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Rocker and push rod trouble

Greenside Spitfire

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Bought my Spitfire in November, it would only run on full choke. Took rocker cover off to find broken No 2 rocker and bent No 7 push rod. Replaced these and fitted new cylinder head gasket. Started fine but with steam from the exhaust. After leaving for two days would not start easily. Took rocker cover off again to find No 2 and No 3 push rods bent, and No 7 rocker push rods jumped out of location. Except for steam which I suspect is the head itself. Any ideas why rods should bend.

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I'm mostly with glang on this. You should look at number 7 valve to check if it is now stuck part way open. If it is, that explains the pushrod jumping out of position. Even a slow returning valve can cause that. You might also take a glance at the inside of the rocker cover to look for marks where the valve adjuster screws have hit it. This is unusual, but does happen occasionally with skimmed cylinder heads and alloy covers.

But do make sure all valves can operate as they should.

Best of luck,


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Gentlemen, thank you all for your replies. I believe that I have the answer to my problems. When I bought my car in November it had been standing for 25 years, yes 25 years. I fitted a new cylinder head gasket and numerous other items plugs leads etc.

I believe that the rods bent because the old petrol had somehow burnt gunge onto the inlet valve stems. OK when the engine was running but when left to cool solidified. Then when starting engine again held the valves open long enough for the rods to move away from their rocker location, then when coming back up collided and bent.

I was badly advised to leave the old fuel as it was an "old wives tale" to remove it. I have changed it now.

Rebuilding tomorrow, new gasket valve seats machined, valve sealing faces machined and lapped, new petrol, new oil new filter and hope in my heart.

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