I did some work on my engine's head valves and their seats. This is a very old engine with very old/abused/invented/adapted parts, etc.
Both the valves and seats were in pitiful condition. In some cases, they required using a small chisel and hammer to get rid of carbon deposits! I even polished the chambers with a dremel, drill, etc.
I could push some of the springs down with my thumbs (it was hard, but doable) and still put the cotters (aka valve keepers, collets, or locks).
Other springs were really hard and wouldn't easily push down my bare hands.
What I Did
I did some lap, first coarse (150 grits), next fine (600 grits), and then put them almost mirror polish (that green dremel paste...).
When I tried to turn the valves with a very soft thumb push, they wouldn't rotate on their seat. I think this means they are matching tight. Is that correct?
My first leak test failed.
I put the spark plugs, valves facing up, then poured thinner into the chambers. None, but one put the port "wet", but not dripping. I took that one valve's springs off, relapped a bit, and put it back.
Now, almost all the valves are wetting the ports!
When I say "wetting", I mean: they don't flood, I can't see drops, but if I pass the finger inside, I can pick a very very thin layer of thinner.
When I poured the thinner to the top of the chamber, I couldn't really see the level drop at all in the 10 or 15 minutes I tried. I could see the meniscus just there.
Are these softer springs damaged? Or, "barely" acceptable?
Are my leak test results good "enough"? Or, are they bad and I need to relap?
BEFORE AND AFTER :)