Engine Valve Adjustment

You use these guides at your own risk, if you are unsure consult a professional.

The VW firing order is 1 4 3 2 ….. number 1 as you are facing your engine is top right, number 2 bottom right, number 3 top left, number 4 bottom left. Valves should only be adjusted with engine being stone cold. The recommended gap for a stock engine is 0.06 inch, you should consult your engine builder on performance engines.

Tools Needed;
13mm spanner,
Flat bladed screwdriver,
New valve gaskets,
Feeler Gauge 0.15mm / 0.06 inch,
Spanner/Socket for your alternator/dynamo pulley nut (sizes vary),
Plastic gloves, Rag, Tip-ex and pencil are optional.

Steps;

1.) Remove the distributor cap so you can see the rotor arm and look for the notch on it which is usually at the 5 o’clock position when facing the engine. With your spanner/socket attach it to the alternator/dynamo pulley and turn it so that your rotor arm is in line with the notch on the distributor and the crank pulley is at top 12 o’clock position, there is usually a cut or mark on it if you have not got a degree pulley, this should be lined up with the seam of the engine case this is top dead centre (TDC).

*If you are unsure that your pulley is at top dead centre then remove number 1 spark plug and put something long down there i.e. pencil and holding it firmly turn the alternator/dynamo pulley feeling the piston go up and down, when the piston is at top and the rotor arm is pointing at you this is likely to be top dead centre (TDC). I would mark the crank pulley with tip-ex once you have found it and also mark the 180 degree point if you haven’t done so already.

2.) Remove the right hand valve cover by pushing the bale down with the flat bladed screw driver until it is clear of the cover, then remove the cover, you may get a some oil spillage.

3.) Looking at the right head face on you are adjusting number one which is the inlet and outlet valves on the right.

4.) Using your 0.15mm / 0.06 inch feeler gauge slide it between the valve and check that the gauge slides through with a little resistance, if not then undo the 13mm nut slide the feeler gauge in and either loosen or tighten as required with a flat bladed screwdriver until you can only just about slide the feeler gauge through. Leaving the gauge in there, keep the tension on the screwdriver and tighten the 13mm nut up, then move on to the next one.

5.) With number 1 completed get up and go back to the crank pulley, turn it 180 degrees anti clockwise so that the TDC mark is now in the 6 o’clock position. Now go back to the head and looking at it face on number 2 which are the inlet and outlet valve on the left adjust these as in step 4

6.) With number 1 and 2 completed clean up the head and valve cover of oil and the old gasket, put the new gasket in the valve cover, place it on the head and push up the bale back on. (Some do some don’t if you want to put a very thin layer of sealant on then do it on valve cover side of the gasket only)

7.)Go to the left hand head and remove the valve cover by pushing the bale down with the flat bladed screw driver until it is clear of the cover, remove the valve cover you may get some oil spillage.

8.) Now back to the crank pulley turn it 180 degrees anti clockwise so that TDC is in line with the case seam this is number 3 cylinder. Looking at the left hand head face on number 3 is the inlet and outlet valves on the left adjust these as in step 4

9.) Number 3 now complete get up and go back to the crank pulley, turn it 180 degrees anti clockwise so that the TDC mark is again now in the 6 o’clock position, go back to the left hand head looking at number 4 inlet and outlet valves which are the 2 on the right as your looking face on adjust these as per step 4.

10.) Clean up the head and valve cover of oil and the old gasket and apply the new gasket to the valve cover, then refit the valve cover and push the bale back on give it a check with your hand make sure its all secure. All valves are completed so go back into the engine bay and put the distributor cap back on.

11.) Make sure you have cleared away all your tools there are no oil leaks and start your engine, stand back and admire your work.

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