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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tappet bucket questions

Hi,

I am having a hard time seeing the inside of the buckets. I can see some of it but I was wondering if the numbers are engraved or painted on.

Scared to clean the inside up a little just in case!

Please advise.

Thanks!
 

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Once they are used you measure them rather than trust the numbers, some wear in to be off the number a bit. And what if somebody has remachined some to get in effect new again or to hit ones they can't find?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. Changed the subject since I think this general subject might drag out for a bit as I struggle to find information during searches.

Would a micrometer be what I'd use to measure them with? If so, from the point of contact where the bucket meets the valve stem to point where the bucket meets the camshaft lobe?

I have never used one before and all I have is dial calipers.

Also, I'd still like to know if those numbers are engraved or painted on. I'd at least like something to compare my measurements against just in case.
 

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I think your best bet is to start playing assembly and use feeler gauges. put them in and then ones that are to tall of "valve lash" put int the ones with to small. You can use a micrometer to find the depth to reduce the build and tare down and build process.

A micrometer thought could impact the surface of the cam if you are not careful.

Yes you measure from the polished top surface to the post inside the bucket.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I think your best bet is to start playing assembly and use feeler gauges. put them in and then ones that are to tall of "valve lash" put int the ones with to small. You can use a micrometer to find the depth to reduce the build and tare down and build process.

A micrometer thought could impact the surface of the cam if you are not careful.

Yes you measure from the polished top surface to the post inside the bucket.
Good ideas. I have been watching the below youtube video as a rough guide.
This video says that I can lay the cam on top of the bucket and then check lash one by one without tightening the cam caps. That sure seems like a good idea. Thoughts on that method?

Another thread here mentioned just tightening down cam caps with a drill on a low torque setting and checking that way.

Guessing with either I could just do one cam at a time?

Also, I mixed up all of the buckets during disassembly so I have no easy way to know which intake and exhaust are unfortunately so I'd still like to know a bit more about the numbers on the inside if possible. I have only dealt with hydraulic lifters in the past so didn't even know what these things were until it was too late, lol.

As far as a micrometer goes, do I need one that goes beyond .001 accuracy? The Harbor Freight one supposedly goes down to .001 on the box but seems to go further in practice.


 

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You ALWAYS match hydraulic lifters to the cam lobes they came off of too, not doing so is the bast way to destroy cam lobes there is.

Head off engine like in video is easiest way to adjust the buckets and NOT using the original springs which are too much trouble taking in and out over and over. You get like some racing valve checking springs which are light enough you can easily install by hand using no valve spring compressor at all but still stiff enough to hold a good clearance number and then you can sit down and just set and reset all day long until clearances are right. With the light springs you can even turn the cams by hand to make it even easier. Pick the thinnest tappet or bucket you have and then use it in all holes to get a clearance on all positions and then you have a base number to fairly quickly sort out the others with after you have measured all buckets with a micrometer, calipers have too much error. Watch wear patterns on the tops as well, you may find a pattern that looks like it goes with a certain cam lobe but these are so low in tension there is not much top wear on them. Before you set up take fine sandpaper like #400 or so and dust the bucket tops off with it sanding in a circle pattern to average the wear out a bit and it helps the bucket to break in better with a cam lobe it was not matched to before. Make SURE all sanding dust does not get into tappet bores! It will eat the bores up! When doing bucket setups the cam caps do not have to be fully torqued, only tight enough to snug up to where there is no looseness to mess with your numbers. The caps must be in the correct order and facing correctly by arrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Super helpful. Thank you.

This gives me alot of information to develop some sort of strategy. I can't help but wonder whether or not I can get away without needing to pull valve springs if I have a spare set of buckets and only lapped the seats to the degree that they don't leak.

First step is to get a micrometer and report back I guess.

Lots of ideas spinning now.
 

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It’s been years since I’ve been into my SVT, but I can tell you the original size was stamped with ink and fades quickly. Definitely get a micrometer and measure all your caps. You may find that many are the same size. Keeping them in the original pocket due to wear is the best but you’ll be fine. The valve lash range is fairly big so with minimal valve seat cleaning you’ll probably find all the original buckets will work for you.
 

