I'm happy to report that my engine noise is fixed on my Austin-Healey 3000.
I pulled all of the tappets out and every one was pitted on the cam contacting
surface. The rear ones had just a few pits and lifted out easily, but the
first 4 were so bad that I had to work them up and down with a pair of needle
nose vice grips and some penetrating oil to pop them out. The entire cam
contacting surface of those were badly pitted/cratered and they were actually
When I took the rocker shaft off, the banjo bolt on the oil feed line was
loose; the rcoker pedestal was completely stripped out. Someone had
overtorqued it and stripped it before I got the car some 16 years ago. So I
think alot of oil was probably seeping out around the fitting and not getting
to the front of the rocker shaft under enough pressure.
The tappets got worse the further from the oil feed. The rocker arms all
Put in all new tappets and a new #4 oil feed pedestal and new crush washers
for the banjo bolt, and also put in Castrol 20W-50. Runs well and very quiet
in the valve train. Drove it around 75 miles last weekend.
Thanks for all the help and advice from everyone on the list, and especially
to Mike Glass from Glass Auto Restorations in Oklahoma City and Bruce Phillips
from Healey Surgeons in Maryland.