There seem to have been a lot of people asking about the shimless lifters recently, and having done the conversion I thought I would offer a little write-up. Please keep in mind that this is the way that I did it. I'm sure there are other measuring methods an all, and you don't have to do it my way. Enjoy!
First off, you might ask 'What is the point of putting in shimless lifters?'
Here's the deal, with stock cams, there is no point going shimless except that it will lighten the valvetrain (shimless are ~35% lighter than shim + lifter).
BUT, when you install an aftermarket cam with a steeper ramp, you run the risk of spitting out a shim. This CAN actually happen, and here's a little illustration to show you how(Sorry, I am lame at photoshop so I drew a picture
As you can (hopefully) tell from the illustration, a higher lift cam has a larger contact area. So when the lobe comes in contact with the outer portion of the shim, it causes it to pop up, not completely out, but slightly. The shim popping up thing is not a theory or myth for people to consider, I have actually witnessed
this firsthand when I installed my 264 cams and rotated them slowly. Now imagine, and forget high RPM's, do you want your shims to be popping up and down like that at ANY rev speed? I certainly don't and here's where the shimless lifters come in.
What you will need:
-micrometer - mine is Harbor Freight, you don't need a $600 one.
-10mm socket - for bearing caps
-paper and a pencil
-calculator (or simply an online conversion chart to go from Inch to mm)
First off you will want to make a big chart. It should essentially be the layout of the lifters and their location. You will end up with 16 boxes, be sure to indicate intake and exhaust side + front/back of cylinder head. The chart is mainly so you don't get confused, there will be a lot of numbers flying around
Next you will use the feeler gauge to measure all your valve clearances. The clearance is the space between the cam lobe and lifter, with the 'pointy part' of the lobe pointing directly away from the lifter. The measurement you want to use will be the thickest feeler gauge you can slide in between the two, without using any sort of force. As you get each measurement, write it down in the respective box on the chart. We take these measurements first to make sure everything is in spec.
The clearance specs are as follows:
1st & 2nd gen 3S-GTE:
Intake: 0.15 - 0.25mm (0.006 - 0.010in)
Exaust: 0.20 - 0.30mm (0.008 - 0.012in)
(If you have some that are out of the spec range, write down the measurement you do get, and put a star next to it to note it is wrong. Then see my note further down the page)
After you have finished that, we can take out and measure each lifter (one at a time! so you don't get confused). You will write the thickness measurement of each lifter in it's respective box.
Here is how I measured the lifters:
I am picky about this stuff so I took 3 measurements.
1 - Shim + lifter together
2 - shim by itself
3 - lifter by itself
Take your micrometer and be sure to center it on the lifter. It needs to be sitting the same place that the valve stem sits (see pic):
I came up with a measurement of .214 inches for this lifter and shim together, that equals 5.435mm. Go ahead and write your measurement down on your chart.
Now measure the shim and lifter separately. Really the only reason I do this is to be extra sure that my first measurement is correct. Each Shimless lifter cost me $11.50 with a discount, if you measure wrong, you might end up wasting a lot of money!
OK, so I came up with .097" or 2.463mm for my lifter,
and .117" or 2.971mm for my shim. Be sure to measure the shim in the middle and around the edges just in case it has some wear. Go with the middle measurement since that is where you measured your valve clearance from.
Do you have this all written down on your chart? Here is my example just to get an idea of what info each of your boxes should contain (well, including valve clearance which isn't on my example chart):
So if we add up my individual measurements of the lifter and shim, ( 2.463mm + 2.971mm) we come up with a total thickness of 5.434mm. That is only one thousandth off of my initial measurement, so we're pretty good.
Now Toyota doesn't have the shimless lifters measured to the thousandth, only to the hundredth, so we will need to round 5.434mm off. One might assume we will just round it to 5.43mm, but we can't. The reason is because Toyota only sells the shimless lifters in increments of .02mm. SO... we will want to round to the nearest increment of .02mm which is 5.44mm.
Next - Do this 15 more times! I already did all mine so I get away with only doing one
. Take your time, be patient and be sure to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. Like I said, there will be a lot of numbers flying around and it is easy to get confused.
If one or more of the clearances are not in spec:
then you will have to make up for the clearance difference when you order the shimless lifters. Either by adding or subtracting the needed millimeters.
So say you have one or more that is out of spec... Using a shimless lifter with a 5.50mm total thickness in the #1 intake spot, I will give you an example. These are the measurements:
-The valve clearance is .10mm (too tight!)
-The clearance I want is .20mm (a good middle ground)
-The difference I need to make up is .10mm
So I know that if I order a shimless lifter with a 5.50 thickness it will be .10mm too tight. I need a thinner shimless lifter to make up the difference! In this case I need one exactly .10mm thinner, so I will order a 5.40mm lifter for the #1 slot (are you confused yet? I did a lot of standing and staring while trying to figure this out. If you have any questions feel free to PM me!)
Lastly, cuz I'm nice, here are your 1st and 2nd gen part #'s!!
There IS a difference between the 1st and 2nd gen lifter sizes so make sure you look at the correct part list.
1st gen 3S-GTE shimless lifter part #'s: (thank you allblackalltrac
2nd Gen 3S-GTE shimless lifter part #'s (thank you Ishii
from the MR2OC boards)
13751-46030 5.06 mm
Good luck, and happy measuring!
Last edited by Shaggz00
on Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:43 am, edited 8 times in total.