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1951 300 ticking noise
#1
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Rockabilly
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Hello everyone! This is my first post and couldn't be more excited to be a part of this community.

I have been searching endlessly on the internet for a solution and am just looking for some additional input.

I recently purchased a 1951 300 in remarkably good, original condition from the 2nd owner. It must have sat for a while because it sounds like one of the lifters is sticking. I am coming to that conclusion from the very loud ticking/tapping sound that matches engine RPMs. From touching the spark plugs and feeling the tick, to having a long screwdriver as a makeshift stethoscope, I have narrowed it down to the 2nd or 3rd cylinder. I've only owned it for 2 weeks so I haven't been able to get to far into it yet. Here is what I've done so far:

1. I put some Marvel Mystery Oil in (the oil in the car is in very good shape and looks like it has less than 1,000 miles on it) and I have driven it about 300 or so miles with the MMO in.
2. I removed the front side valve cover and watched the springs/lifters with the car running. I couldn't tell from the angle (standing looking into the engine bay) which valve isn't operating correctly. Due to time constraints I wasn't able to take the passenger side wheel and inner fenderwell off prior to viewing.

I have ordered new valve cover gaskets since the existing one basically fell apart when I removed the cover. I plan on taking the wheel off and inner fenderwell off and seeing if I can look up at a better angle to see which valve isn't operating properly.

Does anyone have any additional input on this? It's very annoying, but more than that I don't want to damage any of the valvetrain by driving it. I have everything to do a full oil change after this is complete as well as most of the other fluids.

I appreciate your help!
Chris (rockabilly)

Posted on: 11/2 15:57
Catch me on Instagram @rockabillydad or @pastironworks
1951 Packard 300
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#2
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JeromeSolberg
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If it's a 300 you should I think have hydraulic lifters.

My experience is this is with a "ticking" hydraulic lifter. They wear out over time, or you may have issues with oil pressure. Sometimes a higher-viscosity oil (especially at temperature) helps, like 20w40.

Both Max Merrit and Kanter sell new (reproduction) lifters. Some people have had better luck than others in both figuring out which one(s) are ticking and in putting in a repro one that gets rid of the problem.

You get the right front of the car up on jack stands (helps to just have the whole thing up on ramps except for the right front on jack stands, then you can keep the car level), remove the right front wheel, then you can then remove the inner fender cover and then the valve covers.

You can then use a stethoscope to listen to the valve lifters. Put the stethoscope right onto each lifter, even though they are moving up and down.

To take the lifters out you have to take the head off, so you need a new head gasket too.

You need a flathead-style valve spring compressor. You can find them on Ebay

This is the style I used:

Flathead-Style Valve Spring Compressor, Jeep, Ford V-8

Ross has this nice video that shows how to adjust non-hydraulic lifters, but it also shows how to reach in there through the fender cover, etc.

Speedwell Garage, Ross Miller, how to adjust valves on a 1953 Packard w/ solid lifters

Posted on: 11/2 17:30
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#3
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Ozstatman
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G'day Rockabilly,
to PackardInfo.

I invite you to include your '51 300 in PackardInfos Packard Vehicle Registry.

Posted on: 11/2 18:29
Mal
/o[]o\
====

Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

1938 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

1941 One-Twenty Club Coupe - SOLD

1948 Super Eight Limo, chassis RHD - SOLD

1950 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

What's this?
Put your Packard in the Packard Vehicle Registry!
Here's how!
Any questions - PM or email me at ozstatman@gmail.com
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#4
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Rockabilly
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Quote:

JeromeSolberg wrote:
If it's a 300 you should I think have hydraulic lifters.

My experience is this is with a "ticking" hydraulic lifter. They wear out over time, or you may have issues with oil pressure. Sometimes a higher-viscosity oil (especially at temperature) helps, like 20w40.

Both Max Merrit and Kanter sell new (reproduction) lifters. Some people have had better luck than others in both figuring out which one(s) are ticking and in putting in a repro one that gets rid of the problem.

You get the right front of the car up on jack stands (helps to just have the whole thing up on ramps except for the right front on jack stands, then you can keep the car level), remove the right front wheel, then you can then remove the inner fender cover and then the valve covers.

You can then use a stethoscope to listen to the valve lifters. Put the stethoscope right onto each lifter, even though they are moving up and down.

To take the lifters out you have to take the head off, so you need a new head gasket too.

