On Sat, 19 Jan 2002, Jim Mowreader wrote:

> H Steven Dolan sends:
> > The second best (and much easier) way to tell is to pop the valve covers
> > off one fine morning and have a look at the gaps.  Basically, check the
> > gap on all your valves.  If none of them have any gap, then you have
> > hydraulic lifters.  If any have *some* gap, then you have solids.
> That is, unless a PO didn't realize there were hydraulics in the engine, or
> know there is a difference between a solid-lifter engine and a hydraulic-
> lifter engine, and set the gap like it was a solid lifter engine. I have
> seen people do this. "I set my valves to .006" like it says in Muir, and now
> my engine runs like crap. Any ideas?" Yeah. Read the whole book.


Sean's original post read:

> I've inherited a '76 with 84K & the engine's very strong & makes no
> clattering & hasnt' had a valve adjustment to my knowledge & according
> to paperwork in over 15K.

Note that Sean specifically states that (a) "the engine's very strong" and
(b) it "makes no clattering."

It is certainly possible to adjust solid lifter valves to hydraulic valve
specs, but if you do, the engine will not only not be strong, it will not
start!  It is also possible to adjust hydraulic lifter valves to solid
specs, but in that case it would not be possible to say it makes no

>From his description, all he needs to know is how to find out which type
he has on a running engine.  Note that checking for gaps under the rockers
is labeled "second best."  Checking clearances, checking pushrods,
checking rockers, etc. are all second best to actually pulling a lifter
and looking at it, but they are also all a lot less work.  Any proxy
measurement is inferior to direct observation, but in many cases it is
very acceptable substitute.

                           Steve Dolan

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