223 Silent Lash Valvetrain

Sickboy49

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I have a 1961 Ford Fairlane that has a 223 with the silent lash valve train. Ever since I got the car running after I bought it (2 years ago) the valves "chatter" at anything above idle. I have re-timed the motor and re-lashed the valves twice now. I was wondering if anyone had any advice they could give me on silencing the chatter? Thank you in advance.
 

wsa111

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Welcome aboard from the keystone state. I believe Bubba can assist you on your clatter.
 

bubba22349

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Do you have any pictures of the rocker arms? How did you reset the lash since they are suppose to be zero lash? The zero lash rocker arms are controlled by the engines oil pressure are you getting good top end oiling? Good luck (y) :nod:
 

Sickboy49

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Bubba,
Thank you for the response. Below are picture of the rockers. Sorry the one picture is very dark and you cannot see the line at the bottom of the eccentric that is used for alignment. That picture was taken before I had made the adjustments. I found a supplement to the 1961 shop manual which shows you how to adjust these Silent Lash rockers. Here are the steps.
1. Loosen the lock nut and the adjustment screw and push the eccentric back into the rocker
2. Tighten down the adjustment screw until the eccentric is held in the fully depressed position
3. Slowly turn (loosen) the adjustment screw until the adjustment mark on the eccentric is centered over the valve stem.

I did this twice now. Every time I take the valve cover off everything is covered in oil... so I think I am getting enough oil pressure? Also when I adjusted them the second time I found that the alignment mark was right where I had adjusted them to.


PS I tried adding the photos I have of the valve train but I get the error "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached."
 

bubba22349

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With your further above stated info the zero lash function sounds like it's in working order. I suspect than if this engine has had a lot of use over the years your rocker shafts probally have excessive wear this is usally located on the bottom part of the rocker shaft and the rocker bushings could also be worn. With the valve cover off and the engine idling you can often see the rocker arms jumping up and down on the rocker shaft because of this excessive rocker to shaft clearance which causes the clicking your hearing (this same thing will also happen with any of the other standard ajustable type rocker arms too). A temporary quick fix is to rotate the rocker shaft 180 degrees which places the worn area of the shaft up on the top. The rocker shafts though are still available new at a reasonable price, and the rocker arm bushings should also be available so they can also be replaced these parts are the same size as used on the standard ajustable rocker arms of all the other 223 engines from 1954 to 1964. A few years back I still had a complete nos rocker assembly, I think one of our site members recently had some of these NOS Zero lash Rockers for sale. That's a really nice looking 1961 Ford you have. :nod: (y)
 

Sickboy49

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Bubba,
Thanks again for the advice, and the compliment. She is a driving project, and I daily her every day as long as the weather is nice. I do most work on her in the winter to keep the salt off of her. I have 6,000 miles on her since I got her two years ago. She came with 34,000 original miles. The body and the interior confirm this. With that being said would the rocker arm shaft wear like that in only 40,000 miles? When I did have the valve cover off I did not notice any play at the shaft, but will check again. If I determine that the rockers do have play at the shaft, I think it may be beyond my current ability to replace the rocker bearings and get a replacement shaft (thoughts?). Would it be wise just to buy a rebuilt standard rocker assembly, and then lash them to .016 instead of the .019. I read that in a different post. Thanks again for all the advice.

Kerry
 

bubba22349

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Hi Kerry, gald to hear you are doing your own work on her! Long ago I learned to drive, race, and maintain a 1956 F100 with the 223 and 3 speed trans that my dad bought new it was a great learning experience also several of my school friends had Fords with these 223 engines and I would be asked to help them work on them. The replacement of the rocker shaft is fairly simple job the rocker bushings are a little more involved. Yes certainly you wouldn't expect that it wouldn't be worn much at 40,000 orginal miles but than it all depends on how well it was treated during it long life meaning Maintance and frequent oil / filter changes or if it could of sat unused for a number of years.

