GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Rocker Arms and Pushrods

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1.8L, 2.0L and 2.2L OHV Engines
1982-86 VEHICLES

See Figure 1

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the air cleaner. As outlined earlier in this section, remove the rocker arm cover.
  4.  

Always place the components in a rack in order of assembly so they can easily be installed in the same locations, and with the same mating surface as when removed.

  1. Unfasten the rocker arm nut and ball. Lift the rocker arm off the stud. Always keep the rocker arm assemblies together and install them on the same stud. Remove the pushrods.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Removing the rocker arms and pushrods - 1982 1.8L (OHV) engine shown

To install:
  1. Coat the bearing surfaces of the rocker arms and the rocker arm balls with Molykote® or its equivalent.
  2.  
  3. Install the pushrods making sure that they seat properly in the lifter.
  4.  
  5. Install the rocker arms, balls and nuts. Tighten the rocker arm nuts until all lash is eliminated.
  6.  
  7. Adjust the valves when the lifter is on the base circle of a camshaft lobe:
    1. Crank the engine until the mark on the crankshaft pulley lines up with the O mark on the timing tab. Make sure that the engine is in the No. 1 firing position. Place your fingers on the No. 1 rocker arms as the mark on the crank pulley comes near the O mark. If the valves are not moving, the engine is in the No. 1 firing position. If the valves move, the engine is in the No. 4 firing position; rotate the engine one complete revolution and it will be in the No. 1 position.
    2.  
    3. When the engine is in the No. 1 firing position, adjust the following valves: Exhaust - 1,3 Intake - 1,2
    4.  
    5. Back the adjusting nut out until lash can be felt at the pushrod, then turn the nut until all lash is removed (this can be determined by rotating the pushrod while turning the adjusting nut). When all lash has been removed, turn the nut in 1 1 / 2 additional turns, this will center the lifter plunger.
    6.  
    7. Crank the engine one complete revolution until the timing tab and the O mark are again in alignment. Now the engine is in the No. 4 firing position. Adjust the following valves: Exhaust - 2,4 Intake - 3,4
    8.  

  8.  
  9. Installation of the remaining components is the reverse order of removal.
  10.  

1987-89 VEHICLES

See Figure 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the air cleaner. Remove the rocker arm cover. For details, please refer to the procedure located earlier in this section.
  4.  

Always place the components in a rack in order of assembly so they can easily be installed in the same locations, and with the same mating surface as when removed.

  1. Unfasten the rocker arm nut(s) and ball(s). Lift the rocker arm off the stud. Always keep the rocker arm assemblies together and install them on the same stud. Remove the pushrods.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: When removing the rocker arms and/or pushrods, always keep the assemblies together to ensure they are installed in the same locations that they were removed from

To install:
  1. Coat the bearing surfaces of the rocker arms and the rocker arm balls with Molykote® or its equivalent.
  2.  
  3. Install the pushrods, making sure that they seat properly in the lifters.
  4.  
  5. Install the rocker arms, then secure using the balls and nuts. Tighten the rocker arm nuts to 11-18 ft. lbs. (15-25 Nm).
  6.  
  7. As outlined earlier, install the rocker cover.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable.
  10.  

1.8L and 2.0L SOHC Engines

See Figure 3

A special compressing tool is required for this procedure.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. As outlined earlier, remove the camshaft carrier cover.
  4.  
  5. Using a valve train compressing fixture, tool J-33302 or equivalent, depress all the lifters at once.
  6.  
  7. Remove the rocker arms, placing them on the workbench in the same order that they were removed. Remove the thrust piece.
  8.  
  9. Remove the hydraulic valve lash compensators, keeping them in the order in which they were removed.
  10.  

The valve lash compensators are not serviceable. If damaged or faulty, they must be replaced.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the valve train components - 1989 2.0L shown

To install:
  1. Compress the valve springs with tool J-33302 or equivalent.
  2.  
  3. Install the valve lash compensators into their original positions.
  4.  
  5. Install the thrust piece and rocker arms.
  6.  
  7. As outlined earlier, install the camshaft carrier cover.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable.
  10.  

2.8L and 3.1L Engines
1985-86 VEHICLES

See Figures 4 and 5

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. As outlined earlier, remove the rocker arm (valve) covers.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rocker arm nuts, rocker arm balls, rocker arms and push rods, then place in a rack so that they may be reinstalled in the same location.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Assembled view of the valve mechanism - 1986 2.8L engine shown

To install:
  1. Install the pushrods making sure that they seat properly in the lifter.
  2.  
  3. Coat the bearing surfaces of the rocker arms and the rocker arm balls with Molykote® or its equivalent.
  4.  
  5. Install the rocker arms, balls and nuts. Tighten the rocker arm nuts until all lash is eliminated.
  6.  
  7. Adjust the valves when the lifter is on the base circle of a camshaft lobe:
    1. Turn the engine until the mark on the crankshaft pulley lines up with the O mark on the timing tab. Make sure that the engine is in the No. 1 firing position. Place your fingers on the No. 1 rocker arms as the mark on the crank pulley comes near the O mark. If the valves are not moving, the engine is in the No. 1 firing position. If the valves move, the engine is in the No. 4 firing position; rotate the engine one complete revolution and it will be in the No. 1 position.
    2.  
    3. When the engine is in the No. 1 firing position, adjust the following valves: Exhaust - 1,2,3 Intake - 1,5,6
    4.  
    5. Back the adjusting nut out until lash can be felt at the pushrod, then turn the nut until all lash is removed (this can be determined by rotating the pushrod while turning the adjusting nut). When all lash has been removed, turn the nut in 1 1 / 2 additional turns, this will center the lifter plunger.
    6.  
    7. Turn the engine one complete revolution until the timing tab and the O mark are again in alignment. Now the engine is in the No. 4 firing position. Adjust the following valves: Exhaust - 4,5,6 Intake - 2,3,4

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 5: On 1985-86 2.8L engines, the valves must be adjusted when removing the rocker arm assemblies

    8.  

  8.  
  9. Install the rocker arm (valve) cover, as outlined earlier.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check the timing. Adjust if necessary.
  12.  

1987-94 VEHICLES

On 3.1L engines, an "Idle Learn" procedure must be performed which requires the use of a scan tool.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. As outlined earlier, remove the rocker arm covers.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten the rocker arm nuts. When removing the components, make sure to keep them separated so they can be installed in the same location.
  6.  
  7. Remove the rocker arm pivot ball(s), rocker arms, push rod guides and push rods, then place them in a rack so that they may be reinstalled in the same location.
  8.  

Intake pushrods are marked orange and are 6 in. (152.4mm) long. Exhaust pushrods are marked blue and are 63/8in. (161.9mm) long.

To install:
  1. Install the pushrods (correct length) making sure that they seat properly in the lifter.
  2.  
  3. Coat the bearing surfaces of the rocker arms and the rocker arm balls with Molykote® or its equivalent.
  4.  
  5. Install the pushrod guides, rocker arms, pivot balls and nuts.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the rocker arm nuts to 14-20 ft. lbs. (19-27 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the rocker arm covers.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

On the 3.1L engine, a Tech 1® scan tool is needed to perform the "Idle Learn" procedure.

  1. For the 3.1L engine perform the following "Idle Learn" procedure;
    1. Install a Tech 1® scan tool.
    2.  
    3. Turn the ignition to the ON position, engine not running.
    4.  
    5. Select IAC SYSTEM , then IDLE LEARN in the MISC TEST mode.
    6.  
    7. Place the transaxle in park or neutral, as applicable.
    8.  
    9. Proceed with idle learn as directed by the scan tool.
    10.  

  2.  

 
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