Automotive Systems

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Valve Adjustment: Introduction


Valve adjustment, also called tappet clearance adjustment or rocker adjustment, is critical to the performance and service life of an engine. If the valve train is too loose (too much clearance), it can cause valve train noise (tapping or clattering noise from the rocker striking the valve stems). This can increase part wear and cause part breakage. Valves that are adjusted too tight (inadequate clearance) may be held open or may not close completely. This can allow combustion heat to blow over and burn the valve.

When reassembling an engine after reconditioning the valves, make sure the adjusting screws are backed off before rotating the engine. A valve that is too tight could strike the piston and damage either the piston or the valve, or both. Adjust the valve according to manufacturer’s specifications, following the recommended procedure.

On any engine, after valve adjustments have been made, be sure that the adjustment locks are tight and that the valve mechanism covers and gaskets are in place and fastened securely to prevent oil leaks.

Published by SweetHaven Publishing Services
Based upon a text provided by the U.S. Navy

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