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Smoke and Mirrors


The next task was to re-assemble the rocker shaft. I had bought brand new rockers and shaft. However some of the new rockers (not genuine) were badly cast and indeed on our first attempt to restart the engine it would not fire because the badly formed rockers were jamming on the rocker cover. I had to grind some of the excess material off. Anyway to assemble the rocker shaft just follow the parts manual. I found it easier to lay out all the parts on a table in the order they would be assembled. I thoroughly lubricated all the parts with engine oil as I re-assembled them.


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Then I put the push rods back in, dropped the rocker shaft back in place with all the adjusters wound right up to the rockers to avoid them pressing on the push rods as I tightened the head bolts. Then all the head bolts were fitted and torqued back in to 90lb in the correct sequence as per workshop manual or Haynes manual. The smaller rocker shaft bolts were refitted and torqued to 18lb.


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Then the head was fitted loosely back onto the engine along with new valve stem caps. It seems the valve stem caps are not meant to be fitted to this engine but I am going to try them as in theory they will reduce wear on the valves and should make tappet adjustment more accurate over time. Also they are only pennies each so when they wear out can be replaced quickly, easily and cheaply unlike new valves! I put a dab of grease in each cap to hold it in place while I re- assembled everything


Be very careful not to knock the valve caps off whilst fitting the rocker shaft. Also make sure that as you tighten the rocker shaft down that the adjuster balls sit into the push rods and that the push rods are correctly positioned. It helps to have somebody else helping that can go along and guide the push rods onto the adjusters as you are fitting the rocker assembly.


Then all the tappet clearances needed setting. I used a digital readout to get quite accurate reading of when the appropriate valve was in the lowest position in order to adjust the gap on the corresponding valve according to the rule of nine. Ie. When valve 1 is fully open (at its lowest point) adjust the gap on valve 8. Again, it is all covered


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