On the spring compressors - yes - the first one is exactly the one I have. The nice thing about that one is that you screw the "pusher" down, and it holds the pressure on the spring leaving both of your hands free to mess with the keepers, etc. But, with shipping, you're a bit over $100.
The 2nd one is probably a good compromise - get it on ebay for $40 including shipping (Valve Spring Remover Installer Compressor Tool Kit FITS MOST DOMESTIC&IMPORT CAR | eBay
). It looks like you will need to use one hand to hold the pressure while you fiddle with the keepers with the other hand. A bit more awkward than the first one in that regard, but for the money, a good one. If you were to have a helper available for the few seconds on each spring to remove and install the keepers (i.e., one person focusing on compressing the spring, the other one to have both hands and their mind free to mess with the keepers), then it's probably a no brainer to get that one.
The 3rd one I can't visualize how it would work on our engines. It may be for certain types of other engines and won't work for ours, but I can't be sure - would help to see a photos of it in action.
The 4th one I veto, It hooks to the spring, and compresses only a part
of the spring. To get the total amount of compression on a spring needed to get the keepers in and out, it's on the edge of permanently deforming the spring. With it grabbing and compressing only part
of the spring, you're having to force the top of the spring down the same distance (to get the keepers out and in), but that distance is spread across only *some* of the coils, not the entire spring, so you run a *much* greater chance of permanently deforming those coils that are compressed.
: Go to Walmart and buy some 3/16" nylon rope. Rotate the crankshaft to put the piston of the cylinder you're going to work on near bottom dead center. Push the end of the rope into the spark plug hole. Keep pushing rope into the cylinder until the cylinder is pretty full, then stop. Don't worry about getting every last bit of rope possible in. Rotate the crankshaft to move the piston up to compress the rope against the cylinder head and valves. That will hold the valves up when the springs are removed.
Using the string method, you don't have to have an air compressor, or if you do, you don't have to worry about the air compressor crapping out in the middle of the job and dropping a valve into the cylinder! I used the string technique on a different engine I worked on one time, and it worked perfectly. I wish I had done it on my 2.7. Instead, I used a home compressor with no water/moisture trap. After I had everything back together, I couldn't crank the engine over by hand past the first cylinder TDC because (as I *finally* figured out) the carbon on the piston top and cylinder head swelled from exposure to the water in the compressed air over several hours - created an interference between pistons and cylinder head near TDC. If I had not discovered that when attempting to turn it over slowly by hand, it would very likely have done serious engine damage when I would have first cranked it over using the starter. (Fortunately, I figured out that possibly Sea Foam would dissolve or soften the carbon, so I tried putting Sea Foam in each cylinder and sucking it out with a plastic tube taped to the end of a shop vac hose, and repeating several times - did that to each cylinder - and it worked! Phew!! Dodged a bullet!)
"Do I not actually need the special tool to hold the cams for this job since they're coming off...?"
: No - those cam-locking tools are *only* for the 3.2/3.5 engines. That's because the cam clocking relatively to the cam sprockets is adjustable by a few degrees on the 3.2/3.5 engines. The clocking of the cams on the 2.7 are rigidly fixed relative to the sprockets, so no locking tools needed.
Anything else to replace
: Not on the valve train unless you know there are some bad lash adjusters, or you see some unusual roller or cam wear - Would be unusual. I don't recall anyone ever posting about having issues with the secondary chain tensioners. I re-used mine without hesitation because of that.
You said "It appears that I'll need to rotate the engine to get each valve at TDC as I R&R them...": I don't think that's right. There may be some confusing things in the FSM like that. Tell me what year FSM and on what page you are seeing that said, and I think I can clarify.
I'm a little puzzled about your saying you're not removing the primary chain. You have to remove the cams to get the valve springs off. That means the sprockets come off, which means the timing cover and the damper pulley come off. Essentially the primary chain comes off (sprockets and cams are removed to replace valve stem seals).
: I saw in another thread where you said you replaced the valve stem seals (Help me with my car noise thread number 54686
). Was that on another LH car?
I forget - when you installed a new tensioner, did you use a tensioner from the dealer, or was it an aftermarket one?
(note to self - for possible future reference:2002 Concorde Fuel line repair questions