How to Replace an Exhaust Valve


A reciprocating engine utilizes the exhaust valves to expel combusted gases from the cylinder combustion chamber toward the exhaust manifold. A slight malfunction of the exhaust valve will result in engine stalling, misfiring, increased fuel consumption and engine damage. Replacing an exhaust valve requires expertise in engine overhauling procedures.

It is best to consult the repair manual of your car as the procedure may vary according to the type, size and configuration of the engine.

Things You'll Need

  • Complete set of shop wrenches
  • Complete set of screwdrivers
  • Valve spring compressor
  • Valve guide driver
  • Soft hammer
  • Dial indicator
  • Clean engine oil
  • Park the vehicle in a safe and level area. Replacing the exhaust valve requires disassembling the valve cover and the cylinder head of the engine. Refer to your vehicle's repair manual regarding this procedure.

  • Use a valve guide driver to remove the valve guides from the cylinder head. Use a valve spring compressor to compress the inner and outer springs of the exhaust valve. Remove the valve keepers located on top of the valves. Slowly release the spring compressor and remove the tool. Remove the inner springs and the outer springs of the valve. Remove the valve seal, valve spring seat washers and the inlet valves, and remove the exhaust valve.

  • Apply a liberal amount of clean engine oil on the stem of the exhaust valve prior to installation. Make sure that there are no contaminants on the valve, because this will cause inefficient operation and engine damage. Install the exhaust valve in its respective position on the head. Install the valve spring seat washers and new valve seals.

  • Install the inner springs and the outer springs followed by the valve spring retainers. Compress the inner and outer springs with the valve spring compressor and install the valve keepers. Release the spring compressor and use a soft hammer to lightly strike the top of the valves to ensure that the valve keeper is installed correctly.

  • Check the valve depth below the cylinder head using the dial indicator. You may need to replace the valve seat inserts if the depth falls below the recommended level as indicated in the repair manual. Install the cylinder head.

Tips & Warnings

  • This procedure requires essential knowledge about critical internal engine parts.
  • When in doubt, always consult an experienced mechanic regarding the process.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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