Poor Man's Valve Spring Compressor

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by BOBFLHTC, Jul 13, 2010.


    BOBFLHTC Active Member

    After 25 years and 82500 miles, a rattle a squeak and a few leaks I decided a Top end refresh was in order. I called the local HD shop to see about dropping the Heads and Cylinders off but learned they are going out of business by the end of the month. I tried a local independent but the pre work estimate was approaching $750-$1000. In the back of my mind I knew a complete Reman at the factory was $2200 so I figured what the heck let me give it a shot. If I botch it then off to the factory it goes. I already had removed all the grease and most of the carbon from the heads anyway. I picked up a Valve Spring compressor for small engines that was supposed to work on Harley’s but the only thing that moved was the compressor not the Valve spring. It was late Friday evening and everything was closed. I remembered I had a large C-Clamp that might do the trick. I was going to grind/cut a grooved foot in the non screw end but opted for a hole large enough to fit over the Valve and keepers to maintain the strength of the clamp. I started with a half inch drill and adjusted with a round file. It worked great with plenty of torque to spare. Sure I put in a good 1.5 hours messing with it but it always fulfilling making something out of nothing and swapping sweat equity for cash which unfortunately is in short supply after a decade of risky investing. Taking the valves out allowed me to get at all the carbon in the passages. As a side note I tried to put new Valve seals on by tapping them in with a socket but after smashing a few I am waiting for the $2 plastic tool for that purpose. I suppose I could have made one but for $2 plus postage I decided to indulge myself. Besides I need more Valve seals anyway - Bob
  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Bob are you going to have your valve seats replaced and resurfaced? Are you going to replace the valves and lap them in? What about the cylinder bore and pistons, not to mention new rings. While you have it apart are you replacing the wrist pins and bearings. If you are going to do a top end rebuild I think you need to at least address these areas. Oh and nice work on the valve spring compressor.