ANYONE HAVE A NOISY 2.9L VALVE TRAIN THEY WANT QUIET?


gaz

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To: alwaysFIOoReD, 8thton, Paulos and adsm08

The end all secret to adjusting the rocker arms correctly, causing them to operate as one would expect or as is a newly delivered vehicle is to adjust them when the engine is completely warmed and with a full understanding of the hydraulic lifter's operation.

Your engine temp will rise until your Tstat opens, allowing the temp to drop a visible amount on your temp gauge; once this happens shut it down and get to it. Because of this, I could only do one bank @ a time, then warm up the engine again. This is not the trick part.

What shall be difficult is my attempt to explain hydraulic lifter's operation, so this may take awhile.

The hydraulic lifter's is just a simple hyd pump. When the push rods impacts the lower end, it hits a piston within the hyd lifter. Since we know that the fluid can not be compressed the movement is changed into vertical energy, which once the piston begins it's STROKE or upward movement will engage the rocker. To elaborate, the lifter's piston performs actual compression and retract strokes, and it is the beginning of the compression stroke that is the thrust of this PROCEEDURE. You will be able to feel the piston start to move. It is difficult to gauge how fir the piston has traveled until I see the rocker behind to move. It is between the point that lifter plunger starts to move and the rocker arm starts to move that is the "MONEY SHOT".

Please ask questions if my explanation does makes sense to you. Another GREAT way to gain perfect understanding of this simple system is to actually compress the lifter until the piton begins it's stroke in a vice or anyway that you as the mechanic can feel it happen and see why they weren't adjusted correctly.

Prior to performing the following PROCEEDURE it is prudent to verify the torque on you rocker arm pedestals.

THE SOLUTION:

So, now I will proceed as though I am speaking to a group of people who completely understand how the hyd lifter performs.

It doesn't matter where you start but I always start driver's side forward cylinder, work to the back, the from the front on passenger side. You may only get one done per engine warm up; that is better than not, so do cylinder@ a time if necessary.

The desired cylinder must be @ the base circle on the cam (open up the rocker lock nuts in advance to save time). To find the base circle rotate the crank by hand until the desired cylinder in on the base circle (the part of the cam with no lift).

Loosen the rocker adjusting stud until you have a visible gap, then slowly start tightening until you impact the the lifter and feel the piston but keep going until it begins it's stroke, approximately ⅓ into the stroke is what I am shooting for. Between the point where the adjusting stud impacts the lifter and where the rocker starts to move is the area of concern. After that, perform the final torque as directed in the service manual .)

Though it will take a while to get them all adjusted while the engine is warm, and it may take a couple tries to hit that magic point in the lifter piston's stroke, you will know it immediately once you fire up your previously named typewriter.

It took me 3 tried on the driver's side bank to get it right but once I did I had no dought.

There you go, the secret it too adjust the rocker lash one third of the way into the lifter piston's stroke, prior to final torque. Having been an electronic hydraulic technician for years the principal's all made sense to me when, after an in depth conversation with my engineer buddy about how the hydraulic lifter's operates (because I was uncertain if I needed to replace them or not for my rebuild) that I "accidentally" learned how it should be adjusted to work most efficiently. Just so happens...it does this perfectly quiet???
 
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gaz

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Now comrades, please don't flame this, I will explain, elaborate untill all Ford 60° V6 owners know and understand how to properly adjust their valve trains.

If happen to read about an owner having difficulty understanding, PLEASE CHIME IN to help them understand. This is a time to appreciate silence and sort this out conclusively 😉
 
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8thTon

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Sorry, but this is a bad idea for setting lash with hydraulic lifters. A hydraulic lifter is nothing more than an expandable chamber with a check valve that closes when the lifter is under force from the cam lobe, trapping uncompressible oil inside. The seal on the check valve is not perfect and can leak down a bit over time, especially on worn lifters. This might not matter much when the engine is running, the oil pressure is up and there is not much time to leak down before the next "stroke" from the cam lobe, but under static conditions when the engine is off it will leak - and compress - more.

If you set the clearance when the lifter is partially compressed it may pump up further when running, causing burned valves. While worn cam bearings might cause low pressure and more leak down at the lifter, this won't be constant under all conditions as oil pressure and viscosity change with rpm and temperature.

