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Old 02-02-2011, 12:09 AM
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Default DIY adjusting valve clearences GD

Well here it is the DIY everybody has been asking for setting the clearance of the valves in a GD

Sorry I don't have photos of doing this in a USDM model with the different intake manifold that you can separate which makes this a much easier job.

The main difference is the removal of the intake manifold as needed on the old style GD 1.5 VTEC engine.

You USDM guys still have to remove the top half of your intake and the rest of the job is done the same way as ours you just need to look where your intake comes apart and remove and MARK everything that you disconnect or remove to allow the top part of the intake to be removed.

So here we go with the steps needed to remove the intake manifold on the older style GD. You USDM guys can skip down to the part where the valve cover is exposed after you remove the top half of your intake.

DISCLAIMER: You do this DIY at YOUR OWN RISK Honda Fit Forums take NO responsibly for any damage to the vehicle that occurs if you attempt this DIY.

WARNING: While doing this DIY


doing so will possibly cause MAJOR DAMAGE to the chain drive system for the camshaft.

MISSION: to adjust the clearance between the top of the valves and the end of the cam followers.

DIFFICULTY OF THIS DIY: this is fairly time consuming, you will need to follow instructions carefully and be comfortable using hand tools.

TOOLS NEEDED: Common hand tools to include wrenches of various sizes, sparkplug socket, pliers, screwdrivers, 1/4 inch AND 3/8 inch socket sets ( USDM MAY not need the 1/4 inch drive set), several 3/8 inch drive extensions, and a 3/4 inch or metric 19mm socket for the crank nut. Long flexible set of feeler gauges. Rags, Marking tape, and paper towels.

PARTS & SUPPLIES NEEDED: anti-seize compound, silicone sealant any color, Valve cover gasket, intake manifold "Orings", possibly new PCV valve and grommet.

Starting here with everything in place first remove the plastic engine cover and remove stock or custom airbox fittings going to TB. The stock airbox is easy to totally remove and it would be a good idea to do that so you have more working room in the enginebay.

This is the PCV hose and it needs to be disconnected by using you pliers to squeeze on the clamp and slide it off.

The is the hose for the part of the emissions system connected to the TB that is almost on the BACK of the manifold. Note the blue tape that is flapping around that is how I mark the things I disconnect because if you forget something the blue color stands out and you should be able to see it better with the colored tape. It is long so you can write on it with a marker or pen. Write whatever you want so you will remember where it goes when you put things back together

You can use anything you want to mark the removed things, or make a drawing in your own handwriting, or even if you are a beginner take some digital photos of the connections you remove you so if you forget where something goes you can refer to the drawing or photos to get some help when putting things back together.

Some of the electrical connectors need to be squeezed to be released before wiggling them off and you can tell them from the others by the bump on the tab that is right next to my thumb in this photo.

There are a few others that have an internal latch that you need to slide something like a slim screwdriver INSIDE the connector before removing. As in the photo the screwdriver is slid inside the hole in the end of the connector to pop the catch. You can tell this type but the lack of the outside bump on a latch and the opening for something to be slid into.

Just another connector with flag tape

For those of us that are lucky enough to have a cable controlled TB you need to disconnect the cable. It's easy to do but a little tricky. First look at the TB and by hand open the TB throttle and the cable gets loose where it goes around this snail. What you need to do is grab the cable and move the extra so the end of the cable lines up with this slot and wiggle the whole cable so it slides out. Then you will need to follow the cable housing until you meet the bracket on the back of the intake manifold and unscrew the two bolts holding the bracket to the intake.

OK now it's time to take off the intake manifold itself.

In this photo I'm taking off the bracket that is mounted on the front middle of the intake manifold and it's pretty clear BUT I have removed all the water piping that used to go to the TB so on yours there will be more hoses and pipes you have to remove or disconnect at the TB.

There are two nuts holding the tops edge of the manifold to the head and they are the reason that you need a 1/4 inch socket set.

