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Ka clearances. - Dave
A mate took his 35,000 mile Ka to the Ford dealer for it's MOT yesterday.

He claimed that since the last service it had a noisy tappet noise from the engine.

Valve clearances should be done every 10k service according to the manual.

Anyway the garage told him the clearences were fine but the tappets were out!!!

This is rubbish yeah?

1) Tappets and valve clearances are the same thing, no?
2) Surely they won't have touched them at a service yet as there's no way a 30k mike car would need it's valve clearances adjusted? A mate in the trade used to say it was about 100k before cars would wear far enough that you could *improve* them right with a feeler gauge... and on my OHV Skoda I checked them at 45k they were *still* fine.

Re: Ka clearances. - Cliff Pope
Tappets, aka cam-followers, can become noisy for other reasons than simply too much gap, eg wear in the tappet bores, or the rocker arm bushes (if this is a push-rod engine). Or the oil supply can be partly blocked to a particular tappet or bush, or a pushrod hole.
I'd give it a good flush and new oil. If the clearances are right I don't think a bit of noise matters much.
Cliff Pope
Typical Ka problem. - David Woollard

B-ll-cks...not exactly, but not well explained to your friend by the dealer.

The Ka engine is a very old basic design. On a modern "shimmed" overhead cam engine with frequent oil changes the clearences may well be in spec for the life of the engine (100,000+).

But with the old engines with normal adjustable tappets they could well go out. If it is in the schedule then the dealers should do it!

The other problem with these engines is that they suffer from valve gear wear due to (often) too long intervals between oil changes and short runs.

Look on the Car by Car Breakdown on this site for comments on this. In my experience these engines often suffer serious valve gear wear by 40 - 60,000 miles. In that case it is possible to set the correct clearences and still have the valve noise.

Fiestas and Escorts with earlier variants of this engine suffer just the same. There are plenty in second car/pensioner ownership that are otherwise mint but ruined by this noise.

If you had the Skoda from brand new and know neither the dealer or yourself adjusted the tappets in 45,000 miles it just proves what a well designed engine that is.

Re: Typical Ka problem. - Dave
David Woollard wrote:

> If you had the Skoda from brand new and know neither the
> dealer or yourself adjusted the tappets in 45,000 miles it
> just proves what a well designed engine that is.

Oil changes every 6 months - no short journeys.

I *loved* that car.
Re: Typical Ka problem. - Adam Going (Tune-Up Ltd)
Perfect summary of the situation from David Woolard, as expected !

The later versions of the small OHV Ford engine are never the quietest lumps on the block, and in my experience the valve clearances usually require re-setting at least every 10,000, even with regular oil changes.

I suspect that inadequate provision for control of the timing chain tension causes undue stress on the whole valve train. Timing chains often need replacing at less than 50,000. I once saw a 25,000 mile engine where the chain had actually worn through the metal cover because it was so slack. The owner had ignored the noise, but was concerned by the oil on the driveway !

Regards, Adam
Re: Typical Ka problem. - Adam Going (Tune-Up Ltd)
Opps, sorry David, two 'l's in Woollard.

Regards again, Adam
Re: Typical Ka problem. - David Woollard

Thanks for the comments. I know these engines so well because they keep turning up in girls first cars etc. Usually bought at over top retail with low mileage, quite a shiny paint finish and the seller commenting they "just need the tappets doing, cost a few quid love".

And we know what that really means. Used to look after one that would come at about 20,000 mile intervals (with no interim oil changes by the owner). They "knew" it was a simple old Ford engine and "it didn't need all that servicing of modern cars". At 62,000 miles the engine was finished.

The other thing about these "nice little Fiesta for the missus" is the wicked amount of underbody rust often found on quite a tidy looking one. Makes a similar Citroen BX look very well rustproofed.

Re name spelling correction. In my old life with a proper job ( where others got dirty and I stayed clean) the guys used to say, if they had a letter of praise from senior management, the good wishes are all blown away if your name is spelt wrong at the top. The language was much much stronger than that and it was really important to them, I've always remembered that!

Re: Skoda engines. - Stuart B
Have commented on this before.
VW tried to blow up a Skoda designed engine, they could not do it even when one of their own engines would have given up the ghost long before.
Like Victor Kiam they liked it so much they bought the company.
Thanks guys!!!! - Dave
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