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Old 02-19-2012, 12:58 PM
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trbig trbig is offline
Simply used to just post A LOT!
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Ada, Oklahoma
Posts: 7,838
Cheap valve spring tool.

I posted this several years ago, but it was seen as not very good due to the fact that not everyone has a bunch of valve shim buckets laying around. Well... I do. lol. You only need one of these for this tool, so all these others I have are just going to get me an episode on Hoarders at some point. Anyone wanting to make one of these valve spring tools shown, PM me and I'll send a valve bucket out for shipping and handling cost. Most of us don't have a motorcycle mechanic for a buddy with an actual valve spring compressor tool, and as little as you'd ever actually need one, I just couldn't justify shelling out the money to buy a good one.

First off, you'll need a cheap 6" C-clamp. I got mine at Harbor Freight for @ $5.

Next, you'll need to remove the clamp's foot. I used a Dremmel to cut down each side of it and pry it off. Don't just cut the whole thing off at the top of the foot. You'll need that narrow extended portion.

Then sharpen the tip to somewhat of a point.

And now the fun part. Take the valve shim bucket, wrap a rag around it and clamp it in a vice. You have to be careful though. If you squish the sides or distort it, it won't fit down in the head and it's useless. Try to clamp it mainly at the top edge if you can.

With a good quality drill bit, drill a small hole in as exact center as you can get. These shim buckets are very hard steel. After you get that drilled through, use a larger drill bit and drill a bigger hole, using the smaller hole as a guide. The hole I drilled measures .575", whatever that equals. A tiny bit larger or smaller won't hurt anything. Then, re-install your smaller bit and drill an indention between the hole and the lip of the shim bucket like so...

Now you're ready to go to work.

Using a magnet, pull out the original shim/shim bucket.

Re-install your Mcgyver'd shim bucket.

Put the foot of the C-clamp against the valve underneath...

... and the pointed tip into the indention on the shim bucket.

Screw the clamp down. There will be some pressure you'll screw down against, then a "pop" as it releases the valve keepers.

You need to watch the first time closely to make sure the threaded part of your clamp doesn't get into the walls of the head where the bucket slides up and down. If you see it touching, just grind on it to get the threads out of the way. After the valve keepers are exposed, just use your magnet again to grab the them out of the way.

Unscrew the C-clamp...

... remove the clamp, and the valve will usually just drop out. If not, a gentle push on the top of the valve with a phillips screwdriver and the valve will come out.

Remove your Mcgyver'd shim bucket and this is what you'll see.

Remove the valve spring cap to reveal the two valve springs underneath it. One is a smaller spring wound the opposite way, sitting inside of a larger one.

Now remove the springs.

*CAUTION... Pay attention to the orientation of these springs. They are progressively wound, meaning they are wound tighter at the bottom side than the top. It's tough to actually see, so I just recommend setting them aside so you'll know how to reinstall the same way.

After the springs are removed, you're left looking at the valve seal. I would recommend replacing these any time you get to this point, especially if your bike puffs some smoke on startup. These are just brass pressed onto the top of the valve stem tower and come off easily with some needle-nosed pliars.

This tool is very cheap and works well. I hope this helps someone.
Try your hardest to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

You can live to be 100, as long as you give up everything that would make you want to live to be 100!

Current bikes:
'06 Suzuki DR650
*'82 XJ1100 with the 1179 kit. "Mad Maxim"
'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
'82 XJ1100 Parts bike
'81 XS1100 Special
'81 YZ250
'80 XS850 Special
'80 XR100
*Crashed/Totalled, still own

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