I don't mess with old valve springs ever. They are always replaced (at least after the first engine I built). 389 Pontiac. I was 19 and built the engine for my 66 Bonneville. Figured that the springs look good - why spend the money? Fresh engine in the car and then drove 800 miles from York Pennsylvania to Indianapolis for a big hotrod show. Once we got there we figured we needed to "adjust the valves" (hydraulic lifters, so we obviously had no idea). Anyway, we pull the cover and then don't know what to do next. Push the car across the fairgrounds and ask the tech group about adjusting them. They reply " Probably should replace the broken valve spring first".
Fortunate to find a local speed shop with a new set of springs. Tow the car over and then replaced the broken spring in the parking lot with a shoe string through the spark plug hole to hold up the valve. Lots of learning. Most importantly - always use new valve springs!
Had $5000 in that car and sold it for $2500. Best tuition I ever paid!
Love the pictures of the fresh engine - I can almost smell it. Those plug threads look really bad - inserts fix it right up.
84 Spider - Long gone, but started the addiction; 85 GTV6 - Current project, Supercharged, Mega Squirt; 88 Verde - "Milo" It has a name, must be a keeper