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Old 05-19-2007, 02:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I want to get a top dead center gauge so when i adjust my solid lifter push rod to rocker arm gap i can get it perfect. I use the mark on the balencer right now but its omost worn off and i dont trust it to be perfect. I did a google search and this is the only one i found that sells for $40...

New! Piston Top Dead Center (TDC) Gauge
Forget the clumsy old methods of finding the piston's top dead center location. Use the new JSRE TDC Gauge for easy, accurate, and quick results. Will fit standard plug threads, however, other threads can be made. A high quality instrument for the serious performance enthusiast.


Will this work? If not does anyone know where can find one?

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Old 05-19-2007, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Forget the Chinese supplier -- the quality is not the same as American made. Will cost more but is worth it. Your idea is good; I don't think you'll get closer than with a dial indicator. I use Starrett stuff.
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Old 05-19-2007, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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but will this style of gauge work? or do i need a diffrent setup?

The reason i was asking is because im not sure if the piston would just pinch the feeler or not.

Thanks
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Old 05-19-2007, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Using what you pictured, you'd devise a mount and set the foot of the indicator at one end or the other of the rocker. If you want to go into the spark plug hole you'll need a pivot that will, on one end, touch the dial indicator foot and at the other end, go into the hole and touch the piston head. A magnetic mount is very versatile for all work of this type. If you go into the spark plug hole, make sure the pivot arm is square so you aren't working on an angle.
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Old 05-19-2007, 06:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There is a better way to set your rockers. The way I do it is turn your engine over until the exhaust rocker just starts to open. When this happens set the intake rocker. Then when the intake rocker is full open and 1/3 to 2/3 the way closed set the exhaust rocker. This way is more accurate then the old way of going off the balancer.
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Old 05-19-2007, 11:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey Guys,

I don't think VictorII is answering the question the Jake is asking. No disrespect intended for Victor. I am not sure what question Jake is really asking.

I think Jake is trying to find TDC on the crank, based on his statemement. The threads on the dial indicator he shows makes me think it is supposed to be inserted in the plug hole.

Still, Jake's question is confusing. He is trying to set valve lash. You don't need a dial indicator to set valve lash, and you don't need TDC crank or cam to set valve lash.

Jake - tell us what you think you are trying to do.

randy

I don
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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OK, I'll take a shot. The guage shown combines a piston guage with a dial indicator. The idea of the bottom "feeler" is that it moves up as the piston moves up at the top of the stroke, but is directly connected to the dial indicator. To me. it looks like it could work, but I'm hesitatant about the range that it can cover, as well as the ability to fit the threads on the spark plug holes in the heads.
You can get ordinary piston guages, such as these from Eastwoods:
TDC Guage
You can add a dial guage with a magnetic mount (even easier if you have steel valve covers), to be extra accurate. I haven't seen an all in one like the one originally shown, but its a neat idea. Using a speparate dial indicator has the advantage that your dial indicator is available for other tasks.
As far as needing one to set valve lash accurately, its not really needed. You need the cam to be on its base circle when you set lash, but each valve is on its base circle for quite a bit of duration. If you put #1 at TDC at the top of the compression stroke, both the intake and exhaust valves should be fully closed (and have been fully closed for a bit, and will remain fully closed for a bit) so that you can set valve lash. As long as you know its TDC for the compression stroke, it is as accurate as you're going to get. Plus or minus 15 degrees should still be on the base circle. If you're at TDC betwen the exhaust and intake strokes, you won't be on the base circle.
If you are having trouble seeing the mark on the harmonic balancer, you can rub the marks with a Markal pen, then wipe the area down, which leaves the crayon in the markings on the dampener to enhance visibility. Another option is to buy a timing tape to stick to the dampener, which gives you markings all the way around the dampener (my preferred method, since I use the rotate 90 degrees method of setting lash.) You can get the timing tapes at your local speed shop, or order them through Summit:
Timing Tape
Once you've established TDC at the top of the compression stroke, set the lash on both intake and exhaust for number 1, then each 90 degrees of rotation, set the next pair in the same order as the firing order. There are other methods that work to set up the valve being on the base circle of the cam, its just whatever you prefer.
The accuracy as far as TDC that you are proposing to use makes sense for degreeing a cam, but isn't necessary for setting valve lash.

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Old 05-20-2007, 02:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ummm, he asked about TDC...I answered that....then he could compare his dial indicator reading to where the dampener is. A good dial indicator would give the best accuracy. The same thing is done on motorcycles, which is what the shown dial indicator is designed for -- it goes straight down, a V8 would require an angle device to get the geometry correct. Once the dial indicator shows where the real TDC is, he could mark his dampener...remember he said his marks were almost illegible? As was mentioned there are other ways to adjust solids.
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mod9
There is a better way to set your rockers. The way I do it is turn your engine over until the exhaust rocker just starts to open. When this happens set the intake rocker. Then when the intake rocker is full open and 1/3 to 2/3 the way closed set the exhaust rocker. This way is more accurate then the old way of going off the balancer.
This is the most common way it is done on race motors. You will never see a racer with a dial indicator. If there was a chance for error following these guidelines, racers would not use it. If it goes wrong, it is the operator not the method. Spend your money on a remote starter switch. You can get one with clip on ends, or I prefer to mount a push button on the firewall in the middle at the top so it can be reached from either side.
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