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HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

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  • HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

    OK guys I just had to yell a bit to feel better about the mess.

    Pulled the 482 out of the Shelby Cobra on Sunday. I really have not had time to do a lot of investigating as to what caused it to lose oil pressure, however here is what I have discovered so far; I can not pull out the distributor, it will advance and retard fine however it will not puill out. The crank balance which is a stock 427 balancer was on finger tight (bolt) and can easily remove it with out a puller. Plan to pull the pan off this evening and maybe the timing cover.

    Guessing spun bearing however this has never happened to me before. Oh yeah the motor only has about 800 miles on it. It has a Hyd roller cam and Scat stroker Assembly in a Pond aluminum block.


  • #2
    Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

    I would say a lose balancer is not a good sign, I thought those motors had some oiling issues...


    • #3
      Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

      Hi Morgan, sorry to hear about your troubles.
      I think you said you did the build up of the engine, if so did you notch the front cam bearing? Robert told me about this when I picked up one of his blocks about a year ago. I don't think you could get the distributor in if not but I thought I'd ask.
      Before I start a new Ford build of any type (mainly new blocks) I drop the distributor in to make sure the gear, spindle, body, etc. clear and line up as they should. If the oil pump drive stopped turning and the cam kept turning the distributor it could "swedge" the drive spindle out making it tough to remove.
      Let us know what else you find.
      There are very few people in this world who's opinion I value, you are not one of them.

      300 in 1999


      • #4
        Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

        I'd be looking for a sheared oil pump driveshaft. Did you use a stock one, or one of the beefed up aftermarket versions? If you suck some debris into the pump it will jam, the driveshaft will break and you will lose oil pressure. The force of the driveshaft shearing can jam the distributor in place, or possibly break the distributor drive gear on the cam or on the gear on the distributor shaft.

        As long as the engine is out you can pull the pan without any trouble, but I think you will find out what's going wrong the quickest if you pry the distributor out. Sounds like you may have to do that anyway, since it's stuck. Good luck, and let us know what happens...

        Edit> About the balancer, that front bolt should be torqued to 150 ft-lbs! The torque on that bolt is what actually holds the lower timing gear in place on the crank, not that wimpy little key. It sounds like on your engine the key was doing all the work. If the key partially or completely sheared, your cam is no longer in phase with your crank, which could lead to all kinds of problems. However, I don't think loss of oil pressure is one of them, unless the gear is now just spinning freely on the crank (not turning the cam, and so not turning the oil pump). Just make sure you have that bolt torqued to spec when you reassemble the engine.


        • #5
          Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

          Thanks Guys for the advice. Wow, impressive that two of the highly respected FE guys jumped in the offer advice.

          1. Used the beefed up (POP) oil pump shaft.

          2. Motor was (short block) assembled by well know builder out of AK. However I installed the balancer using a torque wrench. So if anyone is to blame for that its me. I have a torenson (Sp) behind the timing gear.
          Jay thanks for the tip on torque of balancer bolt. (don't remember what I torqued it to now)

          2.5 (POP) Blue printed oil pump installed Oil pressure was 75-80 pounds at speed and 25-30 at idle 1000 rpms

          3. Attempted to use all the best parts that I could afford at the time.

          4. I will take pictures as I pull the pan and timing cover?

          5. Mike, I will give you a call after the Holiday.


          • #6
            Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

            If you used the Precision Oil Pumps driveshaft and the pump jammed, the driveshaft probably broke right at the top, where the thicker part of the shaft necks down to the hex. If you can get the distributor out you will know for sure.

            On the way down to Drag Week this year I blew the centrifugal supercharger in my Mach 1, and unbeknownst to me a bunch of shrapnel got into the oil pan via the supercharger oil return line. The engine lasted all the way through Drag Week, but when I pulled out of Cordova after the awards ceremony on Friday night, I looked down and suddenly had no oil pressure! The oil pump had finally sucked in some of the debris, and it jammed, and the pump driveshaft broke right at the top. Mine was a PoP shaft also. Fortunately, I had a spare, and with the facilities at the Illinois Dyno Center, we got it fixed in a couple of hours; no bearing damage either. Hoping that you get as lucky as I did...


