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How to Adjust the Lifters on a Mopar 360

by Bobby R. Goldsmith

The Mopar 360 small block engine offers a lot of power for its size, and with the installation of a high-performance camshaft, the engine can produce increased amounts of torque and horsepower. If you have recently installed such a camshaft, though, you likely need to adjust the lifters to ensure that the valve train functions at peak capacity. The adjustment is straightforward, and requires only a couple of tools. For hydraulic lifters, you can adjust the lifters with engine off and the valve covers removed.

Set engine so that the No. 1 cylinder, the front cylinder on the driver's side, is at top dead center. Remove the spark plug for the cylinder and manually turn the engine with a crankbar or breaker bar. When a puff of air will blow out of the spark plug hole, stop turning the engine. The No. 1 cylinder will be at top dead center.

Remove the valve covers. Tighten the nut on the first rocker arm on the driver's side of the engine as far as it will go. The pushrod will seat itself into the tappet for the hydraulic lifter, compressing it to a full load.

Tighten the nut on each rocker arm on the driver's side of the engine, working from front to back. Stop only when each pushrod fully seats itself. Repeat the process for the passenger's side, beginning with the rocker at the front of the engine, working to the back.

Replace valve covers. Turn on the engine and let it run until it warms up. Listen for any knocking or pinging underneath the valve covers, and note which rocker arms are making noise. Turn off the engine.

Remove the valve covers and tighten the rocker arm nuts for any rocker arms or lifters that made noise. Repeat the process until the noises cease or until there is no more play in the lifters and you cannot tighten the rocker arm nuts any farther.

Items you will need

About the Author

Bobby R. Goldsmith is a writer and editor with over 12 years of experience in journalism, marketing and academics. His work has been published by the Santa Fe Writers Project, "DASH Literary Journal," the "Inland Valley Daily Bulletin" and WiseGEEK.

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