You can see better in this photo that to get to these nuts there is a small "Tunnel" cut into the intake manifold BUT the size of the tunnel is SO SMALL a 3/8 inch 12mm socket WILL NOT FIT into the space where you get at the nuts. You can try your 3/8 inch socket set and see if it will fit but I tried a couple of sockets and they all wouldn't fit.

The good news is a 3/8 inch socket set will work on the three bolts that hold the bottom edge of the intake to the head.

THE BAD NEWS IS this is what happens when you screw a steel bolt into an aluminum head.................

That my friends is corrosion caused by the interaction between two unlike metals that anti-seize prevents. Note the bolt is BENT and yes those are threads of aluminum stuck fast to the bolt. The first two bolts were all pretty tough to break loose initially but moved better after some turns but this one was soooo hard to turn I figured that it would BREAK or pull threads and that is what it did.

So while you are taking a break you can pull the aluminum out of the threads with a dental pick like I did or find a new bolt. AND BE SURE TO APPLY SOME ANTI-SEIZE TO IT BEFORE YOU PUT IT BACK IN.

OK so back to work on the intake. Once the two nuts are removed and put someplace where you will know where they came from like individual small plastic bags you can write on with a marker. Or on your work bench in order of how they came out but do something so you remember where the bolts and screws go back in the correct place.

Then it's a matter of looking around one last time for anything still connected to the intake. If you are clear wiggle the intake off and out of the way so it doesn't fall off your bench or get stepped on.


Whoops still have to remove the BREATHER HOSE and take out the bolts holding the valve cover on. Easiest job yet take them all out and presto we are where we want to go.

Small segue to look how clean the inside of the valve cover was. Nice and clean it was must be those 5,000 KM oil changes.

This upper set of flexible feeler gauges are the type you need that short fat ones on the bottom WILL NOT WORK.

A couple more steps and we will be ready to go. Now it's time to take out your sparking units (coil packs) and disconnect them to remove them in order and put them out of the way.

Next remove the spark plugs and keep them in order so you can examine them and see if there is a problem with any of the cylinders.

BLOCK THE OPEN HOLES WITH SOMETHING SO NOTHING CAN FALL INTO THE HEAD. I used some paper towels and they worked fine.

We take the plugs out so the engine will be easier to turn over by hand and so you can feel and hear when the number one piston gets to TDC.

So now we move on to the meat & taters of this whole DIY adjusting how much space there is between the cam follower tip and the top of the valve.

Sorry I don't real photos of the valve timing marks but I got so engrossed in what I was doing I Forgot..........

So I got these from the manual and the real things look just like these photos.

First you have to find some way to turn the engine by hand and this almost bit my behind.

First now is the time to jack up the right (sitting in the car) front and remove the tire so you can get access to the crank bolt.

I popped the pop in buttons holding the under engine cover and tied it back out of the way with a length of rope. There is a cut out in the panel you can go through but if you do you will have to keep popping up and down like a bunny rabbit checking his hole to make sure you can see if the socket is still on the bolt. My way takes one minute to do and you have an open area to see things.

I THOUGHT I HAD EVERYTHING TO DO THIS BUT I WAS WRONG. My metric socket set goes up to 18mm and I had bought for other projects 21,22,23,and 24 mm sockets but when I went looking for a socket to turn the crank bolt 18mm was too small and 21 was too big.

So there I was thinking great just blanking great now I will have to shower and change my clothes and get a taxi to go buy a 19 and 20 mm socket somewhere.

Then I took another look and after using American sized wrenches all my life I thought "that sure looks like a 3/4 INCH bolt head." Thank the lord I had brought all my American sized sockets and wrenches here from the states so I could work on the Harley motorcycles of my buddies. I dug through my "good stuff" pile and found the American tools box and grabbed a 3/4 inch socket and for once I had some good luck and it fit perfectly.

So if you don't have the proper 19mm socket an American inch style 3/4 socket turns of to be 19.5 mm and will work just fine.

