Guess the sound win a beer, story time...

As you turn the engine over, make sure that at no time any part of the pushrod is touching the head or head gasket. It can be close. REALLY close is ok. Just not touching.
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Thank you Mike, Chuck and Scoob for replying.

Mike I'll check for coil bind if I can. But the cam came from Lou, this motor is John Lemerman's old motor. I lost the cam card, but it is a 218/218 flat tappet cam. GN1 alum heads, and GN1 1.5 rockers. None of the rockers look cracked. Since this was my first time going through this, I didn't mark which pushrods went to which cylinder. But 8/9 of the 12 PR's are bent. I didn't remember seeing any shims in the springs, but I'll double check. When I turn the motor over I'll check to make sure the PR's don't hit the head or head gasket too.

Chuck I'll check the max lift once I install the new PR's and adjust the vavles. I'll make sure to check the bottom of the retainer so it doesn't hit the guides.

Scooby I don't think the springs are stock, the heads-PR's-rockers where all stamped GN1 so my guess is they are aftermarket or GN1 as well. All the cups under the rockers are there and none looked damage from what I saw. I would have gone to 3/8th PR's but I didn't want to chance them not fitting in the cup. As well as a few members here told me they have been in the deep 9's high 8's with 5/16th .080 wall PR's so no need to upgrade.

Thanks again guys for your input. I can't match your combined experience. PR's should be in today. And I'll put them in this weekend.
Update; Got the pushrods, went to install. But first retorqued the heads, all 8 on both sides were lose. Torqued to 85lb. To do that I had to remove the headers just to access the head bolts for torquing. Couldnt take out the DP because it was welded to the test pipe! Then cleaned out all the new pushrods for debris from machining process. Put a little grease on the pushrod ends, dropped them in the heads. Went to grab my rockers n shaft, then needle bearings started falling out! I think they fell out of the hole on the shaft were the c clip anchor goes.

So now what...well, I couldn't believe the needle bearings were NON encapsulated, my gn buddy says the 1.5 champion gn1 rockers were an early set, because normally they ARE encapsulated now. Rather the disassembling all rockers to find what rockers the needles belonged to, I'm just going to order NEW encapsulated needle bearings.

I had installed new header gaskets, but didnt go copper. So scrapping and cleaning was I'm just going to go copper and install dry.

Thank the lord I reinstalled the turbo bracket to the head, if not the turbo would not be supported upon header removal n DP unbolting, which was needed just to access head bolts. I fawked up and welded the entire exhaust system, so I cant even take out the DP! Going to cut n add a vband to the bottom of the downpipe. I just wasnt planning on needing to remove it.

All this because i forgot to tighten a lower radiator hose clamp. My loss, had to share. "This is the way" I'm learning so much at the same time being so pissed off. I get why people drop off their car somewhere....I just cant do it. This is my baby, my first car, my dads originally bought, the build is dedicated to him. I cant stop now.

Thank you to all who have shared your input n experience.
That's troubling.

Possibility the head gasket may have been pushed out.

Can you do a leak down test on each cylinder?
At this point I'm going to have to check. I didn't want to initially due to not having a misfire when it was running with the clicking noise. But now after all this, its apparent I need to just for peace of mind.
He did a compression check on the cylinders and they were all good.
I haven't done a compression check. I was assuming I didn't need to do one because it wasn't misfiring while running. Also I'm not losing any coolant and there's no smoke in the exhaust.

Is it okay to check compression on a cold motor or does it need to be warm?

The head bolts were not crazy loose they just weren't at torque spec of 85 lb. If I were to guess I'd say they are around 50 to 60 ft lb.
New fun update. I looked up the number stamped on the GN1 Champion rockers "B 053000" turns out theyare T&D rockers, made in 2000 with a 1.5 ratio.

YB136 is stamped on the bearings.

So I called T&D, they never made a open needle bearing assembly with that number. T&D has never made open needle bearing assemblies period from what they told me. All of their bearings are encapsulated.

Now have to take out a bearing assembly n measure the overall body width, then OD then ID and call T&D back to see if they have a set that will fit. If not then check McMaster.

Notsure why 1.5 ratio was used but maybe for a lower lift cam, or to prevent coil binding. Cam is a 218/218 flat tappet.

Happy Monday
2-5-23 update: Push rods did NOT solve the ticking noise. Got lucky and a buddy has a press at his shop, pressed out all the old needle bearings in the rockers and pressed the new ones from torrington part#B136, these fit the 13/16th rocker shaft for champion heads. Reassembled exhaust manifolds, installed push rods, installed rockers had to play with the shim locations for rockers to fit nicely, some pushrods were close but none are touching the head, then adjusted valves, plugged everything back in, it fired in 2 revolutions, 65psi oil pressure, no smoke out the exhaust a lil water from condensation but no smoke, but still had thesame ticking!! Its now time to check compression (I forgot to borrow my buddies testing kit), then begin the disassembly process and pull the intake to get at the lifters.

I started a new thread in the gen tech section asking for recommendations on lifters for a flat tappet cam. Feel free to post up there.

Car sounds great, no misfires, I love my exhaust note 3.5"DP with no cat, dual 3" and flowmaster single chamber 10 series mufflers.

To do the intake I'll need a new intake manifold gasket and probably a plenum gasket. Am I missing anything else? Thanks in advance!
Boy what a ride this has been, still more to come. I'm learning a TON so thank you all who help and contribute your input.
Review post #18

Use a long screwdriver or tubing as a stethoscope & probe around until you find the noise. You might start with alternator.
Sometimes the belt stretches enough to allow the idler pulley to contact one of the A/C compressor mounting bolts.

Use the slightly shorter TTA sized belt.
It cant hurt to try this! What part # is the belt? I saw on a youtbue video some1 using #4060630.
See how the end of that bolt is worn?


Take a look & see if the tensioner pulley is contacting that bolt.

The belt below is for a 1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am with 3.8L turbocharged engine.


My alternator makes a clicking noise sometimes. As do some fuel injectors. Make a stethoscope & locate the noise.
Small update, ran the car with NO belt and the noise was still there. So its not the tensioner pully or alternator. The bolts all seem good no wear that I could see.

I checked the flex plate, didn't find any cracks.

Ordered new intake valley pan gasket and new coolant temp sensor.

I will double check the part number for my belt and post it up. Is its the same belt size with belt #k060630 and #4060630?

Will buy a stethoscope as well to see if I can narrow down where the noise is coming from.

Thank you guys for all your input! She will run soon enough.
Well time to pay out, who ever said head gasket I owe beer too. Noise could be a few lifter that are gone so I'll beer up anyone who called that too.

Pulled the intake clear as day you can see a torn/ripped head gasket.

Time to pull the motor. Will upgrade to a steel crank instead of cast as well. More insurance.

Yay fun time