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Valve Adjustment

By Robert "Oly" Oeleis


    You can tune a piano. You can even tunafish. But you ain't tuning a Stovebolt until you ...

Adjust them valves!


To adjust lifters on a 216, 235 or 261, here is the correct procedure.

    First- Your valves are laid out this way- from front to back:

#1 exhaust
#1 intake
#2 intake
#2 exhaust
#3 exhaust
#3 intake
#4 intake
#4 exhaust
#5 exhaust
#5 intake
#6 intake
#6 exhaust

    This procedure can be used on either Hydraulic or Solid lifters. Just know which kind of lifters you have* for final adjustment.

    Turn the crank (by hand) until #2 cylinder intake valve (look above- it is the third rocker back from front) is observed to start opening (that means the rocker is pushing the valve down and open). Now turn the engine slowly and notice that #1 cylinder exhaust (first rocker)valve will also start to open. Continue cranking until #2 cylinder's intake valve is wide open, AND then notice that #1 exhaust valve is also coming to the wide open position. (#1 exhaust valve lags a little behind #2 intake valve) Continue turning (slowly) until both valves are wide open.

    With these two valves wide open adjust: Solids: intake-.006. exhaust-..013 (special note: if this is 1 1/2-2 ton truck exhaust is .020) Hydraulics: adjust until just touching and no or very little wiggle of rocker can be felt. Adjust: #1 cylinder intake #2 " exhaust #3 " both #5 " intake #6 " exhaust.

    Now turn the crankshaft one full turn until #5 cylinder intake is observed to start open. Lagging behind will be #6 cylinder exhaust. Continue turning the crank until both of these valves are wide open and then adjust: #1 cylinder exhaust #2 " intake #4 " both #5 " exhaust #6 " intake.

    Your engine will now be ready to start. Let it idle for 30 minutes till completely warm and do the final adjustment.

    It has been brought to my attention that I didn't give the final adjust for hydraulics -- Tighten down until no noise is heard (use a section of hose to your ear and to the tappet if needed) then tighten one(1) complete turn.

   * If you don't know whether you have solids or hydraulics -- Pull the rocker cover, loosen one rocker, pull the push rod, drop the side cover off, pull that lifter. Now take it to a machinist or mechanic and ask him which it is. OR, once you have the lifter in hand look to see if it has a hole in the cup (top) end and will push down in the center, if it does, it is hydraulic, if not it is solid.


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