How to Adjust Lifters

The Chevrolet’s small-block car engine has a ‘hydraulic lifter system’. It does not have any valve clearance and hardly needs any adjustment. It has a tiny plunger and when the lifter is adjusted, the plunger moves down in to the body of the lifter. When it moves down the lifter’s valve train compensates for the wear. If the pushrods have been removed for any valve job or for replacing the camshaft, it will require some adjustment. Knowing the procedure of how to adjust lifters, you can adjust it easily. The procedure would be a little difficult for the first timers but it is not an impossible act.

To save your time on deciding the equipments or tools you would need, we have listed down the tools needed to adjust the lifters.

  • Putty Knife
  • Valve Cover Gaskets
  • Socket Set
  • Ratchet Set
  • Gasket Sealer

How to adjust lifters?

  • Park your vehicle on a flat surface and apply the handbrake or parking brakes.
  • Unscrew the bolts fixed on valve covers, using the socket and ratchet to remove the cover of the valve. Old gaskets have to be removed next. Using the putty knife, clear all the debris settled in the cover of the valves and in the cylinder heads.
  • Take a rag and spray the parts cleaner over it. Clean the cylinder heads, valve cover and gaskets with this part cleaner.
  • Next, place the socket and ratchet above the engine’s large bolt located at the center of the engine’s crankshaft. Slowly start rotating the vehicle’s engine in clockwise direction. Rotate it until the engine’s harmonic balancer aligns with ‘0′ on the engine’s timing tab.
  • Look out for the ‘cylinder rocker arms’ numbered one. The crankshaft and this rocker arm should be closed tightly after rotating the engine. If it is not closed, again rotate the engine’s crankshaft by one full turn. As the engine rotates, the rocker arms start moving and both finally settle at a closed position.
  • The first numbered cylinder rocker arm’s nuts have to be loosened. Using the socket and ratchet, loosen the nuts. While loosening these nuts, using your forefinger and thumb, spin the engine’s pushrod. When the pushrod can be spun, start tightening the nuts of the rocker arm. When the nut tightens enough to stop the pushrod from free spinning, tighten the rocker arm nut by three quarter turns.
  • Repeat this procedure for the next pushrod as well. Adjust all the other rocker arms in a similar manner. The intake arms are 2, 7 and 5, while the exhausts are 3, 8 and 4.
  • After this, rotate the engine by one turn again. Both the six numbered valves of the engine should be closed. The six numbered rocker arms with exhaust 2, 7 and 5 and intake 3, 8 and 4.
  • Single side of the new cover of the valve has to be coated with the gasket sealer. The surface of the valve that comes over the gasket has to be coated with the sealer. Wait for few minutes to let it settle properly. Press this gasket tightly on the cover. Mount this cover over the engine’s cylinder head. Place all the bolts and tighten it properly. Repeat this procedure again for the next valve cover.

While reading it you might find the procedure very difficult, but if you apply it practically, you would be able to understand these steps easily. It is a bit complicated for first time users, but if you try it once, it would be simple for you the next time. For the first time you can take someone’s help if needed.

Related Content:

  1. How to Adjust Rockers Arm
  2. How to Adjust a Hydraulic Cutch
  3. How to Adjust Valves
  4. How to Adjust a Carburetor
  5. How to Adjust Disc Brakes

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