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"Tappet Wrenches"!?...Anyone?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by PackardWood, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. PackardWood
    Joined: Aug 13, 2012
    Posts: 485

    PackardWood
    Member
    from JoCo, NC

    So just when I think that I finally own EVERY kind of hand tool on planet Earth, some grey beard buddie of mine (That has FORGOTTEN more about my Packard then I will EVER know) tells me that to set the solid lifter lash on my Packard that the best way to get it right the first time is to do it with the motor running. Fine, but the valves are on the SIDE of the motor and UNDER the exhaust manifold! So then he tells me that I am not the first dude that looked at those hand smashing valves under the hand melting manifold and thought....F#@k YOU! Then he tells me about the "tappet" wrench, and how it is way thin so that you can fit one on the adjuster nut and still have room for one on the lock nut, and how they are way long so that you keep back from the hot manifold. Sounds good to me but I can't find them! I have verified that he is not playing me, and that they DO exsist, but no dice on finding as set! Any help would be awesome! New, used, "left handed ;) ones" whatever, just need a set. Please help! Thanks, Steve
     
  2. Google is your friend
     
  3. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    I have some ... but you need to check eBay ... always a few on there.

    .
     
  4. snaptwo
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 696

    snaptwo
    Member

    Last ones I bought were at a local parts house 35 years ago, I think they were "Proto". I had to heat and bend one for a 354 hemi with adjustable pushrods , PITA to adjust. Tool truck might list them in their catalog.
     
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  5. G'day, I have a full set of Snap-On tappet wrenches and a partial set of Mac. I think both may still be available from the dealers. If you were closer you would be welcome to use them.

    mitch
     
  6. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585

    krooser
    Member

    We used to do it with the engine running but it makes more sense to do it cold with the engine off. But the tappet wrenches do make it easier...
     
  7. Skeezix
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 846

    Skeezix
    Member
    from SoCal

  8. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,764

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    Running is NOT a good way to set valve clearance.
    Too much chance of error.
     
  9. PackardWood
    Joined: Aug 13, 2012
    Posts: 485

    PackardWood
    Member
    from JoCo, NC

    I have even looked in the Motors manual and they recommend the running way. I have done it with the motor off a few times on some SBC's but it seems like when you do it like that there s always "that one" that still talks to you and you wind up having to re-dick with it. It does seem like it will be a giant oily disaster doing it running tho. Why is there "more" of a chance of error doing it running, other then the semi-hectic work conditions.
     
  10. PackardWood
    Joined: Aug 13, 2012
    Posts: 485

    PackardWood
    Member
    from JoCo, NC


    ...word...
     
  11. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,764

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    Several reasons. You have to concentrate on keeping out of the way of moving parts and hot oil.
    With things moving, it is difficult to get an accurate "feel" of the setting.
     
  12. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

  13. PackardWood
    Joined: Aug 13, 2012
    Posts: 485

    PackardWood
    Member
    from JoCo, NC

  14. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,743

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Setting them running can be messy, but probably more accurate. Remember, you can idle those engines down to something like 400-450 RPM, so it isn't as difficult as modern engnies.
     
  15. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    real mechanics learn the feel of adjusting valves while running. If you are afraid of moving parts near by perhaps you should consider stamp collecting as your hobby. I'm told it is very safe. I was raised on Chevys and Pontiac's so tappet wrecches were never necessary but I do have my rocker arm clips to cut down on the oil spray. Sometimes you do get messy playing with cars. I learned to live with it. The guy I worked for called it pay dirt.:D
     
  16. #1 Kawboy
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 189

    #1 Kawboy
    Member
    from Fl

    An OLD patient of mine overheard me talkin' about my flathead motor one day. Casually says to me, " So you got an old flattie, huh ?" Me: "Yes sir, I do." Next day he comes into the office and hands me some old wrenches ground down, bent etc. and says, "If ya ever get around to hoppin' it up, you'll need these. I'm done with 'em."
    I sit down with Dude every day for the next couple of weeks and talk about his old racecars and what not. Then he brings me old b/w pics of his 'sprint' cars and 'jalopies' he'd had over the years. Also gave some WATERSLIDE decals from, Bonneville, speed shops, and the likes. REALLY COOL STUFF ! Reminded me that "just some old man" was "some bad ass hot-rodder" in his day.
    ALWAYS TALK to OLD people.....they know alot of stuff.
     
  17. #1 Kawboy
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 189

    #1 Kawboy
    Member
    from Fl

    The wrenches were the tappet adjusters, forgot that part...
     
  18. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    When i was a kid (back in '50-'51) I hung around a general repair garage that did a lot of Chevy valve grinds. I was always amazed to watch the owner holding a short, stubby screwdriver in one hand and a tappet wrench and a feeler in the other. He'd fire that engine and walk right down the row of jiggling rocker arms-adjusting as he went. I still don't know how he did it. I always have to fire them up and get some heat in them then roll'em over and do one at a time. His method was a hell of a lot quicker.





