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Lost valve stem cap

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Lost valve stem cap

Post by mm5aho on Wed Apr 24 2013, 10:55

In taking apart Lister D #2, somehow I either lost one of the caps or one was not there.
In order to get the machine apart, I just got stuck in and pulled it down. Tank off, carb and exhaust off, throttle link off, head off, etc etc.
Then with head on bench, pulled the rockers off and pushrods out, puttig everything in margarine tubs as I tend to do.
But in starting to re-assemble I find only one cap.
Such a tiny piece, and quite expensive from some suppliers. I see a few on Ebay, and for their size not that cheap there either, but we'll see what they end up at.
Got me wondering: How necessary are they? Guess they're hardened whereas the valve stem isn't? And missing them out might cause excessive wear on the stem? Eventually that would shorten stem and cause valve to not open fully?

I'm still struggling with the pulley on the flywheel. A bigger gear puller will be available this week, so see what that does.

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by nutgone on Wed Apr 24 2013, 17:47

Plenty of people run without them. I think valves are hardened anyway, as not all valves have caps on them, but Lister put them on, so I guess they are needed. I'm sure you could run without them in the short term without too much trouble, but it's probably best to source another. I'm sure someone who knows these engines better than me (I'm something of a novice where Listers are concerned) will come along soon enough.

Could it have fallen into the sump? Or is there anywhere else it could've gone? I know what you mean about them being expensive, I was just looking at some on eBay last night. I've got a feeling my nephew's engine is missing one, but I can't remember for sure.

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by Biggusdannus on Wed Apr 24 2013, 18:49

The caps tend to stick to the rockers when you loosen them. I suspect your cap has dropped into the sump. The easiest way I've found to find them again is one of those extendable magnets down where the cam followers are, get the magnet down to the oil wiggle about a bit and wish any luck the cap will be on the end when you take it out again.
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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by pjjms on Thu Apr 25 2013, 04:29

I have a tractor (Dexta petrol) that runs caps on some of the valves. I can't remember if it's the inlets or exhausts. I believe they have something to do with stopping the valves rotating as they open and close. They are hardened. I did make a replacement for mine from HT bar, but it was no good. It was very worn after just 30 or 40 minutes running.

I don't know how the valve stem diameter compares but I found some through the tractor breakers for next to nothing. The petrol fergie tractors use them as well.

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by mm5aho on Thu Apr 25 2013, 07:50

I have the sump open (timing gear out), and have cleaned out the gunk from there (sludge of many years I suspect, though I was surprised at how clean the oil was, as if it had never been run since an oil change). No luck there. There's a small possibility of it being round the back of the sump, but until I get the pulley off the flywheel, cant get the flywheel off to open that side. I'm hopeful to get the pulley off this weekend.
Meantime I have Lister D #3 and could pirate some parts from that if required.

Incidently whoever did anything to this machine (#2), did a good job with copper grease. No stuck nuts, bolts, shafts, etc anywhere, and grease still in good order. Magic stuff that copper grease.

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by nutgone on Thu Apr 25 2013, 09:18

mm5aho wrote: .............but until I get the pulley off the flywheel, cant get the flywheel off to open that side. I'm hopeful to get the pulley off this weekend..............

Obviously you could remove the flywheel, complete with the shaft & pulley, if you removed the 5(?) bolts from behind it & took it out with the bearing carrier. It's a heavy lump by all accounts though, but would give you access to the rest of the sump.

I usually grease up most threads when I put an engine back together. I usually just use whatever grease I've got to hand, not usually copper slip. Many people say not to bother, but now you've complimented the last bloke for doing so I think I will continue, as some day someone out there will be saying the same about me Smile .

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by mm5aho on Thu Apr 25 2013, 10:10

"...you've complimented the last bloke for doing so..."

Yes, and I thought so much of it that I went and bought some myself, and am using it wherever appropriate.

Yes thought of pulling the whole lump out, but as you say its heavy, and I'd like to get it completely apart anyway. I want to clean up the flywheel. And possibly easier to get pulley off while there's more to grip onto (engine block).

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by nutgone on Thu Apr 25 2013, 11:00

Yes, I would say it's definitely easier to remove the pulley & flywheel with them attached to the rest of the engine, so probably not worth pulling the whole lump out now, just to look for a valve cap. If it's in there it won't be going anywhere.

I do have some copper slip here, but I normally use moly grease (some black stuff I've got that I picked up cheap at a rally, £2 a tin, military surplus stuff, it had a number on it so when I got it home I found out what it was). I think anything helps, even oil (I used to put a little oil from the dipstick of my car onto each spark plug thread before putting them in, so I knew I'd get them out OK), after all, a thread is metal to metal contact. Copper grease is the best thing to use though, & it doesn't mind a little heat either, so you can use it on exhaust nuts & bolts (I find it doesn't smoke as bad when it gets hot on exhaust parts).

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by stationary stu on Thu Apr 25 2013, 12:20

Getting back to the cap a lot of engines do run without them for many years without to much damage being caused but myself I'd put a set on. You can pick them up cheap, secondhand on ebay (unless the prices have shot up since I last looked).

Stu.

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by mm5aho on Fri Apr 26 2013, 06:57

I took the lid off Lister D #3 last night thinking to steal a cap from there. Oh! no caps at all, and valve adjustments set for a running engine without the caps. Must be more usual than I'd have guessed.

On copper grease. Its a trick I picked up from son in law who has a garage. Any wheelnuts, nuts bolts etc where exposed to weather, wet etc, he puts copper grease on. As much of his business is repeat customers, he knows which ones he's done before - the nuts are far easier to get undone.

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by wdf on Fri Apr 26 2013, 11:56

nutgone wrote:
mm5aho wrote: .............but until I get the pulley off the flywheel, cant get the flywheel off to open that side. I'm hopeful to get the pulley off this weekend..............

Obviously you could remove the flywheel, complete with the shaft & pulley, if you removed the 5(?) bolts from behind it & took it out with the bearing carrier. It's a heavy lump by all accounts though, but would give you access to the rest of the sump.

I usually grease up most threads when I put an engine back together. I usually just use whatever grease I've got to hand, not usually copper slip. Many people say not to bother, but now you've complimented the last bloke for doing so I think I will continue, as some day someone out there will be saying the same about me Smile .

I did just this, my hydraulic puller would not fit so I removed the whole lot and put it in my 20 tonne press to get it off.....

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by stationary stu on Fri Apr 26 2013, 11:56

I was told when you want to grease up things like wheel studs etc mix copper slip with a little normal grease and that should stop it getting washed off when driving in rain etc I've tried it and it does work. Very Happy

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

Post by nutgone on Fri Apr 26 2013, 12:00

Just one thing about wheel nuts (or bolts). Be careful not to get it on the taper seats, ONLY on the threads. The taper seat of the bolt is what helps to keep the thing done up & should be clean & free of oil & grease (as should any taper joint really).

I always copper slip the threads on wheel nuts, but if there's none to hand, I have also used the dipstick method I mentioned earlier, just to get a bit of oil on them.

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Re: Lost valve stem cap

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