Removing-Reinstalling Valve Springs - Help - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:38 AM
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Removing-Reinstalling Valve Springs - Help

guys help

I may need to do a valve spring swap on my BBC. I've never done this. The engine is installed in my car. I am not pulling the engine out.

questions:


1) must I remove the heads from the engine or can I leave them in place. I'd really like to avoid removing the heads if possible, and leave them in place while the springs are replaced.

2) if I can leave the heads installed - how do I prevent the valves from falling into the cylinders when the springs/retainers are removed

3) how do I measure the installed spring height for the new valves - how do I know how much to shim them

4) which spring compressor removal tools are best for my application. are there some that will work with the heads installed on the motor.

5) the springs and hardware were installed 2 years ago and have less than 500 miles on the. can I reuse the retainers/locks or get new ones

6) am I in way over my head and bring them to my engine builder shop and have them do it instead of me - or is that not necessary. I'm very handy and good at working on cars but have never done valve springs.


thanks


Lee

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Old 10-18-2007, 10:46 AM
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1. No need to remove the heads

2. You can get a fitting that has spark plu threads on one end and an air connection on the other compressed air holds up the valve

3.Buy a spring height checker....its a micrometer like deal to measure installed height. Summit should have them.

4.You will need a spring compresser that uses the rocker arm stud kinda like a prybar.

5. Inspect the retainers for wear but there shouldnt be any....no need to buy new retainers and locks

6. Its an easy thing to do common sense should guide you through if you have any mechanical aptitude.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:27 AM
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To go along with what BBC has said when your doing a cylinder make sure the piston on the cylinder you're doing is at top dead center, that way if something happens the valve will only drop until it hits the piston and you won't lose it down the cylinder.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:37 AM
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do you have an air compressor with a storage tank?
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineczar
To go along with what BBC has said when your doing a cylinder make sure the piston on the cylinder you're doing is at top dead center, that way if something happens the valve will only drop until it hits the piston and you won't lose it down the cylinder.
The compressed air will drive the piston down to bottom dead center unless you have it in gear (standard trans). If it's an automatic there is no way to keep the piston at TDC short of some mechanical means. The piston not being at TDC has never been a problem for me as many as I have changed over the years. Also give each valve retainer a smack with a hammer before you start, it will make the retainers easier to get out.

Vince
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:06 PM
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great advice guys - thanks

I will do as you say. If I break something or damage something it will be your fault and you will have to come over and fix it for me. I'll supply beer and pizza.

Lee
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:32 PM
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So, I guess you have an air compressor.

You can use a compression tester hose to fill the cylinder but first you need to take the valve out of the hose. Just use a tire valve tool to get it out.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:05 PM
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Sometimes I use an air compressor, sometimes not. If I do I run just enough pressure to hold the valve closed but not enough to turn the engine. Knock on wood I haven't lost one yet and I've changed more sets than I care to count.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:22 PM
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There is also the poor mans method, which consist of stuffing about a 1 foot of 1/4 inch diameter soft cotton rope into the cylinder through the spark plug hole. But first place the piston at tdc. The rope will hold up the valves while you mess with the valve springs and retainers.
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