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Valve Cage Removal


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My tool was barely small enough to fit the exhaust cage nut, I thought it would be better to add another pipe in the middle.

 

Now OD of the tool is 2 1/4" and ID is 1 3/8"

 

If anybody wants to borrow this tool when I'm done just email me.

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Edited by Morgan Wright
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I'm not trying to be a wise guy here, but, it would have been a whole lot easier to have made the two tools from bar stock using a lathe and a milling machine.  The sockets have some degree of heat treatment making things more difficult than necessary.  The photo shows what I did for the tools.  I have been rebuilding the cages for several years now.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

JEFF KEARNEY CAGES 109.jpg

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I soaked the top of the head in Evaporust for 2 hours, then hosed it off with a garden hose (it's water soluble). LOTS of rust came off. Then I shot the excess water off with an air gun and poured more Evaporust on, and planned to soak it again for 2 more hours, but 2 guys showed up after only a few minutes, so we got right on it. With 3 guys......one to press down on the socket and 2 to turn the ends of the T-drive, we got the 12 nuts off in about 3 or 4 minutes. They basically just came off easy, not super easy but not bad at all. The exhaust nuts were easier than the intake.

 

Terry, I don't have a lathe or milling machine. Thanks though. Appreciate it.

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On 10/30/2017 at 1:40 PM, Mark Shaw said:

 

Liberally lube the cage vale with 50/50 ATF & Acetone for a day or more.

Re

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of people recommend this mix, but I found out that acetone and ATF don't mix. They are like oil and water.

 

I'm using 50/50 mix of acetone and brake fluid, which do mix.

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3 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

I found out that acetone and ATF don't mix. They are like oil and water.

 

Just shake it to mix prior to application and it works perfectly.

I suppose you could run it through a homogenizer to keep it from eventually separating a few hours later, but most home shops don't have that capability.  

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2 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

 

Just shake it to mix prior to application and it works perfectly.

I suppose you could run it through a homogenizer to keep it from eventually separating a few hours later, but most home shops don't have that capability.  

 

I shook it too slowly and got butter.

 

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Obviously, the acetone is what does the work. If you use pure acetone, and then it evaporates in 5 minutes, you are back where you started. But if you use a 50 mix of an adjunct, it keeps the items separated after the acetone is gone. I doubt the ATF does anything other than that.

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7 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

Obviously, the acetone is what does the work. If you use pure acetone, and then it evaporates in 5 minutes, you are back where you started. But if you use a 50 mix of an adjunct, it keeps the items separated after the acetone is gone. I doubt the ATF does anything other than that.

You couldn't be more wrong! 

Acetone has almost no lubricity, it is the carrier that dilutes the oil so it can penetrate into smaller spaces.  

It then evaporates leaving the oil behind to lubricate deeper into the joint where the oil by itself cannot penetrate.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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On 8/11/2018 at 10:40 PM, Mark Shaw said:

You couldn't be more wrong! 

Acetone has almost no lubricity, it is the carrier that dilutes the oil so it can penetrate into smaller spaces.  

It then evaporates leaving the oil behind to lubricate deeper into the joint where the oil by itself cannot penetrate.

 

You could not be more wrong.

 

Acetone cannot dilute the "oil" (ATF) as you claim, it doesn't even dissolve in it. You say the acetone dilutes the ATF and acts as a carrier? You cannot dilute something without dissolving it. Does water dilute oil and carry it anywhere? No! Neither does acetone, and for the same reason. Water would actually get in the way of the oil and PREVENT it from getting in! Same with acetone. The acetone gets in first and blocks the ATF from getting in because they don't mix!

 

Lubricity has nothing to do with unsticking an engine which is glued stuck with carbon and hydrocarbon resins and glue. You need something which DISSOLVES the carbon and glue, not lubricates it. How can you lubricate something which isn't moving because it's glued together? Lubrication is for moving parts, not glued parts. Acetone dissolves most glues, all sorts of resins, it dissolves paint right off your car, and it dissolves most plastic. Try filling a styrofoam cup with acetone and see what happens. It melts the cup in 5 seconds and the bottom falls off. ATF doesn't do that. Acetone takes womens nail polish off. Try that with ATF. Try lubricating the nail polish off her nails.

