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Old 06-13-2021, 03:20 PM   #1
hotrodcbx
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Default JAX vintage valve components

About 4 years ago I bought a set of adj. lifters made by JAX Vintage Valve Components. My flathead (built by Mark Kirby RIP) has been reliable for 25 years but me being me decided to upgrade the cam and lifters this year. I also purchased a Sneider Cam with these JAX lifters. They were beautifully built and finished.
I installed them paying particular attention to using quality cam breaking lube on the new cam and lifters. I broke in everything over a period of 30 minutes holding 2000 RPM, varying the RPM occasionally. Checked the valve clearances and all was good, After about 1000 miles my engine started making nasty valve noises. I checked the clearance and they were extremely loose. I checked the valve lift and all was in spec. so all I can conclude from this is the adjusters were not working as intended.
Has anyone had similar experience with this make of lifter??
Is there anyway I can tighten up the adj. screws without removing them??
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Old 06-13-2021, 04:15 PM   #2
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

There is a way to tighten the screws by squeezing the screw to provide more thread mismatch but it involves disassembly.
I would consider a new set of #2032 Johnson lifters (stay away from 'hollow' Johnson 'style' lifters. )
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Old 06-13-2021, 04:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

My experience was that if the screw is too far in or too far out, the deformed thread locking mechanism will not be as effective. I think it is also a good idea not to move them too much during adjustment. Keep movement to a minimum.
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:21 PM   #4
J Franklin
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

I had a model A adjustable lifter that liked to wander. I used some red LocTite when I re-adjusted it and it hasn't moved since.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:18 AM   #5
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrodcbx View Post
About 4 years ago I bought a set of adj. lifters made by JAX Vintage Valve Components. My flathead (built by Mark Kirby RIP) has been reliable for 25 years but me being me decided to upgrade the cam and lifters this year. I also purchased a Sneider Cam with these JAX lifters. They were beautifully built and finished.
I installed them paying particular attention to using quality cam breaking lube on the new cam and lifters. I broke in everything over a period of 30 minutes holding 2000 RPM, varying the RPM occasionally. Checked the valve clearances and all was good, After about 1000 miles my engine started making nasty valve noises. I checked the clearance and they were extremely loose. I checked the valve lift and all was in spec. so all I can conclude from this is the adjusters were not working as intended.
Has anyone had similar experience with this make of lifter??
Is there anyway I can tighten up the adj. screws without removing them??

Interesting. JAX lifters are Flathead Jack's new company. They sure look nice and their price reflects this, but it seems like you've got some bad ones.

I'd try to find some NOS or refurbed Johnson's. They work well and without issue for the most part.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

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It was the "apparent" high quality of the JAX lifters that persuaded me to purchase them.
They are unlike other adjustables in that the screw is much larger diameter than all the others. I did notice they did seem a little too easy to adjust. I am going to remove them today and see if I can "distort" the threads to give them a more interference fit and use red locktite. These were expensive and I hate throwing my money away!!
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

There seems to be issues with most of the repop lifters - especially with the screws loosening. Others have had issues with material quality and hardness. I've not yet tried the Flat Attack lifters - they appear to be very high quality and maybe they don't have these issues.

Given the problems you're having, you might consider either a thin "jamb nut" on the adjuster body or red-loctite . . . or try to compress the adjuster and get more thread interference. The last method might be a little sketchy in that it is hard to "get it right" when you don't have any spare adjusters to swap in . . . if you get it wrong.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

I've used the Flatattack lifters with no problems.
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:06 PM   #9
hotrodcbx
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

Today I took the heads/intake off on the driver side and removed the valves and lifters. All the clearances on cyl. 4 - 8 were extreme, some as high as .075. The lifter screws were loose but otherwise the lifter faces looked great, no sign of cam interference.
I took them apart and saw a crappy way of securing the adj. screw to the lifter body. There was a 1/8" hole drilled in the side of the screw with a nylon insert which fell out as I disassembled the lifter. There was no interference fit at all!!
I then put the screw in my vice and "distorted" the threads in a number of different areas. Finally I re-assembled with red locktite. Hope it works, they seem really tight now. I believe JAX has improved on these lifters as mine must have been an early production run... I'm still disappointed, for the price I expected more..
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

