Valve spring replacement help


New Member
Feb 23, 2007
For those who have used the Kirban valve spring tool - any tips as to how to get the locks to release from the retainers? I'm having a pretty hard time getting them to release. I have shop air pressurizing the cylinder to 100 or so psi. Any tips would be very welcome.
Take a rubber mallet and tap on the top of the spring a few times. That always works for me. Don't hit it too hard. Just a quick sharp rap. You might need some more air press. in the cylinder too.
Is the valve opening?

If not, I use a strong magnet near the valvestem (one of those little magnets on a stick), poke a flat screwdriver in the keeper joint and they pop out and stick to the magnet.

I don't have a kirban tool, but use a chevy L-bar with two new holes drilled on either side of the chevy hole and use junk rocker shaft bolts as the fulcrum.
not sure what a mallet would do you need to hit the retainer not the end of the valve
I use a small hammer and a socket ( big enough inside to clear the valve tip and the locks ) on the end of a short extension , on the cylinder you have the air hold tool installed put the socket on the retainer and give it a sharp tap , they should move much easier and the kirban tool might make it through all 12 valves before it breaks . ive had to reinforce mine with a welder and a longer handle (a peice of 1/2" pipe slipped over the end of the one he supplies) makes working on the stronger springs much easier
100 psi!!!! the air will move the piston.

I use so little it hardly registers on the gauge - like 5 psi

Also find that the locks release with just finger pressure and pull out with magnet as mentioned above once the spring is compressed.
Your throwing the dice using air preassure. You break the seal and good bye valve. Your best bet is to feed rope into the cylinder through the spark plug hole then turn the motor by hand till it stops. The piston will come up and the rope will hold the valve.
--I second using rope. You have all the time in the world and will definitely not loose a valve(s)

--100psi isn't bad if you have the motor braced with something so it doesn't try to turn

--Yes, Kirban's tool is pretty much a one-time use tool. :mad:
...i just start to compress the spring and as it starts as stated above just rap the side top of the spring and those lock/retainers will break loose instantly ...then grab your magnet and they will come out no problem...noah.
When you are talking about rope for the valves are you talking about the kind you would got from the butcher...about that big...right?
...... that's a really good idea...I've never heard that before..I got to try that this week when the springs get here...
Well, I got the springs all done a couple of days ago. I used air pressure to hold the valve shut (the motor will rotate, but only to the bottom of it's travel). Used the hammer and socket trick - worked great. I ended up making my own version of Kirban's tool, and it worked absolutely perfectly. It would definitely work many many times before bending. Thanks for all of the helpful advice, guys! Good info as usual!
Go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy ten feet of that yellow nylon rope. Melt the two ends so they don't fray. There's your rope. Perfect length, diameter, and fit. About nine feet will fit in the cylinder with the remaining one foot hanging out of the spark plug hole. ;)
Air psi has worked fine for me to hold teh valves closed. Tip...use a mag pick up to pull the locks