Customers regularly ask what the correct procedure is because that adjusting the valve lash on your engines. It appears that anyone castle ask gives a different procedure. The information and step-by-step procedure detailed below have to make it basic for just about everyone analysis this article to understand---from the proficient mechanic or racer to the do-it-yourselfer attempting it for the very very first time.

You are watching: How to adjust valves on a chevy 350

Please read this entire write-up to recognize correct valve adjustment measures for most engines.

Introduction come Adjusting Solid and Hydraulic Lifters:

The simplest means to readjust a hydraulic or heavy lifter camshaft, whether it is a level tappet or roller cam, is described below. However, the an initial step is come forget all the old info we have gathered from other individuals, books, and also what shop manuals have actually taught united state in the past.
Interpreting the information listed below incorrectly, or make the efforts to merge the actions I existing to you listed below with old knowledge can create more trouble and confusion because that you. Next, think about those points that can affect your valve lash, since you will need some basic common sense expertise of state and function before we acquire into this.
Before you start to readjust your valves, other considerations need to be addressed. Just putting a wrench on something and attempting to monitor the electronic came card, shop manual, or the advice of some friend or family member is not enough. The basics of just how the valetrain works is where we begin, after comment a few important questions.
What form of camer are friend running? (Hydraulic, Solid, Hydraulic Roller, heavy Roller, Mushroom Tappet)
Are we using aluminum heads?Do we have the correct valvetrain materials in use?Are every one of our valvetrain components in appropriate working condition?Are ours valve springs the correct size and tension because that the camshaft and also operating RPM?What form of steering (or racing) space we going come be utilizing the engine for?Do we have actually the suitable tools and straightforward knowledge required to readjust our very own valves?
The last one over is rather important. If after reading through this and you room still a little confused, please ask for assist or have actually someone else execute it. In the very least you can have someone who is an ext knowledgeable go you with the procedure we explain here to make certain you recognize the procedure. If you are wondering what deserve to go wrong, below is a brief describing what can occur:
Poor running engine and low performanceFailed smog test (if this is a smog-legal street moved vehicle)Burnt exhaust valve(s)Broken valvetrain contents (springs, pushrods, lifters, camshaft)Limited or lessened lifespan of valvetrain componentsExcessive valve guide and also valve chair wearBlown increase engineLose an essential Race!Empty, or placed a an extensive dent in your bank account
The above list, though quite basic to understand, have to scare us! that takes only a few thousandths that an inch (0.001") of adjustment error come cause any kind of one or much more of the problems listed above.
For those the us through Ford, GM LS-Series, and other engines that make use of "Non-Adjustable" valvetrain ... WE need to verify the our machinist did their task correctly when setup the valve stem heights, and also then we MUST likewise verify ideal plunger depth once using Hydraulic Lifters. If we switch to solid lifters that is mandatory the we transform to an flexible valvetrain (I would additionally say that converting to adjustable valvetrain is mandatory in all racing applications and any application whereby we desire to have accurate control of our valve lash setting). Not doing for this reason is asking for serious problems!


I have actually written this write-up somewhat backwards, and also I have actually a very good reason for doing so. I desire to expose you to the procedure and also then explain how the works and why it works. Experience with our customers has actually taught me that while I have asked you, the leader of this article, to forget what girlfriend may have been taught, such grand requests ~ above my component rarely occur. For some, the totality experience of adjusting an engine"s valvetrain is confusing enough.

Instead, ns will disclose the leader to the procedure to generate thought around how this works.

Please review through ENTIRE post before you start to adjust your valves!

ENGINE off Valve adjustment Procedure - The Quick and Accurate Way:

First, watch this an easy chart below for little and big Block Chevy Engines. Carry out you recognize what it describes? A more detailed explanation follows listed below the chart. For various other engines friend will use the firing order the matches her engine to develop a comparable chart. This graph is based top top "opposite" cylinders of your firing order. (see below)
with #1 cylinder entry Valve at complete valve lift .... Readjust #6 intake Valvewith #8 cylinder entry Valve at complete valve elevator .... Adjust #5 entry Valvewith #4 cylinder intake Valve at complete valve lift .... Adjust #7 intake Valvewith #3 cylinder intake Valve at complete valve lift .... Adjust #2 entry Valvewith #6 cylinder entry Valve at full valve elevator .... Readjust #1 intake Valvewith #5 cylinder entry Valve at full valve lift .... Readjust #8 intake Valvewith #7 cylinder input Valve at complete valve background .... Readjust #4 intake Valvewith #2 cylinder intake Valve at full valve background .... Adjust #3 intake Valve
You will notice that this is the same procedure and sequence together the entry valves detailed above. Only now you space adjusting just the exhaust valves the exact same way.
with #1 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve lift .... Readjust #6 Exhaust Valvewith #8 cylinder Exhaust Valve at complete valve elevator .... Readjust #5 Exhaust Valvewith #4 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve elevator .... Change #7 Exhaust Valvewith #3 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve background .... Adjust #2 Exhaust Valvewith #6 cylinder Exhaust Valve at complete valve background .... Change #1 Exhaust Valvewith #5 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve elevator .... Adjust #8 Exhaust Valvewith #7 cylinder Exhaust Valve at complete valve elevator .... Readjust #4 Exhaust Valvewith #2 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve background .... Readjust #3 Exhaust Valve



TDC - top Dead Center, or wherein the piston is in ~ the top of the cylinder and both (all) valves for that cylinder are closed.
Zero Lash - No clearance, rocker is snug come the lifter. Top top a hydrualic lifer, the plunger is in the uppermost neutral place (not compressed)
In the chart over we check out that adjustments room being do on "opposite" valves on the engine rotation cycle. Small and big block Chevrolet engines usage a firing order of 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. What you are going to do is separate the order right into the two sides of the shooting order. These are "exact" opposites that put the opposing valve in ~ the correct place for adjustment, an interpretation the earlier side (base circle, or heell) the the camer lobe (see photo at left).
Using the chart below (common Chevy V8 firing order explained above) girlfriend will check out that #1 is opposite #6, and also vice-verse on the rather cylinders in sequence v the shooting order. This stop true for both intake and also exhaust valves.
This procedure functions on most V8 and also V6 engines. The little chart below is showing you opposing cylinders because that a small or large block Chevy V8 engine through the over firing order. What this is mirroring you is a an easy version of the over "opposite" list.

For other engines, right here are some common firing orders and their opposites. PLEASE VERIFY your engine"s shoot order. Do not rely on the below list.
AMC (most) V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as example above)
Buick V8 (most)1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as instance above)
Chrysler large Block & hem V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as instance above)
Chrysler small Block V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as example above)
Oldsmobile (1967-later) V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as instance above)
Pontiac (1955-1981) V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as example above)
Ford 5.0L HO, 351W, 351C, 351M, 400 V81-3-7-2-6-5-4-81 & 6; 3 & 5; 7 & 4; 2 & 8
Ford (most other) V81-5-4-2-6-3-7-81 & 6; 5 & 3; 4 & 7; 2 & 8

Importance of Lifter Position

If the position of the lifter on the camshaft lobe is anywhere other 보다 on the heel (note photo above) whereby there is NO ramp contact when do adjustments, the lash setup will be incorrect. This position is forced for each valve before you effort to carry out adjustments. The chart and procedure over ensures that the lifter is ~ above the backside that the camer lobe for each valve.

In the previous we were often instructed through the auto shop teacher or business manual to place each cylinder at TDC (piston at top Dead Center), and then adjust both valves for the cylinder. However, we often find that this is no the exactly procedure to obtain the suitable lash setting, especially on modern-day engines or agressive camshaft profiles. The picture at right reflects the forced position the the electronic came lobe connection to the lifter that ensures correct valve lash adjustment.


