I've never pulled the valve cover off the motor on my roadster so while changing manifolds I checked the valve lash. I found a huge difference between lifters and one was 45 thousands. These are non adjustable lifters. I checked them using TDC on compression. That is a lot of clearance. Most of them are around 15 to 20 thousands. What might cause this much clearance on one valve? How would you take up that clearance? PK
Pat, wear could be the culprit or a bad valve job in the past. The only cure is new valves and lifters. Your lifters might be reusable but chances are they have a cup shaped depression worn into them. If the engine has the original valves(two piece with dimples in the top) they need changing out anyway. Some prefer adjustable lifters, I myself like the stock type lifters as I can see no benefit to the adjustable other than initial adjustment. The solid type with a careful filing of the valves will run many trouble free miles. MHO, KGB
I had aprox. 36 thousands on the front gaps, on my 1927 touring when I got it. Some were in the 15 to 16 thousands range. The large gaps were the front valves. (#1 and #2 cylinders) The better gaps were the rear valves. (#3 and #4 cylinders) The problem in my case was the front cam bearing shell was loose in the block by aprox 40 thousands. If you think about it. When the shell would move up the .020 slop it had to move up, and figure the .016 (aprox) gap that the valves were set at then you end up with a negative .004. That means the valves are held open when they should be closed. The front 4 valves ( 2 intake and 2 exhaust) were "burnt" and pitted. When running at speed the front cam bearing was really "bouncing around" a lot. So at times my valves were open when they should have been closed. This may not be your problem, but a loose bearing shell in the block is something that could cause it .. I have seen it in 2 engines I have had...
The valves were adjusted by piston travel method, the original way to do it.
By Glen Chaffin on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 12:55 am:
Mark, This article was written for the Vintage Ford but It hasn"t been published yet. Hope it helps.
SETTING VALVE CLEARANCE
A SIMPLE PROCEDURE
BY GLEN CHAFFIN
AN ORIGINAL, USED MODEL T FORD CAMSHAFT WILL HAVE REDUCED LIFT AND A CHANGE IN VALVE TIMING CHARACTERISTICS DUE TO NORMAL WEAR ON THE LOBES. EVERY LOBE OF THE CAM WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT WEAR CHARACTERISTIC.
THE ENGINE WILL STILL RUN WELL BUT MAY HAVE A REDUCTION IN OVERALL CAM PERFORMANCE.
BACK IN THE EARLY 1920’S, K.R. WILSON SUGGESTED THAT MODEL T VALVES BE SET USING THE PISTON TRAVEL METHOD. HE EVEN OFFERED A SPECIAL TOOL TO DO THE JOB. THE IDEA WAS TO ADJUST THE OPENING AND CLOSING OF THE VALVES TO CORRESPOND WITH A CERTAIN POSITION OF THE PISTON. IN THEORY THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA AS IT COMPENSATED FOR THE WEAR ON THE CAM LOBES AND RESTORED VALVE TIMING TO THE ORIGINAL FORD SPECIFICATIONS. IN PRACTICE IT CAUSED OTHER PROBLEMS.
MANY ARTICLES HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE VINTAGE FORD ON HOW TO ADJUST VALVES BY PISTON TRAVEL. HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THIS METHOD IS OBSOLETE AND ONLY USEFUL FOR SOMEONE USEING THE ORIGINAL CAST IRON HEAD VALVES AND TRYING TO RESTORE OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE BY ADJUSTING VALVE TIMING TO COMPENSATE FOR A WORN CAMSHAFT. EVERY CAM LOBE HAS A DIFFERENT WEAR PATTERN AND WILL REQUIRE A DIFFERENT ADJUSTMENT TO RESTORE THE ORIGINAL VALVE TIMING. USING THIS METHOD WILL RESULT IN THE VALVE LASH OF EACH VALVE BEING DIFFERENT FROM THE NEXT ONE. WHEN THE PROCEDURE IS COMPLETED TYPICAL VALVE LASH WILL VARY BETWEEN 0.010 IN. AND 0.030 IN. THE NET RESULT WILL BE A MODERATE IMPROVEMENT IN ENGINE PERFORMANCE AT THE EXPENSE OF A VERY NOISY ENGINE.
