NOTE: This procedure applies only on Series 40 engines used with Syncromesh transmissions; these engines have plain sleeve valve lifters. All other engines have hydraulic valve lifters, indicated by a label on rocker arm cover, stating-“This Engine Equipped with Hydraulic Lifters.”

For maximum performance in engines equipped for adjustable valve lash, it is imperative that the ROAD OPERATING VALVE LASH BE UNIFORMLY .015″.

Oil, water and engine temperatures must be stabilized or brought to normal operating temperatures before the valves can be properly adjusted for uniform lash. When an engine is warmed up by running without load in the shop, the oil, water and engine temperatures level off at different points than those obtained on the road; therefore, a wider lash adjustment is required in the shop adjustment.

NOTE: An alcohol base anti-freeze in the cooling system will boil before the temperatures become properly stabilized when running engine in the shop; therefore, such anti-freeze must be drained and the cooling system filled with water until valve lash operation is completed , after which the anti-freeze must be reinstalled.

The following procedure must be carefully followed when adjusting valves in the shop, in order to obtain the specified road operating lash.

  1. Loosen radiator cap to prevent excessive water temperature build-up. Start engine and set speed at a minimum of 700 RPM. NOTE: A lower speed during warm-up will not provide proper circulation through the engine to uniformly stabilize the water temperature.
  2. Run the engine for 20 minutes. This will bring the oil, water and engine temperatures to a point where change of lash caused by expansion of engine parts will level off and the lash will remain fairly constant for a period of about 10 minutes. During this time the valve lash can be checked and adjusted as required.
  3. Set engine to idle at 350-400 RPM. Remove rocker arm cover and make sure that valves are being properly supplied with oil.
  4. Starting at rear of engine, check the lash of all valves with a .017″ and an .018″ feeler gauge. The .017″ gauge should pass between the valve stem and rocker arm without sticking, but the .018″ gauge should not pass through.

CAUTION: Feeler gauges must be smooth and straight.

  1. Where the lash is either too tight or too loose, loosen the lock nut and adjust the ball stud until a slight drag is felt on a .017″ feeler gauge placed between the valve stem and rocker arm. Tighten lock nut and recheck lash with the .017″ “go” and .018″ “no go” feeler gauges. Quiet valve action d e pends on uniform valve lash. Valve lash must not be reduced below the minimum clearance specified.
  2. Adjust engine idle speed at 450 RPM, then stop engine.
  3. Install rocker arm cover, making sure that gasket is in good condition and properly placed to prevent leakage of oil. Tighten radiator cap.



Removal of 1952 Buick Hydraulic Lifters

When an inspection indicates that the valve lifters may contain dirt or varnish it is advisable to remove all lifters for cleaning and inspection; otherwise, it will be satisfactory to remove only the lifters that are not operating properly.

  1. Remove 1952 Buick air cleaner (Ser. 40-50 only), rocker arm and push rod covers.
  2. When removing all or a majority of the valve lifters, remove the rocker arm and shaft assembly from 1952 Buick cylinder head, then remove all push rods.

When removing only a few of the valve lifters, loosen lock nut and turn ball stud out of rocker arm (above each lifter being removed) until arm can be moved aside far enough to clear the push rod. Remove push rod.

  1. Insert Hook J 5096 through hole in push rod seat and remove valve lifter. See figure 2-12.
    1952 Buick Removing Lifter with Hook J 5096

    1952 Buick Removing Lifter with Hook J 5096

If a lifter cannot be removed because it is burred or mushroomed on lower end it will be necessary to remove the camshaft so that the lifter can be removed from below. The lifter guide hole may be damaged if a mushroomed lifter is driven up through it.

If a lifter cannot be removed with Hook J 5097 because of varnish, then use Remover J 5094 in the following manner.

  • Insert a nail (1 3/8″ long) through hole in push rod seat to hold the check ball off its seat, then lightly place Remover J 5094 on valve lifter and turn the knurled knob until the flange on remover shaft drops down inside the plunger retainer.
  • Turn knob to align screwdriver slot with handle of remover, so that flats on remover body match the straight sections of plunger retainer. See figure 2-13, view A.