How to Adjust Valves on a Kohler OHV Engine in 2024

How to Adjust Valves on a Kohler OHV Engine

Today you are going to read the complete How to Adjust Valves on a Kohler OHV Engine in 2024. Kohler is a well-known brand that is trusted for serving what customers need in their products. High-quality items are increasingly in demand among consumers because everyone wants and needs powerful, high-performance, handy, long-life services and convenient products to ease them, for sure!

About Kohler OHV Engine

Kohler overhead valve (OHV) engines have been built to meet customer demands and are perfect for consumer-oriented applications. Its goal is to give a smoother ride for the user while using less fuel (fuel-efficient).

An OHV engine produces higher torque per unit of displacement due to an increase of its volumetric efficiency if it is compared to the side-valve engine type.

Its design allows for perfect airflow around the cylinder head to keep the engine at a steady temperature, stays cool and helps to decrease fuel usage. This makes the Kohler OHV engine have high durability and can be used for a longer period.

With all of these advantages, then why do we need to alter the engine valve?

Why Is It Necessary To Adjust Engine Valves?

Let’s get started.

The engine’s valve adjustment is essential to the engine’s overall performance and reliability. Neglecting to examine your engine valves may result in a bunch of issues, including decreased performance power and also low fuel efficiency.

Inspecting the valve lash of your Kohler OHV engine regularly can help you to catch if there are any issues early on, saving you money and time. Also, you can visit our How to Bypass Ignition Switch on a Riding Lawn Mower? – Explained in Easy Steps!

The valve mechanism needs to be altered to regulate valve opening and shutting. The engine’s airflow will get affected if the valve lash clearance is excessively large. And when vice versa, the valve cannot close and seal properly which leads to leaking of the exhaust gases.

So, how do you know if your valves need adjusting?

One of the clear signs is when your engine is making weird sounds like tapping, rattling etc when you are about to start it. Also, when you notice its performance becomes slow and gives you a non-smooth ride. Then, you need to do something about it, which is adjusting.

Keep reading!

How To Adjust Valves On A Kohler Ohv Engine


The tools needed to adjust the valves are T15 Torx and an 8mm nut, as well as a metric 10mm wrench.

For the valve cover, a 10mm wrench nut would be useful, while an 8mm nut is needed for the engine cover. Also, you will need a feeler gauge to check the exhaust (0.07mm) and intake (0.05mm) gap clearance. Do not forget to prepare basic tools also in case you need it.


1. The fundamental step is to remove the hood so we gain access to the engine.

2. To do so, we must first disconnect the wiring from the headlights that connect to the body and the hood. You only need to pull the hood up once it’s disconnected.

3. Set the hood aside.

4. After that you will see, the valve cover is held in place by a slew of screws, so you must remove them all to gain access to the valve. Prepare your tool kit ready before starting to make the process go more smoothly; Remove all the screws and be careful of any oil leaking.

Pro tip: Place something underneath to prevent engine oil leaks from dripping into the exhaust etc.

5. Before proceeding to the next step, make sure you disconnect the ignition wire because it might self-ignite when you spin the flywheel later.

6. To begin the adjustment, in between the cam lobe and tappet, place your feeler gauge. You might feel it get loose a bit due to the heat produced when the engine is run.

The loose gap is the reason why you hear weird sounds when you start your engine and the reason why we need to adjust the valve as mentioned above.

7. Next, turn the centre adjusting screw in the tappet arm in a clockwise direction by using a T15 Torx until it sits firmly on the feeler gauge; which means the gap is fixed accordingly and the valve is adjusted properly.

Pro Tip: You can always check either the gap is perfect or not by using the feeler gauge. For exhaust, it is commonly 0.07 mm and for intake, 0.05 mm.

8. Tightens the lock nut while holding your T15 Torx screwdriver in place.

10. After everything is set, attach your new gasket. Use your fingers (with gloves!) to place the glue all over the side to prevent overuse glue which can cause blockage to the engine.

11. Install back the valve cover and everything as before. You are done!

Extra Info

Chewy-hardened oil deposits on the intake valve are one of the main causes and common reasons for the decrease in engine performance caused by the engine running on old fuel. This can happen because of various factors.

How to know the presence of the oil hard deposit? Check it out!

  1. Observe an uneven seating pattern on the valve’s face. It should have an even pattern with equal thickness. If not, it means there are oil deposits there. Clean and soak it, if needed, to loosen the deposit.
  2. Once you’ve cleaned it, run your fingernail or anything suitable along the valve stem. If you notice something (ridge) on the valve stem, it indicates the valve stem needs to be replaced.
  3. Using a calliper, measure the thickness of the valve head. If the margin is less than 0.016 inches, then, the valve should be replaced.
  4. Double-check the straightness of both valve springs. If either valve spring is bent, then you should replace it.

Pro Tip: Safety always comes first. Do not forget to use goggle and gloves.


Adjusting the valves on a Kohler OHV engine is very significant for long-lasting usage and to ensure the engine delivers its fullest performance.

As simple as following the steps listed above, you can save your money and time going to the workshop. No worry, you did not need a bunch of fancy tools to do it. However, remember, to always seek help if needed.

Anyway, good luck!

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