You can measure the clearance from the fully compressed lifter, and if you know the lifter stroke you can set a clearance that is always safe. But if the lifter doesn't fully pump up then the clearance is excessive and you get noise. However, if you set it less and the lifter does fully pump up you lost your clearance and the valve doesn't seat.
 

Uncle Gump

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8thTon...

Have you ever adjusted valves on a SBC?

Back off rocker... with engine running... until it clatters... tighten until it stops (zero lash)... then tighten one full turn on a new cam/lifter or half turn on a used set. SBC's don't burn up valves using this technique.

Unless the lifters are designed differently (I'm not going to research it)... I think it's common to get into the 'bleed" zone on a hydraulic lifter.
 

gaz

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Uncle Gump,

What powerful irony; the first engine I was taught to adjust the valve lash for was a sbc 350 .). I look forward to hearing your results, sounds like you get it!
 

8thTon

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I really do not like being called a liar. So I presume 8, that you have a peculiar and negative way of saying that you don't understand. I will explain it all to you last .)
I don't know why would you write such a thing when I obviously did not call you a liar, rather disputed the technique and provided an explanation to support that. You could have refuted that politely (as Uncle Gump did), but you resorted to hysterics instead, indicating that further conversation with you is pointless.

8thTon...

Have you ever adjusted valves on a SBC?

Back off rocker... with engine running... until it clatters... tighten until it stops (zero lash)... then tighten one full turn on a new cam/lifter or half turn on a used set. SBC's don't burn up valves using this technique.

Unless the lifters are designed differently (I'm not going to research it)... I think it's common to get into the 'bleed" zone on a hydraulic lifter.
I've rather successful avoided working on too many GMs for 40 years, so no. Still, the technique you describe supports my point exactly - it's adjustment under dynamic conditions. You adjust it to zero lash under running conditions, then back off a set distance (the threads-per-inch being constant). With worn lifters they have you set it tighter assuming it will leak down a bit. So it's actually being set with clearance from the fully pumped up lifter - they are not Rhoads Lifters, they're not supposed to have a bleed zone at all while running. It's much different from setting it at rest.
 

Uncle Gump

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I don't own a 2.9L... but I like new info. gaz. Even though this really isn't NEW information.

8thton...

You don't back it off after zero lash... you tighten it. And the technique I describe have been around for 60 maybe 70 years. Something to remember here... hydraulic lifters always have zero clearance. If there is clearance... it's gonna make noise.

In fact I can't think of a cam in block design with hydraulic lifters that doesn't preload hydraulic lifters. If they're non adjustable... preload is set by push rod length or perhaps shimming up the rocker stands if to much... and adjustable types... well you just adjust them.... tighter then zero lash.
 

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The bottom end on my 2.9 has about 310K, and I put new heads on it when it had about 140K. I can tell that the bottom end needs a rebuild. But my 2.9 doesn't sound like a typewriter. It's actually surprisingly quiet, and much quieter than someone with experience with the 2.9 would expect. I followed the Ford service manual and adjusted 1-1/2 turns after the rocker slightly touches the valve stem (probably not quite zero lash). I have always suspected that this is a bit much, but that's what Ford says to do. https://www.centuryperformance.com/valve-adjustment-procedure.html is an interesting read regarding this topic if anyone is interested, but their conclusions of how much preload is proper do not come close to what Ford states in the service manual.

And the valve adjustment is not the only cause of the ticking noise. The Ford service manual mentions
1) Excessive collapsed tappet gap
2) Sticking tappet plunger
3) Tappet check valve not functioning properly
4) Air in lubrication system (which apparently can be caused by a too high or too low oil level)
5) Leakdown rate too rapid
6) Excessive valve guide wear
And as adsm08 mentioned, worn cam bearings preventing sufficient oil delivery to the valve train.

