GRD214 valves


The old and reliable.

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Post Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:59 am

GRD214 valves

1949 KB1. Previous owner had engine overhauled around 2008. 3000 miles (give or take) since rebuild. I notice one lifter noisier than the rest. It still runs on six cylinders and I can barely notice a slight putt at the tailpipe timed with the ticking. The valve train seems to get somewhat louder when rpms are little over idle but then quiets down and it will do this through its running ,even while driving down the road.

The operation of the engine doesn’t seem to be affected but it concerns me some. It is almost as though the lubrication slows but then comes back. I have good oil pressure ( 20lbs@idle/50lbs on the road). This winter I will get the garage warmed up and pull the side covers.

Question; can a valve spring be replaced without pulling the head ?

Bobby K

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Post Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: GRD214 valves

Sure, but check the adjustment before anything else. Unlike an OHV you don't have to worry about dropping the valve into the cyl while working on it.
Old engines with solid lifters are seldom quiet. It is normal for a little noise, there has to be clearance to allow the valve to grow when the engine is working hard, otherwise the valve would not seat when temps rise and everything expands.

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Post Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:46 pm

Re: GRD214 valves

Thanks CB. Yah that was my plan to check the clearance first. I wasn’t sure if a spring could sneak by the valve stem. Never had the opportunity on a flat head.
Thanks
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Post Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:24 pm

Re: GRD214 valves

sorry but no,

CB hasn't worked on these motors, I have, you need to compress spring to remove the keepers, you need to somehow hold top of valve down, you MAY be able to pry spring up and get keepers to fall out,

(manual states to stuff rags down around lifter where there are holes that go to the pan, if keeper falls into pan, then you'll need to pull the pan,)

IF you do get the keepers out, spring with the seat will not clear the mushroom lifter, if you roll engine to drop lifter to lowest point you MAY be able to bend spring up and around the lifter,

you will have to do this in reverse and somehow compress spring back up to get both keepers in,

In theory you MAY be able to do this, but my bet is after fighting it you'll wish you just pulled the head and used a flathead valve spring compressor,

valve train is supposed to be noisy, these are solid lifters, there has to be clearance,

do a compression test and vacuum test to make sure you don't have a burnt valve, then take off side covers and adjust valves Hot. yup with that nice red hot manifold right there in the way,

if after you do vacuum, compression, and valve lifter clearance adjustment, you still have problems, buy a head gasket and manifold gasket and do it right.
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Post Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:53 am

Re: GRD214 valves

Use compressed air in the Cyl to hold the valve seated, use a spring compressor designed for flat head work. (looks like a giant set of calipers, with forked ends to hold the spring. True I haven't done a GRD but have other flatheads, You may run into the problems getting the spring out around the valve and follower. After the keeper are off (and yes use the rag, you'll have to remove the air pressure and push the valve up to gain room. May or may not be possible, I defer to BRJ, as he has exact experience on the GRD
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Post Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:09 pm

Re: GRD214 valves

I didn't think the flathead valve spring compressor would span with the head on, the ones I used wouldn't I don't think, in any case manifold would have to come off for it to reach?
yes, I suppose compressed air would work, I know whenever I did my valves, you had to really compress to get the spring to collapse as the keeper binds to valve and spring seat, they'd POP instead of just a slow squeeze,
nothing is impossible if you have a big enough hammer and blow torch
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Post Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:37 pm

Re: GRD214 valves

No the compressor I'm thinking of is a 2nd class lever with the fulcrum at one end and a screw in the mid point to compress it and the fingers just go around the spring and top seat. Kinda like a giant pair of tweezers. Pretty much a flat-head only tool, as it would get fouled on everything on a OHV
I have a big C clamp style for working on diesel heads, but I think if you tried to use it against air holding the valve closed, the compressor would win over the air pressure.
You are likely right that it would be better, quicker, and easier to pull the head.
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Post Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:05 pm

Re: GRD214 valves

oh yea, I forgot about the reverse tweezers flathead spring compressor, and I have one in my tool box,

even with that one, manifolds are smack dab in the way on these motors,
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Post Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:46 pm

Re: GRD214 valves

No doubt the manifold will be in the way. I think the whole thing is academic anyway as I doubt it is a spring at fault.
There are spring tester for valve spring. I haven't use one in 30 years. A weak spring will show up more at speed than idle.

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Post Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:30 am

Re: GRD214 valves

Thank Guys; all good input. CB’s comment regarding spring problems showing up at higher rpms jogged my memory. Certainly makes sense if memory serves. The 50s’/60s’we all had fun inching all we could get from those Chevy small blocks and it was not uncommon to realize “valve float” at higher RPM due to weak springs.

Anyway back to the KB1. It’s running pretty well and take it to cruise nights. I found a lot of help from this blog along the way. I’m running 6v system with upgraded cables and seems to be fine. Somebody on this site mentioned the importance of using COPPER PLUG WIRES ; CONDENSER may be affected ? I am using MSD non-copper wires..should I change?

I’m doing a carburetor rebuild in the off season. Any thoughts on Mikes Carburetors ? I watched the Zenith rebuild video and seems doable or should I just send it out ? Costs are always a factor but sometimes just have to bite the bullet.
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