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Metal in Heads..Where Could It Be From?

Old 10-19-2018, 08:21 PM
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Default Metal in Heads..Where Could It Be From?

I found tiny brite shinny metal bits in oil filter. They are iron based since magnet attracts them. Pulled the valve covers and found the same in the low spots of pooled oil. I inspected the roller rockers and the valve stem tips. These look in perfect condition.... I mean perfect. I expected to see some spalling of the valve stem tips or rocker rollers but not. I have not yet inspected the springs and retainers. What other source could deposit this metal in the head area?
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:30 PM
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Camshaft ??
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:47 PM
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could use more information on engine like what camshaft,what valve springs and what material the retainers are made from.also do they have aftermarket valve seals.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:36 PM
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It is a Mercruiser 496 that has little left that is stock other than block and accessories. Valve springs are PAC 1295x beehive and PAC steel retainers. Cam is custom mfg by Cammotion. Trend push rods, JE forged pistons, TotalSeal gapless rings, Crane aluminum exhaust and scorpion aluminum intake roller rockers, Melling high volume oil pump, Ferrea super alloy valves, stock Mercruiser lifters, Scat forged stroker crank, brass valve guides, Clevite bearings, forged Scat H rods, Comp Cam Viton valve stem seals.

Basically just want to know what/where ferrus metal can come from that can get onto top of heads.

Last edited by Rage; 10-19-2018 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:01 PM
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Almost all of the internal parts of that engine, excluding bearings, pistons, valves and guides, and maybe the distributor gear are ferrous (magnetic).

i would look or use a magnet in the discharge passage of the oil filter and see if itís there, then work my way through the oiling system until it starts showing up. If that doesnít work... which it probably wonít, I would check the cam drive and distributor, then the lifters/cam.

oil pump is unlikely since itís under the valve covers

is this a new build, how many hours running?
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:08 PM
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i had one apart that had the springs in the valve seals brake,looks like small shiny junk in the pan and short little parts laying in the heads.these were hp500s with dart aluminum heads and a big hyd roller cam.they were just plain tired engines.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mike tkach View Post
i had one apart that had the springs in the valve seals brake,looks like small shiny junk in the pan and short little parts laying in the heads.these were hp500s with dart aluminum heads and a big hyd roller cam.they were just plain tired engines.
Thanks. The valve stem seals replaced about 40 hours ago.

90 hours on rebuilt engine. I understand what all is ferrus and what can wear. That is not my question. My question is only what ferrus components when they wear or fail their debris can physically show up on the top of the heads?
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:47 PM
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Follow the oil... lifters-pushrods-rockers-valves-retainers/springs/guides. Make sure your push rod guides are not wearing.

I would pull some rockers and pushrods, take a good look at everything, if you don’t find anything then pull the intake and look at the lifters.

i have seen so many failures where metal gets to places you would never believe so there’s that too...
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:26 AM
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Valve spring shims, especially if they didnít use hardened shims at the top of the stack
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:36 PM
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I'd pull it as much of a pain it might seem. Inspect everything to get to the root of the problem and you'll sleep better.
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