 

In the acetone mix, the adjunctive, whether you use ATF as the adjunctive agent or oil or brake fluid, serves two purposes. First, it fills the spaces left behind after the acetone dissolves the glue and evaporates out. That keeps it unstuck after the acetone unsticks it. Second, it slows down the evaporation of the acetone so it stays there longer to dissolve more glue over more time. But ATF can't do the second one because it's not actually dissolved, which means it's not an adjunctive at all. The adjunctive agent has to be dissolved (like brake fluid) to raise the boiling point of the acetone so it doesn't dry up right away. Like salt raises the boiling point of water because it's dissolved in it, sand doesn't raise the boiling point of water because it doesn't dissolve. In the acetone ATF mix, the ATF doesn't do anything to keep the acetone there, it separates out and the acetone floats to the surface and evaporates away in 2 minutes, making it useless so the only good that acetone AFT mix did was in the first 2 minutes. The ATF by itself does nothing. Brake fluid dissolves in acetone and raises its boiling point and keeps it there a lot longer.

 

If you are looking for something really thin and penetrating that can dilute the ATF and move it into tiny cracks, as you describe, you don't need acetone. You can use gasoline to carry it in. But that doesn't work because only acetone dissolves the stuff it does.

 

I got $100 that says acetone/brake fluid is way better than acetone/ATF

 

 

 

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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Penetrating Oils

 

Machinist's Workshop Magazine (March/April or May/June, 2007) actually tested penetrants for break out torque on rusted nuts. They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrants with the control being the torque required to remove the nut from a "scientifically rusted" environment.

*Penetrating oil ....Average load*
None ............…….516 pounds
WD-40 ................238 pounds
PB Blaster ...........214 pounds
Liquid Wrench .....127 pounds
Kano Kroil ..........106 pounds
ATF-Acetone mix...53 pounds

The ATF-Acetone mix was a "home brew" mix of 50 - 50 automatic transmission fluid and acetone. Note the "home brew" was better than any commercial product in this one particular test. Our local machinist group mixed up a batch, and we all now use it with equally good results. Note also that "Liquid Wrench" is about as good as "Kroil" for about 20% of the price.

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15 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

where is acetone /  brake fluid on that list? 

 

Copied from: https://carcareguide.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/what-to-do-if-you-get-brake-fluid-on-car-paint/

Regardless of how many layers of protective wax on your vehicle or how careful you are, if you spill brake fluid on your car’s paint, the fluid can cause the paint to instantaneously discolor and begin flaking off. This damage can happen within minutes and cause irreparable damage to a vehicle’s paint job. Newer vehicles with a clear coat over the paint are somewhat more protected, but if the brake fluid is not attended to immediately, the damage can become much more severe.

 

Perhaps this is why brake fluid was not tested or recommended.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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I got all 12 valve cages out this morning. The Buffum tool works great once you get the knack of how to get the hooks into the spring the right way. Once you get them in they want to come out, but if you tighten the tool, and tap them into the spring with a hammer as you tighten the tool, and keep doing it that way a bunch of times, once they are hooked and tight on the spring the right way, then the tool is great. After 4 hard pulls with a long 7/8 wrench, maybe 70 foot pounds, the 5th pull is much less and the next pull is easy, and the cage slides right up smoothly. No loud bangs or having to use a 5 pound hammer on a carrot drift.

 

Yesterday when I got to the shop the acetone smell was all gone, so it was basically brake fluid the valves were soaking in. I hosed it off with a garden hose, as brake fluid washes off with water. And washed the whole engine compartment and fenders, etc. Then air dried it all with an air gun, then I filled the cage wells with WD-40 to displace the water, and left it that way overnight.

 

Tons of carbon inside, but not hard like coal, More of a soft and pasty consistency due to the the acetone and brake fluid softening it up. That's why the cages came out so easy.

 

.

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Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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I talked to some chemists and they said the best way to dissolve carbon and resinous gummy carbon deposits like this is with toluene.

 

I looked at a can of Gumout carburetor and parts cleaner and guess what it is........acetone and toluene!!

 

OK so next time I'll forget the brake fluid and use acetone and toluene 50/50 mix!

 

 

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Bores are smooth, no rust anywhere, TONS of carbon. Must be 1/8  inch of carbon on the tops of the pistons. Carbon in the intake ports, carbon in the valve cage bores, I'd stick a flame in there but I'm afraid Al Gore will tax me for my carbon footprint.

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With that much carbon, it must have been a real oil burner. Shot rings.

The "old style" carbon removal was to get it on TDC, stick a lit oxy acetylene torch in the sparkplug holes and when the carbon lights, turn off the acetylene  and let it blow until the carbon is gone.

I heard this many times years ago, but never tried it.

Sounds dramatic.

No problem with everything being cast iron.

