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#1 Old 08-15-2007, 10:15 AM
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DIY Valve spring compressor

I have my 94 Celica 7AFE head off for resurfacing and head gasket and I wanted to replace the valve seals. I found a cool thread where some guy modified a valve spring compressor: http://board.tercelonline.com/viewth...d=29626&page=2

I was about to do the same thing, but mine looked like it would still not fit. The clearance between the lifter bores and the tiny springs just seemed too tight. Earlier in the day I stopped by a motorcycle shop and saw what they were using and it was something like this: http://www.pitposse.com/vaspco.html

I thought that really looks like my hardware store C-clamp. So I took a piece of aluminum bar that I had laying around - most hardware stores carry it. It was @ 3/16" thick, 1 1/2" wide and I hammered one end around a steel bar to get it to "curl at the end. I also used vice grips to bend it into shape. I cut off the curled end with a hack saw. Ultimately I needed the radius to be pretty tight so I finished the forming using a steel pin from a trailer hitch. What I ended up with was something like this:

In Theory here is how it would be used:

Here it is in use:


High res pictures are on Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/9237872@N05/
It worked like a charm - The only thing I had to be careful with was because the clamp is heavy, It wanted to tip over and made it a little unstable, but all you need to do it steady it with one hand and once compressed, grab the keepers with a pen magnet.

Pulling the valve seals off was a little difficult, but needle nose pliers and vise grips worked. to install I was a little paranoid about getting the seal seated and straight, but a 10 mm socket with 3" ext worked fine. I hammered it until it sounded solid.
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#2 Old 06-26-2009, 11:21 AM
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Now that's some good 'ol American Engineering!!!
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#3 Old 04-10-2014, 12:57 PM
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I know this is a very old thread, but how did you reinstall the keepers with your DIY tool? Were you able to just put them into place through the gap in your tool, and then let the spring decompress?
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#4 Old 04-10-2014, 02:09 PM
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Says he used a pen magnet to drop them into place. Use a little dab or grease on the valve stem to make the keepers stick to the stem before releasi g the compressor. Also, for what it's worth, you don't need a compressor to remove the springs. Choose a deep socket that fits nicely on the retainer, then give it a sharp rap with a ball peen hammer. The retainer and keepers pop right off, as will the spring.

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#5 Old 04-10-2014, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCM View Post
Says he used a pen magnet to drop them into place. Use a little dab or grease on the valve stem to make the keepers stick to the stem before releasi g the compressor. Also, for what it's worth, you don't need a compressor to remove the springs. Choose a deep socket that fits nicely on the retainer, then give it a sharp rap with a ball peen hammer. The retainer and keepers pop right off, as will the spring.
Thanks for the reply. I didn't think to try a deep socket for removal of the keepers, which sounds quite straightforward. However, how would I reinstall the keepers in that case, while compressing the valve spring? I don't think I could fit a pen magnet through the drive end of the socket.
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#6 Old 04-10-2014, 02:52 PM
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True, that's why I specified for removal only. For the installation you would need a compressor of some sort. Any tool rental stores near you? They typically have them.

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#7 Old 04-10-2014, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCM View Post
True, that's why I specified for removal only. For the installation you would need a compressor of some sort. Any tool rental stores near you? They typically have them.
The places I checked nearby only have a spring compressor that works on OHV heads. I like OP's method though. I'll grab a section of aluminum or copper tubing, and then cut an opening in it so that I can poke a pen magnet through there. Seems like the cheapest(if not the easiest, lol) method of achieving this.

Thanks for your help, though! It's appreciated.
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#8 Old 04-10-2014, 03:42 PM
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Does your engine not have overhead valves? Maybe I missed something. Or you mean they don't have enough extension to compress the spring down into the head? That would make sense.

Fyi, if you build your own, try to use a piece of steel pipe...copper is far too soft, and will collapse. I'd hate to hear of someone losing a fingertip.

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#9 Old 04-11-2014, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCM View Post
Does your engine not have overhead valves? Maybe I missed something. Or you mean they don't have enough extension to compress the spring down into the head? That would make sense.

Fyi, if you build your own, try to use a piece of steel pipe...copper is far too soft, and will collapse. I'd hate to hear of someone losing a fingertip.
"Overhead Valve" is a design found in a few V8 engine lines, in which there is only one camshaft, which sits in the "V" between cylinder banks. At the tops of the heads are rockers, which are connected to said camshaft via pushrods. This differs from an "Overhead cam" design in that the latter has the camshaft at the top of the head. The valves in both designs are technically "over the heads", though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overhead_valve
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overhead_camshaft

The valve springs in OHV designs are more exposed, so the spring compressors can have wider "teeth" to grab them. These wider teeth would not fit between the spring and the cylinder head casting on the 5SFE though, as I found out. A tool like
this this
is more appropriate for this particular application, I think.
This This
is what I rented from an auto parts store, not seeing the "...for overhead valves" fine print on it.

Last edited by mrmax1984; 04-11-2014 at 07:39 AM.
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