What could be binding? Camshaft? Nope.
I posted a bit earlier, about not seeing any oil coming to my valve train, as evidenced by spinning a drill in reverse, stuck down the distrib hole, running at 400RPM. Saw the oil when I put the engine together, now I am (was) not. But I did see oil in the valve cups, which was weird.
All along, what I've been trying to find out is why my valve train is so clacky (sounds like a train hurtling down the tracks, about to come off the rails, CLACKETY CLACKETY CLACK!!). And, I have a low "knock", but it was only every OTHER rev of the crankshaft. I thought all along it was because something was wrong w/ the crankshaft, so I took the engine out, then put a socket on the crank and turned it around and found out it bound up hard, every TWO turns of the crankshaft! "Oh oh", I thought, the camshaft is bent. I took out the camshaft (carefully!) and inspected it. Perfect. It's like it's brand new. Bearings all intact and not scored. I pulled off the valve rockers, rods, lifters, and spun the camshaft in its hole. Perfectly smooth. Lifter rods checked on a sheet of glass, all perfectly straight. Inspected the rockers, they all good great. That leaves the valves themselves and the lifters as being culprits for a once-a-rev bind-up on the camshaft. I haven't spent the time yet to figure out which valves are compressing when the camshaft binds up, but I'm about to this weekend.
I got on top of the valves and depressed them w/ a rubber mallet (by pressing down hard, not whacking them!) and I have to say, a fair significant amount of them, all exhaust ports, have an initial "sticktion" to them. They bind for just a sec, then "break loose" and the valve travels great. All the valves and guides are new, I just had them put in. The heads were professionally done by a machine shop.
Question #1: IS an initial sticktion okay for a valve? Especially if it might not have seated yet? I can press the valves down smoothly, it's just the initial sticktion that is concerning me.
I took out all the hydraulic (roller) lifters and tried to compress them. I don't understand them very well. I shouldn't be able to slowly compress the oil out of them, right? My thumb pressure is nowhere near 45PSI (I guess?) and if what I understand is right, the valve springs' PSI of ~200 beats the oil pressure's PSI of ~45 and DOES compress them. But human thumbs do not. I took several of them apart and inspected them and none of them are filled with gunk (they're all new, too).
Question #2: Still looking for an explanation for a once-a-rev bind on the camshaft. Can't really test the hydraulic lifters with the engine out of the car, because I don't have adequate PSI to pump the lifters up. Do I try spinning the drill in the distributor hole until I see oil come out of the lifter rods, and then try turning the crank? Or, do I buy a solid lifter, stick it in the hole, and try THAT, per cylinder, to see if my valves are binding up?