Lifter Noise

72FOYTANG

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I wonder what my options are. I have 351C in my 72 conv that has approx 140000 and never rebuilt to my knowledge. Timing gear & chain has been replace in the past. At idle the engine sound good but when driving down the highway at about 50 mph you start to hear the lifters rattling (i think).

Seems to get louder the harder you push it. Don't have a tach. Are there things I should be check or options other than a rebuild of the engine. Thanks for any ideas.

 

Widowmaker00

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I wouldn't think your lifters start making noise at a certain mph. When you rev the engine in park or neutral does it make the same noise?

 

imusa76

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check for an exhaust leak near the headers, it could sound like knocking lifters.

I ran into this a few years ago, it ended up to be the Doughnut Gasket.

 

MotoArts

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...Detonation.

Retard the timing a WEE bit.

Or, run the tank pretty low and try some higher octane (93) gasoline. Don't need a lot.

It's not the lifters...

 
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73vertproject

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...Detonation.

Retard the timing a WEE bit.

Or, run the tank pretty low and try some higher octane (93) gasoline. Don't need a lot.

It's not the lifters...
+1

 

72FOYTANG

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...Detonation.

Retard the timing a WEE bit.

Or, run the tank pretty low and try some higher octane (93) gasoline. Don't need a lot.

It's not the lifters...
Retarded the timing a little and that made a big difference. I think the timing needs to be fine tuned to improve it more. Thanks for the help.

 

73vertproject

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Glad to hear it helped. Yes, sometimes these Clevelands need a bit of fine tuning to run at their best.

 

goodnigh

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Glad to hear it helped. Yes, sometimes these Clevelands need a bit of fine tuning to run at their best.
Fine tuning you say. A rebuilt quench Cleveland with a cam using

today's gas.....

They can be quirky to tune. It is all in our (owners) lap because

nobody knows how to work on these cars.

Do any members have a mechanic that works on their car?

Bill Gay's engineering group built a racing engine. The Cleveland

can be a challenge to tune.

mike

 

72HCODE

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+1 took me years to tune mine. I had major detonation problems, running lean problems. When I first got the engine from the builder and had problems I didn't know what detonation was or how it sounded. I remember the builder came to diagnose my issues and he just mentioned he could hear the engine ping/detonate but that was all he mentioned to me. He was not helpful at all and eventually he blew me off. I remember reading about ping but still not knowing how it sounded. When I was messing around with my accelerator pump I noticed my engine changed sounds at different points and I started to explore that. It was from that I learned how bad a problem I had. 3 things saved me. 1) i didn't drive much because of the problems I had 2) I had a massive oil leak from defective valve stem seals and

3) I had switched from autolite 25 plugs to colder 24s because I was worried about a cooling problem I first had that was unrelated.

Basically I worked blind and it took 2 years to get the engine running decently. Finally I had to go back and almost sue my builder for the defective seals I got the run around for a long time. When that was finally resolved and I had clean plugs for the first time ever I could finally really tune it from what I learned.

This is actually the first year I got the engine running as good as ever and I learned how close to ragged edge my engine really is. 1-2 degrees makes a huge difference.

Every driving season I tried something different to see how my engine would react and that was how I learned.

The auto industry is full of a lot of scummy people I learned.

Forums like this really help, without it I would of never learned as much as I have the last 10 years.

As for more tuning you have tons of options the distributor mechanical and vacuum advance can all be fine tuned further.

Glad to hear it helped. Yes, sometimes these Clevelands need a bit of fine tuning to run at their best.
Fine tuning you say. A rebuilt quench Cleveland with a cam using

today's gas.....

They can be quirky to tune. It is all in our (owners) lap because

nobody knows how to work on these cars.

Do any members have a mechanic that works on their car?

Bill Gay's engineering group built a racing engine. The Cleveland

can be a challenge to tune.

mike
 

72HCODE

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It's not bad once you understand engine sounds and what you are hearing.

When you hear the detonation noise add more fuel and the noise stops.

The problem is you have to pay around with distributor, timing, carb settings.

That is why it takes so long. The car becomes a rolling experiment and you have to constantly go on test drives when you just went to drive the car normally.

You hit brick walls as well since every engine requires a different solution so what works for one doesn't work for all.

I had lean misfire so bad at the start that my carb blew off air cleaners and destroyed my vacuum brake booster, fireballs coming from my intake.

What solved it was I stopped listen to people telling me how things should be and started to just listen to the engine. You have to stop trying to tune a drag racing street car for what the engine can actually tolerate, and every engine is different.

You can have two engines built With the same parts and require a completely different tune.

Wow ,it looks like I have a lot to learn and my work cut out for me.
 

goodnigh

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It's not bad once you understand engine sounds and what you are hearing.
My mechanic was showing me how to tune the engine by sound.

