Nick Galente

Valve Cage Removal

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The point is that in the time it takes to beat several nuts loose with a punch, you could probably make a simple tool that would loosen them more quickly, with much less damage, and serve you well for years to come (as Mark Shaw's father did).

Edited by MrEarl
Removed response to deleted post by MW and saved to mod file (see edit history)

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

One of the things that you have to understand is that on these old "used" cars, there were many mechanics who worked on them before us and that just wanted to "get er done". They were not going to waste their money on fancy tools when they already had something that would work.

Dont misunderstand me. I am just saying that we are looking at things differently now. We respect the cars more than when they were just transportation.

 

And, I do think that special wrenches are a good idea.

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8 minutes ago, DonMicheletti said:

One of the things that you have to understand is that on these old "used" cars, there were many mechanics who worked on them before us and that just wanted to "get er done". They were not going to waste their money on fancy tools when they already had something that would work.

Dont misunderstand me. I am just saying that we are looking at things differently now. We respect the cars more than when they were just transportation.

 

I hear that. :D  Like everyone else, I've been known to grab a BFH and something to hit with it when I didn't have the proper spanner at hand. These days, I'm more prone to taking the long view: if it's a job you're likely to repeat, the proper tool is often an investment in both efficacy and preservation.

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16 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

Crude but effective!

My father made this from a pipe nipple.  A deep socket would have been a better choice.

He drilled a hole through the upper end to use a big screw driver or a piece of bar stock for a handle.

Valve Cage Removal Tool.JPG

 

OK, pipe nipple is cheap and I may even have one or a hunk of pipe the correct diameter in my stash of pipe ends.  I could never bring myself to cut up an expensive, large, forged socket but the cheaper stamped sockets are an option too and take a ratchet drive.  I hereby promise to make a socket.  (Or borrow something close from Larry S. since he has lots of good stuff.  :P)

 

The good news is (knocking on wood) that I just went all through the valves/cages and won't need the socket soon.

 

I need to take a picture of my friend Ray Y.'s shop wall.  He must have 50 hammers hanging.  He had about 20 from his Dad that were a source of discussion and since then all his friends pick up additional ones at garage sales and drop them off and Ray hangs them up.  He's recently expanded to damaged hatchets and bent screw drivers and pry bars.  He has a wood mallet that is as big as a small keg.

 

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17 minutes ago, Brian_Heil said:

I could never bring myself to cut up an expensive, large, forged socket but the cheaper stamped sockets are an option too and take a ratchet drive.  I hereby promise to make a socket.

 

That's why God invented Harbor Freight.

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On 10/31/2017 at 6:52 PM, Terry Wiegand said:

Don, I spoke with Nick the other evening and cautioned him about getting a hammer and punch anywhere near those cage nuts.  The top of the block in the water jacket area is pretty thin and beating on those nuts can be hazardous to the block casting.  I am posting some photos of the cage nut tools that I made just for the removal/installation procedure.  The two different sizes are needed for the engines from 1918 and on.  The intake valve increased in diameter beginning with the 1918 models.  There was a cage nut tool in the tool kit of every new Buick just for this purpose.  It only had two prongs to engage the slots.  I like to think that I improved the design a little bit by putting four prongs on it AND I used 4340 material for the toughness.  Anyone can do what I did here with a lathe and a milling machine.  The handles really do help with the nuts coming out and going back in.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Which models had the cage nut tool in the tool kits?  I'm going through my catalogues and not finding them. I enclose 4 pics showing the tool kits for D, E, H/K, and 21, respectively:

 

 

