Hello All! You may remember the tale of changing Popeye from magneto ignition to a distributor. As I removed the Wico magneto I discovered someone had chopped off the end of the camshaft, so a new camshaft must be installed. This is a continuation of that project.
I have a replacement camshaft and am ready to dive in. The valve cover has been removed and I expected to find the old non-adjustable type valve tappets. It was my plan to lift the valves, then lift the tappet and pin it up using a nail, per the Ford service manual. No need to remove the head. Simple. But, when I lit up the valve gallery here is what I found:
Adjustable tappets! All in all not a bad thing, but since there is no hole in that tappet to pin, the only way I can see to get the job done is:
1. Pull the cylinder head
2. Disassemble the valve springs and lift the valves (lap the valves at some point in the project, too)
3. Lift the tappets and wrap safety wire around each one, below the head of the adjustable bolt, then tie the safety wire off to the manifold. Object is to keep the tappets high enough to clear the camshaft while it is being changed.
4. Adjust the valves for proper clearance once the new crankshaft is in place.
5. De-carbonize the head and pistons.
6. Re-install cylinder head.
So I am in need of a new head gasket. Wanted to hear your opinions on which type to buy - copper,steel, or the composite/silicone type. What worked best for you?
Why not use clothespins to hold the lifters up?
Your first idea wouldn't have worked anyway, if it had the original push rods, the head needed to come off so the valve clearance could be set to the new cam shaft.
Now, because you have adjustable ones, if you don't wont to remove the head, just jam the valves up through the ports, slide in rods or screw drivers.
One thing to make sure of and double check, is the rear bearing is a matching size on both cams.
Honestly I think any of the available head gaskets are fine. Never had a problem with the copper or the cheap white one or the steel one. Never tried the new high tech one.
I have used clothes pins to hold up the lifters. They will not hold against the valve springs, but with the springs removed, worked quite well.
I did manage, while tinkering on the car, to knock one of the clothes pins off. However, it was easy to crawl under and slip the lifter back in place and re-pin. Just do not forget to check and slip the camshaft into place first.
Be sure that when you replace a camshaft, that you are using the correct camshaft bearings. A common mistake is to change a camshaft, and use the bearings that were in the block, simply because they are good, so why not? But the camshaft itself was altered (about 1925 I think?), and later ones use a different front bearing than the earlier ones did. It is the camshaft that determines which bearing you need to use. Not the block.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Use a tool such as shown in the Service Manual, Fig. 221, to raise the valves.
Made a little progress today. I took the idea of one forum contributor, and pushed each valve up. I then placed a specially made valve-holder-upper through the spark plug hole. Two coat hangars made the ultimate sacrifice to help the project along:
Now each valve is pinned up securely, next step is to safety wire the tappets up, and move on with the camshaft changeout:
Clothes pins work great to hold the pushrods up.
I would have used brass wire, but anyway, you've got it done.
When the new cam is in place you'll want to set the valve clearance. Many folks don't like the style of lifters you've got because you can't set the clearance with the valve closed and the tappet down. (Can't access the flats on the tappet body to make the adjustment as they're below the tappet guide.) However, it's not that much more difficult.
1. Measure the thread pitch of the tappet adjuster bolt.
2. Measure the initial clearance you start out with.
3. Figure out how much more/less clearance you require.
4. Given the thread pitch, figure out how far the adjuster bolt will move with one full turn. For example, a bolt with a 28 pitch thread will move 1/28" per revolution, or .036"
5. Crank the engine over until the tappet rises enough to get a wrench on the tappet body and adjuster bolt head., (and loosen the locking nut).
6. Let's say that in step #3 you decided the clearance was .009 too much. That being the case, unscrew the adjuster bolt 1/4 turn, or .25 X .036, to get your .009 adjustment and tighten the lock nut.
7. Turn the engine over to drop the tappet and seat the valve, then re-check your clearance. (Be sure to turn the engine enough to get the tappet to its lowest point.)
8. Tweak the adjustment as needed to get it "dialed in" to where you want it.
Knowing the thread pitch takes 90% of the trial & error guesswork out of it.
BTW, these are the best style adjustable lifters you can use, as the "self locking" adjusters seem to loose their self locking ability after time.
Thanks Jerry, great guidance!
I noted, when turning the engine, that most of the adjuster bolts are turning freely, not locked down at all.
Heaven knows what clearances are in there - perhaps this is an early implementation of 'variable valve timing', in that the valve clearances change all the time.....<grin>
Do yourself a favor and replace the lifters with the "two wrench" style. The kind you have are HORRIBLE to adjust unless you have three hands and wrenches that are paper thin.
Also - if you are using a new cam the recommended clearance is 0.010". On an original cam I was taught by my grandfather to run 0.012 on the intake and 0.014 on exhaust to avoid burning a valve (an old valve). Not sure if the rule applies on stainless stuff.
