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How do I fix lifter tap/loose rocker? Does the type of cam matter here? 1973 302

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How do I fix lifter tap/loose rocker? Does the type of cam matter here? 1973 302

 
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:10 PM
Dweber319
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How do I fix lifter tap/loose rocker? Does the type of cam matter here? 1973 302

Hey all,

as the title says. Iíve got lifter tap going on and have been researching how to fix it. Iíve seen some folks say ďtake off the valve cover torque the loose rocker adjustment nut to spec and youíre setĒ and Iíve seen some ďstart at tdc with the exhaust open on cylinder 1, set the lash by backing off the adjuster on the rocker and then slowly tighten until the pushrod wonít spin then add an extra half to three quarter turn. Repeat for all cylinder. Repeat for exhaust valvesĒ.

But all rhe sources with that longer method also mention that is for hydraulic cams. Does it matter the type of cam? And is this the correct method?

I ask about cam type because I thought these years had flat tappet cams. But I have been wrong before
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:35 PM
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It doesn't matter what type of cam the motor has but it does matter what engine family the motor belongs to. These small block Fords do not use adjustable valvetrain so if you have a noisy lifter then either the lifter itself has collapsed, the cam lobe has worn down, or in the case of these early motors it is possible the pressed in rocker stud has pulled out some.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Conanski View Post
It doesn't matter what type of cam the motor has but it does matter what engine family the motor belongs to. These small block Fords do not use adjustable valvetrain so if you have a noisy lifter then either the lifter itself has collapsed, the cam lobe has worn down, or in the case of these early motors it is possible the pressed in rocker stud has pulled out some.
So what's my best bet of fixing? finding the loose/noisy one and then what?
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:40 PM
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It's ticking after the motor has been running for a while, I suppose that rules just a sticking lifter that just needs an oil change and maybe some sort of additive to clean gunk out?
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:54 PM
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Well fist off what oil are you using in it? IMO an older motor like this needs 10w30 non synthetic with a zinc additive, modern synthetics are probably the worst thing you could use and nothing lighter than 10w30 should be considered. Zinc is the additive that lubricates the valvetrain parts in these old flat tappet motors but it has been eliminated in modern motor oils because it's not necssary with a roller motor.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:04 PM
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Alright. I'll take a look. What's the best way to remove a lifter? is there a special tool for it?
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:12 PM
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Lifters should just pull out once the rocker and pushrod are removed, with a higher milage motor they can get a bit stuck due to varnish buildup. If a lifter can not be pulled out with any amount of force there is a good change that it is damaged but that is not likely given your latest description.. a damaged lifter will always make noise.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:19 PM
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cool. I'm assuming this is one of those things that leads to bigger issues if not addressed?
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:01 PM
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Yes there is no reason a classic motor won't run as smooth and quiet as a new motor assuming it doesn't have a radical cam in it. If you pull a valve cover off and find a lot of sludge you know the motor was neglected, you may be able to improve it's current running condition some but you know sooner than later it will need an overhaul. But if it's clean inside then it could just be too light an oil or lifters that are a bit stuck from sitting.
 
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:23 AM
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Sure. But if I just change out oil and clean up under the valve covers and the ticking is still there is it going to do major damage? Iím working on moving here pretty soon and planned to overhaul the top end with in the next couple months anyway. I also donít drive this truck that much as it is and would rather not swap lifters and cams twice if itís not going to cause any issues.
 
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:22 AM
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First off, what heads and rockers do you have ? The early SBF heads had adjustable rockers (pre mid 1968) All others did not, unless some previous owner converted it to adjustable rockers and studs. Second, you cannot remove a lifter on a SBF without pulling the intake manifold.
 
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
First off, what heads and rockers do you have ? The early SBF heads had adjustable rockers (pre mid 1968) All others did not, unless some previous owner converted it to adjustable rockers and studs. Second, you cannot remove a lifter on a SBF without pulling the intake manifold.
I'm not sure about the rockers and heads. I've only had the truck for about a month and haven't taken the valve covers off yet. The previous owner kept referring to it as a 302 Cleveland. Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought all the 302s had windsor heads stock. Could you put Cleveland heads on a 302 or do they only fit the 351? I do know that they're Ford heads because I can see "FoMoCo" stamped on them but don't know anything else.

I was aware that the intake has to come off to pull the lifters. What I would like to avoid (if possible without causing greater damage) is having to replace the cam and lifters now and then possibly have to do it again when I overhaul the motor in a few months
 
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dweber319 View Post
I'm not sure about the rockers and heads. I've only had the truck for about a month and haven't taken the valve covers off yet. The previous owner kept referring to it as a 302 Cleveland. Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought all the 302s had windsor heads stock. Could you put Cleveland heads on a 302 or do they only fit the 351? I do know that they're Ford heads because I can see "FoMoCo" stamped on them but don't know anything else.

I was aware that the intake has to come off to pull the lifters. What I would like to avoid (if possible without causing greater damage) is having to replace the cam and lifters now and then possibly have to do it again when I overhaul the motor in a few months
Only 302 Clevelands were in Australia. Over here the only Cleveland headed 302's were the 69-70 Boss 302 which were never installed in trucks (by Ford) What year truck is this ? Is the engine the original ?
 
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
Only 302 Clevelands were in Australia. Over here the only Cleveland headed 302's were the 69-70 Boss 302 which were never installed in trucks (by Ford) What year truck is this ? Is the engine the original ?
Truck is a 73. Motor is is original as far as I can tell. I wouldn't rule out the PO having swapped heads. It belonged to to the grandfather of the guy I bought it from and he was a mechanic and had done things like headers and dual exhaust and a trans swap from a manual 3 speed on the column to a c4 with the shifter on the floor. Is there anything I can look for to differentiate if it's got Cleveland or Windsor heads?
 
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Dweber319 View Post
Truck is a 73. Motor is is original as far as I can tell. I wouldn't rule out the PO having swapped heads. It belonged to to the grandfather of the guy I bought it from and he was a mechanic and had done things like headers and dual exhaust and a trans swap from a manual 3 speed on the column to a c4 with the shifter on the floor. Is there anything I can look for to differentiate if it's got Cleveland or Windsor heads?
Windsors have 6 bolts holding the valve covers, Clevelands had 8 bolts. The later 80's SBF heads can be Id'd with casting letters on the outside corners next to the valve cover rails (right front and left rear corner) all others have the casting numbers under one intake runner, only accessible after pulling the intake. 73 heads would have positive stop rocker studs and rail rockers (these have "ears" on each side of the valve stems to keep them aligned on the valve stem) only way to make these adjustable is using washers under the nuts.
 

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