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Hydraulic Tappet Adjustment

For those new to Ford V8 engines, how to adjust the hydraulic tappets can be a mystery when all you've adjusted before were solid lifters. Here is a suggested method to do it once and get it right first time.

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Remove rocker covers

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Pick a cylinder.

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Bump the motor until the exhaust valve starts to open. Intake is now on base circle.

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Loosen the intake lock nut.

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WAIT a minute or so, to let the lifter relax back.

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Twirl intake pushrod between thumb and forefinger (hold gently) and tighten the lock nut until you feel the pushrod stop turning. A little practice is all it takes. You will know - it stops right away, unless you are turning it with pliers. This is zero lash.

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Tighten locknut 1/2~3/4 turn.

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Bump the motor until the Intake is almost down. Exhaust is now on base circle.

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Loosen the exhaust lock nut.

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WAIT a minute or so, to let the lifter relax.

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Twirl exhaust pushrod between thumb and forefinger (hold gently) , etc...

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Tighten locknut 1/2~3/4 turn.

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Repeat as necessary.

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If you go 1 cylinder at a time, you won't screw up or get confused or need a checklist. There IS a faster way - use it between rounds at the races, or to save time on the dyno. You have the time, go slow and you won't have to second guess after you put the valve covers on.

Note: This adjustment can be done with the engine hot or cold. (Only solid lifters must be adjusted hot).

Thanks to the Kelly family, Abilene USA for this advice.