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Replacing Valve Springs and keeper won't release

This is a discussion on Replacing Valve Springs and keeper won't release within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Please Help!!! I've got everything apart to replace valve springs. Bought the Crane cams in-car valve sping compressor tool ( ...

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    Junior Member greenvilleTA's Avatar
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    Replacing Valve Springs and keeper won't release

    Please Help!!!
    I've got everything apart to replace valve springs. Bought the Crane cams in-car valve sping compressor tool (http://www.jegs.com/i/Crane/270/99472-1/10002/-1) and have airholds in place. When I start compressing valve springs, the valves start pushing down as well like the keepers are in a bind with the spring hat or something. Are there any tricks that I'm overlooking.

    On past cars, I just compressed the springs using the same method and the valve stayed in place while the springs compressed revealing the keepers.

    Got Patriot stage 2 heads with the super 7 locks...

    Any suggestions before I give up and make it a shop's problem?
    4" Stroker Crank/4340 H Beam Rods/Forged Pistons/File to fit Plasma Moly Rings/Patriot S2 LS6 heads/Harland Sharp rockers/SLP Lid/Smooth Bellowes/Comp 232/234 595/598 112 lsa/chrome-moly push rods/LS1 Edit/LS6 intake/Spec3 clutch/Fidenza aluminum flywheel/4.10s/MAC mid-lengths/MAC ORY/SLP catback

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    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    Magnet?

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    Junior Member greenvilleTA's Avatar
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    It's not getting to that point. When the spring compresses, the valve is moving down with it instead of the spring sliding down over the valve stem. It's like the keeper might be bound up witht he spring hat, which in turn puts pressure on the valve stem pulling the valve down with it. That's my speculation anyways...

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    You have to smack the retainer a couple of times with a soft blow hammer first.

    While you have air in the cylinder just give the retainer a sharp smack,,,,it breaks it free,,,,then use the compression tool as usual,,,,magnet helps to grab the keepers so they don't drop into the cylinder heads.

    Don't use a metal hammer for this, taking a chance to damage the retainer,,,you could use a wooden handle from a hammer, or a plastic soft blow hammer etc....

    Hope that helps.

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    Junior Member greenvilleTA's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'll go outside right now and give it a whirl

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    Junior Member greenvilleTA's Avatar
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    Still no dice.
    I tried smackinh with and without air with a rubber mallet, but still the saem thing. I wonder if it has anything to do with those 'super 7' locks Patriot puts on their heads?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Sometimes they are stubborn. You have to smack it with air in the cylinder so there is pressure on the bottom of the valve. You will hear a popping sound,,,sometimes this scares people,,,,it's just air rushing into the head when the valve momentarily opens. If you don't hear this,,,then you're not smacking it hard enough.

    Sometimes you have to use both the spring compressor tool with some pressure as well as smacking the retainer in conjunction to break them free.

    They can be a pain in the rear sometimes. Just make sure you are hitting the outside diameter of the retainer (outer spring diameter) and not on the top of the valve itself,,,that would defeat the purpose.

    Sometimes hitting in 2-3 different locations around the perimeter helps too.


    Oh ya just to add,,,,you are running enough air pressure to the cylinder,,,,right????

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    Junior Member greenvilleTA's Avatar
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    I got one loose, but the other one just wouldn't break free. I made the mistake of taking the locks out of the one that busted loose...big mistake. The tool does 2 vales at a time so when I tried to put it back in, the stubborn valve kept opening and losing all my pressure causing the valve to drop down enough where I'd have to take the whole setup off and fish the valve out again. After struggling for an hour, me and a friend got the one back in and now I've decided to just enlist a shop to do it...since I can't get to the back valves enough to beat on them as hard as I had to beat to get the 1st one off.

    What puzzles me is why the keepers are so stubborn; these heads are practically still new. I bought them new when I rebuilt my engine and only have 2K miles on the whole setup so far.

    Anyways, I appreciate the help, but I'm afraid of doing more harm than good at this point.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Oooops, that never dawned on me that the cowl overhang would be in the way at the rear of the motor.

    I've never done one in a 4th gen,,,,you're right,,,,that poses a big problem.


    Sorry to hear about the struggles though. Sometimes they can really be stuck on there, especially if you run alot of spring pressure for a larger camshaft.
    I've had my problems with AFR and valve springs before,,,,Uuuugh! Hopefully you're not taking them apart for the same reason I had to.

    Sorry it didn't work out, hope the shop does well for you, cheers.

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    Member cuzimoto's Avatar
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    bring the piston up to tdc, compress spring and youll feel when valve touches piston then tap retainer to free lock, that should do it for you and you won't drop the valve.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuzimoto View Post
    bring the piston up to tdc, compress spring and youll feel when valve touches piston then tap retainer to free lock, that should do it for you and you won't drop the valve.
    Eeek, thats a little dangerous. It would be better to feed a little rope in the cylinder if you actually want to rest the head of the valve on something, then no tapping would be necessary, the tool would compress the assembly until the valve rests on the rope. Problem with this method though is these engines have the tiny 5/8 plug, so rope size would have to be very small,,,and access to the plugs isn't that great either to be playing around with rope. Rope is what the old assembly manuals tell you to use back in the 60's,,,,,still works on the new stuff if you have the room.

    Besides, with the cowl overhang, these motor sit so far back in the chassis,,,,you can't get a good angle or swing on the back cylinders if you need to tap the springs.

    It would almost just seem easier to me to just loosen the K-member and drop the motor down for more room to work.

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    Senior Member bills98ta's Avatar
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    I think the small single spring compressor would be easier... One at a time, and don't lose your air pressure. Or you will be pulling the heads... The valve stem should not move with the air hooked up... If the heads were off, I'd use a socket & hammer, but not while their on, might lose the keepers in the motor... Use a magnet...

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    Senior Member bills98ta's Avatar
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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Yes I use the single one as well if the heads on on the car, and use compressed air in the cylinder.

    If you have the heads off I use the large C-clamp style spring compressor that reaches around and holds the valve in place.

    Once you have it set,,,it's like using a pair of vice grips.

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    Junior Member greenvilleTA's Avatar
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    I have used the big c-clamp style and the overhead like in the picture before, but I don't think there would be enough room under the cowl for that one...unless the picture is misleading me. Anyways, I've never had keepers that want to hold onto the valve stems like these and I've done my share of valve jobs.

    The way I'm looking at it now, I can spend 2 or 3 hundred at a shop and if they mess up, they take the hit...if I mess up, then I take the hit and might cause more work than necessary and I'll be honest...I hate pulling and installing heads on these cars. Just a pain in my a@@.

    Plus, I think I want to go bigger with the cam now and think I can get them to throw the spring install in w/ the cam. Why pay for the cam install?...again, just a pain without a proper harmonic balancer puller...I played hell getting it off the old block when I rebuilt. I guess I'm getting lazy in my older age and only like doing it once anymore.

    I really do appreciate all the help and advice. My next project is a S/C & meth/water injection if I get the OK from 'the mgmt.'

    Thanks again!

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I understand completely. These cars are not as friendly to work on while the engine is installed. Alot of stuff in the way.

    I hate laying over the fenders for major repairs like heads etc...

    If I were going to do something like a head cam swap I would drop the K-member so I had room to work and stay comfortable.

    Shucks I don't even care to setup rearend gears while in the car anymore. I prefer to pull the housing and set it up on the work bench,,,,much easier to work the pinion depth gauge etc...

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