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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the subject on how to replace valve springs comes up often, here is a guide.

The pics were taken with the motor on a stand which makes it easy on your stomach and ribs. It can be done while the motor is in the truck.

Remove whatever you have to to get the valve covers off.



Either remove the glow plugs or injectors to reduce resistance/compression in motor. The injectors do NOT have to be removed. I have mine removed because I sent them in to be flow checked and gone through.

Use a 24mm socket on the balancer bolt to bring the cylinder to TDC that you are going to working on. I stuck a piece of wire in the glow plug hole. Rotate the motor until the wire reaches its highest point. You want the piston to be at the top of the cylinder so you don't drop the valve. Remove rocker and attach spring compressor. I used the Rotunda/OTC tool.





Turn the tool until you compress the spring enough to free up the keepers. I used a small magnetic to grab the keepers



The spring is removed and what you see is the valve seal.



Use a pair of pliers to grab onto to the seal and remove it. The seal comes off easy. Install the spring height micrometer to get your spring height. Drop the micrometer on, then put the factory retainer and keepers back on. Turn the micrometer until snug. I was shooting for an installed height of 1.780" which gives me 125lbs spring pressure. You have to do some math here. The base of the replacement Fel-Pro valve seal is 0.040". The height I was going for was 1.820 without the seal. I got a measurement of 1.850. So I need to install a .030 shim. Then with the seal installed, it'll be 1.780. Easy math.





Once you place the shim down, remeasure to make sure everything is alright. Once everything checks out, drop the seal on. I used my Seal Setter tool so I don't tear the seal going back on.





Then place the spring on the head and crank down on the tool to compress the spring and place the keepers on.



I replaced the factory pushrods with Smith Bros.





Part numbers:
Springs: Comp 910-16 ( CCA-910-16 Summit Racing)
Pushrods: Smith Bros (NLTD)
Shims: Comp 4754 ( CCA-4754 Summit Racing) get 2 packs
Valve seals: Fel Pro (FEL-SS72893 Summit Racing)
Micrometer: Comp 4929 (CCA-4929 Summit Racing)
Spring Tool: OTC T941-6513-AH (E-Bay)

Torque specs
Rocker bolts: 20 ft lbs

Hope this helps

Billy T.
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Billy, does anyone make a Pressure fitting like a gas engine to pressurize the cylinder and seating the valve so it doesn't call in?
There is.....it's part of the compression tester for the 7.3, it screws into the glow plug hole. Instead of attaching the fitting to the gauge, you attach it to the air compressor. Although I have pressurized cylinders with air, I'm not a fan of it.

Mityvac , MVA5605 Diesel Glow Plug Adapter - Ford Navistar 7.3L Power Stroke

On the 7.3, when the piston is at the top the valve might drop 1/8" the most.

And on gas motors, I usually bring the piston down and stuff some 1/4"-3/8" rope through the spark plug hole and turn the motor by hand so the piston crushes the rope against the valve.

Too many things could go wrong with compressed air.

Billy T.
[email protected]
 

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Would be easy enough to make one out of the fitting you use to check compression through the glow plug.

Edit: Sorry Billy beat me to it. :doh:
 

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I just did my spring swap with the same spring compressor, but with the engine in my truck. The passenger side rear injector requires the heater box cover to be pulled. It only took 20-30 minutes to do, six screws and one nut in the engine compartment and one bolt from the inside. I have included pictures to help. The driver's side was no problem at all.
 

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In my experience with gas motors is that the keepers need more force to be 'unstuck' from the retainer than the compressed air would provide. With an old school spring compressor you could raise the whole thing and get the valve to seat again, and with some wiggling you could get the keepers to let go and then pull everything apart. With the tool pictured above, I expect that wiggling the keepers loose would be difficult. But the danger is still that once the compressed air keeping the valve raised leaked, by an unintentional knock to the exposed valve stem the valve would free fall. So, rotating the piston in place is a suggested precaution anyway. I used the rope trick too with much success on as motors.
 

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that spring compressor looks to be the best idea
google was no help finding one and I failed to find it on OTC webpage.
is there a reliable source?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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I cannot find this valve spring compressor anywhere! Other options or am I just dumb and blind?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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I just did my spring swap with the same spring compressor, but with the engine in my truck. The passenger side rear injector requires the heater box cover to be pulled. It only took 20-30 minutes to do, six screws and one nut in the engine compartment and one bolt from the inside. I have included pictures to help. The driver's side was no problem at all.
I just did mine this week in truck and had to do the same thing, thanks for the heads up

other things I learned:

1). tap the head of the valve retainer with a hammer to help jar loose the keepers before trying to remove the retainer cap with the press. My drivers side all came off easy, passenger side all had to be tapped as they wouldn't release.

2). I also used the magnetic pick up tool, I don't see any other way around it, but I would also recommend paying EXTRA close attention and having a super clean floor with a blanket or sheet light colored because when those keepers flip out of the retainer, good luck finding them, I lost 3 and found all 3 but where they end up is crazy, they hide very well.

3). I noticed that when baring the motor over (my son was) and I had a piece of wire down the hole, I'm assuming a valve or something was grabbing the wire, so I opted out of this method. Instead I removed the valve spring and just held the valve while my son barred the motor over and once I felt the piston touch the valve and push it I had him stop.

4). You will need the 2 packs of shims and every valve spring can be a different size/set of shims. I had anywhere from .030 to .060

5). remove the a/c box half first, you are going to have to do it, might as well get it first and be done with it. easy to do, 15 minute job

I also found it easier to use a 3/8 air ratchet to work the same valve spring compressor, makes quick work of it.
13 mm 6point and 8mm 12 point are needed, and a good pick was great also.


Hat's off to the OP, it went just like he said it would, great write up.

I did find the spring micrometer cheaper at advance auto parts along with the valve seals and used a coupon code and got free shipping.
Springs came from summit
push rods came from full force diesel, had them in stock and got them in 2 days, fast shipping and got them out ASAP so I could get started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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