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Old 09-26-2016, 06:50 AM   #101
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

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Originally Posted by scooder View Post

I'm not saying that the radius is not necessary, it is ideally perfect. Just saying that flat lifters have been used for years in engines rebuilt using genuine NOS Ford lifters.

Martin.
Hi Martin, one of the issues that I would foresee affecting the flat-faced lifters is the final spring pressures. I'm sure with any new factory-built units with spring pressures in the 40# range there would not be an immediate issue, when you get up into "performance-oriented" spring pressures I suspect that time-frame would be shortened considerably?

I do believe that is excellent info from Ron out at Isky! And I'm certain Isky and most other cam vendors buy from Paul at "Hy-lift-Johnson", I know for a fact Comp Cams is one company that uses their lifters. Its the same company we use when we need add'l supplies! All the new cam blanks are likely from CMC (Camshaft Machine Co) and are tapered??

It is also my strong belief (due to the Flathead design with the valve riding directly on the lifters, lacking pushrods/rocker arms) that the radiused face plays a part in causing the valve to "rotate" some, which is also why I don't believe you need an alternate "valve-rotator" type retainer on the topside to be used. I can't prove any of this but it does make perfect sense to me. Remember, the opening/closing spring action also helps some with valve rotation.

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. In all my years of machining/building units, the old "Nailhead" Buicks were the ONLY ones I ever HEARD of having non-radiused lifter bottoms, and I'm not certain about this either, I have never seen any that way.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:51 AM   #102
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

You've not seen the NOS Ford lifters with flat bottoms? That really surprises me. I'm not mad, they genuinely do exist. Can't just be me,Pete and crazycase that have seen this?
I totally agree that a radius base lifter (not talking 1"or 2" hot dog radius lifters here) is like I said ideally perfect, i was just pointing out that there are "stock" NOS Ford lifters with a flat base out there and have been for a long time, and must have been used an ungodly amount.
I get what you say about "performance" spring pressure, but the guy has an isky 88, not what I'd think needs performance spring pressure. Stock springs at 2" installed hight is most likely adequate, isky 185 g or red's "zephyr" at the max, it's a pretty gentle little cam. In my opinion it's a waste of money (the 88 cam) there's much much better streetable cams out there.
Martin.

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Old 09-26-2016, 10:33 AM   #103
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

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You've not seen the NOS Ford lifters with flat bottoms? That really surprises me. I'm not mad, they genuinely do exist. Can't just be me,Pete and crazycase that have seen this?
I totally agree that a radius base lifter (not talking 1"or 2" hot dog radius lifters here) is like I said ideally perfect, i was just pointing out that there are "stock" NOS Ford lifters with a flat base out there and have been for a long time, and must have been used an ungodly amount.
I get what you say about "performance" spring pressure, but the guy has an isky 88, not what I'd think needs performance spring pressure. Stock springs at 2" installed hight is most likely adequate, isky 185 g or red's "zephyr" at the max, it's a pretty gentle little cam. In my opinion it's a waste of money (the 88 cam) there's much much better streetable cams out there.
Martin.
Well then Martin, it's the perfect cam for me then, because that's all I've been doing on this whole build, wasting money; buying flat lifters, paying for all the machine work twice, and the cam is just icing on the proverbial cake. Haha!

These tappets are definitely flat, if not even very VERY slightly concave. Dale pointed out to me in a pm that you could slide one tappet base across another tappets side, and it's much easier to judge the profile that way. Sure enough, in the CENTER of the tappet I caught just the faintest glimmer of light shining through.

And even still, while I'm pretty sure that I AM over complicating things, and that I could likely run these without ANY issue, ever, I'm going to further explore the aftermarket adjustable options. Wonder how many of those have flat bases!?
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:48 AM   #104
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

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Well then Martin, it's the perfect cam for me then, because that's all I've been doing on this whole build, wasting money; buying flat lifters, paying for all the machine work twice, and the cam is just icing on the proverbial cake. Haha!
I really had to laugh at this one! AND I KNOW it's not the least bet funny in real life. I believe we all feel you pain, but have to admit you do appear to have a good attitude about it all (at least so far, are we approaching the breaking point? )

Ok maybe a bright spot to consider. If you were paying for training in old Fords your investment so far wouldn't be that much for what you have learned. Hang in there, you've come too far to throw in the towel!!!

We haven't even gotten to you most likely not selecting the best pistons, or rings, etc, LOL. As bad as it seems it is much better to straighten this all out now vs. assembling it and installing it in the car and then having no end of problems that are hard to track down.

Also, keep in mind some of this is OK vs better vs best. On some of these issues if you were just starting from scratch one might be a better option than another approach. But sometimes you just live with what you have to work with. Other issues are things that really need to be corrected now to avoid future problems.