Once more for safety now that we are getting ready to turn the engine.........


doing so will possibly cause MAJOR DAMAGE to the chain drive system for the camshaft.

A reminder of the temperatures involved. The manual says to do this cold and I'm pretty sure if you have the model that you have to remove the whole intake the engine will be stone cold as it took me an hour to get it off to where I could start. If you have the USDM style two piece manifold I would make sure to start this with an engine that has been off for at least an hour.

If you look up the specs for clearancing valves on some old cars you can see THREE different sets of specs, cold, hot and RUNNING. You haven't lived until you try it with the engine running trying to hold onto the wrench, screwdriver and feeler gauge with two hands while getting hot oil from the rocker arms splashed all over your face and upper body it's enough to make a sane person rue the day they decided to become a mechanic.

IT'S TIME................ now you have to position yourself leaning into the engine bay so you can see the end of the camshaft with the gear so you can see the timing marks AND keep an eye on the socket on the crank bolt.

OR have a helper get ready to turn the crank bolt SLOWLY while you watch the marks.

We are going to bring the engine to TDC (top dead center) which simply means turning the crank bolt slowly until the piston on number one cylinder (the one closest to the cam gear end of the engine and the rest go in order 1,2,3,4) comes to the top of it's travel with all valves CLOSED.

As you or your helper turn the crank bolt if it's quiet in your work space you can hear the engine push air out of the number one spark plug hole when it's getting close or you can put you finger into the spark plug hole and feel the air rush out.

Keep watching the cam gear until the UP marking appears.

Then slowly continue to turn the crank bolt until the two side marks are lined up with the top edge of the head looking from the end. If the up is right on top the lines will be lined up.

If you happen to go past the mark just turn the engine AGAIN until it is correct remember the big warning never try to turn the engine backwards or you may get catastrophic damage to the timing chain system.

Now we are cooking with gas and can get on with it as the rest of the cylinders marks come up easy after getting number one in this position.

This is where you check the clearance between the tip of the cam follower and the top of the valve.

Note how little room there is to get the gauge into the right spot. That is why you need to use flexible feeler gauges.

But you also need to know how much clearance Honda specifies for your car.

For these older versions these are the specs from the manual.

Note there is some variation how do you choose which one is best? We know from everybody reporting that USUALLY on the Fit/Jazz the exhaust clearance gets LESS and the intake MORE from wear.

So I used the largest setting for the exhaust so there will be a longer time before the clearance gets close to ZERO as some people have found. so on my car I used 0.30. Look on the blades and they should be marked somewhere and find the one marked 30 mm or 0.012 inch.

For the intakes with wear the clearance gets LARGER so I started with the least amount of clearance and went with 0.15 mm or 0.006 inch.

Those are the specs for the older style engine anybody with the new style USDM engine or a GE should check the repair manual FOR THEIR VEHICLE.


I'm going to teach you an old mechanics trick that I learned WWWAAAYYYY back in time in the early 60's when "Running the valves" (adjusting) was part of every tuneup so us old timers got a LOT of practice. At least we didn't have to remove the &^@##$^%&&* intake manifold to do it.

First you can check by trying to move the tip up and down by hand to see if they are loose or not then you take the correct size feeler gauge and try and put it in between the tip of the follower and valve stem tip. It may take you some wiggling to get the gauge in the right spot the first few times until you get used to it.

And remember the intakes TWO of them are right in the front of the head and TWO exhausts are the ones in the back of the head. Yep the two pairs are right next to each other so remember for each cylinder you will be adjusting 4 valves.

For future reference to see how your valves are reacting to wear keep trying other sized feelers until you get one that fits. USUALLY it will be smaller sized on the exhaust and larger on the intakes than normal specs.

Now the hard part ....... how to explain to somebody that has never done it what is too tight and what is too loose on the feeler gauge............

Well we can skip that because I'm going to let you in on another secret tip that is the result of running the valves hot, cold and RUNNING engine on hundreds maybe even 500 engines of all types and sizes.

