Classic/Antique Car Repair/valve adjustments


Hi i own a 1953 Packard clipper 5.4 straight 8 327,im have a problem finding info how to adjust the tappets as i just re lapped the valves in can you help please kev

If in fact you have a 327 CID engine the valve lifters are hydraulic and non adjustable. Having said that there is an initial setting that requires that you take out all of the valve springs and valves. Keep them in order. Then you remove the plungers from the hydraulic lifters keeping them in order. Now here is the tricky part. You need a special Packard tool, a gauge pin that replace the plunger. Next drop the valve back in and with that cylinder on top dead center measure the distance from the gauge pin to the valve tip. The clearance needs to be between .030 and .070 inches. If not within those specification then you either remove metal from the tip of the valve or grind the valve seat deeper into the block. If you have just lapped the valves in and did not put the valves in a valve grinding machine or use a stone on the seats you probably have not disrupted the factory setting.

Classic/Antique Car Repair

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Brad Sears


All automotive including antique and collectible. However if the car has been modified I can only answer in general terms and maybe get you pointed in the right direction.


Automotive tech instructor. Syndicated auto columnist 1970's though the early 1990's. Syndicated auto radio talk show, Ask Brad About cars, CBS Radio 70's through 90's TV Show "Last Chance Garage" 1980's PBS-TV syndicated. Auto instructor for the following companies: Fram Autolyte Holly Carter AMF Ford Motor University Of Conn Blue Hills Technical School Sugar River Technical Center Grew up in a family garage in Needham Mass and turned wrenches from the age of 14.

Manchester Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Motor Service Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Popular Mechanics (Saturday Mechanic early 80's), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and lots more.

More than I care to remember. Basically Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, Northeastern University, Fitchburg State Teachers College, Tufts University, and a lot of factory schools along the way.

Awards and Honors
Moto Award winner. And much more.

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