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Old 09-25-2012, 01:32 AM   #1
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Default Valve Spring Height Issues

I couldn't help myself but to check the valve spring installed height on my 243 heads. I am in the middle of a heads/cam/supercharger install. I recently brought my stock 243's to a well known machine shop. They did a complete valve job, with larger 1.60 exhaust valves, light port work, milled them .004 and installed my valve springs, seats, retainers, locks and so on. Everything is from Lunati,... The springs are double springs. When I picked up the heads the machine shop told me that the installed valve spring height on each spring was between 1.82-1.83. Lunati calls for a 1.810 installed height. I was going to leave it and just finish bolting it all together, but I can't leave well enough alone, so I ordered a proform valve spring height micrometer part# 66902. I wanted to check to make sure they were all no more than .020 out of spec.

Needless to say I am pulling my hair out of my head. I am having a really hard time getting an accurate measurement. I think I know what MIGHT be wrong, but of course this mic comes with no instructions. I think the retainer needs to sit on top of the tool however, it does fall flush and sits nicely in the tool as well. And the measurements do look like they start below the retainer even when flush. I did get a 1.830 reading when I cocked the tool sideways but that's so inaccurate. Otherwise my readings have ranged from 1.850-1.870

Take a look and tell me what I am doing wrong please and tell me how I can get an accurate measurement....

DG

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
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Looks like your doing it correctly(photo 2 an 3), now you just need to shim up the spring seats.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:51 AM   #3
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Looks like your doing it correctly(photo 2 an 3), now you just need to shim up the spring seats.
That's sad. And these guys told me they were ALL 1.82-1.83

Looks like I need some shims huh?

DG
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:32 AM   #4
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Yeah, if you want to do it right (which you obviously do), you'll need a shim kit.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:00 AM   #5
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I knew something was wrong. I just got off the phone with proform. This tool although designed to work with all non-beehive engines actually won't work with my setup. The retainer is designed to sit ON TOP of the tool, not recessed in it. That is why my measurements are closer to what the machine shop got when they measured it after cocking the retainer. I asked Proform how to fix it, and they told me they have no idea. Excellent.

This whole project has been me chasing my tail....

DG
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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So another useless tool to add to my collection, comp cams recommends a "snap ring" gauge. I am going to take these measurements sideways and if they come in close to 1.82-1.83 I am going to leave it alone. No point in shimming anything if the measurements I am getting are not accurate anyway.

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Old 09-25-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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Measure the difference between the steps on the micrometer and subtract that from your readings. I woud do that before a snap guage.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:19 PM   #8
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Measure the difference between the steps on the micrometer and subtract that from your readings. I woud do that before a snap guage.
I already tried that, unfortunately the retainer has a few steps and it moves around all over in the bore of the gauge. You really don't know where you should even measure from. The best result I got was from sliding the lip of the retainer over the gauge, however, again, its still very inaccurate. I am really trying the do this "the correct way" as I want their to be no issues, however maybe as the comp cams technician said, "I am chasing ghosts." My last resort is to order one from lunati and hope because they made it/sell it, it fits their retainers. Its also $98

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:32 PM   #9
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check and see if you can flip your tool upside down I have had to do this with some retainers
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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on my tool just like that one I can set the edge of the retainer up on the top of the tool and get a accurate measurment.

Tim
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:27 PM   #11
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on my tool just like that one I can set the edge of the retainer up on the top of the tool and get a accurate measurment.

Tim
I can too, however I question how accurate the measurement really is when the retainer is "slightly" tilted.

I would like to shim these valves springs, however I do not want to accidentally over shim them.

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:26 PM   #12
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I didn't find differences in mine but I seated the retainer in the keepers and then moved the tool and took a measurment.

Tim
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:36 PM   #13
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check and see if you can flip your tool upside down I have had to do this with some retainers

Unfortunately the base is too wide... That was a good though though,

Ill bet Lunati sells their own tool designed to deal with this issue. I will have to call tomorrow and find out.

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Old 09-26-2012, 05:51 AM   #14
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Measure the step in your tool and subtract it from your install height number
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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Lunati tech support states that I am "safe" to slide the tool over to one side a just grab the edge of the micrometer. Supposedly the keepers will keep the retainer from cocking to one side. Reading should be within .005 at the very most.

Now I have to see about getting some LSx shims. Are they any different from regular sbc shims?

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Old 09-26-2012, 10:56 PM   #16
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I turn down some shims to fit in the top of my spring mic to fit different retainers. The top to the step is about .120 IIRC so use a .125 shim with the ID to fit the retainer, then turn the OD to fit inside the mic top. I have a few for the common sizes.


and thouse springs to not install at 1.81 on stock heads like everyone thinks
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:40 AM   #17
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The retainer is going to lift up if you only load one side of it and will throw your number off by .010" or more.

If you want to shim them up to what is perfect in your mind, then get a pack of .015" shims and you'll end up at 1.805-1.815" according to the machine shop's measurement. They don't make them any smaller than .015", and really you're just chasing a few lbs.

Shim packs are available from Isky dealers, VSI should have them as well.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #18
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The retainer is going to lift up if you only load one side of it and will throw your number off by .010" or more.

If you want to shim them up to what is perfect in your mind, then get a pack of .015" shims and you'll end up at 1.805-1.815" according to the machine shop's measurement. They don't make them any smaller than .015", and really you're just chasing a few lbs.

Shim packs are available from Isky dealers, VSI should have them as well.
I agree with you however, like with most of the questions I have asked so far, it seems as though there is no definitive answer. If you look in this thread you will see a few contradicting posts (by contradicting I mean one person agrees, one person disagrees,... its all be good information). Like I stated above I spoke with Lunati tech support; they are convinced it makes no difference. But when you are working in .001 you are splitting hairs so you would figure it would make a difference.

As I have done from the beginning of this project, I will take a little info from here, and a little from there combine it and hope for satisfactory results.

I will try the method mentioned above (using the edge of the retainer) to check to make sure all of my springs are consistent with one another, and add .015 shims to all of them.

DG
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I agree with you however, like with most of the questions I have asked so far, it seems as though there is no definitive answer. If you look in this thread you will see a few contradicting posts (by contradicting I mean one person agrees, one person disagrees,... its all be good information). Like I stated above I spoke with Lunati tech support; they are convinced it makes no difference. But when you are working in .001 you are splitting hairs so you would figure it would make a difference.

As I have done from the beginning of this project, I will take a little info from here, and a little from there combine it and hope for satisfactory results.

I will try the method mentioned above (using the edge of the retainer) to check to make sure all of my springs are consistent with one another, and add .015 shims to all of them.

DG
No offense to phone line tech support guys, but I can go over right now and mock up a retainer on an LS head and tip the retainer by only loading one side, that's just the way it is. It will work to compare one spring height to the next, but it will not give you an absolute number.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:45 PM   #20
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Slide it over to one side and check it. Make sure all heights are close. Yes you can tip the retainer by loading one side but when height mic is mocked up the retainer is pretty well locked. The mic pushing against one side of the retainer will cause it to engage the locks and get a good reading. That being said if you have access to a mill you could make a small insert for the height mic. That is what I did a few years back. It just makes for much faster checking of installed heights. If I wasn't an engine builder and just a DIY guy I would just slide the mic to one side, check it and forget it.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:45 PM
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