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Valve Cage Removal


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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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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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....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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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:

 

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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
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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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Hey, I'd have given a few bucks to have been there and seen that whole situation unfold.  And just where was Finn when this was all going on??  I'll bet he didn't offer up any help either.  We'll make an engineer out of you yet Brian.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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I don't know where to start, there have been so many interesting and helpful comments.  Thanks to Terry, I was able to have a set of cage nut removal tools made and they worked great.  I also have the "Buffum" valve cage removal tool, which is supposed to remove the whole assembly, valve, cage and spring in one shot.  However, since it's been probably forever since the cages were removed they are not budging.  The next step is to remove the spring and use the special nut that goes onto the valve stem and use the puler to pull it up that way.  Thank you very much for the "heads up" regarding not letting the valve drop into the cylinder.  With my luck, that definitely would have happened.

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2 hours ago, Nick Galente said:

To Don's point, the engine is still seized so that wouldn't work for me at this point.

Could the spark plug be removed and then fill the cylinder space with clothesline rope to take up the space between the piston and valves?

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3 hours ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Hey, I'd have given a few bucks to have been there and seen that whole situation unfold.  And just where was Finn when this was all going on??  I'll bet he didn't offer up any help either.  We'll make an engineer out of you yet Brian.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

 

Way before Mr. Finn was a member of the family, plus I would have had to cover his ears.

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3 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

If the piston were at TDC, wouldnt that have prevented the valve from completely dropping out?

 

Don,

 

There is not that much valve sticking out of the top of the guide and the distance from the valve to the top of the piston is about the same at TDC.  So it might just stick out at TDC or at least still be in the guide and maybe you could fish it back up with a strong pencil magnet.  Like most projects, I was not that lucky, I'd even bet my piston was at the bottom of the (very long) stroke. :P

 

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1 hour ago, Brian_Heil said:

 

Way before Mr. Finn was a member of the family, plus I would have had to cover his ears.

 

And for those wonder who the heck Mr. Finn is . . . .

 

He joined us this past year on the week long VMCCA Nickel Tour in Tennessee, the 1485 mile jaunt to the BCA National in Wisconsin including the PWD After Tour and our Lake Michigan circle tour home.  Plus most weekend outings.  Next to being no more than 2 feet from my wife, eating, I'd say Touring is #3 on his list.  He loves to 'go'.

 

 

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Edited by Brian_Heil
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2 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Could the spark plug be removed and then fill the cylinder space with clothesline rope to take up the space between the piston and valves?

 

I suppose.

 

I'd prefer the positive / visual of the vice grip method mentioned.

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4 hours ago, Nick Galente said:

I don't know where to start, there have been so many interesting and helpful comments.  Thanks to Terry, I was able to have a set of cage nut removal tools made and they worked great.  I also have the "Buffum" valve cage removal tool, which is supposed to remove the whole assembly, valve, cage and spring in one shot.  However, since it's been probably forever since the cages were removed they are not budging.  The next step is to remove the spring and use the special nut that goes onto the valve stem and use the puler to pull it up that way.  Thank you very much for the "heads up" regarding not letting the valve drop into the cylinder.  With my luck, that definitely would have happened.

 

Soak, soak some more.  Did I mention soak?  Ha.  You can do some light tapping like Don mentions.  I'd even put your 'solution of choice' down the valve stem bore too in hopes it might bleed over to where the cage seats/meets the head at the bottom of the cage bore in the head.  It may/will drip into the cylinder bore which is probably frozen too, a win/win..

 

Of all the rusted/stuck things I've worked on over the years, the toughest thing I've ever worked on is a stuck Buick valve cage.  Just ask Mark Shaw who pulled some for me that had been outside for decades.  Be patient.  Cursing helps.

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Somehow I missed the fact that your engine was stuck. That does make it a bit more challenging.

 

I have pulled two 1918 Buick engines that had been sitting in the woods for near 50 years. No hoods.  Neither engine was stuck!  However the water pumps were rusted beyond description and once I cut the shafts and removed the pumps the engines would turn and with no stuck valves. On one engine 2 cylinders still had compression. Plus I had no trouble getting the cages out. I was very lucky.

After tearing one down, cleaning it and reassembling it with all the original parts - including rings, I ran it in my car while I worked on the cars original engine.

Yes, it did smoke.

I really feel sorry for the guys that have to fight tooth and nail on these things.

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22 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

Somehow I missed the fact that your engine was stuck. That does make it a bit more challenging.

 

I have pulled two 1918 Buick engines that had been sitting in the woods for near 50 years. No hoods.  Neither engine was stuck!  However the water pumps were rusted beyond description and once I cut the shafts and removed the pumps the engines would turn and with no stuck valves. On one engine 2 cylinders still had compression. Plus I had no trouble getting the cages out. I was very lucky.

After tearing one down, cleaning it and reassembling it with all the original parts - including rings, I ran it in my car while I worked on the cars original engine.

