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<!-- google_ad_section_start -->Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]
How to check and adjust the valve clearances, DIY.
Published by GrandePunto PL
03-08-2018
Difficulty Level: 3

User Rated:Unrated

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Smile Extra info. Not so DIY anymore.


20. Temporary fix, hack job. In emergency you can (if you know what you're doing, you're familiar with using abrasives, and how it affects geometry) skim the valve stem tips (when shims cannot be any thinner) and drive a car for a while. It may be case hardened, so machining this layer off is risky (quick wear and/or cracks).
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21. Grinding shims is NOT a good idea too. Surface grinding process has many potential defects waiting to "bite" you. Such as distortion, deformation due to overheating. Example of improper grinding job (tiny animated GIF - forum has weird restrictions on GIF size 488 kilo, while other formats can waste megabytes of space). Good shims are flat, and don't spin on surface plate.
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22. Folks, remember. Just because you throw something on the surface grinder, doesn't make it "perfect" by any means. Hack (clown) can produce uneven thickness shim (in this example it's visible, but not always). It can be off, for example by 0,01-0,03 mm easily (to that, add other defects like concave shape). It requires a master "grind hand" to do such "simple" job properly!
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23. If you ever order a custom, ground shims (modified stock ones), only one side can be altered, and that side must go into tappet (camshaft must ride on the original surface, smoother, harder). Acid etching reveals roughness (mechanical and chemical inconsistency) of the surface ground shim (weird "texture" on the left, potential cracks will start exactly right there, stress concentration).
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24. Most (if not all) shims are case/induction hardened, and grinding may damage this "skin" (+ other defects mentioned earlier). This is DIY metallographic examination (you can do it at home, with almost any acid). Cross-section of the shim after grinding. Light layer is slightly thinner on one side (that's the processed, altered one). If possible use only original shims, commercial, not "tweaked", custom made.
> Video introduction to Metallography (can't post live link): www youtube com/watch?v=fc8zrgYJCJw
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So be careful, some of the "professional" engine repair shops are straight clowns.
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Old 19-08-2018   #1
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Smile Re: Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]

Update.
New "rocker cover" gasket arrived. As mentioned earlier, make sure you order complete set (cover gasket + 4 small round ones). New gasket needs some help, put dab/drop of RTV silicone into 4 "corners" (where gasket "arcs" begin/end), that's official Fiat recommendation.
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"Alignment" pin is not so aligning. There's too much "play". Classic "brain fart" by Fiat designers.
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So, cover is "floating" all over the place (animated GIF).
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But, don't worry. Somehow, cover will "seat" roughly in the same spot as with old gasket (I've measured, there was about 0,1-0,2 mm difference, comparing to numbers taken before adjustment job).
Engine started fine, and I didn't noticed any difference in performance.
After adjustment (and before cover gasket replacement) I've run procedures like resetting parameters and phonic wheel learning (or whatever it's called), and there was no change whatsoever.
So, special tool for cover installation is probably (99% sure) straight "bluff" ("wind-up").

Small note: if you adjust the valves "little too loose (bigger gap)", engine may be "little" bit noisier. So, clearance should be spot-on, regardless of "tolerance".
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Last edited by GrandePunto PL; 19-08-2018 at 15:14. Reason: Clearance must be precise (forget tolerance).
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Old 15-09-2018   #2
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Post Re: Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]

One more thing. If you buy 3 decimal places shims, there are different "styles".
They give away size (thickness), that's no-brainer.
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Or confusing two similar numbers...
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Set of such shims. Some weirdo "egg-head" designed those markings.
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Top/upper digits are part number. Bottom is the size.
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Examples of original packages.
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If you want to judge condition of used shims, here is an example. Top 3 ones are in better shape, bottom not so much (to be replaced).
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Serious pitting going on. Soon it will escalate into cracking, chipping.
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Scoring, scratching, scuffing. Sign of, among others, contaminated oil.
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That's all, for now...
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Old 20-04-2019   #3
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Re: Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]

Where can i buy the shims of this size?
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Old 21-04-2019   #4
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Exclamation Re: Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]

If you can't find suitable ones on eBay (search internationally, not UK-only) or other on-line automotive shops, try local engine repair shops (some will sell parts) or local official/authorized Fiat dealer/service (some of them should have in-house shops and sell original spare parts - but I'm not from UK, so I don't really know what's going on there, if it's normal practice by dealers/service centers to sell so specialized parts to individual customers).
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Last edited by GrandePunto PL; 21-04-2019 at 21:25. Reason: Try the engine shops and Fiat service. Or search abroad.
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Old 18-08-2019   #5
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Wink Re: Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]

Update 2019.
Another check and adjustment after only 17000 km (because LPG fuel - it wears valves fast).
In theory, most values were in the tolerance, but I had suitable shims to tweak em.
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Now engine runs a bit smoother.

If you ever rip-off the oil gallery seal (attached to the cover gasket), you can't leave it just like that. It will leak eventually and spoil the VVT operation and camshaft lubrication.
Quick fix is a thin strip(e) of the steel sheet, about 0,05 mm (so it can be cut with regular paper scissors). Length to do full circle, and cannot stick out of the groove. Works great.
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Last edited by GrandePunto PL; 18-08-2019 at 18:00. Reason: Everybody. Check your valves regularly.
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Old 19-08-2021   #6
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Exclamation Re: Valve clearance check and adjustment [1,4 8V]

Adjustment 2021.

The LPG fuel keeps eating the exhaust valves and seats (current "mileage" 151000 km).
There will be a full valve job soon (in 2-3 years or 200000 km max. I guess), engine head repair. Because you cannot put thinner and thinner shims forever, there is a lower limit (1,80 mm).

To really see what's going on, do yourself the graph/plot like that. Shims size versus time. Wear is speeding up (3 out of 4 exhaust valve shims are getting smaller/thinner faster and faster with time), graph is steeper each year.
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Also valve clearance, before and right after adjustment tells a lot. Exhaust valve number one is misbehaving the most, valve "lash" always wants to go down consistently.
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Example of shims manufacturer. Range 1,80-3,30 mm. There are FIAT part numbers...
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...But watch out. Each part number covers a small range of shims ("tappet plates") sizes (and those ranges are overlapping). So "part number" alone is not enough to order correct size. Available "plates" are from 1,825 to 3,330 mm. In practice shims under 2,00 and above 3,00 mm are rather rare in Grande as far as I know.
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Shims have some tolerance, so can be off a bit (despite having 3 decimal places in nominal size, they are not that precise). Example: 4 shims "2,100" mm and real sizes. So it doesn't make sense to measure them to the 3rd decimal place with fancy equipment (2 is enough, like digital caliper gives you).
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Last edited by GrandePunto PL; 19-08-2021 at 00:22. Reason: ...Do NOT neglect the 8V engines maintenance!
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