Corvette Action Center - The ultimate online hub of Corvette news and information!
Supporting Vendors / Dealers - Supporting Membership - Advertising Information - Corvette Amazon Shop

Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: swapping valve springs while the engines in the car

  1. #1
    Member grumpyvette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default swapping valve springs while the engines in the car

    BTW if you go to change the valve springs with the heads still on the engine, most guys use the hose they use to do a compression check and the spark plug adapter and pump the cylinder up with about 125 psi of air to hold the valves shut while they do it, yeah it usually works just fine.

    (yeah theres a differant method)
    (1)disconnect the battery
    (2) remove the spark plugs, and rocker arms
    (3)turn the first cylinder to BDC BYE HAND or someplace close to that
    (4) insert one end of 5 ft of 3/8" rope into the cylinder thru the sparkplug hole and be sure you tie a KNOT in the other end
    (5) rotate BYE HAND,the engine until the rope compresses against the valves holding them in place
    (6)REPLACE THE SPRINGS on that cylinder while the valves are held to the combustion chamber roof
    (7)rotate the cylinder back to BDC
    (8)pull out the rope
    (repeat 7 more times)sup: :laughing:
    yeah! the air USUALLY works but I don,t trust it EITHER, I want those valves locked from falling into the cylinder PHYSICALLY sup:
    BTW youll want one of these or something similar
    IVE done it both ways many times, Ive never trusted the air alone but Ive used it without problems in the past, the ropes usually not a problem,, and yeah theres the potential for it to tangle but I have not had that happen either

  2. #2


    Great post...and quite timely for me.

  3. #3
    swapping valve springs while the engines in the car Bob Chadwick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Norcross, Georgia, United Stat
    Post Thanks / Like
    2006 Velocity Yellow Roadster


    Is it even necessary to rotate the engine? Once you remove the rocker arms the valves will be seated by the springs.

  4. #4


    I've done several spring changes with the head still on the motor and never used a rope. some were at the track with a hot motor.

    when you sock the air to the cylinder the piston is going to go down. when the rockers are removed the valves will seat. with hydraulic lifters you will have to count revolutions when removing the rocker nut so you can get the lash close when reinstalling. providing you don't loose your air source the valves will stay up. a hose is available with a check valve that will hold pressure.

    there's a very simple tool available that has no moving parts and is much cheaper than those illustrated, made by KD tools.

    this can be a little intimidating the first time. hint: don't drop the keepers!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    ABQ, NM
    Post Thanks / Like
    2007 A6 VY coupe, 1996 Subaru Impreza green sedan


    Many years ago I changed a few intake valve springs on a '69 427/390 with engine-in by propping the valve up thru the spark plug hole using a whittled drumstick. Had I known I would have used the knotted rope trick described above, much less chance of an OOOOPS! or damage to the piston.

Similar Threads

  1. 1995 Callaway Corvette SuperNatural 450 "Dances with Snakes" review
    By Brangeta in forum Callaway Corvette Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-12-08, 05:50 PM
  2. sellecting valve springs
    By grumpyvette in forum General Automotive Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-04-07, 01:14 PM
  3. 2005 Corvette Cert. Information and Interview With Dave Hill
    By Rob in forum C6 Technical and Performance
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-16-04, 08:20 AM
  4. [Press] Automobile Magazine Interview - Dave Hill on C6
    By Rob in forum C6 Technical and Performance
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-07-02, 11:52 PM
  5. No hair on my legs!!!!
    By cmegga in forum C3 Technical and Performance
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 07-22-02, 08:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
© CORVETTE is a registered trademark of the General Motors Corporation & Chevrolet Motor Division.  Neither Chevrolet Motor Division nor any subsidiaries of GM© shall bear any responsibility for content, comments, or advertising. is independent from GM© and is not affiliated with, sponsored or supported by GM©.  Copyright/trademark/sales mark infringements are not intended, or implied.  All Rights Reserved