Nate, I have a question...

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by Chiro, Feb 9, 2023.

  1. Chiro

    Chiro Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    A New York Yankee living in Virginia
    Or anyone else that may have the answer for that matter.
    There's a young fellow that I have become friendly with here in VA. He's 24 year old and has a 1951 Chevy four door survivor with a 235 I6 and a powerglide. Neat car.
    His 235 has hydraulic lifters in it. He complains that the 235's valves will start "clacking" after the engine warms up. Makes quite the racket.
    He brought the car over on Monday and I set the timing for/with him and the idle speed. It was WAAAAY off before we set it. Very far advanced. It's running much smoother now, starts quicker, etc. I believe this will help greatly with the "vapor lock" he has been experiencing. He reports that the engine is now running much cooler (go figure).

    Anyway...anybody have any idea why his valves (I'm assuming it's really the hydraulic lifters) get so noisy once the engine has been run for a while? He reports that it usually happens after about 30 minutes of running/driving.

    I've heard that the 235's with hydraulic lifters are problematic as the 235 doesn't provide enough oil pressure for the hydraulic lifters, but I figured I'd ask those with more experience on this than me.

    Also and BTW, I did something really STUPID when helping him time the engine. His starter is push button and there's a large solenoid on top of it that the foot starter in my truck does not have. I accidentally hit the hot lead on it while trying to loosen the octane adjuster on his distributor. I swear it was only a MILLISECOND of sparks but it grounded to my wedding ring. The ring got SUPER hot and caused a nearly third degree burn around the circumference of my finger, It's really nasty looking. Apparently, gold really is the best conductor:rolleyes:. Thank God it wasn't third degree but it's close. I tore the ring off my finger immediately because it was so darn hot but when I did all the skin came off with it.

    Sheepishly licking my wounds over here:oops:
    vwnate1 likes this.
  2. 52wasp

    52wasp Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Wilton, New Hampshire
    I hope the finger is OK. I see a lot of mechanics wearing "rubber" (well, not rubber, but a flexible, non-metallic material) wedding rings while working, for safety reasons. When I was a kid, my Dad (a lifelong mechanic/bodyman) accidentally crushed his wedding band ONTO his finger. The finger began to swell immediately. In a panic, he cut his ring from his finger WITH A HACKSAW. He didn't wear a ring for many years after that.

    As far a the noisy valvetrain, I would opine the "Cold" oil pressure is high enough to keep things quiet, but the "Hot" oil pressure is not. Perhaps there is a "fix" to the oil pump to improve performance?
    vwnate1 likes this.
  3. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

    Jan 1, 2000
    Wow Andy ;

    Sorry you got burned ~ that's a very common happenstance, glad you didn't loose your finger .

    When I was a newly married 18 year old I jumped out of the cab of a Korean war vintage Dodge M38 troop carrier and caught my wedding ring on a 1/4" stud sticking out, I dangled my full 180 pound weight on it until I was able to twist 'round and get back on the running board .

    Never again did I wear my wedding ring (I don't wear other rings) at work .

    The ex wasn't happy but I could have died or lost a finger .

    The hydraulic tappets need a _LOT_ of oil above a certain pressure and even when new the 235's suffered from clattery valves .

    Myself, I always delete them and go with solid tappets .

    Look at the oil pressure gauge when the engine is hot, if it drops to the peg your options here are limited .

    Look inside the oil filler cap, if it's squeaky clean _maybe_ you can stop the clattering by using 5W- whatever Winter grade oil, FULLY SYNTHETIC .

    Not knowing how old the engine is makes fixing this tricky ~ *if* you put on a good quality (used to mean Melling, I don't know anymore) oil pump it *might* help .

    The deal here is : these engines by design are high volume low pressure oilers .

    As the engine warms up all the tolerances get bigger so the oil escapes easier instead of being forced to pump up the hydraulic lifters .

    As you may recall, I like to replace the bearing shells on the crankshaft, rods and mains as that helps a lot *but* the cam bearings are also often worn so oil pressure is lost there too .

    Decide if this guy is willing to go whole hog or not and go from there .

    If he decides to keep the hydraulic tappets, get DELCO oes (if they're still available) and un pack them and put in a coffee can with the open side up and fill the can with 10W oil and let them soak as it takes a while to fill with oil .

    The adjustment after fitting hydraulic tappets is simple : position the crank to TDC for the cylinder you want and carefully run the adjuster screw in until you feel it *just*touch* the tappet then maybe 1/8 turn more and HOLD T THERE whilst you snug up the lock nut .

    It doesn't take much force to lock the nut ! . I just recently did a freshly done valve adjustment, I use a 5" long box wrench and stepped feeler gauges ~ the gorilla before me used an impact tool or something as the nuts were all over tightened to the point where the threads were damaged and all but one valve only had .002" clearance cold (!) , the other had .010" .

    I was able to force a correct adjustment and now the engine runs better and makes a very light rhythmic clicking sound like a sewing machine, I like it and others have commented on how nice it sounds .

    I hope this was helpful ? .

    I don't check in often but I will respond to any notifications .
  4. coilover

    coilover Member

    Mar 30, 2005
    Plano US
    I worked in a shop while in college that did work on big rigs with 24v electrical systems. It was a termination offense to have ANY kind of jewelry on while working. Most everyone had a special felt lined small locking drawer for bangle storage.
    vwnate1 likes this.

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