Customers often ask what the exactly procedure is for adjusting the valve lash on your engines. It appears that anyone they ask provides a different procedure. The information and step-by-step procedure noted below need to make it easy for just about everyone analysis this post to understand---from the knowledgeable 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 check out this entire short article to understand correct valve adjustment measures for many engines.

Introduction come Adjusting Solid and also Hydraulic Lifters:

The simplest method to readjust a hydraulic or hard lifter camshaft, whether it is a flat tappet or roller cam, is defined below. However, the first step is to forget all the old details we have gathered from other individuals, books, and also what shop manuals have actually taught united state in the past.
Interpreting the information below incorrectly, or trying to merge the measures I existing to you listed below with old knowledge can create much more trouble and also confusion for you. Next, take into consideration those points that can impact your valve lash, since you will need some basic common sense understanding of state and function before we gain into this.
Before you begin to adjust your valves, various other considerations need to be addressed. Simply putting a wrench top top something and also attempting to monitor the camer card, shop manual, or the advice of some friend or loved one is not enough. The basics of just how the valetrain works is whereby we begin, after comment a few important questions.
What kind of camer are you running? (Hydraulic, Solid, Hydraulic Roller, solid Roller, Mushroom Tappet)
Are we utilizing aluminum heads?Do we have the correct valvetrain materials in use?Are every one of our valvetrain components in proper working condition?Are our valve springs the exactly size and also tension for the camshaft and also operating RPM?What form of control (or racing) are we going come be using the engine for?Do we have actually the suitable tools and straightforward knowledge compelled to adjust our own valves?
The critical one over is fairly important. If after analysis through this and you room still a bit confused, you re welcome ask for help or have someone else perform it. In the very least you have the right to have someone who is much more knowledgeable go you with the process we define here to make certain you recognize the procedure. If you room wondering what deserve to go wrong, here is a short describing what have the right to occur:
Poor running engine and low performanceFailed smog check (if this is a smog-legal street driven vehicle)Burnt exhaust valve(s)Broken valvetrain components (springs, pushrods, lifters, camshaft)Limited or lessened lifespan of valvetrain componentsExcessive valve guide and valve seat wearBlown up engineLose vital Race!Empty, or put a comprehensive dent in your bank account
The over list, though quite an easy to understand, have to scare us! it takes just a few thousandths the an customs (0.001") of adjustment error come cause any kind of one or more of the problems noted above.
For those the us with Ford, GM LS-Series, and other engines that make use of "Non-Adjustable" valvetrain ... WE need to verify the our machinist did their job correctly when setup the valve stem heights, and also then we MUST additionally verify proper plunger depth as soon as using Hydraulic Lifters. If we switch to solid lifters it is mandatory that we convert to an adjustable valvetrain (I would also say the converting to flexible valvetrain is obligated in every racing applications and any application where we desire to have accurate regulate of our valve lash setting). No doing for this reason is questioning for severe problems!


I have actually written this post somewhat backwards, and also I have actually a very good reason for doing so. I desire to reveal you come the procedure and then define how the works and why it works. Experience with our customers has actually taught me that while I have actually asked you, the reader of this article, to forget what friend may have actually been taught, such grand requests ~ above my component rarely occur. Because that some, the whole experience of adjusting one engine"s valvetrain is confound enough.

Instead, ns will expose the reader to the procedure to generate thought about how this works.

Please check out through ENTIRE post before you begin to readjust your valves!

ENGINE turn off Valve mediate Procedure - The Quick and also Accurate Way:

