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Old 04-21-2009, 01:02 AM
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Aluminum heads, now valve noise?

I've been driving the 76 Vette for four days or so since it came off the dyno. It runs great & I'm pleased with the work I did - replacing cast iron heads on my stroker with AFR 195's aluminum.

The only thing I'm concerned about is valve noise. I used the same Crane 1.6 roller rockers that I had on the old heads. Before, I had very little valve clatter but now it's too much in my opine.

I just re adjusted the valves on the aluminum heads - and got the same results - too much noise.

My method of adjustment was 1/2 turn past zero lash on the hydraulic (flat tappet) lifters. I did each cylinder rotating in turn, just after the intake valve closed.

I'm wondering if I go in and give 'em another 1/4 of a turn, if that will help with the valve clatter. I have always used 1/2 turn before and I've done a lot of engines.

For some reason though, these valves are clattering too much for me, at 1500-2000 RPM.

The AFR heads made a wonderful improvement on the motor and it even runs a good 10* cooler than before. Oil pressure is great and it runs terrific.

Why the valve noise?

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Old 04-21-2009, 05:03 AM
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valves

Did you change valve covers at the same time??

Are you sure it's valve related and not a timing issue??

What is your initial and total timing??Is the vacuum advance hooked up???

Keith
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-star
Did you change valve covers at the same time??

Are you sure it's valve related and not a timing issue??

What is your initial and total timing??Is the vacuum advance hooked up???

Keith
No, same rocker covers as on old heads. Initial timing 14* and the total at 2500 is 36*. Timing was set with no vacuum advance but it is certainly hooked up and operative.

I've driven/built/been around hot rods and engines since I was 16. That is well over 35 years now

Of course, I've been wrong before but I am really sure it's valve noise. There do not appear to be any exhaust leaks. The ticking sound is very pronounced at low speeds, either just above idle in neutral, or when driving around parking lot speeds to about 25 or so.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:38 AM
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valves

I know guys that have been around cars longer then you that canít tell the difference, that why I was asking. I hate to see a lot of lost time chasing a problem when thatís not the real issue.

Are the valve covers cast aluminum???

How did you align the guide plates when you installed the heads??? IE are the roller tips of the rockers centered on the valve stem in relation to the front/rear of the engine???

How did the pushrod geometry look on the valve stem tip intake /exhaust Direction???

Did you check rocker arm to spring retainer clearance???

Are you adjusting the valves while the engine is running???

Keith
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:45 AM
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roller rockers will make some noise, I get some of what you talk about right @ the same rpm ... 2k -2.2k .

Notice if it sounds like the whole valve train or just a few bad actors, not thinking it is any thing to worry about. Stock engine are by design too run quiet when we get to messing around we will here stuff that is OK just never heard some of the noises cause it was all stock and built for old average Joe & jane.

I think the cast iron heads absorb some of that and the new heads maybe acting as a sound board. If the dyno was all good and the guy that owns that dyno did not spot a problem then I would be fine.. You can sure here a load more of the internals on an engine dyno then what can be heard after the motor has been installed

Timing was suggested if fresh off the dyno I would not be concerned about that ... I think the poster was talking about ping and that would rear it's ugly head putting the power down. Want a surprise get a stick put it next/in your ear or stethoscope and just probe around and see what you start to here ... it's all normal and noisy if not heard before .

Lifter adjustment 1/4 down after 0 ... or 1/2 .... factory I believe is 3/4, I stay on the loose side of the adjustment, @ 1/4 I have read a little quicker spin up, just my preference and tighter more torque , it may be my imagination but I think it could be true. No engine dyno to prove, a tool I know I need to buy but then I would need another building .

Enjoy that ride do not over analyze get use to the improvements you have just made . but keep an eye or should I say ear open just by some small chance you left a wrench in the pan ........... Corvettes love em .. just hope uncle moron does not tune them into some stupid hybrid piece of crap.
Hammer down .
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-star
I know guys that have been around cars longer then you that canít tell the difference, that why I was asking. I hate to see a lot of lost time chasing a problem when thatís not the real issue.

Are the valve covers cast aluminum???

How did you align the guide plates when you installed the heads??? IE are the roller tips of the rockers centered on the valve stem in relation to the front/rear of the engine???

How did the pushrod geometry look on the valve stem tip intake /exhaust Direction???

Did you check rocker arm to spring retainer clearance???

Are you adjusting the valves while the engine is running???

