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Valve train advice for ‘50 dodge 230 stocker


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Reviving a rebuilt at some point engine that’s been sitting for many years, my first flathead, out in the driveway with minimal tools, got it running but not smooth, stuck valve, pulled the head got all things moving but that first one is pretty well burned, the ports are heavily coked up. I’ve decided to replace all the valves and possibly the guides and there’s my question 

I know zippo about guides other than what they do, my valves don’t have much wiggle but they don’t spin smooth at in the guides. Should you always replace guides when installing new valves? I hear about tolerances and reaming and what not, if using stock size valves, can you just buy stock guides and install or do they ALL have to be reamed for a custom fit? 
 All this work is in the truck, what’s the best way de-coke those ports once the valves are out? 
Lastly, what am I looking for as far as seat wear and lifter wear? New springs just because? Money is not an issue, I just want to do the best job for a stock driver that I can considering my work place limitations 

Oh and I busted the manifolds to hell getting them off so they’re out of the way 

Thanks Jim

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The service manual details the specs and how to check for wear in regards to the valves and guides, if you are going to delve into the engine this deep you need a manual.  There are a number of sources for the manual, Rockauto, Andy Bernbaums  Heck, right here on this site we have a link to the industrial engine versions, which is probably fine for your questions

 

 

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Thanks Sniper, I have a reprint shop manual but it just talks about the specs for valve fitment in the guides, also it doesn’t detail seat wear patterns, only how to remove them and the dressing sequences 

 

Possibly a supplement that’s available goes into more detail?

 

im asking here about guides rather than say VPW because I don’t want a salesman response, they have two part numbers for intake and exhaust guides, when you buy guides, are they already the correct distinct size or does the user have to ream them to fit? 
 

Honestly, I don’t even know if that must be done, or if I can just clean the old stuff save for the pitted valves? I tend to overkill stuff that I love and in my research, there’s always discussion about new guides when doing valve work on these engines, maybe I can get away with just new valves, clean stuff best I can, lap them in and slap it back together? That’s why I’m here 
 

On this topic, was a consensus ever found dealing with the idea of unnecessary guide material protruding into the port area limiting flow and what if anything could be done?

Thanks 

Edited by 47Jim
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That first link helped a little but didn’t discuss  the question of replacing the guides vs reaming what I have, being that I have no specific tools for this, my thinking is new guides are cheap and easy to install rather than buying all the correct tools to do this one time in ten years 

As far as seat finishing, I realize how difficult I’m making this by doing it in place, which means a shop can’t do it plus I’ll have to somehow borrow or possibly rent all the tools for a grind job, I guess we’ll see what I can make happen, I just know for sure that I don’t want to reuse that first burned / pitted valve 

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Page 6-16 of the industrial manual I linked gives the specs for valve to guide clearance as well as guide diameter after reaming.  You would need to measure the valve stem diameter and the guide diameter, that will give you the valve to guide clearance.  If it's out of spec but the guide is in spec them you valve stems are worn, new valves.  If the guide is out of spec and your math tells you that the valve to guide clearance would be in spec if the guides were in spec then you need new guides.  If your math tells you that the valve to guide clearance would still not be in spec with new guides then you need guides and valves.

 

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I was looking at that manual this morning, couldn't sleep lol.  Section 9 of the manual gives the acceptable dimensions for the valve stem, the guides and such. 

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  • 1 month later...

I did an in-car valve grind job. Valves are cheap. I bought all new valves and springs. I found a vintage abrasive cutting tool for valve seats on ebay. I hand cut the seats. The stellite inserts are stubborn and hard to cut. However I was able to do so. I was under the gun for time. I did not replace any valve guides. I wish I did. #1 and #2 cylinder had the little play. Even with the new valves in. The seats I cut to 45 degrees. Then lapped in the new valves. I checked for sea-lability with kersone. I kept lapping until the seats would hold liquid. The results turned out very well. 

 

My second attempt at this, was an engine tear down this past winter. Getting the guides out was easy enough with an air hammer and a chisel bit, that I cut down on a lathe to fit nicely into the guide. The guides came out.  I attempted to use a similar method to install new guides. I froze the new guides to -54 degrees for a few days in a special freezer at work. I grabbed them. Rushed home and tried to use my same air hammer and custom chisel bit to re-install them. No go. The first one went in the easiest, but the guides warmed back up too quickly. There was no way they were going in. I destroyed 3 or so new guides and gave up. Lesson learned.  

 

I am sure there is a way to build a home made puller with some redi-rod, a few nuts, washers and some plate steel. Then you could suck those guides down into their seats in a controlled manner. Pressing them into place with the engine block in the chassis still. I did not do that. I took my block to the machine shop for all the regular machining work it needs and I said, "Here are 12 guides. Install them please".  I gave him the specs and the proper indexing of the intake versus exhaust. 

 

Here is a pic of my seat cutting tool and a pic of a good lapped valve pattern. Got the tool for $30 on Ebay about 5 years ago?

 

 

 

 

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Edited by keithb7
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I agree sniper. Dry ice would keep them cold. They are a darn tootin' tight interference fit.  I know my limits and level of risk. I didn't want to risk doing block damage the route I was on. There is no journeyman here to guide me along! lol. Some lessons are costly to learn. I'd screwed myself over earlier in life enough times to know when to stop.

