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  • B Cam pushing A tappets

    I am a little concerned about the combination I installed when I rebuilt Bonnie (my early 1930 Town Sedan). I acquired a B Cam with v good journals. Maybe a little worn on the lobes but still a B Cam. The seller marked it as .318 Ex lift and .312 In lift. Ford Garage shows a .319 lift for BOTH intake and exhaust; so my B Cam is still better than the A Cam's .287 lift for both Ex and In.
    http://www.fordgarage.com/pages/camshaftspecs.htm

    But my BIG concern is that the Tappet base width for the A is 1.117" and for the B is 1.187". Ford Garage clearly shows that the wider tappet base is required for the higher lobe on the B Cam.
    http://www.fordgarage.com/pages/stipecamshaftspecs.htm

    So I've got A tappets with The B Cam. The stipe link above DOES say (highlighted in yellow) that you CAN use 1.117 tappets with A or B cam, but I'm assuming that 1.187 is simply better. Also, before I rebuilt her, the old parts were random; pistons & rods were all different weights. I could even have the dreaded ~1.000" tappet base which could destroy the cam and/or tappets. She's broken in and running great at 2000 mi. Should I be worried? Didn't know these specs and never measured the tappets.

  • #2
    Do you have adjustable tappets? You didn't say if you made an actual measurement of your A tappets.

    Comment


    • #3
      the double lock tappets have the smaller base circle. The single lock tappets have the wider base. That is easily checked by removing the side cover. As far as I know there are no other choices out there.
      I have seen a Brierley cam that had nasty wear marks on the ramps because the narrow base tappets were used.

      If you have the single lock tappets I believe you have done all that can be done.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dennis View Post
        Do you have adjustable tappets? You didn't say if you made an actual measurement of your A tappets.
        Hey Dennis, I do have adjustable tappets. I reused what was in there as they looked fine. They have the top nut that adjusts and a lock nut beneath. No, I knew nothing about any different tappets so it didn't occur to me to measure them. The B Cam was recommended to me without any specs except newer and improved for better In. Ex. breathing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tbirdtbird View Post
          the double lock tappets have the smaller base circle. The single lock tappets have the wider base. That is easily checked by removing the side cover. As far as I know there are no other choices out there.
          I have seen a Brierley cam that had nasty wear marks on the ramps because the narrow base tappets were used.

          If you have the single lock tappets I believe you have done all that can be done.
          Hey Tbird, As Just mentioned, I have adjustable tappets with one locking nut. I don't understand what double lock tappets are. They had no visible wear or damage though, from traveling on the A Cam.

          Comment


          • #6
            it sounds like you actually have double lock style.
            Single lock style does not use a jam nut at all.
            Single lock has an adjuster that has threads that are a very tight fit into the body of the lifter. I think the threads may be deliberately deformed to make a tight, vibration free fit.
            The double lock type has a jam nut to hold the adjuster in position. You need 2 wrenches for this type; only one wrench for the single lock type.
            If you have the jam nut type then you have the smaller diameter base.

            I assume they ground the stems during production but I am not certain.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tbirdtbird View Post
              it sounds like you actually have double lock style.
              Single lock style does not use a jam nut at all.
              Single lock has an adjuster that has threads that are a very tight fit into the body of the lifter. I think the threads may be deliberately deformed to make a tight, vibration free fit.
              The double lock type has a jam nut to hold the adjuster in position. You need 2 wrenches for this type; only one wrench for the single lock type.
              If you have the jam nut type then you have the smaller diameter base.

              I assume they ground the stems during production but I am not certain.
              YOW! Then that's what I have; double lock. I used two wrenches. Rats. It's a lot of work, but I don't want to ruin that cam. The base wasn't all that wide as I remember. They might be an inch at best, or less. Think I'll pull the pan and look closer.

              Comment


              • #8
                I believe you are correct, I don't have a double lock lifter here to measure but I think they do come in at 1.000 at the base.
                If you already have 2K miles on it, depending on how much driving you do each season, you might consider making it a winter or off-season project. Chances are the additional mileage this season won't make a lot of difference compared to the 2K already on there.

                I have always thought it would be nice for the suppliers to give more info about the 2 different types of lifters, and for Bill Stipe to include a little writeup with his cam. I have installed many of his cams (which are super) and there are no instructions. I know this is a B and not a Stipe but the profile is gonna be close. They are a very responsive company, I'd almost call them and ask about the 2 different sized tappets and see what they say, right from the horse's mouth, as it were. You have nothing to lose.

                Originally, I did not know about the base circle issue either, I just chose the single lock type because they are waaaay easier to adjust. Most of the reliable builders I know cut 3/8" off the lifter bore to make it even easier to adjust. Most all of us around here have done this. I had to make a special cutter to do this. Again, perhaps a controversial topic (what isn't) but I have never seen bad effects, and the Dallas club puts thousands of miles on each year
                Last edited by tbirdtbird; 05-11-2017, 09:20 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is what a single lock tappet looks like. Notice there is no lock nut on the adjustable stem.

                  http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/tappets-61

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tbirdtbird View Post
                    I believe you are correct, I don't have a double lock lifter here to measure but I think they do come in at 1.000 at the base.
                    If you already have 2K miles on it, depending on how much driving you do each season, you might consider making it a winter or off-season project. Chances are the additional mileage this season won't make a lot of difference compared to the 2K already on there.

