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Popped open top end at 11k to measure the valve clearances.

How close do I need to get? The feeler gauge typically gets me between hard values. I have 3 clearances that are within factory spec. The remaining 5 are all wide of spec.

As an example.....Left front exhaust valve clearance measures between .279 and .305.
I can slide in the .279mm feeler but the .305mm won't shoot the gap.

Do I take the middle ground? Or guesstimate based upon feel?
 

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As the name implies to use feeler gauges requires "feel" when accurate they are quite snug to insert, but still easily removed with two fingers. go no go will get you close enough usually, but I'm not a real fan.
Everything I hear is that they tend to tighten up with age (valve seat wear, valves stretch much faster than the cam and followers wear . as long as you can't hear em it is probably tight enough, and tight is much worse than loose. that said having perfectly adjusted valves makes for a better running engine. and if you are already changing 5 shims, you might as well shoot for them all to be right in the same (middle of spec) range as you can, but at least don't be right at the tight end of the spectrum.
 

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How close do I need to get? The feeler gauge typically gets me between hard values. I have 3 clearances that are within factory spec. The remaining 5 are all wide of spec.

As an example.....Left front exhaust valve clearance measures between .279 and .305.
I can slide in the .279mm feeler but the .305mm won't shoot the gap.

Do I take the middle ground? Or guesstimate based upon feel?
I'm not really sure what your question is...

You can't tell from your measurement whether you're out of spec or not. Spec on the exhaust valves is .25 to .3mm. Your .305mm would be a NO GO anyway. That is, it's not supposed to go in. - it's outside the spec. If your gauges jump straight from .279mm to .305mm, then you need to get a set of proper metric gauges - it sounds like you probably have SAE gauges with metric conversions on them, no?

As far as "how close," it doesn't matter. You're either in spec or out of spec. It doesn't matter where in spec you are, you're fine if you're in spec. And, it doesn't matter how little or much you're out of spec - you need to change the shims and get in spec anytime you're out of spec (although I agree with ihatespeed that too tight is generally more damaging than too loose, but both should still be fixed...).
 
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