Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Valve retainers with head on?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. Been having some issues lately and found the cause. One of my valve retainers wasn't seated and since I have installed a new head gasket plus a bunch of other things I'm trying to figure out a way to get those pesky retainers back on while keeping the head bolted to the jug. Yes I am aware that there is such a tool for this once the head is removed but I'm hoping someone else has accomplished this difficult task without removing the head. Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, kind of, depends.

 

I've done it in a pinch.. using a  old socket that I cut out a window on, and had an extra hand to help with depressing the tool, and placing the cotters in position

 

It's flaky,, but as I was in the middle of a 4 day ride and a long way from my garage,, it was done. . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you depressed the springs with a cut out socket and forced I'd down until you could get those little keepers in place? I'm trying to figure out which point I could use to get some leverage and depress the spring. Forcing it down may be the only option though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe just a matter of semantics.  You have a valve spring, valve spring retainer and split cotters. The retainer is the round disc on top of the spring.  The split cotters are the things that hold the retainer to the valve stem.  So I'm guessing you have the valve, spring, retainer and 1 cotter in place and 1 of the cotters is not seared in the retainer, right?

 

The secret as far as I know is a way to hold the valve in place when you depress the spring to seat the cotter.  This is usually done with air in the cylinder. With no cams in place all the valves are closed so holding air should not be too difficult. There is a video showing how to replace valve cotters with no special tools that will probably work.  Apply pressure by hand with a socket to the spring retainer to depress the spring and the cotters drop in by gravity.  Works in the video, I have not tried it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you depressed the springs with a cut out socket and forced I'd down until you could get those little keepers in place? I'm trying to figure out which point I could use to get some leverage and depress the spring. Forcing it down may be the only option though.

Yes depress the retainer on top of the spring so that the cottars will seat on the valve stem.

 You can do this buy hand if you have a T bar of other way to really lean into the socket.

 

 A broken out spark plug with an air fitting Jb welded to it can be used to keep the valves closed using air pressure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cotters. Yes that's what I'm trying to install by myself without removing the head. One came loose and in an attempt to put it back on the other came out as well. Shot out a few feet and was luckily found. I can't seem to get them in there without pushing the valve down. It isn't easy to say the least and I have been cursing like a sailor while bruising my thumbs pushing on the springs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes depress the retainer on top of the spring so that the cottars will seat on the valve stem.

You can do this buy hand if you have a T bar of other way to really lean into the socket.

A broken out spark plug with an air fitting Jb welded to it can be used to keep the valves closed using air pressure.

Okay I'll see what I can come up with that might work. I don't have a t bar but I may be able to do something with a breaker bar I've got. Just replaced the plug and didn't throw the old one away yet so I may be able to come up with an air fitting to keep pressure in the cylinder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe just a matter of semantics. You have a valve spring, valve spring retainer and split cotters. The retainer is the round disc on top of the spring. The split cotters are the things that hold the retainer to the valve stem. So I'm guessing you have the valve, spring, retainer and 1 cotter in place and 1 of the cotters is not seared in the retainer, right?

The secret as far as I know is a way to hold the valve in place when you depress the spring to seat the cotter. This is usually done with air in the cylinder. With no cams in place all the valves are closed so holding air should not be too difficult. There is a video showing how to replace valve cotters with no special tools that will probably work. Apply pressure by hand with a socket to the spring retainer to depress the spring and the cotters drop in by gravity. Works in the video, I have not tried it.

This is a pic of the tool we use when changing valve seals. Works really good. You need 2 people to do it though

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1383184103.962743.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks like a great tool. Thanks for the picture. I've been trying to think of how I'm going to get the leverage needed to depress the springs with one hand so I can use the other to put the cotters in place. A tool like that would really help. I'll see what I can throw together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought but can this be done without the air, just having the piston at TDC?

I'm thinking the valves will rest on the piston and allow the spring to pushed past that point, releasing the cotters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought but can this be done without the air, just having the piston at TDC?

I'm thinking the valves will rest on the piston and allow the spring to pushed past that point, releasing the cotters.

Kind of, no, maybe, but do you really want to push on a valve head at an angle?

 

Now it's an old hackerory shortcut, wrong tool  / no right tool for the job trick..... but feeding a thin rope into the spark plug hole while the piston is below TDC, then bringing the piston up to TDC or as close as it will go... MIGHT provide a conforming soft surface for the valve head to seat against while pushing from the top.

 

I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS on a DRZ.....in theory it might work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used a pair of needle nose pliers and depressed the retainer and installed one cotter first then once that was in I placed the other one in there and depressed the retainer again. It took quite a few tries to do this without pushing the valve down but I finally got it. You've got to be careful to not press too hard and watch out for the valve because once it moves a little bit it is resting on the piston. Not good. Luckily I was able to get it on there without having the valve move. It's running and idling smooth now. My valve clearances are within spec and now I've got to get the fuel mixture screw adjusted properly. Pops sometimes when I rev it and wants to die unless the idle is up a bit more than usual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of, no, maybe, but do you really want to push on a valve head at an angle?

 

Maybe I'm not understanding it correctly but I'm thinking that once the valve touches the piston it will be resting their under it's own weight, you aren't actually pushing down on the valve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm not understanding it correctly but I'm thinking that once the valve touches the piston it will be resting their under it's own weight, you aren't actually pushing down on the valve.

Yes that is correct but when trying to install the cotters you have to use a lot of force to depress the springs. That force could do damage to the valve if it were resting on the piston and the retainer caught on the stem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes that is correct but when trying to install the cotters you have to use a lot of force to depress the springs. That force could do damage to the valve if it were resting on the piston and the retainer caught on the stem.

Gotcha :thumbsup:

 

I've only done it on a car head before..., and the head was on my lawn. I positioned the two cotters in the retainer and then depressed the springs & retainer with a socket, then sort of jiggled it until the cottars fell in - worked pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×