If that was me I would pull the head and do the job right. Inspect everything, lap the valves in, and use a dial indicator to set the clearance. It's a pain in the car (if you don't take the fender off) but if you do it right you only have to do it once.
I'll respectfully disagree with Tim as to the "two wrench" style lifers. I have now worked on two T's that use this style and in each case the tappets would not hold their adjustment. I ended up making spacers/washers to put under the heads of the adjustment bolts so they could not back down. A task far more tedious than the adjustment method I describe above. If you do pull the head, the adjustment is even easier as you can place a dial indicator over each valve to measure the exact adjustment as you're turning the adjuster bolt. It does not take 3 hands by the way. Yes, it does require a fairly thin wrench on the tappet body flats. What's the big deal there?
Forward progress again today! Many of you advised I could hold the tappets up using clothespins. No disrepect to anyone, but I have a frequent visitor to my garage, Mr. Murphy, and he applies his law all too frequently.... So to thwart his nefarious intent I used safety wire to keep the tappets raised:
Once I was satisfied the tappets were safely secured I pulled the old camshaft out. It was far easier than I thought to line up the new camshaft, tap it into place, and set the bearing pins. Here is the new shaft in place:
Timing gear went on easily after the marks were lined up with the crankshaft gear. I was concerned about getting it 180 degrees out of time, but it was easy to figure out - both #1 cylinder valves closed, engine on compression stroke.
So now there is a shaft on which to mount the distributor drive. Good days work! Tomorrow will be all about adjustment of valve clearance.
Looks good Cliff. Haha, just so you know - you can't get it timed 180 degrees out with just the timing gear. It doesn't matter which way you put it, it'll work either way. It just moves the firing from 1 to 4. The only way to get it 180 out is if the timer positioning hole at the end of the shaft is drilled all the way through.
In general, if you take your time and ask questions, there's NOTHING on the car that you won't be able to do.
I know it's got to be possible but looking at the pictures I'm trying to figure out how you reach/hold the cam follower. The flat spots seem to disappear into the block. Is it "guesswork"? Measure, raise it up & adjust then lower it & check again? Can't see any other way.
That's the way, Charlie. If you know the thread pitch (28 tpi) it's possible to know how much to turn to adjust. So, every time you go 10 degrees, you adjust the lifter one thousandth of an inch - but you still have to check one more time afterwards
Frank Harris posted the procedure here: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/29384.html?1179109985
The procedure has also been posted here, on Monday, October 17, 2016 - 11:45 am. Look above...
Some Jerry Van guy. Nobody listens to him though...
Hey Jerry Van, good info is worth to repeat several times in different ways - makes it more likely it's noticed
"disagree with Tim as to the "two wrench" style lifers. I have now worked on two T's"
It's even cuter when you take the quote out of context. Are you running for President this year?
For the record, "I have now worked on two T's that use this style and in each case the tappets would not hold their adjustment."
Well, it's done. Distributor installed and Popeye fired up immediately. He runs very well once I discovered the "sweet spot":
I drove Popeye around the surrounding neighborhoods today, then gave him a bath:
Now to see how many "Smiles Per Mile" I can collect!
Popeyes looks great Cliff! Do I see turn signals?
Yes, I installed turn signals while awaiting the parts for the rear axle rebuild. I figured they are a worthwhile investment in our urban traffic. I need to see what can be done to shine up the bumpers.
Way to go, Cliff. I now see clearly why you wanted to do this.
Once, when changing a can bearing for a friend, the stock-type tappets didn't have any holes. And I was marooned at his place, having loaned my truck to the to do some family member moving. No clothes pins. But, I saw some large modern type valve keepers in a baby food jar. I magnetized them on a stereo speaker magnet.Put four on each of the tappets, one set above the other. They hung on fine.
But there was a page two to this story. Some time later he needed these odd shaped big keepers to finish rebuilding s head on one of his diesel farm tractorsAnd they stuck to everything including themselves. Could not understand how the hell they got magnetized. Had to get new ones, and they were made of damnexpensiveum. I fessed up when he told me the story, and I re-imbursed him. It was awhile before we laughed about it.
He could have demagnetized them.Just a coil and some AC current.
He was to P oed to think of much. They became all covered with bits of shavings, and wasn't going to take any chances of dropping a valve and destroying an engine. That was one of those years commodities prices had crashed, right after a land buying frenzy. He had bought land high against his wife's wishes, and things were tense. At least two farmers in that township obliterated their pickup trucks and themselves that fall. I got in on one cleanup. That bridge abutment didn't move an inch. Farming is a stressful bitch when huge debt is involved. And it usually is.
Cliff, Popeye is looking good! I hope you have many years of great fun with him! (Her?) I am glad you got past the cam issue.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
So a off how does Popeye drive with a rebuilt Ruckstell and new camshaft? It must be greatly improved.
Thanks for the update. Looking sharp! Have fun!