Keith
Thanks again Keith. The valve covers are not cast, they are stamped chrome standard issue stuff. RE: the setup of the heads I actually put a lot of time into it. When I installed my Crane roller rockers on the AFR heads, I saw that a couple of the rollers did not align squarely on the valve tips - laterally, not front to back. I called Crane and AFR both. The consensus was that as long as the FULL ROLLER IS ON TOP OF THE VALVE, there was no problem. In my case 2 or 3 of them have the roller on the right side of the valve but at no point is the roller off the tip.

Front to back centering on the valve tips looks good to me. I looked at 'em with the valves wide open, shut, and every angle in between. They may not be PERFECT but using standard length Chromoly pushrods it all looks good.

I moved the AFR guide plates where needed, to get the pushrod away from the head. Only two of them needed to be repositioned. I then used non hardening thread sealer on the studs & torqued them to 60 foot pounds as per the AFR documentation.

If the tapping wasn't so much more than before with the old heads, I wouldn't worry. But it's enough for me to want to check it out best I can before putting lots of miles on the new heads. They were a significant investment!

I'm used to building engines on a stand. Doing it in the car sux!! Especially a lowered Corvette. Did I mention my back is killing me?
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:44 PM
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Are you sure you have the right length pushrods for you application.i ran into the same thing awhile back push rods were to short.you can buy a adjustable pushrod from jegs to check if you have the right length to make sure you have the right geometry.if they are wrong it will make the noise you are talking about.and can cause alot of damage down the road.just my 2cents.hope this helps. cole
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:29 PM
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Valves

One more question, explane to me in detail exactly how you set the intake and exhaust valves.

Keith
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eloc431962
Are you sure you have the right length pushrods for you application.i ran into the same thing awhile back push rods were to short.you can buy a adjustable pushrod from jegs to check if you have the right length to make sure you have the right geometry.if they are wrong it will make the noise you are talking about.and can cause alot of damage down the road.just my 2cents.hope this helps. cole
That is one of the things I'm worried about.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-star
One more question, explane to me in detail exactly how you set the intake and exhaust valves.

Keith
Keith, the first time they were set I did this: (Intake was off) I simply observed each cylinder where both lifters were down completely in their bores ... then adjusted the valves in those cylinders 1/2 turn past zero lash. Then the engine was rotated 180* and I did the same procedure. This got them close enough to start the engine. And they sounded quieter than they do now!

This last time, of course the intake was on. So I brought #1 up to TDC on compression stroke. Adjusted those two valves. Then (as per another suggestion) I rotated the crank and watched intake valves. As the intake valves closed, I would adjust the valves in that cylinder and move on to the next one.

Using that procedure the valves are now louder than in my original startup.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:56 PM
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I had same issue when installing new heads and pushrods were too short.
(I could not set proper adjustment)
change them before you break something else
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:31 PM
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Well, there's ONE way that you can adjust the valves and know they're right- and that's w/the engine running.

Not a fun way to do it- oil will be everywhere, even if you could use those clips w/your rockers.

Best way might be to use a "windowed" stock v-cover to deflect most of the oil back into the engine.

Back the nut off until the rocker clatters, tighten until it just quits plus (whatever you set them to- 1/2 turn). Repeat 15 more times.

If you still have noise, at least you know it's not the adjustment.

Edit- The last post reminded me that not all cams can be adjusted like a stock cam.

So, another option would be to mark the balancer in 90 degree increments.

Begin with #1 TDC, firing.

Rotate 90 degrees and adjust #8, 90 degrees more then adjust #4, etc., 'till you've done them all.

This prevents any chance of the cam beginning to open any valves, or having any valves not quite closed.

Last edited by cobalt327; 04-21-2009 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:43 PM
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If you are doing it with the engine cold the lash will get bigger as the head grows from heat. Aluminum will grow at a different rate then cast iron.

Make sure you are at operating temp and then adjust them.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:19 PM
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valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegopaul
Keith, the first time they were set I did this: (Intake was off) I simply observed each cylinder where both lifters were down completely in their bores ... then adjusted the valves in those cylinders 1/2 turn past zero lash. Then the engine was rotated 180* and I did the same procedure. This got them close enough to start the engine. And they sounded quieter than they do now!

This last time, of course the intake was on. So I brought #1 up to TDC on compression stroke. Adjusted those two valves. Then (as per another suggestion) I rotated the crank and watched intake valves. As the intake valves closed, I would adjust the valves in that cylinder and move on to the next one.

Using that procedure the valves are now louder than in my original startup.
IMO this is where the problem is at.

I am pressed for time, but search comp site and they have a detailed procedure. Follow it and the noise will go by-by's
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