Visit our Twitter feed for more great content
AHExp

The 100 Forum

Austin-Healey 100/4 one noisy tappet when engine is cold

Moss Motors
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

Mallock Tim Densham
Worcester, Worcestershire, UK   GBR
When I start the engine from cold one tappet is noisy....the noise goes away when the engine has warmed up. On a cold day...like today the problem is worse (louder)and is a bit irritating. Since I have owned the car for a couple of years it has always done it. I have checked/adjusted the tappets but it has not helped.

Has anybody else had a similar experience? I am thinking that one of the tappets is a tight fit in its hole in the block which eases as the engine temperature rises?

I guess I should take the tappet cover off and check all the tappets are free to slide when cold; and replace, or modify the clearance on the one which is tight?

Tim

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, NY, USA   USA
Tim,

The tappets in my BT7 started making noise and no amount of valve adjustment would alleviate it so I
removed all the lifters and came up with the following mess. (see photos)
Not sure where all those metal fragments went from the lifters but the engine has always run fine.

Someone thought it was oil starvation from hard cornering?????? even though I have a baffled aluminum sump with
an Oil Cooler which allows for more oil in the system.

The lifters were new with low mileage from a recent rebuild so I was disappointed to see this damage.
(Even though I used the proper camshaft lube and run in procedure for new engines)

The noise has gone away since I installed a set of Bucket Lifters and Push Rods from Denis Welch.

Good luck,
Peter



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-16 05:55 PM by petnatcar.


Attachments:
Lifters.JPG    36.7 KB
Lifters.JPG

Lifters-2.JPG    26.4 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
gramos Avatar
gramos Graham Foster
Kefalonia, Greece   GRC
I found a similar situation in my 100 engine , recently . I researched the problem and came up with , IMHO the reason .
It seems that the anti wear compounds in oil have changed a lot since the development of catalytic converters .
The principal chemical additive in oil is zinc and phosphate , (ZDDP ) which in turn destroy the chemicals used in cats ,
therefore modern oils should not be used in our "flat tappet " engines .
if you google this you will discover what the oil companies have been changing in oil constituents .

It is a big problem with old er engines and we have to be very careful which oils we use .

her is one debate : The Debate Over Reduced ZDDP and Wear Protection - Amsoil

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, NY, USA   USA
Graham,

ZDDP Additive is available in some part stores.

I got a couple bottles and use it when I change the oil.

Not sure how much good it does but it is a proven compound so it must
be protecting the internals to some extent.

Peter

Trevor Parker Avatar
Trevor Parker Silver Member Trevor Parker W
Sidney, BC, Canada   CAN
1954 Austin-Healey 100 "Healey Beep Beep"
1955 Austin-Healey 100
Also check to see if there is wear on your rockers. A groove will form where they contact the top of the valve. This is usually bridge by the feeler gauge when you do a valve adjustment. If you have a feeler gauge that is the same width as the top of valve it can fit in the groove and you can adjust the valve correctly. If your rockers are really worn I can be replaced. This is something that's worked for me. Cheers Trevor

PAN Avatar
PAN Alwyn Keepence
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia   AUS
G’day Trevor,
Spot on! I had badly worn rockers which showed up only after removal and a close inspection. As you say, the feeler gauge just bridged the groove worn into the face of the rocker, giving an incorrect reading.
Cheers,
Alwyn

DTDuck Avatar
DTDuck Dan Marshall
Redwood City, CA, USA   USA
It might help to find out which lifter is making the noise. You can use an automotive sthescope or if one is not available you can use a long socket extension (1/4" drive works best for me) touch one end to the block or head, cover the other end with your thumb joint and then put that thumb joint in your ear. You will find that that the mechanical noises are transmitted remarkably clearly through the extension and the bones in your thumb, by moving where you are touching the engine up and down the length of it you should be able to pinpoint where the noisy lifter is. Once identified you can look into it further to see if you can figure out the cause.

Cheers,
Dan M.

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Hello everyone,
I ran into this problem with a Chevy engine I had rebuilt that had flat tappet cam in it. I ended up changing the cam because the lobes and lifters were worn out after about 10k miles. There are a number of oils out there that are still suitable for our old Healey engines. The most common one is Valvoline Racing oil 20W-50 VR1. If you read the label on the back it says that it has higher levels of ZDDP which is the additive that used to be in all motor oil. This will work well in our older engines as it still contains the higher levels of Zinc that are needed for the cam and lifters.
Pete

DTDuck Avatar
DTDuck Dan Marshall
Redwood City, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 207911 by rusty1c Hello everyone,
I ran into this problem with a Chevy engine I had rebuilt that had flat tappet cam in it. I ended up changing the cam because the lobes and lifters were worn out after about 10k miles. There are a number of oils out there that are still suitable for our old Healey engines. The most common one is Valvoline Racing oil 20W-50 VR1. If you read the label on the back it says that it has higher levels of ZDDP which is the additive that used to be in all motor oil. This will work well in our older engines as it still contains the higher levels of Zinc that are needed for the cam and lifters.
Pete
Valvoline Racing oil 20W-50 VR1 is all I use.

Dan M.

gramos Avatar
gramos Graham Foster
Kefalonia, Greece   GRC
I have researched the best levels of ZDDP in oil and come to the conclusion that between 1400 and 2000 ppm is what the flat tappet (Healey)
engine needs to protect the cam and followers .
It takes a little patience but most oil manufacturers do actually give the ZDDP content of their oils .