Ensuring that the lifter is positioned on the heel of the video camer lobe will certainly guarantee that the valve you room adjusting is fully closed. Any other position and also adjustments will NOT be accurate.
It is time to explain the actual wrench turning. How countless of us read or were taught that with a hydraulic lifter camshaft, us must change it down to wherein there is slight pushrod resistance (zero lash) and also then turn it down 3/4 or a full turn? ns was originally taught the wrong means too, both through instructors and also by following inaccurate procedures in assorted shop manuals. Once we complied with these methods, our adjustment most likely opened the valves slightly, preventing the valves indigenous closing every the way! Our valves to be not collection correctly!
The typical hydraulic lifter needs an adjustment that is roughly fifty percent the obtainable travel of the plunger. If an median hydraulic lifter plunger has actually a range of 0.060" (sixty hundreds of an inch) of travel from completely compressed to its static height where the pushrod seat is up versus the retaining ring, fifty percent of that distance will be +/- 0.030" (thirty countless an inch). This means that us must change the valves come fall in between the depth the the plunger in the lifter drops. If changed too tight (the plunger completely compressed) the valves stay open slightly, and do not close every the way. This removes the necessary cooling time (lash) that gets rid of heat native the valve stem.
If the convey is also loose, the valvetrain will certainly be loud, and damage may occur to the valve reminder (top the the valve stem), rocker arm, press rod, pushrod seat, the lifter, and camshaft lobes.
How execute we attain a 0.030" or focused plunger depth? On newly assembled engines I will actually usage a dial indicator and also measure the street of travel on the brand-new lifter. ~ above an finish engine, particularly one currently in the auto this is harder come do.
I have actually two procedures that I usage to change hydraulic lifters. One offers the "clean" an approach with the engine rotate off, and also the other is the messy way with the engine running and squirting oil everywhere. I favor a "clean" adjustment, and also only use the messy way as a critical resort.
For the messy technique I fabricate tradition cut-up supplied valve covers, oil deflectors, and also other methods in an attempt to save the oil in the engine. Staying clear of oil indigenous splashing all over the engine compartment and off the ground deserve to be an extreme chore the takes consideration and planning!
If the engine is complete and also installed in the vehicle, heat up the engine by to run it till it it s okay to operating temperature (15-minutes or so). "Cold" adjustments must only be provided on brand-new engines on as a preliminary adjustment on the engine stand. When a new engine has actually been started and also intial break-in actions complete, readjusting the valves "hot" is recommended.
Have all necessary tools ready and then easily remove the valve cover(s) when the engine is at operating temperature.Begin the adjustment procedure by utilizing the graph above, or one to match your shooting order and also opposites.With the #1 intake valve at full LIFT --- This method that you revolve the engine by hand till the input valve on the #1 cylinder is totally open (watch the rocker arm press down ~ above the peak of the valve stem, compressing the valve spring till it stops moving downward) --- and readjust the entry valve ~ above "opposite in firing order" cylinder. Constantly remember, opposing valve engine firing bespeak dependent. Know your engine"s firing order!Go come ths opposite cylinder. This technical write-up uses the common firing order for little and big block Chevy engines together the example, therefore this would be the #6 cylinder.Loosen the rocker seed (if making use of roller rockers there is typically a Jam Nut that you must first loosen through an Allen wrench) ~ above the #6 input valve.Take 2 fingers and spin the pushrod earlier and forth between them to feeling for resistance.Carefully snug the adjustment nut and STOP once you feeling resistance in the pushrod as it uses pressure come the socket in the rocker arm and also lifter, this is considered "zero lash."Turn the wrench 1/8 to 1/4 turn (see below) because that performance, racing, or high RPM applications. Rotate the wrench 1/4 come 1/2 revolve for share or gentle street applications. Because that applications the regularly operate at regular high RPM, use the contempt lighter setting of (1/8 turn).If her valvetrain offers poly-locks, remember to reset (snug) the Allen screwThe adjustment because that this valve is currently complete!Turn the engine through hand progressively to the next cylinder / valve in the shoot order.Repeat the above steps, beginning at #3 v #10, however use the next cylinder in the sequence. In ours Chevy V8 example this is the entry valve for the #8 cylinderContinue with all the input valves and also then begin the procedure over for the exhaust.
This is one more area that has been taught wrong in auto shop classes and really expensive organization manuals due to the fact that the 1950"s. Imagine the hands on a clock. You have actually the apparent 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 o"clock positions as well as the number in-between those points. Begin with your wrench in ~ the 12:00 position and also turn the clockwise to the 6:00 place you have just make 1/2 turn. Going from 12:00 come the 3:00 position would be 1/4 turn. Plenty of manuals speak to change the valves three quarters come one complete turn ... THIS IS INCORRECT!!!!
Perform this procedure the same way for all the entry valves, then change the exhaust valves the same way.
PRECAUTION: once working on older high mileage engines or those that use poor quality lifters you may experience a problem where the lifters bleed off push (drain the oil out of the lifter body), leading to inaccurate valve adjustment. Oil have to remain in the hydraulic lifter in order come achieve an accurate valve lash setting. If repeated attempts to change the valves utilizing the "cold adjustment" procedure fails, lifters bleeding off might be the cause. Two choices exist to solve this issue. ONE: change the lifters or TWO: readjust the valves making use of the "HOT" running an approach described below.
TIP: One way to call if this is occurring (bleeding turn off or no oil) is by watching the rocker eight while applying the 1/8 come 1/2 rotate of the wrench. If the rocker pushes the valve stem down instead of the pushrod, you space opening the valve rather of adjusting the lifter!
So you really prefer oily messes? This has to be one of the many miserable maintenance actions if you do not properly arrangement ahead.
