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1990 Valve Tick Cure: Replace Shim Or Valve Lifter?


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My '90 has the infamous valve tick at idle and low rpms at the rear drivers side of the engine. I've read this tick is caused by loose intake valve clearances that develop over time due to poor oiling in that part of the engine. However, opinions vary about how to cure the tick.

One camp says to install a thicker valve adjusting shim to bring the valve clearance back to within factory specs. Another camp says the valve lifter itself should be replaced to prevent impact damage to the tip of the valve stem.

I'd be interested to hear from other owners what they did to cure the valve tick: install thicker shim or new valve lifter? If new valve lifter, will a new one from a Lexus dealer fit properly? Thanks.

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The purpose of the shims is to establish the correct clearance. I don't think replacing the bucket lifter is needed. Installing the shims is apparently a big deal however - I've not done it, but I believe the camshafts have to be removed to do it. The shims are specific to Toyota/Lexus, and they are the ones to be used obviously.

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