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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy, during my recent project having a full valve job done, I serviced my lash adjusters. Here's my pictorial of the process for those of you new to our lash adjusters.

After removing them from the head, which can be difficult sometimes. Generally they can be pulled by hand using some twisting action to free them from the head. If you have to use a hand tool to grab them wrap with cloth to keep from damaging the adjuster head.

Summary Process: The adjuster piston is freed up and allowed to move at its normal operating distance by loosening and removing years of old oil sludge by repeated steps of flushing with cleaner and compressing in a vice.

You should be able to compress the adjuster by hand by the amount shown below. Note: photo is of a cleaned adjuster. All of my adjusters were froze and would not initially compress by hand. Also, my adjuster have 140k miles on them and have seen very regular oil changes, so odds are most, if not all, of your adjuster will also be stuck and not compress properly.


Step 1) I used brake cleaner, but carb cleaner will work fine too. Hold the adjuster away from you and spray into the side hole as shown below for a second or two allowing cleaner into the cylinder and make it ready for the next step.


here's what came out:


Step 2) compress adjuster using vice or something similiar. Note: on this first compression step, it may be very difficult to compress the sucker, but don't worry, you won't crush it. Compression I found on this first step was usually only a couple millimeters.



Step 3) Spray again with cleaner as in Step 1



Step 4) Compress again in vice. It should be easier to compress at this point, and basically you keep repeating the flushing and compressing until no more black shit comes out and you can compress the adjuster its full distance. My adjuster took 4 steps to complete the cleaning/freeing up process:





Another pic showing the range of adjuster movement:



If you have trouble pinching the adjuster with your fingers try it this way. When fully cleaned and freed up, the adjuster should "bottom out" with not much force. Just be sure to put something soft on the table. I used a couple pieces of cardboard and a rag.



Step 5) Ready to bleed the adjuster. Use a light viscosity oil. I used 5w-30. Submerse adjuster completely in oil. Cut a piece of a clothes hanger, or small Allen wrench, or something similar to fit into the hole. Compress the ball and spring in the bottom of the adjuster. Feel around for the ball and press down and up repeatedly to allow oil into the chamber below the metal ball/spring. Air will bubble out of the top. Do this until no more air comes out.

Also, found here:
MK2 TSRM On-Line




Lash adjuster is ready to be installed back in head in the same location it was removed from...And I always match up the hole on the side of the adjuster (that you sprayed cleaner into) with the oil feed hole on the side wall of the head. Not sure if this matters that much, but I do it anyway.

Rick
 

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you have no idea how helpful that was, after tearing down my injectors and reverse-flushing them getting them ready for new seals and caps, I put my lifters in my parts cleaner to soak overnight, logged onto celicasupra to search maintenance techniques for the lash-adjusters, and bam! there it was . thanks again for posting this.
STS
 

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another thing you should do is replace the spring in the oil pressure regulator on the head. it likely needs cleaned out as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yes, as William stated above, clean out the pressure regulator, very simple to do. Even the cleanest lash adjusters won't function well if the source of their oil is clogged.

Also, when you first start up the engine after servicing/bleeding the lash adjusters, don't freak out if you have quite a bit of valve train noise. It takes some time for oil to feed through the head passages and into the lash adjuster piston. Even with cranking the engine with EFI fuse pulled to build oil pressure for 30 seconds, I still had significant noise(tapping) when the engine started. It should quiet down significantly in the first 10 minutes of idling and then lessen even more as you drive for the next 60 to 100 miles(as long as you don't mix up the lash adjusters and valve rockers when re-installing). Just today, I've reached 75 miles and have observed the drive train becoming quieter.
 

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I should do that, mines hide the normal beautifull sound of the 5M..
 

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Great write up!
 

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What are the chances of doing this, putting it all back together and 1 or more lifters fail?
 

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I thought when you compress the lifter, you poke something through the hole at the top first? That lets the oil in the adjuster escape and allow it to be compressed. I would think simply putting it in a vice and clamping it down would hurt it? I mean, the little bleeder ball in the tip wasn't pressed in while you were doing that, so no wonder the adjuster wouldn't compress...
 

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I've always used a small nail, like a penny nail, inserted into the top hole of the lifter (like posted above), and if inserted correctly and pushed inward to release the valve inside, then I can compress the lifter up and down in a cup of lightweight oil (I used 5-30 wt). I found this bleeding procedure cleans out the lifter pretty well too. Not too sure about compressing the lifter in a vice. I've always felt that if the lifter has oil in it (like after bleeding), then if you try to compress it by hand, you really can't, it has quite a bit of resistance (like a very stiff shock absorber). Yes, it WILL compress with enough force, and a vice will do that, and the factory manual I believe mentions this to check how many millimeters it compresses under force. Its only a couple mm or so. Releasing the valve via a nail in the top hole will allow compression (maybe 5mm), but without the nail if you can compress the lifter by hand, its probably bad. It is this severe resistance to compression that allows these lifters to push against the rockers, and cause the valves to open. If the lifters compressed too easily, you would not get full valve lift.

