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Thread: 1963 Avanti 289 engine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    British Columbia Canada

    1963 Avanti 289 engine

    I have a question regarding the 289 engine in a 63 Avanti. The engine sounded as though it had a noisy lifter so I removed the valve covers and proceeded to try and find it. The specs call for .025" hot clearance. When I checked the engine I found that the right hand bank ones were set at .012" to .014" and the left had side was at .016. I set them all to .016" as I felt if I set them any loser they would really make a noise. With the engine running now there is no definite one that is noisy they all clatter a bit. The fellow who owns the car says that it had run good at these settings. According to the speedometer there are 73000 miles on it. I do not have any history if any thing has been done to the engine. My concern is if the manufacture calls for the .025" setting they must really be noisy or is it that the lifters are loose in their bores. I am concerned that when the engine is running at its operating temperature the reduced clearances are going to cause premature valve problems. Any advice or input on this concern would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: 1963 Avanti 289 engine

    .025 sounded wide to me but I checked and apparently it's what Studebaker recommends.

    Here is a page of suggestions. Different people have different methods of adjusting valves, and apparently these guys have been doing it their way for years.

    You will find some good advice here.

    If you get the adjustment right the valves should be as quiet as a hydraulic lifter engine or quieter - no valve noise at all.

    Any valve noise indicates worn parts. Unfortunately this is common on solid lifter engines. If they are kept adjusted they are dead silent and stay that way for the life of the engine. If they are allowed to get out of adjustment the rocker arms get pounded and worn and they can't be adjusted properly.

    A little noise is normal under the circumstances but if they are real noisy you need to replace the rocker arms. Inspect the tips where they ride on the valve stem, they should have a smooth curve. If they are rutted and pounded to oblivion there is your problem.

    Auto machine shops used to be able to regrind the rocker arms but I doubt anyone has the proper equipment today. The only solution is to replace them.

  3. #3

    Re: 1963 Avanti 289 engine

    Incidentally with the smaller clearances you now have, you are running the risk of burning your valves. The clearance can close up due to heat expansion in the engine.

    Excess valve wear may already have occurred. Do a compression test to see.

    If you need a valve job do it and put new rocker arms on at the same time and new rocker arm shafts if necessary.

    After that your valves will be dead quiet.

    Or if the valves are still OK and you don't want to change the rocker arms, at least check the valve clearances often. You have no margin for error.

    One good long trip could burn the valves out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Georgia, USA

    Re: 1963 Avanti 289 engine

    It's a Studebaker V8. The valves are going to rattle. [img]<>/grin.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: 1963 Avanti 289 engine

    Not if the engine is put together right and the valves adjusted regularly.

    Unfortunately this is seldom the case so a little valve noise is something you have to accept unless you want to do the repair job.

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