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2009 Cadillac CTS Need Help Valve Spring

Hello all. I am not a Mechanic but I have no choice to fix this myself and with your help as well. I was quoted 2000 to fix this. I really hope you can help me :slight_smile:

Vehicle: 2009 Cadillac CTS 3.6l 77000 miles.

Issue started at a stoplight out of nowhere. Idle going crazy barley alive. Misfire like hell. got it home asap.

Bought a code reader and got P0300 codes (multiple cylinder misfire) Went through normal steps of checking vacuum leaks and found none. Changed all plugs and coils - no fix. problem is deeper.

I now rented a compression tester from autozone.
Cylinder 5 = 128 PSI ------ Cylinder 6 = 0 PSI
Cylinder 3 = 130 PSI ------ Cylinder 4 = 145 PSI
Cylinder 1 = 132 PSI ------ Cylinder 2 = 145 PSI

So no Compression on cylinder 6. :frowning:
I have found a broken valve spring in the back where cylinder 6 is. Before I go further I need professional advice from you guys so I don’t really mess things up. I can rent or buy the tools needed. I did try and loosen the bolts on the cams but they will not budge!!! I can take more Pictures - please help me get back on the road.

this looks like a remove head job to me. what did shop say it would do for 2000?

Get a breaker bar and a 2’ piece of pipe to extend it. Use a good 6-point socket and those bolts will come loose.

@MrMitch; Without seeing what you are using I must agree with @Insightful. I feel somewhat certain that a proper 6 point 1/2 drive socket on a 1/2" drive breaker bar would easily loosen the nuts.

And if you don’t have a good shop manual I suggest you get one and follow the procedures for keeping the chain in time and avoiding dropping something into the timing cover.

Unless I’m mistaken, that appears to be the intake valve and the ports make it easy to hold the valve so it doesn’t drop into the cylinder when you release it.

those are E torx bolts? cant tell from shadows. use E torx sockets if you are required.

What you want to do is remove the spark plug from that cylinder.

Rotate the engine so the piston in that cylinder is at the bottom of the cylinder.

Thru the spark plug hole, fill the cylinder with some nylon rope.

Rotate the engine so the piston moves up compressing the rope.

Now the valve spring can be replaced without the valve falling into the cylinder.


You all are Awesome. Okay so I finally got those bolts broken loose with the proper socket but have not taken them off yet. I have heard of using compressed air in the spark plug hole to hold the valves but not rope. Waiting on springs now. Really appreciate the help. :slight_smile:

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Looks to me like the bolt is somewhat rounded at the top:

Picture 2

I would take a six point socket and grind it flat on the end to get to the “good” flats still at the bottom of the bolt head.

Looks to me like you can access the valve stem through the intake port without all that messing around. Tried to point that out previous post. Look at the pic of the opposite side intake ports. The valve stems are right there. Just use something that isn’t going to mar the stem… all of which assumes it IS an intake valve spring…

It seems like vice grips and a popsicle stick would work. Break the stick in half and use it between the valve stem and the gripper jaws. The grip doesn’t have to be super tight, just enough to hold the valve in place.

How do you get the spring installed with a vice grip on the valve stem?

I was thinking about holding it so that it wouldn’t fall into the cylinder. Maybe I don’t have a good view of it in my mind. Maybe needle nose vice grips poked through the spring. I’m just blue-skying here. Do you have a tool that would do the job?

I have used oily vacuum hose for years. Of course if the piston is at the top the valve cannot drop far enough that it can’t be brought back up on that engine using needle nose pliers or a magnet working through the intake port. But any effort to hold the valve from the top gets eliminated when it comes to slipping the spring over the valve stem while holding it in a spring compressor. And dropping in the keepers can be a pain regardless how positively certain the valve is held fully to the top.

You are removing cam to remove “rocker” cam follower. how are you going to remove timing chain to allow cam to come out? you have to strip down the front of the motor to do this and than remove the cam?

Look at the opposite side, circled in red. With the intake removed, the lower part of the stem is exposed. Those springs are still installed on that side. Maybe I’m all goofed up but it looks plausible…


with some luck, it might be that chain would not need removal if camshaft locks are loosened in front, removed in back and shaft tilted to let rocker slide out?

if it was me, I would use some masking tape to cover all ports. nuts and bolts seem to be only waiting a right moment to jump there :slight_smile: