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Old 11-05-2019, 02:16 AM   #21
Lawrie
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

My mill has the DRO ,but not my lathe.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:33 AM   #22
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

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Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
Pete: Would be great if you give a brief description of how you grind/weld to set the lash - such that people can "visualize it" in their mind. Obviously one has to have a valve machine to do the work - and grinders will have a "mic" apparatus to measure how much you're taking off the stem. Some guys use lash caps as well.
First, I would like to say, it is impossible to get a precision valve job with split guides and mushroom stem valves.

There are several methods to secure the guides in the block. It doesn't matter as long as they are pressed in with .001 press.
I make solid bronze guides from bar stock. I have copper plated the OD's, I have knurled the OD's and glued them in. All worked fine.
I have used Winona bronze inserts. They work fine and are easy to install.

You will need a valve grinder to do the valves but I adjust the stems in the lathe. It has a DRO. It is faster for me.
If I get a valve that is short, and is stainless, I either substitute a taller lifter or TIG weld it up with 345 rod.
If the valve is titanium, I substitute for a taller lifter. In one extreme case I used a lash cap.
As a side note, I tried welding titanium valve stems and it was successful but it was no fun what with all of the extra precautions and gas fixtures required.

Over the years, I have tried many of the tool and fixture "quick/easy" methods
of measuring the amount to cut the stems but always end up with "cut and try". If you REALLY enjoy building a fast engine and are willing to learn, you will get much more pleasure from doing this the way that causes you NO stress.
You just have to develop a "feel" for clearances.
Your results WILL vary.
I won't say a Caveman can do it but I bet I could teach him in 3 lessons....

---Sent from my Western Electric crank phone on the kitchen wall, using Crankatalk.app---
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:38 AM   #23
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

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My mill has the DRO ,but not my lathe.
Lawrie
It is VERY easy to mount a 3 inch "tenth" indicator on the lathe carriage.
This is as good as most DRO's.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:31 AM   #24
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

Hey Pete . . . that "CrankaTalk" app of yours is really working well!

Thanks guys for the detailed explanation - it is something that folks new to flatheads and the associated valvetrain just don't learn or even know about these days.

These grind/weld adjustment methods were what all factory engines and major rebuilders used back in the day. "Adjustable" lifters were an aftermarket item that cost extra money, added a lot of weight and sometimes had issues with the adjusters backing off and then having to be readjusted. But, Johnson adjustable lifters enabled many a backyard enthusiast to easily install a new cam in their engine - using normal hand tools. I'm sure "adjustables" have helped sell a LOT of flathead cams over the years!
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:13 AM   #25
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

Question for those way smarter than I... over time what happens to the lash? I old timer came over the other week to borrow some KRW tools and made the statement that the lag tightens up over time due to valve seat wear. I would have thought both faces of the lifter and the camshaft wear would much exceed that causing the lash to open up a bit? Which is correct if either?
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:25 AM   #26
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

I think the answer is "it depends"! LOL

I tend to run high-lift and higher performance cams with small base circles and heavier spring pressure than stock. I also use very high quality valves. If anything, I've see the lash increase in these situations - maybe .001 to .002.

Some aftermarket cams have a lot of break-in lubricant on them - which when it wears off, increases the clearances a bit.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:16 PM   #27
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

So Pete, is there anything wrong with using mushroom valve stems and split guides? I have some new old stock stuff and thought about putting one together using those. This of course would be a stock motor, not high-performance.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

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So Pete, is there anything wrong with using mushroom valve stems and split guides? I have some new old stock stuff and thought about putting one together using those. This of course would be a stock motor, not high-performance.
Nothing wrong for the original application.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:13 PM   #29
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

---Sent from my Western Electric crank phone on the kitchen wall, using Crankatalk.app---[/QUOTE]

