Yeah, you need the tools!

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Since I'm inbetween school and work this week, I've been trying to get all the little things done I didn't have time for during school. One of them was to adjust my valves! I'm not sure when they were last done, but I did put 14k miles on the car so far so I thought it might be a good idea. All the guys on the mailing list strongly suggested I get the special wrenches from MB, but I found myself with nothing to do yesterday so I thought I'd just open things up and take a look!

One thing lead to another and before I knew it, I was done! Heres what I used:

2-14mm wrenches (Use the special MB tools)

13mm (I think) socket to remove the valve cover and the things mounted to it

Flat blade screwdriver to snap off the throtle linkage

Needle nose pilers to remove some clips on the linkage

Feeler guage, small enough to measure 0.1mm


The job wasn't really so bad. Not nearly as scary as it first sounds. Remove all of the throtle connections, including the long bar running from the firewall along with the black box-of-vacuum-stuff. I disconnected some of the vacuum lines so I could move them out of the way. After everything was clear, the valve cover came right off with only four bolts. From this point, its just a matter of getting in there with your wrenches to adjust things.

You can see from this picture (click from a larger one) what things look like in there. Adjusting is simple. First, you have to rotate the engine so the cam on the valve you're going to adjust is stright up (valve completely closed). Next, loosen the lock nut away from the adjusting nut. Then, move the adjusting nut up or down for the proper clearance between the cam and the rocker. For exhaust valves, I used 0.3mm, for intake 0.1mm. Then you have to tighten up the lock nut against the adjusting nut, without actually moving the adjusting nut! This is where you really need the MB tools for the job. They are very sensitive, the slightest turn, especially on the intake valves, will change the spacing. One valve took me over 20 minutes because the wrenches were hard to work with. Repeat this with all 8 valves, and you're done!

I'm going to be putting the special tools on my list of things to buy. I might try to just bend the 14mm wrenches I have to be shaped like the MB ones like my mechanic suggested, but I'm not sure yet.

I also changed my oil and installed new air and fuel filters today, so my diesel is very happy! The engine seems to idle smoother and quieter and has a little more power too!

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