How to Remove the Valves on a Ford Flathead

Written by john stevens
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The Ford flathead V-8 engines derive their name from the unusual design of their cylinder heads. Whereas the heads of most engines contain the valve springs and the valves, the flathead's cylinder heads have only the spark plugs. The valves are instead inserted upside down and directly through the cylinder block. The valve springs are located underneath the intake manifold. Accessing the valves requires the removal of the heads and the intake manifold, and removing the valves requires a special tool called a valve spring lifter.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Spark plug wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Valve spring lifter tool
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Unplug the spark plug wires from the spark plugs.

  2. 2

    Remove the spark plugs with a spark plug wrench.

  3. 3

    Remove the retaining nuts from the top of the cylinder heads with a socket wrench.

  4. 4

    Lift the cylinder heads off of the engine block to expose the valves.

  5. 5

    Remove the intake manifold's securing bolts with a socket wrench and lift the manifold off of the engine to expose the valve springs.

  6. 6

    Position the forked-tip of a valve spring lifter tool between the bottom of the valve spring and the top of the valve keeper. The valve keeper is located beneath the valve springs.

  7. 7

    Push the valve out of the cylinder head by prying the valve spring upward with the valve spring lifter tool.

  8. 8

    Tap downward on the head of the valve with a hammer while lifting the valve out of the cylinder head with the valve spring lifter tool until the valve keeper detaches from the valve.

  9. 9

    Continue to pry the valve upward with the valve spring lifter tool and slide the valve out of the engine block.

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