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1954 Ford 850 Tractor w/blown Head Gasket (at the very least)

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I have a tappet adjuster similar to this one to set up my Austin Healey 3000: Makes life much easier

Great Steve!


--- Quote from: DavidA on May 30, 2014, 06:27:52 AM ---..I really can't see how any form of accurate adjustment could possibly be achieved with the engine running..

This used to be the method for adjusting the tappets on at least one type of Bedford engine way back in the 40-50s.

I never had to do it, but apparently the idea was to slacken off the lock nut then,  with the feeler guage inserted,  turn down the adjusting screw until the 'tapping' stopped. then tighten up the lock nut.
I assume that when you had done them all you stopped the engine and checked the tightness of the nuts.

Possibly that is why some one invented hydraulic adjusters.

Sounds very awkward.  but I am assured it works.


--- End quote ---

That method sounds absolutely ridiculous to me.
For a start, how the hell would anyone be able to isolate the noise of the tappet being adjusted when there are 7 others rattling away in close proximity and all the other mechanical background noise associated with a running engine.

The static method is infallible as  the tappet being adjusted is set with the camshaft in a position where the cam follower is corresponding to the base circle of the cam. This being the lowest point on the cam and clear of the quietening ramps on the flanks of the cam lobe,this represents the dwell centre point of zero lift.

I maintain that the most reliable an accurate method of setting clearances is to adjust the tappets with the engine heated up to running temp and then set the clearances with the motor static and turn the crank with a socket on the front pulley.....OZ.

Prior to hydraulic lifters a majority if not all over head valve engines on this side of the pond had the valve lash adjusted while the engine was running. Several companies made special tools to allow one handed adjustment while the other hand controlled the feeler gauge. The link shows one of the simplest least expensive tools.


It is easier with the SPQR tappet adjuster(Awemawson), but I have done it without on many occasions with the engine running, often it was because they would rattle quite loudly unless you set them running. Also used it to quiten a single noisy tappet. Running with the rocker cover off can be messy, but if you place a wooden hammer shaft on each tappet in turn, and press down you can soon find the noisy tappet, then slip in a feeler and adjust. It works, but knocks hell out of the feelers. I think this was the recommended method on engines fitted with rotator caps, and if you look at the pics further back in the post, you can sort of see why. The rotator cup compresses the spring, and the collets, but leaves the valve free to turn. If you tried to set these static, you would read the back pressure from the spring as the tappet being set correctly, but in reality there will still be clearance between the cap and the stem top. If it is done running, you hear the tappet "go quiet" but the feeler is still slipped easily in and out of the moving tappet. Engines of this type always ran noisy unless you set "hot and running"


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