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Valve seals

S

silver84

Guest
Well, I'm going to tear into my valve seals this weekend and replace them. Got a lot of smoke at startup. Any suggestions or horror stories?

Thanks
 
L

LarryBible

Guest
I have heard many people tell of their success with replacing valve seals. I have never been so lucky. The SBC is pretty tough on valve guides, replacing the seals does nothing for worn valve guides.

I expect that many pieces will need to be loosened or removed to get the valve covers off, but with a determined attitude, you should be able to accomplish the mission.

Good luck with it,
 

JonM

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,421
Location
East Haven, CT- USA
Corvette
84 Coupe
silver84 said:
Well, I'm going to tear into my valve seals this weekend and replace them. Got a lot of smoke at startup. Any suggestions or horror stories?

Thanks

Make sure you use compressed air and the correct fitting. If you lose a valve, you have to take the head off. Make sure the piston is TDC on each you are working on. Just in case you do lose one you may get lucky. Good Luck
 
L

LarryBible

Guest
In the distant past I changed valve springs by feeding a length of rope into the cylinder through the spark plug hole, then moving the piston up to snug the valves in place then go for it. It worked great and it was difficult to lose a valve.

Best of luck whatever method you choose.

Have a good holiday,
 
V

vettepilot

Guest
Depending on what you have available for tools will depend on the amount of work you must accomplish.
If you have an air compressor then you should be able to accomplish the whole job in an afternoon.
Remove the rocker arm covers, remove the rocker arms,(count the threads as you remove the rocker arm nut) as you work on each cylinder, remove the spark plugs, make a short length of airhose about 20 inches long with a 1/4" male NPT adapter on one end and the quick connect for your air hose on the other. Screw the airhose adapter into the plug hole of the cylinder you are working on, this pressurizes the cylinder and holds the valves up. Use a special tool either from an auto parts store or a home made tool to compress the valve springs, remove the keepers, remove the old seal, make sure the seal groove is clean, install the new seal, keeper, release the tension on the spring. Make certain the keeper is seated, do the other valve seal in the same manner for that cylinder. When both are completed, release the air, re-install the rocker arms and tighten down the same number of threads you counted when removing the nut. Go on to the rest of the cylinders the same way until all are completed. Set one rocker arm cover on loosely to contain some of the oil, start the engine, adjust the rocker arms as you normally would, then do the other bank. Replace the rocker arm covers, using new gaskets. Clean up the mess, top off the oil, or change it, and your finished.
If you find that you have worn valve guides, where the valve can rock back and forth, then you won't solve your problem with just seals. The newer heads and valves are much better than the early SB valve head combination. The early valves had very small concentric grooves around the valve stems to help control the oil by the valve guides, this acted like a miniature hack saw and wore the valve guides out very rapidly. The newer valves are now smooth, and the valve guides have the concentric grooves to help control the oil, thereby causing less wear.
vettepilot
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Best of both worlds

1 word

Studebaker

My local machine shop turned me on to these...

The factory Studebaker valve seals.

A cross between and umbrella & stock

CHEEP

I run these in MOST of my cars ( the ones I've been "into")



Vig!
 
L

LarryBible

Guest
I'm sure that VettePilots method of counting the turns of the nut and returning it to that position will work, but why not take the opportunity to properly adjust the valves. There is probably wear present since they were last adjusted.

This is a messy procedure and that's probably why VettePilot suggested his method and for good reason.

If you want to adjust them with minimal mess, find a wrecking yard sheet metal valve cover and bore holes over each stud large enough to get your adjusting socket through. Follow the "counting the turns method, then once you're finished the engine will start. With a stock cover temporarily in place, maybe with the old gasket or no gasket on one side, put the drilled cover on the other side. Cover all the holes except one and back out the nut through the open hole until it clicks, then tighten down until the clicking just stops, then 1/4 turn more. Cover that hole, open another and continue down the line.

There are also clips available from the speed shops that you can use over each rocker to minimize the oil mess, but in the past I've used the valve cover with better success. At one point I had a valve cover that was drilled and I had some rubber covers that would fit into the holes. They were basically like firewall grommets without holes in them. I got them at an electronic supply house, but that was in the early sixties, I don't know where you would find something like that today. Be creative at the hardware store and you can probably find something to plug the holes with. Remember the plugs don't have to handle the elements that would be necessary in regular use, you will only use them temporarily and occasionally. If you come up with a clever hole plug, share its description with us please.

I loaned that valve cover out a number of years ago and it never found its way back home.

When you're finished the valves will all be properly adjusted.

Good luck,
 
V

vettepilot

Guest
Just wanted to make sure you understood my post.. .
the "counting the threads method" was just to get you back in the ballpark to start and run the engine to finish adjusting them. I just have the rocker cover off the side I'm adjusting, you can also just plop a rag over the rockers that you aren't adjusting. This isn't a lengthy procedure at all, just about 2 - 3 minutes worth of running per bank.
Good luck
vettepilot
 
S

silver84

Guest
Well, it didn't go too bad. The compressed air thing worked great! Man the seals were shot. Some even missing! All brittle and broken up. Probably plugging up my oil passages some where. The umbrellas were nasty too. Oh well. Have to get it back together tonight and adjust my valves.

Thanks all!
 
S

silver84

Guest
I used around 30-40 psi. You may have to tap the tops of the valves to get the keepers loose. Sometimes when I pushed on the spring, I would open the valve up!
 

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