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Valve Seals



My Vette gives a puff of smoke at start up I figure it is the valve seals. I talked to a vette mec and he told me he could change them with out taking the heads off. would it not be easyer to take the heads off. I'm just looking for the forums learned advice. Billagroom:bang
A small puff of smoke at startup is not such a big deal. Are you burning a lot of oil, more than usual?

The job would be easier and faster if you left the heads on. That said, I personally would take the time to remove the heads and remove all the carbon, clean up the valves, and do some valve seat lapping to check things out. Of course there is going to be the extra cost of new head gaskets.
I have changed valve seals plenty of times on the car. Is it easier?........that all depends on the definition. Whether you remove the heads or do it on the car, you will still have to readjust the valves, pull the spark plugs etc.

If there are no other known problems or high mile concerns, I would do it on the car. It is an afternoon job for a good mechanic and you are only talking about a new set of valve cover seals and the new valve stem seals. To pull the heads would require an entire head gasket set, intake set, etc. etc. More money and time.
What kind of mileage is on the engine? If the engine is fairly high mileage, doing a valve job without also rebuilding the bottom end can actually cause the engine to start burning oil. As was previously stated, changing the valve stem seals with the heads still in place is a fairly easy job . . . and in my opinion, preferred for the above mentioned reason. You might want to take a compression check before you tear anything apart. If all of the cylinders check out, there is no need to freshen up the valves . . . just replace the stem seals and let it go at that.


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