LS1LT1 Forum banner

adjusting valves

10341 Views 25 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Zee
I have owned this car for about 3 months and I recently have been getting some ticking from the valvetrain. It was time for an oil change so i went from a 5w-30 synthetic blend and napa filter that the previous owner used to 10w-30 castrol syntec and k & n hp2002 filter. Since doing that the tick has gotten more pronounced. I would like to adjust the valves. i read the procedure in the sticky and on

Does anyone have recommendations whether i should use the engine running or off methods?

If i adjust them with the engine off measuring when i cannot move the pushrod up or down anymore, should it be done with the engine hot or cold?

Also everything is stock on the car.

Thanks for the help!
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
I do mine with the engine off and valve by valve. If you wanna sweat, do it while the engines hot, otherwise, wait till it cools downs.

Find out where its coming from.

Buy a cheap stethoscope - Hobo Fake < 5 bucks. Locate the source - take the vlv covers off if needed.

You may have a failed lifter.

Thanks for the replies...

I will adjust them cold. I had just wondered, because i know on some cars your supposed to do it with the engine hot.

Hopefully it's not a lifter going out. it's definately coming from under the front of the drivers side valve cover. it's not super loud, just a steady tick, so i just wanted to check to see if they were a little loose.
run the motor until it gets to operating temp. shut off and let cool enough so you can comfortably remove valve covers. The internal temp will still be warm/hot (lifters).

I do it with engine off and the "lash half the valves then rotate engine 360 and do the other 1/2" method listed in FSM and Haynes service books

I suggest before you start you confirm your "tick" is not a exhaust leak at the manifold

also by "zero" lash, that is when there is no up/down movement in PR. if you tighten until you can feel resistance when "twisting" the went to far. turn poly lock about 1/2 turn past zero lash and tighten

as you move along you will notice valves you previously did seem loose DO NOT retighten. Those lifters just bleed down slightly and will pump back up when you start your motor.
I do one at a time, mark the rocker with a sharpie after so I remember which ones I did.
Cold, warm, hot is not so critical with the hydraulic lifters. Just look at all the different preloads people use. That is a whole lot of difference compared to what cold or hot differences would be. Hydraulics are forgiving, in that there is a large range that they will run well in a stock car. Tweaking for racing is when you would probably want to be more precise and consistent.

Hot settings are often used on solid lifter applications when you are using a feeler gauge to set lash. A little means a lot in that case.
I need to verify this.

Last time i tried to operate the hyd lifter with a p-rod by hand it was pretty difficult as that cup spring seemed stout. I'm gonna try this again this weekend to see how easy it is to "collapse" a hyd lifter. I've never bent a p-rod but have read a lot of other post saying the lifter cup will easily bottom out on a dry lifter.

im doing the exact same thing right now. but idk how to turn the motor over. can I just crank it from the ignition without starting it? I have the valve cover off just not sure what my next step is?:
Zee, a good and easy way to do it would be to turn the engine over by hand with a ratchet wrench on the damper hub bolt. I used to put a long bar on my ratchet to turn the engine over while standing over the engine so I could look at the rockers to see when a certain lifter would start traveling to make adjustments.
No, i meant pushing with my bare hand.

Well i have my old roller lifters and p-rods in a coffee can sitting in the garage. So i gave it a try today and nothing moved no matter how hard i tried. Placed a piece of wood under the p-rod and pushed down on the lifter (upside down) with my body weight and again nothing. Tried several lifters too. Only result was small dents in the piece of wood from the p-rod.
My prognosis is the spring under the lifter cup is strong enough to ensure the cup doesn't collapse while finding zero lash.

Any comments?
okay so I loosened all the lifters and tightened them while rolling the pushrod til It stopped turning. then I turned the car over from the igniton and re-did the process to make sure all rockers were tight. when I put the covers back on they are super loose. covers are back off. about to go for try 2. I turned the motor over a good 10-12 times. seemed tight but I guess not.
Hope u didn't start the motor yet.

No Zee, just adjusting the lifters without the lifter on the base circle of the lobe will make the engine eat itself. U have to adjust the lifters in the order that positions the lifter on the cam base circle and not the lobe ramp.
sb chevy firing order is 18436572 correct? Well for each 90 degrees of crankshaft rotation there are 2 pistons at TDC but only one of those has both cam lobes on base circle (vlvs closed and cyl ready to fire) while the other cyl is in vlv overlap with both vlvs open (exhausting/induction cycle). This is cyls 1 & 6 both at TDC (#1 vlvs closed/#6 vlvs open in overlap)then 90 crankshaft degrees later cyls 8 & 5 (#8 vlvs closed/#5 vlvs open) then 90* later cyls 4 & 7 (#4 closed/#7 overlap) and finally 90* later cyls 3 & 2 at TDC (#3 closed/#7 overlap). That was one full turn of the crank. Next full turn all the cyls will be at TDC as before but the opposite cyl vlvs will close while the opposite cyl vlvs will be open.

U have to find a cyl with a pair of vlvs closed to adjust then start from there and turn the crank 90* each time.

Whew! That's enough to write for tonight. If that can't help then u need to read else where or get a good mechanic to coach u.:thumbsup:

Good luck Z,
See less See more
awh crap. well I hear a rattling and a loud ticking. guess that's not good.

that makes a lot of sense. I figured it would be easier with just cranking it. but ill try that out. so in the simplest terms only adjust the 2 closed vales at a time then turn over engine and do others. as for adjusting. should I go with what shbox said? use finger to roll pushrod til it stops rolling then tighten it 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn more?

thanks btw. working on my car is stressful when i know i have to go to work in it in 10 hours.
read a guide on, there are lots of ways to figure out when a valve is on its base circle. you need to pick one and use it

spin the pushrod to find zero lash isn't done till it STOPS rolling. you want to spin it until you feel just a tiny bit of friction

be careful with this, you could seriously break something if you don't do it right. take your time and learn how to do it properly
sorry but I don't quite understand the 'when the valve is on its base circle". and when I tighten the rocker til I feel a tiny but if friction, do I just stop there? or do I have to tighten 1/2 turn more after that.
Howdy, I dont want to interupt this thread but ,I thought if you waiting for an answer then I would chime in. Once you get to zero lash,thats where the push rod just starts to get tight but still moves although its pretty hard to move it with your fingers,then go a half turn more,that will preload the lifter. If you are new to working on engines this is all
done with "feel ", it needs to be developed in the mechanic,just be patient
and if you dont understand ask more questions! good luck. ed
Zee, you need to carefully read the procedure on my website and follow it exactly, then you will have success. Base circle is the part of the cam where there is no part of the lobe (the lifter is at its lowest point and not traveling up or down).
okay so after re adjusting several times I found this youtube video. I followed the instructions and it worked magic.
1) remove valve covers
2) loosen rockers til they start clacking then tighten them til the clacking stops. (one at a time)
3) after the clacking stops. turn the rocker nut 1/2 turn more.
4) zero lash. no ticking and I can actually feel a better acceleration. before I did this I would get somewhat of a hesitation felt like a misfire.
Yep, I dont know everything that is stated in Shoeboxes procedure,but the steps that you listed are fine by me.That is the way I do it myself.
To really learn about it,you might want to familiarize yourself with the
Method that Shoebox calls out. ed
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.