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Old 11-20-2019, 08:07 AM   #21
glennpm
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

Hi Gary,


I'm very interested in this, "I also may have a better method than using the holes drilled through the bottoms of lifter bores to keep them from turning while adjusting the screws, we'll see how that pans out?" I just adjusted my lifters with the tool and it was one of the most miserable things ever on any motor!


Thanks,
Glenn
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:15 AM   #22
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

I don't like how loose the stock guides fit the guide bores - so I tighten them up.

There are a couple reasons I do this is: So that my initial sealing is exactly what I want it to be, so the guides can't "rock" around and allow the valve to change it's alignment with the seat and for better heat transfer on the exhaust side. The last reason is that on race style engines I profile the top of the guide during the porting process, so it needs to "stay in place" to match the porting profile.

So - I'm with Pete and Ron on this particular aspect of building.

All in all, opinions and debate are a good thing -- cats can be skinned lots of ways . . . especially flathead cats! LOL
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:23 AM   #23
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

This is interesting. What causes them to get "locked in" from use? Is it the carbon and other misc gunk? There have been some that need a real BFH to break them free.

What are you race guys doing to lock them in place during a build? A Locktite-type product, knurling, or some other method?

Last edited by Tim Ayers; 11-20-2019 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:27 AM   #24
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Originally Posted by alchemy View Post
Not a lot of experience doing it, but I had always understood it's bad to screw the adjusters outward. They won't have as tight of interference on the threads then. Do you guys run into this?

Do you guys ever use any locking fluid in the adjusters after they have a "final" adjustment? I can see it would be a bear to keep them clean and lube-free while all the assembly is happening, and impossible to clean again once in the engine.
There can be a lot of issues with adjustable lifters . . . with many used ones having adjusters that are too loose (from being used/adjusted many times). One reason I use longer valves is so that when I'm running a big camshaft (which will then have a smaller diameter base circle), I don't end up needing a "longer lifter" to fill the gap.

With a big cam, adjustables and stock length valves (and no lash caps), you have to "fill the gap" by backing the adjusters way out - which tends to reduce the number of threads in the "interference fit" - which tends to cause the adjusters to be loose and then back-off. This is why the lash adjustment keeps growing . . . and you start hearing lifter noise. This is also why Ford's original design (non-adjustables) works really well . . . there is nothing to "loosen up" later on . . .
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:41 AM   #25
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Originally Posted by Tim Ayers View Post
This is interesting. What causes them to get "locked in" from use? Is it the carbon and other misc gunk? There have been some that need a real BFH to break them free.

What are you race guys doing to lock them in place during a build? A Locktite-type product, knurling, or some other method?
I've seen everything from copper plating the guides (to increase the OD just a bit), to custom guides (aluminum, bronze, etc), to a 'glue' process like epoxy/locktite, to knurling, etc..

It kind of depends on the builder, the intentions of the build, the amount of porting/profiling being done on the back of the intake port (really bad trough at the back of the guide - against the port wall), etc..

The exhaust side tends to get locked in by carbon - but that doesn't mean the original fitment was good - that it was nice and tight to transfer heat to the water jackets (which is really important for valve life). Or that the valve had to "bounce around to find center" - before the guide was carboned in . . . which adds wear to the sealing surfaces.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:40 PM   #26
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Originally Posted by Tim Ayers View Post
This is interesting. What causes them to get "locked in" from use? Is it the carbon and other misc gunk? There have been some that need a real BFH to break them free.

What are you race guys doing to lock them in place during a build? A Locktite-type product, knurling, or some other method?
Tim when I do the locked in place guides I add a slight knurl to the them this will lock them nicely. As Dale wrote its an important aspect to getting the valve exactly in a permanent location in relation ship to the valve seat and adds to the sealing of the valve pocket in relation ship to the lifter chamber. This helps eliminate an internal engine vacuum leak and oil being sucked into the port reducing the octane rating of the gas some and causing a reduction in economy and performance. With a guide thats allowed to move around the valve is always searching for that perfect center against the valve seat.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:21 PM   #27
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

