??? on doing valve springs


New Member
Nov 15, 2003
got the covers off and getting ready to replace springs....valve tool looks like it's the wrong one! bought the springs w/ tool from private seller-looks like they came from Ron's automotive(only #'s i can find are on instruction sheet #6746 HD spring set & #6745 spring removal tool) looks like tool is for shaft style rockers...oops! did i screw up and get the wrong springs/tool or can i modify this tool to work with our style rockers? will the springs be ok or should i get something else? do you usually measure spring height/clearance when you install springs or just swap and go?
thanks in advance for all the help!
You need a valve spring tool for a small block chevy. It looks like a long lever and the end has a U-shape and a hole for the bolt to go through. NAPA sells it like for 15 bucks.

As far as the springs, the springs the Buick vendors sell for the GN's are ok. Typically 100 lb springs. Do some searching.. the GN springs will work. Dont use the cups.

As to your question on installed heights, and such.. yeah its great when the heads are off the car. Just get some 50 dollar springs and have fun.

What your doing is an improvement over stock . Dont get aggressive on springs, else you'll put added pressure on the cam, possible wiping it.

thanks RAZOR! you just made my day...thought i screwed up. the cups you are talking about-are they the piece that covers lower half of spring w/ serrated edges on them? just got the car out after sitting for 4+ years and cars like yours got me motovated to tinker with it again. started gathering parts for alchohol install right before you released your progressive controller(been watching posts on that one ALOT), just trying to nail down some basic upgrades/proper tune before bugging you on that one.
thanks again!
Go through all the fluid services. Brakes, rear, tranny, fuel..etc. Fluids when they sit get moisture.

Yes on the spring question. Install the new springs as they come.

When you start on the alky, call. I'll do my best to help.

Have you done the fuel pump yet? And start thinking timing chain as well.

Good luck, enjoy the car..thats what its for.


PS, if the car has a lot of miles, you may consider changing the umbrella seals on the valves while the springs are off. Just an FYI
car has 42k on it,307 pump(hot wired),will be installing volt booster after springs,probably try home port job on tb/upper plenum(unless mr. jackson is back in business),36#injectors w/ RA 93 chip, 3000 stall(no name from trans repair buddy) don't know too much about turbo-suppost to be upgrade from stock w/ .63 inlet &.82 exhaust.car runs rich at the top end(850-900 on o2). wasn't aware of timing chain problem's, any ideas on what to look for-especially with the valve covers off? another wierd thing with this car is it will show 4-10 knock signals(wot,18-20 pounds of boost)but my scan tool NEVER shows any timing being taken out! been to scared to take boost any higher until i can talk to somebody that has more experience with these motors than me(baby #3 on the way and no funds for motor rebuild)
Leave the throttle body alone. Drop your boost under 16 unless you have higher than 93 octane. Nothing special on the springs. They will make a racket when you first fire up the motor.

Your KR may be injectors... make sure the FP isnt leaking down when you shut the key off. Or it could be overly rich. I also assume the chip is for 36 lb injectors not stockers.

Timing chain has factory upper nylon gear. Eventually the nylon starts chipping off. Next time you do an oil change, pay special attention to the bottom of the oil drain pan. you see small flecks..those are timing chain. If you suck the bottom of the pan, you will really notice the flecks.. they look like sand.

Anyways keep it out of KR.. unless you can handle the risk $$$. This is why alky is such a popular mod. But thats another thing.

