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Old 09-10-2014, 11:55 AM   #1
1934calkid
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Default Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

This question was presented to me by a very reputable engine builder on here: You won't like this but I don't use adjustable lifters, I butt grind the valve stems on my engines. Nobody makes good adjustable lifters that I know of, there all made in China etc.. The adjustment screw in those lifters are usually to tight or to loose. It's hard to find a machine shop now that has a butt grinder on there valve machine. You can't do it on a bench grinder. If there is an older shop around your area they should have one. Ask that question on the Ford Barn, if anyone knows where to get adjustable lifters that are easy to adjust. To bad you didn't live closer, I'd adjust them for you.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:21 PM   #2
Tony, NY
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Bob Drake has them, page 20. Claims they are precision made. They are different than Reds.
http://www.bobdrake.com/Images/Sales...ds-Forever.pdf
http://reds-headers.net/index.php?ma...&products_id=4
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:28 PM   #3
JSeery
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Mine are Johnson's from Reds, but they do not say where they are made. The ones shown in the above link are solid style, the ones I have are the hollow style.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
McKay59AB
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

I have used Drake lifters. Some were too tight. Some were too loose. A few were just right. Never use 'em again.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

I am the "Poster Child" for BAD adjustable lifters. I'm sure that some are good, but all are very suspect in my mind. Further, it doesn't matter how much you pay for them.
My most recent set is from Bob Drake and I hope they are OK.
Here is a picture of one of many BAD ones that destroyed an engine for me. It had a "Rockwell" hardness of about 34. Drake claims 62, which should be OK. All are foreign made AFAIK.
Walt is absolutely correct. If you can use FORD lifters, you will sleep better at night.
Here's the pictures. BTW, the cam didn't like these at all
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Valve lifter 001.jpg (150.3 KB, 263 views)
File Type: jpg Valve lifter 002.jpg (151.7 KB, 269 views)
File Type: jpg Valve lifter 003.jpg (150.5 KB, 259 views)
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:42 PM   #6
Tom Walker
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

So please can someone outline the original Ford method for setting the clearance, right from start to finish PLEASE!

And why can't I grind the stems at home?

Thanks Tom.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Walker View Post
So please can someone outline the original Ford method for setting the clearance, right from start to finish PLEASE!

And why can't I grind the stems at home?

Thanks Tom.
Tom,
You can grind them at home. All it takes is a valve grinder, some machining experience and know the difference between .001 and .010

John
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:30 PM   #8
1934calkid
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Ok so where does one buy solid lifters ?
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

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Originally Posted by 1934calkid View Post
Ok so where does one buy solid lifters ?
Why would you want solid lifters? The lower the mass the better. Were you referring to non-adjustable lifters?
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

I am in the process of doing an "econo-build" of a good used 8BA I have. I was planning on making a fixture that would present the butt of the valve stem at exactly 90 degrees to my belt sander. With the proper grit belt, why wouldn't this work? Is there a radius on the end of the valve stem? Is the finish important? Sorry, "Don't try this at home" is not good enough with out sound backup reasoning. I have enough spare parts to experiment with this a little.

I have pretty much rejected the idea of adjustable lifters because of all that I have read here and other places. I would expect someone could clean up in this market by producing a quality lifter that was a little longer than stock so it wouldn't sit down on the bore when using a reground cam. Make a standard length for new cams and an .080" over length for regrinds.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

What you propose will work just fine, Tubman. Just a bit time consuming
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:17 PM   #12
BUBBAS IGNITION
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

I have two sets from Reds with some miles on them with no problem. Cant imagine why anyone would prefer grinding the stems over a adjustable lifter seems a lot of time and trouble to me. Of course adjusting a set isnt very much fun either ?????

Really want to hear what Walt Dupont says about this.....????????
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUBBAS IGNITION View Post

Really want to hear what Walt Dupont says about this.....????????
I think you heard Walt's opinion in the first post.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

We use adjustable lifters with straight stem valves and one piece guides on rebuilds. They are from C&G, and will stay adjusted if you use the special wrench set sold there. Grinding mushroom stems for clearance properly requires a valve grinder and considerable experience to get square ends. It is easy to grind stems, but you can't add material if you go too far. Almost every valve job results in at least one noisy set. Using zinc rich break in oil for the first couple of hundred miles will allow the lifters to mate with the camshaft. If you have a noisy valve, it is easy to reset it without replacement. Use a go/no go feeler gauge for setting and checking.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Don't know anything about these guys but they advertise new USA made adjustable lifters for just south of $200.00 for the set.
Crank Grinding & Machine Inc.
(DBA) CGM Motorsports
8211 Cloverleaf Drive
Millersville, Maryland
21108
If you want new adjustable lifters it might be worth contacting them.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

I am using Isky brand. In the last 5 sets only one lifter was marginally loose. When you use the adjustable try to make sure you do not screw down to far and have to come back up. The internal thread and external tread are not quite the same. That is where you get the tightness. If you go down and back up you lose the tightness.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:44 PM   #17
1934calkid
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

The photos in reply #4 by Kahuna sure would be enough to scare anyone !
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:03 PM   #18
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

There is a LOT of junk around since the death of the Johnson long ago. There was an article on Red's site years ago that noted something like 7 available sources, mostly soft junk. There are at least 2 or three more recent ones, and I have not heard any consensus that a good one has emerged. There has also been some outright fraud leading to things like those horrible pictures with lifters sold as Isky but shown to be very definitely not Isky after the catastrophic failures. And Isky I think is selling those extremely heavy solid ones, though I suspect that they are functional if Isky is guaranteeing cams bought with them.
All of that makes originals, still by far the lightest, look very good. They are significantly lighter even than the actual extinct Johnsons.
However...more tech is going to be need by most. Grinding is not going to do the job with aftermarket cam that has reduces circle, it is going to take some welding too.
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #19
1934calkid
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Thanks Bruce, so what is your advice on what to put in my engine for lifters ? now we are more confused than ever LOL................
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:21 PM   #20
McKay59AB
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Default Re: Adjustable or Non Adjustable Lifters ?

Isn't the early small block chev valve the same except the length is .098 longer and the ford spring has to be shimmed .060 to fit on the chev valve? That is what I am going to use for my regrinds and non-adjustables from now on.
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