In the past, I have copper plated original guides and then installed Winona bronze inserts but this leaves no material on the top of the guide for contouring to the port for flow improvement. Knurling with glue would achieve the same results as plating.
For the last 40 years I have been making bronze guides from bar stock. I leave a half inch extra on top to contour to the port. I install the guides with .001 press and glue.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:01 PM   #28
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Originally Posted by Ronnieroadster View Post
Tim when I do the locked in place guides I add a slight knurl to the them this will lock them nicely. As Dale wrote its an important aspect to getting the valve exactly in a permanent location in relation ship to the valve seat and adds to the sealing of the valve pocket in relation ship to the lifter chamber. This helps eliminate an internal engine vacuum leak and oil being sucked into the port reducing the octane rating of the gas some and causing a reduction in economy and performance. With a guide thats allowed to move around the valve is always searching for that perfect center against the valve seat.
Ronnieroadster
Interesting, Ron. Love threads like this. Always learning something...
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:03 PM   #29
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Originally Posted by Pete View Post
In the past, I have copper plated original guides and then installed Winona bronze inserts but this leaves no material on the top of the guide for contouring to the port for flow improvement. Knurling with glue would achieve the same results as plating.
For the last 40 years I have been making bronze guides from bar stock. I leave a half inch extra on top to contour to the port. I install the guides with .001 press and glue.

Interesting, Pete. So I guess this may be an obvious question, but I'd assume you don't need to use a insert if the entire guide is made from bronze.

Do you knurl the valve opening/hole in the guide or just run it tight?

I'm also assuming bronze guide would wear better than a cast iron stock-type.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:30 PM   #30
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Interesting, Ron. Love threads like this. Always learning something...
The nice thing about threads like this Tim is your learning form guys who actually use the product we speak of and do this stuff pretty much full time. Not like some builder who spends most of the time on chevy, honda, and toyota engine rebuilds.
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:37 PM   #31
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Originally Posted by Tim Ayers View Post
Interesting, Pete. So I guess this may be an obvious question, but I'd assume you don't need to use a insert if the entire guide is made from bronze.

Do you knurl the valve opening/hole in the guide or just run it tight?

I'm also assuming bronze guide would wear better than a cast iron stock-type.
No inserts with solid bronze guides.
No knurling. Fit at .002.
A set of bronze guides will run a whole season of races. (10 full programs, including hot laps, timing in, dash, heat and 30 lap main)

As a side note, cast iron guides have very good wear properties if chrome stem valves are used. Very poor heat dissipating properties though.
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:13 AM   #32
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

I’m reading this thread to learn the varying thoughts, as I am young and the knowledge shared should be soaked up! Question, a local flathead guru here uses solid bronze guides knurled and driven into place. I get the pint and benefits of that, but he also shortens the guides from stock on the bottom end and only has roughly .250” of guides below the retainer. What’s the benefit to that?
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:35 AM   #33
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Im reading this thread to learn the varying thoughts, as I am young and the knowledge shared should be soaked up! Question, a local flathead guru here uses solid bronze guides knurled and driven into place. I get the pint and benefits of that, but he also shortens the guides from stock on the bottom end and only has roughly .250 of guides below the retainer. Whats the benefit to that?
For one thing, it is cheaper. For 16 guides he will probably use 14 inches less material. Bronze bar stock is not cheap.
On the other hand, the shorter the guide, the faster it and the valve stem wear.
The shorter the guide, the slower the heat transfer away from the valve also.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:09 AM   #34
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

I never thought about the valve not hitting true center unless the guide is set. Makes sense now. Curious how you find that dimension before locking the guide into place.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:16 AM   #35
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

Lock guide & then final cut seat is how I do that process.
Cheers
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:16 AM   #36
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

The guide must be centered withing the clearance of the valvestem to guide...there are some margins there...
As long as guide to bore is less then guide to stem...
With a "modern" engine the rockerarm forces the valve sideways in the guide to...
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:51 AM   #37
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Lock guide & then final cut seat is how I do that process.
Cheers
Tony:

With your method, the guide is acting as a pilot for cutting the seat?
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #38
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

Heads up guys, my intention here is NOT to "redesign the wheel", it's to make some of the existing procedures that most of us have become accustomed to on the Flatheads a bit easier accomplish!

Here's a short list of items I'm trying to make easier!

1-Adjusting the valves (I'm still referring to new builds here) without the headache of reaching under the manifold area to get all 16 done. The method I started this post about recently, "on the bench", really works fine for me. I can "hit" the target lash number within a "thou or two" WITHOUT having to hold the lifters and turn the adjusting nuts inside the unit. I will "dial-in" the necessary numbers during the final assembly. This ENTIRE procedure now should take us about an "hour and a half", two at the most, to get ALL 16 valves assembled AND lashed??

2-Holding the lifters from turning even with the bores drilled is still no "fun", this is even mentioned above here by "glennpm", I'm in total agreement with him! I am still working on this here?

