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Valve Cage Tool for Westinghouse 3CD Air Compressor


The manual for the Westinghouse 3CD air compressor says to use a 1/2" square piece of bar in the shape of a Tee and a wrench to remove the inlet and discharge valve cages--or "plugs" as they call them--items 51050A and 51051A. Ha, ha, ha. Apparently, the authors never serviced a compressor which had been neglected for decades! Removing the valve cages is often very difficult, even after soaking with penetrating oil. This tool makes it easier to get adequate torque to remove the valve cage. Although I suspect there is a real tool available, this one isn't hard to build and works pretty well.

WARNING: This tool may make it possible to get too much torque, and damage the valve cage. Use common sense, please.

Material List:

Equipment needed:


  • Center nut on 3x3x1/4" steel square.
  • Securely weld inside of nut to 1/4" steel.
  • Chuck nut in lathe and turn 1/4" steel flat down to 2.9" diameter circular disk (to sit on top of valve cage).
  • Cut 1/2 x 3/8" bar to 3.2" long. Carefully center (both side-side and end-end) on disk and clamp firmly in place.
  • Weld bar to disk, making sure you don't get too close to the ends, or the 2" pipe will not fit over the welds (and you'll be pissed).
  • Notch one end of the 2" pipe in two places, so it fits over the 1/2x3/8" bar and up against the circular flat.
  • Place 2" pipe in place and carefully center (both directions) on the flat disk.
  • Weld the inside of 2" pipe to the flat disk.
  • Make sure you center everything up as well as possible when assembling the pieces. That will permit the most torque and reduce the tendancy of the tool to pull out of place.


The 2" pipe fits inside the valve cage and acts as a guide while you try to turn the tool. The 1/2" bar engages the notches in the top of the valve cage. You may wish to square up the notches in the valve cage with a file so the tool fits securely and contacts both sides.

Make sure you soak the valve cage with your favorite penetrating oil before trying to remove it. If it seems tight, soak it repeatedly for a day or more and maybe give it a few raps with a hammer.

When replacing the valve cage, clean it up really well and liberally schmutz it with high grade antiseize. The next poor sucker will thank you!

Copyright (c) 2000 by Paul Ganter

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