Good call on the possible flood situation, Dan. I hadnít Thought of that, but itís a known thing to watch out for when buying cars.
ImpalaWitMe - Valve stem *seals*, not valve stems. With 179k on it, it is likely. You could do a thorough PCV restore and see if still the problem, but since youíre going to be doing the other work, you might as well do the seals at the same time.
Cams will have to come off. Old school valve spring compressors wonít fit into the tight spaces around the valves, but many modern engines have the same crowding around the valve springs, so there are now choices in spring compressors that will work. You can get what are called overhead ďone manĒ valve spring compressors, but some like traditional compressors but compact to fit the tight spaces are available that cost a bit less.
Without some tricks, keepers can be difficult to remove and install. Use a magnet to remove the keepers with spring compressed. When reinstalling springs, put grease on the keepers to stick them in place before releasing the spring.
'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs