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Trained Monkey

In search of Valves for L-head

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Why not contact TRW. They have been making valves for over 100 years. I doubt you would have to have valves made !

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The important determinant of whether valves are reclaimable is not necessarily the state of the head, but rather wear on the stem. I have often reclaimed valves with edges that have become thin by building them up with Elwood Haynes' "Stellite". This cobalt base alloy washes on quite nicely with an oxy-acetylene flame that is just rich in acetylene. The only valves that gave me trouble were from an old Napier. These oxidised rapidly at red heat. I was able to protect them with a nickel powder from an oxyacetylene fusion torch with a powder hopper. The stellite fused to that.

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The important determinant of whether valves are reclaimable is not necessarily the state of the head, but rather wear on the stem. I have often reclaimed valves with edges that have become thin by building them up with Elwood Haynes' "Stellite". This cobalt base alloy washes on quite nicely with an oxy-acetylene flame that is just rich in acetylene. The only valves that gave me trouble were from an old Napier. These oxidised rapidly at red heat. I was able to protect them with a nickel powder from an oxyacetylene fusion torch with a powder hopper. The stellite fused to that.

Ivan, Although this was not my question about valves, your many contributions to this forum never cease to amaze and enlighten me. Thank you. Cheers, Barry

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Sorry, I was kind of dazzled by Mr. Saxton's skill at renewing old valves, and ignored the question. Pardon my ignorance of Mercer mechanicals, but perhaps this might help. I friend of mine who works on very old vintage marine engines has similar problems, and looks to find valves that are a bit larger in one dimension or another and then he custom machines them down to the correct size for engine in need.

Perhaps this could be done in your case?

Keith

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Barry, I might be confused: Are you the gent from the navy? In the 1930's, long time Mercer owner would have bought new valves from Vince Galloni, or someone else with new old stock. It is no use digging up old sources' names and addresses, because the people are long gone, and without doubt there are no valves either. In the 1970's, Clive Beattie dug up long stem blanks from which he was able to make and fit good valves for my Series 4. I never trouble to find out where they came from, because I could be sure I would never need another set for it. I believe some years ago someone in New Zealand was advertising they could make and machine blanks for any engine. For most engines you can adapt something else, but as you know though others may not, Valves for Mercer L-heads are very difficult because of the huge head diameter and stem length. So though in exact meaning I could not answer your question,, the method I suggested is economical and practical. However, it is possible to rebuild worn stems to good effect. First you have to ream out the valve guides oversize, exactly concentric with the seat. Then after adequate cleaning, grit blasting, and masking the head and the thread on the cam follower end with anti-bond; Then build up sufficiently with Metco Spraybond. This is an excellent self-bonding coating of molybdenum. This is used as a bond coat for some jobs, but also works and wears well as a surface build-up, for instance as a filler on high-duty top piston rings. Now you have to set up and pre-grind oversize on a good cylindrical grinder. Then you grind for size and finish with a centreless grinder. The moly coating, which is sealed with an air-hardening phenolic sealer before grinding, nevertheless holds lubricant in micro-pores on the surface. When you finish the bore of the valve guides to desired fit with a small "dunny-brush "hone the correct size, with small vertical oscillations, the fine cross-hatch scratches in the bore will also hold lubricating oil. If you arrange a pipe to squirt oil on small felt washers on the stems, which are held against the bottom of the valve guides by very light compression springs, you will never suffer dry valves and guides, and the job will outlast your lifetime.

Now I have known very competent owners who successfully made new valves in ways I never thought of. Ken Watson has restoring a 1910 Jarrott, which was a Napier very similar to mine, obviously in breach of the strict contractual arrangements between Napier and S F Edge. The only difference was the lettering of the different name. Ken was an aircraft engine rebuilder for light aircraft in central inland New South Wales. Ken made his valves by drilling and threading holes in the centres of suitable valve heads, and screwing in stems made of suitable head studs from some aero engine. He forged the ends of the threads over the valve head, red hot. The other friend who made and adapted valves was Tom Henderson, who has been for decades a top automotive engine machinist and engine rebuilder. He rebuilt the engine of a 3 litre, 4 cylinder, overhead camshaft Hispano Suiza engine. He made new valves from the sodium cooled exhaust valves of a radial 9 cylinder Wright Whirlwind engine. He cut the tips off the stems with a hacksaw and due caution. I have no idea how he reconciled the large stem diameter. You can often find a way when you really need to. All the best.

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Not sure if this will help. I would check with some of the antique tractor suppliers. These guys may have a size that will work, can be turned to size or be able to fabricate a set for you. Starbolt comes to mind http://starboltenginesupplies.com/ , H&J Machine http://www.handjmachining.com/ - they specialize in John Deere but say they can makes valves for any engine.

A few years ago I needed valves for a big Wisconsin 6 cylinder T-head. I ended-up buying a set of stainless steel blanks from a company that supplies valves etc. for EMD and GE locomotive prime movers. The stems were oversize by .057 but since I was replacing the guides and had plenty of material to work with that wasn't an issue. I few hours working on my lathe turning the heads to size, cutting the keeper grooves and parting to length and I had a complete set. I believe I paid a whopping $10.00 ea. for the blanks. The finished valves have a head that's 2-5/8" dia. and are 8" long.

A blank as delivered:

100_2236.JPG

Turning the heads:

100_2688.JPG

Installed and ready to go:

IMG_1215.JPG

Best regards,

Terry

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)

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Get in touch with a guy named Fred Hoch. His number is 856 784 4044 He is a Mercer expert and will most likely have an answer.

Thanks Franklin, Fred and I have actually met a few times. :cool: He did find a source for the valves that was considerably less than I had previously been told to expect.

The stems were in fact the greater issue with my original parts, they were horribly corroded in the area of the guides.

TM

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Glad he could help you.We all love to see these cars on the road.There is going to be a show in Roebling NJ with.a bunch of Mercers showing up I'm told.I do not know exact date but Fred.does.I think he is taking two.Jim

TM

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