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Aight, so due to process of elimination and alot of mechanics telling me I need new valve seals I finally got a quote: $465 and that's for labor... my question is, would it be easier and cheaper to just replace the heads? I can easily find a set at the pull a part near me... suggestions?

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If all they are doing is the seals that is WAY too high. the heads don't have to come off to replace the seals. That is more a price to pull the heads and have guides, seals and a valve job done.
 

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Like 464 says you can use this tool to pull the valvesprings and get at the valvestem seals.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MAN-41830/
You can use air to keep the valve closed while you change the seal but I don't trust the air so I use 1/4" cotton rope or one similar just so it's pliable enough to push into the cylinder through the sparkplug hole the hand rotate the piston against the rope towards TDC and pushes against the rope and valves to keep them closed while you get that cylinder done.
 

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Shadow Elky, I replaced the stem seals on my engine this past year and I used the rope trick install. The air I have used also but the rope is so much easier. It sounds like you may want to have someone do it for you,and I don't blame you. I also got two estimates for this work to be done and the price you got was in line with the ones I got. You may find a cheaper price but you should pick someone with a good reputation and let them get it done. WP
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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Shadowman, replacing the seals is really not a bad deal. If you have an air chuck adaptor to charge the cylinders and a spring tool and tweezers and small magnet you can knock it out pretty easily on a cold motor. The seals are really cheap. Save the $400 bucks and do it yourself.
 

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I used air to keep the valves closed while replacing seals once and had a power outage(very little air storage)and had a valve drop into the cylinder before I could grab the stem,so then I had to pull the head.Needless to say I don't mind the slight hassle of using the rope and having to turn the engine over by hand and doing each cylinder that way,It's my opinion but I'm not doing the work.
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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I have never used the rope but it seems to be a popular way to do it. With a big compressor and a snapon leakdown detector I have plenty of air stuff to do it without the rope. It is way too easy to pay someone hundreds of dollars to do. Hell, even a caveman could do it!
 

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It's real simple,the trick is to shove enough rope in the cylinder to cover the piston and to push into the combustion chamber to hold the valves closed while you do whats necessary.I knew an autoshop teacher that was trying to show some kids how to do it with air and forgot to bring the piston up to TDC before pulling the keepers even though he could hear the air rushing through the open valve.The valve stayed closed just long enough to pull the keepers and bumped it with the springs as he removed them and down it went, he wasn't happy but it was darn funny to the rest of us.He knew better, it was a case of trying to hard teach and not paying enough attention to what he was doing step by step.
 

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The real problem is IF you've never done it and don't know how,you're very likely to screw up and drop or bend a valve. I used to build all my bb chevy drag boat engines,but I won't touch a tansmission or rear end because I don't know what i'm doing !! Sometimes its just better to bite the bullet and write the check than take a chance ! JMO
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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Agrred, Wayne..But, simple jobs like this require more care and patience than technical expertise. How else do people learn if they don't take a little risk. The biggest risk is dropping a keeper half down into the motor. If one wraps a rag around the valve spring area and pays attention it should be a cake walk. If the motor has a gazillion miles on it there is also some risk that the keepers have begun to pull into the retainers and don't want to pop out. The more we can do for ourselves the more fun it is to own these cars.
I suppose for people who don't know how to hold a screwdriver it is better for them to pay up!
 

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Yep,I know what you are saying,but sometimes it just isn't in the cards to do it yourself. He'll need to make that decision. Then again,I know people that enjoy the car but don't want to even change the oil let alone do motor work. I,like you,enjoy the challenge. WP
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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The only two components I am not qualified or brave enough to rebuild are transmissions and rear differentials. " A man has got to know his limitations" Clint Eastwood!
 
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