If you loosen or remove the rocker assembly and pull the push Rod out you can compare the clearance in its operating position than side the rock over its width on the shaft and then feel the difference in clearance. If you find that there's wear on the shaft and or rockers, then yes you could go with a rebuilt standard rocker assembly if you wanted to that would be a quick and fairly easy job. You can probably also have your Zero Lash Rocker Assembly rebuilt to if you wanted, RAU will likely have some standard rocker assemblys and a rebuilding service if you wanted to send in yours (see below link to contact them). Good luck on the 61. Robert, (y) :nod:

RAU
http://rockerarms.com/pages/rebuild.html
 

Sickboy49

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Robert,
Thanks again. I am slowly learning to work on this after spending years helping buddies with their V-8's. So the straight 6 is new to me, but I am enjoying the learning process. I have so far replaced:
Valves seals
Valve Keepers
Distributor (using a Pertronics instead of the points)
Coil
Carburetor
Thermostat housing
Radiator
Fuel pump/vacuum pump
Rear Leaf springs and bushing
Control arm bushings
Inner and outer tie rods
Upper and lower ball joints
Clutch and pressure plate
So enough of that before my list gets to long. I think the owner maintained the car very meticulously. I actually got the original shop manual with all of his notes in it. Also when I pulled the valve cover for the first time, there was no sludge or anything out of the ordinary. The car did sit since 1990 (last inspection sticker). With that being said how would sitting so long affect the valve train? Thank you for the link for the rockers. After I figure this issue out I am sure I will be picking your brain on some upgrades (read other posts on this site).
- Kerry
 

bubba22349

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HI Kerry, the main trouble with letting the engine and or any other lubed mechanical parts (some are not as bad) but when sitting over a long period of time the oil or lube drains off or dries up on all the bearing surfaces then you have a dry start up until oil pump pressurizes all the engine parts. Depending on have good of, condition the oil pump is this can possablity cause some damage each time this happens, much better if the car was used or started regularly once or twice a month. Pre oiling before the first startup can protect that from happening or an accumulator tank that stores a couple of quarts of oil that then pre oils the engine before start up also woks great to prevent wear. The gaskets and seals can dry up then you get leaks. The Steering and Suspention parts, U Joints, and wheel bearings, the older type greases may also dry up to usually though that's not to hard to get some new grease into them. If you were able to disassemble the rockers and measure the shaft and the rocker bushings to see if their within the factory spec. that would let you know. Rust can also form in the gas tank, fuel lines, ect it can be a big job to bring a car back from a long slumber but it's wroth it on these old beauties. Great job on those repairs that is quite a list, good luck (y) :nod:
 

bubba22349

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HI Kerry there is a new set of rockers available if you need them. :nod:
 

Sickboy49

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Hi again Bubba,
I just saw your post on this thread. I have been driving her to much this summer and did not keep up with this post. I just found a rebuilt silent lash rocker assembly on e-bay. I am going to try that out and let you know. If that doesn't fix it I will probably replace the lifters and push rods as well. Thank you again for your help and your wealth of knowledge.

Kerry
 

bubba22349

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Hi Kerry, if you have any trouble finding any of those parts just so you know the camshaft can be reground and probally the lifters. On company you can contact about this service is Schneider Cams. http://schneidercams.com
You can also get a set of longer push rods made to take the extra slack at Smith Brothers https://www.pushrods.net and others. Glad you were driving car have fun with it. Best of luck (y) :nod:
 

Sickboy49

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Well I put in the new rocker assembly and it is better to an extent. I still get the chatter/pinging from the valves but it is not as bad. A friend of mine was saying, from what I described, it sounded like detonation is the culprit. I have adjusted/checked the timing on the motor more times then I can count. I came across a thread on this site about checking/adjusting the primary or secondary high and low vacuum advance in the distributer. From what the gentlemen was describing he had the exact opposite issue from mine. He had an engine the would stutter and stagger when above idle, where as mine is the pinging/chatter because the low vacuum advance in the distributer is allowing the timing to advance to far. Anyways... I will be monkeying with that and post the results.
 

peeeot

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Is there a chance your camshaft has been replaced or reground? The silent lash valvetrain used a different grind than the rest of the 223s. If they are mismatched it may be creating your valvetrain noise.

