Homemade valve spring compressor

Wed May 08, 2013 10:13 pm

Nobody I knew had a valve spring compressor that I could borrow, so a friend of mine slapped one together out of some stuff he had laying around. Unistrut, 2-6" long 1/2" nipples, 1-1/2" close nipple, 1-1/2" 90, 1/4" allthread, and a bolt to attach the unistrut. Used it tonight to remove all of the valve spring keepers on #2 Cub. Just gotta pull the valves, lap the valves, clean everything up, put the head back on and get everything adjusted out. Plan on flushing the cooling system, replacing all of the wiring, lubing up everything on the engine and then giving her a try. It worked best is the motor was rolled over until the valve you were pulling was in the fully open position. Gave more room to work. Placed paper towels in the openings at the base of the tappets in case a keeper was dropped and used a screwdriver with a magnetic tip to get the keepers out after they were popped off
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Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Thu May 09, 2013 2:23 am

That homemade tool looks like it would work perfect for Cub valves.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Thu May 09, 2013 2:53 am

It doesn't look like much, but it worked perfect. Best part? About 15 minutes to put together and less than $5 in parts. :D

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Thu May 09, 2013 5:12 am

Nothing wrong with a homemade tool that works! Way to use you head.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Thu May 09, 2013 6:19 am

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Fri May 10, 2013 1:38 pm

That's pretty awesome. I spent $20 bucks on one - the first fork broke - took it back, the next one worked but just barely. I'll be making one of these soon.

Thanks again, Ken

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Fri May 10, 2013 3:08 pm

Looks great.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 3:33 am

now why didn't i think of that. pretty slick.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 7:49 am

I have all the parts including the uni-strut. I just haven't got a clue how to put it together, or how to operate it. Some of us are not mechanics, but trying to learn. Any help on that score would be really appreciated. I don't think it would take long to make at all .. once one knew the dimensions. Did you come up with any problems that would require an improvement?

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 8:11 am

Rudi wrote: I just haven't got a clue how to put it together, or how to operate it. Some of us are not mechanics..............
This thing has one moving part attached to a threaded rod with a nut. Surely a person that can build a log splitter can figure out how to make that work! If not, I bet if you tighten the nut, the distance between the jaws (open side of the "C") gets smaller. Close nipple (really short threaded pipe) sets on the valve after you take off the engine head. Unistrut with notch goes on spring end of valve. Then tighten the nut to compress the spring and let the keepers fall into the oil pan :lol:

Must not of had your coffee yet if you're stumped on this.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 12:59 pm

I didn't have a problem getting the keepers off, but I saw I was going to have a problem putting them back on, so I got him to notch out the bottom front of the unistrut to give me more access. It could be notched a little more, but we didn't want to weaken it too much. I used it last night to put some back on and it worked ok. Little hard to get to, but I don't know if store bought compressor would be any better. This is my first time working on valves. It uses 1/4" allthread and about the same size bolt. You can go by the pics to see where to drill them. It doesn't have to be exact.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 1:29 pm

dbboss wrote:I used it last night to put some back on and it worked ok. Little hard to get to, but I don't know if store bought compressor would be any better.

I wonder if it would work better with the unistrut flipped the other side up. The nut on the allthread would no longer hold itself without some rework.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 5:16 pm

Jim Becker wrote:
dbboss wrote:I used it last night to put some back on and it worked ok. Little hard to get to, but I don't know if store bought compressor would be any better.

I wonder if it would work better with the unistrut flipped the other side up. The nut on the allthread would no longer hold itself without some rework.

If I remember correctly, Jim, there wouldn't be room. I believe that, when compressed, the bottom of the spring is about even with the top of the opening of the tappet chamber. It would be nice it it would. Lot easier to see that way. I'll have to look at it to be sure. All you'd have to do is loosen the bolt and flip the unistrut to use it that way. I'll let you know later tonight.

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 6:50 pm

Scrivet wrote:Must not of had your coffee yet if you're stumped on this.


That and my head being elsewhere. I got it now.... :roll:

Re: Homemade valve spring compressor

Sun May 12, 2013 9:48 pm

Came across this pic that would give a good example of why the unistrut can't be flipped. This is a straight on view I took when getting some measurements. The valve on the right is fully down, while the one on the left is in the up position, but not fully. With anything above the pressing surface of the clamp you would hit the block. A better idea would be to weld a piece of rod bent in a dog-leg fashion to clear the block and weld just the part of the unistrut that is cut back to the working end of the rod. Cut the unistrut just ahead of the allthread and weld on the rod. It'd give better view, better side to side adjustment and allow you to compress the spring just a touch more to help with keeper installation. That being said, it works well enough as is that I'm not gonna change it.

P.S. I do use the crank handle while working on the valves. Easy to do standing at the side of the tractor while working on the valves. I turn the handle until the valve I'm going to pull is in the up position, then I put the clamp on and turn the handle again to lower the tappet. Gives more clearance as well as partially compressing the spring for you. Not necessary, just how I happened to do it.
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