Technical Servicing - Checking tappet clearances

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Technical Servicing - Checking tappet clearances


Driver Extraordinaire
Sep 14, 2004
Hello all,
96k service is due in a month or so and thought i'd start to service my stilo myself now as the mileage is getting higher. Has full fiat service history until now.

In the handbook it states that for diesels the tappets should be checked at 96k.
Does anyone know how/could talk me through how to check the tappet clearances and what they should be?

IIRC - with the cam cover already removed, you need to turn the engine by hand untill the cam lobe is pointing up as most as possible. Write your results down as you do them. 1= 2= 3= etc

Then with a set of feeler blades/gauges measure the gap between the lobe and the valve bucket shim below it - write this reading down and compare with what it should be - btw i don't have the specific values.

Do this for all of them, and see if any are out of tolerance. If they are then more special tooling is needed to press, hold the bucket down and then remove the bucket shim. The shim either has a number on it like 3.55 or will need to be measured with a micrometer. With the reading of the one you HAVE, you need to calculate what shim you NEED to bring it into spec, these will have to be ordered if not in stock, so car off the road untill then.

With your new shims - fit in the reverse of removing, do it all again and recheck clearances. When everything is ok, fit cam cover with new gasket.

Hope that helps :)
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Here's a few tips I found from working on a VW

It's really useful to know what shims are already fitted so make sure you keep this information stored so you can use it next time you do the job.

It's fairly easy to read the tappet clearance but can be really tricky removing the shims (hence importance of keeping records).

Once you've got all the facts in front of you and done a few calculations you can often find it's posible to swap a few shims around and end up with clearances within tolerance. It's quite possible that only 2 or 3 will need adjusting anyway.

Probably best to do in two stages. Measurements the 1st weekend, then order any shims you need (if needed) and finally do all the swapping around the 2nd weekend (only fit a new gasket when you've finished the job)
Thanks guys,

fingers crossed only checking required then, as and when i get round to it, i'll take some photo's.