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Replacing Valve Stem Seals

 
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unknown10

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Since: Aug 15, 2003
Posts: 6



(Msg. 1) Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:27 pm
Post subject: Replacing Valve Stem Seals
Archived from groups: rec>autos>makers>vw>watercooled (more info?)

I need to replace the valve stem seals on my wife's 1986 Jetta GLI. While
it sounds like a fairly straightforward job, the cost of the tools has been
the worst part of doing it myself.

I plan on using the "rope in the cylinder" approach to keep the valves from
falling into the cylinder. I have an air compressor and the necessary spark
plug adapter, but the rope method would let me work slowly (overnight if
needed) and not worry about losing pressure if I bump the valve or
something.

I found plans for building my own valve spring compressor, and plan to
build one for this job. It looks like it should work nicely.

I'm still curious about the special pliers used to remove the valve stem
seals. I can't really afford the $50-80 for a pair of "special" pliers. I
found one post online from someone who used regular needle nose pliers, but
I'm wondering if anyone else has used standard tools to remove the seals?
Is it that difficult to do?

As for removing and installing the "keepers", is this very difficult to do?

I've read numerous reports that the seals can be "installed" using a deep
socket that fits the seal properly. That's most likely the approach I'll
use.

I figure I'll probably replace the valve cover gasket and camshaft seal
while I've got things apart.

I've done lots of engine work over the years, including pulling engines,
replacing cylinder heads, etc. But, I've never actually replaced the valve
stem seals. As always, I get a bit nervous venturing into unknown projects.
Smile

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Anthony

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Rex B

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Since: Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 23



(Msg. 2) Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:26 pm
Post subject: Re: Replacing Valve Stem Seals [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

HerHusband wrote:
> I need to replace the valve stem seals on my wife's 1986 Jetta GLI. While
> it sounds like a fairly straightforward job, the cost of the tools has been
> the worst part of doing it myself.
>
> I'm still curious about the special pliers used to remove the valve stem
> seals. I can't really afford the $50-80 for a pair of "special" pliers. I
> found one post online from someone who used regular needle nose pliers, but
> I'm wondering if anyone else has used standard tools to remove the seals?
> Is it that difficult to do?

Don't worry about it. You are going to toss the seals anyway. Just grab
them with pliers and pull them off.

> As for removing and installing the "keepers", is this very difficult to do?

The keepers and retainer and valve stem accumulate varnish over time
which glues all together. A quick tap with a spark plug socket and a
small hamer separates them momentarily and breaks the bond. It may even
pop the keepers out, which is how machine shops used to do it. Then
apply your spring compressor lever and remove the the keepers with a magnet.

> I've read numerous reports that the seals can be "installed" using a deep
> socket that fits the seal properly. That's most likely the approach I'll
> use.

That's correct. The seals are probably metal jacketed with a small
"step" just below the top. Your socket should fit over this. Some
seals come with a plastic sleeve to protect the seal from the sharp
edges of the keeper groove as it passes. Try to get and use one of those
if you can.

> I've done lots of engine work over the years, including pulling engines,
> replacing cylinder heads, etc. But, I've never actually replaced the valve
> stem seals. As always, I get a bit nervous venturing into unknown projects.

Simple deal, just take your time.

Rex B

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unknown10

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Since: Aug 15, 2003
Posts: 6



(Msg. 3) Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:59 pm
Post subject: Re: Replacing Valve Stem Seals [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Rex,

>> I'm wondering if anyone else has used standard tools
>> to remove the seals? Is it that difficult to do?

> Don't worry about it. You are going to toss the seals anyway. Just
> grab them with pliers and pull them off.

I guess I'm just worried how much room there is to get ahold of the things.
I've never taken the heads apart before, so I don't know how far down those
seals sit, or what's around them.

Thanks for the info and reassurance! Smile

Anthony
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Rex B

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Since: Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 23



(Msg. 4) Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:36 pm
Post subject: Re: Replacing Valve Stem Seals [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

HerHusband wrote:
> Rex,
>
>
>>>I'm wondering if anyone else has used standard tools
>>>to remove the seals? Is it that difficult to do?
>
>
>>Don't worry about it. You are going to toss the seals anyway. Just
>>grab them with pliers and pull them off.
>
>
> I guess I'm just worried how much room there is to get ahold of the things.
> I've never taken the heads apart before, so I don't know how far down those
> seals sit, or what's around them.

Honestly, I have not done a VW. Worst case is they may sit into a well
about 1" in diameter, and maybe 1.5" deep. And that's no big deal.

