A corner for VBs (and other sidevalves)

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paul.jameson
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Re: A corner for VBs (and other sidevalves)

Postby paul.jameson » Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:59 pm

Assuming that you have not changed cam followers since the engine last ran, or removed and replaced the cam follower pivot pin, the only thing I can think of is the pivot pin being twisted by the action of tightening the 5 screws. Are you tightening the magneto plate bolt before you tighten the 5 screws? If so, try not doing. If not, try tightening to remove any clearance between the magneto plate and the bottom of the timing case but not enough to make it bind.

I have always wondered why Ariel added 2 dowels to this joint very late on in singles production. Perhaps you have found out why.
Paul Jameson
36 4G, 37 VH, 54 KH(A), 75 Healey 1000/4, 52/53 ex ISDT KHA (project).
Former Machine Registrar & Archivist, General Secretary and Single Spares Organiser (over a 25 year period).
Now Archivist once more - but not Machine Registrar.

Mike Nash
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Re: A corner for VBs (and other sidevalves)

Postby Mike Nash » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:30 pm

Hmmm,
Thanks for the advice Paul. The components all came out of the engine some years ago and the magneto plate bolt is loose. (I'll take more care about that.) I'm wondering about distortion too. I'll try doing up the setscrews in a different order.
Thanks again, MikeN.

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Re: A corner for VBs (and other sidevalves)

Postby nevhunter » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:05 am

I wouldn't put a thin shim like that there where actual rubbing surfaces exist. It's likely to break into bits . End float is common and doesn't do any harm. The camshaft shim may be intruding on where the followers go. Unless the case has fretted on the mating surfaces, I can't see how you'd lose end float. Originally a gasket was fitted to that face (with the extra round one at the oil pipe join) but I've never had a problem just using GOOD jointing compound and the little paper washer at the oil joint. Nev

Mike Nash
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Re: A corner for VBs (and other sidevalves)

Postby Mike Nash » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:14 pm

Today I tried tightening the setscrews in various patterns and at various tiny rates while rotating the engine in the hope that all would settle satisfactory, but each time at the final tightening the tappets stuck and the valves were kept off their seats. The tappets remained stuck (i.e. could not be rotated) even at TDC on compression where the camshaft was "loose" i.e. could easily be moved to and fro in its axial play. So I deduce that the cam followers are somehow jammed and preventing the tappets dropping.
Finally I added another "gearcase to crankcase" gasket (so now have a total of 30 thou of gasket in place) and all's well! All rotates and rises and falls as it should. Of course, I'm unhappy in not explaining how this problem arose but I'll live with the solution for the moment.
VB timing side cam box cover.jpg

My crankcase with this trouble doesn't have the dowels that Paul refers to above but my other cases do as shown in the above picture. So as Paul hints, their installation was perhaps driven by problems such as mine. Does anyone know when these dowels first appeared?
Regards to all, MikeN.

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Re: A corner for VBs (and other sidevalves)

Postby Mike Nash » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:21 pm

VB COMPRESSION RATIO (ALUMINIUM HEAD)

What ho, chums!
Using two aluminium heads I’ve measured the CR of my engine, and (to save you reading any further) the Compression Ratios are 5.62 to 6.16 depending on the choice of head and the gasket thickness. (Draganfly give a CR of 7.0 – how did they get that?)

To measure their combustion chamber volumes the two heads were fitted with spark plugs, inverted and using scraps of wood for packing beneath them their faces were set dead horizontal using a spirit level. Then using a good measuring cylinder they were very carefully filled with kerosene (i.e. central heating oil) which having very little meniscus enabled a good flat liquid surface to be obtained in line with the surface of the cylinder heads. The volumes of the two heads were 100 & 106 cc (repeated to check). See the lower picture below.

The heads, of course, sit on gaskets whose large size and distinct thicknesses provides a considerable additional volume to the combustion chamber. Two composite gaskets, one new and one used were found to be 1.58 to 1.59mm thick (use didn’t seem to cause noticeable compression) and two unused solid copper gaskets (from Draganfly) were 0.91mm thick. The tricky bit is, of course, measuring the area of the distinctive sidevalve combustion chamber shape that the gasket embraces. My preferred method is to take advantage of the areal density of printing paper, 90 gsm (grammes per square metre) in my case. (The areal densities of printing paper are well controlled and reliable. Using a denser photographic paper, typically 120g/square metre, would be better and I see that Lidl at the moment have “Premium Photo Paper” at 280gsm – better still!) The gaskets were placed over the paper, a pencil run round inside the gasket and the drawn shape carefully cut out and weighed using a sensitive balance. The cut-out weighs 1.02g and so at 90gsm gives an area within the gasket of 113.3 square centimetres. So, multiplying by the thicknesses given above a composite gasket adds 18 cc to the combustion chamber and a solid copper gasket adds 10.3cc.

In my engine the piston top at TDC is 50thou down the barrel so I have a further volume to add to the combustion chamber. This gives on my engine (at 30thou rebore) a further addition volume of 7.58cc.

So now we can put this altogether using the formula for CR of (Swept vol + combustion chamber vol) divided by (combustion chamber vol). My engine’s swept vol is 608.6cc (30thou rebore remember!) and with a 106cc head and a composite gasket we have a total head volume of 131.6cc and so a CR of 5.62 But using the 100cc head and a copper gasket I’ll have a CR of 6.16

So the best I’ll get is 6.16, and the volume caused by the 50thou gap above the piston at TDC is costing me 0.41 in CR, no mean disadvantage.

A further point is that the squish area between the piston and head is 32.2 square centimetres (determined as above) giving a volume of 2.93cc. Now, it’s my experience that squish areas always fill up with soot and carbon and so it may be eliminated from the combustion chamber. This deletion would raise my best CR to 6.29!

Well, I’m glad I’ve got that lot off my chest, MikeN.
PS The balance used was an Ohaus "Dial-O-Gram" which can be obtained quite cheaply secondhand. They're robust and surprisingly accurate. They handle up to 310g. See the upper picture below.
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