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Unread 02-11-2014   #1 (permalink)
Lathe of heaven is offline Apprentice

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Default 1969 302 Coupe - Rocker Arm Adjustment...

Hello!

I also posted another thread a moment ago about engine temperature.

This one though is about adjusting the rocker arms. My mechanic isn't super duper experienced at older cars, but after a couple of times, today he SEEMED to get them adjusted so that the rocker arms all seem to run very smoothly and there are no 'tapping' noises. However, he could tell that in adjusting the top nut of each rocker arm that there is also a lower, different looking kind of nut for which he doesn't have a tool to use on these. So, he just adjusted the upper normal looking nuts to make sure that the rocker arms at least were not loose and it would run smoothly. He said though that he COULD take a box-open wrench and use his grinder and grind it down so that it could possibly fit down into and around those lower nuts, but he is not really sure what to do with them and neither am I.

Are those used to 'lock in' the top nut adjustment? Is it necessary to mess with those if after adjusting the top nuts everything seems to run smoothly? Will this adjustment loosen over time though and will the rocker arms get noisy again because the lower nuts were not dealt with

I just need someone, please, to explain what those two different nuts on each rocker arm are for and if my mechanic just adjusting the upper ones will be enough or if very much time will go by before they will have to be adjusted again? And, is it necessary to get a special tool for those lower nuts and what the heck are they for?

Thanks!

Last edited by Lathe of heaven; 02-11-2014 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Newbie Mistake...
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Unread 02-11-2014   #2 (permalink)
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Can you post a picture?
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Unread 02-11-2014   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imlowr2 View Post
Can you post a picture?
Sorry mate, don't have one...

You know, now that I think of it... Uh, I THINK what I am talking about are the rocker arms...

OOPS...

Heh, sorry...
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Unread 02-12-2014   #4 (permalink)
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There are several types of studs, pivots, and rocker arms out there. So it is easy to get confused. Generally, the top nut has 3 crimps on it to 'hold' the nut in place after it is adjusted. Now after many years or many adjustments these pressure points wear down and don't hold well, thus a rocker may become out of adjustment. You should NOT be able to screw these nuts all the way down with your fingers. They should stop a little over half way. If they don't stop, throw them out.
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Unread 02-12-2014   #5 (permalink)
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Could it be the hex on the rocker stud if it has screw in studs
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Unread 02-12-2014   #6 (permalink)
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Hmmm, I don't know...

I'm quite sure that mine have a lot of wear, but they were easily able to tighten them just fine where the rockers were not wiggling around that much and now the engine sounds REALLY smooth. He adjusted the normal looking top nut which apparently DID tighten the rocker arm. As he tightened it, the rocker would move around less. We just didn't know what the thinner, odder shaped lower nut directly below the normal top one was for, or if we needed to do anything with it...???

Here is a picture:

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/ford-...2-28879818.jpg

Except that the upper adjusting nuts on mine look just like regular nuts that you would use with a bolt. These ones here look like the top half of them has been sheared away and the hexagonal part that you turn is at the bottom. Also, on mine, instead of what looks in THIS picture like a simple, round washer underneath it, on mine it looks like another flatter nut (or hexagonal shape) rather then just a round looking washer. From this picture, what I'm getting is that there is JUST the top nut, however it is shaped, that you turn to tighten / loosen the rocker arm, and there is NOTHING else to adjust. But, on mine since the bottom thing underneath the adjusting nut LOOKS like another, flatter nut, it makes you think that you are supposed to DO something with it. Perhaps not...

Thanks!
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Unread 02-14-2014   #7 (permalink)
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Please, take a picture of what you have and post it, you are describing regular nuts tightened against one another in a jam nut configuration, if one of the nuts is thinner (the jam nut) it is supposed to be the upper most nut. Do you have roller rockers? The heads is this picture look like a set of 65 heads with the slots for the push rods and non-rail rocker arms, your engine did not come with this type of head. Good Luck.
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Unread 02-14-2014   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathe of heaven View Post
Hmmm, I don't know...

