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How to install Intake and Exhaust Valves

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If you had never seen it done before, installing an intake or exhaust valve could seem difficult. Trust me when I say its ALL ABOUT having the right tool for the job. I have come across some tools for this job that just don’t make any sense. Be sure before taking on this task that you have the right tools. In the explanation and video you find below, I use the Snap On valve remover tool. It makes this job incredibly simple and very straightforward. The tool is pricey, but you can get a very similar tool on amazon for little money and will make the job super simple:


1. Valve Spring Install/Remover Tool

2. Small Magnet

3. Adequate light

I will outline the steps below, but also be sure to watch the video to get a really good sense as to how this is done.


Steps to Remove / Install Valve Springs, Retains, Valve, and Retainer Clips

To Remove

1. Select your valve spring compressor tool of choice and compress down the spring until the retainer is almost even to the top of the valve stem.

2. Use a magnet to pull the retainer clips out from around the valve stem. There should be two of them.

3. Once both of the retaining clips are removed relax the pressure on the valve spring and remove the spring and retainer from on top of the head.

4. Reach under the head and slide the valve out the bottom being careful not to damage the valve seal or the valve guide.

If you are planning on also changing out the valve seals at this time, which I would recommend while your there, be sure to check out this article HERE on removing and installing valve seals.

To Install

1. Thoroughly clean all the carbon off of the valve before you install. Not that you have to do this, but you have the valves out and there is performance to be gained here depending on how bad your valves are. The easiest way to clean the valves is with a wire brush wheel. Below are some before and after pictures of cleaning up the exhaust valves and the wire brush wheel I used.

How To Exhaust Valve Installation Removal Wire Wheel Brush GrinderHow To Exhaust Valve Installation Removal Wire Wheel Brush GrinderHow To Exhaust Valve Installation Removal Wire Wheel Brush Grinder

2. Slide the valve up through the valve guide and through the valve seal.

3. Place the valve spring around the valve guide. Then place the retainer on top of the spring.

4. Compress the spring with your compressing tool till you can clearly see the tip of the valve stem.

5. Seat both retaining clips with the tapered end facing down around the valve stem and slowly release the spring. As you release the spring, make sure that the retaining clips seat correctly around the valve stem and seat well against the retainer.

All done. Rebuilding the head is really not that difficult, but it can be time consuming. TAKE YOUR TIME THOUGH. The head is VERY important for a good running motor, and there is a lot of power that can be gained by having a good clean valve train and head. Be sure to check out other articles here at for more tech, repair, and modification help.


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