3-Dale addressed this above, working with ANY small-base cams has always posed an issue for me from years back. We began using the lash caps to get past this one. They work flawlessly, BUT, on the final assembling it is also a "headache" getting the locks AND the lash caps in place together! I have 2 of Tony's cams here now, both have lash caps. I have no issue with using the caps long-term, just during the assembling! On the "flip" side using Chevy valves here to address this small-base, it creates just another one that's worse (in my opinion) than getting the lash caps installed. it ALTERS the install spring height dimensions drastically? I know from many past posts up here this is a "major" one not a "minor one. I know this as well also due the number of guides we've sold with the adjustable spring seat registers! This entire "dilemma" is a really simple "fix", as of today we will be ordering new Ferrea valves to work with the small-base cams, we are adding .080" to the OEM lengths, but placing the keeper grooves in the same location as the OEM valves. This solves the small-base-cam/longer valve "dilemma"! Simple fix on this one!

4-I've been working on one issue for a about 2 years now, just don't have enough time to dedicate to this one. I've already spoke to Paul at "Topline" about it and for what I would need from him is "no problem" he claims? It is a hydraulic lifter setup, this one MAY fall under the "redesigning the wheel" category?? If you think about this seriously for a moment, it would solve a whole bunch of issues that are now present. No hole-drilling the lifter bores, no adjustment nuts on the lifters to contend with, not now OR down the road later, no possible lifter "ticking" noises ever!

Now, to address a couple other items mentioned above here, I have no problem with "pressed guides" (no matter the method), I have absolutely no problem with 1-pc (solid) "bronze guides" other than the cost (I can only imagine that here)? You would be surprised what you'd find in these blocks if you had the opportunity to "probe" one?? They're "all-over-the-place" so to speak!

One other item I'll mention here quickly, it's been discussed up here most recently, is the issue with "various" valve heights BELOW the original numbers AFTER grinding/cutting new valve seats. I've worked with a high number of Flathead over some 45/50 years and have FINALLY come to the conclusion from this day forward EVERY unit through the door here will now get 16 new inserts for the valves, there'll be no exceptions it will be "built-in" the pricing. This will all but "guarantee" a much better finished assembly!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Back to the "crown" on the adjusting nuts for a moment, we don't make the lifters and I was just as surprised to find this out as many up here were. It is something I never bothered to check or look further into, it has NEVER affected any build we've ever done, and contrary to that "crown" wearing-down, I have never found it in all my experiences. The ride in my signature has about 40,000 miles on it now, 155 HP/265 TQ and is as quiet today as the day we dynoed it. It probably ended up somewhere around 170/175 HP after the tri-power carb/intake change. We dynoed with a single 4 brl Holley. Clive at Stromberg gave him the little bit of extra HP!!
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:37 AM   #39
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

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Originally Posted by Tim Ayers View Post
Tony:

With your method, the guide is acting as a pilot for cutting the seat?
Correct Tim. Just like a OHV cylinder head.
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Old 11-21-2019, 01:43 PM   #40
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Default Re: Flathead Lifter Adjusting - "On the Bench"

Hi,


Regarding, "Holding the lifters from turning even with the bores drilled is still no "fun", this is even mentioned above here by "glennpm", I'm in total agreement with him! I am still working on this here?"

During my adjustment struggle with an assembled motor and no drill holes, I found a solution for the last three lifters that I struggled with. Wish I knew to tell the short block assembler to drill the holes!

After just a few hundred miles, I decided to check the clearances. I have an ISKY Max 1 cam and Johnson lifters. All of the clearances except one were over the required 0.014" that I needed. I ran through all of them and after struggling with about three, went through another rotation, rechecking and then working on the problem ones. I have adjusted many solid lifter motors and these on the Flathead were the worst ever for me. Access in the 32 added to the fun! Very hard to get a feel for how much rotation was being made and with the locking fluid, tough to move.

I found that the Johnson tool works fairly well when adjusting such that the lever to the adjacent valve is rotating into it rather than away from it when turning the adjustment nut. I used a couple of pry levers and a large screwdriver to push between the lifter being adjusted and the Johnson tool and thin wrenches. I noticed that especially when the tool was rotating away from the adjacent valve spring, that the ramp on the formed tool was allowing my levers and screwdriver to ride up and away from the down force I needed. I decided cut the ramps off with my Dremel and it worked well allowing me to get the last few stubborn lifters adjusted. In one of my pictures you can see one of the tools of the set with the ramp removed and the other intact. I cut that one off too.


Glenn
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tools Used for Adjustment.jpg (70.6 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg Remove Ramp - Johnson Tool Mod.jpg (38.8 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Screwdriver Levering with Tool Ramp Removed.jpg (55.3 KB, 26 views)
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