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Sniper, that’s a great idea, the dry ice, that should definitely help 

 

Keith, I’ve followed all your posts and watched all your videos for just this type of thing, I bought the same tool on eBay for this job but decided that my hardened seats looked bad enough to actually buy an old grinding setup then resell when I’m done, so now I’m trying to crash course some amateur machine shop knowledge figuring out what size stones are needed and such, a very interesting journey for me as I’ve never been this far into an engine but with help from guys like you and Sniper and countless others, I feel that I can produce adequate results with this shade tree job

I’ll post updates as I progress 

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Great to hear you are giving it a go @47Jim. Getting grease under the fingernails somehow nurtures great understanding!

If you want to sell that same valve seat cutting tool that I have, let me know. I am interested in securing more of the round abrasive cutting pads.

 

Where did locate and buy the vintage seat grinding equipment?

Edited by keithb7
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If I recall the guides are the same for intake and exhaust, but one end is squared off and the other end is rounded.  The exhausts go in one way and the intakes opposite. But I can't remember which is which.

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My shop manual says on the valve guides "counterbore down on intake and up on exhaust."  You asked for a tip and here is one I remember from decades ago in my auto shop class.  After you install the valve guides, it is a good idea to "Knurl" the valves guides.  Knurling puts a spiral groove in the guides.  This can two things.  If the valve stem is too loose, the spiral groove will tighten up the fit, and the spiral groove provides a path for some oil to lubricate the valve stem.  

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Heat also can be used when cold is not cold enough.

 

 @keithb7 in the auto store machine shop, we used to take an oxyacetylene torch and warm the the cylinders bores of the block. Kept the sleeves in the freezer overnight, then put them in the snow bank by the machine shop door. Close to where we were working when it was time to use. When the cylinders would start to darken and just drop the sleeves into the bores. They would only do sleeving jobs in winter. We did a big Mercedes Diesel 6 cylinder that way, that was neat to witness.

 

Usually for valve guides in heads a hydraulic press was used, the bottle jack type. Sometime those bores need to be reamed if the guides outside diameter were a slightly larger size. There are recommended tolerances on interference fits.  Also, if the bores were distorted slightly from removal , galled, or a burr was rolled from taking out the old guides to clean them up.

 

For older valve seat grinding equipment, a good name to search for is Sioux Valve Seat Grinders.  

Edited by ccudahy
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  • 2 weeks later...

So a guy on YouTube with a power wagon did it this way, turned an old valve upside down, froze the guides in my beer fridge, taking out one at a time, lubed up then pounded it in, I layered some stout washers to get the exact depth, worked fantastic with a hand sledge 

So I’m not finding any information on any other seat angles besides the specd 45 at .90 thousandths wide in the book, it mentions a slight chamfer on top but gives no details of any kind pertaining to angle or anything 

 Question: is the 3 angle valve job not a thing with these engines? Has anyone done if it can be done? I don’t see much material below the 45 on the seat to attempt a 60 cut, waste of time? Don’t bother? Just do the 45 then maybe a 30 on top?

also is doing a 30 degree back cut on the valves considered time wasted or would it be effective in any measure?

86131CB6-BDF8-4E17-B60F-0D4BAD3EDD05.jpeg

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34 minutes ago, 47Jim said:

So a guy on YouTube with a power wagon did it this way,

Got a link?  I'm having a hard time visualizing what you did.

 

Three angle valve jobs were not a part of the original setup.  You can do them, but the biggest cork in the ports is that guide sticking up in them.  the chamfer is usually with a stone.

 

Can you do a three angle on the seats and backcut the valves?  Yes.  Will it help. Probably.  Will it be worth the cost?  Probably not unless you are doing it yourself and just want to do it.

 

Video links to seat cutting on a 218

 

 

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Sorry, I confused things when I said I turned the valve upside down, so the valve is right side up for our engines, add the bolt, appropriate amount of washers to get your 7/8 below deck, insert in the new guide, lube everything, then place in the hole and whack a mole until the old valve just makes contact with the block, worked out great for a driveway job, didn't have to create any special tools. 

I forgot, if you trim about 3/4 inch from the length of the old valve, you won't run into any lifters or need to revolve the engine for head room when pounding the last 1/4 inch or so..hopefully that explains it better, I'm not link posting capable i've discovered.

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That's a good video, especially the Phil Collins towards the end, nothing better than having some great music when working on stuff

 

So he does a 45,30 then 15 on top, looks pretty good, waiting on my ebay special seat grinder to be delivered any day now, it looks pretty complete including a stone dressing stand, but a bunch of old stones that may or may not be usable, we shall see, I'm excited to see this operation taking the shape I want it to without sacrificing too much shop level quality.

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To post a You Tube video link can right click on the video, select "Copy video URL" then come here and right click on your reply here and select "paste"

 

He has a whole series on rebuilding the Mopar small flathead

 

 

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Great day today! My eBay special used seat grinding outfit worked absolutely perfect, it had the right size stones, even the right size .343 pilot plus I think I can actually profit off of it when I sell it locally 

Now just the lapping in to complete then reassemble 

 

That was much easier than I thought it would be, I guess studying about a thousand YouTube videos paid off 

C5FF4059-BBF9-491E-9C16-B868D770BEB7.jpeg

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