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Loose Valve Clips in '51 Champion. What now?

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  • Engine: Loose Valve Clips in '51 Champion. What now?

    Continuing to work on reviving my '51 Champion, which I let sit for 20 years. The engine was rebuilt by the previous owner, but not used since, beyond my driving it to Ohio and back in 1999 to get it painted.

    Checking the valves due to a rough idle, I discovered these clips in the rear valve gallery had come off the valves. One broken, two chewed. I've adjusted the tight valve, but what do I do about these? How do they go back on? what tools needed? It's not discussed very well in the shop manual. I guess I have to check the front gallery, too.

    Can anyone give advice and assistance? Do I have to take the fuel pump and manifold off to check the front gallery? Not looking forward to that!

    Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by newedmu; 04-04-2021, 07:27 AM.

  • #2
    Both Valve Doors are removable without any "Teardown".
    Once the Lifter Tension Springs are inserted the proper side up (Long Side) and in the proper Location between the Valve Spring and Lifter, I don't see them ever coming out.
    All 12 should have them. The Valve Springs are to be Installed, Close Coils UP, and the "Flat" aligned to the "Keeper Clip"/Retainer.

    Were the 2 Oil Splash Shields installed? Your Shop Manual should be some help, reading it. It is clear that the last Person who worked on this did NOT.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      Thanks for responding. Didn't have time yesterday to get back to the computer. Yes, the oil splash shield was installed in the rear gallery. I removed it to get the entangled tension springs out. Can the engine run with the springs out for testing? I guess it can, as these have been off and bouncing around. I would like to confirm the valve adjustment issue is solved before investing in the replacement springs by themselves, along with the time needed to install, etc, only to find the idling issue is not solved. I need to ensure I'm fixing that! Thanks again.


      • #4
        Would mention that later engines with the exact same valve train did not use the little spring clips. Just installed an NOS 1960 Champion engine--no clips.


        • #5
          I opened the front cover last night and found four clips off and piled up in the 'well' between the two galleries. The two that were still on the valves had been installed upside down. I guess that's why they're all off. And it seems like EVERY valve was quite tight. Still trying to get my wrenches, arms and back into the right shape to adjust those two on number 3...

          I received a response from Dwain Gridlinger, who recommends just deleting the tension springs as that's what Studebaker did in 1957. Posting his response below to close this out and to record for anyone who might care. Thanks for the comments.

          Dwain's comment:

          " I would take all those spring clips out and leave them out. They were intended to push down on the lifters and keep them in contact with the cam base circle to reduce engine noise. I don't think they actually did much. Lifters should fall by their own weight. Studebaker simply discontinued them during the 1957 model year. They could have come loose due to some sticking valves when the engine was first started after sitting so long. Be sure to re-install the baffle plates though.
          " Yes. you can run the engine very briefly with the valve covers off as there will be some oil splash. I wouldn't worry too much about compression readings until the engine has been through a few heating-cooling cycles. I'm sure the carburetor dried up after the long sit and will need a thorough cleaning and kit.
          " That's a handsome little car! DG"