Then we installed the new exhaust system and that changed

everything. These pipes have bends and turns that seem to serve

no purpose but you can hear the valves open and close. Almost

sounds like solid lifters. I forgot about being able to tweak the

vacuum advance. This is a new distributor and I will have to find

the instructions for adjusting the vacuum diaphragm. I remember

there is a screw inside the housing you can adjust. +1 on that note.

This engine is pure stock except for the cam. Bought the long block

from Don of OMS and measured valve lift at 0.58, otherwise know

nothing about it. Has a Holley 770 although likely came from the

factory with a 600. Also timing is set to 16, factory was set at 6.

mike

 

wwhite72

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Hook it to manifold vac and it will be easier to adjus the advance. On my old dizzy i drove for a couple hours with that allen wrench in my mouth like a toothpick, pulling over every couple miles and adjusting the vac advance. Was concerned i was moving it too much but not getting a difference in the mid-throttle detonation. I figured a 1/4 turn would make a difference. It didnt really. I gotta think that relative pressure in the weather makes a difference. I am at sea level. I eventually backed off the adjustable vac advance around 1 1/2 turns to reduce detonation with around a 18 initial. Then i went to a MSD dizzy that doesnt have an adjust advance from the manufacturer. Had to buy one from Crane. The whole adjustable advance thing has discussed here, but a few refuse to admit the Ford had put a version on some of the high performance cars. I believe 429's had them. It was a shim style, NOT the allen screw type we have available today.

 

72HCODE

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Always leave the vacuum advance tuning for last, the vaccum advance is the fine tune knob on the engine, you want to make sure runing on mechanical things are working right.

I always keep my Allen key in my console to compensate for bad gas or if I make a change when driving. Just like white I spent weeks driving the car and adjusting for ping until I got it right on ragged edge.

You start with the advance fully on, clockwise all the way. Then you back off till ping stops, if you have to go fully counter clockwise to stop ping then drop mechanical initial timing 1-2 degrees and start again. Usually you back off 2 full turns at a time till ping stops then you come back up 1/2 turn till it starts so you know the limit.

Then I like to back off 1-2 turns to have a safety zone for sitting in traffic when its 100 outside. Then you drive it and see how you did. Took me a week of driving season to dial it in just right.

Exhaust pipes make a huge difference due to back pressure. Back pressure causes a double dip of fuel from the carb so a smaller exhaust besides holding an engine back also riches the intake mixture.

All the bends in exhaust pipes cause different levels of reverb and back pressure that quiets a motor and also keeps the cylinders from pinging. You can have an engine that breaths and farts too easy and it basically sucks the gas through the motor so fast that she runs leans.

The exhaust can also effect timing when you add headers it has the effect of retarding timing this is because of higher flow and heat loss. Those big heavy stock exhaust manifolds actually do a job of holding heat inside the cylinders keeping them at proper temps for combustion and the design bounces air back into the engine helping the double dip signal from the carb.

Ford designed this weirdness into the exhaust ports and the intake ports on the Cleveland that is why the ports don't line up, so the big mistake when people port and polish is they take out this misalignment in the exhaust and intake manifolds.

Yes you are tring to run more mixture through the motor faster to make more horsepower but it causing horrible tuning issues for a street car that has to drive under 2500 Rpms. On a drag car launching over 2000 its good but not for a street car.

Had a buddy running a 3" exhaust for years he had nothing but problems with runing lean and detonation. I told him change the flange on the collectors go down to a 2.5" and cause a restriction after the headers. He didnt believe me but tried it instantly the engine richen end up from back pressure and carb double dip and he could finally tune it right.

Carb double dip is caused by the back pressure wave from the exhaust you get a reverse air wave back up through the intake manifold and it signals the carb to drop more fuel so you get a richer intake charge without touching anything.

Again these are things you care about for a street car, on a drag or racing car different situation.

Hook it to manifold vac and it will be easier to adjus the advance. On my old dizzy i drove for a couple hours with that allen wrench in my mouth like a toothpick, pulling over every couple miles and adjusting the vac advance. Was concerned i was moving it too much but not getting a difference in the mid-throttle detonation. I figured a 1/4 turn would make a difference. It didnt really. I gotta think that relative pressure in the weather makes a difference. I am at sea level. I eventually backed off the adjustable vac advance around 1 1/2 turns to reduce detonation with around a 18 initial. Then i went to a MSD dizzy that doesnt have an adjust advance from the manufacturer. Had to buy one from Crane. The whole adjustable advance thing has discussed here, but a few refuse to admit the Ford had put a version on some of the high performance cars. I believe 429's had them. It was a shim style, NOT the allen screw type we have available today.
 
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