See Figures 1 through 16
Honda recommends that the valve clearance be checked at 15,000 mile (24,000 km) intervals.
Be advised that the Civic series engines covered by this information do vary in the location of the intake valve(s), exhaust valve(s) and auxiliary (intake) valves (auxiliary for 12-valve models). If there is any uncertainty as to which valve is which, it is always true that exhaust valves align with the exhaust manifold tubes and the intake valves with intake manifold tubes.
Valve lash must always be adjusted with the engine cold. The head temperature must be below 100°F (38°C). Generally, this means allowing the engine to cool for at least three hours after driving. Overnight cold is best. If the valve adjustment is being done as part of a routine maintenance or mileage service regimen, do this work first, before the engine is warmed up to check timing or idle
- Remove the valve cover.
- Using a wrench on the crankshaft pulley bolt, rotate the crankshaft until the No. 1 cylinder is on TDC of its compression stroke. The UP mark (if it has one) should be on top and the TDC marks on the camshaft pulley(s) should align with the top of the cylinder head surface. The crankshaft pulley should be at TDC. Also, the rotor in the distributor should point to the No. 1 spark plug wire.
If you are unfamiliar with using feeler gauges, you can practice getting the proper "feel" by running the gauge through a (metal) precision micrometer set to the same clearance as the gauge. By doing this, you will get a better idea how "too tight" and "too loose" tolerances feel.
- Loosen the locknut. Using a flat feeler gauge, place it between the top of the valve and the adjusting stud. If the clearance is under, turn the stud outward with a screwdriver until the blade can be inserted between the two items, then, tighten the stud very gently just until it touches the gauge. A slight drag on the gauge should be felt by moving the gauge in and out-it must not be pinched between the two parts.
- Hold the position of the stud with a screwdriver, then, tighten the locknut until just snug-torque intake/exhaust valve locknuts for 1984-87 models to 14 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) and torque 1984-87 auxiliary valve locknut to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm). For all 1988-91 models, re-torque intake/exhaust valve locknuts to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm); for 1992-95 models, re-torque locknuts on cars with engine type D1587/D15B8 to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm), and torque D16Z6/D15Z1/D16A6 locknuts to 14 ft. lbs (20 Nm).
- Slide the gauge in and out to make sure the required clearance has been maintained. If not, readjust the valve the procedure for the remaining No. 1 cylinder valves.
As the work progresses, keep double checking that you are using the proper gauge for the type of valve being adjusted. Also use locknut torque specs (in step "d" above) for all four cylinders.
- Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise 180° (the camshaft turns 90°). Now, the TDC groove on the outer edge of the camshaft pulley, if equipped, should be aligned with the indentation on the timing belt cover. The distributor rotor will point to the No. 3 cylinder plug wire; the No. 3 cylinder should be on TDC of its compression stroke. Perform the same adjustment procedures as described for the No. 1 cylinder.
- Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise 180°. Now the TDC grooves, if equipped, will again be visible and the distributor rotor will point to No. 4 cylinder's plug wire. The No. 4 cylinder should be at the TDC of its compression stroke. Perform the same adjustment procedures as you did for the No. 1 cylinder.
- Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise 180°, until the mark on the rear of the pulley, if equipped, aligns with the indentation on the belt cover and the distributor rotor points to No. 2 plug wire. The UP mark should also be visible, on the left side of the camshaft pulley. Perform the same adjustment procedures as you did for the No. 1 cylinder.
- Install the valve cover. (Refer to Engine & Engine Rebuilding for the procedure.)
- After the valve adjustment is complete, re-torque the crankshaft pulley nut which may have backed out during the procedure. For 1984-87 models re-torque to 83 ft. lbs. (115 Nm); for 1988-91 models re-torque to 119 ft. lbs. (165 Nm); for 1992-95 models (except DOHC engine) re-torque to 134 ft. lbs. (185 Nm); for DOHC engine on the del Sol VTEC, re-torque to 130 ft. lbs. (180 Nm).