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I've found that the intakes will lap in fairly easy but the exhaust will tend to need to be cut, they erode more at the seats than the intakes do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys. I did as advised and put my shortest bucket in on the intake side after measuring with a micrometer. Fwiw, the harbor freight one works great. I put in a .25mm feeler gauge in and the feel was perfect. I found that my crummy harbor freight feeler gauge with inked on wearing numbers (reminds me of the ink likely used on the buckets as one of the posters mentioned) had one brass feeler gauge and it was the only .25...feeler....must have been designed for this.

I think this is going to get interesting real fast. I am considering that the intakes don't wear as fast and although I only lapped the exhaust valves (to proven avail which surprised me given the hardened seats and posts I have read here) but they wear more quickly as mentioned.

I am reading that you can go a bit closer than the middle of the range on these to make a bit more power.

Not insulting the car, but this was not my intent for the car. However, I am curious as to how much closer I can get in terms of lash since these are life long lessons I am learning here. Any idea?

Also, what happens if I want to get this head together and can get all the valves in spec but if the numbers are at the higher end of the spec do I get noise or what?

Also, I don't want to send the valves off to anyone to have them ground. Can I shorten the stem or bucket if luck is not on my side as a diy job? Dremel? Grinding wheel?

Thanks.
 

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Yes you can shorten the stem.

There is no noise even at the loosest spec, BTDT with an entire head set like that. I set them loose (last acceptable number on spec) and especially on exhaust as that recedes faster to make valve longer. I would never go past halfway tighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yes you can shorten the stem.

There is no noise even at the loosest spec, BTDT with an entire head set like that. I set them loose (last acceptable number on spec) and especially on exhaust as that recedes faster to make valve longer. I would never go past halfway tighter.
Roger that, thanks. Any reason why I can't grind the part of the bucket which meets the valve stem a tiny bit to make it happen? Seems easier since I don't have those cool springs you mentioned that I should have bought.

Also,

Is lash measured with the pointy part of the lobe straight up? In the service manual it looks like they are not perfectly straight up.

UPDATE:

FWIW, as amc49 mentioned, the valves really were higher in head than I anticipated on the exhaust side. After lapping, lash was way too small in the ~.25-28 range with my smallest bucket which measured 11.4xx mm. Either these hardened seats are not as hard as articulated in previous threads or some other factor(s) are present.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
DO NOT ! grind the inside of the buckets

yes with the narrow part of the Cam Lobe straight up from the bucket

Tom
Thanks, I am going to have to do something here though. I put a WTB request in the WTB forum for smaller buckets.

It's either get a grinder and create a jig of some sort or who knows.
 

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You grind the stems, not the buckets.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You grind the stems, not the buckets.
Roger that. The next question is how to make this a DIY job? I have been searching the internet all day trying to figure out the best way to get this straight. Looks like a bench grinder and a v-block makes the most sense?

I need to create a jig but unsure of what it would look like.
 

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Roger that. The next question is how to make this a DIY job? I have been searching the internet all day trying to figure out the best way to get this straight. Looks like a bench grinder and a v-block makes the most sense?

I need to create a jig but unsure of what it would look like.
I my self have never done this. Tom or AMC49 I am sure have. Just know you don't touch the bucket.
 

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I answered the PM but I may have posted it to you with the answer wiped due to my incompetence.

I used a piece of aluminum plate 1/2" thick that was simply lying around. Threaded it to match threaded valve guides I made from press-in replacement ones. Different sizes to do different engines. The valve guide threads into plate Which can adjust to the wheel in various planes to be straight too) and plate bolts on outboard of grinding wheel with the normal plate covering it removed. New FINE grit grinding wheel shimmed to run very very true. I use the guides because you can spin the valve in them by hand to both barely kiss or press harder for more cut and the spinning averages the cut out to be even all the way around. That way you don't need v-block super dead on square, you can actually be off a bit and valve still works fine as any left over profile is still symmetrical with a high center if anything. When done dust the end of valve off with #400 sandpaper to check your work for flat and square and it looks almost perfect, the last small scratches actually oil the tip better at break-in of the new surface. The parts worked like that have been running in engines for over 15 years now with zero issues.

You don't cut the buckets because harder to get up inside and still be accurate.
 

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Just take it to a Machine shop tell them what you want cut off the tip and they can cut it in about 10 seconds , this way its done right

I cant see them charging more then about 1-5.00

Tom
 
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