First, check out this basic chart below for little and big Block Chevy Engines. Perform you recognize what it describes? A more detailed explanation follows listed below the chart. For other engines you will use the firing order that matches your engine to produce a comparable chart. This graph is based upon "opposite" cylinders of her firing order. (see below)
with #1 cylinder entry Valve at full valve elevator .... Adjust #6 intake Valvewith #8 cylinder entry Valve at full valve elevator .... Adjust #5 intake Valvewith #4 cylinder entry Valve at complete valve elevator .... Change #7 input Valvewith #3 cylinder intake Valve at complete valve lift .... Readjust #2 input Valvewith #6 cylinder entry Valve at full valve elevator .... Readjust #1 entry Valvewith #5 cylinder entry Valve at full valve background .... Readjust #8 intake Valvewith #7 cylinder input Valve at complete valve background .... Adjust #4 intake Valvewith #2 cylinder intake Valve at full valve background .... Readjust #3 intake Valve
You will notice that this is the very same procedure and also sequence as the input valves noted above. Only currently you are adjusting only the exhaust valves the same way.
with #1 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve lift .... Readjust #6 Exhaust Valvewith #8 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve elevator .... Change #5 Exhaust Valvewith #4 cylinder Exhaust Valve at complete valve elevator .... Change #7 Exhaust Valvewith #3 cylinder Exhaust Valve at complete valve lift .... Change #2 Exhaust Valvewith #6 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve lift .... Adjust #1 Exhaust Valvewith #5 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve background .... Adjust #8 Exhaust Valvewith #7 cylinder Exhaust Valve at full valve background .... Adjust #4 Exhaust Valvewith #2 cylinder Exhaust Valve at complete valve background .... Readjust #3 Exhaust Valve



TDC - peak Dead Center, or wherein the piston is in ~ the height of the cylinder and both (all) valves for the cylinder room closed.
Zero Lash - No clearance, rocker is snug to the lifter. ~ above a hydrualic lifer, the plunger is in the uppermost neutral position (not compressed)
In the chart above we view that adjustments are being make on "opposite" valves ~ above 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 carry out is separate the order right into the 2 sides that the shoot order. These room "exact" opposites that put the opposing valve at the correct ar for adjustment, definition the ago side (base circle, or heell) that the electronic came lobe (see image at left).
Using the chart below (common Chevy V8 firing order defined above) you will watch that #1 is the contrary #6, and also vice-verse ~ above the others cylinders in sequence v the shooting order. This holds true because that both intake and exhaust valves.
This procedure works on most V8 and also V6 engines. The little chart listed below is showing you the opposite cylinders for a tiny or big block Chevy V8 engine v the over firing order. What this is showing you is a an easy version of the above "opposite" list.

For other engines, below are some usual firing orders and their opposites. PLEASE VERIFY her engine"s shoot order. Do not depend on the listed 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 example above)
Chrysler huge Block & hemi V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as example above)
Chrysler little Block V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as instance above)
Oldsmobile (1967-later) V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as example above)
Pontiac (1955-1981) V81-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (same as instance 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 the Lifter Position

If the position of the lifter ~ above the camshaft lobe is all over other than on the heel (note photo above) where there is NO ramp contact when making adjustments, the lash setting will be incorrect. This place is compelled for every valve prior to you attempt to carry out adjustments. The chart and also procedure above ensures the the lifter is on the backside the the video camer lobe because that each valve.

In the past we were often instructed by the auto shop teacher or business manual to position each cylinder at TDC (piston at peak Dead Center), and also then change both valves for that cylinder. However, we often uncover that this is no the correct procedure to attain the proper lash setting, specifically on modern engines or agressive camshaft profiles. The picture at right shows the required position the the camer lobe partnership to the lifter that ensures correct valve lash adjustment.