FORD SET MODEL T VALVE CLEARANCE TO A “THIN DIME”. TYPICALLY, 0.022 TO 0.028 IN. THIS WAS NECESSARY DUE TO THE USE OF CAST IRON HEAD VALVES WHICH HAD A LARGE THERMAL EXPANSION COEFFICIENT. IN TODAYS WORLD ANYONE REBUILDING A MODEL T ENGINE WOULD NOT EVEN THINK OF USING THESE CLEARANCES AND THE POROCEDURE OF SETTING VALVE CLEARANCE BY PISTON TRAVEL IS OBSOLETE. WITH MODERN STAINLESS STEEL VALVES, THE CLEARANCE IS TYPICALLY SET BETWEEN 0.010 IN. AND 0.015 IN. THIS WILL INCREASE VALVE LIFT ABOUT 0.010 IN. AND SLIGHTLY INCREASE VALVE DURATION.
DURATION IS THE TIME DURING WHICH A VALVE IS OPEN MEASURED IN DEGREES OF CAMSHAFT ROTATION. DECREASING VALVE CLEARANCE INCREASES VALVE DURATION. WITH A TYPICAL CAM GRIND, THE VALVE DURATION WILL INCREASE APPROXIMATELY 1 DEGREE FOR EACH 0.001 IN. IN REDUCED CLEARANCE. USING THE NEW RECOMMENDED VALVE CLEARANCE WITH A “STOCK” CAM THE DURATION SHOULD BE INCREASED ABOUT 10 DEGREES TO 228 DEGREES. THE INCREASED LIFT AND DURATION WILL IMPROVE THE ENGINE PERFORMANCE OVER THE ENTIRE OPERATING RANGE OF THE CAM.
MY ORIGINAL 1913 ROADSTER WAS REBUILT USING THE ORIGINAL CAM. THE VALVE LASH WAS SET TO 0.015 IN. FOR EACH VALVE. THE CAM VALVE TIMING WAS THEN MEASURED AND HAD TYPICAL WEAR CHARACTERISTICS. INTAKE VALVE DURATION VARIED BETWEEN 229 AND 243 DEGREES. EXHAUST VALVE DURATION VARIED BETWEEN 222 AND 235 DEGREES. THIS SOUNDS TERRIBLE, BUT IN PRACTICE, THE ENGINE RAN BEAUTIFULLY WITH VERY GOOD LOW END TORQUE AND HORSEPOWER. I HAD NO PROBLEM DRIVING 50 MILES PER HOUR OR PULLING STEEP HILLS IN HIGH GEAR WITHOUT A RUCKSTELL.
THE MODEL T FORD ENGINE IS A MARVELOUS MACHINE AND WILL PERFORM WELL EVEN WITH A WORN CAMSHAFT. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT A MODERN PRECISION RACING MACHINE. THE ENGINE WAS DESIGNED AND PERFORMED WELL FOR IT’S ORIGINAL APPLICATION. THE ENGINE PERFORMANCE CAN BE IMPROVED TODAY BUT STILL HAS IT’S LIMITATIONS.
SETTING VALVE CLEARANCE
A NEW CAMSHAFT IS GROUND TO GIVE THE BEST PERFORMANCE AT A SPECIFIED VALVE CLEARANCE. A USED CAM WILL HAVE SOME ERROR IN IT’S GRIND DUE TO WEAR BUT WILL STILL PERFORM WELL WITH ALL OF THE VALVES SET TO THE SAME CLEARANCE. I KNOW THAT MANY OLD TIMERS WILL DISAGREE, BUT IN PRACTICE THIS IS TRUE, AS DEMONSTRATED BY MY 1913 ROADSTER.
WE THEREFORE RECOMMEND THAT VALVE CLEARANCE BE SET THE SAME FOR EACH VALVE WHETHER THE CAM IS A NEW CAM OR AN ORIGINAL WITH MODERATE WEAR. THE AVERAGE MODEL T DRIVER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE IN PERFORMANCE AND THE ENGINE WILL RUN QUIET. HOWEVER, THERE ARE ALWAYS EXCEPTIONS TO EVERY RULE!
SETTING VALVE CLEARANCE NEED NOT BE A DIFFICULT CHORE IF YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO. FIRST, BASED ON WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CAM, CHOOSE A CLEARANCE BEST SUITED FOR THAT CAM. ANYTHING BETWEEN 0.010 IN AND 0.015 IN. SHOULD WORK.
THE CAM GEAR HAS 48 TEETH. THE CRANK GEAR HAS 24 TEETH. THIS MEANS THAT THE CAM GEAR TURNS AT ONE HALF THE SPEED OF THE CRANK GEAR. IF THE CRANK GEAR IS TURNED ONE COMPLETE REVOLUTION (360 DEGREES), THE CAM GEAR WILL TURN ONE HALF REVOLUTION (180 DEGREES). THE TOE OF EACH CAMSHAFT LOBE IS 180 DEGREES FROM THE HEEL. VALVE CLEARANCE IS ADJUSTED AT THE HEEL OF THE CAMSHAFT LOBE. THIS INFORMATION CAN BE USED TO EASILY SET THE VALVE CLEARANCE ACCURATELY.
