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11 Don’t forget to use a spring compressor to check pistons-to-valve clearance. Check exhaust valve clearance at 10 degrees before TDC and intake valve clearance at 10 degrees after TDC. You want at least 0.060- to 0.075-inch of clearance for the exhaust and 0.050 for the intake. If it is close, set up a dial indicator on the valve to help you measure more precisely.