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  • Engine: Valve adjustment

    Hey guys, I have a 53' commander, looking for the best method to do valve adjustment on it. I have tapping in the upper part of the engine. Is it better to do while running or? Shop manual explains how to do it cold, but seems tedious. Let me know, thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by wbish6363 View Post
    Hey guys, I have a 53' commander, looking for the best method to do valve adjustment on it. I have tapping in the upper part of the engine. Is it better to do while running or? Shop manual explains how to do it cold, but seems tedious. Let me know, thanks!
    It is tedious, but only has to be done once in a blue moon.

    While not common, it's possible to have a rocker arm tip worn enough adjusting with a feeler gauge won't cause the tapping to cease. In that case, best science is to remove both rocker assemblies, have the shafts rodded out and the rockers reground. The CASO method is just to tighten it down until the tapping stops. A dial indicator with a magnetic base is another method.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      I have a 289 Hawk, never did it "running". I take the cover off and disconnect the coil (so it won't start). Watch the valves with driver's door open while I crank it. When the valve in question is "loose" (which I determine by watching the adjoining valve depress) I use a feeler gauge and adjust. Remember it's better to be a little loose than over tight. The other thing is I read your other post on value...so this car has been sitting I assume. Change the oil, run it for a while, a slight tap won't hurt a thing....let it clean up using a good oil. Remember too, the gap is different hot and cold. A tap when cold and no tap when hot is, in my mind, no problem at all.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jg61hawk View Post
        I take the cover off and disconnect the coil (so it won't start). Watch the valves with driver's door open while I crank it.

        A tap when cold and no tap when hot is, in my mind, no problem at all.
        I use a small jumper wire to kick the starter while I am under the hood. That way I can watch things closely.

        In my mind, a tap when cold and no tap when hot is IDEAL.
        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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        • #5
          Hey guys, so it has a tap to it hot and cold unfortunately. I'm almost positive it's a valve tapping. I am going to change the oil for sure, but being the car wasn't ever maintained, I feel a valve adjustment is way overdue. I'm hoping it will help with the noise as well. So basically go off the book on these adjustments then?

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          • #6
            Often as not, after a valve adjustment, I will have one or two valves that seem to have a more pronounced click than the others. Never has been a problem, and usually goes away in 5000 miles or so. If you have one valve that is VERY loud, it might be the fuel pump arm instead.

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            • #7
              Gotcha, I'll see how it goes then and just monitor after the adjustments

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              • #8
                Go to Bob Johnston's site or I think you can get instructions from Studebaker Parts Online. Basically set it on TDC, adjust 1/2 the valves, turn it over 360 deg and do the rest. I usually go 'round again just to be sure. It is not so ridiculously messy as doing it with motor running. After all these decades some of the adjusting screws are getting lose and don't hold there adjustment. Keep that in mind if you're always readjusting the same 1 or 2 or if they seem awfully easy to turn. I'm HOH but have no trouble hearing solid lifter noise-it is just the way it is.

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                • #9
                  If you use a "Mini Feeler Gauge" you wont have a problem with worn rockers. The blades are narrower than the valve stem. here in Arkansas asking an automotive machine shop to resurface rocker arms will get you some really funny looks!!! Luck Doofus

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