car running rich is a tuning issue. The reds chips can sometimes do that. Tune your idle BLM's for 130 approx. Take it from there. Bet theyre way under that. Adjust base FP to get that number. drop the FP BL's go higher, up the FP.. bl's go lower.
haven't noticed anything in the oil when draining it(thank god!). just went through high BLM issue in fall(combination of throttle body seals,bad MAF,bad check valves)-current BLM values are 124-134. chip is burned for my current set up.tried running suggested FP of 43#,setteled on 41# to keep BLM where it is now. funny you bring up injectors, noticed pressure drops to zero after shutting car off in approx 30-45 minutes. called john @quad air and he felt that was exceptable but i remember them holding pressure alot longer than that when new.
car is not showing any knock retard- just showing knock counts(scanner i use will show both). i think i'm confused on this subject, i always thought that if ECM sees knock it would try to pull timing out! scanner doesn't show any KR and car feels like it's running alright but IS showing 4-10 KNOCK COUNTS when i nail it(i do have motor tied down)...starting to wonder if ESC is ok(scanner shows this also as a yes/no command and it always shows no)
p.s. just wondering why you suggest to leave throttle body alone. my thinking was to get more air in motor to try to get o2 readings down without having to shell out$$$ for new turbo.
I'd try a differant chip and maybe have the injectors cleaned.
Better yet..why the cups :D , to me they add a little shim and increase seat pressure. If there is something you dont want is high seat pressure with the wonderful cam we have in our motors.

Can it hurt, if they fit your springs..probably not, but keep in mind, our rockers are like a 1.65-1.7 ratio, which increases lift and adds just a we bit more pressure to the cam.

Dunno..i'm kinda dont change the springs unless you have the data to merit they be changed. You put 110lb springs..next thing you know..you have a wiped #3 exhuast lobe.
How about a possible wiped #1 intake lobe:) See my post in the TTA section "put your thinking caps on".

Just kidding :D . Man I have never felt the same about my motor since I put that compressed air to a couple of those cylinders. I had so much blow by past cylinder #3 that my compressor could barely maintain 50psi in it. I did find out that after 100k she still had 2 tight cylinders left, 2 a little lose, 1 medium one, and one thats probably burning more oil than my wifes Harley.
If your car is having issues pulling to redline, like mine was, then new springs will perk her up. If she pulls good now then you wont notice much.

p.s. just wondering why you suggest to leave throttle body alone. my thinking was to get more air in motor to try to get o2 readings down without having to shell out$$$ for new turbo.

Couple years ago GN high tech put on a opened up stock throttle body and re-dynoed the car they just put it on. They lost around 10hp!. Of course the part was supplied by one of thier advertizers so they did some wash over excuse and some good old butt sucking to keep them American $$'s rolling in from them. If I remeber correctly they actually still recommened that people should go buy it.

If you want to lower your o2's lower your fuel pressure. I have seen SOLID gas mileage improvements by doing this also. Car runs harder and gets better mpg. Your at 41 base and I have run all the way down to 35 base. I guess it has alot to do with the chips and thats not my area at all. But if you have no knock and the o2's are high then lower fuel pressure would be they way to go.

HTH: Jason
thanks postal for reply

well that is one of my other ???? above. i am seeing 4-10 knock COUNTS but no knock RETARD. trying to understand how this works. i thought that knock that registers on ECM would cause ECM to retard timing. isn't the electronic spark control monitor in place to "filter" knock signals( only lets knock of a certain frequency through to ECM). if i am correct, that means my ESC module is bad. i was hoping someone could clarify this so i can SAFELY proceed with mods/tuning. currently running boost @ 18-20 psi. didn't think that was too high until i started reading posts(i was the last guy in the world to get a computer), did not realize how bad car was running until i searched this site! trying to play catch up from 1993-96 when i was last modding car.
Hmmm.... I'm just a hillbilly with a scanmaster :D . I tune for 0 degrees knock RETARD. I like low timing chips and boost. This has got me to where I'm at with 0 failures. I'm not the fastest or the slowest but a bad run for me now is what my goal used to be.

That said I say lower your boost until you get it running right. Dont drop too far becasuse that can screw you up also. Go down to like 15 or 16 psi and get it all straightened out. Guys like Razor know alot more about the ecm, chips, knock, retard ect than I do so they will have to answere those things.