What you do is loosen up the lock nut and unscrew the adjustment screw until you can insert the proper sized feeler gauge between the top of the valve and tip of the cam follower. Then carefully and slowly, because the adjustment screw opens and closes the clearance with tiny amounts of turning the adjustment screw, tighten the screw until it is JUST tight enough to hold onto the feeler gauge I mean not tight enough so that you can't pull it out with even the help of a block and tackle but tight enough that you can't pull it out with a gentle tug. Then note the position of the slot in the top of the adjustment screw like on the face of a clock like 3 o'clock or 12 midnight. Carefully remove the screw driver tip from the slot without losing the correct position.

Then carefully put a BOX WRENCH on the lock nut without disturbing the adjustment screw. Get in this position with the wrench and screwdriver and gently hold the screw from turning out of the correct position.


Now if you think about what you are doing when you tighten the locknut the nut is pulling UP on the adjustment screw so even though you started with the screw too tight and just holding onto the feeler gauge.

The screw moves upward when you tighten the nut and when it is tightened correctly the clearance opens up from being too tight and releases the feeler gauge and you end up with perfect clearance.

OK how to describe the perfect clearance... it's like if you took a sheet of copier paper between two of your fingers, palm to the side, then pinching it just hard enough so it doesn't slip out of your fingers.

The feeler gauge should go into the slot by wiggling it around a bit to line it up and it should take a tiny bit of drag to pull it back out using just two of your fingertips not a closed hand.

If it's too tight when you finish completely tightening the locknut loosen it up and very slightly loosen the adjustment screw a few degrees only and try again until it's right.

Personally I don't use a torque wench on the locknuts but if you are so inclined here are the specs. Most USA torque wrenches would use the 10 foot pound setting.

I just use a regular 10mm box wrench and get them good and tight NOT THAT tight if you are using something with a longer length.

OK now that than one intake is done do the other intake the same way. Then move onto the TWO exhausts and do the same there.

Once all four are done I would check them one more time and make sure you have tightened all the locknuts it time to move on.

The next set of valves to do is on cylinder number three. As in the beginning you turn the crankbolt until the number three comes up to the top. It's not very far from the TDC marks to turn the crankbolt SLOWLY.

Note the is only ONE timing mark to align with the front side of the head.

Do them all and move onto cylinder number 4. Just turn the crankbolt slowly again as it's close to number three's marks and again just one mark to line up.

Finally onto cylinder number 2 last but not least and do all them. Again just align the mark on the front side of the engine and ignore the marks starting to show as they are from number one coming around again.

And DONE............ well not quite we have to put it back together again.

Take the valve cover and clean off any debris and pull out the rubber gasket and clean the groove on the bottom side of the cover with a "Q tip" or something else that will fit into the slot. The tab on the gasket goes toward the engine not into the slot.

Put a dab of silicone sealer onto the surface of the head where the timing chain cover meets it. Not a giant blob or it will get squished out the sides.

Not like the photo the silicone goes along the "separation CRACK" that looks like two "Clean spots" if you follow the mark left from the old gasket.

Coat the threads of the valve cover bolts with anti-seize.

Let the sealant "Cure" for less than 5 minutes then put the valve cover CAREFULLY back where it goes while looking through the bolt holes to line them up. Make sure the new rubber gasket stays in it's groove. Start one bolt and leave it semi-loose for now while you start the other bolts.

Here is the tightening sequence for the bolts and if you need it the torque is 8.7 foot lbs.


Reinstall the spark plugs and sparking units in their original places and reconnect the electrical connectors.

For this style engine I would replace the PCV valve and grommet at this time as it's only like $12.00 and if you want to replace it later you would have to remove the manifold again. (DIY TO COME)

Here is a view of the slots in the head when the hot EGR gasses are released into the intake ports from the EGR system.

For the old style engine clean both surfaces of the EGR plate and look at the gasket to make sure the EGR cutouts match the gasket marks.

