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Old 10-31-2022, 03:48 PM #46
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I'll keep that in mind. I hope I would know if there is a leak later. It's definitely good to know that I will be able to remove them later if needed. This would have ended in disaster trying to remove them with the heads in the truck. I am pretty sure I would have rounded or broken several bolts. I plan to replace the nuts and use anti-seize on the threads. I am tempted to replace some of the exhaust studs but I am concerned if those will come out of the head without breaking when attempting with an e-torx socket.
I cut the nuts off on mine with a cheap plasma cutter (sounds bad), removed the manifolds then cleaned up the stud threads with a die. A couple of studs needed to be replaced, welded on a nut for those and they spun right out. With new nuts they should come right off next time unless you wait 10 years.
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Old 10-31-2022, 11:16 PM #47
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I've gone this far on my own. What tools would I need to replace them? I'm guessing I would need a tool to remove the valves and one for the seals themselves?
Rent the valve seal remover tool from the auto store for free. The big one that wraps around the whole head would be the best. I have a handheld version just for the retainers and it's a nightmare pushing the spring and getting stuff to seat. The big tool compresses everything and makes room to get the little keepers in there nicely.
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Old 11-01-2022, 10:41 AM #48
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Rent the valve seal remover tool from the auto store for free. The big one that wraps around the whole head would be the best. I have a handheld version just for the retainers and it's a nightmare pushing the spring and getting stuff to seat. The big tool compresses everything and makes room to get the little keepers in there nicely.

Thanks. I will check local parts stores first to see if I can rent one.

Do I need any tools to help removing the keepers? Will needle nose pilers work or will I need some sort of tweezers?

Also, I read somewhere that you should not use a magnetized tool to remove them. Not sure if that is an old wive's tale.
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Old 11-01-2022, 03:15 PM #49
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Do I need any tools to help removing the keepers? Will needle nose pilers work or will I need some sort of tweezers?

Also, I read somewhere that you should not use a magnetized tool to remove them. Not sure if that is an old wive's tale.
Watch some YT videos on how others do them. From what I've seen, a magnetic pick up tool works great to snag them out. Pliers or tweezers may launch them. You can dab some grease on a long q-tip to get them back in place. They can be tedious, I've only done them on a small 2-valve engine so can imagine one like ours.
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:29 PM #50
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Thanks. I will check local parts stores first to see if I can rent one.

Do I need any tools to help removing the keepers? Will needle nose pilers work or will I need some sort of tweezers?

Also, I read somewhere that you should not use a magnetized tool to remove them. Not sure if that is an old wive's tale.
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Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
Watch some YT videos on how others do them. From what I've seen, a magnetic pick up tool works great to snag them out. Pliers or tweezers may launch them. You can dab some grease on a long q-tip to get them back in place. They can be tedious, I've only done them on a small 2-valve engine so can imagine one like ours.
A little advise when reinstalling the "keepers" when you release the spring compression tool, do it slowly and watch to make sure the keepers are seating correctly, if you release the spring quickly and a keeper is not seated correctly the spring, cap and keepers can go flying and you could lose a keeper or 2, also make sure you keep your head off to the side in case the aforementioned parts go flying that they don't strike your face/head!!

Also once you reassemble a valve/spring, I always gave it a tap with a plastic hammer, just enough to move/open the valve slightly to make sure the keepers are seated tightly/properly

Back in the 60s, 70s and 80s I did many of these on old school engines, and it can be fun if one let's lose, and it will scare the crap out of you the first time it happens!! LOL
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:48 PM #51
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A little advise when reinstalling the "keepers" when you release the spring compression tool, do it slowly and watch to make sure the keepers are seating correctly, if you release the spring quickly and a keeper is not seated correctly the spring, cap and keepers can go flying and you could lose a keeper or 2, also make sure you keep your head off to the side in case the aforementioned parts go flying that they don't strike your face/head!!

Back in the 60s, 70s and 80s I did many of these on old school engines, and it can be fun if one let's lose, and it will scare the crap out of you the first time it happens!! LOL
Thanks for the suggestions. I do have a question for you though. I want to check my logic regarding getting the heads inspected at my local machine shop.

