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Tools Required:

  • 3/8" socket set with a short extension bar
  • E10 socket for above
  • Long nosed pliers
  • Vice
  • Torque wrench

If you do any major work on your engine that requires removing the cylinder head or camshaft, you should squeeze the old oil out of the tappets. If you don't, it is not the end of the world, but the engine will be exceptionally noisy on first start. As the new oil replaces the old, things will eventually quieten down but for the sake of 30 minutes, we recommend following this guide.

If you need to squeeze the tappets, then chances are that you already have the rocker cover off the car. However, if you need to start from the top, this guide will help you.

If you haven't already, remove the cam sprocket from the cam shaft. You can remember the timing position by marking the timing chain and sprocket with a dab of Tip-Ex. Ensure that the timing chain is held taught so that it doesn't jump a tooth on the crank sprocket at the other end.

You now need to remove the camshaft.

With an E10 socket, slacken the retaining bolts in the order shown as follows. This is important as there will be some force acting upward from some of the valve springs. This order will ensure that the pressure is reduced evenly over the cam bearings.

You will notice that each cam bearing cap is numbered. For now, this doesn't matter - just take note.

With all bearing caps free, the camshaft will simply lift out.

Next, we need to remove the followers / lifters.

The combined followers and lifters simply lift off.

The valve stems and tappets are now revealed.

Using a pair of long nosed pliers, carefully grip the edge of each tappet and pull out of the head. Repeat for all six.

Lightly clean the old oil out of the cam chamber.

The tappets have an inlet and outlet oil hole in the locations shown. The inside of the tappet will full of old oil holding the tappet ridged. If you try squeezing it between your finger and thumb, you will find that it won't budge.

The best way to shift the oil is to clamp it in a vice and force it out!

Don't tighten the vice to quickly as you may damage the inside the tappet. Turn slowly until you see oil starting to ooze out. Keep wiping the oil away until the flow stops. Then tighten the vice a bit more and repeat. Keep doing this until you feel increased resistance. The tappet should have compressed by about 4mm.

When done, remove the tappet from the vice and clean with a paper towel. You will now be able to compress the tappet between finger and thumb.

Leave the squeezed tappets in fresh oil until you are ready to fit them back on the car. Don't worry, they won't seize up again.

When you are ready to refit, taken the tappets out of the oil and drain off the excess.

The tappets simply push back into their sockets. A dab of fresh oil may help them slide in place.

It is important to ensure that the hole in the side of the tappet is facing the oil gallery that runs centrally along the head. In simple terms, bottom tappets need the hole facing towards the front of the car. Top tappets need to face the other way.

Push all tappets home and check that the tops will still compress easily.

Fit the followers/lifters as shown. They simply sit on top of the tappet and valve stem. Ensure that you fit them the correct way round!

Before fitting the cam, wipe some fresh oil over the four cam seats.

Repeat for the corresponding positions on the camshaft itself.

Lay the camshaft back in place. Be careful not to knock any of the followers off their positions.

Fit the cam bearing caps back in their correct positions. As you saw from removal, each cap is numbered. Fit them as follows:

From your position, each number needs to appear 90degrees anticlockwise. If not, then you have fitted the cap the wrong way round. They should appear as follows:

Tighten the cam bolts hand-tight. Double check that the followers are still correctly seated.

Now tighten the cam bolts with an E10 socket to 8.4Nm in the order shown below.

Now time the engine and tighten the cam sprocket bolt to 21Nm. Before refitting the rocker cover, pour a cup of fresh oil over the cam shaft. This will offer some lubrication when starting the car following this work. Reassemble the rest of the engine and test! Allow the oil to circulate for about a minute. You should now be left with a smooth sounding engine.

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