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Materials needed:

  • Feeler Gauge - this is used to measure the valve clearances. It costs about $3 from AutoZone.
  • basic tools
  • non-windy environment - when the valve cover is off, you donít want any crap getting into the engine.
  • beer - optional-but makes things more interesting. (Just kidding).
  • (optional) - When the valve cover is off, you can replace the valve cover gasket as well.

The first thing to do is to disconnect the negative cable on the battery. From there, remove the spark plug cables from the spark plugs but leave them on the distributor and move then aside but write down what wire goes where.

Now you have to unbolt the valve cover. There are a total of 7 bolts you have to loosen. Be careful not to lose the washers.

Remember to carefully remove the two vacuum hoses from the valve cover before removing it.

Now carefully remove the valve cover. If it is stuck, use a rubber mallet of some sort to get it loose. Take the cover off and then place the cover in a safe clean place.

Now that your valve cover is removed, you must be careful not to get any debris into the engine. Debris = BAD FOR ENGINE. This is also the time to check the valve cover gasket also. If it feels charred or if it has any cracks or tears, it needs to be replaced.

Measure the clearances and make sure they are all within spec. If the lobe is on the valve, you have to use a wrench to turn the crank on the crank bolt until it is in the desired position. If this is too much of a bitch, then just measure the ones that are already lined up. Then check the others later. Donít try to turn the engine with the key while the cover is off. Hehe. The clearances for the 16V are 0.10mm-0.20mm for the intake and 0.25mm-0.35mm for the exhaust valves. Remember, these are for the 16V. I do not have the measurements for the 8V at this time. Note: Observe the way the cam lobe is pointing upwards. Only check your clearances when the lobe is in this position for proper accuracy.

So youíve now checked the clearances, the gasket, and everything is cool huh? Well, now when you put the cover back on make sure there is no dust or hair in it as well as the engine. When it comes to tighten the bolts you need to torque the bolts to 11 ft-lbs. This is relatively important. Reconnect the battery and call it a day.


Clinton Davis
'86 190E 2.3-16V


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