Say Pete, How often do you need to recharge the magnets in your kitchen wall mounted CrankaTalk electric communication device? .
Far less often than having a dead battery in the new devices, I bet! Plus, if your hand cranked device was like ours in the '50's, you were on social media, known then as a party line. All the neighbor ladies were privy to all your conversations. See? The more things change, the more they stay the same!
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:32 PM   #30
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

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---Sent from my Western Electric crank phone on the kitchen wall, using Crankatalk.app---
Say Pete, How often do you need to recharge the magnets in your kitchen wall mounted CrankaTalk electric communication device? .
Far less often than having a dead battery in the new devices, I bet! Plus, if your hand cranked device was like ours in the '50's, you were on social media, known then as a party line. All the neighbor ladies were privy to all your conversations. See? The more things change, the more they stay the same![/QUOTE]

I only recharged the magnets once when I restored it. I have a rechargeable battery inside that replaces the original dry cells and a small home made charger mounted inside that I plug in about twice a year for a half hour. We only have one other party on the line but we get a LOT of local news there. Our ring is one long.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:41 PM   #31
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

Only you Pete . . . only you!
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:40 PM   #32
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

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Originally Posted by Pete View Post
First, I would like to say, it is impossible to get a precision valve job with split guides and mushroom stem valves.

There are several methods to secure the guides in the block. It doesn't matter as long as they are pressed in with .001 press.
I make solid bronze guides from bar stock. I have copper plated the OD's, I have knurled the OD's and glued them in. All worked fine.
I have used Winona bronze inserts. They work fine and are easy to install.

You will need a valve grinder to do the valves but I adjust the stems in the lathe. It has a DRO. It is faster for me.
If I get a valve that is short, and is stainless, I either substitute a taller lifter or TIG weld it up with 345 rod.
If the valve is titanium, I substitute for a taller lifter. In one extreme case I used a lash cap.
As a side note, I tried welding titanium valve stems and it was successful but it was no fun what with all of the extra precautions and gas fixtures required.

Over the years, I have tried many of the tool and fixture "quick/easy" methods
of measuring the amount to cut the stems but always end up with "cut and try". If you REALLY enjoy building a fast engine and are willing to learn, you will get much more pleasure from doing this the way that causes you NO stress.
You just have to develop a "feel" for clearances.
Your results WILL vary.
I won't say a Caveman can do it but I bet I could teach him in 3 lessons....

---Sent from my Western Electric crank phone on the kitchen wall, using Crankatalk.app---
Pete / Dale,
Here's a photo of an Offenhauser valve stem "Filing block" I have used setting valve lash [clearance] on a 220. The one on the left is adjustable and the one on the right is fixed. Offenhauser used a radiused "cup" over the top of the valve stem and with four valves per cylinder it can be very time consuming.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:00 PM   #33
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

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Pete / Dale,
Here's a photo of an Offenhauser valve stem "Filing block" I have used setting valve lash [clearance] on a 220. The one on the left is adjustable and the one on the right is fixed. Offenhauser used a radiused "cup" over the top of the valve stem and with four valves per cylinder it can be very time consuming.
Yes, I am familiar with those blocks. Also familiar with Offy "cups" and the time to do a set of valves...
We use Offy cam grinds in flathead Fords sometimes.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:23 AM   #34
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

Yes - used to see the Offy's at both Joe Reath's and Joe Hunt's places. The valve guys at Reath's would bitch and moan about all the work it took to reach up inside the cylinders to do valve jobs . . . lots of time and $$$ spent.

As Pete noted, the idea of a "radius lifter" on the flathead really came from Offy from everybody I've ever talked too. Isky made an awful lot of 404-A cams . . . by using the Offy radius lifter idea (and Pete has too!)

But what an engine . . . wish I had a big Offy - turbocharged and injected!
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:26 AM   #35
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Default Re: Flathead Valve Adjusting Methods ??'s

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But what an engine . . . wish I had a big Offy - turbocharged and injected!
While we're wishing, how about a Novi? One of the greatest sounds ever heard at the "Speedway"!!
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