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Tightmopedman9

The VAST Wagon Build

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Just replaced valve stem seals and re-did the cam cover crankcase baffles. I dropped a keeper that I assumed flew out of the valve cover. I guess it didn't...  Motor may need to come out, I'm waiting for the morning for a full diagnosis.

:(

Sorry to hear that man. Those keepers are little bitches to get back in! I assume you've poked around with a little extendable magnet to see if you can pick it up?

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As I was holding a keeper above the retainer, the tool slipped and kicked the tweezers. I assumed it went across the room after I couldn't find it in the head. 

I pulled the valve cover again and spent a good half hour looking for the little bastard. Couldn't see anything and all the valves looked fine. Compressed air in each cylinder confirms that none of the valves are bent.

I'm going to pull the pan and take a look down there, I need to do it anyways due to a package I'll be receiving from Hussein later this evening :ph34r:

Edited by Tightmopedman9
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Keeper.jpg?dl=0

Apparently that wasn't the only one though. 

Using an inspection camera I looked at every valve spring and in every nook of the head - couldn't find a thing. I started the engine this morning after getting everything back together and still had a very loud top end noise. It went away after 20 seconds of idle, but I could occasionally hear a light tick/clack. First thought was that a keeper got stuck in a valve spring and then worked itself free. I convinced myself that I was just hearing things and then drove the car out of the driveway and down the block, only for the top end noise to come back in full force. I'm going to pull all the spring retainers and inspect every inch of the head, like I should have done the first time. Hopefully this time nothing got bent.  

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Took all the lifters and retainers back off to look for a rouge keeper. Nothing. 

All springs, keepers and retainers look fine and were installed properly. The only thing I could think of is a mis-seated lower spring seat, but it doesn't seem like that would cause an intermittent sound.

I don't want to put the valve cover back on without changing/finding anything definitive. 

Anyone have ideas on what else to check?

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I'm a little confused --- did you start with a known amount of keepers?
I would think that simple observation of what you started with vs what you ended up with would give the result, but clearly there must be more to the story that I missed.


Can't failing sump o-rings give intermittent top end noise?
Did any of the lifter bores get galled in the process of replacing the stem seals?
VVT hub issues?
Make sure one of your mystery keepers isn't lodged in the sump pickup..

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I pulled 8 extra keepers from a spare head. I have 3 on hand, and I believe 3 in a bag somewhere (or it could be 4). So I either have 1 or 2 unaccounted for keepers. Or maybe more, I need to find that damn bag of extra keepers. The problem is I did this job late at night and didn't keep track of things when I called it a night at 3am. 

Its not the sump o-rings since I replace them every time the pan is off. Also it doesn't sound like a typical lack of upper end lubrication problem.

Galling of the lifter bore is a possiblity, but I tested each installed lifter/spring/retainer with the valve compressor tool and they all moved with the same amount of resistance. If this was the cause of the problem, wouldn't it be a consistent sound that would progressively decrease in intensity as the gall was sanded down? 

Not coming from the VVT hubs.

I already dropped the pan and replaced it with a new pan and replaced the intake tube, seals and inspected the lower end. 

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Don't know if it's possible or not but perhaps maybe a keeper stuck to the top of the cam cover when you took it off? You look at that? Really strange... 

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Yup, you need to put together an accurate count on your keepers.... and put the bourbon down the next time so you can't get confused about whether you lost a keeper or not. :) lol
how about blowing some compressed air all around the head passages to clear it of any hidden keepers / foreign objects?

How do all of the cam lobes, lifters, and bores look? Nothing obvious, I presume?

Good luck and keep us posted!

Edited by mattwebb502

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Just cleaned up the work space, and no sign of the extra keepers, except for 3 I kept separate. So that makes for a total of 5 un-accounted for keepers :blink:.

Every time I've had the valve cover off I've sprayed air around everywhere, never heard anything metallic rattling around and post air visual investigation didn't uncover anything.

I'll take another look at the valve cover. Cams lobes and journals have been inspected and look fine.

I'll pop the lifters out again and look at the bores. 

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Is this is a solid lifter head?
Did you mix up lifters?
Once the oil heats and thins, excess clearance valve noise can get louder on any of the solid lifter arrangements I've worked with... but it's usually noticeable right away.
No exp. with the white blocks.

EDIT: I think it's unlikely that your noise is foreign material induced.
I would think that if a keeper got into the valve springs you'd have severe coil bind that would have much more significant and obvious consequences ---- with little warning instead of prolonged noise but otherwise normal running.
Also, if there was foreign material in one of the lifter bores in/under the springs (and assuming you stopped the engine while the noise was still present) you should be able to locate the foreign object pretty quickly... it wouldn't just run and hide after shutting it down.

I think you are probably chasing your tail looking for foreign objects.
 

Edited by mattwebb502

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Solid lifter head, yes.

There is a possibility I switched lifters, but not much of one. I made this out of some spare HDPE before starting the job:

VPNJ

The noise is there from the start, not heat related. The noise sounds more like a clunking than a clacking. I would expect a higher pitched clacking from a mis-adjusted lifter. I don't have a spare valve cover to cut up, so I can't check clearances. I really don't think that's the problem given the intermittent nature of the sound. 

I agree with you on the foreign material, but given the noise(s) I heard it seemed probable.  I would have expected a keeper in a valve spring to cause some drastic damage. 

 

Edited by Tightmopedman9

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Fwiw, whenever I've had to install keepers (in any head - including these), I've found it pretty easy using a small, thin flat blade screw driver and dipping the tip of the screw driver in a bit of assembly lubricant (something with a grease like consistency) and just letting that hold the keeper.  Like this, I've never actually lost a keeper, in a head.

Do you have a mechanic's stethoscope, to hopefully, get a more accurate location on the sound?

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I found using a long magnetized straight pick and a dab of grease on the valve side of the keeper is the best way to do it. Although it took me a few lost keepers to figure that out.

I got my hands on the Volvo tool for checking valve clearance and this is what I got:

dO7s

Spec is listed at the bottom, Exhaust - .4 ± .03mm Intake - .2 ± .03mm

The 4 digit number on the left hand side is the number written on the bottom of the tappet and is the dimensions in mm. 1608=16.08mm

As you can see I'm way too tight on all but 2 of the valves. 

It looks like I might have swapped tappets between the exhaust and intake on #5, but if I switched back then I'd be really tight on the exhaust side.

Volvo makes tappets as short as 15.86mm, so I'll be able to get everything back to spec. However, I don't really think that too small of valve clearance would cause noise.

Edited by Tightmopedman9

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