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Old 09-26-2016, 11:01 AM   #105
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

You've had a bit of tough luck on this sucker now haven't yah! LOL

I think you're doing the right thing - making sure you have the right parts, right setup, etc.. - stick to it. Also, you're learning a lot and this thread helps others. The only bad part is that it is your wallet and time that are being sucked up in the process. That sucks.

I'd not run flat lifters if it was mine - why compromise at this point? Either have them resurfaced with the correct radius, or find some others. When lifters DON'T rotate, then things wear out in a hurry - so why risk it.

I appreciate that you're keeping a good attitude and not just throwing this engine together with a 'Fxxx It' attitude - in the end, this will benefit you and your engine greatly.

Hang in there . . .

B&S
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:31 AM   #106
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

An exaggerated view of cam / lifter interface. With a flat lifter it would be ridding on the edge of the cam lobe. Maybe not the end of the world, but certainly not ideal.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:43 AM   #107
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

If you've got a hint of light in the center of the lifter base it's concave, worse than flat. The ideal is a slight hint of light at the edges, as in convex.
On the plus side these stock Ford lifters are the lightest buy a country mile. With your slight hint of light in the center, I'd definitely get um ground to radius 96".
The 88 cam, some folk love um dearly, Brian loves his in his 21 stud. Me, I prefer more cam, hence my comment, only my opinion though. You may love it. You got it already, so run it.
I didn't mean to offend you, hope I didn't. You sure have been an a real steep learning curve with this engine ain't you, though the biggest villain in the story is your first machine shop! They really f@#!ed you, never understand how these places stay in business? I admire your perseverance, keep at it and you'll have a nice little runner.
Martin.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:49 PM   #108
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

Guys, don't worry, nobody is offending me. I've got a pretty great sense of humor.

In the interest of keeping this thread informative, Ron Iskenderian recommends that "the spherical radius on the cam face should be between 60 and 80 inches for best results" when running his Isky 88 regrind.

Furthermore, it dawns on me that as the difference between the "96" radius" and "flat"is only 0.0013", it's not at all surprising that a great number of NEW Ford tappets are FLAT, because NO OTHER SPEC in my flathead manual is held that tight. Am I wrong!?
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:20 PM   #109
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

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An exaggerated view of cam / lifter interface. With a flat lifter it would be ridding on the edge of the cam lobe. Maybe not the end of the world, but certainly not ideal.
Hi "J", close on the diagram but let me add to it some with one direct from Isky (below). Just appears slightly more accurate??

(Add) Probably the main reason for us not seeing any "flat" style lifters over the years is due to the fact that when a unit comes in here for a build just about every old piece ends up in the dumpster unless the customer wants them back! Cam, lifters, timing gears, pistons, etc ALL in the dumpster! By the time these pieces get here they have "outlived" their intended useful life for the most part!

On a side note, this (flat) style lifter MAY be the sole reason Ford went over to the rotators on the valves, just an educated guess on my part? The time frame definitely would fit?

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Casey, get the right parts and call it a day! Those lifters I showed in my earlier post are the very SAME ones in my good friend's ride (again, in my signature), he has the very same cam you mention (Isky's 88), it has about 40,000 miles it now?, and at the time the unit was FULLY assembled here in about a total of 4 or 5 hours! Not a single "snag" along the way, not one. That ride weighs close to 4000# (maybe more) and "pulls like freight-train", this was my friend's description when the unit was new and just installed.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:54 PM   #110
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

So, I'm going to certainly offend some people here. I've got an engineer buddy who's fond of pointing out people's proclivities towards applying "Brand X" technology towards more unique power plants; in our discussions it has generally centered around Chrysler Hemi engines, but in this case, it's the Ford Flathead.

The staunchest advocates (on this thread) of the 96" tappet bottom radius as being "absolutely necessary" (you know who you are) have all said that it is because the camshaft lobe is ground with a slight taper, and without the corresponding camshaft follower (tappet) radius, the camshaft will ultimately go flat.

Well, I walked into Dema Elgin's office yesterday morning; if you don't know the Elgin name, one need only glance around Dema'a office at the multitude of signed "Thank You" photographs from all the record setting Bonneville cars he's ground camshafts for, to see that this man knows his business (Vern Tardel's 177mph Blown Flathead Roadster is among those cars). I had told Dema that I had a set of NOS Ford Tappets that were flat, and that I wanted them resurfaced with a radius on the bottom. AND, I had told him that Ron Iskenderian had specified that I run a 60"-80" radius for best results.

Well, as I handed Mr. Elgin the box of tappets, he was astounded, first, that they were in fact NOS, but not surprised in the slightest that they were totally flat, but then he went on to explain WHY flathead tappets are flat. He dug around for an old technical drawing of a flathead camshaft, and explained that flathead cams DO NOT, in fact have a tapered lobe. The 96" radius was purely spec'd on an engineering sheet to make up for any inconsistencies in tappet bore to lobe alignment, but the tappets are in actuality, flat.

