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I like how it's considered overthinking by wanting to see if a larger feeler will slip under. That's comical.

ITS A FREAKING REFERENCE. Am I trying to make sure it's dead on NO. I am trying to gauge how close I am to where I WANT TO BE OR WHERE ITS TELLING ME TO SET IT.

If I didn't care about where it was I wouldn't have pulled the valve covers off to check it!

You bone heads are right it's not critical or end of the world. But if the book tells me to set it at certain value, I'm gonna make sure I'm there! THATS IT!

ITS A GAUGE!

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This is the difference between a technician and an engineer. An engineer will go to lengths of pedantry to discuss a pointless point rarely seen in human interactions, while a technician will fix the problem and move on down the road.

I seriously do not understand why you are still arguing this pointless point. You have been given the answer more than once, accept it and fix your truck.
 
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Discussion Starter #22
This is the difference between a technician and an engineer. An engineer will go to lengths of pedantry to discuss a pointless point rarely seen in human interactions, while a technician will fix the problem and move on down the road.

I seriously do not understand why you are still arguing this pointless point. You have been given the answer more than once, accept it and fix your truck.
I set my lash before I even posted this. No arguing here. It would help if people can read or take their own advice.

But yes there is difference between a engineer and technician. That is very observant for you pointing that out. A pat on the back for you.

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I tend to overthink things as well. I set the valve lash on my series 60 a month or so ago for the first time. Now being my first time doing this ( not first time using feel gauges), it didn’t take much to figure out what slight drag is. It either sticks or it’s loose. For my own piece of mind I had a mechanic (owns his own heavy truck repair shop and is good) come take a look. He can set the valves in his sleep. And he went over it with me and told me it’s all perfect stop over thinking it. I set exhaust to .026 because it was common. Then checked valve cover and set to .020. He said wouldn’t make much if any difference.

I think the “pointless task” is overthought because you don’t trust it’s that easy. This was my experience anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I think the “pointless task” is overthought because you don’t trust it’s that easy. This was my experience anyway.
Yeah I jumped into it in the first try and went for slight drag. My slight drag was Abit different lol it was slack enough I put it out of max range lol.

So came attempt number 2 I got it set right after once it dawned on me I can just use a second feeler to check where I'm at.

I haven't had much experience with valve trains other than a supercharged Ford 302. I remember I was apprehensive what "zero lash" for those were. But those run hydraulic lifters and you set preload on those by torquing the rocker arm at a certain valve between1/2 to 3/4 turn. If doesn't reach the torque value within that range you add/remove shims

there are more discussions for setting lash on gassers than diesels. Every bit you can get to tighten it up counts...to some.




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Overthinking??? I'm having a hard time thinking at all after reading this thread. But then I 've been told more than once that's my problem - not thinking.
 

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Don't worry about it too much. It's fine to over think... More times than not it's saved my butt.

At the end of the day this is the internet and the internet is taken for what it's worth. Take our advise for what it's worth to you and do what you're most comfortable with. I certainly would never fault anyone for that.

Unless they are am idiot...

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I just did attempt number two for setting the valve lash. And with the first attempt going poorly I wanted to share some thoughts I gathered which may help others.

The biggest issue I have with Cummins instructions is it says to keep tightening the screw until "some resistance is felt". Me being an engineer which is a blessing and curse, that really chapped my ass. It's a subjective statement and honestly I feel like you could leave that part out and probably get better results the first go around.

Anyways, my attempt I set the valve lash until "some resistance" was felt. Well that gave me a valve train that sounded like a damn rattle trap.

Did some reading during the day and found a few helpful tips to really get a good sense of what the proper drag from a feeler gauge should feel like.

1st example: take 2 glossy magazines and sheet of paper, but the paper between the two and just hold the top magazine in place such that it doesn't get pulled off with the sheet of paper.

2nd example: take a small magnet like one at the auto parts counter that extends out drag the feeler across it.

The 3rd example is the best and sure shot way of making sure you are dead on and it's brutally simple and quite honestly pissed I didn't connect the dots

3rd example: get the proper feeler gauge, let's use the intake for example, .01, throw it under the rocker arm and tighten the screw until you can't pull it out, then just back off just a tinyyyy amount. Leave the feeler gauge under the rocker, torque the nut and see if you still got the same amount of lash. You will have to fiddle here, you may end up not being able to pull the feeler out so you have to keep repeating this until you get it just right. After you think you got the right amount, take a .011 feeler and try and slip it under the rocker. Don't use excessive force. If it's too lose the .011 will slip in. If the .011doesnt slide in, Go back with .01 and then you will have the perfect reference for getting the right drag.

The right drag on the correct sized feeler will be enough such that the larger feeler won't fit.


This may be common knowledge to alot of folks. But those with your head in the sand like me, this put my right on the money.

And it will always be better to be on the tighter side of the specs. Just by a smalllll amount.

Using the 3rd example for the method of setting the lash will give you solid results.

Side note: my Cummins is very happy now.

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Infosonics
 

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Yes, there will always be more than one way to skin a cat, but "good information" that can help others is always welcome in my opinion, so with that I say Thank You for making the effort and taking the time to post.
 
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I too am an engineer, and like to get things like this right.

Ill be doing an adjustment on my 96 when I pick it up, assuming I don’t find a record of it in the last 15-20k.

I’ve adjusted on Mercedes diesels lots of times. The OM 616/617 IDI engines‘ valve clearance get tighter as they wear. Ive developed what I figure is good enough feel setting the right feeler with “just enough” drag, and the thinner being a very easy “go”, and the next thicker being a definite ”no go”.

Is that the same on these engines? Do they wear tighter, or open up?
 

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I too am an engineer, and like to get things like this right.

Ill be doing an adjustment on my 96 when I pick it up, assuming I don’t find a record of it in the last 15-20k.

I’ve adjusted on Mercedes diesels lots of times. The OM 616/617 IDI engines‘ valve clearance get tighter as they wear. Ive developed what I figure is good enough feel setting the right feeler with “just enough” drag, and the thinner being a very easy “go”, and the next thicker being a definite ”no go”.

Is that the same on these engines? Do they wear tighter, or open up?
If you're proficient at adjusting the valves on an OM617 then adjusting the valve lash on the 6BT will seem like a vacation. No weird special bend wrenchs required, the cam isn't in the dang way all the time and you don't have to dismantle half the accelerator linkage just to get the valve covers off . These engines open up lash as the wear but at a very slow rate. Also, its not near as critical to keep on top of valve lash as it is with the OM617 (you're not going to break a camshaft if you don't keep the valve adjusted on a 6BT like you would on the OM617).

A friend of mine bought his truck new in 1997 and he's been the only owner/ maintainer of it the entire time. The truck has a touch over 400K miles on it. He's never adjusted the valves once. Until we were taking about it one day, he didn't even know that was a thing on these trucks. He just assumed it had hydraulic lifters that didn't require lash adjustment. He doesn't use the truck as a daily driver anymore due to severe oil leaks from the font crank seal and the steering box that he's also neglected to fix over the years, but he still drives it fairly regularity (at least a few times a week) when he needs use of a truck. The truck still runs and drives, although very slowly
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