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Spanish dancing tappets


Dolomite10

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My stag sounds horrible at the minute, the near side bank of tappets sound like a group of spanish dancers! Yes it does have the Triumph V8, on removal of rocker cover i checked the valve clearances, all inlets at 14 thou, and all exhaust at 15 to 16 thou. On consulting the haynes manual it said 8-10 thou for inlet and 16-18 for exhaust. I left the exhaust clearances as they were and corrected the inlet, all to between 8-10 thou. She was still dancing. I measured the lobes on the cam and there as good as new, the tappet buckets all seem to look ok and the wear in the head off the buckets is ok. Can somebody please tell me what im doing wrong, as i would like to change the record from spanish dancing to musical stag V8. It is the rear of the bank thats noisey. What clearances do stags run best at? Could it be something else im over looking? Cheers

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Hi there
I read somewhere that number 6 and 8 (back of l/hand head)is the last place to get oil on start up which can cause a bit of tapping in this area especially on cold start up and is not uncommon on a lot of stags.

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Im thinking if this is the case then, perhaps a different viscosity oil might do the trick? However the tappets still dont quieten down once the engines upto temperature, also the previous engine i had in the car never had this problem. Cheers mate, any ideas welcome.

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Its not a problem on every stag engine but on my last stag it certainly was, it sounded nasty but was told it was not uncommon and people told me they had covered thousands of miles with no problem who had the same noise coming from their engine.
I think it was raised on the Triumph stag.net forum some years ago.
This may not be the same noise as you are experiencing but bear this in mind.

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It's a classic case of wear in the tappet bucket casing allowing the base of the bucket to strike the side of the casting. Unfortunately there's no magic solution other than to machine and fit oversize buckets next time the head(s) is off. Semi synthetic 20/50 like Millers Classic might take the edge off the noise, but depends how much wear you've got. However, at worse it's just a source of irritation rather than warning of impending disaster and shouldn't affect performance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You don't need much wear, just enough so the bucket can strike the casting - see reference mark on picture where this has happened. You could just grind a bit off the casting with a Dremel to stop it making contact. I've got a similar problem although it's barely noticeable when fully warmed up and tends to be intermittent. Noise seems to be less obvious with Millers.

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I see what your saying, i suppose if there was more wear allowing less contact between moving parts there would be less spanish dancing. The only true way of getting to the bottom of this would be to remove the head and valves for a full inspection, and to be fair id rather not do that. How much is this millers 20/50 stuff?

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  • 3 months later...

After finally getting round to changing the oil and putting in the millers semi synthetic stuff, theres absolutely no changes. My channel of thought on this matter now is that the problem could well lie in a sticking valve or something along those lines, the noise is far to mettalic, i think possibly to much for it to be a worn bucket in head. I dont really want to bite the bullet and take the head off, but the tapping is annoying me. Is anybody going to step in and save the day before i take drastic measures. cheers    

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