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1968 ford: 289 v-8 stock engine with 302 head..lash

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i have a 1968 ford 289 v-8 stock engine with 302 head how do i set the valve lash

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 1: Valve clearance chart
  1. Run the engine until it is at full operating temperature.
  2. Stop the engine. Remove the rocker covers.
  3. Check the Valve Clearance Specifications chart for the proper clearance for your engine.
  4. Start the engine. Insert a step type feeler gauge (go and no-go) of the specified thickness between the rocker arm and the top of the valve. Adjustment is accomplished by loosening the jam nut (or locking nut)-the top nut on the rocker arm stud-and moving the adjusting nut (the lower nut) up or down as needed. When the proper adjustment has been attained, tighten the jam nut against the adjusting nut while holding the adjusting nut in position with a separate wrench. Check the clearance to make sure that the tightening of the jam nut against the adjusting nut did not alter the proper adjustment of the valve clearance.
  5. When all valves have been adjusted in this manner, stop the engine and reinstall the rocker covers.
info from Autozone.com free online repair manual
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
this has hydralic lifters
The hydraulic lifters compensate for the lash, you basically just have to tighten the rockers properly and the lifters take up the lash.


With the exception of certain high-performance V8 engines (289 High-Performance, Boss 302, Boss 429, Boss 351, 429 SCJ, and 351 HO of 1972) all engines used have been equipped with hydraulic valve lifters operate with zero clearance in the valve train and, because of this, the rocker arms are nonadjustable. The only means by which valve system clearances can be altered is by installing 0.060 inch over or undersize pushrods; but, because of the hydraulic lifter's natural ability to compensate for slack in the valve train, all components of the valve system should be checked for wear if there is excessive play in the system.


When a valve in the engine is in the closed position, the valve lifter is resting on the base circle of the camshaft lobe and the pushrod is in its lowest position. To remove this additional clearance from the valve train, the valve lifter expands to maintain zero clearance in the valve system. When a rocker arm is loosened or removed from the engine, the proper valve setting is obtained by tightening the rocker arm to a specified limit. But with the lifter fully expanded, if the camshaft lobe is on a high point it will require excessive torque to compress the lifter and obtain the proper setting. Because of this, when any component of the valve system has been removed, a preliminary valve adjustment procedure must be followed to ensure that when the rocker arm is reinstalled on the engine and tightened, the camshaft lobe for that cylinder is in the low position.

260, 289, and 1968-69 302 V8 Engines

See Figure 2

Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 2: Position of the crankshaft for valve adjustment-260 and 289 engines

This procedure for the 289 and early 302 V8 engines is designed for engines in which the rocker arm mounting studs do not incorporate a positive stop shoulder on the mounting stud. These engines were originally equipped with this kind of stud. However, due to production differences, it is possible some 289 or early 302 engines may be encountered that are equipped with positive stop rocker arm mounting studs. Before following this procedure, verify that the rocker arm mounting studs do not incorporate a positive stop shoulder. On studs without a positive stop, the shank portion of the stud that is exposed just above the cylinder head is the same diameter as the threaded portion, at the top of the stud is of greater diameter than the threaded portion, this identifies it as a positive stop rocker arm stud and the procedure for the 351 engine should be followed.

  1. Crank the engine until No. 1 cylinder is at TDC of the compression stroke and the timing pointer is aligned with the mark on the crankshaft damper.
  2. Scribe a mark on the damper at this point.
  3. Scribe three more marks on the damper, dividing the damper into quarters (see illustration).
  4. With mark A aligned with the timing pointer, adjust the valves on No. 1 cylinder by backing off the adjusting nut until the pushrod has free-play in it. Then, tighten the nut until there is no free-play in the rocker arm. This can be determined by turning the pushrod while tightening the nut; when the pushrod can no longer be turned, all clearance has been removed. After the clearance has been removed, tighten the nut an additional 1/4 of a turn.
  5. Repeat this procedure for each valve, turning the crankshaft 1/4 turn to the next mark each time and following the engine firing order of 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8.
source page: Autozone.com
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