            • #7
              Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

              I think the guys have hit on two likely scenarios - the Pond block requires that the front cam bearing be notched - if the distributor gets knocked even a small amount it may bind. Jay's comment on the pump shaft is dead on - they'll break at the smallest point rather than "barberpole" like the stock ones do.

              One other possibility is that the front oil galley plug behind the distributor came partially out - it'd keep the distributor from moving upward. Lets hope thats not the case 'cuz its a real bugger to take apart - don't ask how I know....


              • #8
                Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                We have a lot of FE heroes here!

                Still craving a Mach 1. Jay ruined me.


                • #9
                  Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                  Take that Torington bearing from behind the timing gear, and throw it away, replace it with a thrust washer. Those bearings always come out peeling and missing metal. That hardend shaft will break out the bottom of the dist where the hex drive is wedging it in place. Did you use a balancer press on it to install it? Seat it first with a balancer press and the tighten it down, dont forget the at least blue locktight.
                  2007 SBN/A Drag Week Winner & First only SBN/A Car in the 9's Till 2012
                  First to run in the .90s .80s and .70's in SBN/A
                  2012 SSBN/A Drag Week Winner First in the 9.60's/ 9.67 @ 139 1.42 60'
                  2013 SSBN/A Drag Week, Lets quit sand bagging, and let it rip!


                  • #10
                    Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                    OK here is what I found in my investigation:

                    1. Front cam bearing backed up into the distributor .650

                    2. This prevented the dist. from being pulled out.

                    3. When I removed the oil pump the oil pump shaft fell out and was straight.

                    4. Distributor gear looked good as it should with less than 1000 miles on the motor.

                    5. Oil pump looks OK with some wear on the plate.

                    6. Torrington Bearing was in perfect shape.

                    So what are your thoughts now? Looks like Barry's theory is correct. Then again I am not fully sure what is meant by notching the cam bearing.

                    Where do I go from hear?

                    Is the builder responsible?



                    • #11
                      Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                      Hmmm.... One of my Pond blocks came with the cam bearing bores slightly undersized, and they needed to be honed to the finished size in order to make the cam bearings fit. It looks to me like maybe the front cam bearing press fit wasn't very good on your block, and the cam bearing just walked backwards. Is it possible that your shop honed the cam tunnel too large, and this caused the problem by allowing the bearing to move?

                      Can you see the other cam bearings, and do any of them show signs of moving around?

                      I don't think that not notching the front cam bearing would cause this problem.

                      The easiest fix: Assuming the other cam bearings look OK, pull the cam and reinstall the front cam bearing with Loctite or epoxy to hold it in place.


                      • #12
                        Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                        Jay, Thanks.

                        I spoke with Keith Craft this morning. He is going to go through the whole motor and then Dyno it at his cost. As far as I can tell the rest of the motor is in good shape however I did not pull the heads, main caps or the intake to do further inspection.

                        Did swing by Doug Garifo's house yesterday to pick up a new oil pump and crank spacer.

                        Jay what pressure pump are you running?

                        So I plan to crate it up this week and ship it off to him.


                        • #13
                          Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                          Glad to hear that Craft is standing behind it. I run Doug's pumps with the spacer behind the stock spring. This gives about 65-75 psi hot, which I think is comfortable for most FEs.


                          • #14
                            Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                            Just curious. Do the aftermarket blocks have the same cam bearing installation sequence of tunnel bore taper front to rear? I have received more than one stock FE block with cam bearings installed out of order.


                            • #15
                              Re: HELP!!!!! Spun bearing in Ford FE 482 stroker?

                              The aftermarket blocks have the same cam bearing ID front to back.

                              The Genesis blocks use a 1268M F-M bearing set that I set up back then. Its got essentially five front bearings with each drilled or slotted to match the normal side oiler stuff.

                              The Pond block also uses five identical OD bearings from Durabond. Robert chose to have his bearings made wider than stock - so the front one needs to be trimmed to clear the distributor. Pond blocks are shipped with the cam tunnel undersized - so its possible they got it just a hair too large - epoxy or a dowel pin will take care of it if that happened.