I was going to change the valve seals before bringing them in to get checked. This way my work would be indirectly checked by the pros. Now I am thinking that I might cause a valve to not seat right leading the machine to come to a different conclusion.

Should I abandon this approach and bring them in as is prior to myself attempting to change the seals?
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Old 11-01-2022, 06:30 PM #52
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Thanks for the suggestions. I do have a question for you though. I want to check my logic regarding getting the heads inspected at my local machine shop.

I was going to change the valve seals before bringing them in to get checked. This way my work would be indirectly checked by the pros. Now I am thinking that I might cause a valve to not seat right leading the machine to come to a different conclusion.

Should I abandon this approach and bring them in as is prior to myself attempting to change the seals?
Since you have never done this before, you may want to talk to the machine shop and ask them what would be best.

That being said if you do it yourself it's not that hard to do, but if I were removing the valves for what ever reason, I would "lap" the valves, what this is, lapping a valve is using a valve lapping tool (this can be a hand tool or and electric tool) and valve lapping compound, what is involved is after each valve is removed, I usually remove them all and use a piece of card board with small holes in it to keep the valves in order so the go back into the same location, be sure to label in the card board so you know which way is which, etc., etc., so now you have the valves out, apply some lapping compound and the sealing face/edge of a valve, insert it back into it's location, using the lapping tool you want to rotate the valve against the valve seat repeatedly in the head with pressure, what you're doing here is "re-seating" the valve to the valve seat, you don't want to go overboard when doing this, what you want to achieve is a even dull finish (usually when you remove a valve it and the seat contact/seating areas will be shiny) on both the valve seat and the valve where it contacts the seat, once you get both the valve and the seat looking the same dull finish you know the valve and seat will seal properly.

Here's a link to some valve lapping tools, to use the "plunger" looking hand lapping tools, you stick the rubber plunger end to the flat surface of the valve and then applying pressure toward the head and rotating the tool back and forth rapidly between your palms like you're trying to start a fire with a stick, do this for a few minutes and then remove the valve, clean the valve and seat and inspect to see if you have the dull finish on the seating areas uniformly.

To use an electric tool, it much the same but the tool does the rotation and you just have to apply pressure, but it goes much faster so do it a few seconds at a time until you get the hang of it.

If you have a valve that will not get a complete uniform dull gray lap, that's a bad valve, i.e. usually a warped valve.

valve lapping tool, - Search

Go to YouTube and check some videos on lapping valves.

Also if you can find an old small gas engine to practice on, it will help build your confidence and doing some of these things.
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Old 11-02-2022, 06:10 AM #53
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All great suggestions here. I didn't do the valve lapping but might have had I thought of it.
I kept my valves and lifters in order but forgot the orientation of the head as I took them apart so they may be 180 degrees from removal. Not sure if that has affected it but it has been nearly 80k miles.

My guess is a blank head would be cheaper option for a shop to clean up for you, but doing stuff yourself really is rewarding at the end of the day.
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Old 11-03-2022, 12:38 AM #54
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All great suggestions here. I didn't do the valve lapping but might have had I thought of it.
I kept my valves and lifters in order but forgot the orientation of the head as I took them apart so they may be 180 degrees from removal. Not sure if that has affected it but it has been nearly 80k miles.

My guess is a blank head would be cheaper option for a shop to clean up for you, but doing stuff yourself really is rewarding at the end of the day.

I stopped by the machine shop today with my heads. The guys there seemed very honest. He is going to check the heads for cracks and see if they need to be resurfaced. He advised not doing a valve job if not needed as a valve adjustment would be required after that. He did suggest that I change the valve seals regardless since I will have new ones already. He said not to be concerned with valve orientation when reinstalling them as they are designed to spin or move in the head. Of course you need to keep the valves in their same location.

I also asked about cleaning the engine block surface. He suggested using a whetstone with oil to clean it.
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Old 11-04-2022, 12:11 PM #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
Since you have never done this before, you may want to talk to the machine shop and ask them what would be best.