Put the gasket onto the two studs sticking out of the head the correct direction. Then put the EGR plate onto the studs with this side facing the intake manifold.

Make sure the "O rings" are still in their slots or replace them with new ones and slide the manifold in position.

Coat the threads of the studs and three bolts with anti-seize and install loosely.

While there is no factory sequence for tightening the bolts and nuts for the intake they recommend doing the inner ones first and working outward top to bottom in a crisscross pattern in three steps.

Torque for the three bottom bolts and top two nuts is 16 foot lbs.

Now just reconnect and replace everything you took off the intake manifold and your done.

A couple of closing points:

First if you are doing this to quiet the clicking engine noise down you may have unpleasant surprise coming. Now I remember thinking when I first got it brand new "wow this has pretty loud solid lifter cam noise." But over the years it got quieter because the exhaust valve clearance was closing down.

Once you restore the proper clearances the exhaust valves do have that clicking sound with the engine running and the hood up.

However in the car with the doors closed and the hood down you CAN'T HEAR the engine clicking.

Was all the work worth it? DEFINITELY YES.

While mine weren't too bad at 0.20 mm the problem of the exhaust clearances closing to on some cars to ZERO clearance is VERY DANGEROUS.

With no clearance the exhaust valve never closes and runs way too hot as it has no way to pass the heat into the valve seats and a burnt exhaust is coming SOON so I would rather spend the time now than replace a burnt valve later.

I think that from all the posts I have been reading I would recommend "Running your valves" around the 50,000-60,000 mile mark to be safe.

Will I do it again........... in another 5 years I will be just over 70 years old and I'm hoping I will be around to attempt it again if I can remember where I parked the darn thing.

Last edited by claymore; 02-28-2011 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:41 AM
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Default ...what are we doing to the Fit this Saturday?

claymore, thanks for the detailed DIY. I hope the USDM version is similar to yours, I must have read that posts half a dozen times. This Saturday, mrFroge and I are planning to adjust the valves on his '07 GD3 (with over 125K miles). Although we have both done a handful of valve adjustments on other vehicles, it is always nice to get a "heads up" on the one that you haven't done before.
As for limited space, there's got to be more working room on this than my '83 VF750F Honda think? BTW, that bike required two feeler gauges per adjustment. Each rocker pushed two valves at a time.
Anyway, if you can think of anything else that we might need to know, add it to your post before this Saturday. Hopefully we will get it right, and the "ticking" will go away. AutoX season is right around the corner!
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:55 AM
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From everything I can find it's the same for USDM versions but you guys get away easy because your intake is split and you just have to take it apart at the split to get access to the valve cover.

However that remaining part of the manifold MAY make things more difficult by restricting your view and access to the intake valves. Let us know how much that remaining part of the intake manifold got in the way.

I re-used the intake manifold O rings and your version has the same thing at the split and since it's so easy to access them on the USDM version I would just check them for cuts and if they look ok I would re-use them.

It sounds like you should have no problems it you have already done it on other vehicles and I can't imagine how much of a pain in the butt two valves at the same time must be. Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:04 PM
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Default Mission Accomplished!

Hey claymore, I got to mrFroge's house at 10 am sharp. I couldn't wait to dive into that engine bay and get to work! Apparently, mrFroge's Fit had developed an annoying "ticking" sound. This sound was most noticeable at the higher end of the RPM range. Not a good scenario, Rich is supposed to start competing next week!

Anyway, with the help of your post, and the Honda Service Manual, the air box, intake manifold and valve cover came off easily. Well, except for one barely accessible bolt, frozen and hidden behind the intake manifold. A few shots of penetrating oil, and we were able to finally get it to break free.

Once everything was off, we began the adjustment process. It was great to have already done my homework. Rich was studying the book on the fly. I was in a good mood this morning. As mrFroge was furiously thumbing through the service manual to determine the correct socket to turn the crankshaft, I yelled out 3/4" socket, slapped one on the extension, and began turning the crank!

