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Old 12-19-2020, 06:15 AM   #1
phil pavicich
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Default Adjustable lifter problem

I am having a problem with my adjustable lifters on my 8BA i have installed Bob Drake adjustable lifters these came in a Bob Drake box , after only approx 150 miles, one of them has loosened off to the extent i can turn screw the bolt down with my fingers . I have rung my supplier and they have sent me a new set , this time he has sent me new lifters and told me that they now get there lifters from H&H Flatheads when they arrived yesterday they are all individually wrapped in plastic cellophane as per pic attached , My question has anyone anyone purchased lifters from H&H and did they come packaged like these ones ,or do they come in a box , im querious to know if these are from H&H as thlere is no brand name anywhere , thanks in Advance
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Old 12-19-2020, 06:42 AM   #2
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

First I would not use any hollow lifters that are being sold today.
Johnson #2032 solid type is what I would use.
That being said loose lifter screws can be corrected by squeezing them in a vice.


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Old 12-19-2020, 07:20 AM   #3
Mart
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

A piece of advice re adjustable lifters. You can see clearly in the illustration above, what is done to make the threads tight in the threaded hole in the lifter.

If both parts parts of the thread are not fully engaged in the lifter then it will be loose. The length of thread in the French (I know yours aren't french, but I'm just trying to illustrate what I'm saying) Lifter is only so long. Too far in and it will be loose, too far out and it will be loose. There is a finite range of stickout where the lifter will be nice and tight. Stray either side and it will be loose and will not work.

If you are confident the amount of stickout is in the sweet spot, giving the screw a good squeeze like in the illustration might be all it needs.

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Old 12-19-2020, 10:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

What is going on with the 'Squeeze' is that you're altering the amount of thread "offset" between the two sections of the adjuster - causing the interference to be tighter. Essentially the locations of the two threaded sections are deliberately being misaligned - such that a sort of "bind" is being created between the two. On the original style Johnsons, this can be "adjusted" but squeezing the adjuster and putting more bind between the two areas.

One of the biggest problems with many of the re-pop adjustable lifters (other than poor materials, incorrect hardening and frequently shoddy production) is that folks try to use them with stock length valves and small base circle (high-lift) cams.

When you have to increase the installed length of the lifter (the distance between the base of the cam and the valve stem) - by backing the adjuster way out (attempting to make up for the small base circle cam), then frequently there is not enough of the threads in the adjuster to cause the "bind" that is supposed to keep them tight.

This is one reason that I run either longer length valves (SBC valves) or lash caps on stock length valves to increase their overall length and makeup for the small base circle issue mentioned above. I want the adjuster to be as far down in the lifter as possible.
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

That "squeeze remedy" makes sense. However, can enough "squeeze pressure" really be applied by vise jaws to compress the pitch of the threads rather than just bend the adjusting screw?
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

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B&S hit the nail right on the head. The lifter has to work in a limited area from the stock base circle, and don't work well with a high lift cam like the L-100, so I use chevy valves. Back i the day, they made a longer screw for hi lift cams.
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

Would blue loctite solve the problem - not red loctite?
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Old 12-19-2020, 12:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

I have never received a response from anyone when I made the suggestion that I am going to now repeat. I can only assume people think my suggestion is silly or I'm joking or whatever, but it works well, and I'm not ashamed to repeat it. I fully agree with above explanations of how the misaligned dual threads work in adjustable lifters. But, how much missalinement tension is enough. You can be 100% sure your adjustment will not change if you do this.

After I make all adjustments to the valve train I lock the threads of the screws by hitting them with a jet of carb cleaner to make them oil free. I then put a dab of slow cure JB Weld on the screw threads below the screw head and down to the lifter top. I have tested this technique with 100% success over a ten year period, with no JB Weld failure, and no lash changes. On removal of the lifters for reuse, a short time on a wire wheel will remove the JB and your all set for the next use in another engine if you want.

Now, has anyone else done this? Be brave and tell us your experience.
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Old 12-19-2020, 01:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

Dang, Russ....that sounds like something I'd do! Not afraid to admit it...
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Old 12-19-2020, 03:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
That "squeeze remedy" makes sense. However, can enough "squeeze pressure" really be applied by vise jaws to compress the pitch of the threads rather than just bend the adjusting screw?
Yes, a vice is enough and can be too much if your not careful. Another point is moving them around a lot, as in turning the adjuster screw in and out. IMO it is best to figure out or guess the approximant height required of the lifter and move it to that position prior to installation. And then limit the movement during the final adjustment as much a possible.
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Old 12-19-2020, 03:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

I like Russ' idea.
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Old 12-19-2020, 04:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

To me the easy solution is use original non adjustable lifters. For me they are quicker to set up and won’t go loose on you and they weigh 1/4 as much. It’s a win win all around.
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Old 12-20-2020, 03:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

What about a jam nut if the screw is way out?
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Old 12-20-2020, 04:08 PM   #14
jimTN
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

Any lifter with that thin head is not going to stay set. The correct lifters have a thick head. Those thin head lifters are only good for stock cams and N Ford farm tractors.
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Old 12-20-2020, 05:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

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What about a jam nut if the screw is way out?
I've seen very thin jamb nuts on these lifters in various engines - I can't see a reason why this wouldn't work - you just need to find a supply of them.
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Old 12-20-2020, 10:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

Jamb nuts have held in valve trains for billions, if not trillions of miles. Good idea, but tough to achieve with us stock cam guys. Might need to make up a special wrench. What about a shorter valve and a tall lifter with a lock nut and less surface wear? Probably little market for all the work involved.
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Old 12-20-2020, 11:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

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Originally Posted by 35fordtn View Post
To me the easy solution is use original non adjustable lifters. For me they are quicker to set up and wonít go loose on you and they weigh 1/4 as much. Itís a win win all around.
Im with you on this Mike. Its a pretty heavy cam Phils running too.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:42 AM   #18
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

Put me down as a fan of solid lifters and grind to length valves. So far I've not had any of them get out of adjustment.

Just my $ 0.02 worth.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:59 AM   #19
richard crow
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

wicking lock tight 290 it works
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Old 12-21-2020, 01:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Adjustable lifter problem

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Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
I like Russ' idea.
Thank you 19Fordy, your a brave man. LOL
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