Here’s an engine issue we have never seen before:
Diagnosing this issue was an interesting adventure. The owner of this car called when his Bugeye died (while driving) and left him on the side of the road. We told him to check the usual culprits; to check for adequate fuel delivery and to check for spark. Fuel was present but there was no spark.
After conducting a test for function of the ignition system (more about that test here) and determining the Pertronix module in the car had power, the test also revealed that the module was not pulsing. Upon removal of the distributor cap, the rotor was flopping around as though the distributor was broken (something we have never seen). Cranking the engine did not spin the rotor. Hmmm.
We asked the client to look into the oil fill on the valve cover to see if the rocker arms were moving.. and they were. This ruled out a broken timing chain or timing gear issue.
During a face-time call with the client to help with diagnosis, we could hear that the engine sounded too smooth when cranking, which told us there might be a compression issue. After conducting a compression test, cylinders 3 and 4 had less than normal compression, indicating a larger internal engine issue, possibly a head gasket failure. At this point, we agreed to pick-up the car to complete the diagnosis and make the necessary repairs.
So we picked up the car and began our diagnostic process. When cranking, we noticed no oil pressure in addition to no rotor rotation. Both oil pump and distributor are cam driven, but the rockers on the valves were moving (at least the ones we could see through the oil fill hole).
Check out the video below to see what happened next!
We’ve never had a camshaft break. We have seen lots of wear on their lobes (particularly if oil without zddp is used), but we’ve never seen one snap. We’ll be sure to get some pictures of this cam once we get it apart. It’s one that will make a great paperweight and/or trophy!
Should you ever need to rebuild or repair your original Bugeye engine, we now offer rebuilt 948 cylinder heads! These cylinder heads are all inspected for cracks, are hot-tanked to clean them, and then have the mating surface faced before getting new, hardened valve seats installed, which allow your engine to be run on unleaded gasoline. We also install new iron valve guides, new intake and exhaust valves, new valve seals, and new valve springs! You can get your rebuilt 948 head by clicking on the photo above or by clicking here. No core is needed!
Should you decide to change or upgrade your camshaft, you will need the following parts to ensure the proper fit and also get the most out of your project! Click the photos below to learn more or click here to view our full parts catalog!