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WR, GV and WX ur-quattros - Checking and adjusting valve clearances

If possible, clearance should be checked with the engine warm (coolant above 35°C - cylinder head warm). A compression or leakdown test before starting to check that all valves are seating properly can be useful. If the cylinder head is off the engine, a quick spray of WD40 or a similar low-vicosity medium into both ports as each cylinder is measured will verify that the valves are seating correctly.

There are two worksheets, split off from this page for ease of printing:

Warm engines tappet worksheet

Cold engines tappet worksheet

Changing Shims

Shims can be changed without removing the cam using the following procedure. Note that this is extremely difficult on a cold engine because the cold oil underneath the shim is very viscous and holds the shim in place with considerable force.

Depressing WR bucket tappets to replace the shims
  • Press the tappet down with VAG 2078 or Hazet 2574-1
  • Remove shim with pliers VAG 10-208A or Hazet 2599
  • Insert shim of required thickness.
  • Install a new cylinder head cover gasket and rubber seal on camshaft bearing cap #1

If the service tools are not available, the cam can be removed and the bucket tappets then lifted out using a magnetic retrieval tool. If the tappets are cold, the shims can be very difficult to remove, although there is nothing holding them in but the viscosity of the oil behind them. They should be GENTLY warmed using either a small butane flame, a gas ring, an oven or perhaps even a cigarette lighter. Do not overheat as this will destroy Audi's heat treatment - it should still just be possible to hold the tappet by hand or with a thin cloth. Attach a magnet to one edge of the shim and rotate it in the bucket while pulling gently.

Shim Part Numbers
ThicknessPart Number
3.30056 109 561
3.35056 109 562
3.40056 109 563
3.45056 109 564
3.50056 109 565
3.55056 109 566
3.60056 109 567
3.65056 109 568
3.70056 109 569
3.75056 109 570
3.80056 109 571
3.85056 109 572
3.90056 109 573
3.95056 109 574
4.00056 109 575
4.05056 109 576
4.10056 109 577
4.15056 109 578
4.20056 109 579
4.25056 109 580


The value stamped on the underside of the shim cannot be trusted once it has been run in an engine. Any calculation of required shim size should use the actual thickness of the shim removed measured in its centre with a good micrometer, not the value marked on its underside. When calculating, round up the required shim size.

Although most shims wear by only 0.02 mm in 100,000 miles, heavier wear is often seen and is undetectable to the eye. In one recent case, cold measurement of #10 (an exhaust valve) showed a clearance of 0.58 mm against a nominal of 0.40 mm. The shim was marked 3.75 mm, but was actually 3.58 mm when measured with a micrometer. In fact, 3.75 mm was the actual size of shim required. All of the other shims in the same engine had worn by 0.02 mm. The discrepancy in #10 was accounted for by shim wear, whereas #6 showed only 0.02 mm shim wear but 0.14 mm excess clearance.

The measurements assume that the valves are fully home, i.e., seated correctly, not bent, and that the valve seats are not contaminated. A single large discrepancy should be investigated with some emphasis on the valve seat.

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