Valve spring replacement


5 replies to this topic
  • i_wheelie_longer

Posted January 05, 2010 - 05:50 PM

#1

How difficult is it to replace the valve springs? I'm comfortable with taking the top end apart, but im nervous to mess with the valves/springs (but have no problem shimming the valves). I'll be rebuilding the top end and checking the valve specs so I figured since the head will be off, its a good idea to consider replacing the valve springs because I don't want to float a valve!

Do I really need a valve spring compressor?? If so, which brand or type do you recommend?

By the way, the bike is an 06 with the original valve springs. The bike is on its 3rd piston, including the original, but that's simply as means of preventative maintenance. I would guess the bike has 70-80 hrs on it.

Thanks

  • KJ790

Posted January 05, 2010 - 07:28 PM

#2

It's really not hard. You don't need a valve spring compressor. In fact, I have one, used it once and never used it again. Much faster and much easier to use a socket. To remove the keepers, I put the head on top of an old bunched up t-shirt, then I put a 14mm socket on top of the retainer I want to remove. Through the center of the socket I slide a telescoping magnet so that the tip of the magnet fits in like a shim would normally fit. Around the magnet handle on top of the socket I put vice grips, then press down on the vice grips, in turn pressing down on the socket. The spring will compress a little and the magnet will pull the keepers out. Voila, your done removing the spring.

To put it back on I again put the head on a bunched up t-shirt, put the spring seat in, then the spring, then I set the top retainer on the spring with the keepers sitting in it the way they will sit when assembled. I then stuff the 14mm socket full of bunched up paper towel until it is full and pretty compact. Then I simply press down on the top retainer with the socket. The paper towel inside the socket pushes the keepers down so that they don't fall out. It works really well, but you may end up with a red circle on the palm of your hand for a day when you are done. Someday I'm going to get around to making a tool to do this with a piece of PVC pipe and a billiard ball for a handle.

When you are done, make sure that both keepers are sitting down where they should, they should be even. If one is sitting higher than the other, then only one is in, pop them out and try putting them in again.

  • dvn

Posted January 06, 2010 - 04:34 AM

#3

The bike is on its 3rd piston, including the original, but that's simply as means of preventative maintenance. I would guess the bike has 70-80 hrs on it.

Thanks


Just curious. Why would you put 3 pistons in a 450 in 70 hrs? Do you run an hour meter? I typically do about 60-70 hrs. per season. I would think a 450 should get 70 hrs. per piston without a problem.:moon:

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  • ForsheeMS

Posted January 06, 2010 - 06:38 AM

#4

I would highly recommend using a spring compressor. Motosport or Rocky Mountain both carry one for about $35 that works great. The one thing to be really careful of is to make sure the locks (also known as cotters) are correctly engaged in the keeper groove on the valve stem. It is possible for the locks to grab the valve stem too high or too low which always will result in a major failure. When you reassemble using a valve spring compressor use a little grease on the locks to hold them on the valve stem until you get the retainer in place. A magnetic screwdriver works great for putting the locks in place.

  • matt4x4

Posted January 06, 2010 - 07:15 AM

#5

there's a post somewhere - probably the tech section - that shows you how to make a cheap valve spring compressor, but if you're changing the springs would it not make sense to change the valves too???? Somehow, I think a spring is going to outlast your valves......

  • grayracer513

Posted January 06, 2010 - 09:10 AM

#6

there's a post somewhere - probably the tech section - that shows you how to make a cheap valve spring compressor, but if you're changing the springs would it not make sense to change the valves too???? Somehow, I think a spring is going to outlast your valves......

Home rigged tools occasionally work as well as purpose built ones, but not very often, and $35 is hardly expensive.

As to changing springs vs. valves, the valves in my '03 lasted from '03 beyond the time when I sold it in '08. The valves on my son's '06 are still fine long after I did the rings during a head gasket change. I replaced the valve springs and seals at that time because I could. There was no reason to spend nearly $500 on new valves, but at $20 for a set, why not the springs, just in case? It would be nice to think they would last as long as the valves do, and usually they do. But what if they don't?





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