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Valve Adjustment - Studebaker V8

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Written by  Peter Sant 12 March 2013
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I have just completed a valve adjustment on my Avanti 289 engine and I thought that I would share with you the procedure that I used.

First remove all the spark plugs. (time to do a compression check here)

Remove the coil wire from the distributor and ground it to the engine block.

Using a jumper wire from the started solenoid to the battery ( I have a push button jumper set from Canadian Tire)

"Bump" the engine over to put the engine on Top Dead Centre (Timing mark on the vibration damper lined up with the pointer.) This can be done in two ways. One by removing the distributor cap and verifying where the rotor is pointed or the way that I do it by removing both valve covers and checking where the valve position is on number one cylinder. (The valves on number 1 should both be closed and you can easily tell by pushing on them and they should move about .025.)

You may be able to rotate the engine with a big wrench on the vibration damper bolt to make the mark line up exactly with the pointer and mark on the vibration damper, but on an Avanti this is next to impossible.

If the mark on the vibration damper shows that it is on Top Dead Center but number Six is in firing position it really does not matter, just follow the chart below.

With Pointer and engine on Number 1 firing position adjust valves

EXHAUST Number 1, 3, 4, 8

INTAKE Number 1, 2, 5, 7

With pointer at Number 6 firing position adjust valves

EXHAUST Number 2, 5, 6, 7

INTAKE Number 3, 4, 6, 8

Now, the factory manual specifies valves to be set hot and running. This a very messy and awkward thing to do. It is best to set your valves cold and I mean cold. Allow the engine to sit overnight to be sure. The set the valves to .027 not the .025 as the manual states

I prefer to set valves a bit on the wide side as today's fuels seem to make the engine run a bit leaner (hotter).

After you have done the valve adjustment in accordance with the procedure outlined you should do a double check just to be sure that you have set them accurately and you have not made any mistakes.

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