Ensuring the the lifter is positioned on the hoe of the electronic came lobe will certainly guarantee that the valve you space adjusting is totally closed. Any kind of other position and also adjustments will NOT be accurate.
It is time to define the actual wrench turning. How countless of us check out or were taught that with a hydraulic lifter camshaft, we must adjust it under to whereby there is slight pushrod resistance (zero lash) and then revolve it under 3/4 or a complete turn? i was initially taught the wrong method too, both by instructors and also by complying with inaccurate actions in assorted shop manuals. As soon as we complied with these methods, our adjustment likely opened the valves slightly, preventing the valves from closing every the street! Our valves were not set correctly!
The usual hydraulic lifter requires an adjustment that is roughly half the accessible travel of the plunger. If an median hydraulic lifter plunger has a variety of 0.060" (sixty hundreds of an inch) of take trip from totally compressed to its static height where the pushrod chair is up against the retaining ring, fifty percent of the distance will certainly be +/- 0.030" (thirty thousands of an inch). This method that us must adjust the valves to fall in between the depth that the plunger in the lifter drops. If readjusted too chop (the plunger completely compressed) the valves stay open slightly, and do no close every the way. This clears the vital cooling time (lash) that removes heat from the valve stem.
If the adjustment is as well loose, the valvetrain will certainly be loud, and damage may take place to the valve pointer (top that the valve stem), rocker arm, press rod, pushrod seat, the lifter, and also camshaft lobes.
How execute we achieve a 0.030" or centered plunger depth? On newly assembled engines I will certainly actually use a dial indicator and measure the distance of take trip on the brand-new lifter. Top top an finish engine, specifically one already in the automobile this is harder to do.
I have two measures that I use to change hydraulic lifters. One offers the "clean" method with the engine turn off, and also the various other is the messy method with the engine running and also squirting oil everywhere. I choose a "clean" adjustment, and also only use the messy means as a critical resort.
For the messy technique I fabricate tradition cut-up offered valve covers, oil deflectors, and also other methods in an attempt to store the oil in the engine. Staying clear of oil indigenous splashing everywhere the engine compartment and off the ground have the right to be an intense chore the takes consideration and also planning!
If the engine is complete and also installed in the vehicle, warm up the engine by running it until it gets to operating temperature (15-minutes or so). "Cold" adjustments need to only be supplied on new engines on together a preliminary adjustment on the engine stand. Once a new engine has actually been started and also intial break-in procedures complete, readjusting the valves "hot" is recommended.
Have all vital tools ready and also then quickly remove the valve cover(s) if the engine is at operation temperature.Begin the adjustment procedure by utilizing the graph above, or one to enhance your firing order and also opposites.With the #1 input valve at complete LIFT --- This means that you turn the engine by hand till the intake valve on the #1 cylinder is completely open (watch the rocker arm press down on the peak of the valve stem, compressing the valve spring until it stops moving downward) --- and change the input valve on "opposite in firing order" cylinder. Constantly remember, the opposite valve engine firing order dependent. Know your engine"s firing order!Go come ths the contrary cylinder. This technical article uses the common firing stimulate for tiny and large block Chevy engines as the example, for this reason this would be the #6 cylinder.Loosen the rocker seed (if using roller rockers there is typically a Jam Nut that you must an initial loosen with an Allen wrench) ~ above the #6 input valve.Take two fingers and also spin the pushrod ago and forth in between them to feel for resistance.Carefully snug the convey 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 rotate (see below) for performance, racing, or high RPM applications. Revolve the wrench 1/4 come 1/2 rotate for stock or mild street applications. Because that applications that regularly operate at continual high RPM, use the slightly lighter setting of (1/8 turn).If your valvetrain uses poly-locks, remember to reset (snug) the Allen screwThe adjustment because that this valve is now complete!Turn the engine through hand progressively to the following cylinder / valve in the shoot order.Repeat the above steps, starting at #3 through #10, however use the following cylinder in the sequence. In our 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 an additional area that has actually been teach wrong in auto shop class and an extremely expensive service manuals because the 1950"s. Imagine the hand on a clock. You have the obvious 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 o"clock positions as well as the number in-between those points. Start with your wrench in ~ the 12:00 position and turn it clockwise to the 6:00 position you have just made 1/2 turn. Going native 12:00 to the 3:00 place would it is in 1/4 turn. Numerous manuals say to adjust the valves three quarters to one complete turn ... THIS IS INCORRECT!!!!
Perform this procedure the same way for every the intake valves, then readjust the exhaust valves the exact same way.
PRECAUTION: when working on older high mileage engines or those the use negative quality lifters you may experience a problem where the lifters bleed off push (drain the oil out of the lifter body), bring about inaccurate valve adjustment. Oil must remain in the hydraulic lifter in order to achieve an exact valve lash setting. If recurring attempts to readjust the valves using the "cold adjustment" procedure fails, lifters bleeding off may be the cause. Two options exist to deal with this issue. ONE: change the lifters or TWO: adjust the valves utilizing the "HOT" running an approach described below.
TIP: One means to phone call if this is developing (bleeding 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 rather of the pushrod, you room 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 execute not properly setup ahead.
Adjust just one next of the engine at a time.Use oil restrictors (deflectors) ~ above the rocker arms, or far better yet a butchered increase old valve covering that has actually an accessibility cut right into the height of it come facilitate adjustment access AND oil deflectorsStay calm ... Friend WILL acquire burnt, you will certainly make a mess and you will not look front to law this again, particularly if friend screw up the very first time.Using a mechanic"s stethoscope deserve to substantially do this procedure easier, specifically if the engine is according to or you have hearing issues.