IF THE CRANK IS TURNED SO THAT THE VALVE TO BE ADJUSTED IS SET AT MAXIMUM LIFT. ALL THAT NEED BE DONE IS TURN THE CRANK ONE FULL TURN (360 DEGREES) AND THE VALVE LIFTER WILL BE SETTING ON THE EXACT CENTER OF THE CAM LOBE HEEL. THIS IS THE POINT WHERE YOU SHOULD ADJUST THE VALVE TO THE DESIRED CLEARANCE.
THE PROCEDURE IS AS FOLLOWS:
NOTE: THIS PROCEDURE DOES NOT REQUIRE REMOVAL OF THE OIL PAN INSPECTION COVER AND WAS DEVELOPED TO MAKE THE JOB OF VALVE LASH ADJUSTMENT AN EASY CHORE..
1. REMOVE THE FAN, FAN BELT, VALVE COVER (S) AND HEAD FROM THE ENGINE. YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO REMOVE THE RADIATOR TO MAKE THE JOB EASIER.
2. MARK THE VALVES NUMBER 1 THRU 8 WITH NUMBER 1 AT THE FRONT OF THE ENGINE AND NUMBER 8 AT THE REAR. VALVES NUMBER 1, 4, 5 AND 8 ARE THE EXHAUST VALVES. VALVES NUMBER 2, 3, 6 AND 7 ARE THE INTAKE VALVES.
3. TURN THE CRANK HANDLE UNTILL NUMBER 1 EXHAUST VALVE IS AT TOP DEAD CENTER (MAXIMUM LIFT). YOU MAY WANT TO USE A DIAL INDICATOR TO DETERMINE THE MAXIMUM LIFT POINT. THE END OF THE CRANK PULLEY PIN SHOULD NOW BE AT APPROXIMATELY 11:00 O’CLOCK. PLACE A MARK ON THE CRANKSHAFT PULLEY TO IDENTIFY THIS POINT AS YOUR REFERENCE POINT.
4. NOW. USING THE CRANK HANDLE, TURN THE CRANKSHAFT EXACTLY 360 DEGREES. ( ONE FULL CRANK REVOLUTION). THE VALVE SHOULD NOW BE SEATED AND THE END OF THE CRANKSHAFT PULLEY PIN SHOULD BE BACK AT 11:00 O’CLOCK.
5. NOW, CHECK THE VALVE CLEARANCE OF NUMBER 1 EXHAUST VALVE AT THIS POINT. IF NECESSARY, MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE VALVE CLEARANCE TO OBTAIN THE PROPER CLEARANCE. AFTER ADJUSTMENT, RECHECK THE CLEARANCE.
6. REPEAT THIS PROCEDURE FOR ALL FOUR OF THE EXHAUST VALVES,
(VALVES NUMBER 1, 4, 5 AND 8).
7. NOW, TURN THE CRANK HANDLE UNTIL NUMBER 1 INTAKE VALVE IS AT TOP DEAD CENTER (MAXIMUM LIFT). THE END OF THE CRANKSHAFT PULLEY PIN SHOULD NOW BE NEAR 1:00 O’CLOCK. MAKE NOTE OF THIS POINT AS YOUR REFERENCE POINT.
8. NOW. USING THE CRANK HANDLE, TURN THE CRANKSHAFT EXACTLY 360 DEGREES. THE VALVE SHOULD NOW BE SEATED AND THE END OF THE CRANKSHAFT PULLEY PIN SHOULD BE BACK AT 1:00 O’CLOCK.
9. CHECK THE VALVE CLEARANCE OF NUMBER 1 INTAKE VALVE AT THIS POINT. IF NECESSARY, MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE VALVE CLEARANCE TO OBTAIN THE PROPER CLEARANCE. AFTER ADJUSTMENT, RECHECK THE CLEARANCE.
10. REPEAT THE PROCEDURE ABOVE FOR ALL FOUR OF THE INTAKE VALVES,
(VALVES NUMBER 2, 3, 6 AND 7), USING THE 1:00 O’CLOCK REFERENCE POINT.
11. THIS COMPLETES THE VALVE ADJUSTMENTS.
12. CHECK YOU’RE WORK CAREFULLY AND YOU WILL BE PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS.
I HOPE THAT THIS INFORMATION IS USEFUL AND WORKS WELL FOR YOU AS IT HAS FOR ME. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS.