That being said if you do it yourself it's not that hard to do, but if I were removing the valves for what ever reason, I would "lap" the valves, what this is, lapping a valve is using a valve lapping tool (this can be a hand tool or and electric tool) and valve lapping compound, what is involved is after each valve is removed, I usually remove them all and use a piece of card board with small holes in it to keep the valves in order so the go back into the same location, be sure to label in the card board so you know which way is which, etc., etc., so now you have the valves out, apply some lapping compound and the sealing face/edge of a valve, insert it back into it's location, using the lapping tool you want to rotate the valve against the valve seat repeatedly in the head with pressure, what you're doing here is "re-seating" the valve to the valve seat, you don't want to go overboard when doing this, what you want to achieve is a even dull finish (usually when you remove a valve it and the seat contact/seating areas will be shiny) on both the valve seat and the valve where it contacts the seat, once you get both the valve and the seat looking the same dull finish you know the valve and seat will seal properly.

Here's a link to some valve lapping tools, to use the "plunger" looking hand lapping tools, you stick the rubber plunger end to the flat surface of the valve and then applying pressure toward the head and rotating the tool back and forth rapidly between your palms like you're trying to start a fire with a stick, do this for a few minutes and then remove the valve, clean the valve and seat and inspect to see if you have the dull finish on the seating areas uniformly.

To use an electric tool, it much the same but the tool does the rotation and you just have to apply pressure, but it goes much faster so do it a few seconds at a time until you get the hang of it.

If you have a valve that will not get a complete uniform dull gray lap, that's a bad valve, i.e. usually a warped valve.

valve lapping tool, - Search

Go to YouTube and check some videos on lapping valves.

Also if you can find an old small gas engine to practice on, it will help build your confidence and doing some of these things.

I just heard back from the machine shop. They said the heads do not have any cracks but will need to be resurfaced as they are warped. They said this is typical of an aluminum head with that many miles. I believe they said it was out .003 which is out of spec according to them. They also said that several intake and exhaust valves were leaking. I believe it was 5 intake and 2 exhaust valves.

The machinist there said that doing a valve job would be expensive and recommended that I remove the valves and clean them up. He didn't recommend a valve job considering the miles and that I would most likely need to adjust the valves after.

He suggested that I replace the seals, gently wire brush the valves and use oven clean on them if needed. He also suggested that I lap the valves after. At that point I would bring the heads back and he would resurface them for me. This way there is no risk that I would mar the surface while working on the heads.

I'm not sure how to proceed. I'm hung up on the fact that there are valves leaking and that I am leaving it alone. I guess it is reasonable to expect the valves to be leaking considering the mileage on it.

Does his recommendation make sense and sound reasonable?

I appreciate the feedback as usual. I'm sure folks are sick of this head gasket thread already.
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Old 11-04-2022, 03:41 PM #56
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The guy sounds knowledgable so I would take his advice. None of what he mentioned is hard to do just a bit time consuming. You're in this deep why would you skip over something that will make your engine run optimally? Just my 2 cents. As for cleaning up gasket surfaces, my favorite Youtube mechanic (South Main Auto) uses one of these: Astro Tools 9532 Tungsten Carbide Gasket Scraper - - Amazon.com He pulls it across the surface and all the stuff scrapes right off.
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Old 11-04-2022, 04:01 PM #57
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I just heard back from the machine shop. They said the heads do not have any cracks but will need to be resurfaced as they are warped. They said this is typical of an aluminum head with that many miles. I believe they said it was out .003 which is out of spec according to them. They also said that several intake and exhaust valves were leaking. I believe it was 5 intake and 2 exhaust valves.

The machinist there said that doing a valve job would be expensive and recommended that I remove the valves and clean them up. He didn't recommend a valve job considering the miles and that I would most likely need to adjust the valves after.

He suggested that I replace the seals, gently wire brush the valves and use oven clean on them if needed. He also suggested that I lap the valves after. At that point I would bring the heads back and he would resurface them for me. This way there is no risk that I would mar the surface while working on the heads.

I'm not sure how to proceed. I'm hung up on the fact that there are valves leaking and that I am leaving it alone. I guess it is reasonable to expect the valves to be leaking considering the mileage on it.

Does his recommendation make sense and sound reasonable?

