Introduction: Automotive Chess Set: Valves

Intake and/or exhaust valves are nice additions to your automotive chess set. In the chess set pictured here they are used as the bishops. I like to think of them like the skinny bishops on the medieval tapestires. (except for Friar Tuck of course). This instructable will show how to remove them from the cylinder head and clean them up for use. This is my first instructable so please be kind with comments!

Step 1: Obtain a Cylinder Head.

The cylinder head shown here is a scrap head from a Ford 302 V8 engine. You can use pretty much any head from any car. This head was quite rusty after sitting in my shed for years, but once cleaned up, the valves look great! You can obtain scrap heads from auto garages, auto machine shops, maybe scrap metal dealers. Just pay the scrap metal price. Or save them from you or your friend's old scrap car before they tow it to the junkyard! The Ford 302 has exhaust valves of 1.75" diameter which fits most chess boards.

Step 2: Remove the Rocker.

Remove the rocker with a wrench.

Step 3: Use a Valve Spring Compressor

Use a valve spring compressor to compress the spring to allow you to remove the keepers which retain the valve from dropping into the cylinder. You can get a valve spring compressor like this at Automotive supply stores like Canadian Tire (about $30 CDN), or Princess Auto here in Canada, or Harbour Freight (about $14 US). I have removed valves before without a spring compressor using various tools like pliers, screwdrivers, and pry bars, but its frustrating. For smaller valves in 4-cylinder engines, you may need a washer as an adapter to fit the spring as shown in the second picture. Regardless, always wear your safety glasses! When the spring is compressed, if the tool slips, the keepers can fly out into your face!! You can also borrow this tool from alot of stores. One V8 engine has 16 valves which gives you 8 intake and 8 exhaust valves, enough for 4 chess sets!

Step 4: Remove the Keepers.

Remove the keepers with needlenose pliers. There are two keepers per valve.

Step 5: Use a Soft Face Hammer If Necessary.

If the head is rusty, sometimes you need to tap the spring with a soft faced hammer to free them loose from the valve. Spray with penetrating oil and let it soak for a few minutes first, such as PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench, whichever you prefer or is available where you live. Any penetrating oil at all will help.

Step 6: Remove the Valve Guide Seal.

Once the keepers are removed, remove the spring compressor, and the spring. Remove the valve guide oil seal with a screwdriver.

Step 7: Remove the Valve.

Use a soft face hammer to remove the valve from the head. The reason for the soft face hammer is that we want to avoid damage to the valve. If you distort the end of the valve, it will make removal from the head impossible. If you don't have a soft face hammer, use a brass, copper or aluminum punch with your steel hammer. Anything softer than steel, like a brass block.If the valve is rusted to the head add penetrating oil where it enters the head and let it soak in for a few minutes.

Step 8: Pull the Valve From the Head.

Once you have loosened the valve in the valve guide, you can pull it from the head and/or punch it through from the other side.

Step 9: Clean Up the Valve With a Wire Brush.

Remove the rust from the valve with a wire brush. But preferably a wire wheel on your grinder. The best grinder arrangement I think is a 6" grinder with one wire wheel, and one grinding wheel. Always wear a face shield. The last picture shows the wire wheel with a little picture of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle wearing safety goggles with the caption WEAR EYE PROTECTION. Small wire pieces frequently fly off the wheel. Also, if the valve you are working on slips, the wire wheel will fire it out with enough force to injure someone! Keep spectators well back! Contrary to popular belief, the wire wheel will not scratch the chrome stem of the valve as long as you don't leave the stem on the wheel for too long.

Step 10: The Finished Valve.

The finished valve. The first picture still has rust discoloration. The second picture shows the finished valve after a couple more minutes on the wire wheel with the discoloration removed. The bottom of the valve still has some pitting from rust damage, but that is a nice "patina". You can paint the valve glossy or flat black for the black pieces. For the white pieces, I suggest just leaving the pieces chrome, so the team colors are black and chrome. So you mostly only need to paint parts of the the black pieces.

Step 11: The Valve As Bishop.

This picture shows the finished valve proudly taking his or her place as the bishop between the rocker knight, and the lifter pawns, in the court of the Gearbox King. I'll try to publish another instructable for the CV joint castles with the corinthian fluted columns. Also check out the excellent Car Parts Chess Set by TuftyFall0.