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The elusive oil shield

I’m working on( might as well call it rebuilding) the original 5.7l 350 cubic inch engine from a 76’ Chevrolet Camaro LT. I started my work on the engine thinking that I was only going to be replacing the seals with a complete seal kit. Well, I was rather dense thinking that I was only going to replace seals on an engine that was produced the same year as myself. So far I’ve replaced the crankshaft, main bearings, crank bearings, push rods, several valve springs, a rocker arm, and the valve keepers on one valve. Upon inspecting the valve springs during disassembling the heads I came across a part that looked like it needed to be replaced but I can not locate the part which my Haynes repair manual referred to as an oil shield. The oil shield fits between the valve guide and the valve springs located on the heads.

Does anyone know where I might order this elusive part or, are they even necessary for my rebuild?

You can forget the oil shield, but you can add a cam, cam bearings, and new lifters to your parts list. A set of rings too. Replace ALL the valve springs.

As you have learned, cars and particularity engines don’t wear out one part at a time. The entire package wears out at pretty much the same rate…

Why don’t people fall in love with washing machines and treat them this way??

Well, my brother in law replaced the cam, cam bearings, hydraulic lifters and the valve springs when he added the edelbrock performer intake manifold, edelbrock 650 carb, and switched the timing from a belt to gear timing. However, I am finding myself having to redo much of the work that he put into the engine and now it’s being done the right way this time around. Hence, the entire engine is being pulled apart and I’m putting it back one piece at a time. Don’t even get me started on the work he did on the exhaust system. LoL

Those oil shields were GM’s feeble attempt to stop oil burning at start-up from oil passing thru the valve guide seals on their engines of this vintage. I can remember GM engines smoking at start-up with only 50,000 miles on them back then.

If you’ve replaced the valve guide seals with up-to-date parts, those shields aren’t required.


What about the piston rings, along with an overbore? If it needs all that other stuff, I’d be sruprised if the rings are fine.

For what it’s worth, I always use Ford valve seals (umbrella type) even on GMs, SAABs, VWs, etc.