Valve clear­ance ad­just­ment

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

My daugh­ter’s 2007 Ford Fi­esta 1.3 16v petrol with the Du­ratec en­gine is due for a valve clear­ance ad­just­ment. As you are no doubt aware, with 16 valves this can be a lengthy process, es­pe­cially if ev­ery shim needs to be changed and new ones or­dered from a Ford agent.

Be­ing a re­tired au­to­mo­tive tech­ni­cian, I have al­ways main­tained my fam­ily’s ve­hi­cles. For my Fi­esta 1.8 diesel, I use the Ford tool 21-106 to de­press the bucket when both valves are closed, and shim pli­ers 21-106 to re­move each shim, prior to chang­ing them. As my en­gine is a sin­gle over­head cam diesel, I don’t think that my ex­ist­ing tools will work on my daugh­ter’s en­gine. I be­lieve that Ford tech­ni­cians use the tool 21-218 to de­press each tap­pet on the Du­ratec en­gine in or­der to re­move its shim.

Of course, I could re­move both camshafts af­ter mea­sur­ing the valve clear­ances, but this would be an even length­ier pro­ce­dure com­pared to sim­ply de­press­ing each bucket.

In your pro­fes­sional ca­pac­ity, have you found a way of do­ing the job with­out re­mov­ing the camshafts and with­out the Ford spe­cial tool? Mike Mills Ford tool num­bers have been up­dated and now start with a three-digit num­ber, thus the 21-218 tool you re­fer to has been up­dated to 303-563. This is sim­ply a fancy pair of tweez­ers with a bend at the end to al­low re­moval of the shim.

On the 16v Du­ratec en­gine there is no method of ex­tract­ing the valve fol­low­ers with­out first re­mov­ing the camshafts. For this rea­son, we nor­mally in­cor­po­rate the tap­pet shim ad­just­ment with a cam­belt change. As you know, the clear­ances need to be care­fully logged be­fore re­leas­ing the camshafts, then you have to take the ac­tual di­men­sions of the in­stalled shim to cal­cu­late the new val­ues needed. This is a lengthy pro­ce­dure, but we find that by com­bin­ing the two jobs – cam­belt and clear­ances – it does make more eco­nom­i­cal use of the time.

The Ford tool num­ber 303-563 for re­moval and re­fit­ting of tap­pet shims.

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