At least thats my take on it :)

Don L.
 

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I pulled mine apart to clean them. The little collar which holds them together just snaps on and off. You can then get them really clean quite easily.
 

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I pulled mine apart to clean them. The little collar which holds them together just snaps on and off. You can then get them really clean quite easily.
so once you remove the collar you have taken the lifter apart to clean it? i didnt think it was possible to take them apart.
 

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so once you remove the collar you have taken the lifter apart to clean it? i didnt think it was possible to take them apart.
The collar is what holds them together. There isn't even any prying involved or anything. I just pulled the collar by hand (it was a little tight but no damage is done at all). After that the plunger and a ball and a spring came out. Mine were really clean but this would allow someone to really blast them out well with carb cleaner or something. When you are done, they just snap back together.
The manual says they aren't serviceable but I take that to mean that you can't get any parts for the inside. You can certainly open them up for inspection and cleaning though!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I thought when you compress the lifter, you poke something through the hole at the top first? That lets the oil in the adjuster escape and allow it to be compressed. I would think simply putting it in a vice and clamping it down would hurt it? I mean, the little bleeder ball in the tip wasn't pressed in while you were doing that, so no wonder the adjuster wouldn't compress...
inserting a wire/nail into the top hole and down onto the check ball inside while submerged in oil is to bleed air from the lifter. According to the manual, at this point the only "compression" taking place is on the check ball to allow air to escape from the chamber below the ball. No damage was done to the lifters in my method above, the vice was only to free up the lifter from all the gunk inside that caused them to freeze up. They would not compress any amount by hand even when empty of oil and to clarify that I compressed with the vice when they had no or little oil left in them.

If you have a lifter that will compress (when empty of oil) then obviously there is no need to use the vice to compress. Again,... Mine were froze in place. I'm not sure about Don's comment that once a lifter is filled with oil and bled of air that little compression by hand should be observed otherwise the lifter is bad. My intuition tells me that even with oil in the lifter there can/will be some compression, as the lifter is not a completely sealed unit. Also, when bench testing/cleaning the oil is not under under pressure like when installed and with engine running.

That's my take on it as well. ..

IIRC...The lifters are still in the engine and it is the quietest MKII valve train I'd ever had in a 100K+ mile supra.

Rick
 

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I forgot that oil would escape through the hole in the side of the lifter, where all the dirty solvent came out. I was thinking why have the bleeder hole in the tip then? To allow the lifter to be compressed while in the engine in order to remove the rocker! Then the lifter can be removed for cleaning (or replaced) without taking a lot of the engine apart. My bad for the post doubting your cleaning method.

Sometimes I think too much. LOL
 

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A couple of notes as well on the lash adjuster gallery pressure regulator. Oil does not flow through it to get to the galleries in the head; think of it like the pressure relief valve on the oil pump. It regulates the pressure, but when it releases oil that oil flows back down to the sump at the front of the head, not into the galleries. It certainly does need cleaning occasionally as it gums up, but also pay careful attention to the very small air bleed holes in the later versions which most of you will have (there are at least 2 iterations). They allow the air to bleed out of the top of the regulator reservoir so it can fill with oil more quickly on startup noting that it is the highest point in the oil system - you can see on the outside of the casting where they are drilled through, so find them and use a pin or something to ensure they are open. The bowl below it is designed to remain full after the engine is switched off, but if you leave the engine unstarted for a long period - it just adds to your problem as the small pool of oil (especially if it is cheap stuff) slowly deteriorates, then gets pumped up into the regulator on startup. Instant gum up.

On the Group A car we don't even run a spring setup in the regulator, we run the early (small) design housing just with a restricter.

Suspect the hole in the tip of the lash adjuster is also about allowing a small amount of oil onto the pivot surface of the finger follower/rocker. Remember, not a huge amount of pressure is required in the adjuster itself, a liquid is (virtually) incompressible no matter what pressure it is under! It does require good, constant flow though.

John
 

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Serious thread bump! I figured I'd add some pictures while I was cleaning my lash adjusters---

Lash adjuster from my '85. Note the little dimple on the collar:




Using your fingernail or something equally non-marring, pop the collar off:




Pull the piston out, pull the spring out and you're ready for a good cleaning. Mine are original and haven't been cleaned before. With under 80k miles, they didn't have much gunk in there, but it was enough that the piston wouldn't move at all.




I used carb cleaner and one of those cheap disposable brushes to clean the gunk out. Gave the rest of the parts a quick spray and wipe down. Reassemble as before and you're ready to prime them with oil.
 
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