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How to, E-series valve clearances 

 

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 Post subject: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:16 pm 
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There doesn't seem to be much info on how to check valve clearances on e-series sixes so I thought I'd write up a quick how-to.
If you are installing a new cam, especially if it's a regrind, this is a must do job and is fairly easy to do.
This guide assumes you already know how to at least do a cam swap.

First thing you need to do is pull the rocker assembly out and remove all of the HLA's.

You will need to give them a good clean out. The best way to do this is to pull them apart. Do this one lifter at a time so you don't mix them up.

You will need a small piece of wire (a paper clip works well) to poke into the back of the lifter to unseat the little ball valve while you collapse the lifter with your fingers. Be very gentle with this, you only have to just touch it. Do this a few times until you can squeeze the lifter in without touching the valve. You should now be able to pull it apart with a bit of twist and pull. There is a spring inside, don't loose it.
Clean both parts out in petrol or kero or whatever to remove all the oil.

Once clean, put them back together by once again using your bit of wire to unseat the ball valve while you squeeze the two parts back together until they bottom out. Don't forget the spring.
Squash it a few times with your fingers to make sure that it's working smoothly, you should be able to bottom it out and it should push back out a few mm nice and smoothly.

Now it's time to refit them to the rocker arms. Don't forget the factory shims. Now bolt the rocker assembly back onto the head.

If you have the cam gear off, bolt it back on as you will need to rotate the cam.

Rotate the motor so that the balancer mark is at TDC marker on timing case and cam marker is on right hand side. Now get your nice clean set of feeler gauges and while pushing down on the rocker arm tip with your palm to collapse the lifter, slide your feeler gauges in between the roller and the cam lobe to find the clearance. Write down the results.

The order to check is as follows.
- Exhaust valves 1; 3; 5.
- Inlet valves 1; 2; 4.
Rotate engine one turn to TDC again and check
- Exhaust valves 2; 4; 6.
- Inlet valves 3; 5; 6.

The factory spec is 0.4mm to 1.1mm.

Note: as the lifters are completely dry they will rattle their heads off for the first ten minutes or so when you start the engine for the first time. If you have to pull them back out, fill the back of them up with oil and pump them up with your fingers before refitting.

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:50 am 
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Why would you need to check the clearances tho? They are not adjustable and if you run a re grind double shim it...
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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Pakrat wrote:
Why would you need to check the clearances tho? They are not adjustable and if you run a re grind double shim it...


my explanation would be for safety when playing with your vernier cam gears not sure if this is the same though as piston kissing valve though
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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:50 pm 
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The regrind VCT cam I have for my AU head was sent back from camtech with the instruction to not double shim it but to check and adjust all the valve clearances properly by colapsing the HLAs and the measuring and setting each HLA individually to the factory spec...

Depends all upon what the regrind cam comes back with... And as mentioned, double shimming is rough... If you were blueprinting and getting everything to within tolerances (half the reason of running a vernier gear) then you would go through and make sure they HLA's are within tolerance... Fairly big tolerance all the same because of the nature that they are adjustable in length to take up rattle...

Cheers,
Tim

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:14 pm 
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With a VCT engine I'd imagine the tolerances to be a lot smaller.
Dismantling and cleaning the HLAs isn't going to adjust them, the whole point of HLAs is to do away with the need for fine valve adjustments no?
Honestly can't see the point of dismantling them to clean them when you can simply replace them IF there was a problem with them.
My opinion of the i6 4.0 is a rough old motor, I don't know why you'd be concerned with blueprinting one or even preferring a billet over regrind. They can be built tough for sfa and still run well.
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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:04 pm 
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That's a fair point too... Although I brought a set of new ones when I had the ED motor and two would not pump up... Returned the set for a replacement set... Those too had two that rattle endlessly... Pulled them out and cleaned the original ones and fitted new retainers and never had an issue again... So some of the new aftermarket sets didn't fill me with confidence...

HLA's remove the need to run a valve clearance... They allow the rocker arm to be in firm contact with the valve and stop rattling associated with solid lifters or cars requiring valve clearances... Nice a nice engine sound basically... There has to be some give in something for movements and stress so hence they are spring loaded and pump up "solid" with oil, but should something happen they still have a point where x amount of force can break the seal and lifter will collapse preventing damage to other parts... (Ford specify a bleed down rate in the workshop manual to check the sealing of the ball)...

Each to their own... When I dial a cam in I get it to the nearest thousand on an inch... Like you say but it may all be a waste of time in that regard... Be it to 1 or 5 thou of an inch then what power will be made or lost? I'm just a numbers person and feel happy knowing I do everything to within the closest tolerances possible... Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling...

This event is part the reason why I have not put in my cam tech VCT cam... I can see it'll be a PITA and be spending a whole weekend pulling overhead gear on and off adding and removing shims depending how much cam tech took off the original cam... Everything is the same for the VCT too... Tolerances are the same...

Cheers,
Tim

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:30 pm 
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I am running a camtech cam, plus just had valves and seats re ground. Pulling them apart and cleaning them will ensure that you get a more accurate reading, as air is much easier to compress with your hand than oil. Also have seen more than a few with broken springs inside as well as grease-like sludge.

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:30 pm 
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You should put the cam in and a j3, so much better on my eb, a VCT should se good improvments to.
I unterstand why you like the numbers to be spot on but let's face it, even ford allows 3°+/- on the cam timing.
How big is the cam actually?
A mate recently put a stage 2 something or rather cam(dunno exact specs) in his standard ef ticky head and a HLA fell out and bent the exhaust valve. Wasn't fun for him.
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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Being a hla. You dont set them up with zero lash . They need preload to work properly so you dont look at clearence.
If any thing you need to look at the amount of preload on the hla..
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 Post subject: Re: How to, E-series valve clearances
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:59 pm 
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That's true Troyman, but you still need to look at clearance.

Too much clearance and the hla's will over extended. This opens up the bleed port which is basically their limit of travel. This prevents the internal spring from coming away from the ball valve and causing damage.

Too little clearance and you run the risk of holding the valves open, which is a recipe for disaster especially in an engine which is running minimal piston/valve clearance. Factory spec gives you 0.7mm which the hla's will adjust for, but in reality the hla's will accept about 1mm before they run out of adjustment.

This is why I went to the effort of doing this in my engine, as the head has been shaved down to the valve seats plus I'm running an au mls gasket. Also the head is ED, the rocker assembly came from an EL and the valves from an EF. Combine that with a long duration high lift cam with 110º lobe separation, there's not much room for error. I was surprised by the amount of difference there was. Some were below 1mm clearance (lifter collapsed) but most were above 1.25mm.
Any above 1.2mm were shim'd 0.5mm.

BTW. anyone who says they have had the head shaved more than 60thou is full of ***t. I've got 60thou off mine and it took 5thou off the inlet seats. The valves actually hang into the relief cuts in the pistons at TDC.

 

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Ported ED XR6 head shaved too much, AU gasket, custom Crow Cam, Pacemaker 4480's, 5-speed conversion, billet aluminium flywheel, GT clutch, T.I. Performance J3 chip, custom water/methanol injection, modified BA throttle body. Paint&Panel by Barbed Wire Fence.

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