As far as valve position when adjusting is concerned, I devised this method. When the crankshaft is at TDC #1, cylinder #1's valves can both be adjusted, as both are at the base circle of the camshaft. So, I measured the circumference of the vibration dampener (18.85"), divided by 3 (approximately 6.29"), then put two more evenly spaced marks on the dampener at 6.29" before and after the TDC mark, and then measured between each of the three positions to verify that they were exactly the same. I then removed the distributer cap to be sure that the rotor was pointing at the position of the #1 spark plug wire (rotate the crankshaft 180° if it's pointing at #5). The firing order is 1-4-2-5-3-6, so I adjust cylinder #1 valves, rotate the crankshaft clockwise to the next mark (120° of crankshaft travel) and adjust cylinder #4, rotate the crankshaft clockwise to the next mark (120° of crankshaft travel) and adjust cylinder #2, and so on, following the firing order. There is another method that I found years ago, but forgot which valves can be adjusted at each step. At TDC #1 half of the valves can be adjusted, turn the crankshaft 360° (TDC #5) and the other half can be adjusted. But I figure that it's more of a sure thing adjusting each cylinder at it's TDC.

Also, the lifters should not "collapse" with no oil pressure or rocker arm tension. The internal spring inside the lifter should return to a neutral position not long after loosening the adjusters (if the lifter is functioning properly). When I back off the adjusters from the cylinder I'm adjusting, I give it a minute or two before actually adjusting it.

I have considered modifying an extra set of valve covers I have, by drilling a hole for each rocker adjuster, and using a cheap set of cork gaskets just for the adjusting procedure. That way they can be adjusted on a running, warm engine. Another project.

@gaz
I appreciate your suggestions, but we need something better than just feeling when you're 1/3 of the way into the stroke of the lifter's piston. Each 360° rotation of the adjuster is approximately 0.0465", and Ford says 0.070" (1-1/2 turns) is the needed adjustment. I feel safer going with a calculated adjustment, than with guessing when you're 1/3 of the way. I know this isn't rocket science, but a little science has to be involved nonetheless. If you were to experiment with your fine tuning, and then determine exactly how many turns past zero lash you averaged, that would be information that most people could use.
 

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@gaz
It pained me to read my service manual and be told "NO VALVE ADJUSTMENT IS POSSIBLE"...INCORRECT.
I don't know what service manual you have, but I have the 1987 Ranger/Bronco II Shop Manual, and it clearly says they can be adjusted, and gives the procedure for doing so. In fact, every manual I've ever owned gave the procedure.

20190705_130238.jpg


STEP #1

the use of free floating rocker arm spacers will only make your valve train better, less restrictive and a little quieter. If you want more information on these I can provide dimensions and a resource whom still makes the kit
Still waiting for the offered "dimensions and a resource whom still makes the kit". I realize it's a holiday weekend, but that hasn't prevented you from making five posts since I posted my interest in the offered information. In the past, I have searched for someone that still makes the spacer kit, and have found nobody. Your inexplicable delay makes me think that this "resource" does not exist. Am I calling you a liar? No. Not yet. Why else would you hold back something that you freely offered? Control? Power? Trolling? Just wondering.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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I need to pull the "free floating rockers" entry from my build thread. Found a guy to make a set in February. It's June, I don't have them, he moved to... somewhere, and took my extra set of complete (and good) 2.9 heads with him.

...some people's kids.
 

Paulos

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I need to pull the "free floating rockers" entry from my build thread. Found a guy to make a set in February. It's June, I don't have them, he moved to... somewhere, and took my extra set of complete (and good) 2.9 heads with him.

...some people's kids.
Ouch.

But the good news is, @gaz has a source for someone that still makes the spacer kit.
 

gaz

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Paulos; I can u derstand your concerns with trying to "feel" ⅓ of the lifter's stroke; what I can share is that when it was too loose it made noise, when I had it right it was quiet. No harm or foul either way for me, since I had committed to not driving with any valve noise.
 

Uncle Gump

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This kinda feels like an infomercial... but wait... there's more
 

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Yep, that'll quiet it down alright. Years ago when I worked at the now non-existant Chief Auto Parts, Harley guys used to buy the store out of Valvoline 60 weight racing oil. Why I couldn't tell you. Maybe the thickerer oil helps stop the drips? Maybe it quiets noisy valve train? I haven't a clue. I've run 20W-50 in my 3.0 since 2000, and it purrs like a kitten. Run Suzuki 20W-50 in both my bikes as well. They both purr as well.
 


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