I'm under a bit of pressure to get my engine rebuild completed so it, and
other newly rebuilt parts can get reinstalled because the car show I run
each year is on 19 June and as we all know the rest of our life (job,
family, kids and daily drivers) take big chunks of our wrenching time.
I recently installed the head on the engine. During the engine buildup, I
check the clearances in each of the tappet holes with my tappet/extension
tool. (It's an old tappet, with an aluminum extension, used to measure the
cam lift during cam timing.) The tappet turned freely in all the holes.
During my final installation, I smeared the cam lobes with the thick, sticky
lube supplied by the manufacturer(Erson). As I installed the tappets, I
added a big glob of the cam lube on the bottom of each tappet. After
installing the head and torquing each nut sequentially in small incremental
steps, I poured oil into the pushrod holes to lubricate and fill each
tappet. I placed the push rods into each tappet in preparation for
installing the rocker shaft.
Just for grins, I checked to make sure I could pull up each tappet slightly
with the suction of the pushrod, to make sure they were "free". You have to
be careful here, because if you pull too high and the tappet comes out, the
head must (at least by me) be pulled to replace it. No, I didn't pull one
out, but I couldn't get two of them to move at all. They were stuck! The
pushrod suction inside the tappet would break before the tappet moved. I
checked the bottom of the pushrod. The ball end was in perfect shape and
the tappet was full of oil. Now I realized I didn't check for free movement
of each tappet in it's respective bore when I installed them! In my haste
to finish the engine, I screwed up! Stuck tappets had the potential to wipe
out my new cam.
I slept on it for a night, then decided I'd better pull the head off to
check it out. I had just put the wrench on the first head stud, getting
ready to start the slow process of backing them off incrementally, when I
came to my senses. I spun the crank a few turns and checked the tappets.
The two recalcitrant tappets freed up completely and could be easily moved
up and down by the suction of the pushrod in the bottom of the tappet. The
thick, sticky glob of cam lube had been holding the two tappets down to the
So... I guess this is an almost Duh, but I'm done rushing to get the car
done for the show. The car will be ready, when it's ready. There may just
be one less TR3 at the show. My lesson learned... next to cleanliness in
engine building, it's really important to take your time and follow your
checklist or manual.
There's not much left to do on the engine. Last night, I put the ring gear
on the (nice light) flywheel and tonight I'll pull the engine off the stand
and get the flywheel and clutch on the end of the crank. If time allows, I
may even get the tranny mated up to the engine tonight too, because a
neighbor (and Volvo P1800 owner) and I are scheduled to swing the
engine/tranny at 10AM. ... now I just have to finish the diff, interior
insulation, DPO's fuel and vacuum line runs and hmmmmmm, where did I store
the seats, apron and bonnet? ;-)
Have a great weekend list.
Jack (I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm hoping it's not
an oncoming train) Brooks
1974 Norton 850 Commando
My car show: http://NJTriumphs.org/westwood/home.html