Senior Tech Team
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Gold Canyon, AZ
Re: Valve Adjustment on stock 283
I agree with previous posts, the valves (when using a stock cam ONLY) can be set with the timing set at TDC #1 cylinder and TDC #6 cylinder. (However, to get from TDC #1 cylinder to TDC #6 cylinder, you need to turn the engine one full revolution, NOT 180 degrees. Find TDC #1 cylinder, line up the timing mark on the balancer, adjust the valves per your manual, then turn the engine one revolution and line up the timing mark again and adjust the remaining valves). In my opinion, this procedure should only be done if the engine has a stock cam. High performance cams have a significant reduction in overlap, which will affect this procedure. Engines with high performance cams should have the dampener marked at 90 degree internals and the valves should be set at TDC by turning the engine 90 degrees and adjusting the valve lash according to the firing order.
Now once the valves have been adjusted cold (aka bench setting), the engine should be started and brought up to operating temperature - then hydraulic lifters adjusted by backing off until ticking is heard and tightened until the sound goes away. Then the adjusting nut is turned the additional turn (s) or fraction of a turn according to cam specs. Yes, it can be messy, but it is the best way to adjust hydraulic lash/lifter preload. Some cam manufacturers specify cold lash adjustment and some specify hot lash adjustment - go by their recommendations.
64 Chevelle Malibu Sport Coupe (original owner) car now has 427" BB, Jerico 5-spd. trans., Dana 60 rear end.
SAE Member (25+ years)
ASE Master Certified Engine Machinist
AERA Certified Professional Engine Machinist