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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everybody,
I have read everything in here about adjusting the vavles on my car. I have a 194 inline 6 and I am having one heck of a time adjusting the valves and was wondering if my timing, or lean or rich mixture or idle screw is messing me up.

Before I started to adjust my valves my car was running pretty good, it idled good, it hesitated when I tried to floor it which was fine, but thats why I wanted to adjust my valves. I changed all my vacuum hoses to brand new ones since the old ones were garbage at the same time I tried to adjust my valves.

But here is my question, when I am adjusting my valves I hear them clacking like crazy so I tighten them slowly, slowly and slowly but when I tighten them down to the point that they don't clack my car runs like crashinga, the which means the whole car shakes and shakes then dies and won't idle and this happens more so on the valves near the fire wall. but when my valves are loose my car runs great. What am I doing wrong as I have been trying this for a week to get my valves from ticking too much and getting the car to idle correctly or atleast get it back to what it was. So now that I did adjust my valves do I need to set my timing better. I don't have a gun or a mark on the original l6 motor.

I listen to it and feel it. When I hear the exhaust coming out of the tail pipe and it sounds good thats when I know its set good...to me.... Any ideas as I am dying to drive this thing again because I just changed my brake pads.

As far as the valves being adjusted I can't get them very good, it sounds like the engine is surging, phhhh phhhhh phhhh and definately missing to my ear, but I am a rookie. Please help this rookie get is nova back on the road.
 

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I am not at all familiar with your engine, so i will hesitate to offer technical advice, but i will offer two 'generic' things you may try:
1. refer to the shop manual for this engine and/or
2. checkout this guy http://www.stoveboltengineco.com/ he appears to be an expert.....

good luck.....
 

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I think you are over tightening the valves which is causing them to not close completely and consequently the engine runs rough. The noise may be because of lifters that won't hold pressure. The noise goes away when you tighten them down until the plunger goes all the way down. The lack of clearance causes the valve to hang open. My guess is the lifters need replacing, but you may find other related problems like worn cam lobes and poor oil pressure to the lifters due to a clogged oil passage. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think you are over tightening the valves which is causing them to not close completely and consequently the engine runs rough. The noise may be because of lifters that won't hold pressure. The noise goes away when you tighten them down until the plunger goes all the way down. The lack of clearance causes the valve to hang open. My guess is the lifters need replacing, but you may find other related problems like worn cam lobes and poor oil pressure to the lifters due to a clogged oil passage. Good luck.
so what would you say run the valves a little clacky?
 

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Try this...
Rotate the engine until the Intake valve is completely closed, and the exhaust valve is just starting to open. Loosen the rocker until you can turn the push rod with your fingertips. Tighten the rockerr until you can no longer turn the push rod, then go 1/2 turn further. Do the same procedure with the exhaust valves. turn the engine until the exhaust valve is completely closed, and the Intake is just starting to open. Use the same procedure for each cylinder. As Paul said, you likely have some worn lifters, or even a worn cam.
You will most likely still have some ticking, but it should run better.
If you had an assembly Manual, it would tell you which valves to adjust at TDC, and which ones to adjust at 180*. Since you don't have an assembly manual, you'll have to do each cylinder one at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Try this...
Rotate the engine until the Intake valve is completely closed, and the exhaust valve is just starting to open. Loosen the rocker until you can turn the push rod with your fingertips. Tighten the rockerr until you can no longer turn the push rod, then go 1/2 turn further. Do the same procedure with the exhaust valves. turn the engine until the exhaust valve is completely closed, and the Intake is just starting to open. Use the same procedure for each cylinder. As Paul said, you likely have some worn lifters, or even a worn cam.
You will most likely still have some ticking, but it should run better.
If you had an assembly Manual, it would tell you which valves to adjust at TDC, and which ones to adjust at 180*. Since you don't have an assembly manual, you'll have to do each cylinder one at a time.
Ok, I will try that. The only thing is my engine is in the car so I cannot turn it over by hand. What I will try is to just bump it so I can see each valve move up and down and stop accordingly, and go with EO IC method right. So if I am looking at the valve and bump it the engine, when the valve goes down this means it is open, and when it is all the way up this means it is closed correct?

My oil pressure seems pretty good as I get a lot of oil squirting out all over my hood and on a wall about 7 feet away.
 

