hard to install valve stem seals

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by slampoud, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. slampoud

    slampoud Guest

    I'm doing a head gasket change on a 1987 Honda Accord 2.0liter fuel
    injected engine.
    Part of the procedure involves replacing the old valve stem seals with
    OEM replacements, in this case. The valve stem seals that are giving me
    trouble are the ones used for the exhaust valves, so there are 4 of
    them. Now, removing the old ones was really really hard (it took hours
    of pliers and prying with a flathead screwdriver), but installing the
    new ones seems near impossible!

    Is there a trick to this? What I've tried so far is lubricating them
    with engine oil and then either pushing or twisting them on. I've
    already destroyed one by hammering it in (they're made of a metal
    sleeve coated with rubber, on the inside, which extends to a rubber
    collar around the valve -- hammering on them made the rubber collar

    Another approach I tried was to use a 10mm socket, which fits pretty
    closely on top of the metal sleeve, but does not touch the rubber
    collar, and a rubber mallet to hammer on it. This has worked better
    than the mallet directly onto the seal, which was disastrous, but I
    still worry that it will weaken the collar enough for the seals to fall
    apart sooner rather than later... Worked better in this case means I've
    managed to get one out of four in!

    The honda shop manual and the chilton manual say nothing about proper
    installation procedure, yet this seems like the sort of thing where if
    you fatigue the part during installation, it fails spectacularly later.

    So, has anyone had experience with this? How do people get these on?
    Should I perhaps try heating the seals?

    slampoud, Sep 26, 2006
  2. slampoud

    Eric Guest

    Don't use heat and don't twist them!!! Most techs will use a socket like
    you did and lightly tap them in place. A 10 mm socket might be a little on
    the small side. Try using a deep chrome 6 point 12 mm socket. This will
    probably sit closer to the shoulder of the seal where it has more
    strength. I can't remember if I used any motor oil on the valve guides.
    However, when I do the stem seals with the engine still in the car (and with
    the valve held in place with compressed air) I will use a little oil on the
    valve stem.

    Eric, Sep 26, 2006
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