Also, you have a 1961 Ford. What does your valve cover look like? I have installed silent lash rockers on the 1963 223 installed in my car. I put the 1960 valve cover back on and thought I was good to go, but the tip of the silent lash rockers is contacting the valve cover in a few places. I am thinking I might need a different valve cover to accommodate the bulkier rockers.

P.s., my silent lash arms truly are silent, even with valve cover contact. You should not hear your valvetrain at any engine speed.
 

Sickboy49

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Peeeot,
I do not think that the cam was replaced or reground... but anything is possible. I checked the inside of the valve cover and saw no indications of the rockers contacting the valve cover. To add a new twist to this.... I installed a original 1961 distributor from a truck (e-bay) over this weekend chasing down the excessive advance that was happening on the aftermarket distributor. Well the good news is that the advance is now in check and she idles better then ever. I found that the springs on the 61 distributor that control the primary and secondary advance are a lot heavier then then what came with the aftermarket. Bad news is that the chatter is still there. It begins at 1,500 RPM. I also installed a tach to help diagnose when the chatter begins/ends. I did a compression test when I retimed the motor... here are the results:
#1 - 85
#2 - 100
#3 - 90
#4 - 105
#5 - 115
#6 - 115
I read in the shop manual that I should be at 150+/- 10. So it is looking like either I should have a valve job done on the head (weak valve springs?) and or re-ring the pistons.
Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

bubba22349

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Yes with those compression test numbers you diffenatly should do both a complete 3 angle valve job, back cut the intakes, test the valve springs or replace with new, resurface the head. Plus a full overhaul of the short block with new rings if the cylinders are still good enough condistion, fresh Rod and Main bearings, cam bearings, a good cleaning of all internal oil passages. A rering kit gives you all the gaskets, Rod bearings (and mains can be added as well as other parts as needed), plus a ring set for one low price. Add a set of new freeze plugs, timing gears and chain, oil pump, if needed the cam and lifters can also be reground. Best of luck
 

Sickboy49

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Thanks Bubba. One thing I do have to ask, (out of my own inexperience), if I have the lifters ground along with the cam, won't that throw off the specs of each from standard? If so, how would I compensate for that? Thanks for the help.
 

bubba22349

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Hi Sickboy49, in the regrinding of the cam there is usually only a very minimal amount of material removed. There are also ways to bring back the cam lobes to orginal specs in more severe cases. Sometimes you can still find new old stock lifters and cams a few years back in my collection of 223 parts I had a brand new cam and about 9 new lifters as well as a new zero lash rocker assembly.

With the head also being resurfaced this makes up for much of cam and lifter regrinding so its about a wash. If you happen to use one of newer thicker composition head gaskets instead of an ordinal type head gasket the extra thickness needs to also be taken into account so this addistional amount is also removed from the head surface to maintain the engine original (or a higher) compression ratio to have the engines full factory performance (or better). Or in a worse case senareo you would maybe need to get a longer set push rods to make up the difference. Best of luck
 

peeeot

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If you have a dial indicator, you can verify whether your camshaft is right by checking lobe lift. The non-silent lash cams have about 0.273” lift and the silent lash cams have 0.260” lift. The reduced lift on the silent lash cam is because the clearance between valve stem and rocker is eliminated. I believe the overall shape of the cam lobes is different as well.
 

Sickboy49

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Thank you both very much for the advice. I am starting a build sheet of everything I need for this. Thank goodness most parts are reasonable. I just have to find a machine shop in my area that can do the head work/cam/lifter grinding. At the very least I can use the companies Bubba listed earlier in this thread for some of the grinding work. This is all going to happen next winter, so I am throwing some Marvel Mystery Oil in her for the time being to see if I have stuck rings. The funny thing is... with all the symptoms she has I have driven her about 10,000 miles in the last 2 years without any noticeable performance issues. As I work on a build sheet I will post it here along with my progress so I might be able to help someone else out as well. I never thought I would get this deep into the motor, but knowledge is power!
 
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