Adjusting hydraulic lifters with the engine to run is not one of my favorite tasks (as you deserve to tell by how numerous times I mention my distaste because that it). With the over considerations handle you are all set to go:
Start the engine and permit it to warm up.Turn off the engineRemove one valve cover and also install her deflector clips, custom valve cover, or every little thing apparatus you are using to save the oil splash to a minimum.Start the engine back up.Begin to loosen among the rocker eight adjusting nuts. You should hear the valvetrain simply start to "clatter".Slowly tighten the rocker nut down just until the enlarge "clatter" stopsTurn the wrench an additional 1/8 - 1/2 turn to collection the plunger depth (lifter preload).Continue (repeat) this procedure on each of the remaining the valves.Turn 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 friend hear excessive noises or the engine operation rough and also poorly you will be law the procedure again. As stated above, if girlfriend have access to a mechanic"s stethoscope, girlfriend can set the end at the height of the rocker stud to hear to the noise a loose adjustment makes, which help finding "zero" lash easier.
IMPORTANT WARNING: If you make a mess, PLEASE usage environmentally aware methods to clean up any oil spills and also then examine your oil level. You would be surprised at exactly how quickly, and also how lot oil have the right to spill when performing valve adjustments with the engine to run if you room not may be to save the oil in the engine!
The measures for hard lifter convey are similar to hydraulic lifter adjustments. However, rather of transforming a wrench 1/8 to 1/2 revolve we will certainly be using a feeler gauge come verify the lash setting.
First, warm the engine to operating temperature (about 15-minutes) and then quickly remove both that the valve covers. Follow the adjustment graph above. V the #1 intake valve at full LIFT. This way that you rotate the engine through hand till the intake valve on the #1 cylinder is completely open (watch the rocker arm push down ~ above the height of the valve stem, compressing the valve spring until it stops relocating downward). You can now change the input valve on "opposite in firing order" cylinder (see the over chart). Remember, opposing is engine firing order dependent. In this post I am making use of the small and huge block Chevy engines as the example, therefore this would be the #6 cylinder. Ease the rocker slighly (if using roller rockers there is commonly a Jam Nut the you must first loosen v an Allen Wrench).
Based upon your video camer card (cam specifications detailed by the camshaft manufacturer) girlfriend should recognize what the valve lash setup should be in thousandths of an inch for both the exhaust and also intake valves. For part camshafts these clearances will certainly be the same (intake and exhaust), and also others may show a value greater (more lash) for the hotter exhaust valve.
For example, a video camer card recommends a valve lash setting of .022". Acquire out the .022" feeler gauge and place it in between the height of the valve stem and also the rocker eight tip. Snug under the rocker "just" till you begin to fell resistance. You have to be sliding the feeler gauge back and soon gently ~ above stock layout slotted rocker arms, or tenderness side-to-side if using roller reminder rockers. The valve lash setting should not be chop --- the feeling have to be around the exact same as putting a table knife through a pole of cold butter. Not too hard, not also soft. The is valuable to usage "positive-lock" style rocker arm retention fasteners rather of the straightforward pinched rocker nuts or Nylox. If using rocker nuts your task is done, walk to the following valve. If using positive-locks, host the human body of the lock in ar with a box finish or open end wrench (there room special tools accessible to simply this procedure if you desire to invest the $$$ top top them) and then closely tighten the Allen set screw in the center of the posi-lock.
When installing a brand-new camshaft, the engine will certainly obviously be cold. The difficulty is the the provided lash specifications space for one engine that has actually been to run long sufficient to be at regular operating temperatures. What deserve to we perform in this situation? there is a typical correction aspect that can be used to obtain us close to the compelled settings. We must now consider the product alloys the the various engine parts, since the thermal growth of these components affect the valve lash in various ways. Therefore the correction variable used for our lash setup will rely upon whether the cylinder heads and also block are made out of actors iron or aluminum.
Take the "hot" setting provided to in the electronic came manufacturer"s directory or indigenous the cam card that came through the camshaft. Usage the figures below to transform the original lash specifications to get a "cold" lash setting.
Using stole block and iron heads, include .002"Using stole block and aluminum heads, subtract .006"Using both aluminum block and heads, subtract .012"
WARNING: This mediate adjustment is only an approximation, and is only meant to acquire the valve lash "close" for the initial brand-new engine start up. After effectively warming increase the engine to regular operating temperatures, go earlier and readjust every the valves come the mentioned "hot" valve lash settings.
This is a little extra tip regularly unknown to countless engine builders and tuners. Most world do no realize the you can make ethereal performance enhancements by contempt reducing or increasing the encourage lash settings. NOTE: This is because that SOLID LIFTER camshafts just (tappet or roller)!
The intake and also exhaust valves cannot relocate until every the to run clearance (valve lash) has actually been take away up. Therefore, the quantity of valve lash you usage affects the engine"s performance. Because that example, by reducing the lot of (hot) valve lash, the valve will open up slightly sooner, carry out slightly more lift (valve opening), and will close slightly later. This renders the camshaft look at bigger to the engine, as result of this slight rise of duration and also lift. Enhancing the amount of (hot) lash the opposite occurs. The valve will open up later, carry out slightly elevator less, and close slightly sooner. Now the engine look at a smaller electronic came with slightly less actual duration and also lift. BE cautious - i am suggesting you start with just 0.001 - 0.003" of adjust in lash. Crazy experimentation can ruin your engine!