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Try this...
Rotate the engine until the Intake valve is completely closed, and the exhaust valve is just starting to open. Loosen the rocker until you can turn the push rod with your fingertips. Tighten the rockerr until you can no longer turn the push rod, then go 1/2 turn further. Do the same procedure with the exhaust valves. turn the engine until the exhaust valve is completely closed, and the Intake is just starting to open. Use the same procedure for each cylinder. As Paul said, you likely have some worn lifters, or even a worn cam.
You will most likely still have some ticking, but it should run better.
If you had an assembly Manual, it would tell you which valves to adjust at TDC, and which ones to adjust at 180*. Since you don't have an assembly manual, you'll have to do each cylinder one at a time.
This is how I set mine on the engine stand and forget them. I just work the pushrod up and down and the last little bit is hard to tell. So I start turning the pushrod until I feel the faint resistance. If not sure I back up and start over. As soon as I feel the resistance on the pushrod I set my ratchet(box end wrench when setting polylocks) where I want it and go a quarter turn or 90* and they are done. Some people choose to put a 1/2 turn on them also as you do and that is fine. Once you get used to this it is second nature and is easy just like stabbing a distibutor and setting timing. It's like breathing, it comes natural. Exhaust starts to open set the intake, intake starts to close set the exhaust.
 

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highly unlikely on solid lifters... unless it was installed by a previous owner. the factory unit is hydraulic.

you've received excellent advice on the situation, best advice i could add is to get a repair manual. it can be researched, re-read, images checked out to familiarize yourself and make you more comfortable knowing what you're doing. it'll also help you better understand the advice you're being offered. it will pay for itself with usage, believe me, it's worth the costs to buy one :thumbsup:

it's likely the engine is a high mileage engine, being worn to a point and needing possible rebuilding... i'd recommend a compression test also, once it's running better.


good luck to ya, keep us posted :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I have a manual, but I still can't figure it out. I was told when I bought the car from a nice older lady she had it rebuilt and there was only 30k miles on the rebuild. The car was sitting for the last 8 years though. I will try it again tonite.

I did try the method also where I spin the push rod and tighten it down, and then as soon as I feel it not turn any more I give it a half turn. That didn't work my valves were really clacky. Also I didn't do that method with the EO IC way. I should try that with that method. I just did it with the engine off and none of the valves were open or closed.

Also, what I am asking is it possible that my timing is set incorrectly and would be making it hard to adjust my valves also
 

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depending on where the lifter is on the lobe they'll all be somewhat loose i'd imagine. to adjust in the manner you're speaking the engine would be running. one at a time, repeat if needed until right, then move to the next... loosen until they clack, tighten while grasping rocker tight to feel slack, also while listening and tighten so clack is gone, tighten additional 1/2 turn. when pressure is placed on the rocker the clacking sound is different. you put pressure/release pressure & listen as the rocker nut is adjusted.

go real slow and feel & listen. practice a little only on the first one. listen to the sound until you're familiar with what i mean... you'll definitely hear the difference. take your time. it'll get oily messy probably, they make rocker clips to deflect oil...
 

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Also I didn't do that method with the EO IC way. I should try that with that method. I just did it with the engine off and none of the valves were open or closed.
Regardless of the way of doing it, it has to be done with the lifter on the base circle. If you did it with the engine off and didn't turn the motor over, then some valves were opening and some were closed. Even if they didn't look open, they still could have been coming up on the ramp of the lobe. There are other ways by turning the crank and setting certain valves and then turning 90 degrees and setting others. With the EO-IC you can't go wrong just read the posts and think about it first. Same way for solids except you are using a feeler gauge instead of zero lash. Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
go real slow and feel & listen. practice a little only on the first one. listen to the sound until you're familiar with what i mean... you'll definitely hear the difference. take your time. it'll get oily messy probably, they make rocker clips to deflect oil...[/QUOTE]


How would I feel? with my hand on the rocker arm to see if I can feel the clacking?
 

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highly unlikely on solid lifters... unless it was installed by a previous owner. the factory unit is hydraulic.

you've received excellent advice on the situation, best advice i could add is to get a repair manual. it can be researched, re-read, images checked out to familiarize yourself and make you more comfortable knowing what you're doing. it'll also help you better understand the advice you're being offered. it will pay for itself with usage, believe me, it's worth the costs to buy one :thumbsup:

it's likely the engine is a high mileage engine, being worn to a point and needing possible rebuilding... i'd recommend a compression test also, once it's running better.


good luck to ya, keep us posted :D
My Dad always told me: "If all else fails read the instructions."
 

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so what would you say run the valves a little clacky?
No...and it's not the timing.

The only thing is my engine is in the car so I cannot turn it over by hand.
Take the plugs out so you aren't fighting compression.

I have a manual, but I still can't figure it out. I was told when I bought the car from a nice older lady she had it rebuilt and there was only 30k miles on the rebuild. The car was sitting for the last 8 years though.
Rebuilt doesn't mean it was done right or same as new. Some rebuilds only last 30,000 miles due to corner cutting. It's possible the lifters started clacking 8 years ago and the old lady didn't want to pay to have them fixed, so it sat. Sold it to you and now the problem is yours.

