camshaft sticking out the back of the block????


Veteran Member
Aug 31, 2000
Salt Lake City, Utah USA
I just bought a 74 firebird formula. It has a chevy small block 350 in it (btw the engine build date matches the car but they didn't come with chevy engines from the factory then, did they? ). When I bought it the previous owner said the engine ran when he bought it but drove it around the block and the engine just locked up and stopped.

So I started investigating and found the engine would not turn over with the starter but would move just a tad. So I got a ratchet and put it on the crank bolt and found the motor would turn over about 1/4 turn and stop. I would reverse the rotation and same results.

I decided maybe something was stopping it from turning over at the converter of flywheel area. So I removed the inspection cover over the converter and there was a hole in it and a freeze plug (but very thin). So I looked up above the crank next to the front of the converter and I can see the camshaft sticking out about 1 inch past the block!!

So what do you guys think happened?? Ever hear of a camshaft plug popping out like that?
I removed one valve cover and the rockers all seem to be resting at zero lash where not one spring is compressed.

Love to hear your ideas, etc.

Tim :eek:


Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
Bloomington, MN
Broken cam?

I hope you didn't count on using this engine.
Until you tear it apart, you won't know if anything inside is worth keeping.

night rider

Veteran Member
Aug 6, 2002
Bremen, Ga
My buddy's '87 3/4 tone truck did sort of the same thing.

His camshaft brake in half, right in front of the gear and pushed out the welch plug

I also secnd what toadyoty said. The welch plug does not set the end play for the cam, the timing gear does that. So if the cam/timing gear bolts broke or came out cam could back into the welch plug and push it out


Veteran Member
Nov 16, 2000
Philly area
Cool. A self-uninstalling cam!

I'm betting it kicked a rod and parts of it flew up and smacked the cam in a couple pieces. Maybe you get lucky and find the cam gear bolts just let go, but I don't think so.


Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 27, 2004
Podunk, CT