Vintage Oldsmobiles Curved Dash, Limited Touring, Models 40, 53, 66; Series 60, 70, 90

40 Years in a Barn

Old December 16th, 2017, 05:05 PM
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40 Years in a Barn

Hey guys,
I wanted to replace the valve stem seals today. Was all ready. #7 cylinder fouling plugs and oil smoke first 5 minutes after startup, left bank. 115lbs compression, holds for 5 minutes or more. 303 stock V8
After sitting all week I removed the valve cover. Big pool of oil rolled out over the head onto the ex manifold.(cold). Oil return galley blocked. Since the engine sits cocked a little aft, I see why I was building oil in that cylinder.
I tried numerous solvents, coat hanger, bailing wire to open it up.
As my last resort, and being somewhat apprehensive of making a worse blockage, I applied air with a good rubber seal on the air gun.
10 seconds, then bing!, I heard the first blockage go then a second. I could the feel the air blowing out of the valley past my push rods. I did both drainbacks and then squirted oil through both. Clear.
Since I have the seals here, and they are supple and in very nice shape, and since I had my coveralls on anyways, I figured I would remove intake keepers, collar and springs to replace umbrella seals. NO Go.
I can compress the spring(s) and move the valve and springs up and down. I tapped numerous times with a soft hammer, and lubed. No go.
Drove the car on an errand run. Plug(after initial smoke burn off) clean.
I live up Highway 17, a steep 8 mile pull out of Santa Cruz.
At the green light I hit the gas. Initial some bit of smoke after idle,(hey it's a 50's car)like usual, and I pulled the hill hard at 65mph. Never even got to 190*, and barely had to give it gas. Rebuilt the trans here at home with an ebay $297 kit. Once here I got out my flashlight to check for smoke. None. Very clean exhaust and the more I drive the car the better it seems to run
The reason I go through the story here, is that I would like some advice on freeing up the keepers. No matter what I tried, they stayed in place.
Would appreciate any tips here for my next weekends' try. Happy Holidays
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Old December 16th, 2017, 07:51 PM
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Did you have compressed air in the cylinder? What PSI?
Sometimes you have to hit the top of the spring a little harder than you like to break it loose. Be very careful not to hit the valve stem.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 08:17 PM
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Seems that the compressor was running 90lbs. But I could press the compressed spring and valve down with my finger, as a unit, then pull it back.
Tried tapping on the collar with a dull screwdriver while compressed to no avail. Maybe I ought to try it while the engine is warm.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 06:16 AM
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Have had success freeing keepers by putting a socket approx 3/4" or 19mm on top of the valve spring and hitting the socket downward which impacts the spring but not the valve. Only do this with compressed air in the cylinder because often the keepers fly out inside the socket and the valve will drop. Be careful and USE EYE PROTECTION as the spring and keepers can launch loose while doing this. Have to use discretion on how hard to hit the socket as the goal is to free the keeper but keep them in place but they do fly loose sometimes.

Cover any holes where loose keepers could fall into the engine...carb, oil returns etc.

I would not expect that you would be able to move the valve and spring by hand with 90 PSI on it. Anyway to check that PSI or put rope in the cylinder in case the valve drops?

Good find on the restricted oil return...Good luck!!!
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Old December 17th, 2017, 08:50 AM
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Pulled the v cover this morning to reset the gasket. No pool of oil. Great oil drainback into the motor. Started up smooth with no , repeat, no oil smoke.
45lbs oil pressure. Drove six miles down the hill then six back. Oil smoke all cleared up. I drilled a fitting into the downdraft tube which I then routed to a catch can then back through a pcv valve to the intake via the wiper vacuum line. I drilled one clean hole in the center of the filler cap and routed a hose into the air cleaner. I placed a loose bit of stainless pot scrubber in the bottom of the down tube without blocking it completely. So far everything is doing very well. Totally acceptable bit of down draft smoke after the run.
No clouds of smoke like before. No big pool of oil around the intake valve when it was operating. Running Delo 15-40 with one can of rislone.
Think I will go for a Sunday drive, just like the old days.
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