Lotus Elan

Valve spring retainer

PostPost by: Wevster » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:43 pm

Hi everyone

While checking valve clearances I've noticed a crack in number 3 exhaust valve spring retainer, this will obviously need replacing, however is it a head off job?
Any advice appreciated.

Kev.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:53 pm

it's the valve and the collets you'd need to "hold" in position and at the same time (when spring under compression) you have to take care of the replacement - maybe somebody's done it. i'd have to put it on some paper and maybe there's is a solution? if you know the clearance between the valve and the piston you could probably fill the gap with an aluminum "gap-filler", go to tdc, block the crank and compress from above BUT i can't clearly see if this is just theory!?!?!? sandy - PS hope somebody knows! i'll also follow this subject!
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PostPost by: Lyn7 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:26 am

Hi, I have had the same problem previously and successfully changed this part without lifting the head. I think there are maybe three solutions. The first and easiest is a commercial fitting that screws into the plug hole. This then connects to a compressor air line. Air pressure then holds the valve in place while you lever down on the spring retainer to release the collets. Some ingenuity is called for.
The second option I have used because I did not have access to a compressor at the time. I smashed a spark plug for a threaded insert and then fashioned a threaded rod with a hook end to physically hold the valve in place!
This requires a bit more ingenuity ,but, it did work.
Another method might be to fill the combustion chamber with string or grease to hold the valve in place.
Necessity is the mother of invention!
Good luck, Lyn...
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:47 am

excellent lyn!! i was just putting some thought to it watching hogans heros! love those ideas! sandy
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PostPost by: Wevster » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:00 am

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give it some thought, I' haven't got access to compressed air either. I think it might be possible to pop it off, but getting it back on's the issue. For the cost of gaskets and coolent and time, might be easier to whip the head off.

Kev
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:57 am

Lyn7 wrote:Hi, I have had the same problem previously and successfully changed this part without lifting the head.

Another method might be to fill the combustion chamber with string or grease to hold the valve in place.
Necessity is the mother of invention!
Good luck, Lyn...


As a variation of the above, some people stick plastic/rubber hose or something similarly pliable yet standing weight into the chamber via the exhaust a bit before TDC of the corresponding chamber, then turn the crank up a bit to maintain the valve in place while they replace the collets (clean, no need of compressed air ... but requires to take the header off). You should find videos on the net showing the maneuver, worth a try in my opinion if the engine was good otherwise.

good luck!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:09 am

To remove without pulling the head I have heard of two successful methods to hold the valve in place

1. Compressed air through the spark plug hole
2. Feeding a flexible rope through the spark plug hole to be compressed under the valve by the piston

Once the valve is held in place then you need to pop the retainer down and pull out the collets so the retainer and other components can be removed.

You can buy specific tools for this now as many recessed valve spring overhead cam engines use valve stem seals and replacement of the valve stem seals without removing the head is a desirable procedure.

The tool is basically a rod with magnets on the end. You set the rod on the retainer and hit it with a (big) hammer the retainer is pushed down and the magnets pull out the released collets enabling the seal, and spring and retainer and collets to be replaced as required. To reinstall you do the reverse without the magnet in place and the collets drop back in place when the assemble is hit.

Never done it myself as on twin cams I just pull the head, but I am looking at doing it on my Landcrusier which has worn valve stem seals after 370,000 kms and pulling the head on this will be a pain.

cheers
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PostPost by: Wevster » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:10 pm

Thanks for suggestions, update is I've got it off, see pics of my Heath Robinson ratchet compressor, big socket with magnet jammed inside, and a length of rubber tubing stuffed into cylinder. New retainer on order, just gotta get it back in now!
I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers

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PostPost by: Wevster » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:14 pm

A few more.
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Looks more like a deep scratch than a crack.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:41 pm

Top job, well done! :D
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PostPost by: lotusnut » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:27 pm

Sykes Picavant (in UK) used to do a special kit for this job, there were various plug thread connections to connect to an airline, you could use string inside the cylinder instead, there was also a lever with hook on the end to locate under a suitable bolt head or stud (with a nut on) and another part about halfway down the lever to locate on to the valve spring retainer, push down the lever and retrieve the collets. Also included are a very handy pair of special pliers for removing valve stem seals, if fitted. I have not seen them for sale lately, but I do still have one.
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:23 pm

Pondering on this issue, I wonder if the best thing to bung down the plughole might be a balloon, preferably a tough one?
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PostPost by: Wevster » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:23 pm

Update, yesterday a new retainer arrived, so with a 22mm socket with magnet removed, top collet placed in retainer, bottom collet resting on top of valve stem, pressing down using ratchet system, hey presto job done. Seemed too easy! Better pay attention when timing up.

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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:29 pm

Wevster wrote:Update, yesterday a new retainer arrived, so with a 22mm socket with magnet removed, top collet placed in retainer, bottom collet resting on top of valve stem, pressing down using ratchet system, hey presto job done. Seemed too easy! Better pay attention when timing up.

Kev.


What did you use to stop the valve falling down?

Of I think you said that previously?
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PostPost by: Wevster » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:00 pm

I used a length of soft rubber pipe stuffed in the cylinder via the spark plug hole. Then cranked up to hold valve.
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