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how to adjust valves on a 94 honda civic LX 1.5L SOHC

Updated on January 18, 2011

Hi everyone

In this Blog I'm going to show you how to adjust valves on the model listed.This is considered to be in the regular maintenance category for Honda's.Now most owners of this particular model have experienced at one point or another a ticking noise while driving.This noise will sound louder in the park or neutral position.Simply because of rotating mass,for ex:if your car is sitting still and just started the engine is cold.It's not at optimum running temperature.once you put your car into drive,the car is now gaining momentum,which has a higher rotating mass.The faster you go the more rotation the louder the car,the lower the noise of the valves that need to be adjusted.The time you will hear the valves ticking the most will be when the engine is started because of temperature.Note this is not recommended for owners of no auto experience.Please see a reputable auto mechanic.For those of you that are enthusiasts like myself and knowledgeable of autos don't be hesitant to try,take your time and be patient this is not something that may come on your first try.

Steps to adjust valves on 1.5L sohc

  1. Let the engine cool down completely.The engine and components are extremely hot.Be patient your safety comes first 
  2. Place the number one piston at TDC (Top Dead Center).The number one piston is the closest to the drive belts to do this rotate the crankshaft 360 degrees clockwise.NOTE: the timing mark on the pulley should be aligned with the pointer mark on the block. To check this you can loosen the screws from the distributor cap.The rotor should be pointing toward the #1 spark plug wire terminal on the distributor cap.If it's not rotate the crankshaft 360 degrees and check the rotor again.
  3. Removing the valve cover.First disconnect the negative battery cable.Next remove any wires that may be in the way and disconnect the vacuum hose from the valve cover,along with the spark plug wires.Make sure to label the wires so you can replace them in the correct order.Remove the four valve cover nuts.NOTE if the cover sticks or has tension when removing you can tap it with a rubber mallet.
  4. Wipe off the top of the cover before removal, to prevent any dirt or debris from falling into the cylinder head.
  5. Now that were at this step,you can start with the valve adjustments.Start with the intake side first. Insert a feeler gadge of the right thickness between the valve stem and the rocker arm,you should feel a slight draw or drag.If there'sno drag or a heavy drag as you pull away you will have to make adjustments. Now loosen the adjustment nut and place a screwdriver on the adjustment screw. Tighten or loosen the screw till you have accomplished that slight drag we were talking about earlier.When the drag feels right hold the screwdriver on the adjustment screw to prevent the screw from moving,while tightening the nut.
  6. Make sure to check the drag again after tightening the nut.Then follow the same steps for the other intake valve and the two exhaust valves.
  7. Next rotate the crank shaft 180 degrees counterclockwise,so the #3 piston is a TDC.The rotor on the distributor should be pointing at the number three spark plug wire terminal on the distributor cap.When this is accomplished follow the #5 steps to adjust the valves.
  8. Rotate the crankshaft 180 degrees counter clockwise,so the #4 piston is at TDC.The rotor this time is going to face the #4 spark plug wire terminal on the distributor cap.repeat step #5 for valve adjustments.
  9. Once more rotate the crank shaft 180 degrees counter clockwise so the #2 piston is at TDC.The rotor should now be facing the #2 spark plug wire terminal on the distributor cap.Repeat step #5 to adjust the valves.
  10. Reinstall the valve cover.


  1. When reinstalling the valve cover,you should reinstall it with a new gasket and seals.
  2. Make sure you have the right tools to do the job.It will make your job easier and more motivating to accomplish your task.
  3. Remember take your time and be patient it will pay off in the long run.
  4. This adjustment is part of maintenance,you should do this job once a year.IF needed.


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