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Taylormade

Valve Adjustment

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Despite some good advice from several sources, I'm having a heck of a time setting the valve clearance on my 32 Dodge Brothers six.  You have to use three 1/2 inch wrenches to do the job.  The bottom wrench holds the tappet from turning via flat sides on the tappet cylinder, the middle wrench moves the lock nut and the top wrench turns the bolt that adjusts the clearance.

 

This is a newly rebuilt motor, so I have to adjust everything cold.  My good friend and fellow 32 DL owner Phil Kennedy says he has had good luck with cold settings of .014 exhaust and .012 intake.  He drove his car from Connecticut to Detroit for the DB Centennial, so I think those figures will work fine for me.  I'm not the most dexterous person and I'm having trouble getting the job done.  I loosen everything, get the adjustment correct, but in the process of tightening everything back up, I guess I move something and the adjustment is never accurate.  Trying to hold the two bottom wrenches, get the feeler gauge in and then tighten things down is not working for me.  I'm thinking a second person holding the bottom wrenches while I handle the gauge and the top wrench, might make things easier.

 

Kind of embarrassing to totally fail at a task most folks seem to find easy, but there it is.  Any tricks of the trade that might help me out?

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Two bottom wrenches in left hand in such a way that you can tighten the lock nut without moving the other wrench.  Feeler gauge and third wrench in right hand so that you can hold the feeler gauge and turn the adjuster at the same time.  Like eating with chopsticks, real easy when some one shows you and you finally get it.  Awkward as anything until then.  Once you get the knack of it you can do it with the engine running at a slow idle.  Patience patience patience.

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The jam nut does not have to be completely loose just loose enough you can turn the adjuster with some resistance. Set the jam nut slightly tight and adjust the adjuster while holding the tappet with another wrench (2 wrenches). Get the adjustment and snug up the jam nut a bit and you won't disturb your adjustment.

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Nice video.  Those are the adjusters I now have on my Pontiac.  The original ones were like the ones that the OP was talking about.  These ones adjust real well and quickly with both wrenches in one hand and the feeler gauge in the other.  You just need to hold the wrenches so that spreading you fingers tightens the adjuster and closing them loosens the adjuster.  These adjusters were certainly one place where WPC had a better idea.

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I just bought a set of long, thin 1/2 inch tappet wrenches off EBay.  For twenty bucks I can't go wrong.  Maybe this will help.

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