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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys.. So I just wanna start off saying my Celica experience has kinda sucked recently.
I bought a manual 2001 celica GTS (145k miles) about 6 weeks ago for $3200. The car was fine for about a week, and then I started hearing a squeal when the clutch was depressed. Diagnosed it, and it's the throwout bearing squeaking. 2 weeks later I was on my way to school and my car broke down. I was switching from 2nd to 3rd and my car was giving VERY little power (My friend thought I shifted into 5th the power was so weak) and when I came to a stop the car was jiggling and everything. I turned it off and had it towed to my friends dad's shop. They ran a compression test and saw cylinder 1 had 0 compression and put a camera down the sparkplug hole and saw the intake valve was stuck open. My friend and I went to take off the cylinder head, and as soon as we took off the valve cover, we saw literally, the valve spring retainer popped off and the spring was off and everything (and that 1 valve was bent) . I just had the head-rebuilt with MWR and BC parts. I noticed these little caps ontop of the valve stem and retainer (Which just popped off) but didn't take note of these at the time. I lost one, and the machine shop told me they didnt have it nor could they find it. I went on toyotacelica forums and determined that these caps are called "Lash caps" or "Valve stem shim caps" and they're ment to adjust the gap between the valve stem and the rocker arm. Well, they make about 1000 different sizes for these valve stem caps. I looked up all the adjustment guides and I just want to give up. So far, i've done all the labor taking the head off and even got a discount on the head rebuild (Had my friends dad take it in and got a mechanic discount.)
I have about $350 in parts and $250 in machine shop labor.
I guess what my final question is do I NEED these shims? Or since the valve is new, is there 1 size that will fit on a new valve with no wear? or would it be better take take off all of the valve shims / caps and run it like that?

Electromagnetic Wave :-h
15,928 Posts

542 Posts
Every valve, cam (and rocker on some engines) is a little bit different, which is why the lash adjusters are different (and should not be mixed up during disassembly/reassembly.)

Without valve adjuster shims, the valves will not open and close correctly. They will not open all the way in most cases, and the cam lobe/rocker may destroy the valve stem tips outright.

You determine the max valve lash gap between a cam lobe/rocker end and the valve stem tip using a set of feeler gauges, with the intake and exhaust valves fully closed and the cam set on the firing position on that cylinder, e.g. total gap = 2.25 mm.

Then you look up the desired spec valve lash gap, e.g.
Intake 0.10 – 0.16 mm (0.0039 – 0.0063 in.)
Exhaust 0.24 – 0.30 mm (0.0094 – 0.0118 in.)

Then you buy the lash cap that corresponds to the difference in gap you have to fill to meet the spec ,e g. 2.25 -.10 = a 2.15 mm lash cap is necessary. The thickness of the adjuster is stamped on the inside of the lash cap.

From this link: - Valve Clearance - Adjustment.pdf

If you replace a valve, a starting point is:

(a) Install a standard shim of 2.400 mm (0.0945 in.) thickness
at low temperature and install the rocker arm.
(b) While pressing the rocker arm, measure the clearance ”A”
of valve ”b” in the condition that a clearance of the other
value is 0mm (0 in.).
(c) To adjust the valve hight, replace a shim of valve ”b” with
a shim that has thickness of t1.
t1 = A + 2.400
(d) After adjusting the valve height, adjust the clearance as described
from step 3.

Your first step is to buy a feeler gauge and take some measurements (do it 2 or 3 times), then talk to the Toyota parts guy to order the correct lash cap.

Hope this helps.

Celica Enthusiast
306 Posts
It took some digging but this is what helped me in the long run.

I still have more questions, but I'll keep it to my post about valve adjustments. :) I'm sure everyone on here are thrilled about them especially Smaay. I'm glad he still answers though.

And this website is your friend to finding parts.

Unless they deal on a day to day basis on 2zz engines, no one is going to have them in their machine shop. I have to buy all 16 of them on my build and these aren't as cheap as I would have hoped they were.
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