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Originally Posted by hotrodcbx View Post
Today I took the heads/intake off on the driver side and removed the valves and lifters. All the clearances on cyl. 4 - 8 were extreme, some as high as .075. The lifter screws were loose but otherwise the lifter faces looked great, no sign of cam interference.
I took them apart and saw a crappy way of securing the adj. screw to the lifter body. There was a 1/8" hole drilled in the side of the screw with a nylon insert which fell out as I disassembled the lifter. There was no interference fit at all!!
I then put the screw in my vice and "distorted" the threads in a number of different areas. Finally I re-assembled with red locktite. Hope it works, they seem really tight now. I believe JAX has improved on these lifters as mine must have been an early production run... I'm still disappointed, for the price I expected more..
Thanks for the update. Not cheap for sure and you should expect better for that price.

https://flatheadjax.blogspot.com/202...e-Lifters.html

No current price listed that I could find.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

He sure makes his stuff sound good.
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

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He sure makes his stuff sound good.
I don't know who wrote up all the descriptions, but it sure sounds like somebody from offshore who doesn't have much of a clue about the proper use of English and may possibly not even be the ole' Flathead Jack that we all knew of. I'm not sure the writer even knows what a flathead is . . . let alone what the parts he/she sells are used for.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:05 AM   #13
hotrodcbx
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

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Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
I don't know who wrote up all the descriptions, but it sure sounds like somebody from offshore who doesn't have much of a clue about the proper use of English and may possibly not even be the ole' Flathead Jack that we all knew of. I'm not sure the writer even knows what a flathead is . . . let alone what the parts he/she sells are used for.
I just read the descriptions and your not kidding!! Typical "English" of offshore products!!
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrodcbx View Post
Today I took the heads/intake off on the driver side and removed the valves and lifters. All the clearances on cyl. 4 - 8 were extreme, some as high as .075. The lifter screws were loose but otherwise the lifter faces looked great, no sign of cam interference.
I took them apart and saw a crappy way of securing the adj. screw to the lifter body. There was a 1/8" hole drilled in the side of the screw with a nylon insert which fell out as I disassembled the lifter. There was no interference fit at all!!
I then put the screw in my vice and "distorted" the threads in a number of different areas. Finally I re-assembled with red locktite. Hope it works, they seem really tight now. I believe JAX has improved on these lifters as mine must have been an early production run... I'm still disappointed, for the price I expected more..
Based on the limited information available it seems that these lifters were never meant to be used in anything but "Drag race engines" and not for normal road use.
That is why they are designed the way they are (for short runs)
I would never put a hollow 'bronze' lifter in a street engine.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:25 AM   #15
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

I think the whole writeup was done by somebody who has no clue about engines, racing engines or anything else. I wouldn't take a single word or paragraph on that website as having anything to do with the truth. It is all uninformed marketing BS . . .

And BTW, the website 'www.flatheadjax.com' . . . doesn't even work . . .
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

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Originally Posted by Tim Ayers View Post
Interesting. JAX lifters are Flathead Jack's new company. They sure look nice and their price reflects this, but it seems like you've got some bad ones.

I'd try to find some NOS or refurbed Johnson's. They work well and without issue for the most part.
Are you sure? It sure sounds like the kind of name game one would use when they want to take advantage of someone else's good reputation.
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:49 AM   #17
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: JAX vintage valve components

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Are you sure? It sure sounds like the kind of name game one would use when they want to take advantage of someone else's good reputation.
Well, good point. A few years ago, JAX Vintage Valve Components was absolutely Flat Head Jack's new company when he closed down his retail business.

Whether it still is under his ownership it to be determined.
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