3FE valve adjustment (1 Viewer)

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Jan 13, 2005
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Hey guys,
The valves are knocking pretty good so I think it is time for an adjustment. Since this is my DD I wanted to know if there is anything special before doing it so I am not SOL with out a car. Is there any special tools or just the feeler guage and some wrenches. I tried searching for this but the search button is not there where it usually is at least for my computer.

Adam
 

euclid

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Here's a file I had saved on adjusting the valves, some from me and some from others.

The best preparation you can make for doing a valve adjustment is to find a competent assistant. It is not a 2 man job, but you can get to the valves much quicker with a helper, and time is important as the motor is cooling off pretty quickly.


This is what I do:
Set out the tools you are going to need for the job. I like to remove the two feeler gauges that I am going to be using so that I don't have to fiddle with the whole thing. You can write the size on the gauge with a sharpie to make it easier to see, especially important for you bi-focal wearing old fogies! If you are going to use the FSM procedure for adjusting, open the timing window. Don't take the bolt all the way out! It is impossible to get it back in.

Go for a drive to warm the truck up. Pull the truck into the garage and leave it running. Take note of the Jazz band type rhythm that the valves are making.

Next I get everything loose and ready to pull out of the way of getting the valve cover off. Pull back the clamps on all of the vacuum hoses that will need to be removed. Loosen the clamp that holds the air intake hose to the throttle body. Label the vacuum hoses if you need to. I usually don't need to because my helper is a 3FE'r so there is another truck in the driveway to compare to. Loosen the bolts that hold the valve cover on. Remove the spring that holds the connection to the mass air flow sensor, don't loose the spring. Remove the clamps and big wing nut that hold the air cleaner on. Remove the two bolts that hold the throttle cable to the throttle body and work the bracket up and over the throttle body out of your way.

Once everything is loose shut the truck off. You should now be able to unhook all of the hoses and easily lift the air cleaner off with all the hoses out of the way. You will have to remove the hose to the PCV valve on the back of the valve cover. There are two big hoses towards the front of the engine that I tuck over the engine towards the driver side.

Hook up your bump starter. One end of it clips to the positive battery post and the other is connected to the bottom opening in the cold start injector connection, female side.

You are now ready to adjust the valves. It usually takes me about 3 minutes from the time I shut the truck off to get to the valves. The motor is always still very warm, so I use gloves to do the adjusting.

You can follow the FSM from here, or use Steve's method. If you follow the FSM you will need to rotate the motor with the bump start until you are at TDC. The front two valves should be closed, which will mean the driver side of the valve is up, leaving a gap. That gap is what you measure. To adjust it you loosen the nut on the other side, and turn the screw that is right above the nut. I find that I need to adjust it to the point that it is a little loose, then lock it down by tightening the lock nut which will tighten the valve clearance a little. Once you have adjusted all of the ones that the FSM says to do, you can rotate the motor one turn and find TDC again then do the others. There is a diagram in the FSM for which ones to do.

My valve cover gasket was still in good condition, so I re used it. I recommend having one on hand in case yours is torn or something. A little RTV in each corner of the cover will hold the gasket on while you set it down on the engine. Now it's time to put everything back together and see if you quieted the rhythm. Before I did mine I couldn't hear the injectors over the valves, now they are very audible. When you can't figure out where a specific vacuum hose goes just post to the 3FE list and get the answer.

I did mine last night and the entire procedure from start to finish took just over one hour. This is a 2 banana mechanic job IMO. A great first project for new cruiser heads. Not much you can screw up, just take your time.
 
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sweet that pretty much sums it up. do you have to do it when the engine is hot or not? I always did it when it was kind of cold maybe like an hour or two after driving.
 

euclid

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Get it to operating temp and then dive in, as it should be hot. Most folks have to do it 2 or 3 times to get it just right. The quicker you get done the better so the temp will be consistent across the engine.
 
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IMHO the location of the timing window, and the design of the timing marks, are comically bizarre. You may want to search on that topic before you start.
 

euclid

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No kidding, the timing is also a 2 man job. One person to stand next to the right fender and hold the timing light down under the distributer with one hand and turn the distributer with the other hand and another person to look at the timing marks from in front of the truck. It's a bugger, but it's can be done.

IH8Wood said:
IMHO the location of the timing window, and the design of the timing marks, are comically bizarre. You may want to search on that topic before you start.
 
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Great information. However I have a couple of questions. I dont have a bump starter or even know what one is. How do I manually move to TDC? The valve cover gasket, mine is leaking, how do I remove it and prep the surface for a new one. Do I seat the gasket on the cover or engine? What is RTV.

Anyone have any step by step pictures?

What is the tool list required for the job?
 
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Boulder,CO
Search 2mbb's cold valve adjust thread (2F but similar).
A few recent threads on this to be found.

A bump starter is a remote to turn the crank (i.e. remote starter).
The Haynes manual says to turn the crank from the crank pulley nut with a large socket and breaker bar (with plugs removed).
a few guys on the site recommend getting close to TDC by aligning the distributor to plug #1, then bump the truck in 4th gear to get the mark lined up.

I haven't done this yet, so no real advice; just thought you might like to read the same threads I have been learning from.

Looks like the only tools needed are wrenches and a screwdriver.
However, having the timing properly set and carb adjusted for correct idle I believe will help (I'm waiting for a timing gun and tach, plan to do all three together)

Haynes says to line up the new gasket into the rim on the cover; clean surfaces with acetone or thinner first. Also replace the rubber grommet for the PCV I believe.

Search '2F valve adjust' in google and you will get some images of what to look for (and a bunch of other garbage too).

New question: best order to complete?
Valves/Idle/timing?

Or Idle/Valves/timing?

I'm thinking adjust timing last after idle and valves are running correctly; to get the timing advance best suited for everything else. Thoughts??? (Sorry for the hijack... but seems kind of in line with the OP)
 
Joined
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New question: best order to complete?
Valves/Idle/timing?

Or Idle/Valves/timing?

I'm thinking adjust timing last after idle and valves are running correctly; to get the timing advance best suited for everything else. Thoughts???


Neither--Valve, timing, idle, if you're talking about an FJ60.
Valves are an absolute, so get them set right first. Timing only varies with rpm, so get it it set at the proper idle rpm. Last set your idle, which is subject to many different variables, not only valves and timing.
 
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Jan 21, 2010
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VT
Are you guys doing the cold valve adjustment on a totally cold engine?

Thanks,

Sean
 
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Jun 11, 2004
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Denver
Adjusting them hot is the correct way to do it.

In my experience 3FE's won't run with the air cleaner/maf assembly removed.

Even if the 3FE would run without that assembly, adjusting the valves while running isn't the way to go. You can't get as accurate an adjustment with valves, rocker arms, lifters and pushrods all shaking about as you can with the engine not running. Less messy the hot way too. The 3FE is slow to lose its heat so even if it takes you a half hour or longer to complete the job, there is no reason not to do the valve adjusting when the engine is hot. Clearances don't change all that much between cold and hot, either. The FSM calls for adjusting while hot, so why not do it that way?
 
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Steve's right, no point in trying to do it running. The heavy block stores enough heat long enough that the lifters will stay plenty hot while you do it.

Bill
 
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Sep 27, 2011
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Cold start injector?

Hook up your bump starter. One end of it clips to the positive battery post and the other is connected to the bottom opening in the cold start injector connection, female side.

Where is this?
 
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Sep 27, 2011
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I just got a quote of 285.00 to adjust the valves and timing on my FJ80. Not bad but I chose to do it myself.
 

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