GM Chevy Mid-Size Cars 1964-1988 Repair Guide

Valve Springs



The valve springs are removed and installed as part of the valve procedure found earlier in this section. If only a spring replacement is required, refer to the valve stem seal procedure with the cylinder head installed. The same air pressure method may be used to retain the valve while only a spring is replaced.


See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Place the valve spring on a flat, clean surface next to a square.
  3. Measure the height of the spring, and rotate it against the edge of the square to measure distortion (out-of-roundness). If spring height varies between springs by more than 1 / 16 in. or if the distortion exceeds 1 / 16 in., replace the spring.

A valve spring tester is needed to test spring test pressure, so the valve springs must usually be taken to a professional machine shop for this test. Spring pressure at the installed and compressed heights is checked, and a tolerance of plus or minus 5 lbs. (plus or minus 1 lb. on the 231 V6) is permissible on the springs covered in this guide.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Check the valve spring for proper length and squareness

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: If a spring pressure testing tool is not available, have the spring checked professionally


In the event of cylinder head removal or any operation that requires disturbing or removing the rocker arms, the rocker arms must be adjusted. See the Valve Lash procedure found earlier in this section.