How to Adjust the Valves on My Triumph Spitfire

Written by michelle schaefer
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How to Adjust the Valves on My Triumph Spitfire
Adjust the valves on your Triumph Spitfire. (car grill image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

The Triumph Spitfire is a classic British sports car that requires regular tune ups and adjustments to maintain peak performance. Part of a comprehensive maintenance schedule includes routine valve adjustments every six months or 6,000 miles. A valve adjustment is a simple maintenance procedure well within the abilities of the average weekend mechanic. Spitfires are, by design, very easy to work on with the right information and a few simple tools.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Metric socket set
  • 1 13/16-inch socket
  • 3/4-inch breaker bar
  • 1/2-inch combination wrench
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Valve cover gasket

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Apply the parking brake, shift the car into neutral and chock the wheels.

  2. 2

    Remove the spark plugs, valve cover and valve cover gasket.

  3. 3

    Number the rocker arms and valves from #1 to #8, starting at the front of the engine.

  4. 4

    Rotate the engine with a 1 13/16-inch socket and 3/4-inch breaker bar until the #1 valve is fully open and just starting to close. Adjust the #8 valve to .010 clearance with a 1/2-inch wrench and screwdriver.

  5. 5

    Rotate the engine with the 1 13/16-inch socket and 3/4-inch breaker bar until the #2 valve is fully open and just starting to close. Adjust the #7 valve to .010 clearance.

  6. 6

    Adjust the valves from front to rear using the "rule of nines." The "rule of nines" is: 9 - (# of the valve fully compressed) = the # of the valve to adjust. For example, when valve #3 is in position, it is time to adjust valve #6 (9 - 3 = 6).

  7. 7

    Repeat Step 6 until all valves have been adjusted. Replace the spark plugs, valve cover and valve cover gasket.

Tips and warnings

  • Petroleum jelly can be used as a gasket compound so that you can reuse the valve cover gasket several times before replacing it.
  • Use a fender cover or blanket to protect the car's finish when working on the engine.
  • Always rotate the engine clockwise. Rotating the motor counterclockwise will result in inaccurate valve adjustments.

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