Valve adjustment

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I've read in the few past days a couple posts about valve adjustment. I was just wondering how exactly you would make an adjustment to your valves. Is it an adjustment on the cams, or is it actually physically moving the valves away from the combustion chamber or what exactly?

The reason I ask is just for general knowledge, and also because I have a non-honda car that I think could use some definite valve adjustment (runs on 3 of 4 cylinders when cold and always sounds like there is no oil in the engine) I understand that it would be different for each manufacturer as to the specifics... but in general?

Thanks :worthy:
a vavle adjustment is more of a slang term, and it confuses people regularly. It actually dosn't do anything to the valve persay.

It should be properly referred to as a "valve lash adjustment" the valve lash is the amout of slack or space between the rocker arm tip and the valve stem. When then valve lash is out of tolerance it'll sound like a ticking noise which can be rather annoying. and an adjustment is called for to bring the vavle lash back in tolerance. The noise of an out of tolerance valve lash can often be confused with the sound of fuel injectors. This noise of the injectors has a similar ticking noise when injecting fuel into the motor.

To adjust vavle lash, you first need to find the specs for the engine in question. the tolerance for vavle lash will be denoted in thousands of inches ie. +/- .005 inchs (or miliimeters depending on the make of the car).
When you know what the spec is you can now get to work.

First off the engine should be cold (not run for at lest a 24hr period). You'll need a feeler gauge to do this, A feeler gauge is a tool to measure the distance or gap between things.. The vavle cover(s) need to be removed. and the engine needs to be set at TDC for cylinder # 1 after this is satisfied. you get out your feeler gauge and slide the gauge between the tip of the rocker arm and the top of the vavle stem for the intake and exhaust valves for cylinder #1. it shouldn't just slid in and it shouldn't drag out. If you find the vavle lash is out of spec, you should be able to adjust it this can vary from engine to engine on how the adjustment is made. after you've made an adjustment. recheck the vavle lash. and your done with cylinder #1. Then set the engine to TDC for cylinder #2 and repeat the steps to check and adjust the vavle. and then on to cylinder #3 etc.. etc ....

hope that's clear as mud for ya
by depends on what type of motor it is I was keeping demostic push rod motors in mind. they use hydrolic lifters which don't need adjustments. but they can be adjusted just not in the same manner as a ohv, or ohc engine.

I had to put "hydrolic" into the Civicland profanity filter so people were automatically corrected to "hyraulic"... :blink:
Wow, thanks for all the information guys. This was very beneficial. I have the factory service manuals around somewhere with the exact engine specs, but otherwise no manuals are around for the car like helms, chiltons, etc. I believe. (at least I've never seen them) The engine is a 1.6l SOHC nonfuel injected peugeot engine in a plymouth.

The engine has always sounded like all the valves need adjustment. My mechanic has just told me in the past that the engine just has noisy valves, and there is nothing to do about it, but I don't really believe that (hes my uncle and tries keeping me from wasting my time :huh: )
If you have the manuals, go digging and check out your valve lash clearance. It won't hurt you to take a look- just don't break any of the gaskets.

If you're looking for the lash specs, the factory values are sometimes listed on the underside of the hood. That's where they are on Hondas.
Originally posted by Calesta@Oct 30 2002, 11:58 AM

I had to put "hydrolic" into the Civicland profanity filter so people were automatically corrected to "hyraulic"... :blink:

Looks like we need a filter to change "hyraulic" to "hydraulic".. ;) :D B) :p
unless there is a problem, don't bother adjusting your valves. with vtec motors especially more times than not more damage is done than performance gained when adjusting valves.
What happens when your valves are ticking? I rebuilt my engine but didnt do a valve job on it and now after 1000 miles its ticking, wasnt before. Now im burning alot of oil. Lots of smoke :( I didnt replace the valve seals or the valve seats. Any suggestions. What does ticking valves cause thats bad for a engine? thanks