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valve guide seals

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Cornfield creations, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Cornfield creations

    Cornfield creations 1/2 ton status

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    Is it easy to do it yourself at home? Or can it even be done?
    I am needing to replace them, it smokes pretty good when you start it up and is causing me to burn a quart every 1000 miles.

    Or would it be best to take the heads completely off and have them rebuilt.

    Or is it better to just put better heads on.

    Its a 79 350 with 90,000 miles and is completely stock. I am just tired of the smoke and oil consumption, and also the lack of power. I am also on a budget so rebuilding the whole engine isn't an option. thanks
     
  2. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    if you just need the seals it can be done with out removing the heads, if you have valve guide wear you will need to take the heads off and have them totaly redone, you might even want to look at different heads the costs of getting them redone and getting some say vortec heads might be pretty close to each other
     
  3. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    Yes you can fix the valve seals easily with the engine in the truck - I've done this job a few times. The valves can be a pain, and with that many miles, yours is likely to have locks that are hard to get off.

    Unless you want to go radical, I would remove the heads and get them rebuilt, considering the age of the engine. You mentioned lower power, and oil consumption. You should have 882 casting heads. While not the best head ever made, they aren't too bad either. I had a set of these heads re-worked this spring, with bigger intake valves and bowl work to make them flow better. The rebuild included all new guides, seals, and exhaust seats. I had my machinist order all new pushrods and rocker arms while I had it apart. The total bill...$340.

    Some will advocate Vortec heads, or other variations (iron eagle). Those heads will run in the $500-$600 range new, but you'll have to buy an intake, and valves, etc.
     
  4. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    340 for that is really cheap, around where i live guides are 100 per head
     
  5. Cornfield creations

    Cornfield creations 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah it has about stock power, but with bigger tires and high gears it really shows through. If I got the heads rebuilt and ported and polished some, would it be worth it to stick the money into it?
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Vortecs at that range are complete with valves if you get a decent deal, as are the pro-toplines. (RHS now if I remember the acronym right)

    You will need an intake and rockers, valve covers. Still looking at around $750 I speculate all said and done.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    pull the heads...

    I am lazy,and have put just the valve seals on,by using compressed air or rope in the spark plug holes to hold the valves shut while installing them--but its a day long, tedious, and messy project..and I've been dissapointed by the results a few times--the motor still puffed some upon startup,though less than it used too!..the "TOKE" brand umbrella type seals are far superior to the stock "O" ring style GM used factory..they are worth the effort to find and use..

    I figure taking the heads right off is worth it..many engines need new head gaskets by the time the valve seals fail,and the intake gaskets are usually due by then too..and nearly every chevy motor I take the intake off,has a lot of grunge in the lifter galley,even in motors with the oil changed regularly..most need new cam lobes too!:doah:

    I usually find a valve or two that needs attention too,even if the motor was running decent..I had to pull a set of heads to replace head gaskets only 2 weeks after changing the stem seals--my back was still sore from that!..now I feel pulling them right off the first time is worth the effort!.

    I have found some valve seals(or peices) in the oil pump screen too!..they can lock an oil pump up tight!..if you find some stock seals missing or broken,you can bet they are probably in the sludge at the bottom of the oilpan,or in the pump screen!..:eek1: :crazy:
     
  8. MarcS

    MarcS 1/2 ton status

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    Do a compression check first. If you got good compression, just do the seals, if not, ya got some decisions to make.

    Actully......do the seals anyway, they are cheap, it will probably help with the oil consumption.

    Putting money into rebuilding the heads only is a big gamble. What about the rings/pistons/lower end ???

    Save you money and do it right the first time, otherwise it could cost you alot more than expected.
     

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