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Old 01-21-2014, 09:28 PM   #1
itsnotme1988
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Default Rebuilt LKO head, snapped exhaust rockers

I recently had a cylinder head rebuilt for a 1993 Saturn SL1. I just got it reassembled and tried to start the car only to have all four exhaust rockers snap off. What could have caused this? Cam timing was set correctly and system was primed before attempting to start (turn over until built pressure with no plugs installed.) Had a *pop* once I tried to start the car with plugs installed, pulled the rocker cover and found all four arms broken.




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Old 01-21-2014, 09:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rebuilt LKO head, snapped exhaust rockers

Coil bind on the exhaust valves possibly. Those rocker shafts should have been cleaned up before install. If the sprocket was installed correct side out and the chain installed on the marks with the timing pin in place then the valves did not hit the pistons. I would contact the rebuilder.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rebuilt LKO head, snapped exhaust rockers

^^ I agree, I would get a used set of rocker shafts out of a junkyard engine that are completely free of rust, If the same occurance happens a 2nd time with the replacement shafts send the head back and get your money back.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rebuilt LKO head, snapped exhaust rockers

All four broke? Don't even bother with a second try, something is radically wrong with that head... or your cam timing. Pull the head and see if the valves hit pistons. Either way, the head will have to go back to the vendor
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rebuilt LKO head, snapped exhaust rockers

ON the next one- turn the engine over by hand a few revolutions after the install- plugs out- of course.
I'm sorry you didn't follow this prime tenet for engine restart after rebuild, to begin with.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rebuilt LKO head, snapped exhaust rockers

Yeah there is some surface rust. It was clean when I reinstalled it but I'm assuming it (the rust) was more or less just from sitting on the car for a few days before I tried to turn it over and/or from cleaning out the rocker cover with brake clean. There's also a bit of surface rust on the new headbolts too...





Never heard a knock between the valve/piston just a pop after it turned over maybe 3-4 times. I'm going to pull the TCC on my next day off and double check the timing then pull the head again to check the damage.

No I did not turn it by hand first. Got in a rush and ****ed that up...not the first time I've done a head job either and the first I forgot that key element. Just love that feeling of flushing $200 down the drain...

Would love to do a DOHC swap just don't have the time/money so figured this made the most economic sense.
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