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Old 09-27-2020, 03:27 PM   #1
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1977 Dodge 360 Valve Seal Replacement

Hi all, am in the process of replacing my engine valve seals and wondering what any of you who have done it used for valve spring compression tools? Reason for asking is that the type we are using is a lever style that hooks under the OHV rocker arm shaft and is fine for removing the keepers but when re-installing it forces the spring and cover over a bit off center, making the keeper re-install very aggravating. We finished the passenger side bank and are doing the driver's side next week, 1977 Dodge 360 LA with cylinder heads still installed on the engine. I also tried the "universal" spring compressor type with the two arms and a threaded rod down the center, which took them off but very poor for re-installing. I really like the LSM Racing SC-100 but it is a tad expensive. Thanks in advance for any help...
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:22 PM   #2
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The threaded , two arm spring compressor was the Dodge/Chrysler factory tool .
Because the clearance on the #1 cly springs was tight to the doghouse flange seal , our shop had two , one with the six point finger twist , a second with the finger twist removed and a half inch nut welded in it's place , for a box end ratchet .
Surround the spring with rags for when you drop the keepers , tap with a rubber mallet before you move on to the next spring to insure the keepers are seated , you will get used to working around the two arms , just be thankful it's a 360 in that hole and not the 440 .

33 years at Chrysler / Dodge dealership , I know EXACTLY what you're up against.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:34 PM   #3
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The two arm one is the one I always have used for any motor.....and used a compression gauge hose that screwed into the spark plug hole.....
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:44 PM   #4
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Kudos too you for doing the repairs yourself! My machinist made the mistake of installing the LA style valve seals on my Magnum based 360. She smoked on start up and deceleration. I drove the 110 miles to his shop for a quick replacement that went horribly wrong. Fortunately the valve keeper didn't fall in the engine, but we never found it. It was a Sunday and of course not a shop in town had a 7 degree 8mm valve keeper. It was a learning lesson to say the least!
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:11 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I have now realized that I should have spent a S**T-load on that LSM SC-100, but I guess we will now plod along with this lever beast we have, using a blanket under the engine (keeper catcher) and a really powerful magnet for the keepers we catch above! It is really disappointing that there is no equivalent design to the "Wise Tools" 3747-123, which looks like a great one (design wise) if adapted for the old LA engines... whine, whine, whine... And NO cheese!
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 99dart View Post
Kudos too you for doing the repairs yourself! My machinist made the mistake of installing the LA style valve seals on my Magnum based 360. She smoked on start up and deceleration. I drove the 110 miles to his shop for a quick replacement that went horribly wrong. Fortunately the valve keeper didn't fall in the engine, but we never found it. It was a Sunday and of course not a shop in town had a 7 degree 8mm valve keeper. It was a learning lesson to say the least!
Well, I am new to the "Vintage" RV world and hope you don't have any serious engine problems, the loss of a keeper inside the engine is certainly a cause for concern. Sounds like yours is lodged in a non threatening place...
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bob caldwell View Post
The two arm one is the one I always have used for any motor.....and used a compression gauge hose that screwed into the spark plug hole.....
We do have the hose that screws into the spark plug hole, and we had to use the rope method on a cylinder that had a burnt valve, it just seems that for these jobs you just don't have enough tools! Have I not heard that in my dreams???

Could you send a photo or a drawing of the best tool you have? I would really appreciate it. I can use software tools to reproduce most stuff. Thanks in advance...
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Old 09-28-2020, 02:18 PM   #8
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Could you send a photo or a drawing of the best tool you have? I would really appreciate it. I can use software tools to reproduce most stuff. Thanks in advance...
Eric , Amazon.ca has the OTC 4573 valve spring tool that we used at Dodge for $32 CD , also a Free Tec look alike for $25 CD .
I can't pull pictures from Amazon .
Placing the keepers is tricky , but you'll develop the skill .2 pencil magnets help.
Also have you got any records on the motor , in particular , timing chain replacement . The factory cam shaft gear had a nylon coating that cracked off over time allowing the chain to jump . Replacement with a double row , roller chain is the solution , I used the roller chain on both my 73 & 79 ; 360s, by the time I got my 93 , 5.2 (318) it came from the factory with the roller chain.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:11 PM   #9
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I had one of the "two arm" style compressors for years. It wasn't a particularly expensive one. Shortly someone had borrowed it it sort of self-destructed. I found another online that looked pretty much like it and bought it. It was awful. Wouldn't grip the springs and would pop loose at very annoying moments I ended up literally throwing it away. I found another made by someone else and took a shot. It may be in my head that the first one still worked a little better but this one does what I need it to. No idea of the brand, just saying they sure aren't all the same and you might have gotten one that sucked.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:25 PM   #10
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Valve spring compressor

https://www.summitracing.com/search/...oview=SKU&ar=1

Should be able to find at Auto Zone, NAPA or other auto parts stores.
Lynn
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:30 AM   #11
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https://www.summitracing.com/search/...oview=SKU&ar=1

Should be able to find at Auto Zone, NAPA or other auto parts stores.
Lynn
Thanks but no thanks, tried one like that and still had the problem installing keepers and the arm ends were sticking out so much they were touching the seals, looks like the LSM Racing version (SC-100) is the easiest to use, alas it is also the very most expensive solution. One could also perhaps re-engineer and make their own version of the SC-100 though... Hmmmm....
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:09 PM   #12
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I have an old OTC like posted above. I used it quite a bit years ago and it worked well. I also used a touch of Luberplate (sp?) on the inside of the keepers when reinstalling them. Helps them stick to the valve stem while you move them into place.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:42 PM   #13
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I have an old OTC like posted above. I used it quite a bit years ago and it worked well. I also used a touch of Luberplate (sp?) on the inside of the keepers when reinstalling them. Helps them stick to the valve stem while you move them into place.

Ahhh, Lubriplate, my dad's favourite, I still have a small glass jar of it. Unfortunately, the best low cost valve spring compressors for engine-on heads with OHV rocker shafts are somewhat elusive. The OTC types are sorta kinda okay but not what I'd call a professional grade tool though. Looks like we are going to do this job with the lever device, which of course will cause many expletives and band-aids to be used in the course of replacing the driver's side valve seals. I'll post a couple of photos when we do the job...


Local time was MT and 23:42, what is the unusual time scheme here?
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:39 AM   #14
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I'll post a couple of photos when we do the job...

Are you trying to give me nightmares?
I retired to avoid the visual aspect of that type of job .
Pretty sure I can pull every tool necessary; out of my box; to replace valve seals and timing chains for that mater, from memory .
Not as bad as my memories of Cummins VP-44 injector pumps ... but close.
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