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Valve Lash Question- 327F Experts...

June 19 2010 at 4:24 PM
Dave Krugler  (Login SeaSkiffDave)

Hello to all; I pulled the valve covers off my 20ft FG Sea Skiff's 1965 327F today and made the following observations:

* Valve covers have been off before, missing 1 gasket flange spreader, port side gasket installed with the lower run of gasket positioned well above the cast iron sealing rib on the head so the gasket was leaking

* Heads have dark oil residue but no sludge.

* Tappets are set VERY LOOSE, like 0.050 - 0.060 clearance cold.

* When I ran it last fall I thought the valve train sounded like at threshing machine, guess I now know why...

The factory manual says the tappets should be set to 0.008 intake and 0.018
exhaust HOT.

Here's my question: Can the valves be adjusted cold to some clearances that will result in correct 0.008 intake lash and 0.018 exhaust lash when the engine warms up or do I just have to listen to it clatter for 30minutes and do a hot adjustment?


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(no login)

No expert, but have an opinion

June 19 2010, 10:50 PM 

Hi Dave,

It is amazing how some of these boats end up getting their mechanical attention. One of my 427 motors had zero compression due to very poor valve lash settings, and once fixed then the cylinder came up to pressure and is still going goog 12 years later.

I would go through and set everything a little tighter by hand on the cold motor. Then I'd warm and do the final setting. I would err on the loose side.

Would probably work several ways



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(Login GregMason)

Mo better

June 20 2010, 8:26 AM 

Hey Dave and Paul,

How about installing a hydraulic cam and lifters so you don't have to adjust them anymore. Just a thought:)

Or if you insist, pull the raw water pump belt off, run the engine up to about 200 quick, shut it off and adjust valves the static method, less oil in the eyes and mouth, unless you like the taste of oil of course, some vintages are better than others, especially with a quality cigar.

Greg M

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(no login)

I'd recommend a red wine

June 20 2010, 11:08 AM 

I'd set em static cold erring on the loose side a bit, warm up that motor, check and set em again. If you have someone with a big breaker bar and the right size socket, you can do em all on one side, then the other without having to worry about the sequence. Of course you can multi-task solo and do this to.

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Dave Krugler
(no login)

Hot valve adjustment

June 23 2010, 12:06 PM 

Well the hot valve adjustment turned out to be no big deal but the results were dramatic. Last weekend I had prepared for the job by peeling off water hoses and the valve covers, removing old gaskets and installing new rubberized cork Fel-Pro valve cover gaskets to the valve covers with GE 100% clear silicone. Covers were then just set back on the motor and water lines reconnected for the warm-up run. After solving the carburetor issue and getting the engine timed and running I let it run for a good 30 minutes, tappets clattering away. I finally resolved that another 30 minutes of clattering (and who knows what the story is or how long they were run like that) wouldn't make enough difference to bother with the cold lash. It took 2 passes to get them right as I missed the intake valve setting on #6 the first time around but the results were very gratifying, at 0.008" intake lash and 0.018" exhaust lash the manual calls for the tappets are really quiet. The worst job was reinstalling the valve covers because the screw holes in the new gaskets occluded part of the valve cover bolt holes in the sheetmetal, After I got 3 of the screws back in the left cover I looked around and discovered I was missing one of the screws. I couldn't find it anywhere and finally thought it might have gotten brushed off the intake manifold onto the top of the head under the valve cover i was almost done installing. I took the water hose back off and removed the cover and sure enuf there it sat right over #7 cylinder. Thank god I pulled the cover and retreieved it.

One thing I did to my skiff was to install a 1/8" pipe drain plug in the aft end of the keel fin. This consists of a bronze 1/8 female to 1/4 male pipe bushing threaded and epoxied into the bottom aft end of the keel fin with a 1/8 hex-key brass pipe plug installed in it. The recessed hex-key plug screws in almost flush with the surface of the bushing so there is almost nothing hanging down to catch on something which could risk tearing it out of the glass. Over the 9+ months I worked on the boat I mopped and sponged as much water and other goo out of that keel fin that I could. It still had a couple of inches of water in it which equated to about 2 gallons when I drilled the hole and drained it. That was the first time I ever saw the bilge completely dry. I was never comfortable about having that water laying in the bilge, for one thing I think it is a freeze hazard in a cold Michigan winter and having that cruddy water under the floorboards constantly creates an odor and can't be doing the lumber or fiberglass any good. That stuff needs to dry out once in awhile. After running the boat supplying the raw water pump via a temporary raw water pump hose submerged in a 5 gallon bucket with a garden hose running in it there was about 10 gallons of water, antifreeze and oil in the bilge. Oil leaked out of the valve covers that were just sitting on the heads, antifreeze came from tearing off old water hoses and clear water came from running the cooling water pail off a few times while I was busy doing other things instead of watching the water level in the pail and from my raw water temporary hos and the drain cocks are all worn out and leaking. I was getting nervous that I would get a lesson on flywheel water-wheeling that Paul talked about. Removing that plug in the keel got rid of all that water and goo quickly.

I ordered new Sierra drain cocks to replace the leakers. Once this boat goes into service I will be campaigning it to eliminate all fluid leaks whether they be water leaking into the hull from stuffing boxes and thru hull fittings or leakage from the powertrain. I will also slowly start cleaning the grease off the original engine and making it more presentable. Even though the major rehabilitaion of this boat has been completed it will be refined steadily from here.


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