Yes, it did smoke.

I really feel sorry for the guys that have to fight tooth and nail on these things.

 

Crazy lucky.  Buy me a lottery ticket next time you are out.  On second thought, don't, we'd never hear from you again.  $$$$

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Hello from across the pond.

I have had the same problem with my 1918 D45. I soaked the cage with a 50/50 mix of acetone and ATM, tried hitting the valve with a 5lb hammer and wooden pole from below, tried jacking the car up on the pole pushed up through the bore so the entire weight of the car was taken by the valve and cage and at the same time applied heat (having removed the ATM/acetone mix!) and attached a slide hammer to the valve stem - all at the same time and no luck. All this was taking place over a period of months and I was getting desperate. I finally called in a legendary fettler here in the UK (name supplied in personal communications) who had listened to my tale of woe over the months and eventually made a 200 mile round trip to visit me. He took his 5lb lump hammer and a steel drift and told me to look away... He then made several well aimed blows with the drift around the lip of the cage - driving it down the bore, subjecting the rust on the cage to a percussive sheering force . (Boy was I worried about my beautiful cast iron block...). He then reattached my slide hammer and within a few upward slides the cage started moving and came out within minutes. Genius! He fixed a problem in five minutes which had me baffled for 3 months or more...

His theory was that the counter intuitive blows to the rim of the cage transmitted the shock such that the rust which had effectively welded the cage to the block cracked thus releasing the cage. 

I needed to remove the cage because it had turned and had reduced the inlet orifice by about 50%. One of the other cages had spun around and completely blocked off the exhaust outlet to another cylinder, but happily that one moved easily. I found that the inlet cages had rusted, whereas the hotter exhaust cages were free.

Terry Wiegand knows this car because he helped the owner free the engine before he sold it to me. It is now running sweetly with new white metal bearings having had a knock in the engine.

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I hear you Nick.  As I said above, they are the Devil and the toughest stuck thing I have ever worked on.

 

I have also wondered if the sealing wedge washers act like a lock too?  Ringfeders are used for transmitting extreme torque.  Think of two cones, a male and a female with a very slight matching taper that are then clamped to connect and transmit torque.  They exceed the capacity of keys and splines and face flanges,  http://www.ringfeder.com/en/International/Products/RINGFEDER/   used on really big stuff.

 

I put a good coating of anti-seize paste on my cages and sealing rings and the bottom face of the nut when I rebuilt them and re-assembled.  Time will tell.

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I have used the "counter intuitive" method of loosening rusted bolts too. Aftre soaking with acetone and ATF didnt work. Smack the head of the bolt a good blow with a heavy hammer. I have always been successful with that approach.

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Nick, could you post a photo or two of the car for us.  Yes, indeed, Bob Cole's uncle bought the car new here in Hutchinson, Kansas from the Reno Buick Company.  The car was in the Cole family for over 98 years.  The engine had gotten moisture in it from a pressure washer getting too close to the engine compartment.  It stuck but not too bad and I and a friend got it freed back up.  The rebuilt carburetor really helped it run nicely.  I will let Bob and his son, David, know that the car is doing fine these days.  Larry DiBarry came up through Hutchinson from the Chickasha Swap Meet in March on his way back home and we put a couple of miles on it without any side curtains.  We like to have frozen our you know whats off.  It was still cold here in Doo Dah.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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When I pulled the cages out of the 1916 engine, I used one of those Buffum Cage Pullers like what has been shown on here.  They all came out with no problems whatsoever - except the very last cage on number 6 cylinder which is an exhaust valve.  That sucker was stuck and I mean stuck tight.  I filled the top of the cage counterbore with Marvel Mystery Oil.  I left a pull on the end of the stem from the puller and simply walked away from it.  I let it set overnight that way and when I came home from work the next day the MMO was gone.  I picked up the long box end wrench that I had been using and decided to give it a try.  I snuck up on the pull very cautiously and just kept increasing the pull until I was almost getting scared.  All of a sudden there was a bang that sounded almost like a shotgun going off.  I immediately thought - OH HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, WHAT DID I DESTROY!!  Did I crack the block, did I break the cage into small pieces?  After I got the courage to look things over, things looked OK from what I could see.  I went ahead and pulled the cage out.  It was OK.  I had it checked out later and it indeed was OK.  Talk about luck - and I'm not Irish.  I had heard and read about things like this, but this was the first experience like that for me.  It all comes down to patience and perseverance with these old engines.  I have a lot of photos of what I am doing.  When I get a little further along I am going to start posting them.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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2 minutes ago, Terry Wiegand said:

When I pulled the cages out of the 1916 engine, I used one of those Buffum Cage Pullers like what has been shown on here.  They all came out with no problems whatsoever - except the very last cage on number 6 cylinder which is an exhaust valve.  That sucker was stuck and I mean stuck tight.  I filled the top of the cage counterbore with Marvel Mystery Oil.  I left a pull on the end of the stem from the puller and simply walked away from it.  I let it set overnight that way and when I came home from work the next day the MMO was gone.  I picked up the long box end wrench that I had been using and decided to give it a try.  I snuck up on the pull very cautiously and just kept increasing the pull until I was almost getting scared.  All of a sudden there was a bang that sounded almost like a shotgun going off.  I immediately thought - OH HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, WHAT DID I DESTROY!!  Did I crack the block, did I break the cage into small pieces?  After I got the courage to look things over, things looked OK from what I could see.  I went ahead and pulled the cage out.  It was OK.  I had it checked out later and it indeed was OK.  Talk about luck - and I'm not Irish.  I had heard and read about things like this, but this was the first experience like that for me.  It all comes down to patience and perseverance with these old engines.  I have a lot of photos of what I am doing.  When I get a little further along I am going to start posting them.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

 

That sounds about right.  It's the same when pulling a pitman arm, tie rod, pulley, etc.  It can be stuck tight as can be, but it lets go with a bang.  I've put a puller on something, cranked it down as tight as I could get it, then walked away.  Come back the next day, and it's apart.  I had one cut loose when I was across the room and it about scared the crap out of me -- I thought the car had fallen off the stands or something.  But generally speaking, going "against the grain" (first tightening a nut, knocking something in that you want to pull out, etc.) can be an effective way to break whatever's holding things together.  Heat, time, a healthy dose of your elixir of choice, and a BFH can be mighty persuasive on stuck parts.

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On 1/9/2018 at 1:24 AM, Terry Wiegand said:

Nick, could you post a photo or two of the car for us.  Yes, indeed, Bob Cole's uncle bought the car new here in Hutchinson, Kansas from the Reno Buick Company.  The car was in the Cole family for over 98 years.  The engine had gotten moisture in it from a pressure washer getting too close to the engine compartment.  It stuck but not too bad and I and a friend got it freed back up.  The rebuilt carburetor really helped it run nicely.  I will let Bob and his son, David, know that the car is doing fine these days.  Larry DiBarry came up through Hutchinson from the Chickasha Swap Meet in March on his way back home and we put a couple of miles on it without any side curtains.  We like to have frozen our you know whats off.  It was still cold here in Doo Dah.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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16 hours ago, sligermachine said:

when the brakes get replaced on a 1925 buick do u need a brake riveting machine ? kyle

Kyle :

 When I re-did the horrible job they did on my 1925 Standard. They used steel split rivets ! DSCF1410.thumb.JPG.0eb3a4578e709047902e6eae1d1c7e2f.JPGDSCF1411.thumb.JPG.dd76151ad0392bbf6033f79a7736c94f.JPG

A happy thought of 20 or so steel teeth (on each wheel) tearing up your precious brake drums every time you applied the brakes. I tried to get them riveted locally with the correct brass tubular rivets.  No one near me would do the job. So I bought a bench mounted press. It still does not have enough "umph " to set them correctly. So I set up a staking arbor. I made a fixture for my drill press to do the drilling. It would be so much easier with the proper tool!

fi35.jpg.e9f157f018cc12e7dafaf4b0f2942428.jpgfi34.jpg.c227eb52a557b3b14dbe01581765a62f.jpg

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7 hours ago, dibarlaw said:

Kyle :

 When I re-did the horrible job they did on my 1925 Standard. They used steel split rivets ! DSCF1410.thumb.JPG.0eb3a4578e709047902e6eae1d1c7e2f.JPGDSCF1411.thumb.JPG.dd76151ad0392bbf6033f79a7736c94f.JPG

A happy thought of 20 or so steel teeth (on each wheel) tearing up your precious brake drums every time you applied the brakes. I tried to get them riveted locally with the correct brass tubular rivets.  No one near me would do the job. So I bought a bench mounted press. It still does not have enough "umph " to set them correctly. So I set up a staking arbor. I made a fixture for my drill press to do the drilling. It would be so much easier with the proper tool!

fi35.jpg.e9f157f018cc12e7dafaf4b0f2942428.jpgfi34.jpg.c227eb52a557b3b14dbe01581765a62f.jpg

the lower anvel in this machine must be a over center setter did you squeeze some rivets without the lining in place to set the anvil at the right height I have a lot of riveting tools for aircraft brakes but I would think that they would build them the same way  the foot pedal goes really easy when it passes center just as the rivet is set-face folds back over .is the lower set threaded to change the pinch point .-Kyle 

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9 minutes ago, Nick Galente said:

Here are a few photos of my 1922 Buick 22-45 that I have recently purchased.  Progress is moving forward but very slowly.  The discussions and tips have been extremely valuable.  Thank you everyone for the comments.

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Nick,

 

Always happy to help.  Many of us have been right where you are.  Use the Forum search feature and you will find lots of topics covered in detail.  If you get stumped, send me an email.

 

Also, I'm still amazed at how many of these early Buicks keep getting hauled out of garages and barns.  Crazy.

 

 

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