Also, what I am asking is it possible that my timing is set incorrectly and would be making it hard to adjust my valves also
If the clacking is at idle, it's not the timing. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.
 

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As was said above, pull the plugs

take your valve covers off

make sure the car is in neutral with the E-Brake Set

get yourself some heavy gloves

grab the lower pulley and turn it over by hand. It should not be to hard, if it is you can remove the pulley belts as well.

Watch the rockers and/or pushrods and when one is completely at the top (open) wait for the other to start to slightly move. Twist the pushrod back and fourth until you get a little resistance while tightening the nut, and give the nut another quarter turn.

Move to the next valve.

Once you do this and get your valves set correctly you can screw around with the timing all you like!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
As was said above, pull the plugs

take your valve covers off

make sure the car is in neutral with the E-Brake Set

get yourself some heavy gloves

grab the lower pulley and turn it over by hand. It should not be to hard, if it is you can remove the pulley belts as well.

Watch the rockers and/or pushrods and when one is completely at the top (open) wait for the other to start to slightly move. Twist the pushrod back and fourth until you get a little resistance while tightening the nut, and give the nut another quarter turn.

Move to the next valve.

Once you do this and get your valves set correctly you can screw around with the timing all you like!

Good luck!
And I can also screw around with the idle and mixture screw?

Also, I got it set pretty good, which means very minimal clacking, great right, wrong. So I let it idle for a minute with the clacking pretty much eliminated. I stoped the car for a few minutes then started it again. And of course if started idling really bad and eventually died out. Are my valve guides bad, or lifters bad. At this point I just want it back to how it was.:(

I think I will try your method.

Which way do I turn the pulley, clockwise?
Also, I did not know that when the valve is completely at the top it is open, I thought when it was all the way up it was closed. So when the valve is all the way at the top it is open, and I adjust that valve that is all the way at the top or the other one, then continue to the next one?
 

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Turning the Engine By Hand

Hey man, I'm a bit in the same boat as you are. I did the lifters on my straight 6 /194. It's my first Nova and has been a pleasure to work on but I did bang my head for a couple hours trying to figure out how to turn the motor by hand. Bumping it with the starter didn't seem very precise and grasping the harmonic balancer by hand made it difficult to see what was happening on the top side.

A dear saint on this site suggested to me using the fan off the water pump to rotate the engine which will work if there is enough tension on the belt. If you need more tension simply adjust the tension via the alternator or generator mount. This lets you turn it from the top side, observe the interaction with valves and keep an eye on the degree plate on the pulley notch. Again use gloves. If you car is like mine the clearance between the fan blade and the water pump is awful slim. My blue knuckle is reminding me of that right now :)

Keep us posted on your project. Remember it's part science (the shop manual) part art (thinking through solutions) part love (you know you have it if you spend time looking longing at your problem plagued project, salivating for the day when she'll roll again. Just have fun with it, not everyone gets a chance to turn on wrench on an old classic!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey man, I'm a bit in the same boat as you are. I did the lifters on my straight 6 /194. It's my first Nova and has been a pleasure to work on but I did bang my head for a couple hours trying to figure out how to turn the motor by hand. Bumping it with the starter didn't seem very precise and grasping the harmonic balancer by hand made it difficult to see what was happening on the top side.

A dear saint on this site suggested to me using the fan off the water pump to rotate the engine which will work if there is enough tension on the belt. If you need more tension simply adjust the tension via the alternator or generator mount. This lets you turn it from the top side, observe the interaction with valves and keep an eye on the degree plate on the pulley notch. Again use gloves. If you car is like mine the clearance between the fan blade and the water pump is awful slim. My blue knuckle is reminding me of that right now :)

Keep us posted on your project. Remember it's part science (the shop manual) part art (thinking through solutions) part love (you know you have it if you spend time looking longing at your problem plagued project, salivating for the day when she'll roll again. Just have fun with it, not everyone gets a chance to turn on wrench on an old classic!

Hi Thanks for your advice on adjusting my vavles. Can I ask you a question. If I am looking at the firewall on my car 194 is the last valve a intake valve? Or from the front of the car its starts off exhaust intake, exhaust intake right or is the other way around. I can do this with the engine cold to right. I am frustrated I have been at this for about 3 weeks and tons of oil on the ground. Thanks for your help.
 

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Standing in front of the car looking at it the valve order is exhaust then intake all the way back which would make the answer to your question....the intake valve.

Cold is the only way I can work on it right now too as I'm trying to necessitate my 194. I finally got it to bang, just out carb though!
 
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