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What's this under my 351C valve covers?
#1
Hello,

Yesterday I pulled the valve covers off my 71 351C 2v.  I believe the engine has about 70,000 miles.  Under each valve cover, laying near the oil drain holes I found bits and pieces of circular, very brittle, almost plastic-like pieces.  I separated them into what I found under the left and right sides.

I had forgotten to lay a coin near the parts so you could get a size comparison but the largest piece is "about" the size of a dime.

Any ideas?  Should I worry?   Huh

[Image: IMG_4395.jpg]

[Image: IMG_4396.jpg]

how to upload image on internet
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#2
They look like pieces of the umbrellas off the valve stems. They are supposed to keep oil from running down the valve stems and past the valve guides and into the manifolds. Pretty common for them to "petrify".



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#3
(03-23-2018, 12:24 PM)Don C Wrote: They look like pieces of the umbrellas off the valve stems. They are supposed to keep oil from running down the valve stems and past the valve guides and into the manifolds. Pretty common for them to "petrify".

Thanks Don.  Now that I know what I'm looking at it appears that only 4 or 5 springs have the umbrellas still in place.  On the others I see pieces of them inside the spring at the bottom.  Are they critical to the proper functioning of the valve train or can I carefully remove the broken pieces from all the springs? I was hoping not to pull the heads on this project.

Scott
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#4
No Need to pull the heads to replace with soft, pliable and OIL SEALING seals! Read up on using compressor (or even clothsline) to change them in car. THis is a procedure that many have done over the years and is part of learning how to work on engines.

Call anyone if you need help.
Mark
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#5
Yo0u need to replace the seals, and you need to gather and remove all of the pieces that have ended up in the bottom end of your motor.

I'd strongly recommend pulling the intake and dropping the oil pan, cleaning the pick up, and open the front cover if you want to get it clear of any debris. I would pull the heads as well and clear the oil galleys, but I am probably paranoid.

It also depends upon how much of the original seals you can find. If most of them are all there, less intrusive cleaning would be more likely to be okay.

While you are at it, you should check your timing chain set-you can do it without pulling the cover by removing the fuel pump and using an inspection camera or feeling with your fingers if they are long enough. Originally these engines were built with nylon covered gears. Those get brittle and end up in the pan, and if they make it into the pump will sieze the oil pump. shear the shaft etc.

[Image: 1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png]

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!
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#6
(03-23-2018, 12:18 PM)Monterey Wrote: Hello,

Yesterday I pulled the valve covers off my 71 351C 2v.  I believe the engine has about 70,000 miles.  Under each valve cover, laying near the oil drain holes I found bits and pieces of circular, very brittle, almost plastic-like pieces.  I separated them into what I found under the left and right sides.

I had forgotten to lay a coin near the parts so you could get a size comparison but the largest piece is "about" the size of a dime.

Any ideas?  Should I worry?   Huh

[Image: IMG_4395.jpg]

[Image: IMG_4396.jpg]

how to upload image on internet

Valves seal pieces.  Ron
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#7
I will throw my 2 cents in here. As I tend to be on the more paranoid side of things and suffer from the "while I'm at it disease" I would strongly consider the information in Jeff's post. When I pulled my motor a little over a year ago to do a head & cam swap as well as some other work, I too found pieces of the seals under the valve covers. I Cleaned a lot out from under valve covers but there was a lot in the oil pan as well and some stuck on the oil pick up. It could have resulted in a catastrophic failure. Just my opinion.

'73 Grandé H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

'73 F code convertible. Bright red. Needs total restore. (IE HOT MESS)

- Jason
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#8
Like all have said this is very common in both 302 and 351 engines using the same type of stem seals. If a piece gets into the oil pump it can do a couple of things. One it can hold the by pass valve closed and explode the oil filters. The second it can crash the oil pump totally. The pick up screen on the oil pump on most of the engines has about a 1/2" diameter hole that is blocked by some of the stamping in the filter. If the screen gets too clogged it is made to flex. When it flexes the big chunks of the seals get pulled into the oil pump and boom goes something for sure.
Depending on what you have to work with pull the pan at a minimum. Yes you can replace the seals without pulling the heads. I made a tool back in the 60's for doing that on a Y block Ford and also for 289 before anyone made them.
If it was in my garage I would pull the engine, pull the heads and pan and do it right. Check the bearings, replace seals and gaskets and have peace of mind.
David


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#9
[Image: pic5555.jpg][Image: 149958.jpg]

[Image: Stang1.jpg]
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#10
(03-23-2018, 12:58 PM)Monterey Wrote:
(03-23-2018, 12:24 PM)Don C Wrote: They look like pieces of the umbrellas off the valve stems. They are supposed to keep oil from running down the valve stems and past the valve guides and into the manifolds. Pretty common for them to "petrify".

Thanks Don.  Now that I know what I'm looking at it appears that only 4 or 5 springs have the umbrellas still in place.  On the others I see pieces of them inside the spring at the bottom.  Are they critical to the proper functioning of the valve train or can I carefully remove the broken pieces from all the springs? I was hoping not to pull the heads on this project.

Scott
I doubt they're critical, the engine designers just put them there to liven the place up a bit

Gas is for cleaning parts, alcohol is for drinkin, nitro is for racin
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