2.8L V6 Valve Adjustment
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From Ed Mc.
The correct way to adjust the valve lash on these is to slowly turn the crankshaft until the opposite pushrod of the pair of valves you're adjusting starts moving upwards. Then the rocker you're adjusting will have its pushrod on the base circle of the cam.
Loosen the rocker arm adjusting nut until you note some 'slack' in the pushrod. Slowly tighten down the locknut while 'jiggling' the pushrod up and down with your free hand. As you tighten the locknut you'll note the free play in the pushrod decreasing, until you get to a point where there is no more free play as you jiggle the pushrod up and down. Now you're at the point of "Zero Lash".
Once you have found Zero Lash for any given valve, tighten the rocker arm locknut 3/4-1 turn clockwise and no more. This gives the proper preload so the lifter will operate correctly. I know that it's mentioned almost everywhere to tighten 1-1/2 turns but this isn't typically necessary and if you get the lash too tight that cyl will be dead. Guarantee that if tight valve lash is your problem, 3/4 to 1 turn past Zero Lash will fix 'er right up!
The Most Fun part is getting the doggone pssgr side valve cover and all the stuff in the way removed in order to make the adjustment! The driver's side valve cover is not quite as bad.
Before you tear into that, it'd probably be a good idea to check the plug wires installed correctly. If they got the firing order out of whack it won't run worth beans. Cyl's 1-3-5 are on the pssgr's side, 2-4-6 on the driver's side. Cyl's 1 and 2 are in front. Firing order is 1-2-3-4-5-6 clockwise around the distributor cap.
If you turn the crankshaft so that #1 cyl is at the TDC mark on the harmonic balancer (on its compression stroke), the rotor should be pointing to #1 contact in the distributor cap. Usually, #1 contact will be located at approx 7 o'clock as you're looking into the engine compt. If it's not correct, just make whatever contact the rotor is pointing to #1 and install wires 2 thru 6 around the cap in that order.