The only way you can adjust them with the non adjustable lifters is to grind off some of the valve to make the stem go lower in the engine.
If it were my car and it runs ok, I would just leave it as it is until such time as I would be ready to rebuild the engine. At that time replace the camshaft with either a reground cam or a new one. Also replace the cam bearings. And buy a new set of valves and adjustable lifters. Note the valve guides and lifter guides might also need to be reamed or sleeved. And the valve seats might need to be replaced. Unless you have the knowledge and equipment to do this work, it would be a good idea to find a good machinist recommended by your local club to do the work. You can install the valves and adjust the clearance to the gap recommended by the grinder or manufacturer of the cam. At the same time you will need to replace the rings and adjust the bearings. Might need new pistons and rebore of cylinders and turning of the crankshaft. If you do not have the knowledge or equipment, I would also recommend a good machinist. The machinist needs to be familiar with Model T crankshafts to get the right radius at each end of the journal so the crank will not be weakened. Also the crankshaft should be tested for cracks and discarded and replaced if it is found to be cracked. The block should also be tested for cracks and either repaired or replaced if found to be cracked. You also need a good bearing smith to repour your rod and main bearings and while you are at it you should replace the timing gears and resurface the head if it is not true and flat.
I probably left out some other important steps, but you should not get discouraged. If the engine runs good, just leave it as is until there is a good reason to rebuild. But when you do rebuild, fix everything that need fixing, or you will just need to keep pulling it out to fix one thing or another until everything is finally fixed.
I'm sure that you will find someone locally to help you make decisions like this before pulling anything apart.
Thanks for the info. This car was restored in 1962. It runs real good and has 52-55 psi compression. I think I'll run through Glen's set up just to see how it works and what I have. Thanks PK
Mark, have you any documentation on that, piston travel method, the original way to do it,
what I have in Ford shop books (pre war) is it only stipulates the push rod and valve stem clearance at 1/32"
I fitted adjustable cam followers and new valves.
I adjusted all valves to ten thou because I like a quiet motor.
It certainly is quiet, just a joy to drive with the top down (its a touring.)
it probably doesn't perform as well but I don't care, I like slow speeds and a quiet motor.
OK, I'll start another oil additive controversy! Could it be possible that there is extreme wear on the cam lobe(s) due to the lack of zinc in the oil, and perhaps there wasn't any zinc additive used? Just askin!!
Norm is right on. Leave it be, the car runs well and has good compression.
Still, no harm removing the lower inspection cover and looking up at the tappet face and camshaft, just to be sure.
Well Jerry I'll be doing that anyways, I want to look at the bearing clearances. I haven't done that on this motor either. PK
Re Piston travel setting valves. The Ford Owner, club Motor rebuild book and maybe, I will have to check, Service Manual tells how.
Here are some pics of the lower end. There is a second oil tube I didn't know was there. The cam looks the same on all lobes. The lifters all rotate when the cam turns. Comments. PK
that all looks very clean, like some one was in there not long ago, or very few miles. inside the pistons, no varnish, cotter pins new and shiny, 1962 was the overhaul?
It looks like you do not have a magneto coil in the car, but the magnets are in place.
The cam lobes look a bit worn. You have aluminum pistons.
Unless you have severe knocks or some other reason for doing more work, leave it as is. Only thing I would check might be to pull the head and see if you have the original 2 piece valves. If you do, they should be replaced. Otherwise just leave things as is. The piston height method of adjustment was used for the original cast iron pistons with the original Ford camshaft. Your compression is good, so just drive the car and enjoy.
Well that is the story I got at the auction but now that I've pulled the manifolds I found a stamp just below the ports, Dave Butcher 1966.
Norm, It does have mag coils, I run on mag all the time. I had the head off last summer and all the valves are the newer type. I think you're right I'll button it back up and and start driving. Thanks PK
as long as you are in that deep, run a weed whip line thru the oil lines. even being that clean in there, thats where the band wear often ends up if you have no screen on the trans cover. happy motoring!!
I know Dave Butcher. I think he still has a T or two.
Tom, I bought this car at an auction in Worley, ID two years ago. PK
How about a better picture of the second oil line?
That safety wire on the crankshaft flange doesn't look too good. I'd consider re-doing it.
Here is a shot showing the funnel for the second oil line. The top of the funnel is right at the level of the main cap. It runs along the block to the #1 rod area which you can see in the other photos. PK
That type of accessory oil pipe is available from vendors:
Thanks Roger. I was just going to ask about that. Looks like it will move quite a bit of oil forward. PK