850 to 900 for o2 is way out in left field for my car, and any other Ive messed with. Now alot of hardcore guys say tuning off of the stock style o2 sensor isnt a very good idea. They say EGT and knock detector or a wide band set up is the way to go. I say get the o2's down to 800 flat right off the bat then lower from there and watch for knock. My car really likes around 760. I think alot of guys who run thier car fat "just to be on the safe side" wind up making thier car run like crap. They then turn around and do some thing stupid to try to make it run better, like up the boost or the timing. They then mess up the motor. A car at 17#'s and tuned out will whoop up on the same car at 20#'s that isnt. The fun starts when you start doing both higher boost and good tuning.

HTH: Jason
p.s: high o2's and a .82 exh housing must make that thing spool like a pig!
O2's at .760mv is ~1600º EGT on my car and that's about perfect for my combo. I agree with you, tuning off an OE O2 is not the ideal way to make power or know what's going on. Two years ago I sold all my fancy data logging crap, bought a SM 2, had Eric Marshall install the fast update patch in my chip, hooked up audible and visual KR monitors, and use an EGT to tune....KISS in my motto now.
Everytime the car sees knock, it adds a click to your knock count counter. So after driving the car for weeks..it will be up somewhat. You want it at zero, unplug your ecm..wait..it will be at zero and start from there. A lot of things can cuase knock that is not racing/tuning related. Exhuast, motor mounts, transmissions, belt tensioner, etc.. The trick is to look for knock while the car is at WOT.. and the knock doesnt go away..

I find my car goes the fastest when tuned at the edge of knock. Whereas it sees a ripple of knock like .2,.1,.3,.4,.1,.2 etc..I make a small adjustment get it to zero knock..thats where it flies. Some call it tickle the knock detector. In the case of alky..too much yields zero knock, but fattens the motor and makes it sluggish losing MPH.

Knock(KR) will reduce timing and pull boost out depending on severity. Two knock counts means nothing.. becuase we dont know when theyre happening. If the knock is occurring at WOT in the middle of gears, then it has to be addressed via fuel/octane.

FWIW, Jason and Joe , 1 1/2 months ago I was at Reynold for the Buick Race and was showing Roy(Boost) aka Laz racing runs of my car on the laptop(Direct Scan).. he sees 740's for O2's and first thing he says.. man thats rich.. :eek: I go huh..ya.. we run ours at 680-700 :eek: Needless to say when someone who runs 9.6 at 142 on a 109 block speaks ..I listen. ;) So 760's are way fat :D .

Will I run mine at 680's and 26 PSI boost.. hell no :D.. thats 1800 degree territory

The stock O2 may be inaccurate.. And I too use an EGT as well..but I will say that inaccurate O2 sure does coincide with my fancy EGT.

Peace guys..:D
Those O2 numbers are what you want for race gas. I can't get mine lower than 760 or it'll register some KR. But that's 93 and alky.
Originally posted by TTA 1387
Those O2 numbers are what you want for race gas. I can't get mine lower than 760 or it'll register some KR. But that's 93 and alky.

Rob, your suffering from insufficient dysfunctional pump syndrome. easily cured with Shurflo'tis applied Methanol injection at a variable pressure 125 PSI'tis..

Ever seen that cartoon..the boy and little little girl both looking down.. caption says "There is a difference" :D

760 is way fat :)

yeah POSTAL this car is LAZY outta the hole, i looked for exhaust leaks and found none-thought turbo might be bad but NOW it looks like too much fuel. i was hesitent to lower FP that low( was going by instructions that were sent with the chip). will try lower #### once the snow melts( I HATE WINTER). I want to hook up an EGT monitor but having a hard time finding clamp style hook up.

RAZOR, my knock counts reset every time key is switched off. the only time i see any knock is at WOT, can't tell exactly when they happen(need to find a co-pilot). getting 4-10 knock COUNTS on EACH WOT test but NO KNOCK RETARD OR ESC COMMAND during each test. i do get a little boost "flutter"(1-3# according to my VDO boost gauge), but nothing like i used to get before i ported wastegate hole. could this be a sign of car reacting to the knock? not trying to be hard headed, just trying to understand how ecm sees the knock but seems to not respond to it.