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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As part of a head gasket replacement, I am going to adjust my valve clearances. With engine out and on a stand, I'm going to:

1. Check and record all the clearances.
2. Calculate the new shims I need to buy ( what a PIA by the way)
3. Remove cams to get to the head bolts and remove the heads and replace the gaskets.
4. Put it all back together using the new shims in their places according to my calculations.

This should yield me with the proper clearances as long as I measured carefully to begin with.

Is there a chance that because of the work I'm doing my clearances could still be off when I put the cams back on?

Also, wondering about an alternate technique. How do you check the valve clearances with the heads off. I've heard this mentioned before but I thought you needed to use the cam sprocket/pulley as a reference when you are rotating the cams to the correct spots for checking. I'm probably revealing some ignorance but, what the heck. How is it done?

1999 Outback Wagon EJ25D DOHC
 

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Is there a chance that because of the work I'm doing my clearances could still be off when I put the cams back on?
They should be fine. On the workbench, you can easily reinstall the cams/buckets/shims to check the clearances again for confirmation. The only work that should change things is if some valve work were done ... but you said in another thread you weren't taking the heads to a shop, so you should be OK.

As far as the sprockets go, you could temporarily install them finger tight if you want to to get the alignment the manual suggests. I wouldn't, though. Just rotate the cam until the pointy part is pointing directly away from the valve clearance you want to measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok thanks. Great way of explaining it in laymen terms. "pointy part" is just the kind of thing I need to hear.
 
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spadefoot
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