..When Valve Seals Go Bad..

August 2012

After a high speed highway cruise the engine started to burn oil badly and all the plugs were fouled. I pulled the valve covers and began to look around.

Everything was very black and oily.

I knew NY engine builder Scott Shafiroff when we were kids so I called him for advice. 'The first engine I ever rebuilt was in my mom's 1963 Tempest', Scott told me. I needed help but Scott was in New York and I was in Florida. Scott told me there were two shops he recommended in Florida. One was Nelson's and the other was another Scott, Scotty at Scotty's Racing Engines in Spring Hill, FL. I wound up taking the engine out and bringing it to Scottys.

Scotty's Racing Technology is owned and operated by Cecil County Outlaw 10.5 champion Scotty Guadagno. Scotty has over 25 years of motorsports experience. Scotty and his Dad, Patsy, owned and operated the nationally known Pee Gee Performance of Brooklyn, NY. When Scotty's Dad and partner retired, Scotty went on to become a key employee at Pat Musi Performance. At Pat Musis shop Scott performed a wide range of duties including dyno testing, research & development, EFI, nitrous tuning and engine assembly. After a successful stint at Pat Musi Performance Scotty and family relocated to Florida and launched Scotty's Racing Technology.
Scotty's list of satisfied customers include NSCA champion John Schroeder's EFI powered Camaro, the EFI powered Mustang of 2006 NMRA Outlaw 10.5 champion David Hance and the EFI powered nitrous Camaro of Peter Biello, which Scotty drove to the Cecil County Outlaw 10.5 Championship.
Scotty extends an open invite to any Racer in need of an engine rebuild and/or update.

The question was: was it the rings or the valve seals or both?

The 502 came from the factory with with metric rings (close to 5/64 1/16 3/16) on different pistons. The 502 had oil control problems because of this.

Five years ago we had previously switched out the metric pistons to Diamond brand pistons with a traditional 1/16 1/16 3/16 ring stack, I asked Scotty to upgrade the rings to Helfire compression rings gapped at .020 and a napier second ring for better oil control gapped at .022 and a standard tension oil ring.

On our engine the old style PC valve stem seals had been in place for 15 years. Scotty felt that was a big part of why the motor was burning oil.

With a high volume oil pump in the engine the heads filled up with oil and the motor sucked it in through the valve guides.

We changed the stem seals to new style Viton seals and switched to a standard volume oil pump.

I just brought the engine back from Scottys. I'll let you know, soon, if we solved the problem.


the oil on the floor below the exhaust pipes this is one of the old PC seals


here is the exhaust valve showing the oily leak the headders were all oil soaked

the intakes were oily too There were no oil leaks from the gaskets between the manifold and head


here is what the block and heads looked like

All the cylinders were equally oily, I had a hard time beleiving that all the stem seals could go bad at the same time.



I also found the titanium retainers were galled by the valvespring dampner so we swapped them for tool-steel pieces

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