Does anyone have a link showing a bare 8V head?
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SFC

External


Since: Apr 11, 2004
Posts: 9



(Msg. 5) Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:55 pm
Post subject: Re: Replacing Valve Stem Seals [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

When the spring is gone there's enough room. I also used a small plier to
get them out. Don't think they come out the first try. You have to pull hard
before they let go. When installing the new ones be carefull not to damage
them. Use the included plastic sleeve.

SFC

"Rex B" schreef in bericht

>
> HerHusband wrote:
>> Rex,
>>
>>
>>>>I'm wondering if anyone else has used standard tools
>>>>to remove the seals? Is it that difficult to do?
>>
>>
>>>Don't worry about it. You are going to toss the seals anyway. Just
>>>grab them with pliers and pull them off.
>>
>>
>> I guess I'm just worried how much room there is to get ahold of the
>> things. I've never taken the heads apart before, so I don't know how far
>> down those seals sit, or what's around them.
>
> Honestly, I have not done a VW. Worst case is they may sit into a well
> about 1" in diameter, and maybe 1.5" deep. And that's no big deal.
>
> Does anyone have a link showing a bare 8V head?
 >> Stay informed about: Replacing Valve Stem Seals 
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unknown10

External


Since: Aug 15, 2003
Posts: 6



(Msg. 6) Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:46 pm
Post subject: Re: Replacing Valve Stem Seals [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Rex,

I finally got around to changing the valve stem seals in my wife's 1986
Jetta GLI. As with most first time projects, I was a little nervous going
into it, but it actually went fairly easy.

The only "special" tool I had was a self made valve spring compressor I
built following a design I found online. It worked fine.

> The keepers and retainer and valve stem accumulate varnish over time
> which glues all together. A quick tap with a spark plug socket and a
> small hammer separates them momentarily and breaks the bond.

I had planned on using the "rope in the cylinder" approach to keep the
valves from falling into the cylinder, but every attempt at compressing the
valve springs just compressed the rope instead. I tried about 2' of rope,
then about 4', and then almost 6'. Same results every time.

So, I thought I would switch to the traditional air compressor method,
using an adapter that was part of my compression gauge. But that didn't
work either. After more head scratching, I realized the compression gauge
adapter had a one-way valve in it. So, it was back to the rope method.

Then I remembered your comment about things being glued together. A couple
of quick taps with the spark plug socket and a small hammer was all it took
to break the bond. The springs then compressed easily.

One of those bonehead moments... Smile

> You are going to toss the seals anyway. Just
> grab them with pliers and pull them off.

6 of the 8 seals came out easily with a standard pair of needle nose
pliers. Naturally, the last two were stuck in there good! For those I used
a pair of needle nose vise grips. A bit more grip and they came right out.

> Some seals come with a plastic sleeve to protect the seal

Naturally, my seals didn't come with the sleeve. But, I had a couple of
sleeves left over from head gasket sets I had purchased over the years.

> the seals can be installed using a deep socket
> that fits the seal properly.

I used a deep 6 point 12mm socket on a 6" extension. It worked great. I put
the sleeve over the valve stem, started the seal on the stem by hand, then
seated it firmly with the socket.

I greased up the new seals slightly before sliding them on. I don't know if
that's the proper way of doing things, but it's how I normally install
other seals, and they slid down easily. I haven't noticed any problems.

> apply your spring compressor lever and remove
> the the keepers with a magnet.

The magnet worked great for removing the keepers. But, reinstalling the
keepers was easily the most awkward aspect of the whole job. I needed the
magnet to get the keeper near it's destination, but then had no way to free
the keeper from the magnet. Smile I spent a lot of time with the magnet and a
tiny screwdriver putting the keepers back in place (while holding down the
compressor arm), but eventually I got the job done.

I'm sure there must be a more elegant way of installing those keepers. Smile

> Simple deal, just take your time.

My heart sank when I tried to start the engine back up. The timing sounded
really off and it wouldn't start. I made multiple attempts at resetting the
valve and ignition timing, checking the plugs, etc. but had the same
results every time.

After continued cranking, it finally started but the valve lifters made all
kinds of noise, and the engine stumbled and jumped like an old steam
engine. I feared I had seriously screwed something up.

But, gradually each cylinder quieted down, and the idle smoothed out. I
stored the hydraulic lifters upside down while I had them out, just as my
Bentley manual recommended. But, I'm guessing the oil drained out of them
somehow anyway and it took a bit for them to repressurize?

Anyway, my wife's car is back up and running smoothly again, with no signs
of smoking. Now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing if the oil
consumption has decreased.

If all goes well, I'll be changing the oil, and replacing the oil pan
gasket next weekend... Smile

Thanks to everyone who offered advice!

Anthony
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