     
  19. It takes some getting used to with the heat and noise. The last set I did was on a Triumph 6 with the flip hood, sitting on the front tire with a quart of beer on the cowl.

    The wrenches were thin so you could use them sort of stacked up, use one to hold and the other to lock the nut.

    Bob
     
  20. hotrodgypsy
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 282

    hotrodgypsy
    Member
    from reading,pa

    i have a set,must be at least 30yrs old..there craftsman wrenches...long and thin..
     
  21. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    Last i checked snapon still sells them...you might want to see what size you need so you don't have to buy a set.
     
  22. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,866

    Truckedup
    Member

    I did a valve adjust on a 4 cylinder flat head inline yesterday.Like the OP says,you have to reach under the exhaust and there's little room for two hands and wrenches....But the manual say to set the lash cold,......way easier......I'm thinking many side valve engine tappets are set cold?
    Tappet wrenches? two thinner open ends were fine
     
  23. WDobos
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 225

    WDobos
    Member

    Remove the right front tire,there are two inner fender panels that will unbolt. Remove them and you will be looking at the side of the engine. You'll need to remove the vacuum line from the fuel pump to the intake,also the heat shield on the fuel pump. Remove the road draft tube. Then you can remove the engine side covers. Re-install the vacuum line and start the engine. Now you can adjust the valve lifters correctly and safely. I have preformed this task many times on my Packard. This is by the Packard shop manual,not one of the know-it-all HAMERS. There will be no oil mess from adjusting either. Make sure you have NEW fresh gaskets also. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  24. wingman9
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 804

    wingman9
    Member
    from left coast

    Back when I had a solid lifter Harley I made my own by 'slimming down' some regular open end wrenches. One of my buddies asked me why I didn't just buy a set. You learn something new every day. :eek:
     
  25. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    And...you are lucky you only need two of the things! Some early engines required THREE tappet wrenches to hold tappet still, turn adjuster, and turn lock nut.
     
  26. PackardWood
    Joined: Aug 13, 2012
    Posts: 485

    PackardWood
    Member
    from JoCo, NC


    Holy crap, glad that design went the way of the dodo!

    Also after seeing the old "single ended" long tapped wrenched online, I think that I have seen a few of these at the flea market, I am going to look this weekend. I can't believe that they get over $200 a set for those things! Snap on is just a name and damn near ALL companies warrantee there hand tools for life now. Thanks to all!
     
  27. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,967

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One thing to remember is that those are to be used for adjusting the tappets only and don't be tempted to grab on and use it as a regular wrench as quite often that screws them up. I had a hell of a time keeping them out of the hands of the kids in autoshop as they were always wanting to grab them as they were longer and they could get more leverage on a nut with them.
     
  28. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,108

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    <<Snap on is just a name and damn near ALL companies warrantee there hand tools for life now. Thanks to all!>>

    If you only knew how many times I've heard that...Usually from guys that don't have or use Snap On. It's more than a preference: it's a demand for perfection.

    Now I have a very complete set of Snap On tools, spread over 3 complete rollaways with top boxes. But I was in the trade.

    I also have a complete set of 'other assorted brand sets', but they don't come close to the perfection of my Snap On. (the other top chest goes to the Drags with me...they function fine, but Snap On makes the 'jewels'...)

    When Craftsman had their major push with NASCAR and other racing programs, "The Professionals Use Craftsman Tools" I laughed.
    Just a name. Right.
     
  29. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 888

    PackardV8
    Member

    The mechanic who doesn't have a set of tappet wrenches hasn't been in the business long enough. In addition to the normal fractional OEs, there had to be a whole drawer full of the odd-ball stuff, like the pin spanner for Ford tractors.

    It gets worse. Back in the early-to-mid-'50s when hydraulic lifters first came out, the racers naturally wanted solids. On the new OHV8 rocker shaft engines, such as Olds, Cad, Packard, the only way to get there was adjustable pushrods.

    To run the overheads on a '56 Golden Hawk with the Packard V8 and solid lifters requires four hands, but there's only room in there for one body. The pushrods require one wrench to hold the pushrod flat, the second wrench to loosen/tighten the lock nut, third wrench to turn the adjuster and the fourth hand to hold the feeler gauge.

    We soon learned Studebaker V8 rocker arms would fit the Cad V8 and aftermarket guys like Gotha and Thompson eventually came out with adjustable rockers. In sixty years of working on Packard V8s, I've only ever seen one set of their adjustable rockers.

    I've still got a couple of sets of Smith Brothers adjustable pushrods in the Isky boxes for my Packard V8s. The thought of using them makes me tired. I've developed a custom adjustable rocker arm for the Packard.

    jack vines
     
  30. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147

    firingorder1
    Member

    Call your local parts store and do your "ask a really dumb question for something non-existant" to make sure you don't get a dumb shit counterman. And then ask for tappet wrenches. But I figured if countermen are so dumb why ask them? I figured you'd call them and tell them where to find tappet wrenches.
     

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