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Valve Cage Removal


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I think the reason my cages were so easy to get out is this car had an unknown number of valve jobs back then, judging by the dented cage nuts and some springs are backwards (reverse spiral) and the brass seals look messed up and maybe were re-used. I think good brass seals will make the cages harder to get out.

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If it were me - I'd be very careful about whacking or beating on anything in regard to the cages.  The cages are gray cast iron just like the block is.  And as everyone knows cast iron is brittle.  This is the reason that some of the cages are really stuck tight.  It is called patience and perseverance.  Soak the cage pocket with your choice of penetrant and then let it set.  Go off and do something else for about 10 days and then come back and try it again.  What have you got to lose except a little time.  I can guarantee you that if you beat on the top of the cages while they are down in the counterbore, you more than likely will be picking pieces of cast iron out of there.  If you break the cages - you are SOL.  This is just one person's humble observation.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

 

 

Edited by Terry Wiegand
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On 1/8/2018 at 6:39 PM, nickb said:

.......I finally called in a legendary fettler here in the UK......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. ....

 

I was only going by what nickb said the old fettler did

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I broke a valve cage and had to have one made.  I could not get it out during an engine rebuild then I brought the cylinder to the engine shop where he soaked it in his hot tank and then tried to press it out when it broke.  A friend of mine made me a new one from cast iron, fitted all of the cages with stainless steel valves he modified from a Ford diesel, cut off the old guides and pressed in new ones.  That was 5 years ago and the valve job is working well.

 

A retired machinist friend made me new brass rings ( also suggested copper would be a good replacement because it is more pliable), trued up the clamping rings by cleaning up the cutouts where they have been hammered for years and made me a tool to install the clamping rings.  In the photo is the driver, three new rings and some old rings and original valves.

 

In the second photo are the original front wheel bearings, I outfitted the axle with new seals and roller bearings for reliability but that is another story.

 

Regards, Gary

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Edited by cxgvd
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Thanks for the commentary.  So to finish the story, in order to get that last cage out we made a 1/2" thick AMS5663 Inco718 plate to cover the inlet and exhaust ports of the offending cylinder.   Made some hollow spacers using an EOS M70 DMLS 3D printing machine with Inco625 powder so we could use the original studs to clamp the aforementioned plate to the cylinder head.  Inco625 is a good choice of material as it has high temperature capability but being non-hardenable has some "give" so as to avoid damaging the studs.   Before installation of the plate we drilled and tapped the exhaust side for two  1/4" pt brass fittings with ball valves and barbettes.  We also drilled a 1/8" hole through the plate on the intake side.  Best to use a carbide drill on such hard material.  We cut off a 1-3/4" diameter piece of round bar stock about 2" long out of MARM-242 in order to block off the valve port that already had the cage removed.  The original cage nut was used to hold the bar stock in place.  MARM-242 is a great choice of material here given it's higher oxidation resistance compared to steel at higher temperatures; especially important if one had multiple cages that are stuck.  Next we made some hardwood wedges (about door stop size) and drove them between the flywheel and frame to keep the crankshaft from turning.  Then we attached a neoprene hose of the appropriate diameter to each of the barbettes and  funnels to the other ends of the hoses to facilitate pouring in equal amounts of methanol hydrazine and hydrogen peroxide to partially fill the cylinder.  Next we placed a firecracker fuse into the small hole and we lit her off.  Had to get the ladder out to recover the valve cage from the hole in the ceiling where it got stuck.   Oh yeah, don't forget to install an old spark plug on the other side tightly otherwise this technique might not work.

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On 8/19/2018 at 10:20 AM, DonMicheletti said:

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.

 

The first time I read this I didn't catch that we are leaving the oxygen on and just turn off the acetylene only, and let the oxygen blow on the smouldering carbon. The old books I have just say light the carbon with a match and when it catches, blow oxygen on it, same thing. I wonder if an air gun would work (don't have oxy-acetylene here).

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The oxygen carbon removal process is not just a "shade tree mechanic" approach. I checked my 1927 Dykes Automobile Encyclopedia. It goes into great detail about the oxygen carbon removal process and says that Prestolite made a carbon removal kit.

That sounds pretty professional and common.

 

It does mention that sparks will shoot out of the sprkplug hole, so be aware.

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6 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

The first time I read this I didn't catch that we are leaving the oxygen on and just turn off the acetylene only, and let the oxygen blow on the smouldering carbon. The old books I have just say light the carbon with a match and when it catches, blow oxygen on it, same thing. I wonder if an air gun would work (don't have oxy-acetylene here).

 

If you're that interested in trying this, Bernzomatic makes a cheap ($60-70) torch that uses canned oxygen and MAPP gas.  You might be able to use one of those setups.

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