Valve adjustment on Ford 302
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Old April 12th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #1
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Valve adjustment on Ford 302


Hey all,
I've recently been fixing all the little annoying things on my fox body and one of the things left that still annoys me is the lifter tick from the engine, due to the valves needing to be adjusted.

I would attempt to do it myself, but I'm short on time lately with work and school and I would rather just have it done properly.


So my question is this: How much would it cost to have a shop adjust the valves on my mustang? It's a 1988 Mustang with a SBF 302 motor (still fuel injected).

Let me know if any other information is needed.

Thanks
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Old April 12th, 2011, 05:48 PM   #2
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Do you mean a valve job? Because The stock rocker arms aren't adjustable, just torque to spec and go. Maybe one got loose, or a pushrob is bent a little. Pull the valve covers and take a look before paying a shop to do it.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #3
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Have you called a shop to ask? It's simple to do yourself.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #4
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When your valve train is stock like yours and the lifters are ticking, thatd just be the lifters ticking lol.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #5
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The motor is not stock, it has COMP Cams Roller Lifters & COMP Cams 1.6 Roller Rockers.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #6
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idk I useally have a friend do this shit but how i've done it before with my father was :

You have to be on the base circle of the camshaft in order to adjust the valve train.
To adjust per cyl:
-adjust the intake valve when the exhaust lifter/pushrod on the same cyl is just starting to come up. 1/4 turn on the adjuster nut and lock

-adjust the exhaust valve when the intake lifter/pushrod on the same cyl is 3/4 of the way down. 1/4 turn on the adjuster nut and lock

or use of a dial indicator, I would measure .050 preload at the lifter. Check 2, 3 or 4 different lifters noting the rotation amount (1/2, 3/4, full turn) to get to the .050 preload. Then adjust the others to this amount
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Old April 12th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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Are they stud rockers or pedestal? What heads? Who did the work on the engine? Do you know if the pushrod length is correct? Hydraulic lifters or solid? Lots of info needed to have an idea to tell you what you need to do or where to look. For all we know, you may have a mis-match if parts if you're not stock and adjusting them all you want won't help.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #8
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The key to setting the proper preload, is being able to find 0 lash. 0 lash is when all the slack is taken out of the valvetrain, so there is no slack between the cam lobe, lifter, pushrod, and rocker.

Rotate the engine in it's normal direction, and right when the exhaust valve moves, stop the rotation. Now you're ready to adjust the intake valve. Loosen the retaining nut, until the rocker arm is loose. Now, slowly tighten the nut with one hand, and spin the pushrod with the other. Just as soon as you feel a small amount of tension on the pushrod, stop tightening the nut. This should be 0 lash. It should be the point where there is no slack (lash) in the valvetrain, but not tight at all, if that makes sense. You may try it several times to get a feel for it.

Once you get to 0 lash, tighten the nut another 1/2 turn to set your preload. Now you're done with that valve.

Now, continue turning the engine until the intake valve cycles fully open, and then closes about 1/2-2/3 of the way, and set that valve the same way. Find 0 lash, then set the preload. Do this for all the cylinders, and you're good. Easy stuff.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 12:44 PM   #9
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Alright thanks guys, I'll probably be taking the valve covers off this weekend to give it a try and I'll report back with my findings.

Cheers.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #10
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depending on what cam you have it may require more preload. it its stock cam 1/2 turn would be good. Call the cam manufacture if its aftermarket and ask them the recommended preload.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 03:38 PM   #11
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1/2 turn will work with most any cam. When you get into changing the dynamics of the cam, you can change preload. Typicall, if you want it to rev a little higher, you go with less preload, and you can add some bottom end and throttle response with a little more preload. 1/2 turn will always work though.

Even on my cam, bullet recommended 1/2 turn, and it's 242/250 @.050.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #12
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mine was reccomended 1 turn, and its a 232/240 at .050"
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Old April 13th, 2011, 07:33 PM   #13
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One turn is a shitload. I've heard of people running that much by their own decision, but I've never seen a manufacturer recommend that much the more preload you put on it, the less margin for error there is.

A lot of the preload depends on the lifter as well. I wouldn't put a turn on a stock lifter, but that's just me.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #14
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I believe the motor has an F303 cam in it. It is also my understanding that not many people like the alphabet cams but it will have to work for now. How many people would recommend a Trick Flow cam in the future?
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Old April 14th, 2011, 12:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 69fastback View Post
One turn is a shitload. I've heard of people running that much by their own decision, but I've never seen a manufacturer recommend that much the more preload you put on it, the less margin for error there is.

A lot of the preload depends on the lifter as well. I wouldn't put a turn on a stock lifter, but that's just me.
I always go with a 1/2 turn also. But if you look at a lifter when it's not pumped up and play with it you would be surprised how much leeway there is
to work with when compared to how much the rocker arm moves down per turn.
Not me I agree 1 full turn is a shitload LOL

Last edited by oldfox; April 14th, 2011 at 10:58 PM.
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