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You have raised a valid point here.  I have illustrated parts catalogs from 1915 thru 1923 (covering the caged-valve engine models) and running up through the late twenties.  In checking through them there is no photo or reference for a cage nut removal/installation tool as shown in my photos here.  The tool in the photos was in the storage area beneath the front seat cushion in the 1916 D-45 that my Dad bought in 1963.  One can see the numbers 34202 that are in the casting.  I have seen this tool in two other Buicks from this era over the years.  I know where you are going with this, so I will save you the time of asking the question.  I do not know the answer as to the why this item was not listed in the parts catalog(s).  The people who could answer for us have been gone for decades.  The person who did discuss this with me was the late Dave Chambers.  This man was the authority on Buicks up through the end of the 6-cylinder era.  The late Terry Dunham, who was a personal friend of mine, told me on many occasions that when the Buick Motor Company would get letters and calls asking about the old models, they would refer the questions to Dave.  I do remember Dave telling me that not everything was listed in the catalogs.  I think that there were some tools that were made available to owners on an aftermarket basis.  This quite possibly could be an example of that.  I have wondered about this for a long time.  There is a specific number 34201 in the catalogs.  I am out of answers as to how come and why about this particular situation.  Maybe if some of the retired GM folks are reading this, maybe they can offer something here.  The number on this part is just too close to the part numbers used by Buick in this time frame to not mean something.  I wish that I knew what it was.  I do feel so confident that Buick had a hand in this tool that I took the basic measurements from it and incorporated them into my two tools that I made.  This is everything that I can tell you now.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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I have part number 35533 for it but can't say why. This style of tool certainly looks better than the spanner type they illustrate in Dyke's.

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Edited by Morgan Wright
dyke not van dyke (see edit history)

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The valve cage nut would not have been a consumer used tool.  That is why it is not listed in the owners list of tools.

 

It would be a "special" tool that the dealer would buy or be required to buy.

 

Same practice that has been going on forever between the manufacturer and the dealers.  The manufacturers want to be sure that the dealer can properly service customers vehicles and have tools shipped to dealers every year.  The dealers are invoiced for the tools.  Buying the tools is a requirement and part of the sales and service agreement.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Going through the Shop Manuals of the time there are many references to... "NOTE"-These tools are Shown in The Buick Tool Catalog.

 Does anyone have a copy of one of these scarce books? I remember the Wood Special Buick tool panel (with a 1930s-1950s style logo) and all the special tools listed getting thrown out at Pizzica Buick in 1977. I wish I had the fore thought to save it along with the brake riveting and valve grinding machines. Also a nice 1940s AC spark plug service center went to the dump.

Larry

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Mr. Wright has provided photographic evidence of tools that were used on Buicks that probably all of us never knew even existed.  Thanks for posting this.  I have been around caged-valve Buicks for starting on 55 years and I never ever heard of this company let alone the tool for removing the cage nuts.  Unbelievable is the word that comes to mind here.  I am posting some photos of my Buick Service Tools catalogs.  Maybe these are what Larry was referring to.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas 

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One more thing to point out here.  In the next to last photo above, the B29-Valve Cage Nut Wrench, in the description of the tool it states that the use of a drift on the cage nut is not desirable.  I guess the engineers even knew some things way back then.  Definitely interesting.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Interesting tool for setting the packing ring.

Has anyone had the fun experience of a valve cage rotating while on a trip, essentially shutting the cylinder off?

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1 hour ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Mr. Wright has provided photographic evidence of tools that were used on Buicks that probably all of us never knew even existed.  Thanks for posting this.  I have been around caged-valve Buicks for starting on 55 years and I never ever heard of this company let alone the tool for removing the cage nuts.  Unbelievable is the word that comes to mind here.  I am posting some photos of my Buick Service Tools catalogs.  Maybe these are what Larry was referring to.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas 

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Never seen these.  Thanks for sharing Terry!

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1 hour ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Mr. Wright has provided photographic evidence of tools that were used on Buicks that probably all of us never knew even existed.  Thanks for posting this.  I have been around caged-valve Buicks for starting on 55 years and I never ever heard of this company let alone the tool for removing the cage nuts.  Unbelievable is the word that comes to mind here.  I am posting some photos of my Buick Service Tools catalogs.  Maybe these are what Larry was referring to.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas 

P1040261.JPG

P1040263.JPG

P1040266.JPG

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Those be the tools for the day.  When I was a Buick rep I had to "sell" the annual essential tools to service the new products.  This process has been going on forever.

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3 hours ago, Terry Wiegand said:

I guess the engineers even knew some things way back then. 

 

Im sure this crowd could have taught them a thing or two though :D

another great thread guys! :) 

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Of course you can always just compress the spring with a wrench, and remove the cage with a C clamp:

 

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Screenshot (104).png

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....and if the exhaust cage is REALLY stuck, remove the intake cage, put a random object through the hole and rest it on the piston, directly under the exhaust valve, and crank the starter motor to let the piston push the cage up. Don't forget to tie a string to the random object for easy removal:

 

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Screenshot (106).png

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2 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

Of course you can always just compress the spring with a wrench, and remove the cage with a C clamp:

 

.

