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Sportster Motorcycle Motor - Top End Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Top End issues. Rockerboxes, Valves, Cylinders, Pistons, Rings, Lift Rods, etc...

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  #1  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
rerb rerb is offline
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Default Valve keepers won't come out

Hi, im trying to remove my valves to replace the guide seals. When I compress the valves the locking part at the top with the keepers doesn't stay in the same spot, it goes down with the springs. After fully compressing the springs there is no change in how much the keepers are sticking out. If i push down to compress it more, the valv le just opens. How the hell do i get these things out?
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You need to use a spring compressor that pushes up on the head of the valve as it pushes down on the retainer.



This is what we use.
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But you can make one out of a C-Clamp and a bearing cage like I did.

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Ah, I was trying to use the universal one that grabs the spring. I'll look for the proper one, thanks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rerb View Post
Ah, I was trying to use the universal one that grabs the spring. I'll look for the proper one, thanks
Those aren’t so great... but you’re probably just fighting sticking locks... very common.

Free up the locks by holding an appropriate sized deep socket over the retainer and tap with a hammer. ( carefully, Tap hard enough and the locks will fly out, and yes, some people do remove locks that way on purpose...)

Also, if the head is off, fold up a small rag and fill the chamber with it. Then set the head on wood on the bench with rag in the chamber. It will hold the valves up.
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Default

I use these air powered compressors quite a bit.




I also use a drill press with adapters, and a sliding adjustable table (low buck version of a cylinder head assembly station) to disassemble and reassemble many types of Heads.

These are needed with bucket follower heads, but also handy on motorcycle heads.



You can easily make this work for your Sportster Head. Shim a piece of plywood on the press table (or base) so the head sits with the valve vertical and inline with the drill chuck.

Use an adapter to push the retainer down. it can be made out a socket, or welded washers etc.., or you can buy them. Put a rag in the chamber (or bean bag, or a bondo mold) to hold the valve up.

Use the arbor of the drill press to compress the valve. If the press has a locking quill, it’s nice to hold the spring compressed while you fit the locks.


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A proper valve spring compressor holds the valve at one end and the valve collar on top of the valve spring that holds the keepers (in a tapered well) at the other end. Once the spring is compressed enough to free the keepers (inside the well) use a strong magnet to remove them. Been doing it that way for almost 50 years on a lot of different engines, including motorcycle, car, and even aircraft.
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