You need a flathead-style valve spring compressor. You can find them on Ebay

This is the style I used:

Flathead-Style Valve Spring Compressor, Jeep, Ford V-8

Ross has this nice video that shows how to adjust non-hydraulic lifters, but it also shows how to reach in there through the fender cover, etc.

Speedwell Garage, Ross Miller, how to adjust valves on a 1953 Packard w/ solid lifters


Thank you! I'll be getting it up in the air and setting my valve clearances when I get some time over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully combining a fresh oil change and adjusting the valves I'll be in good shape. If not, on to the next possible solution.

Posted on: 11/3 9:57
Catch me on Instagram @rockabillydad or @pastironworks
1951 Packard 300
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#5
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PackardDon
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If hydraulic lifters, then they are not adjustable so one less thing to worry about!

Posted on: 11/3 11:51
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#6
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JWL
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There is no adjustment for the valve clearances with hydraulic lifters, which your 300 most likely has. The engine could have been replaced in the past with one with mechanical lifters. What is the engine number? The number will identify which type of engine is in the car. The number is stamped on a machined pad on the left hand side of the block toward the top.

Posted on: 11/3 11:52
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#7
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HH56
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JWL brings up a good point. Hydraulic lifters were standard on the 51 250, 300 and 400 models but was optional on the 200 and 200 Deluxe. If the engine in your car is original the motor number should start J4xxxxx and would have hydraulic lifters.

Dirt is an enemy of hydraulic lifters and the way the 51 and later postwar Packard engine is plumbed the filter was an option that usually was on hydraulic lifter engines (but not always). It is a bypass type with only about 10 percent of the oil from the pump going thru the filter and then is dumped into the pan. 90 percent of oil from the pump is circulated thru the engine and the lifters do not see any freshly filtered oil. If the oil goes a long time between changes or lots of sludge has formed any crud in the pan can be sucked up thru the screen mesh in the pickup and sent to the lifters. It could be that just sitting for a long period has allowed stuff to settle at the bottom of a lifter body where the ball valve is located and it cannot seal. Perhaps an oil change and time will solve the issue but if not then disassembly and cleaning may be the only option.

If by chance the engine has been changed and it has solid lifters then an adjustment could be all that is needed. The 51 200 solid lifter motor number will start J2xxxxx and any other year motor number will start with a different letter. The 200 or lower end models in other years also had solid lifters with hydraulics optional from somewhere in the 23rd series onward. Engines that had solid lifters as standard generally have a 2 or 3 as the second digit in the motor number.

If optional hydraulic lifters were installed at the factory there will usually be an H stamped at one end of the motor number -- usually as a suffix -- but we have found that H stamp is not reliably in the same place or even on all cars with the option installed. It could be they forgot but more likely it could have had hydraulics installed after it left the factory.

Posted on: 11/3 12:20
Howard
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#8
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Rockabilly
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Well, I think I am just going to bite the bullet and replace the lifters all at once and discard the bad ones and hold onto the good ones just in case. I already purchased a gasket kit for the motor since anything that can leak oil is leaking oil. I'm going to pull the head and install these lifters:
eBay lifters. I have not purchased them yet in case there is a better option out there.

I purchased the spring compression tool mentioned earlier in this thread. Any tips or tricks once I have the heads off? This is the first flathead motor I will have gone this deep into with the intention of fixing, not turning into a glass top table or some other piece of art.

I really appreciate everyone's help and patience!

Posted on: 11/11 12:57
Catch me on Instagram @rockabillydad or @pastironworks
1951 Packard 300
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#9
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PackardDon
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I have ‘80s era reproductions in my 1954 Patrician but in other Packards I’ve had good experiences in simply disassembling, cleaning and testing the originals too so you might consider that first.

Posted on: 11/11 13:04
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Re: 1951 300 ticking noise
#10
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Rockabilly
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Quote:

PackardDon wrote:
I have ‘80s era reproductions in my 1954 Patrician but in other Packards I’ve had good experiences in simply disassembling, cleaning and testing the originals too so you might consider that first.

Will cleaning with gasoline and reassembling be adequate? I don't have a way/method to test them with any sort of accuracy. When reinstalling should I prime them with oil? Again, sorry for all of the questions, I've never dealt with hydraulic lifters before.

Posted on: 11/11 13:22
Catch me on Instagram @rockabillydad or @pastironworks
1951 Packard 300
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