I appreciate the feedback as usual. I'm sure folks are sick of this head gasket thread already.
This is what these forums are for, to give, receive advice and to share with like minded people, so don't ever hesitate to ask for advice, especially on topics such as this where's there's not many if any topic already on the subject, the worst that can happen is no one replies, but that's unlikely!!

I would follow his recommendation, replace the seals and lap the valves, lapping the valves should solve the leaking valves as long as you get a uniform dull gray mating surface on both the valve and seat contact areas..unless some of the valves are warped, in which case you would need to replace them with a new one, just lapping the valve shouldn't cause you to have to go through the valve adjustment procedure.

Look at the valves and seats before starting to lap them, during and of course after so you can see the progress of getting that uniform matching mating surface.

As I mentioned watch some videos of how to lap valves to help you get the general idea of how it's done.

The number of valves you have to do will wear you out using a hand lapping tool, I would recommend either buying or getting a loan of a electric lapping tool set from a local parts store, but as mentioned don't go crazy with it do a little at a time until you get that uniform mating surface on both the valve and seat.

Don't forget to buy some valve lapping compound.
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Old 11-04-2022, 11:14 PM #58
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The guy sounds knowledgable so I would take his advice. None of what he mentioned is hard to do just a bit time consuming. You're in this deep why would you skip over something that will make your engine run optimally? Just my 2 cents. As for cleaning up gasket surfaces, my favorite Youtube mechanic (South Main Auto) uses one of these: Astro Tools 9532 Tungsten Carbide Gasket Scraper - - Amazon.com He pulls it across the surface and all the stuff scrapes right off.
Thanks, I agree with your comments. I don't want to skip over anything and want it to run as good as it did. My biggest fear or concern is that I take the valves out, clean and lap them and yet they still leak. He said I can test for leaks using water. The valves in question were noted as leaking "heavy".

Part of me wonders whether the truck is supposed to run better than it did due to the leaky valves. Could the truck have been down on power for the past 90k miles since I owned it and yet still run well?

I will check out that YouTube channel too.


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This is what these forums are for, to give, receive advice and to share with like minded people, so don't ever hesitate to ask for advice, especially on topics such as this where's there's not many if any topic already on the subject, the worst that can happen is no one replies, but that's unlikely!!

I would follow his recommendation, replace the seals and lap the valves, lapping the valves should solve the leaking valves as long as you get a uniform dull gray mating surface on both the valve and seat contact areas..unless some of the valves are warped, in which case you would need to replace them with a new one, just lapping the valve shouldn't cause you to have to go through the valve adjustment procedure.

Look at the valves and seats before starting to lap them, during and of course after so you can see the progress of getting that uniform matching mating surface.

As I mentioned watch some videos of how to lap valves to help you get the general idea of how it's done.

The number of valves you have to do will wear you out using a hand lapping tool, I would recommend either buying or getting a loan of a electric lapping tool set from a local parts store, but as mentioned don't go crazy with it do a little at a time until you get that uniform mating surface on both the valve and seat.

Don't forget to buy some valve lapping compound.

Thanks, I plan to do as suggested. As mentioned earlier, my biggest concern is if I can't get the valves to seal better. My plan is try with water before I start and then once I have completed to see if they are sealing better. I wish I could try with air but I am not setup to do so.
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Old 11-07-2022, 05:37 PM #59
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I think you'd be surprised how little work it takes to get a better seal. Lots of good info in previous posts. Tell us how it works out.
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Old 11-08-2022, 12:33 AM #60
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I think you'd be surprised how little work it takes to get a better seal. Lots of good info in previous posts. Tell us how it works out.
I picked up the heads the other day. I am hoping to start removing the valves tomorrow. I have a valve spring compressor but still need to pick up a lapping valve tool.

Do I need a specific type of valve lapping compound? I was going to pick up some of the Permatex 80037 one.

I really need to get this job done. The car I am driving in the meantime will not hold up to any snow as it is rear wheel drive and lowered.

Btw, I had to pull the head bolts off of my order as they are on a nationwide backorder. They dealer should have them in stock later this week or early next week. At that point, I can make another order and they will send them out. My valve grind gasket kit should be here tomorrow.
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