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New solutions allow engine braking on heavy-duty hydraulic valve-lash engines

28 April 2023

Current heavy-duty diesel engines often lack a feature that is virtually standard in most other automotive engine applications: hydraulic valve-lash adjustment, or hydraulic lifters as they are sometimes known.

Hydraulic lifters remove the need manually to set valve clearances during manufacturing or to adjust them in service. There is no requirement to remove rocker covers during services, reducing the risk of the internals being contaminated by foreign objects falling into the engine. This also means that clearances cannot be mis-set, which at best causes poor performance and excessive noise. and, at worst, damage to the valve and cylinder head.

There is also an obvious saving in service time, particularly where tight engine packaging requires the removal of components before the rocker cover can be accessed.

Hydraulic valve-lash adjustment is likely to become an attractive technology to engine makers in the medium and large-capacity segments. Regulation of diesel engine emissions is becoming increasingly stringent in on and off-highway markets across the world. This applies not only to the engine’s emissions output when new, but also to the length of in-service time that the engine must remain in compliance. 

Read the full article in DPA's May issue

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