Have a 5VZ-FE,2RZ-FE or 3RZ-FE that needs a valve adjustment? Here's How!
In this write up, a 5VZ-FE is being used. The 3RZ-FE and 2RZ-FE require the same valve adjustment method, so this applies to those engines as well.
-Digital Dial Caliper
-Various Valve Shim Sizes
-Feeler Gauge Set
-Wrench to turn the cam if head is off, or 19mm socket to turn the crank if the head is installed
*ALL 3RZ/2RZ/5VZ valve adjustments are done with the engine COLD*
In this case, the cylinder head is not yet installed. If the head is installed, turn the engine to TDC and mark the position of the cam sprockets in relation to each other before removing the camshafts.
If you look at the back of the cam sprockets, there is a dot on each cam, which are the timing marks. These 2 dots should be facing each other when the cam is installed. It helps to make it a little more visible to yourself, I used a marker. Note: If engine is assembled, turn to TDC and paint a mark across the cams.
The next step is to take a feeler gauge and see what the valve clearances are currently at. This head was brand new, so the valves were extremely out of spec. You might find zero clearances, which is not good.
-Go through and write the clearances on the cylinder head. The number on the left is the next size down of the clearance, the right is the actual clearance. These measurements are in inches. (.009,.010, etc.)
A wrench can be used on the cam service bolt to turn the cam into the desired position to check clearances. If the head is installed, DO NOT turn the cam by this bolt. Instead, turn the engine over with a 19mm socket on the crankshaft pulley bolt.
2RZ/3RZ Valve Clearances: COLD
Intake: .015-.025mm (.006-.010 in.)
Exhaust: .025-.035mm (.010-.014 in.)
5VZ Valve Clearances: COLD
Intake: .013-.023mm (.006-.009 in.)
Exhast: .027-.037mm (.011-.014 in.)
The next step is to remove the cam.
If you look at the cams from the side, you'll notice that one cam sprocket has 2 pieces. Between the cams is a spring that applies tension in order to keep the cams lined up at all times.
You need to install a bolt through this threaded hole (circled in pic below) PRIOR to removing the cam so that the cam sprocket stays together.
*Hint* this bolt can be easily left in by accident after the cam has been reinstalled. To avoid this, use a valve cover bolt. It is the same size bolt as the one that is needed to hold the cams together. When you come up a valve cover bolt short, you know where it is!
To remove the cam, remove the 12mm cam cap bolts and caps, and lift it the cam out. Note the order of the cam caps upon removal.
Now for the gnar part
Here is a pic of a valve shim that was causing a .010" clearance. A 009" feeler gauge would not fit.
The spec for this 5VZ exhaust valve is .011-.014". Since the clearance was .010" (which is to tight), we need to go DOWN .004" in shim size to achieve the correct .014" valve clearance. (.014-.010 = .004")
To remove the shims, pop them out with a flathead screwdriver.
Next, remove the shim. You need to measure it to see how thick it is.
You'll notice there is a dot in the middle, this is burned on sludge. DO NOT measure the shim over that dot, it will read an incorrect measurement.
The shim measures .114" with a .010" valve clearance
Now, remember the .004" thinner shim that we need? That means we need our shim to measure .110" in order to have the correct clearance. (.114-.004 = .110)
The exhaust valves should be set on the loose side, measuring AT LEAST the max clearance (.014"), .015" is a good cushion.
Intake valves run much cooler than exhaust valves, so the clearances are less crucial. If an exhaust valve is to tight, it will burn and then you're bummed.
Our goal for the exhaust valve clearance is .015". The shim measured .114" with a .010" valve clearance, so we need a shim that is .005" thinner.
The the shim new should measure .109" thick. (.114" old shim - .005" for new shim = .109" shim)
Using your hands, set the dial caliper to the size shim you need. In our case, it is .109".
The dial caliper measurement is still in inches.
Now hit the MM button on your digital caliper. Now the shim size that you need is converted from inches to MM, which is how Toyota sizes shims.
The measurement in MM for our desired shim is .277mm. (.109")
-Find the shim that is closest to this measurement, and install it.
-Repeat this for every valve on both the intake and exhaust valves.
-Reinstall the cam. Don't forget that sprocket bolt!
-Recheck valve clearances. If they are still incorrect, repeat the process as needed.
-In this example, the exhaust valve clearance was too tight, so we needed to DOWN in shim size. If the valve clearance is too loose, you need to go UP in shim size.
Hope this helps some people out!