Use this tuning an approach to experiment, recognize what the engine responds to, then keep the setup that functions the best. Simply remember, the an ext lash friend run, the noisier the valve train will be, and also damage may take place if you are not careful. If the clearance is too much it can be harsh or damaging to other valve train components as well. Therefore, an extensive running of the engine is no recommend to increase the quantity of lash by much more than +0.004" native the recommended setting. No one is to reduce the lash by much more than -0.008" recommended.
Reducing the lash will increase top end (upper RPM power) horsepowerIncreasing the lash have the right to improve low finish torque and acceleration.
As pointed out above, the power band can adjust slightly on one engine utilizing a solid lifter camshaft by varying valve lash settings. A looser lash setting increases the low-end power of the engine whereby a tighter lash increases top-end power. Cautious consideration is vital for these tweaks since the valve lash is the "Cooling Time" that the valve needs on each cycle. If you have too little, or no lash, you take a possibility of burn the valves.Using roller rocker arms considerably increases valve guide life, boosts horsepower and likewise maintains better valve lash settings. Use them whenver girlfriend can! Shaft format rockers are best (less deflection). Stainless steel rockers provide less "over the valve weight", i beg your pardon is GOOD. Aluminum, though much less expensive will deflect more and boost the actual load over the valve stem. The included weight might not seem crucial to you, however this is considered reciprocal weight, i m sorry slows down all the components related to it.Additionally, too loosened a valve lash setting can damages the valve stem and 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 bile the fulcrum.Engine materials, engine operation RPM, and also valvetrain deflection add to varying valve lash settings. The greater the RPM, the cheaper the components you use, and also the performance and reliability differences between types of materials add to an ext frequent valve lash adjustments. (By the way, when you room in there with the valve consist of off, do the initiative to test her valve feather pressures. There are tools available for installed trial and error of spring pressures).There is cost-free horsepower as soon as using a Roller Cam. If you can afford it, do it! Plus, when using a roller cam, friend can adjust camshafts without the need to adjust lifters or the walk through forced lifter break-in procedures, which is mandatory with Hydraulic or hard "tappet" camshafts.

See more: Convert 22 Inches Is How Many Feet Are 22 Inches, Convert 22 Inches To Feet

Like this article? Let united state know.





about Us Privacy Ordering faqs Shipping Returns and Warranties technology Zone support Knowledgebase indict Sitemap