                    I have always thought it would be nice for the suppliers to give more info about the 2 different types of lifters, and for Bill Stipe to include a little writeup with his cam. I have installed many of his cams (which are super) and there are no instructions. I know this is a B and not a Stipe but the profile is gonna be close. They are a very responsive company, I'd almost call them and ask about the 2 different sized tappets and see what they say, right from the horse's mouth, as it were. You have nothing to lose.

                    Originally, I did not know about the base circle issue either, I just chose the single lock type because they are waaaay easier to adjust. Most of the reliable builders I know cut 3/8" off the lifter bore to make it even easier to adjust. Most all of us around here have done this. I had to make a special cutter to do this. Again, perhaps a controversial topic (what isn't) but I have never seen bad effects, and the Dallas club puts thousands of miles on each year
                    I went to Snyder's site for the double lock lifter, and sure enough, it shows the base diameter as .990". That's a lot less then the B's recommended factory base diameter of 1.187". I think I'm gonna do it this winter, as you suggested.
                    http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/oversize-tappets
                    I also found '32 solid lifters NOS on Ebay and purchased them, just in case, and because they are rare. Now I'm getting in deeper with the "adjusting"!
                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/322510195297...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
                    Heck, they're cheaper than new ones!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You never want the cam lobe to strike the outer edge of the tappet, which is what will happen when a small diameter tappet is used. This would create a high pressure point in a very small area, as well as scrape the oil layer away, and this can wipe out a cam very quickly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
                        You never want the cam lobe to strike the outer edge of the tappet, which is what will happen when a small diameter tappet is used. This would create a high pressure point in a very small area, as well as scrape the oil layer away, and this can wipe out a cam very quickly.
                        Thanks Tom. My suspicions are pretty much confirmed. I better fix this before I do MORE damage. One notable parts seller says all this is MYTH. Well, I figure there could be a conflict of interest with a parts seller. No name mentioned, since it could just be an ill-informed opinion.

                        I appreciate all the input. Thanks to all. Chuck

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DustDevil View Post

                          I went to Snyder's site for the double lock lifter, and sure enough, it shows the base diameter as .990". That's a lot less then the B's recommended factory base diameter of 1.187". I think I'm gonna do it this winter, as you suggested.
                          http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/oversize-tappets
                          !
                          Keep in mind those oversize tappets you have in that link above are a bigger body diameter, not neccessarily the face diameter. The difference that is of concern for you is whether they are double lock or single. You want the single lock which have the larger diameter face.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dennis View Post

                            Keep in mind those oversize tappets you have in that link above are a bigger body diameter, not neccessarily the face diameter. The difference that is of concern for you is whether they are double lock or single. You want the single lock which have the larger diameter face.
                            I guess I just picked the wrong example with the "oversized" link. Like you said, the big deal is the narrow base diameter of the double lock ones that I have, unfortunately. It truly is a poor match for my B cam. And like Tom said, the lobe will hit on the side or edge of the lifter base instead of the bottom, causing high pressure on a very small spot, wiping the oil film and quickly damaging the cam lobe and/or lifter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a diamond engine with a B cam. I'll have to dig it out and measure the tappet face to see if it's the same as A tappets.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Ok, I'm not trying to flog a dead horse, but I got my NOS '32 solid lifters in today and measured them right away. It looks like these are the real McCoys:

                                20170513_175855.jpg20170513_175752.jpg20170513_175559.jpg
                                The first pic is the neck/shaft diameter: all 8 are from .5925 to .5930
                                The second is of the full length: all 8 are from 2.517 to 2.519
                                The third is of the base diameter: all 8 are from 1.177 to 1.180 at the thinnest. (They are more rough-cut on the sides, and measure up to 1.187).

                                It is a FAR CRY from the .990 double adjustable that are in there.

                                Yes, I'm aware I will have to fine-fit them by grinding the valve stems as necessary, and/or grind the seats for propper fitting. It's been done before and I can do it again. AND I THOUGHT I WAS DONE!!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ok I like that idea. I was hoping the original style valves that I replaced new would be long enough, and just need grinding. Sounds like they might NOT be long enough? guess I could try what I have first, then if I have to, order some modern valves & guides.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    You will be thanking yourself forever if you go with modern valves. Small price to pay for never having to mess with adjusting valve lash by grinding the stems. You can buy a complete set of valves keepers and guides for $135.00 and then new valve springs for $.80 cents each.

                                    http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/model-a-valve-set

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Dennis View Post
                                      You will be thanking yourself forever if you go with modern valves. Small price to pay for never having to mess with adjusting valve lash by grinding the stems. You can buy a complete set of valves keepers and guides for $135.00 and then new valve springs for $.80 cents each.

                                      http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/model-a-valve-set
                                      Thanks for the link. They look like the best.
                                      BTW, I can kill two birds here; I have a B/W O/D that I can install once the engine is out. I think it would be hard to replace the tappets with engine in the car, but that could be another post when I get ready. I am NOT a career mechanic like some of you wizards; just a DIYer when I can.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Just for ha-ha's, what did they use for lifters "back in the day"??
                                        Paul in CT

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          if you yank the radiator, the side cover, the pan, and the timing cover you should be able to remove the cam and lifters. If you are gonna change out the valves then the head comes off obv. Dropping the pan with the engine in the car would be the only 'hard' part.

                                          If you yank the motor and have an engine stand this is a cakewalk

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            That's what I was thinking, Tbird. Although I have a lift and stand, I think I'll try it in the car. I'll worry about the Borg Warner O/D later, and put that in from the differential end.

                                            Comment

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