Well, what about Ron Iskenderian's recommended tappet radius, stories of Isky articles recommending against running stock Ford tappets on reground cams because they're flat, etc. Dema told me to call Ron Iskenderian, and to ask him if his flathead camshafts had any lobe taper. And he said to be sure I tell him Dema Elgin's the one asking. And Ron said, you know, I'm not sure, I know the OHV V8's do, and that's where you need the 60"-80" radius, but I'm going to have to go to the blueprints and get back to you about the flathead. Mr. Elgin was shaking his head.

The next day I get a call back from Ron. Flathead camshafts, including Isky grinds DO NOT have a tapered lobe. And you can run a flat bottomed Ford tappet all day long, but having a tapered radius is still good insurance against tappet bore to lobe alignment inconsistencies, and so he'd still recommend it.

So, there you have it, straight from the mouths of two living legends, two of the most successful names in the camshaft business...you guys are all wet! Though, ultimately your advice is still sound, and I'm greatful to have gone on this journey to know definitively (what I keep asking) WHY!? And to pass that info on to anybody who's still paying attention...
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:54 PM   #111
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

LOL, so Ron didn't know the answer without checking, now that is funny!!!
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:39 PM   #112
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

There has been a lot of engineering done since the begining of the 20th century as related to internal combustion engines. Many things were tried and many things were determined to be with merit but did everyone follow those trends, probably not and for a lot of different reasons. One reason being, planned obsolescence. FoMoCo kept making parts for flatheads long after they were out of production so they weren't making a lot of bucks off of that stuff. They just did so to satisfy a need to keep their customers happy. Even that has limits though. Now days, they will supply parts for about 10-years and that's it. A lot of these parts are contracted out so that FoMoCo can concentrate on the new stuff.

For folks that worry, use plenty of ZDDP in your motor oil during break in. It may not help at all but it will calm the worries. An old Sargent Major told me once what he thought about experts. "An Ex is a former and a spert is a drip under pressure". After that, I never wanted to be one.

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Old 09-29-2016, 10:12 PM   #113
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

Thanks crazycasey for rooting out this information. I think we all learned something. That also explains why I see a straight line wear pattern in a lot of old used lifters.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:02 AM   #114
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

Casey,
Thank you for finding this out, proof that I'm not mad, and not imaging what I've seen lots of. That being flat stock NOS Ford lifters. Like I said, they've been used for years.
Again thank you, Elgin cams really know there stuff.
Martin
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:03 AM   #115
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

Thanks cc for the info. Very interesting.

Mart.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:24 AM   #116
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

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Casey,
Thank you for finding this out, proof that I'm not mad, and not imaging what I've seen lots of. That being flat stock NOS Ford lifters. Like I said, they've been used for years.
Again thank you, Elgin cams really know there stuff.
Martin
The fact of the matter is, as Elgin pointed out, when the engines were brand new and everything was in perfect alignment it was no big deal, but now that things are worn, that radius IS important. Just not for the reasons most folks here were saying.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:04 AM   #117
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

I'm a little out of my depth here, but this is an interesting subject. The thing that occurs to me though, is that it is an offset of the cam lobe to the lifter centre that promotes a rotation in the lifter. The radius may be a red herring as far as rotation is concerned. If the cam lobe wiped directly across the centre of the lifter it would not want to rotate. Offset that wipe area and the lifter will receive a little rotational push every time.

Mart.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:55 AM   #118
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

I will add that reground cams have a reduced base circle, which weakens cam, effecting the rigidity, and can result in flex in the cam as you adjust the valves. We spent a whole night years ago adjusting the valves on a 3/4 race cam, over & over again until we got them where we wanted them. Went like a goosed moose after that tedious all night session.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:39 AM   #119
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

Mart,
The cam lobe doesn't really just wipe across the lifter base. Lobe to lifter contact starts in the middle of the lifter base on the clearance ramp of the lobe, then the contact area moves outward to the edge of the lifter, then back to the middle, then out to the other side, then back to the center. Doesn't actually go right to the edges, if it did it'd wipe out the lobe.
Martin.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:22 AM   #120
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Default Re: Need help from the flathead gurus...? Valve clearance issue

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I will add that reground cams have a reduced base circle, which weakens cam, effecting the rigidity, and can result in flex in the cam as you adjust the valves. We spent a whole night years ago adjusting the valves on a 3/4 race cam, over & over again until we got them where we wanted them. Went like a goosed moose after that tedious all night session.
Dema mentioned that too. He said you can actually measure that deflection. Crazy to think about.
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