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ajb 07-15-2002 07:36 AM

Bending Valve Adjustment Wrenchs
I am planning to bend a set of wrenchs to adjust my valves with on my 240d.
(can't justify the cost of buying these babies when the kids want new Spiderman undies - damn that web-slinger :p )

Does anyone know the angle and location of the bends? I'm assuming that both wrenchs can't be bent exactly in the same location?

Thanks in advance,


leathermang 07-15-2002 10:29 AM

That is correct, the bend point needs to be further from the end of the wrench for the lower one so they will " spoon". I did this with Sears wrenches and will take a picture with measurements later today... it is raining for the 20th day in a row... However, I suggest you bite the bullet and buy the lower spring holder wrench....if any of the lock nuts on the valve are stuck you must be able to hold the spring retainer washer to loosen them ... Greg

MVK 07-15-2002 10:51 AM

Me too. I am planning the same. But dont know the place and angle of bend. Will appreciate the photo and measurements.

leathermang 07-15-2002 08:50 PM

ok, here is a pic... will edit after I get them posted..ok,,,, it let me sit here 7 minutes uploading before it told me that type of attachment was not valid...

edit , I had put this picture at another place because I could not get it to load here...but have put it at the end of this thread now so it will be in the future....

PS, there are two photos there, one the way it would be nice if they fit and the other the way I did them and have not gone back and tried to get it bent closer to ideal... but they worked fine...the descriptions are in the album..

MVK 07-15-2002 10:15 PM

Thanks for the picture. Are these regular wrench that were bent or are they special type od wrenches. I plan to use craftsman which ones should I get please advice. Thanks

vrsmith 07-15-2002 11:04 PM

I saw this on Ebay:

You can buy the wrenches or get construction ideas.

leathermang 07-16-2002 12:41 AM

Mine were plain but sturdy Sears wrenches...

Just went to that Ebay item..... notice that I also put round handles on mine... but I had to use my bottom bought wrench on three valves the first time I did a valve setting.... not much fun to be in the middle of setting them on a weekend with the MB dealer closed and find you need that bottom one....

Ok , for those of you who have not tried doing this yet,,, the part of the description which he left off is that you need about three hands to do this even if you have the bought wrench in addition to your two homemade ones... because the bought one can be set on the engine due to the little stand that comes with it... and you need one hand to move the feeler gauge back and forth while you tighten the two upper nuts on the valve.
A lot more fun with the right tools... Greg

ajb 07-16-2002 07:38 AM

Thanks for the photo and description!!

Did you have to heat up the wrenchs to bend them - if so did you dip them in water after to harden them?


leathermang 07-16-2002 10:30 AM

I certainly did have to heat them... be sure they are red hot to get this tight a bend without causing cracks in it. You may have to heat several times depending on how fast and accurate your hammering is... but best to not go for speed record and keep reheating... don't pound on cold steel... the obverse of that is where the saying " strike while the iron is hot" came from :D I did not quench them, but if I had it would have been into oil, but I do NOT recommend this due to the fire hazard....unless your an old blacksmith already set up , and in that case you would not have asked about the quenching :D

PS, quenching causes the steel to become BRITTLE. The term TEMPERING is misapplied in normal conversation... the tempering comes in when the tool is REHEATED(after quenching) to a specific temperature according to the type steel it is,,,then allow to slowly cool.... so unless your going to get the brittleness out by a reheat then you SHOULD NOT QUENCH.... PSS, the sears wrenches use very good steel. good luck , Greg

ajb 07-16-2002 05:13 PM

Let the bending & valve adjusting start!!

Thanks for all of your help!


dabenz 07-16-2002 11:46 PM


Nice work. Do you belong to the "Brazing - The Lost Art Club" or is that gold paint?

My tricks:
1) Make a fist and push down on the bottom wrench so that your thumb is up (that's why the wrench has a foot).
2) Loosen lock nut with middle wrench.
2) Hook middle wrench under thumb.
3) Use feeler gauge (0.001" smaller than spec) and lock it in with top wrench on top nut. Pull the feeler gauge out of the set to do this. One gauge is light, the set is heavy.
4) Run lock nut up, then back off just enough to loosen top nut and pull out feeler gauge.
5) Check with the proper sized feeler gauge while holding top nut, then tighten lock nut.
6) Check again with the proper feeler gauge before moving on to the next valve.

After a few tries you'll know just how far to back off the nuts to pull out the small feeler gauge.

leathermang 07-17-2002 12:45 AM

I very seldom braze but you caught me this time :eek: It leaves such a mess chemically compared to just welding steel to steel... and I never figured so many people would wind up seeing it... :D

I would suggest on your feeler gauge list to be sure that the last thing one does is check with the proper feeler... instead of tightening being the last item... :cool: .... Greg

dabenz 07-17-2002 08:21 AM

Correct as usual, Leathermang. My post is fixed.

Brazing is like soldering in that the filler material simply fills the voids in the base materials. Brass and bronze vs. silver and lead for strength. Excellent method to join dissimilar base metals that you don't want to change, and for base materials of radically different thicknesses. A challenge to automate, though.

leathermang 08-22-2003 09:19 PM

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