Adjust just one next of the engine at a time.Use oil restrictors (deflectors) on the rocker arms, or much better yet a butchered up old valve sheathe that has actually an access cut right into the peak of it come facilitate adjustment access AND oil deflectorsStay calm ... Friend WILL obtain burnt, you will certainly make a mess and also you will not look front to act this again, specifically if you screw increase the first time.Using a mechanic"s stethoscope can substantially do this procedure easier, especially if the engine is loud or you have actually hearing issues.
Adjusting hydraulic lifters through the engine running is not among my favorite activities (as you can tell by how numerous times I cite my distaste because that it). With the over considerations addressed you are all set to go:
Start the engine and permit it to warmth up.Turn turn off the engineRemove one valve cover and also install her deflector clips, custom valve cover, or every little thing apparatus you room using to store the oil splash to a minimum.Start the engine ago up.Begin to loosen among the rocker eight adjusting nuts. You must hear the valvetrain simply start come "clatter".Slowly tighten the rocker nut down simply until the larger "clatter" stopsTurn the wrench second 1/8 - 1/2 turn to collection the plunger depth (lifter preload).Continue (repeat) this procedure on every of the staying the valves.Turn off the engineRemove your oil splash apparatus and also re-install the valve coverRepeat these procedures on the various other side of your engine (if a V8)
If girlfriend hear extreme noises or the engine runs rough and also poorly you will be act the procedure again. As proclaimed above, if friend have accessibility to a mechanic"s stethoscope, friend can set the finish at the optimal of the rocker stud to listen to the noise a loosened adjustment makes, which help finding "zero" lash easier.
IMPORTANT WARNING: If you do a mess, PLEASE usage environmentally conscious methods to clean up any kind of oil spills and then inspect your oil level. You would be surprised at exactly how quickly, and how lot oil have the right to spill once performing valve adjustments with the engine running if you space not maybe to keep the oil in the engine!
The measures for heavy lifter convey are similar to hydraulic lifter adjustments. However, instead of turning a wrench 1/8 to 1/2 turn we will be using a feeler gauge come verify the lash setting.
First, warm the engine to operating temperature (about 15-minutes) and then conveniently remove both that the valve covers. Monitor the adjustment graph above. Through the #1 intake valve at full LIFT. This means that you revolve the engine by hand until the entry valve on the #1 cylinder is fully open (watch the rocker arm push down top top the optimal of the valve stem, compressing the valve spring till it stops moving downward). You have the right to now adjust the input valve ~ above "opposite in shooting order" cylinder (see the above chart). Remember, the opposite is engine firing stimulate dependent. In this post I am utilizing the little and big block Chevy engines as the example, for this reason this would certainly be the #6 cylinder. Loosen the rocker slighly (if using roller rockers over there is typically a Jam Nut the you must very first loosen through an Allen Wrench).
Based ~ above your electronic came card (cam specifications detailed by the camshaft manufacturer) you should understand what the valve lash setup should it is in in thousandths of an inch for both the exhaust and intake valves. For some camshafts these clearances will certainly be the same (intake and exhaust), and also others may display a value higher (more lash) for the hot exhaust valve.
For example, a electronic came card proposal a valve lash setting of .022". Acquire out the .022" feeler gauge and also place it in between the top of the valve stem and the rocker arm tip. Snug under the rocker "just" till you start to dropped resistance. You should be slide the feeler gauge earlier and forth gently top top stock layout slotted rocker arms, or gently side-to-side if making use of roller tip rockers. The valve lash setup should no be tight --- the feeling have to be about the same as putting a table knife with a rod of cold butter. Not also hard, not too soft. The is advantageous to usage "positive-lock" format rocker eight retention fasteners rather of the straightforward pinched rocker nuts or Nylox. If using rocker nuts your project is done, go to the next valve. If using positive-locks, organize the human body of the lock in ar with a box end or open end wrench (there room special tools accessible to just this procedure if you want to spend the $$$ on them) and then carefully tighten the Allen collection screw in the center of the posi-lock.
When installing a new camshaft, the engine will obviously it is in cold. The problem is the the listed lash specifications space for one engine that has actually been to run long sufficient to it is in at typical operating temperatures. What can we carry out in this situation? over there is a traditional correction factor that can be supplied to get us close to the required settings. We must now think about the material alloys the the various engine parts, since the thermal development of this components impact the valve lash in various ways. Because of this the correction element used for our lash setting will count upon even if it is the cylinder heads and block room made out of actors iron or aluminum.
Take the "hot" setting provided to in the camer manufacturer"s catalog or indigenous the electronic came card the came with the camshaft. Use the figures listed below to transform the initial lash specifications to get a "cold" lash setting.
Using iron block and also iron heads, add .002"Using steel block and aluminum heads, subtract .006"Using both aluminum block and heads, subtract .012"
WARNING: This mediate adjustment is only an approximation, and also is just meant to gain the valve lash "close" for the initial brand-new engine start up. After correctly warming up the engine to regular operating temperatures, go ago and readjust all the valves to the stated "hot" valve lash settings.
This is a little extra tip frequently unknown to many engine builders and also tuners. Most world do no realize that you can make subtle performance renovations by slightly reducing or enhancing the recommended lash settings. NOTE: This is for SOLID LIFTER camshafts only (tappet or roller)!
The intake and exhaust valves cannot move until all the to run clearance (valve lash) has actually been taken up. Therefore, the lot of valve lash you usage affects the engine"s performance. Because that example, by reduce the amount of (hot) valve lash, the valve will open slightly sooner, provide slightly much more lift (valve opening), and will close contempt later. This makes the camshaft watch bigger come the engine, because of this slight rise of duration and also lift. Raising the quantity of (hot) lash the opposite occurs. The valve will open up later, administer slightly lift less, and close slightly sooner. Currently the engine watch a smaller electronic came with slightly less actual duration and lift. BE cautious - ns am arguing you begin with only 0.001 - 0.003" of readjust in lash. Crazy trial and error can destroy your engine!

