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Hey guys... I just thought Id share this ol hot rodder trick for you guys out there struggling with lash adjustments and the mess involved with our SBC's.
I personally still use this trick to this day. And I can go into great detail about it.. there are a ton of youtube vids on setting pre load and the like.

but where most folks struggle with is after the break in when the valves are ticking here and there and need fine tuning. It can be messy and here is the best way I have found for the doing it...

go to any junkyard... find a small block v8 in said yard

yank the perimeter bolts from valve cover...

purchase used valve covers and take them home...

take out sawzall or cut off tool and cut the top of the valve covers out, right across the top.. 2 inches wide and full width of valve cover. You should be able to see all the rocker arm nuts but not the tops or bottoms of those rockers...

install those valve covers loosely onto the head and fire up the motor

now you can adjust valves all day long without all the mess then put your good ones back on when your done.

easiest way is to loosen it up a bit till you hear it ticking.. then slowly tighten it till it stops...as soon as it stops... give 1/2 turn and your done. you can play games with cold lash and hot lash and the like... but this way has worked for a lot of guys including me for many years.

just my 2 cents.... happy motoring!!

this does not work for centerbolt motors.. this of us using vortec heads just have to get a lil messy :yes::D
 

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Yup.. used that trick in the past myself. To do with just the valve covers off is the messiest job I have ever done. Smoking oil of the headers, oily tools, oily hands.. yuck.

Mike
 

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I posted that method for someone having a difficult time getting hydraulic valves set and the response I got was totally unexpected. Basically was told that was the stupidest idea anyone had ever heard and no one sets valves on a running engine. Guess I was not the only one to have used that method in the past.
 

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I just set mine on the engine stand and forget them.
 

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Thanks for the info.

I learned valve adjustment on engines with long runner intake manifolds that blocked access to the valve covers, like the 80's Ford V8's. You had to know how to adjust them with engine off, and once I learned I've never done it running. :D
 

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Definitely old school way. I still have a set of old covers I cut out hanging on my bench but haven't used them since I was in high school (forget how long ago that was :D) Once I learned how to do it with the engine off and cold I never turned back and have never once had to readjust after break in. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing the tip and it might help someone that doesn't know how to do it the other way. I'm a big fan of sharing all knowledge and if it helps one person, so be it.
 

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On a bone stock Chevy V8 the easiest way is to tighten the nut until 3-4 threads show above it. Old flat rate trick learned when working in a dealership many years ago. Do not try it with anything other than a stock engine.
 
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