After rotating the crank into position, we too discovered that "feeler gauge" problem you warned about. Our progress immediately came to a halt after learning that none of our 3 feeler gauges were going to work. Rich tried bending one of the blades, but it was still too cumbersome to use. After a cup of coffee, I got an idea. I realized that I could remove the blades on one of the gauges. To keep from dropping those little blades, I stuck a nail through them, secured with duct tape. Yes, we had created a makeshift handle! We were back in business!

Rich agreed with your recommendation. We used the 0.15 mm and 0.30 mm blades. The process went well. After all valves were set, we were amazed to find that not a single one of the 16 valves initially had enough of a gap to even slip the 0.15 mm feeler gauge through! Rich was a little upset since Honda had supposedly already adjusted those valves not that long ago.

The only difference we veered from was to apply a thin coat of gasket seal to the valve cover gasket contact points. Rich didn't want to take any chances.

Once everything was buttoned up, Rich got behind the wheel and turned the key. BAM! WTF was that? Hmm, I wonder who forgot to take the ratchet off of the crankshaft? Luckily it fell off before the engine flawlessly started! After the initial shock, Rich broke into a big smile...hey, no more ticking! He proceeded to take it out for a 10 minute test drive. I knew it was all good when he came back with a big grin and a thumbs up! Yes, mission accomplished!

The onlooking neighbor was so impressed, he made an appointment to do his Civic next weekend!

Last edited by macbuddy; 03-14-2011 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Changed...0.015" and 0.030" blades... to 0.15 mm and 0.30 mm
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:29 AM
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It sure is good news to hear a member success story. Great thinking on separating the feeler gauge blades.

Funny some people use a long breaker bar handle and start the engine with the handle hitting the ground to loosen a stubborn crank bolt.

That is such a great idea on my next trip to the states I'm going to buy another feeler gauge and purposely take my old one apart and maybe even cut the two needed down to a more manageable size and take a bolt or nail and make a MacBuddy handle for them.

From the photo it looks like the intake manifold wasn't in the way too much how it go working around it?
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:18 AM
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Default ...we had no problem...

Originally Posted by claymore View Post
From the photo it looks like the intake manifold wasn't in the way too much how it go working around it?
I am guessing that valve adjustment was such a chore with the earlier models, that the design was changed to offer more access to the valves. To answer your question, we had absolutely no problem getting to the valves.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:07 AM
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Just saw this DIY...PROPS to Claymore!

Here's the type of thickness gauges you need to do the valve adjustment on a Fit (and other Hondas). Less than $10 US

Atwell Haines
'07 Fit Sport, MT!
'06 CR-V, MT!
'99 Acura TL, AT.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:27 PM
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Hey thanks for those kind words. That is what we try to do around here give everybody the best technical advice we can. And welcome to our site.

That set of feeler gauges is just the ticket and I will probably pick up a set this sept. on my trip back to the USA.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:06 PM
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Great write up! I did my valves today. Only 2 of the intake were ok. All of the exhaust were off bad. I couldn't even get my .006 gauge in some of them. The only thing I would like to add is an old trick I learned long ago. I didn't take the plastic inner fender loose. I went through the hole in it with my extension and socket. I knew it would be tight going through the hole so I used black electrical tape and taped the socket onto the extension. That way it don't fall off when you take it off the crank bolt and make you hunt it for half a day and when you pull it back through the opening it won't fall off. Just a little heads up on an old trick.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:53 PM
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Your before setting readings are similar to what everybody is finding. I'm very surprised that there aren't a bunch of burned exhaust valves around with the way they all tighten up.

I think Honda should change their recommended mileage for running the valves to something like 50,000 miles to prevent this problem and you lucky USA guys have the split intake manifold to make it much easier as you don't have to remove the intake manifold to do it.

Your using the hole in the plastic will also work just fine as long as you remember to use your tape.

Last edited by claymore; 02-11-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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