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1,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys, I was curious to see if there was a DIY thread for adjusting valve clearances and to my surprise I could not find one.
So I thought I would let this be my first DIY I have ever made. This is only a guideline. I would recommend using the manufacturer's
maintenance manual. Having said that, it is a really easy job and very straight forward. I will be using my B18B1 for this DIY.
This will not work on VTEC engines.

It is recommended that you adjust you clearances every 30 000 miles/48 000km. Adjust your valve clearances when the engine
is cold, head temperature must be below 100 degrees F or 38 degrees C.

Here are all the tools that you will need. Obviously you may use more or even less.

12mm wrench
10mm socket
19mm socket (Crank Pulley Bolt)
Long Extension
Short Extension
Needle Nose Pliers
Feeler Gauges
Flathead Screwdriver
Jack w/ needed equipment (Optional)

1 Now, you need a victim:

2 Optional Step: I like to remove my driver side tire and then lower it on a jack to make it level again.
You can do this job without removing the tire if you like, but it will just be a smidge more difficult.
I just used the OEM jack.

3 Remove spark plug leads. If your Valve cover and surrounding area is really dirty and dusty, I would recommend cleaning it
or air blasting it off so that when you take your valve cover off, you dont bring all kind of foreign debris into the engine.
Next, make sure you remove everything that is attached to your valve cover. See blue arrows.

4 Remove the 7 nuts holding the valve cover on the head.

5 With a Flathead screwdriver or by hand if you can, remove the 7 metal grommets

6 With a flathead screwdriver or by hand if you can, carefully remove the 7 rubber grommet seals.

7 Now we should look something like this:

8 Carefully Remove the valvecover - remember that there is a seal that will either stick to the valve cover (most likely will) or stick
to the head or do a little bit of both - dont tear it.

I pull on it from each side and push my thumbs against the valve cover studs.

9 Place your valve cover with debris in mind, Dont rest it on a pile of soil as you may regret it. Depending on the surface I am
putting it on, I will have it face up or down.

Alright, now the business starts. Your cylinders are numbered 1-4 with 1 being closest to your cam gears and consecutively
2-3-4 from right to left. The top cam is your Intake cam and the Bottom cam is your Exhaust cam. Since the firing order of this
engine is 1-3-4-2 That is the order in which we will adjust the valves.

10 In order to start on cylinder #1, we need to get it to TDC on its firing stroke. To do this we need to whip out are long
extension and 19mm socket (I used a 3/4" and it worked a-ok) and put it through the cut-out in the left splash panel and
secured onto the crank pulley bolt.

11 Now we need to turn the engine counter-clockwise with our ratchet and 19mm setup until both cam gear's 'up' marking is
pointing up and that the alignment marks are aligned with each other. Note* Dont worry if they are not point directly up as they
wont, they will point up relative to the engine which is tilted forward*

12 Now we are ready to adjust cylinder #1's (#3 if coming from step 15)(#4 if coming from step 16)(#2 if coming from step 17)
Valves (4) - 2 intake, 2 exhaust. The tolerances are:

Intake - .003-.005"
Exhaust -.006-.008"

It doesn't matter which set you do first, intake or exhaust, just remember that there are 4 clearances in total per cylinder
that you have to do.

13 I started on exhaust. If this is the first time you have performed this, try sliding the biggest feeler gauge (.005 for I .008 for E).
If it slides easily between the cam and the rocker arm, you need to adjust it to be within tolerances.

14 To adjust the clearance, you need to loosen the locknut, adjust the adjusting screw, and while holding the adjusting
screw steady, tighten the locknut. The feeler gauge should have some drag to it, not 89lbs to pull it out, but a nice drag
(kinda notchy to pull out). Check the clearance and if it is not right, loosen the locknut and repeat. If it is good, tighten the
locknut to 18ft/lbs while holding the adjusting scew. Check clearance again.

15 Once you have completed all 4 adjustments on Cylinder #1, we can go to Cylinder #3. To do this, go back to your 19mm setup
and turn the engine counter-clockwise 180 degrees (which turns the cam 90 degrees) so that both 'up' markings are pointing left.
Then repeat from step 12

16 Once you have completed all 4 adjustments on Cylinder #3, we can to Cylinder #4. To do this, go back to your 19mm setup
and turn the engine counter-clockwise 180 (which turns the cam 90 degrees) so that both 'up' markings are pointing down. Then
repeat from step 12

17 Once you have completed all 4 adjustments on Cylinder #4, we can to Cylinder #2. To do this, go back to your 19mm
setup and turn the engine counter-clockwise 180 (which turns the cam 90 degrees) so that both 'up' markings are pointing
right or to the back of the car. Then repeat from step 12

18 Give the valve train an overall look around, make sure there are no vtecs hiding in there. I like to give the engine a couple
more turns (with the 19mm setup) and make sure nothing is messed over.

19 Make sure than the sealing surface is clean as well as the gasket.

20 Install valve cover.

21 Tighten Valve cover nuts to snug (I think it is like 8ft/lbs but that is a guess). It is not very much at any rate. It is easy
to over torque these. I usually do all nuts a couple times as they will snug down more each time.

22 Install ground, Crank breathers, PCV, power steering brace, and any other crazy devices you had on there. Install plug leads
and we should look something like this:

The manual recommends you re torque the crank pulley bolt to 130ft/lbs. I dont.

23 Cross your fingers you did nothing wrong, and start it up!!!

^^^^ If anyone has any idea what that ticking is, I would love to know. What I do know is that it is definitely coming from my
distributor and I have taken it apart (not right apart just took off rotor) and everything looks fine. I have no idea, it has never
brought any problems but I would like it to go away. That is 1 of the 3 things that I cant figure out on the car. Other than that
both of my header heat shields are rattling away.

24 Take it for a test drive:


1,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am surprised no one caught *or didnt mention that they caught* the fact that the pitch has been turned up on that pull. That was pitch turned up and intake tube removed.

1,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
just to add a bit of info, you dont need to take your wheel of if you use a wrench or a gear wrench <----best option IMO to move the crank pulley, just pull the spark plugs, then the crank is real easy to turn
yah, everyone does there own thing, but I just htought, the fact that I jack up only one side, I could have just put it in 5th and turned the tire.....
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