Valve spring compression tool
by Ken Talbot

I got my valves out with a home built shown below:

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I drilled a hole in one jaw of the clamp so it would fit over the end of a spare plug socket. I also took the rubber insert out of the socket.

Once clamped in place, I shone a small flashlight through the hole, and jiggled the retainers free with a long round scraper about 1/8" diameter. This will get the valves out, but it will not work for reinstalling.

I ordered in a low-budget (i.e. about one hour of shop time) "C" shaped spring compressor from a "Tool Place" franchise down the road from here, but had to send it back. Then I got the more expensive (i.e. about two hours of shop time) Hastings unit, (Model 3182) shown on the right in the photo. The cheaper unit had only one set of straight jaws, and they will not work on our heads.

You will need the offset jaws shown mounted in the photo. This is because of the way the springs are recessed into the head.

Another option - I had the mechanic over at our only MC/snowmobile shop just about talked into letting me borrow (i.e. rent for a certain amount of cash, no taxes, no receipts) his compressor, but he was still doing a lot of hemming and hawing. Of course, he would have preferred to have me take the head in to get the valves out, then bring it back again when it is time to put the valves back in.

I figured this was going to cost 1/2 hr minimum for the first visit, and at least another 1/2 hr minimum for the second visit. For only a few dollars more, I've got my own tool and I can do the work when it best suits me. Do you need any more lines to tell SWMBO before you take the plunge?