Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Valve Adjustment

Trucks break down when they aren't cared for.  One of the yearly mandatory services that you must perform on a truck is the overhead valve adjustment.  This isn't as difficult as you may think.  Over 20 years ago I started adjusting valves on Chevy engines and to this day these diesel engines are practically the same.

There are a few differences.  On the 350 Chevy engine, all you do is remove the valve cover, run the engine at idle and release the valves until they start clacking, then tighten them down a 1/2 turn.

My engine is a 60 series Detroit Diesel and all you have to do is remove the valve cover with the engine off, turn the crank shaft to top dead center for each set of valves and then set the intake with a feeler gauge followed by the exhaust valves.  Tighten the valves with the lock nut and they are adjusted.  Then just clean the valve cover, replace the valve cover gasket and then install the valve cover.

Most shops charge $500.00 for this service, but a good shop will include a blow-by test and a dyno of the engine, plus checking the charge air cooler for leaks.  Sometimes you can catch the shop when they are having a sale, but if you don't have time, and you have a spare valve cover gasket laying around, you can do it yourself.  It really isn't that difficult.

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