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I have a set of books written around 1919. This is a set I sold, I kept the good set, but it was written by all those smart grandpas who knew a lot more about these old cars that we could possibly ever know or even dream of, no matter how arrogant we are we never will know as much as those guys.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/192598911898?ssPageName=STRK:MESOX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1561.l2649

 

They go into great detail about how to get rid of carbon, involving torches. The carbon problem in engines was universal in those days, due I guess to low compression, impure gas, and extremely impure motor oil. I don't think it means my car has bad rings.....that would cause me to make smoky exhaust from burning oil, but not necessarily deposit so much carbon on the tops of the pistons. Carbon is caused by incomplete combustion, which comes from crappy gas and crappy oil.

 

Imagine if your gas, instead of being made of pentane, hexane, heptane, and octane, instead was made of all those plus a huge kerosene fraction and enough butane and propane to keep it thin enough to burn. The kerosene fraction would not burn, just turn to carbon. 

 

Or maybe the bad rings allow motor oil into the cylinder on the intake stroke, and my rings are shot. I hope not.

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I lied when I said I got all 12 cages out. The tool broke on the last one, it was stuck and wouldn't come out and the tool broke. The bottom of the tool with the jaws that hook into the spring separated from the screw part. I'd like to buy a new tool but for one cage? And then what do I do with it? So here is what I'm doing....

 

I attached the jaw part to a chain and using my engine hoist to pull up on it. I'll get a pic when I get it all together.

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Morgan,  I have been following your posts for the past few days and I feel your pain.  I was able to remove only 8 of the 12 valve cages and I too broke my Buffum tool trying to remove one of the stuck cages.  The tip on the small hook broke off and I had to get it welded.  Currently, the remaining 4 cages are soaking in the 50/50  acetone/brake fluid mix you suggested and I have pressure on one of the springs with the Buffum tool.  It's been soaking for just over 24 hours, but no success as of last night.   I also have a significant amount of carbon build up on the pistons and valves.  In fact, my engine, 1922 45 straight six, is ceased and I am in the process of removing the connector caps in order to remove the head.

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5 hours ago, Nick Galente said:

Morgan,  I have been following your posts for the past few days and I feel your pain.  I was able to remove only 8 of the 12 valve cages and I too broke my Buffum tool trying to remove one of the stuck cages.  The tip on the small hook broke off and I had to get it welded. 

 

Currently, the remaining 4 cages are soaking in the 50/50  acetone/brake fluid mix you suggested .

 

50:50 acetone & automatic transmission fluid is better.

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This is what happened to my Buffum tool. Intake for #2 was stuck so I skipped it and took the rest out. Then I went back to the stuck one and was using a 3 foot pipe on my long wrench, and the tool broke as shown. 

 

I hooked the remaining part of the Buffum tool to a chain and hooked the chain to my engine hoist, and am currently soaking in acetone/toluene/brake fluid mix. I have the engine hoist hooked up to the 1 1/2 ton setting to really whale on that stubborn cage. When it's soaked enough I'll let you know.

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Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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One reason for the carbon is that the pistons did not have oil control rings, but just compression like rings. No scrapers. They let oil by up to the combustion chamber.

Watch old car movies and you'll likely see a significant trail of smoke.

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What year did Buick start using 4 rings per piston? How many do I have? I've seen the old movies and all the smoke, and by the smoke I can't tell the gas cars from the steam cars! (steam is not smoke I know.)

 

Do you see in my photos, I have put panels over the windshield and took the motometer off the radiator for fear of what will happen when I pull the valve cage with the engine hoist. I bet it explodes out of there like a sling shot, and who knows where it will land?

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My original pistons have 4 identical rings. The 1918 parts list says "piston rings, 24". All the same, 4 per cylinder.

 

It is strange that the bottom ring grove has holes in the root, I guess to return oil, but with a plain ring, there would be no way for oil to get around it.

 

I have worked on some very old engines and they all had just plain rings.

 

Having once put oil control rings upside down, they do a fantastic job of pumping oil up into the cylinders!   I had a great smoke generator.

 

 

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We were able to remove all the cages from our "parked next to, not inside, the barn find"  1915 C-25 by removing the cage nuts and then working the brass seals out with a pick.  Then soaked the cages in acetone and ATF for 2-3 weeks per Mark and Terry's suggestions.  Most came right out, with the last one naturally being a little more trouble due to rust.  We used the modified NAPA puller set-up as described in Dean's 1915-18 club newsletter as we did not have the vintage Buffum tool.  

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This is what I have to say about that. You said:

 

"removing the cage nuts and then working the brass seals out with a pick"

 

I have heard people talking about using a drift punch to whack down on the edges of the cage to get them loose. But when they do this, they are denting and maybe destroying the soft and delicate brass seals. Once they damage the seal the cage is easier to get out. I'm going to do that with my stuck cage and see if that works. The brass seals on all my cages are messed up anyway and need replaced, why not smash them with a drift to make it easier to get the cage out?

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