BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Valve Springs



It is understood that the cylinder head has been removed before performing valve spring removal. On all engines the camshafts must be removed. The rocker shafts and rocker arms must be removed on 2.5, 2.8L, 3.0L and 3.2L engines.

  1. The factory BMW valve spring compressor and removal tool mounts the cylinder head on a wooden support tray with projections that fit into the combustion chamber. This supports the valves as the springs are compressed and the retainers removed. The BMW tool number for the spring compressor is 11 1 060. There is a different number for the wooden support tray for each engine. Consult with your dealer if you wish to use the factory tools.
  3. If an aftermarket tool is used, safely and securely support the head while placing the valve spring compressor. Compress the spring.
  5. Remove the valve spring retainers and carefully release the tension on the spring. Use a magnet to retrieve hard to pick up retainers.
  7. Remove the spring and upper retainer. Remove the valve from the combustion chamber side of the head.

To install:
  1. Install the valve springs. If the valve springs are replaced, the inner and outer springs are replaced as a set. Do not mix new and used inner and outer springs. The color codes must match.
  3. Place the upper retainer on the springs and compress with the valve spring compressor. Place the retainer locks into the grooves. Release the compressor slowly to make sure the retainers are in place.


See Figures 1 and 2

The valve springs on BMW engines are of high quality and are capable of operating at high engine speeds. They should be replaced with original equipment units or specially made aftermarket units.

Line all the springs up. Check that they are all the same height. Place the springs against a straight edge. Check that they are straight and aren't twisted or bent.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Check the valve spring for squareness on a flat surface. A carpenter's square can serve as a gauge

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Fig. Fig. 2: The spring should be straight up and down when placed on a flat surface

Replace the inner and outer springs as a set. The springs must be a matched set and have the same color code.