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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 03-16-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
Bimmer's Garage
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Delaware
Posts: 21
My Ride: BMW E83 X3
Removing Valve Springs & Retainers (with homemade tool)

I don't know if anyone else has ran into this problem but one night I was working on a head gasket replacement with I*do*Werke on an m52 engine and we had to fully dissemble the head before it was sent to the machine shop. This involved removing the cams, cam trays and valves. Removing the valves is a pain first one must compress the spring enough to gain access to the retainers and then remove them. Working through the night by the time we go to this step it was early in the morning so no stores were open for me to purchase a spring compressor tool nor did we want to spend the $60 on one so I improvised.
**I don't take any responsibly for damage done to your own vehicle, yourself and/or others when using and making this tool. It worked flawless for us but if you have no idea what your doing take it to a professional**

Making a homemade spring compressor you will need:
-(2) gentlemen
-(1) 11/16" or 18mm socket or similar size
-(1) Table grinder or cutoff wheel
-(1) Extension
-(1) Finger Ratchet
-(1) magnet tool or pick tool
-(1) Rubber mallet or Shock Hammer

Step by Step (sorry only 2 pictures the other parts needed 2 people):

First,
Grind a square hole the chosen socket with a bench grinder or cutoff wheel. If using a cutoff wheel clamp the socket into a vice before cutting. The hole should be approximately 2.5cm to 2.5cm.


Second,
Attach the extension to the socket and the finder ratchet to the top of the extension. This will give you a place to put the palm of your hand to press down on the springs.


Now your tool is made! On to removing the springs.

First, line up the socket on the upper valve spring plate and tap on the finger ratchet a few times to release the retainer from the upper spring plate. This step is crucial or every time you try to compress the spring the valve will move with it.

Second, press down on the tool until the retainer is clear of the upper spring plate.

Third, insert a magnet tool or pick too through the hole in the socket. If using a magnet tool the retainers will attach to the magnet. If using a pick tool you will have to knock the retainer off the valve. The retainers are magnetic so using a pick tool is tricky this is what we used I would recommend using a strong magnet tool.

Finally, once you have the two halves of the retainer you can slowly release pressure on the spring and then go about disassembling the valve assembly.

This tool cost me nothing to build and the socket is still useable. We found out after we had finished that this socket fit the bolt holding the strut to the strut mount and allowed us to insert a allen key through the whole to hold the strut keeping it from spinning around.
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