Use this tuning method to experiment, recognize what the engine responds to, then keep the setup that works the best. Just remember, the an ext lash you run, the noisier the valve train will be, and damage may take place if you space not careful. If the clearance is too much it can be harsh or damaging to various other valve train components as well. Therefore, prolonged running of the engine is not recommend to boost the lot of lash by more than +0.004" from the encourage setting. No one is reduce the lash by more than -0.008" recommended.
Reducing the lash will increase top end (upper RPM power) horsepowerIncreasing the lash have the right to improve low end torque and also acceleration.
As mentioned above, the power band can change slightly on an engine making use of a heavy lifter camshaft by differing valve lash settings. A looser lash setup increases the low-end strength of the engine whereby a tighter lash increases top-end power. Cautious consideration is necessary for these tweaks since the valve lash is the "Cooling Time" that the valve requirements on each cycle. If you have actually too little, or no lash, you take it a chance of burning the valves.Using roller rocker arms significantly increases valve overview life, boosts horsepower and likewise maintains far better valve lash settings. Usage them whenver girlfriend can! Shaft format rockers are ideal (less deflection). Stainless stole rockers carry out less "over the valve weight", i beg your pardon is GOOD. Aluminum, though much less expensive will certainly deflect much more and boost the actual weight over the valve stem. The added weight might not seem an important to you, yet this is considered reciprocal weight, which slows down all the materials related come it.Additionally, too loosened a valve lash setup can damages the valve stem and also increase possibility of premature failure of the roller rocker tips. If utilizing OEM style, stamped steel rocker arms, you can fracture the rocker eight or bitterly the fulcrum.Engine materials, engine operation RPM, and valvetrain deflection contribute to differing valve lash settings. The greater the RPM, the cheaper the components you use, and the performance and reliability differences between varieties of materials add to more frequent valve lash adjustments. (By the way, when you space in there through the valve consist of off, do the effort to test her valve feather pressures. There space tools accessible for installed trial and error of feather pressures).There is cost-free horsepower when using a Roller Cam. If you have the right to afford it, carry out it! Plus, as soon as using a roller cam, friend can adjust camshafts there is no the require to adjust lifters or the walk through required lifter break-in procedures, i m sorry is mandatory through Hydraulic or hard "tappet" camshafts.

See more: How Has The Executive Article Fueled Debate On Presidential Power ?

Like this article? Let united state know.





about Us Privacy Ordering frequently asked questions Shipping Returns and Warranties tech Zone support Knowledgebase instructions Sitemap