Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/3/22 12:17 a.m.

I was trying to disassemble a set of 350 Chevy heads today, and and gave up after removing two valves. 
The spring compressor I'm using is difficult to operate, and I can't avoid feeling that it might let go suddenly and injure me. When you feed your family and pay the bills doing surgery, that's not a good feeling.

I'm using one of these:

The heads are off of the block, so I can use one of the tools that fits around the cylinder head and holds the valve head. Do I have to spend $60-$80 to get some thing that works right?

wae
wae PowerDork
8/3/22 6:13 a.m.

I bought this one not so long ago and it worked fabulously:

I see that it has apparently doubled in price, though.  Reading through the reviews of the knock-offs of that, there were a number of people that complained about the c-clamp part flexing and bending so I went with the OTC version.

EvanB
EvanB MegaDork
8/3/22 7:35 a.m.

I bought the knockoff version of that for $24. It worked fine for one volvo head so far, didn't notice any bending of the clamp.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/3/22 12:38 p.m.

I rented a C-clamp style compressor from AutoZone. Much easier than the kind that grabs (and usually falls off) the valve springs.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/4/22 7:08 a.m.

In reply to EvanB :

Thanks, I've ordered one. 

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
8/4/22 8:10 a.m.

You don't need a valve spring compressor to disassemble a head.

Use a socket or piece of tubing that's large enough to clear the locks, but small enough to fit on the retainer. I use a 3/4" deep socket.  Smack it and retainer will drop down releasing the locks. Grab them with a small magnet.

This is the one I use for reassembly

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/4/22 10:19 a.m.
Peabody said:

Use a socket or piece of tubing that's large enough to clear the locks, but small enough to fit on the retainer. I use a 3/4" deep socket.  Smack it and retainer will drop down releasing the locks. Grab them with a small magnet.

Or Lisle sells a tool specifically for this with the magnet built-in.  Put it on the top of the valve, smack it with a hammer, and poof, the valve is released, the keepers are out, and are attached to the magnet on the tool.  Add the black piece to the end, put the keepers next to the valve stem, smack it again and they're reinstalled.  It's magic. :)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012S61IO/

mjlogan
mjlogan New Reader
8/4/22 3:50 p.m.

Did a set of LS heads last night with this one.  Worked fine.  They make similar for a SBC

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/4/22 3:53 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Peabody said:

Use a socket or piece of tubing that's large enough to clear the locks, but small enough to fit on the retainer. I use a 3/4" deep socket.  Smack it and retainer will drop down releasing the locks. Grab them with a small magnet.

Or Lisle sells a tool specifically for this with the magnet built-in.  Put it on the top of the valve, smack it with a hammer, and poof, the valve is released, the keepers are out, and are attached to the magnet on the tool.  Add the black piece to the end, put the keepers next to the valve stem, smack it again and they're reinstalled.  It's magic. :)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012S61IO/

Magic is the word. I think I actually laughed out loud the first time I used this tool to remove keepers. But the one I used didn't have the reinstallation bit, that's clever.

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
8/4/22 4:49 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

I saw one of those and copied it about 10 years ago, and yes, it's really slick. It works great for some heads, not great for others

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/4/22 5:37 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Peabody said:

Use a socket or piece of tubing that's large enough to clear the locks, but small enough to fit on the retainer. I use a 3/4" deep socket.  Smack it and retainer will drop down releasing the locks. Grab them with a small magnet.

Or Lisle sells a tool specifically for this with the magnet built-in.  Put it on the top of the valve, smack it with a hammer, and poof, the valve is released, the keepers are out, and are attached to the magnet on the tool.  Add the black piece to the end, put the keepers next to the valve stem, smack it again and they're reinstalled.  It's magic. :)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012S61IO/

Magic is the word. I think I actually laughed out loud the first time I used this tool to remove keepers. But the one I used didn't have the reinstallation bit, that's clever.

That sounds great. On sale for $55 I'm sure that's a good deal, still a bit steep for my budget. I'll think about it. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/4/22 6:10 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

That sounds great. On sale for $55 I'm sure that's a good deal, still a bit steep for my budget. I'll think about it. 

Depending on the size of the valve springs in question you might only need the kit with the big one, which is about half the price.  The small one fits Miata heads (and doesn't appear to be available on its own, just as a set with the big one).

Even at $55 it's cheaper than an ER copayment :)

 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/4/22 7:56 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

That sounds great. On sale for $55 I'm sure that's a good deal, still a bit steep for my budget. I'll think about it. 

Even at $55 it's cheaper than an ER copayment :)

 

okay, can't disagree. I ordered the set. 

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