My first post....Recently returned to Spitfire ownership after a break of a few years. Now the owner of a 1980 Spit 1500, non-overdrive, never welded, mostly original paint and all original mech bits with the exception of cylinder head which was modified for unleaded a couple of years back (this work done by a local Triumph specialist)...
Now for the problem...by the way, car has done less than 60,000 miles and has full documented service history...no knocking on start up at all, oil light goes out after a second or two etc. When I got the car I noticed a tapping sound near the top of the engine and I thought no probs, adjust valve clearances and that will be that. Took me a while to get round to it and I found they were pretty tight so backed them off so that a 10 thou feeler would slide through with slight friction when cold...noise then got slightly worse...so my question is, am I crap at adjusting valve clearances or is there another problem?
Due to the change of head mentioned I thought I would remove rocker shaft and torque the head down again and at this stage I wiggled (up and down) the pushrods. Number 6 was pretty noisy (very metallic rap and I could feel that the pushrod had held onto the cam follower so this was the sound of the cam follower hitting the cam lobe I assume), number 1 pushrod similar but not as bad, all the others sounded "cushioned" with a very damped/soft tap when wiggled. So, do I have a cam follower problem or a camshaft problem folks? I know the cam runs in the block without bearings on the 1500. I need an expert to tell me frankly, based on their experience. I just can't see how a well looked after engine at less than 60,000 miles could have a shot cam. The only thing on my mind is the head swap for unleaded...could some crap have got down the tubes and eaten the surface off a follower or cam lobe?
Please help as the warm weather is here and the car is not really driveable now due to the really quite loud tapping. Could it just be clearances? In which case I am useless! By the way, I have never checked the crank end float but cannot see how that would create a metallic tap towards the top of the engine.
Many thanks indeed for reading,