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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys i've read a couple of DIY's on the valve adjustment. Putting cylinder 1 in TDC is easy b/c you have to align the TDC marks on the exaust camshaft sproket with the ones on the VTC actuator. However for the other cylinders t i dont have any reference marks on the block to know exactly when i have turned the VTC gear 90 degress clockwise to put cylinder 3 at TDC.


How can you be certain cylinder 3 is a TDC. do you just eyeball the marks. i know for cylinder 3 the arrow on the VTC gear points towards the front of the car and should be horizontal to the ground.
 

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See the attached capture from the Helms manual. (Search on here to download the entire manual yourself.)
 

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What I like to do is get a really long and thin screw driver or something with a rubber tip and slide it down into the spark plug hole. As you crank you'll notice the screw driver go up and down. It will reach a peak twice during a full cycle. At one peak you will notice it slightly higher than the last.

The low peak means you are on an exhaust stroke, a high peak means you are on a compression stroke. High peak is the compression stroke which is TDC for that cylinder. You can also look at the valves them selves. At TDC ALL valves for that cylinder will be closed (i.e. the rocker arms are not touching the retainers.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Stitch, thanks for the suggestions I figured it out on my own eventually. What i did was i dropped a long 3/8 ratchet extension down the into the cylinder via the spark plug hole. I then taped a mark on the extension to indicate how much of the extension was sticking out of the spark plug hole at TDC cylinder one. I referenced that mark for the other cylinders.

You could clearly tell which cylinder was at TDC because there was significant play at the tappet and the valve stem of all four valves, meaning you could get the feeler gauges in the spaces you need to check the clearance.

In my case all of my intake valves were out of spec. I adjust to the middle of the spec range to be on the safe side. I did however made sure i had plenty of drag on the feeler gauge because when i didn't do that and i went to recheck the measurements i was able to stick the next size up feeler gauge which was .254 for my intake. I used .229 with plenty of drag, then i recheck with the lower gauge as well which was .203 and it slid back in forth with little effort so i knew i was within the acceptable range.

When i did my exhaust i used a substantially more drag because the closest gauge i had to the middle of the spec was .305. Again i check to make sure i could not get .330 gauge in and that the .279 feeler gauge moved with little resistance. Only one valve was withing spec. Also, i have 121,000 miles on the car.


Today was the 1st day i got out on the highway and i have to tell you this is the best tune-up item i have done for my car yet. It's so much more responsive, it's like the engine woke up. I don't even know how to explain it but before there was more hesitation and now it's like power on command.
 

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it's amazing how much a micrometer of gap can change overall responsiveness and performance.
 

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What I like to do is get a really long and thin screw driver or something with a rubber tip and slide it down into the spark plug hole. As you crank you'll notice the screw driver go up and down. It will reach a peak twice during a full cycle. At one peak you will notice it slightly higher than the last.

The low peak means you are on an exhaust stroke, a high peak means you are on a compression stroke. High peak is the compression stroke which is TDC for that cylinder. You can also look at the valves them selves. At TDC ALL valves for that cylinder will be closed (i.e. the rocker arms are not touching the retainers.)
Not true. Look at any 4-cycle crankshaft and you will see that up is up and down is down. The crank turns at twice the speed of the cams, so reaches the exact same position (TDC) twice: once when the valves are open for exhaust, and once when the valves are closed for compression.

The crank mark tells you if you are at TDC, but you have to look at the cam lobes to see if you are on the compression stroke. As far as the block is concerned, they are the exact same thing.

If the screwdriver is at a different level at compression than at exhaust, then it is sitting on the back of a valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
honestly i dont even hear the valves, it really only sounds like it's the injectors pulsing. I remember when i use to start the car in the morning that distinctive ticking sound. i dont hear it anymore.
 
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