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Valve stem seals for L-head Lark VI

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  • Engine: Valve stem seals for L-head Lark VI

    1960 Lark VI (L-head)

    Blows quite a bit of smoke after sitting overnight. It's pretty cloudy at startup, but goes down to a thin stream after a minute, and disappears altogether after a few minutes at idle.

    I'm pretty sure it's the valve seals, but I can't seem to find them anywhere by searching "1960 Lark 6 valve seals". Anyone got a part number? I'm assuming that these are the umbrella variety and can be replaced without pulling the head.

    Thank you

  • #2
    I have never seen valve seals on a flat head engine. Are the valve oil deflectors still in place? They are the sheet metal pieces that sit inside the valve covers on the lower side of the engine.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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    • #3
      These were not used on this engine but on the OHV6 and the V8. Lifters are notorious for wearing on the flathead. This might be the cause of your problem.
      Nice evening to all.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
        I have never seen valve seals on a flat head engine. Are the valve oil deflectors still in place? They are the sheet metal pieces that sit inside the valve covers on the lower side of the engine.
        They are installed....now. I had find a pair a few months ago when I was replacing the manifold gasket because whoever worked on this engine neglected to put them back.

        - - - Updated - - -

        Originally posted by christophe View Post
        These were not used on this engine but on the OHV6 and the V8. Lifters are notorious for wearing on the flathead. This might be the cause of your problem.
        Nice evening to all.
        How difficult a job are they to replace?

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        • #5
          But your symptoms sound more like it is time for a ring job. The lifters will let a lot of oil by when hot, not so much when cold. Of course I'm assuming the smoke is blue. How many miles show on the car? If the car was ever on a used car lot back in the day, add 20 or 30K to that. They were ALL set back from the stories I've heard.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ross View Post
            But your symptoms sound more like it is time for a ring job. The lifters will let a lot of oil by when hot, not so much when cold. Of course I'm assuming the smoke is blue. How many miles show on the car? If the car was ever on a used car lot back in the day, add 20 or 30K to that. They were ALL set back from the stories I've heard.
            82k on the odometer. Told it was rebuilt, but guessing that was a lie based on all the repairs I've made. Smoke is blue.

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            • #7
              Sounds like rings and valve guides are in order. But what would make them fit better as they warm up? Are the pistons expanding?

              What do the engine rebuilders on the forum say?
              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

              17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
              10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
              56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
              60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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              • #8
                Oil deflectors are easy, covers can be tricky. There is a hole on gasket landing for each lifter that is plugged maybe. hole goes through in lifter bore to oil galley for lifter lube. Easy to leak if not plugged. Mine is a 49. They say later ones had an aluminum plug, I made plugs for mine after fooling with it and looking engine drawing in book. Good luck.

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                • #9
                  1960 Lark VI (L-head) Blows quite a bit of smoke after sitting overnight. It's pretty cloudy at startup, but goes down to a thin stream after a minute, and disappears altogether after a few minutes at idle.
                  Most baby our Studes. Have you run it really hard? Most will start to smoke again if given some pedal-to-metal exercise.

                  Originally posted by christophe View Post
                  These were not used on this engine but on the OHV6 and the V8. Lifters are notorious for wearing on the flathead. This might be the cause of your problem.
                  Nice evening to all.
                  Yes, Champions wear the lifter bores as well as valve guides, which have no oil seals. Too much oil flooding the tappet chamber is then sucked up the intake guides.

                  But your symptoms sound more like it is time for a ring job.
                  Yes, no, maybe. A compression test and a leakdown test will indicate the condition of the ring seal.

                  The first Stude I ever worked on was a '56 185" which smoked a lot. "Re-ring 'er." was the advice I got from my betters. New rings on old pistons in worn bores didn't help much. It needed oversize lifters, new valves and guides and a re-bore with new pistons and rings and bearings. That was more money than anyone would spend on a six-cyl Stude in 1963.

                  FWIW, oversize lifters are currently NLA. There are rumors of new production, but yet unseen. If that doesn't happen, we'll have to consider figuring out how to sleeve the lifter bores.

                  Another FWIW - I've developed a method of adding modern positive seals when replacing Champion valve guides. It solves the smoking problem fer sure.

                  jack vines
                  Last edited by PackardV8; 12-27-2017, 11:57 AM.
                  PackardV8

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MrBulldops View Post
                    How difficult a job are they to replace?
                    Here is the procedure but it is quite involving.
                    As said Jack, oversize lifters are no longer available so you'd better check guides and valves first.
                    I forgot to ask you the weight of your engine oil. A thicker one could do the trick. I even saw engines quit smoking only by changing the oil brand!
                    I also read on this Forum that it was a common thing in the past to add an oil restrictor in the oil conduit to the lifters when overhauling a Champion engine. This might also help.
                    Nice day to all.
                    Attached Files
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                    • #11
                      There's your answer Spencer, if those Valves slop around more than Three and a Half Thousands, they need Help.

                      Usually by the number of Miles that cause that much wear, if not previously dealt with, it's needs More than Valves and or Valve Guides though.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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