Originally Posted by nourse
I adjusted the valves today on my 77 shovel and I thought I did it by the book but now it will not start. What is the best way to adjust them and what did I do wrong?
Assuming that you have stock hydraulics:
1. Remove pushrods.
2. Remove hyd. units from each tappet. Yes, they will come out.
3. Use a piece of wire in the tip to deflate and empty the hyd. units. (4 each)
4. Replace hyd. units, tubes and pushrods, loosely. Start with front cylinder for no particular reason.
5. Remove spark plugs.
6. Locate TDC on front clyinder compression stroke. I watch until the lifters are both down on the front cylinder and I use a piece of aluminum welding rod to find TDC through the plug hole. Use a long piece so it won't get lost in there.
7. Adjust front cyl. lifters until there is just noticeable shake on each one.
8. Adjust another 9 flats (one and one half turns) to partially compress hyd, unit. Then tighten locknuts and button up front tubes.
9. Repeat for rear cylinder after finding TDC on compression stroke with both lifters at bottom.
10. Replace plugs.
The engine will clack for about five minutes and will eventually shut down.
I hope you didn't damage your valves on your attempt to adjust the valves. You may have adjusted the valves too tight so that they are lifted off of the seats very slightly. This shouldn't hurt if you aren't too far off.........The procedures outlined above are paraphrased from the service manual.
BTW. I run 60 wt Harley or Rev Tech oil. Some say to use 20-50 in Shovelheads but I don't like it. My lifters are always quiet with 60 wt.
Let us know how you do. I would also recommend getting a HD Service Manual.