Im sure if you start it up you will not have much oil pressure in the rear lifters. They always tick on start up and then pump up and things are fine. You are also pushing the air out of the oil system too so that maybe a reason you might see a trickle instead of a steady flow and dont be detured by a "weak stream".....I love that line, so calling a doctor about it will not help!

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Not claiming "expert" status but we've had more than a few Rover V-8 cars thru our shop over the years, from full rebuilds (Rover 3500) to simple service (TR8's). There just ain't much oil needed up there. As long as the shafts are clean/clear and holes aligned, you have all there is to get. Once it's lit off and running, have the covers off and observe at normal temp. My bet is you'll see oil the length of the things.

    In short, don't look for a problem 'til ya know there is one.


    <span style="font-style: italic">EDIT: YAY, Michael! </span> <span style="font-style: italic">I'm slowin' down with my responses!</span>
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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    I agree the rocker shafts get very little oil, maybe that's all they need. However, the cam and lifters depend on this same oil as it drains back down into the valley. As tdskip mentioned, these engines are hard on camshafts and that could be part of the problem.

    Granted, the oil was probably too heavy for the cold temperature to enable good flow, but cold starts are a fact of life and this is where a majority of lubrication related wear occurs. So, (just thinking off the top of my head) what if we opened up the bolt holes a very small amount to create an easier path for oil flow to the rocker shafts and ultimately to the cam and lifters? The downside to this is that you could make the path too easy to the point that you lose oil pressure.

    I'm putting some heat under the oil pan right now and once the oil and engine are warmed up I'll run the primer again and see what difference that makes. Stay tuned.

    Tom
    The first step in recovery is the acknowledgement that you have a problem. I thought I had the habit kicked...then came the TR8.

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Dang I cant stop chuckling! Excuse but is there a Dr in the house!

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Quote Originally Posted by tr8todd
    ... If a shop owner gives out advice on a forum, is he somehow liable if something goes wrong? Might explain why many questions go unanswered by the "experts".
    Todd, Don't expect Woody to answer all the time. Seems that it is a less frequented forum than most
    Don
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    Mount Pleasant,SC

  11. #11
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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEntropy
    Not claiming "expert" status but we've had more than a few Rover V-8 cars thru our shop over the years, from full rebuilds (Rover 3500) to simple service (TR8's). There just ain't much oil needed up there. As long as the shafts are clean/clear and holes aligned, you have all there is to get. Once it's lit off and running, have the covers off and observe at normal temp. My bet is you'll see oil the length of the things.
    <span style="color: #990000">Tom, I've never seen a Rover engine but I did
    recently rebuild the rocker assembly on my 1969 TR6.
    Prior- I had two dry rockers.

    Here's video of a cold start on my TR6 straight six with valve
    cover removed. All 12 rocker arms oozed oil at low RPM and
    dribbled oil at higher RPM. More oil dribbled at higher RPM
    and as the oil warmed. My oil pressure at cold start idle was
    45 psi. All rocker components were well coated with oil.

    I hope this helps visually what Doc described in words.
    Dale(tinster)</span>


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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Thanks Dale, that's more like I would expect. I did warm up my oil and ran the primer again and got a little more oil to the rockers, put a heat gun to the rockers and the flow increased to what I would describe as "adequate" to lube the rockers. However, I still have two concerns:
    1. A cold start does not deliver oil to the rockers or cam/lifters

    2. Upon warm-up, the rockers may be getting sufficient oil, but is the run-off sufficient for the cam/lifters?

    I'm really not looking for a problem that ain't there, but once I button this thing up I don't want to think about it again.

    Tom
    The first step in recovery is the acknowledgement that you have a problem. I thought I had the habit kicked...then came the TR8.

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    There is not much you can do about the lifter but start it up. This is an inherent issue with the Rover V8, Buick V6s that the last 4 lifters get oiled like being on the bottom of an oil drip. Other wise the engines run well and wonce they pump up thats it. You should have about 20 to 22 psi ouil pressure at 800 to 1000rpms then run up to 40psi at much higher rpms. ANything more will actually cause the oil filter to bulge out! This happened at Woody's when he had an ajustable oil pressure regulator and did his typical 5 and 6,000 rpm revs when cold at 80psi.

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Mike- After a couple of start ups and drives ,about a total of 10 miles. The pass side valve train is noisier than the drivers side.

    New uprated cam, woody sent a couple of 4.0 heads ,stock rockers. Any ideas?



    Sorry Tom ,stole your thread, but it might come in handy soon.
    Don
    "Stick a Wedge in it!"
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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Quote Originally Posted by DNK
    Mike- After a couple of start ups and drives ,about a total of 10 miles. The pass side valve train is noisier than the drivers side.

    New uprated cam, woody sent a couple of 4.0 heads ,stock rockers. Any ideas?



    Sorry Tom ,stole your thread, but it might come in handy soon.
    Not a problem, maybe another piece to the puzzle. I'll take any info I can get.

    Tom
    The first step in recovery is the acknowledgement that you have a problem. I thought I had the habit kicked...then came the TR8.

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    DNK did you break in the cam as instructed? Also Im trying to remember if the passenger side valve cover has more baffeling in it. I know the drivers side does just because of the oil filler. That can make things sound worse then they are.

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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Yes did the break in as instructed.Actually had worse trouble on the drivers side. That turned out to be mechanic error,ME, forgot to tighten down that side. Tom, you want to talk about oil squirting. Took that cover off and started it up. I'm still cleaning oil up off the floor.
    Thanks to TOC (Dave) he figured the drivers side problem. When it cooled I removed pass side and check and all was tight.
    Don
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    Re: Rover 3.5, Minimal oil to rocker shafts.

    Quote Originally Posted by DNK
    Tom, you want to talk about oil squirting. Took that cover off and started it up. I'm still cleaning oil up off the floor.
    Now THAT'S what I'm talkin about!
    The first step in recovery is the acknowledgement that you have a problem. I thought I had the habit kicked...then came the TR8.

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