Written and experienced by: Tony Huntimer

If you are ever changing your valve springs to stronger ones, it is a good
idea to upgrade your retainers and locks too. In a previous engine rebuild
I was trying to save a few bucks and I upgraded the valve springs, but I
decided to keep the old retainers and locks, even after I spent big bucks
on Crane Gold Race Rockers. This was a bad decision.

About 8000 miles later, one of my valves had a fight with a piston. The
piston and valve lost the fight. The retainers started to fail and the
locks started to break and pull through the retainers. Eventually one of
my valves was able to pull through the retainer and drop into the cylinder.
Seven other valves were ready to go, but it only takes one valve to cost
you a lot of money.

In the end, I saved less than $200 on the rebuild, but a year later, the
decision cost me a lot more money. Keep this in mind when you are doing
your next engine buildup. The extra insurance costs money now, but will
save you money in the long run.

Look at images below. You will see the broken retainers and locks. You
can also see where the locks were cutting into the rocker arms.

Click on images for larger ones


Same as above, but bigger and you can see the cracks in the retainer.




I followed an old trick, and glued small magnets to the cylinder heads.
I put them in the front and rear of the heads, in the area where the oil
drains into the lifter gallery. ~~~If you try this trick, DO NOT cover the
oil-drain-back holes with the magnets.~~~ I used two part epoxy to glue them
in. It was epoxy I used to glue my lifter valley screen kit in from Moroso.
These magnets catch metal debris you don't want getting into the engine
oiling system. I saved a lot of parts from damage by doing this trick.
I just wish I had spend 5 minutes pulling the valve covers and checked
the magnets every once in a while.

The photo below shows the broken locks stuck to the magnets.







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