I'm quite sure that mine have a lot of wear, but they were easily able to tighten them just fine where the rockers were not wiggling around that much and now the engine sounds REALLY smooth. He adjusted the normal looking top nut which apparently DID tighten the rocker arm. As he tightened it, the rocker would move around less. We just didn't know what the thinner, odder shaped lower nut directly below the normal top one was for, or if we needed to do anything with it...???

Here is a picture:

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/ford-...2-28879818.jpg

Except that the upper adjusting nuts on mine look just like regular nuts that you would use with a bolt. These ones here look like the top half of them has been sheared away and the hexagonal part that you turn is at the bottom. Also, on mine, instead of what looks in THIS picture like a simple, round washer underneath it, on mine it looks like another flatter nut (or hexagonal shape) rather then just a round looking washer. From this picture, what I'm getting is that there is JUST the top nut, however it is shaped, that you turn to tighten / loosen the rocker arm, and there is NOTHING else to adjust. But, on mine since the bottom thing underneath the adjusting nut LOOKS like another, flatter nut, it makes you think that you are supposed to DO something with it. Perhaps not...

Thanks!
WOW this is confusing.

The picture you posted is of a factory correct adjustable valve train. It may be with hydraulic or solid lifters.

Without a similar picture of your valve train and determination of hydraulic or solid lifters, no one can give you correct advice.

The procedure for setting valve clearance is different for solid than hydraulic. Also the factory set-up is easy to modify- a non-adjustable head can be made to an adjustable, as an example. A 45 year old engine may have been modified at one time...
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Unread 02-14-2014   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm sorry... I guess I'm asking about something that I just saw when he had the valve covers off and was adjusting them, but unfortunately I am not experienced enough to tell you precisely what I have or what I THOUGHT I saw. And BTW, when I first posted this, I immediately realized that I wrongly said 'LIFTER' adjustment in the title of the thread when what I meant was 'ROCKER ARM' adjustment, so I changed it right away, but it still shows in the forum the way I originally posted it, sorry about that...

I'm PRETTY sure that they are standard heads with whatever the engine originally came with. I DON'T have rolling rocker arms, just normal ones that go up and down. It looks pretty ancient and primitive really. I THOUGHT that this picture looked really similar to what I remember seeing, but I may be way off. All I know is that he tightened the nuts on the top of each rocker arm until they didn't tap and wiggle as much; afterward, my engine really ran very smoothly and all SEEMS well.

I guess I was inferring these things from the picture because I THOUGHT mine looked really similar. In the picture, the lower things under the tightening nuts LOOK to me like simple washers and don't seem to be adjustable. I was thinking that that might suggest that whatever is under my tightening nuts are simply non-adjustable washer-like spacers that you simply tighten the nut against, since that appears to be all that he had to do. It just happens that they LOOK like thinner nuts themselves with a hexagonal shape.

Oh well, sorry to confuse... It seems to be adjusted and running really well, so I suppose my academic questions about it will just have to wait until I have a reason to take off the valve covers again...

Thanks though!
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Unread 02-25-2014   #10 (permalink)
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The part under the adjusting nut is
called the rocker arm fulcum, its a half ball shape piece that the rocker arm moves back and forth on. There is no adjustment on this piece,over a long period of time if the oil is not changed regularley they can wear down making it impossible to correctly adjust the rocker arms.
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Unread 02-26-2014   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueovalguy View Post
The part under the adjusting nut is
called the rocker arm fulcum, its a half ball shape piece that the rocker arm moves back and forth on. There is no adjustment on this piece,over a long period of time if the oil is not changed regularley they can wear down making it impossible to correctly adjust the rocker arms.
Thanks mate! Appreciate it
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Unread 02-26-2014   #12 (permalink)
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You can use shim washers under the nut to adjust. Or, remove the rocker studs, cut down the ends to reduce length, reinstall at a lower height, then use the stock nut as an adjuster, and a new jam nut on top to keep them from backing off.
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Unread 02-26-2014   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadkin View Post
You can use shim washers under the nut to adjust. Or, remove the rocker studs, cut down the ends to reduce length, reinstall at a lower height, then use the stock nut as an adjuster, and a new jam nut on top to keep them from backing off.
Excellent idea! That makes total logical sense. I'll remember that if they seem to get more worn or begin to lose there adjustment.

Thanks!
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