Originally Posted by UncleMike
Been searching around the forums, but not finding what I'm looking for. Has anyone posted a nice write-up on tips, tricks and pitfalls, or even a step-by-step for checking and adjusting the valves on an e21 320i? How about checking if they need to be adjusted?
Any help greatly appreciated.
1. Disconnect necessary components noting installation position, then remove cylinder head cover.
2. Rotate crankshaft using suitable wrench or remote starter, until No. 1 cylinder is at TDC on compression stroke. Always turn crankshaft in normal direction of rotation.
3. Check clearance of No. 1 cylinder intake and exhaust valves, inserting suitable feeler gauges between tip of valve stem and rocker arm. Valve clearance for intake and exhaust should be:
Cold  0.20mm (0.008in)
Hot  0.25mm (0.010in)
NOTE : BMW provides both hot and cold valve clearance specifications but does NOT recommend hot valve clearance adjustment.
4. If clearance is not as specified, adjust as follows:
a. Loosen adjusting cam locknut on side of rocker arm.
b. Rotate adjusting cam on tip of rocker arm to obtain specified clearance.
c. Hold position of adjusting cam and torque locknut to 6.5 to 8 ft. lbs.
d. Check clearance.
5. Continue rotating crankshaft until each cylinder in firing order is at TDC on compression stroke, checking and adjusting valves for each cylinder as outlined in step 4.