NaDaDawgRacer John Jones
Waxhaw, NC, USA   USA
The photos are likely a result of two problems, first if the lifters were relatively new replacements they might have been of low quality a problem we all have to research better these days to find true quality parts. The other is very likely a result of insufficient levels of zinc. If the oil you are using has an API code on it then it does not have the level of zinc required for flat tappers. Just adding a zinc supplement to an API oil will not correct the problem. There are many ingredients in modern oils including not only the zinc but detergents some of which actually wash the zinc off of the metal surface. Use only oils that are blended for our needs. There are several in addition to the VR1 Driven makes a very good one that I use. Most of them are reasonably priced, less than the cost of regular oil plus the cost of an after market additive.
John

Martinld123 Avatar
Martinld123 Martin Davis
St. Charles, IL, USA   USA
I deleted my post. I think I did not undersand the post, lol.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-02 09:48 AM by Martinld123.

Mallock Tim Densham
Worcester, Worcestershire, UK   GBR
Many thanks to all the Healey owners who have made suggestions -- all of which have valid points. I have been really bad and not yet done any work on my car .

I agree with Peter--it is definitely safer to use good quality components, when looking to see how much cam followers are I see that Austin-Healey 100 ones are available from an Indian company for $4.25 each....has anybody used these?(I did have a bad experience with a Ford Crossflow race engine which I eventually had to get a new cam, new special followers and run the cam in on a set of soft standard valve springs only to make it last before taking the head off and swapping to the race double springs.).

Also I agree with Graham and Pete about using a good quality oil suitable for flat tappet engines--I use Castrol Classic 20-50 but I do add a small amount of ZDDP....

Trevor and Alwyn mentioned wear in the rocker causing difficulty in setting the clearance accurately. I will check using a dial gauge; but I have also bought a Gunson Click-Adjust (SPQR type) adjuster which I will calibrate to see if it is accurate. There is a massive amount of stuff in forums about these adjuster tools but I want to see for myself if it works if used properly as I cannot see why it should not!

It is also a good idea from Dan to use a stethoscope to determine which rocker it is causing the problem. I did think of running the engine without the cover on and stuffing an old feeler gauge in each rocker in turn...but it might be a bit messy....

OK must get on and do something. I'll let you know if I fix it.

NaDaDawgRacer John Jones
Waxhaw, NC, USA   USA
Let me apologize first, Ok I am step up on my soapbox again I have stated this in many places but I continue to read many comments like yours that you are using Castrol 20w50 because you have used it for years. First the Castrol that you buy today is not the Castrol you bought years ago. The current oil with a current API code is blended for current new engines, not your 65+ year old engine. Buying a “modern” oil then adding additional ZDDP does not necessarily fix it. Suitable engine oil is a complex mixture of many additives plus the base oil. One of the major additives is detergent of which there are several some of which actually wash the all important ZDDP off the crucial engine components that are subject to pressure wear.
This isn’t a difficult problem when there are numerous acceptable oils on the market.
I am not an oil chemist or engineer but I recognize my short coming and listen to the experts.
Let me close with my standard comparison, if you go to the supermarket and buy the pasta sauce that you have always bought then immediately go home and start adding additional Itialian seasoning and garlic. Why buy something that isn’t to your liking when there are dozens of different pasta sauces.
John

Mallock Tim Densham
Worcester, Worcestershire, UK   GBR
Hello John,

The 'Classic' Castrol 20-50 is made specially for older engines. It is nothing like the modern Castrol oils, (I doubt if they still make anything as thick as a 20-50 for a modern engine as it would not deliver the MPG or power thinner oils do.)

There is a lot of info on their website about classic oils--here is part of it:-

'The formulations required for modern vehicles are very different from those needed for older vehicles. Oils for modern engines comply with the latest API ratings of SN/CF and specific ACEA and OEM specifications dealing with fuel efficiency, extended drain intervals and aftermarket exhaust treatment systems and are specifically designed for the modern engine needs.

A classic car engine however, can have the opposite characteristics with cork/graphite/rope seals, low pressure gear driven oil pumps, larger oil galleries with greater dependence on "splash" and "cling" lubrication, lower revving with larger machine clearances. Such a widely different engine design can demand a totally different lubricant and the Castrol Classic Oils range offers formulations for older vehicles that have been specially blended for the work they have to do.

Inadequate detergent can result in gums and lacquers clinging to the hotter engine components, and blocking oil galleries – But, too much detergent can cause a build-up of metallic ash in the combustion chambers and piston crowns . In older engines with traditionally high oil consumption, this can cause detonation and pinking.

In older engines where the carbon has built up over a number of years detergents can have a scouring effect, causing the carbon to flake off, blocking up oil galleries and spray jets. High levels of detergent can also "wash" traces of carbon from seals and gaskets, revealing oil leaks where the carbon itself is creating a seal.'

I must admit to using a large reputable oil company as the facilities they have to test oils are massive; I dare say there are plenty of other 'Classic' oils out there which do a similar job

Tim

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions




Registration is FREE and takes less than a minute!


Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Read the Forum Help (FAQ) or contact the webmaster





Join The Club

Sign in to ask questions, share photos, and access all website features

Your Cars

1968 Austin Healey Sprite

Text Size

Larger Smaller
Reset Save

Sponsor Links