 

 

Screenshot (104).png

 

Be careful doing what is shown in the circle.  Next thing that happens is the valve drops into the combustion chamber.  Now you are in real trouble since you have nothing to pull on to get the cage out and a loose valve in the chamber to boot.  Remove the cage/valve/spring/retainer and key as an assembly.

 

second picture fails to mention all the work required to remove all the rocker pedestal assemblies to have a clear flat head surface to mount and use this support beam.  It might work with the pedestals in place with the legs in a different spot but then you would have no support for the end valves. 

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2 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

....and if the exhaust cage is REALLY stuck, remove the intake cage, put a random object through the hole and rest it on the piston, directly under the exhaust valve, and crank the starter motor to let the piston push the cage up. Don't forget to tie a string to the random object for easy removal:

 

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Screenshot (106).png

 

I've heard of this too.

 

I had a 1923 jug with frozen cages given to me years ago.  Soaked them for months, tried the typical puller, no result.  I really needed those cages.

 

I finally laid the jug on the floor and drove the cages/valves out from the bottom side with a length of black pipe and a five pound hammer.  It took that much force.  I started out with a cut wooden drift and a nylon mallet thinking they would tap out. 

 

Long story but I would not want to put that kind of load on my piston/rod/babitt or have the device move on me.

 

One man's opinion and experience.

 

Edited by Brian_Heil
Typo (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

 

Be careful doing what is shown in the circle.  Next thing that happens is the valve drops into the combustion chamber.  Now you are in real trouble since you have nothing to pull on to get the cage out and a loose valve in the chamber to boot.  Remove the cage/valve/spring/retainer and key as an assembly.

 

If I understand the drawing correctly, you are compressing the spring, then positioning the C clamp with the valve stem in the notch and the tangs underneath the retaining pin.  Assuming that pin doesn't come out, how would the valve drop down?  Even with the pin, washer, and spring removed, would the valve drop completely into the cylinder, or would it just drop down into the guide?  Seems to me that you might be able to mitigate the risk by rotating the engine so that the piston you're working on is at the top of its stroke.  If the valve has just dropped down in the guide, would you be able to pull it back up with a magnet?

 

And if one were inclined to push the valve and cage up using something on top of the piston, wouldn't it be better to turn the crank by hand rather than using the starter?

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3 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

Be careful doing what is shown in the circle.  Next thing that happens is the valve drops into the combustion chamber.  Now you are in real trouble since you have nothing to pull on to get the cage out and a loose valve in the chamber to boot.

 

 

People back then had large families, and there were always 5 year old kids running around that could reach their tiny hand in the intake cage opening, grab the valve, and stick it back up the cage. They usually used little girls to toughen them up, the boys were out huntin' and trappin'

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I guess that I am fortunate. In the 50 years I have had my unrestored car, I have had to remove the valve cages several times.

What has always worked for me was to just remove the rocker assembly and nut and then just hit the top of the valve with a rubber hammer a couple of times and the cage loosened and just jumped up and then I could just remove the cage easily. The valve slamming (just as it does when running, but with no restraint) pops the cage out.

The rubber hammer doesnt hurt the valve stem at all.

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10 hours ago, KongaMan said:

 

If I understand the drawing correctly, you are compressing the spring, then positioning the C clamp with the valve stem in the notch and the tangs underneath the retaining pin.  Assuming that pin doesn't come out, how would the valve drop down?  Even with the pin, washer, and spring removed, would the valve drop completely into the cylinder, or would it just drop down into the guide?  Seems to me that you might be able to mitigate the risk by rotating the engine so that the piston you're working on is at the top of its stroke.  If the valve has just dropped down in the guide, would you be able to pull it back up with a magnet?

 

And if one were inclined to push the valve and cage up using something on top of the piston, wouldn't it be better to turn the crank by hand rather than using the starter?

 

Correct on all counts. 

 

As a newbie I removed the cage nut, then compressed the spring as shown and then removed the keeper pin and cap, man, I thought I was really making progress and 3 seconds later the valve dropped out of sight in slow motion as I watched with a long verbal expression. 

 

I made my comment/post as I would not want this to happen to another person working on a caged valve for the first time. 

 

If you do need to change a spring, grab the valve stem with locking needle nose vice grips with an inch of rubber vacuum hose stuck on each jaw to protect but grab the stem and to keep the same issue from happening. 

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