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Newbie asking for some help with noisy tappets

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Southdpwns Martin Koronka
Arundel, West Sussex, UK   GBR
I bought this MGB GT knowing that it had a tappet rattle. When I got it home I found it also had a head gasket problem. I've done many HG's before so figured I'd ignore the rattle till I put is all back together. Had the head tested and skimmed, put it all back together and all was well except the tappet rattle only as I listened more closely it was two rattles. One a tappet and the other a rapid rat a tat tat tat then quiet then rat a tat tat tat and so on.

On digging around in the box of bits in the boot I found a brand new, unopened camshaft so thought 'aha, someone's diagnosed a camshaft problem, bow to the superior knowledge' so put the new one in and new followers and since the rocker shaft had a very small bit of play in one or two rockers I put and new rocker shaft and shims in as well. For good measure I also changed the timing chain and tensioner. Put it all back together and lo, a loud tappet rattle. Tightened the rockers to 13 thou and lo, a loud tappet noise.

Other than that it's a really nice example with plenty of power and in very reasonable condition.

There's a video here:



and any help much appreciated.

Thanks
Martin



Currently MGB GT, 73
Two midgets
Morris Minor
VW Camper van
Morris 1300

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GlennMGB Avatar
GlennMGB Glenn G
Fort Worth, Texas, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB GT "Rose"
Tappet noise on an MGB engine is louder than modern cars, and it is louder than contemporary cars with hydraulic lifters. Before you try to reduce the noise, compare it with other MGBs -- it might be normal.

Chalky Avatar
Chalky David White
Coventry, Warwickshire, UK   GBR
Second Glenn's comments. MGBs are tappety. If they're too quiet that you're in risk of burning a valve. Alloy rocker covers can help.

Is it much louder that the A series engines in your other cars? Are you sure its the tappets and not something else?

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dipstick Avatar
dipstick Kenny Snyder
La Center, Washington, USA   USA
1941 Ford N-Series
1958 MG MGA 1500 Coupe "Rosie"
1970 MG MGB GT "Pat's GT"
1971 MG MGB "Gifted To Me"    & more
Valve cover off, with engine at idle, slip a .005" feeler blade between each rocker pad and valve stem tip. You will find noisy tappets which could be caused by dented rocker pads.



Be safe out there.
Kenny

HiPowerShooter Avatar
HiPowerShooter Gold Member James Booker
Lake Winneconne, WI, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB
Set them all at .010" and see if it goes away. If it does...leave it.

I know people get all worked up about tappet clearance however the truth is that it's not a critical clearance and you can vary it by quite a wide margin and the engine will run fine.

I run mine "tight" specifically because I don't like the sewing machine sound. Some like hearing the engine rattle away...I'd just as soon not hear it.



"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions"--Alvin "Tex" Johnston...Boeing test pilot.

73 MGB. Tires: Round, black, hold air. Oil: Sometimes old, sometimes new...always slippery. Oil filter: Yellow, usually full of oil. Carbs: 2 SU HIF. Distributor: Yes. Headlights: Not that bright but bright enough. A bunch of other stuff most cars have but not really important enough to itemize. Oh, wait...it has a cool sounding exhaust with stickers on the chrome tips. Really slays the ladies...

Basil Adams Avatar
About 12 miles from Sears Point, CA, USA   USA
James, It is a critical dimension; maybe minor for a street car but still important! When you narrow the lash, it's the same thing as opening the valve sooner, increasing cam lift and increasing duration. The valve opens sooner, lifts higher and stays open longer. Just a thought. Basil 707.762.0974 basiladams@yahoo.com



Basil C. Adams
1956 MGA Coupe (Show Car)
1957 MGA Roadster (Driver)
1958 MGA Coupe (Racecar)
1959 MGA Coupe (unrestored)
1960 MGA Coupe (unrestored)
1960 MGA Roadster (Driver)
MKIII Elva Courier (E1056)
1967 427 Cobra
1972 Alfa Romeo Montreal
A coupla late MGBs
1960 Austin Healy BN7
More Cars than Brains

wicklowwanderer Avatar
wicklowwanderer Silver Member David Steverson
Marietta, Georgia, USA   USA
Martin,
On a newly and completely rebuilt B engine, I had noisy tappets despite triple-checking the clearances. Turns out I had some badly worn rocker arms, which would be fine when still and being adjusted but loose when the engine was running, especially just before the engine stopped on shutdown. They looked fine, but replacing the lot did the trick.
David

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Southdpwns Martin Koronka
Arundel, West Sussex, UK   GBR
The trouble is, I like silent tappets, have had then on every one of ten or fifteen b's I've owned and I've replaced the rockers complete, the camshaft, the timing chain, the followers and still I'm getting thins noise.

Could one of you very much respected experts - I've been watching this forum for years as the best in the business - listen to the video and just tell me if it's valves or something that I'm missing.

Thank you so much for all your input.



Currently MGB GT, 73
Two midgets
Morris Minor
VW Camper van
Morris 1300

GlennMGB Avatar
GlennMGB Glenn G
Fort Worth, Texas, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB GT "Rose"
Quote: listen to the video

Tried that. It says, "This video is private." No sound, no picture.

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Southdpwns Martin Koronka
Arundel, West Sussex, UK   GBR
Sorry, video now set to be public and, thanks for your input.



Currently MGB GT, 73
Two midgets
Morris Minor
VW Camper van
Morris 1300

rntanner Avatar
rntanner Silver Member Roger N. Tanner
Oxnard, CA, USA   USA
1970 MG MGB
1977 MG MGB
Monsantiqu Avatar
Monsantiqu Silver Member Anthony S
Sunshine City, Florida, USA   USA
Martin, that tick is WAY too loud.
Adjust your valves, ensuring accuracy.
You will then know that something else is lurking.

67motorcat Avatar
67motorcat Silver Member Steve O
Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB
My vote is a valve is sticking, possibly two valves.

Do you have bronze valve guides or stock iron?

late 64 Terry O
Milton, Ont, Canada   CAN
you have a one bad tappet, when oil pressure gets high enough it goes quiet, best way is to remove valve cover and when in idle press on the rockers till you find out which one it is..... replace,,,,,,,,,, seems you can do this so should not be a problem.......thumbs up turn your idle down as far as it can go and you can avoid the oily mess without the rocker cover, unless you have another old cover, cut the top out so you can get at the rockers........cool smiley

ingoldsb Avatar
ingoldsb Silver Member Terry Ingoldsby
Calgary, Alberta, Canada   CAN
1971 MG MGB
Any chance that the clearance between the rocker shaft and one or more pedestals is excessive? The shaft is meant to be fixed within the pedestals, but if there is any play in the set screw, or just vibration the pedestal can wear.



Terry Ingoldsby
terry.ingoldsby@DCExperts.com

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