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Old 04-03-2002, 08:29 PM   #1
Dalannex
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Default What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy?

That's the question I got when I called my local parts stores and told them I want some valve stem seals for a 350 chevy that I am throwing some heads on. :mad That's what I mean when I say our local parts stores suck. They told me that they thought I had to have the machine shop install them. So, I talked to the machine shop and they knew what I was talking about, but said I had to talk to parts, where I got the same thing. Ends up they have them in the machine shop, but can't sell them because they have no way of entering them in as a sale in the computer.

These heads are a used set that I am putting some seals on and lapping the valves in for a guy's pickup that I overhauled a couple of years ago. The heater core was leaking and he ran her out of antifreeze. Then he wanted warranty, is borderline on going broke, his wife went to jail.................it's a long story so we won't go there.

Do you guys have this kind of trouble finding something simple like this or am I really trying to locate a strange and exotic part? :rolleyes:

-Justin
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Old 04-03-2002, 08:39 PM   #2
Larry B.
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Dalannex)

The stock seals are nothing more than a square "O" ring that goes under the spring retainer. This just deflects the oil so it won't run down the valve stem. They get hard and break into pieces and do nothing after a few years... There are "umbrella" type seals sold by several aftermarket companies. Some but not all corvette heads are machined for these seals. It yours are, then no big deal, just put them over the boss around the valve giude area. If they are not machined for them then you need to take the heads to a machine shop and have them machined to accept the Umbrella seals. :cheers:
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Old 04-03-2002, 08:45 PM   #3
Richard Cooper
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Dalannex)

Dalannex,
I just installed a set of umbrella seals on my 81 this past weekend. I got them from our local parts store, NAPA. They cost me $11.40 for 16 seals and were a stock item at the parts store.
They went on with no problems and the vette does not smoke anymore. Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:09 PM   #4
paul 74
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Dalannex)

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-04-2002, 07:22 AM   #5
Dalannex
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (paul79)

I know what they are, but the parts stores don't. I got a set from a friend of mine who runs a repair shop. I rebuild motors for him when he gets real busy, so I have the luxury of stopping in and rummaging through the "extra parts bin". :D The parts stores I checked are in a town about 14 miles away. I suppose I could go to NAPA, but that's a 45 mile drive. What kind of parts store worker doesn't know what a valve stem seal is anyway?

Now I can get these heads back together and put this guys pickup back together so he will go away for awhile. There's a reason mechanics are paid well. They have to put up with stupid people all the time. Once you work on somebody's vehicle, everything that happens to that vehicle until the end of time will be your fault, even if it's unrelated.
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Old 04-04-2002, 08:29 AM   #6
Aaron-74
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Dalannex)

I put crane cams umbrella seals on my heads with no problems. Leak tested and everything..I guess they do there job well. Just be sure to push them down on the guide far enough..
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Old 04-04-2002, 08:54 AM   #7
Tom454
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Aaron-74)

Justin... I'm with ya 100% on this one.

I just tried to get a rebuild kit for a power steering gear box (Ford) and everywhere I went I had to explain the difference between a "gear box" and a "power steering pump". They kept handing me pump rebuild kits.... even at NAPA.

A "real" parts guy is extremely hard to find anymore... all they have is mouse movers at the counter these days. The parts stores should pay us for our time we have to spend educating them to do their job. :)
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Old 04-04-2002, 12:45 PM   #8
rainman69
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Dalannex)

True...true...

I went to my favorite store, Advance, and there are two new guys there that have no effin' clue about anything...all I could buy were the o-rings, which the machine shop gave me free (as well as a set of umbrella seals). Then I remembered that the Checker down the street has a big engine performance section. Sure enough, Crane Cams teflon seals were right there on the shelf.

So, now I can do teflon on the intake and umbrella on the exhaust. Forget you o-rings... :smash:
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Old 04-04-2002, 01:00 PM   #9
MikeC
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (rainman69)

The parts guys at my NAPA are pretty good. Last night I got an exhaust leak in my truck. I walked up said 90 GMC truck 350 exhaust donut..... He said its probably this part. Sure enough it was. I think they have a total of two computers in the store and they only use them to print the reciept out. the rest is done by looking through the parts books... if required.
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Old 04-04-2002, 06:22 PM   #10
paul 74
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Dalannex)

I did not intend to question your knowledge. Sometimes I read the posts too quickly.
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Old 04-04-2002, 09:13 PM   #11
Dalannex
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (paul79)

Hey Paul, I know what you mean. I figured that. No sense in worrying about it too much. :cheers: :D I got the heads together now and am ready to put them back on so things are going well. These parts stores nowadays just frustrate me.
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Old 04-04-2002, 09:31 PM   #12
paul 74
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (Dalannex)

Just a last comment. And I am glad to read that things are going well! When I joined the Forum in August of 1999 there were about 2,700 members. I believe there are now close to 20,000. I can't keep up in my attempts to be helpful and sometimes when I do the accuracy of my replies may suffer. But on the bright side..................my 1979 comes out of commercial storage next week for a spring car show. I have not seen it since October. It's the old Heinz Ketchup commercial all over again: Anticipation!!!! And then "What a Feeling" (Irene Cara, Flashdance). Detailing on Tuesday and show time next weekend. I will post pics of our Corvette Club's C1-C5 display.
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Old 04-05-2002, 07:43 AM   #13
Dalannex
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Default Re: What are valve stem seals for a 350 Chevy? (paul79)

I need to rebleed the brakes on the 81. I had the rear pads out to grind a bevel on the edges, and put brake grease on the back, then I bled them, but when I took it out of the shop to drive back to storage, the pedal goes all the way down, so I better rebleed them. I am getting the itch to get that done because it sounds like spring may be here. The snow should pretty much all melt off in the next two weeks, so I should be able to take it out then. I know about the "excitement of the first polish" that you talk about. :D I'm just itching to get that cover off and buff away. :cheers:
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Old 04-05-2002, 07:43 AM
 
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